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Vogel mixing and matching

The Pacers have been a democratic, inclusive, class-free society during most of their practice scrimmages so far. No starters, no reserves, just a bunch of guys with equal opportunity. Rather than organizing his players into first, second and third units, coach Frank Vogel has tried to divide them into competitive groups that no inherent advantages. The original intention was a nod toward the team's superio ...

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Drafting George wasn’t an easy call for Bird

Larry Bird's selection of Paul George with the 10th pick in the 2010 draft was an obvious home run. It could turn out to be a grand slam, if George fulfills the expectations that go with receiving a max-level contract. But while George might now look like a no-brainer choice, it wasn't that simple on draft night. Bird nearly took North Carolina forward Ed Davis. “When I went down to the draft, I really didn ...

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Slick Leonard Shoots His Age

He needed to sink a 65-foot putt on the final hole to do it, so it seemed about as likely as a lightning bolt piercing the afternoon's blue sky. But then what's the big deal about a putt when you've hit as big a free throw as a basketball player can hit? They don't call Bob Leonard “Slick” for nothing. He made the putt to finish Tuesday's round of golf at Plum Creek with an 81. An 81 for an 81-year-old. He ...

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Five Things to Know About Luis Scola

Luis Scola, acquired via trade with Phoenix on Saturday, met with the media for the first time on Tuesday. Here's five things Pacers fans might want to know about the team's newest member. 1.     He'll wear No. 4 for the Pacers, worn last season by Sam Young. He has worn that number throughout his career, but had to wear 14 in Phoenix because Marcin Gortat had already claimed 4. 2.     He and his wife have ...

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George a perfect fit for the Pacers’ small pond

NBA fans are conditioned to believe the best players from the smallest or coldest markets want to take their talents to the bigger or warmer markets. No wonder. Hey, LeBron, D. Wade and Bosh didn't conspire to play in Milwaukee, did they? The Lakers in particular have tended to inhale whatever talent they wanted, sucking Wilt Chamberlain out of Philadelphia, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar out of Milwaukee and Shaquill ...

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Coaching staff incomplete

The Pacers still have an opening for an assistant coach in the wake of Jim Boylen's surprising departure, but head coach Frank Vogel has no timetable for filling the hole on his staff. “As soon as possible, but I'm willing to take my time,” he said. Vogel said he's still deciding which qualities to target for a replacement. Should he hire a former player? An experienced bench coach? A strategist? A communic ...

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One on One x 10 with the Pacers

It will be kind of like inviting me to spend the Fourth of July with you, but you won't have to actually feed me or hang out with me. Local ESPN affiliates FM 107.5 and 1070 The Fan will air 10 hours of my One on One program on Thursday. Ten hours with nine people. Nine people who play for or work for the Pacers. It's the brainchild of program director Greg Rakestraw, who made a savvy decision that saves hi ...

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Shaw-hunting season opens

For weeks now, when other NBA teams called Pacers president Donnie Walsh for permission to talk with assistant coach Brian Shaw, the answer has been the same: wait until the playoffs are over. Now that they're over for the Pacers, who lost at Miami Monday evening, it took less than 24 hours for Shaw's name to surface as a candidate for the head coaching position in Brooklyn. An ESPN.com report on Tuesday li ...

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Hibbert goes up, gets the call

It was a play that spoke to the respect Roy Hibbert has earned and shut up the conspiracy theorists. With 4:18 remaining and the Pacers leading Miami by nine points, LeBron James beat Paul George off the dribble and drove hard to the basket and tried to dunk it. Hibbert met him at the rim – or “mountaintop,” as James described it – and went straight up and drew a charging foul. That kind of call isn't suppo ...

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Howard makes his presence felt

Of all the players who could have contributed to Miami's second-half turnaround against the Pacers Thursday night, just about the least likely would have been Juwan Howard. Juwan Howard? He was born in 1973, during the Nixon administration. He's an even older 40 years old than Jason Kidd. He was drafted into the NBA in 1994, after experiencing Fab Fivedom at Michigan. He's played for eight different NBA tea ...

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