Indiana Pacers v New York Knicks

Report: Spatting George Hill and Lance Stephenson separated by teammates during loss to Spurs

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Think tensions are high in Indiana?

The Pacers have lost five of six and 10 of 16. They’ve even dropped three straight, each by at least 13 points. Suddenly, they trail the Heat in the standings

Every little problem between teammates, the type of issues that usually get swept under the rug when everyone is happy and winning, is being amplified right now.

In their loss to the Spurs, a new problem exposed itself. Brian Windhorst of ESPN:

During a timeout in the second half, George Hill got into a verbal confrontation with Lance Stephenson on the bench and they had to be separated by teammates.

Who knows what they were arguing about? It might not matter, a trivial dispute that boiled over because tensions are high for other reasons.

If there’s a more serious disconnect between Hill and Stephenson, obviously that must be addressed. But if the bickering lacks basis, the solution is simple.

The Pacers need to stop in-fighting, and they need to win. Either could come first, and the latter will probably follow.

Dwight Howard commits ridiculously sloppy inbound violation (video)

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An embarrassing lack of focus by the Rockets? I can hardly believe it.

Late in a game against a team Houston is battling for playoff position, Dwight Howard was just careless, stepping on the baseline as he inbounded the ball. It’s a needless goof, and he’ll get plenty of deserved criticism for it.

But don’t overlook Patrick Beverley‘s frustration foul on Damian Lillard before the ensuing inbound. That was nearly as foolish and even more costly.

The sequence sparked a 7-0 run for the Trail Blazers, who seized control of the game en route to a 116-103 win.

DeAndre Jordan dunks on Marcus Smart before Smart knows what’s happening (video)

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Marcus Smart went to tag DeAndre Jordan on the pick-and-roll, and Jordan took off from so far from the basket, he was dunking on Smart before the Celtics guard could do a thing.

Chris Paul finds brilliant counter to hack-a-DeAndre Jordan (video)

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I originally favored allowing Hack-a-Shaq as the NBA currently does. I found the strategy fascinated – why and when teams would use it and how their opponents would counter.

But it just became too common. Far too many games featured a parade of trips to the line, a boring stretch that made games too long. I thought the intrigue had run its course.

Then, Chris Paul pulled this move last night.

The Clippers guard saw Jonas Jerebko charging toward DeAndre Jordan to commit an intentional foul, so Paul stepped in front of an unsuspecting Jerebko and took the foul himself. That’s sent a good free-throw shooter to the line instead of the dismal Jordan.

Just an awesome heady play by Paul.