Wednesday, May 29, 2013

05/29 (Rebounding) Quickie

Mrs. Quickie won me over on our first date when she talked about how offensive rebounding was the essential skill in winning basketball.

I couldn't help but think about that as the Pacers out-rebounded the Heat last night -- 49-30 for the game, 17-4 in the devastating 4th quarter.

Whew: That one sequence with about two minutes to go when Paul George missed a 3 and Roy Hibbert got the O-rebound and put-back, then on the Pacers' next offensive set, the missed shot by Stephenson, followed by a David West O-rebound, out to Hibbert for a jumper, which he missed... then followed up by grabbing his own miss and putting it back in, including a foul on the shot by LeBron, his 5th, which would emerge as rather important when, a half-minute later, LeBron was called for that absurd offensive foul and had to leave the game.

(Today's USA TODAY Sports column leads with Joey Crawford's officiating, but quickly moves to the more deterministic factor of Indiana's rebounding. Check it out here.)

It is important to keep in mind that everything broke right for the Pacers and they STILL only won narrowly. But they won. And they seem to have the template for keeping pace with the Heat: Rebound, rebound, rebound:

It was all the more impressive that the Pacers came back from Tuesday's Game 3 debacle at home to punch the Heat in the mouth, not unlike the way the Heat won Game 4 of their conference semifinal series a year ago.

The Pacers seem unafraid. Chris Bosh is hobbled, joining Dwyane Wade -- LeBron remains unstoppable, and even moreso when he gets a corrective measure in the foul category from the refs in Game 5 back in Miami. But he is more alone in his greatness than he has been since his final season with the Cavs.

The pendulum continues to swing in this series, and I'm back to the delightful idea that this is a toss-up -- no question: The Pacers have a shot at knocking off the Heat.

-- D.S.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

5/26 (Duncan Dynasty) Quickie

Tim Duncan is amazing.

At his age, making 1st-team All-NBA, then leading the Spurs to an insurmountable 3-0 lead in the Western Conference Finals (potentially giving the Spurs extra rest and prep time while the Heat battles it out with the Pacers) and positioning himself for yet another NBA championship.

When I was writing for, I coined a phrase "Duncan Dynasty" to represent how we will remember the era between Michael Jordan's final title and LeBron's first. I still think that fits, and -- let's not downplay it -- at 9 years (1999-2007, Duncan's most recent title) it is longer than the Jordan Era (1991-1998), if not quite as many rings. But if Duncan extends it to 2013 (particularly in what is presumed to have been the peak of the "LeBron Era"), then it puts his greatness at a whole new level.

If you haven't yet, it's time to appreciate what Duncan is doing this season. The Duncan Dynasty continues.


*Who's watching the Indy 500? I always enjoy it, even if I don't follow the sport.

*Neymar to Barcelona: That's a biggie. Huge future awaits for him in Europe.

 *Everett Gholson is out at Notre Dame: That's huge. He makes that offense go.

Oh, and sort of an important game for LeBron and the Heat tonight in Indianapolis -- win, and they take back the series; lose, and they are no worse off than they were a year ago after Game 3 in Indianapolis, but it would feel different, given how this series has started.

-- D.S.