Victor Oladipo’s first season with the Pacers has been a smashing success. If he can sustain his superb shooting, guest Ian Levy believes he should be an All-Star (Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Wikimedia Commons).
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The Indiana Pacers have bounced back from a subpar start to stand 18-14. In an Eastern Conference crowded with many solid, second-tier teams looking to separate themselves from the pack, Indiana is more than holding its own thanks to an elite offense led by Victor Oladipo. Ian Levy, NBA editor and columnist for FanSided and Editor-in-Chief of The Step Back, helps us break down the team he knows best. We’ll cover Indiana’s captivating comeback ability, the sudden emergence of Oladipo and so much more…Who’s your (Hoosier?) favorite podcast for interview excerpts?
6:42-7:28: “If he [Victor Oladipo] can sustain what he’s doing shooting the basketball, especially on those pull-ups, that sort of locks him into this tier where he’s, I’d say, a clear-cut All-Star [and] one of the best shooting guards in the league. So I think that’s probably the hope for the Pacers rather than him somehow getting better than he is now. He’s given them everything they could ask for. And that aggression and passion is such a different aesthetic than the Pacers have had the past couple years. Even when they were good, back in the Hibbert-David West-George Hill-Paul George-Lance Stephenson [days], back in those days, they didn’t have the same sort of kinetic explosiveness.” Continue reading
Coach Brett Brown and his Sixers are finally starting to see results, with wins in seven of their last nine games (TastyPoutine/Creative Commons).
With every team at or beyond the midpoint of its regular-season schedule, it could not be a better time to assess how each squad measures up. Some teams will be celebrating All-Star starter selections just named, while many others are confronting serious injuries. Amid this crazy time, the 76ers jumped nine slots, leaving the league’s cellar thanks to a mighty strong start to 2017. Meanwhile, the Charlotte Hornets, Sacramento Kings and Orlando Magic have experienced the league’s steepest declines in recent weeks.
Biggest Jumps: Philadelphia 76ers (+9), Washington Wizards (+4), Detroit Pistons (+4), Denver Nuggets (+4)
Biggest Falls: Sacramento Kings (-8), Charlotte Hornets (-8), Orlando Magic (-7)
Devin Kharpertian reporting from the Barclays Center for YES
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The Brooklyn Nets and new GM Sean Marks certainly have a difficult road ahead, as they attempt to transform a struggling team without having control of any of their own first- or second-round draft picks over the next three years. Devin Kharpertian, managing editor and founding partner of The Brooklyn Game on the YES Network, joins us to explain exactly how the Nets got themselves into this situation, the current state of the team and why there might be glimmers of optimism after an overhaul of the front office this season. Exciting excerpts below:
1:55-2:40 on what new GM Sean Marks must do going forward:
“The thing that they have to do is wield some of their power in free agency this year. Now the problem with that is 25 of 30 teams are able to sign somebody to a max deal… It’s a really tough avenue for (the Nets), because the only thing they can do is something that almost every other team can do and almost every other team is in a better position to do, because the Nets just don’t have the talent to compete. It’s going to take some magic from Sean Marks.”
3:58-4:11 on whether any Nets player is off limits:
“Brook (Lopez) and Thad (Young) are the centerpieces right now, and Rondae (Hollis-Jefferson) is a piece of that as well. But, I think for the right deal. They’re 21-52 at this point; nobody on that team is untouchable.”