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10 Things I Loved About the 2011 NBA Playoffs June 14, 2011

Posted by pacejmiller in Basketball, Indiana Pacers, NBA, Sport.
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Ahh…it’s finally all over. The Dallas Mavericks just defeated the Miami Heat in 6 games to capture the 2011 NBA Championship in what has been the most enjoyable NBA Playoffs in recent memory. Dirk Nowitzki was named Finals MVP, elevating the big silky German to all-time great status and denying Miami’s much-maligned ‘Big Three’ of Lebron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh a chance at a title in their first year together. Loved it, loved it, loved it.

Here are the 10 things that I thought made these Playoffs one of the best ever.

(to read on, click on ‘more…’)


NBA 2K11 provides a glimpse of the new Miami Heat September 30, 2010

Posted by pacejmiller in Basketball, Game Reviews, Indiana Pacers, NBA.
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I’ve been following all the NBA 2K11 videos on YouTube in advance of the release on October 5th (October 8th in Australia).

The best of the lot has been from MrOperationSports, one of the few sites that seem to genuinely hold a copy of the real game.  But their latest video, which gives us a glimpse of the new look Miami Heat, is too much for me.  It’s entitled ‘The Conseco Massacre’, and depicts Dwyane Wade and Lebron James having their way with the new look Pacers.  Dunks, threes, spin moves, alley oops, big blocks — the video has it all.  It even has Lebron James trash-talking Danny Granger (probably about his lack of minutes for Team USA), while Brandon Rush stands in the background looking completely stoned.  And you thought basketball games were not realistic!

Here is the vid.

As a Pacers fan, that video was utterly brutal, but I’m not going to pretend there’s no chance of it happening in real life.  But why the Pacers?  Why, oh why?

Anyway, 2K11 is looking really good.  I’m not even a Michael Jordan guy, but this new trailer has my blood pumping.

Can’t wait.  And you can forget about NBA Elite 2011.  I’d be surprised if anyone prefers that game after what we’ve seen from the demo.

I promised I wouldn’t, but… August 12, 2010

Posted by pacejmiller in Basketball, Indiana Pacers, NBA.
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My writing course is starting to really freak me out with all the assessments I have to do this semester.  I actually have to interact with people!  Interview complete strangers like a professional!  How terrifying is that?

Anyway, I still wanted to continue writing everyday, not just for class exercises but also for leisure.  I want to keep reminding myself why I love writing and want to keep doing it, no matter what.

I still have other posts left waiting on the sideline, but I feel I must ramble on about the fantastic trade the Indiana Pacers made today when they traded power foward Troy Murphy to the New Jersey Nets in return for point guard Darren Collison and veteran James Posey from the New Orleans Hornets in a four-team trade (I don’t care for the other trades).

I know I promised to keep this blog basketball free, but this news is just too fantastic!  About damn time Larry Bird did something, especially after the Pacers had remained the only team in the NBA this offseason that did not add or retain a player through trades or free agency.

In Darren Collison, the Pacers got a point guard that could potentially turn this franchise around.  Collison was one of the best rookies last season and could have won Rookie of the Year had he not played behind superstar Chris Paul.  He averaged a solid 12.7 points and 5.7 assists last season in just 27.8 minutes per game.  When Chris Paul went down with injury, he stepped up to average a tremendous 18.8 points, 9.1 assists and 3.5 rebounds in 37 starts.

In Indiana, Collison will have a real chance to prove himself as the starting point guard (which appears highly likely).  No one is expecting him to take the team to the playoffs on his back, especially since the team just lost its second best player and best rebounder in Troy Murphy.  But with time, the right attitude (which he seems to have) and lots and lots of minutes, Collison could definitely be something special.  At least the Pacers no longer have to count on Lance Stephenson or AJ Price as the point guard of the future.

As for James Posey, the guy is expensive, but it’s worth putting up with him if the Pacers can get Collison.  It also means more trades could be on the horizon, as the Pacers already have a logjam at the wing spots with guys like Granger, Dunleavy, Rush, Jones and rookie Paul George.

Troy Murphy will be missed for his shooting and rebounding, but let’s face it, his defensive presence (or lack thereof) is not going to be missed.  Pacers fans will surely wish him all the best in New Jersey.

Now all of a sudden the Pacers’ future is looking a lot brighter.  They just have to find a way to get rid of TJ Ford, who has refused to be bought out.

Thoughts on Lebron going to the Miami Heat July 9, 2010

Posted by pacejmiller in Basketball, Indiana Pacers.
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[This Lebron thing is too big to ignore.  Below is an amended article taken from my basketball blog, Pacers Pulse]

Lebron James is going to the Indiana Pacers…

…and then I woke up!

The new Big Three

It’s a done deal.  Lebron James is joining the Miami Heat in the hope that he can win multiple championships with Dywane Wade and Chris Bosh (plus whoever else the team can get for low dollars).

