Report: Pacers considering taking Daniel Orton in NBA Draft

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The Pacers have a lot of work to do to turn their team into a contender. They’re still siphoning off pieces of the former Eastern Conference contenders (while Ron Artest is winning championships for he Lakers) and trying to formulate a new core. 

Apparently, one of their moves they may be planning is a little out of the box.
Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star reports that the Pacers are considering taking Daniel Orton, the high-upside, low-college-production center from the Kentucky Wildcats with the 10th pick. 
I’m going to stop this carnival ride for a moment and let you get all the jokes about Orton not being white, not being a college superstar, and not being tremendously undersized out of the way. 
Are we good? 
Orton is actually a pretty great pick at that spot, even with Roy Hibbert on roster. Orton is 6-10 and has crazy amounts of athleticism, something the Pacers need. Putting him in a set with Hibbert would essentially create a super-rebounding machine for the Pacers, and give Danny Granger someone else to run the pick and roll with. You could argue that the Pacers have a bigger need at point guard, but with the slim picking at point in this year’s draft, Orton is a high-upside pick that could work out remarkably well if his game evolves quickly with pro coaching. 
Plus, he won’t come in with the expectations of a Tyler Hansbrough, and could allow the Pacers to trade some of their other veteran bigs for younger talent. 

Isaiah Thomas nutmegs Knicks center Marshall Plumlee (video)

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Isaiah Thomas usually saves his best play for the fourth quarter, but the Celtics guard showed out early with this pass between Marshall Plumlee‘s legs to get Kelly Olynyk a layup.

Thomas uncharacteristically just didn’t have enough late. Though he scored 39 points, he shot just 2-for-9 in the final period, as the Knicks pulled away for a 117-106 win.

Kevin Durant misses dunk so hard, ball flies past halfcourt (video)

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Kevin Durant played great in the Warriors’ win over the Thunder last night, but – perhaps fueled by excess emotion – he missed this incredibly emphatic dunk attempt.

Later, Russell Westbrook showed his former teammate how to do it (sparking their apparent conversation):

James Harden outduels Giannis Antetokounmpo as they produce fantastic highlight video

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James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo met in a battle of two of the NBA’s best point guards. (Still weird to say.) The final lines:

  • Harden: 38 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 blocks
  • Antetokounmpo: 32 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 blocks

The winner? Harden and the Rockets, who topped the Bucks, 111-92.

But the real winner? Anyone who gets to watch this highlight video. It just gets better as it goes.

PBT Extra: Who do you want to see most in first All-Star Game?

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Tonight the NBA All-Star Game starters will be announced. Then the coaches have a week to vote and the rest of the roster will be put together by them.

This year should see a few first-time All-Stars, guys bursting on the scene and grabbing fans attention — so we asked people on Twitter who they most wanted to see in his first All-Star Game and I break it down in this PBT Extra.

The winner? Giannis Antetokounmpo with 45 percent of the vote. Which shouldn’t be a surprise, he’s second in the fan voting for the frontcourt in the East (behind only LeBron James). Good news for those fans, the Greek Freak is almost guaranteed to be a starter, he’s getting plenty of media votes and likely a lot from the players as well.

Second place in the poll? Joel Embiid of the Sixers. I’d love to see him, but will players and media members vote in a guy on a minutes restriction? Will the coaches pick him for that same reason? He is on the bubble.