Tyler Hansbrough has minutes just waiting for him, if his head clears

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THansbrough.jpgThis is how thin the Indiana Pacers are up front: They are talking about playing Danny Granger at the four some this season.

It’s actually not a bad idea when the Pacers want to go really small and quick for a stretch, but it leaves them some rebounding issues. While the Pacers did well this summer to trade for Darren Collison, the price of Troy Murphy means the Pacers need to find a way to replace his 11 boards a game.

Tyler Hansbrough could do that. Maybe. We don’t know, and won’t know until he gets healthy.

Which could be a little bit away, according to the Indianapolis star.

Part of the problem is that the Pacers still don’t know what Tyler Hansbrough will be able to do for them because last year’s first-round pick is still limited to non-contact drills.

Hansbrough played pretty well in 29 games last season, coming off the bench for 17.6 minutes per game pitching in eight points and five rebounds. Not bad.

But he was limited by injuries, specifically a concussion and inner ear issue that kept him out most of the season. Doctors couldn’t quite figure it out, so he sat and he is not yet all the way back.

The Pacers need him to be. Their front line right now is Hansbrough, Roy Hibbert, Jeff Foster, Solomon Jones, Josh McRoberts, and Magnum Rolle. That’s not going to get it done. Larry Bird said he was looking for another trade, but good bigs are hard to find.

When Hansbrough will be back remains a mystery. Kind of like how the Pacers will look with that current front line is a mystery.

Kobe Bryant with spin move around LeBron James (VIDEO)

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The game itself went about how you’d expect one between a title contender and a high lottery team to go — the Cavaliers 120-111 win over the Lakers was never really in doubt.

But the fans in Cleveland wanted to see some vintage Kobe Bryant, and they got it late when he spun around LeBron James and hit the reverse lay-up.

LeBron had 29 points on the night, and Kyrie Irving had 35. Kobe finished with 17 and got a standing ovation from the Cleveland crowd.

Suns’ Markieff Morris, Archie Goodwin get in scuffle on the bench

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Just another magical day in the Valley of the Sun, where clearly Jeff Hornacek was the problem….

During an early timeout in the Suns’ game at Golden State, Markieff Morris tried to explain something to Archie Goodwin, who is seated. This conversation gets heated quickly, and teammates eventually have to step in and separate the two teammates.

The Suns have shopped Morris around as the trade deadline approaches, this isn’t going to help his value.

We should find out more about what happened after the game ends, although I’m sure both sides will play it down as “nothing.”

Kawhi Leonard drains game winner to beat Orlando (VIDEO)

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This is how much Gregg Popovich trusts Kawhi Leonard on offense now: Tie game with 13.3 seconds remaining, and the play design is a 1-4 flat isolation for Leonard. It’s the kind of play teams will call for LeBron James or Kevin Durant. Popovich just called it for Leonard.

And he was rewarded with a game-winning bucket.

Leonard finished with 29 points, LaMarcus Aldridge had 21, and the Spurs head into the All-Star break with a 45-8 record, on pace to win 70 games this season. And that still would only get them a two seed.

Hornets’ Michael Kidd-Gilchrist suffers shoulder dislocation, leaves game

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
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Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had been back just six games after suffering a torn labrum in the preseason that required surgery. The Hornets had won four of those six, were playing improved defense, and looked like a potential playoff team in the East.

Now this.

He went straight to the locker room and did not return to the game (the Pacers got the win).

You can see the injury above. In a scramble for a loose ball, the Pacers’ Ian Mahinmi falls on MKG’s arm, dislocating his shoulder.

We don’t know the severity of all this and if MKG is going to miss time beyond this game. But it isn’t good.