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Tag Archives: Indiana Pacers
CAVS SEND RIGHTS TO F/C RAKEEM CHRISTMAS TO PACERS
CLEVELAND –The Cleveland Cavaliers have acquired the Los Angeles Lakers 2019 Second Round Draft Pick, which was held by the Indiana Pacers, in exchange for the rights to forward/center Rakeem Christmas, General Manager David Griffin announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts.
Christmas, the 36th pick in the 2015 NBA Draft appeared in four summer league games for this Cavs this summer, averaging 8.0 points and 4.5 rebounds in 20.9 minutes per game. He played in 142 games during his four years at Syracuse averaging 7.4 points on .560 shooting, 5.2 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in 22.0 minutes.
First of all, some good news on Pacers small forward Paul George who was seriously hurt in the Team USA scrimmage on Friday night in Las Vegas. George, who suffered a gruesome right tibia-fibula fracture in the 4th quarter of the scrimmage, had successful surgery and reportedly will remain in the hospital for up to three days. His recovery time is estimated between 9-12 months.
While George was a shoe-in to make Team USA, and as bad as his injury is for him, it doesn’t hurt the chances of Team USA too much. Yes he would have played and contributed to the team, but there’s enough depth on the roster to overcome his injury and Team USA will still be considered the favorites to win the FIBA World Cup in Spain that tips off August 30th.
However the same can’t be said for the Indiana Pacers. This is an insurmountable blow to the Frank Vogel’s squad in the Eastern Conference. Losing your best player, an ALL-NBA 3rd team performer, who impacts the game at both ends of the floor, is a devastating to blow. The Pacers have nowhere near the depth that Team USA has and thus scratch them off the list of teams who had a chance to play for an NBA Championship during the 2014-15 season.
Right now the back-up to Paul George on the Pacers depth chart is a 30 year old, 2 year NBA player by the name of Chris Copeland who averaged 3.7 points per game last year. Add to that the Pacers didn’t resign Lance Stephenson or Evan Turner and Paul George is no longer there, and you can forget about the Pacers as a viable contender to win the East, let alone an NBA Championship.
No true competitor likes to gain an edge this way in sports, but injuries are part of the game and because of this serious leg injury to George and the Pacers, it elevates a number of team’s chances in the Eastern Conference. The two teams who benefit the most are Chicago and Cleveland.
With the Bulls getting back what looks to be a healthy Derrick Rose from what we saw early in that Team USA scrimmage and adding Pau Gasol to a playoff squad from a year ago, to me the Bulls are the favorites right now to win the East.
However, should G.M. David Griffin and the Cavs find a way to pull off a trade for double-double machine and All-Star Kevin Love to team up with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, I believe the Cavaliers become the favorites in the Eastern Conference.
My thoughts and prayers go out to Paul George. Here’s hoping for a complete and speedy recovery so he can be back on the floor playing for the Pacers during the 2015-16 season and for many years after that.
When LeBron James left Miami for Cleveland he weakened one franchise, strengthened another and changed the entire landscape of the Eastern Conference. Other teams made moves as well, some got stronger, some not so much.
Here are my rankings of the top 10 teams in the East with each squad’s projected starting lineup and first three players off the bench. This off course is subject to change based on trades and other free agent signings in the future.
1 Chicago Bulls (48-34) HC- Tom Thibodeau
PG- Derrick Rose SG- Jimmy Butler SF- Mike Dunleavy PF- Pau Gasol C- Joakim Noah
Bench – Taj Gibson, Doug McDermott , Kirk Hinrich
2 Cleveland Cavaliers (33-49) HC- David Blatt
PG- Kyrie SG- Andrew Wiggins SF- LeBron PF- Tristan Thompson C- Anderson Varjao
Bench- Dion Waiters, Anthony Bennett, Mike Miller
3 Indiana Pacers (56-26) HC- Frank Vogel
PG- George Hill SG- C.J. Miles SF- Paul George PF- David West C- Roy Hibbert
Bench- Luis Scola, C.J. Watson, Ian Mahinmi
4 Washington Wizards (44-38) HC- Randy Wittman
PG- John Wall SG- Bradley Beal SF- Paul Pierce PF- Nene Hilario C- Marcin Gortat
Bench- Martell Webster, Otto Porter Jr., Kris Humphries
5 Toronto Raptors (48-34) HC- Dwane Casey
PG- K.Lowery SG- Terrence Ross SF- D. DeRozan SF- Amir Johnson C- J. Valanciunas
Bench- Greivis Vasquez, Pattrick Patterson, Louis Williams
6 Miami Heat (54-28) HC- Erik Spoelstra
PG- Mario Chalmers SG- D-Wade SF- Luol Deng PF- Josh McRoberts C- Chris Bosh
Bench- Chris Anderson Norris Cole, Shabazz Napier
7 Charlotte Hornets (43-39) HC- Steve Clifford
PG-K.Walker SG- L. Stephenson SF- M. Kidd-Gilchrist PF- Cody Zeller C- Al Jefferson
Bench- Noah Vonleh, Gary Neal, Gerald Henderson
8 Atlanta Hawks (38-44) HC- Mike Budenholzer
PG- Jeff Teague, SG- Kyle Korver SF- DeMarre Carroll PF- Paul Millsap C- Al Horford
Bench- Thabo Sefolosha, Dennis Schroeder, Pero Antic
9 Brooklyn Nets (44-38) HC- Lionel Hollins
PG- Deron Williams SG- Joe Johnson SF- A. Kirilenko PF- Kevin Garnett C- Brook Lopez
Bench- Mason Plumlee, Jarrett Jack, Mirza Teletovic
10 New York Knicks (37-45) HC- Derrick Fisher
PG- Jose Calderon SG- I.Shumpert SF- Carmelo PF- A. Stoudemire C-Samuel Dalembert
Bench- J.R. Smith, Andrea Bargnani, Tim Hardaway Jr.