Even though Miami was speculated to be the popular choice, I just couldn’t quite believe it when I followed the event live.  I understand some people saying that Lebron has sold out.  He has betrayed his home team in Cleveland, who have done everything they could to help him win over the last few years.  He has given up the challenge of winning by himself in the place that drafted him.  He has forgone the opportunity to play under the bright lights of New York City.  He didn’t want to follow the footsteps of Michael Jordan and play in Chicago.

Instead, Lebron went with the easiest way out — joining fellow All-Stars D-Wade and Chris Bosh to form the new Big Three.

I must say while I am intrigued by the prospect of such a terrific trio playing on the same court for an entire season (and possibly for many years), I have lost a little bit of respect for Lebron.  I wanted him to be loyal and stay true to his fans in Cleveland, who are absolutely heart broken.  I wonder if they will boo him (along with the fans in New York and Chicago?) when he returns to play next season.  I’d be surprised if they didn’t.

However, I don’t fault Lebron for his decision.  Not totally.  At the end of the day, all he cares about is winning.  He is taking less than max money to play for a championship.  When it’s all said and done, people are going to look at the number of championship rings he has on his fingers and make an assessment as to where he belongs in the GOAT discussion.  If he only has one or two (or none), that’s not going to be enough to get him there.  In Miami, he has the chance to win five or six, or perhaps even more?

On the other hand, if I were the Lakers, the Magic or the Celtics, I wouldn’t exactly be quivering in my boots just yet.  Yes, this new Big Three is pretty impressive, but we’ll have to wait and see what other pieces they can scrap together.  With these three guys taking up the majority of the cap space, who else are they going to get?  Basketball is, after all, a team sport.

That said, I don’t see it being a huge problem for the Heat.  For starters, Boston proved a Big Three could be enough.  In any case, I bet there will be plenty of solid veterans and role players willing to play for the Heat at minimum money.

Provided there are no serious injuries, the Miami Heat are going to be lethal next season.  This is not a case of simply having a few good players playing on the same team.  Lebron James is the reigning MVP and the best player in the NBA.  If you want to say he’s not, then one of the two guys that could challenge him would be Dwyane Wade (the other being Kobe Bryant).  So that’s two of the top three players in the entire league playing for the same team.  We haven’t had that since Shaq and Kobe played together in the early 00’s.

On top of that, there’s Chris Bosh.  Some would say Bosh is not a superstar, but he’s definitely one of the top five power forwards in the NBA at the moment, formerly the best player on a team skirting the playoff fringe.  He has his weaknesses but don’t pretend for a minute you wouldn’t love to have him on your team.

This is way bigger than the Boston Big Three.  Paul Pierce was probably a top 10 player in the league.  Ray Allen was probably a top five shooting guard.  Kevin Garnett is and was the NBA’s biggest douche, but in terms of basketball ability he was on his way down (though probably still a top five power forward).  The Miami Big Three has two of the three best players of any position in the league plus a top five PF.  Think about that.

But all it takes is a couple of injuries to derail the team.  High risk, high reward.  Potentially.

I asked a couple of basketball fan friends what they thought of the move.  One said, “Total sell out by LBJ!”  The other said, “I feel somewhat betrayed by LBJ.  [Miami] have to be special for LBJ to be forgiven by Cleveland.  Like MJ 72-10 special!”

That pretty much reflects the general sentiment of everyone not in Miami at the moment.  They can see how much Lebron wants to win, but did he have to gut his old team on national television?

Some say Lebron is like any other person faced with an opportunity to give himself and his family a better life.  If you had a better job on the table, wouldn’t you jump ship either?  In this day and age, job loyalty is a rarity.  How many people stay with the same company for their entire career these days?

I beg to differ.  This was no ordinary decision.  They cared.  People cried over it.  This impacted the lives of thousands and the economy of an entire state.  Lebron had a duty to these people.  Why not treat everyone with a little more respect and dignity?

Speaking of dignity, how about Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert’s response?  Talk about having no class…

New Pacers Pulse is Live! 7Tavern is up! January 10, 2010

Posted by pacejmiller in Basketball, Blogging, Indiana Pacers, Movie Reviews, On Writing, Taiwan, Travel.
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Man I have got too much going on.

The brand new and significantly improved (at least from an aesthestic standpoint) Pacers Pulse is finally LIVE on Bloguin.

Visit it at: http://pacerspulse.com

I’ve been trying to import the archived posts over but without much success.  If the old stuff gets lost, then so be it!

My movie reviews from this blog (so far) have also been imported to 7Tavern.  You can access them (along with reviews from other reviewers) by clicking on the 7Tavern logo in the right hand side bar!

And lastly, more articles coming at Bleacher Report.  Check out the existing ones here.

Oh, and back to work tomorrow…and I’m not even half way through my Taiwan posts…

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