Happy Thursday, Boston Celtics fans!
I have to admit: the Indiana Pacers forced me to eat a little crow last night, courtesy of their 93-90 win over the Miami Heat in game five of the Eastern Conference Finals. If you’re not in the know, you’ll want to head to NBA.com to get your score and video highlights of the action. However, if you saw the game or have already seen the highlights, you might enjoy this piece about Indiana’s Lance Stephenson, who definitely had a huge impact over the course of game five. Here’s a preview:
Lance Stephenson made a, er, spectacle of himself in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals Wednesday, cavorting against and annoying the Miami Heat with a performance that was one part Metta World Peace, one part J.R. Smith and, apparently, one part baseball slugger Manny (Being Manny) Ramirez.
“Lance being Lance” is how one Miami player after another characterized the Indiana guard’s antics at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. His repertoire of annoyances ranged from exaggerated and pestering contact with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade to sticking his beak into a sideline huddle between Heat coachErik Spoelstra and guards Norris Cole and Mario Chalmers.
Then there was the coup de grace, blowing into James’ ear while the two waited for action to resume at one point.
Asked later if he ever had thought about blowing in someone’s ear as a defensive tactic, James responded: “Probably my wife. I blew in my wife’s ear before. That was definitely a defensive tactic.”
Of course, Lance Stephenson was not the only Pacers’ player to have a huge impact on the game. Paul George was virtually unstoppable all night long, especially in the fourth quarter, when he scored 21 of his 37 points. Wondering why he can’t dominate every game in this manner? Check out today’s Daily Dime:
Becoming an elite NBA player — some call it becoming a superstar — isn’t an overnight procedure.
It’s rarely even a single-season development.
It’s a process that’s unique to each individual, whether it’s LeBron James being anointed as a teenager and needing to live up to that status, or Kevin Durant gaining physical strength and refining his skills in his early years to become a frightening offensive force.
Indiana’s Paul George is very much still in process.
Ever notice how superstars such as LeBron James always find themselves in no-win situations when it comes to end-of-the-game plays? Pass the ball to an open shooter, and you’re not aggressive enough. Hog the ball and take the last shot, and you’re selfish. Maybe this Tweet will help The King and future superstars better understand what should happen on the final play of the game:
— Mike Prada (@MikePradaSBN) May 29, 2014
Finally, I leave you with this piece about Creighton’s Doug McDermott, who is doing the best he can to prove that he is more than just a player who had a good college career. I really hope this kid comes into the NBA and proves that he belongs there.