Indiana Pacers v Miami Heat - Game One

Report: Pacers finalizing deal to retain David West

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While other teams tried to get their foot in the door, it was always expected that David West would return to the Indiana Pacers. He was their top off-season priority.

It looks like the two sides have almost got a deal done — a three-year deal with the third year being a team option, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

This is a three year, $36 million deal, according to Sam Amick of the USA Today, which is a raise from the $10 million a year he made the past two years. While West will be 33 next season, last season was one of his best as a professional so the length of the deal is not a huge risk.

West’s versatile offensive game is key for the Pacers. He averaged 17.1 points and 7.7 rebounds a game in the regular season, 15.9 points and 7.6 rebounds in the playoffs. He is a good scorer in the post, where he got 40 percent of his opportunities last season and shot 47.3 percent while drawing a lot of fouls (via Synergy Sports). But West is also one of the best pick-and-pop bigs in the league and will knock down the midrange jumper. He can work in the high or low post and that versatility helps the Pacers. He’s also solid on defense.

With him back in the fold, and with Danny Granger returning and the acquisition of C.J. Watson (an upgrade at the backup point) the Pacers are ready to challenge for the Eastern conference title again.

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.