Posts Tagged ‘Josh “McBob” McRoberts’

Pacers Boss Bird At The Crossroads

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Eight years are a mere blip in time, but it seems like an eternity in the NBA.

It’s certainly rare for executives and coaches to last that long.

So when you read that Larry Bird is eight years deep into his tenure as the boss of the Indiana Pacers, it seems a bit strange. I was there for the start, standing in the crowd at Bird’s introductory news conference and wondering, like most in that surprised sea of faces staring at him, how long the man known as “Larry Legend” would last as an executive.

Now, eight trying years later for Bird and the Pacers, Bird appears to be at the crossroads. The Pacers finally recovered fully from the infamous brawl at the Palace, making their first playoff appearance since 2006 earlier this year and pushing the top-seeded Chicago Bulls in all five games of their first round series.

In a thorough and wide-ranging piece on Bird, Julian Benbow of the Boston Globe touched on not only Bird’s lingering connections to the Celtics but also his tumultuous journey running the Pacers and how much longer he plans on doing so:

He’s been the Pacers’ top executive for eight seasons, but said that after next season he’s considering stepping away. He took the Pacers to the Finals as coach in 2000. But he’s spent the last six seasons trying to rebuild a franchise stained by the brawl with the Pistons at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

With Indiana coming off its first playoff appearance since 2006, the franchise is at a turning point. Bird and Pacers owner Herb Simon agreed that Bird would continue to guide the franchise on a year-to-year basis.

“It’s a handshake deal,’’ said Bird, who will be honored tomorrow at TD Garden as part of the Sports Museum’s The Tradition. “I don’t want a [long-term] contract.’’

About Last Night: PG Issues in LA?

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Miami isn’t the only high-profile team struggling to slow down opposing team’s point guards.

The two-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers are going through some trials and tribulations of their own in that regard. In fact, the Lakers’ three-game losing streak has been highlighted by opposing point guards attacking them, including last night’s monster effort from Hang Time Grizzlies flash Mike Conley.

He was the tip of the Grizzlies’ spear, abusing older and slower point guards Derek Fisher and Steve Blake to the tune of a team-high 28 points, which including a 4-for-5 shooting display from long distance.

Lakers coach Phil Jackson insists the problem with opposing point guards is a deeper issue for his team than what’s gone on in the last three games, per our main man Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times:

“We’ve had trouble with them from the last two or three years,” Jackson said. “So that’s nothing new. There are quick guards in this league.”

The Lakers never could quite figure out how to slow down the left-handed, fleet-footed Conley.

He burned them for 10 points in the fourth, missing just one of his five shots, making his only three-pointer.

That came with 1:41 left and it gave the Grizzlies a seven-point lead they held on to.

“Defensively, we had trouble keeping in front of him,” Jackson said. “And a lot of that is help from the big guys. A lot of it is his talents.”

Sunday night, Indiana point guards Darren Collison and T.J. Ford combined for 19 points and eight assists. Last Friday night, Utah point guard Deron Williams hit the Lakers for 29 points on 10-for-14 shooting, and 12 assists.

Sound familiar?


About Last Night: Chi-Town Shines

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Two of Chicago’s finest NBA products were on display in Tuesday night’s Bull-Lakers Fan Night matchup on NBA TV.

Derrick Rose and Shannon Brown helped cap a light (six-game) night around the league with one of the more dazzling displays of offense from opposing players in the same game.

Rose drops jaws with nearly every move. He is quickly becoming one of the most unstoppable forces in the league with the ball in his hands . But Brown’s game is blossoming as well, albeit in a totally different role as one of the main cogs off a much-improved bench for the Lakers.

It wasn’t a good night for everyone, though. The Hawks found themselves on the wrong side of the fence for the second straight night, losing in New Jersey in overtime. But the Pacers, Mavericks and Wizards (thanks to the return of John Wall) all woke up this morning feeling pretty good about themselves. You can see it all in the Daily Zap: (more…)

About Last Night: Clippers Sliding

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — So much for all that preseason energy we had for the Los Angeles Clippers.

Their losing streak is now eight games, courtesy of a putrid 33 percent shooting effort against an injury-ravaged Indiana Pacers team that wiped the Conseco Fieldhouse floor with Clipper Darrell‘s boys.

This is now what we had in mind for these Clippers when we spoke with Baron Davis on Episode 22 of the Hang Time Podcast. This is not the way things were supposed to play out when Blake Griffin and Eric Gordon joined Davis and Chris Kaman in training camp to form one of the more intriguing four-man units in the league, or so we thought.

They’d had some tough losses these past three weeks, but at least they were battling.

All that seemed to change last night (we opted for the Clippers-Pacers over Suns-Magic after we found out Steve Nash wasn’t going to play but both games were train wrecks for the visiting teams):

Lisa Dillman of the Los Angeles Times was there in person and it looked even worse than it did on the hideout 50-inch screen:

The Clippers’ rookies, as well as Craig Smith and Eric Gordon — another Indiana homecoming ruined — had the glazed look of survivors who had stumbled away from a car crash, wondering where to go next.

“Something has got to change,” said Griffin, who had 12 points and eight rebounds. “After a while, you can’t just say — we do have to keep working — but you can’t just keep working and keep losing. It comes down to who wants it more, a little bit of heart. We just need to find that.”

He wants to be an agent of change. The most obvious form of assistance, of course, would be getting center Chris Kaman back in the lineup. Griffin can do many things, but he’s not a medical miracle worker.

Any other suggestions?

“We’ll work on it tomorrow,” Griffin said. “I’ve got some ideas.”

There’s always tomorrow!

At least we got a few highlights out of the deal, including a Josh “McBob” McRoberts alley-oop and a couple of Gordon and Griffin above-the-rim specials: