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Indiana Pacers

Pacers, Motorola Announce Jersey Sponsorship

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The Indiana Pacers have officially announced their jersey partnership with communications company Motorola, whose logo will be a part of the Pacers jersey, via a patch, starting tonight.

Pacers Sports & Entertainment (PS&E) president & COO Rick Fuson issued the following regarding the partnership, via an official statement on NBA.com.

“From the outset, we wanted a partner that we knew would align well with our organization’s culture and values, and Motorola is the perfect match as demonstrated by their leadership and exciting future in the mobile communications industry. Similar to the way Motorola never stops looking for new ways to deliver the best mobile devices, we constantly strive to deliver the best possible experiences to our fans. We look forward to having Motorola as part of our team in the years to come – allowing us to further connect with our incredible fans and grow our brand across the globe.”

With the announcement, the Pacers are now the 29th team to have a jersey patch sponsor in the NBA.

There are sure to be more deals on the way. It will be interesting to see which industry makes the next deal. With the popularity of gaming among players, Twitch streams and Mixer streams, it is possible we could see something related to video games and streaming in the future.

Anthony DiMoro is the creator of Sports Rants and the CEO of Elite Rank Media and DiMoro Enterprises LLC. He is a former Contributor for Forbes and the Huffington Post where he covered sports, social media, and SEO. Anthony hosts the Anthony DiMoro Show podcast, and formerly hosted the 'Forbes SportsMoney Podcast'.

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Boston Celtics

NBA Playoff Schedule 2018

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Are you ready for the NBA Playoffs? Well, we have you covered with the full NBA Playoff schedule including game times, TV coverage info, matchups and dates.

Here is how things are breaking down, schedule wise, per NBA.com. NOTE: * = if necessary

Western Conference

No. 1 Houston Rockets vs. No. 8 Minnesota Timberwolves

Game 1: Minnesota Timberwolves at Houston Rockets: April 15 at 9 p.m. ET on TNT

Game 2: Minnesota Timberwolves at Houston Rockets: April 18 at 9:30 p.m. ET on TNT

Game 3: Houston Rockets at Minnesota Timberwolves: April 21 at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN

Game 4: Houston Rockets at Minnesota Timberwolves: April 23 at 8 p.m. ET on TNT

*Game 5: Minnesota Timberwolves at Houston Rockets: April 25 at TBD

*Game 6: Houston Rockets at Minnesota Timberwolves: April 27 at TBD

*Game 7: Minnesota Timberwolves at Houston Rockets: April 29 at TBD

 

No. 2 Golden State Warriors vs. No. 7 San Antonio Spurs

Game 1: San Antonio Spurs at Golden State Warriors: April 14 at 3 p.m. ET on ABC

Game 2: San Antonio Spurs at Golden State Warriors: April 16 at 10:30 p.m. ET on TNT

Game 3: Golden State Warriors at San Antonio Spurs: April 19 at 9:30 p.m. ET on TNT

Game 4: Golden State Warriors at San Antonio Spurs: April 22 at 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC

*Game 5: San Antonio Spurs at Golden State Warriors: April 24 at TBD

*Game 6: Golden State Warriors at San Antonio Spurs: April 26 at TBD

*Game 7: San Antonio Spurs at Golden State Warriors: April 28 at TBD

 

No. 3 Portland Trail Blazers vs. No. 6 New Orleans Pelicans

Game 1: New Orleans Pelicans at Portland Trail Blazers: April 14 at 10:30 p.m. ET on ESPN

Game 2: New Orleans Pelicans at Portland Trail Blazers: April 17 at 10:30 p.m. ET on TNT

Game 3: Portland Trail Blazers at New Orleans Pelicans: April 19 at 9 p.m. ET on NBA TV

Game 4: Portland Trail Blazers at New Orleans Pelicans: April 21 at 5 p.m. ET on TNT

*Game 5: New Orleans Pelicans at Portland Trail Blazers: April 24 at TBD

*Game 6: Portland Trail Blazers at New Orleans Pelicans: April 26 at TBD

*Game 7: New Orleans Pelicans at Portland Trail Blazers: April 28 at TBD

 

No. 4 Oklahoma City Thunder vs. No. 5 Utah Jazz

Game 1: Utah Jazz at Oklahoma City Thunder: April 15 at 6:30 p.m. ET on TNT

Game 2: Utah Jazz at Oklahoma City Thunder: April 18 at 8 p.m. ET on NBA TV

Game 3: Oklahoma City Thunder at Utah Jazz: April 21 at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN

Game 4: Oklahoma City Thunder at Utah Jazz: April 23 at 10:30 p.m. ET on TNT

*Game 5: Utah Jazz at Oklahoma City Thunder: April 25 at TBD

*Game 6: Oklahoma City Thunder at Utah Jazz: April 27 at TBD

*Game 7: Utah Jazz at Oklahoma City Thunder: April 29 at TBD

 

Eastern Conference

No. 1 Toronto Raptors vs. No. 8 Washington Wizards

Game 1: Washington Wizards at Toronto Raptors: April 14 at 5:30 p.m. ET on ESPN

Game 2: Washington Wizards at Toronto Raptors: April 17 at 7 p.m. ET on NBA TV

Game 3: Toronto Raptors at Washington Wizards: April 20 at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN2

Game 4: Toronto Raptors at Washington Wizards: April 22 at 6 p.m. ET on TNT

*Game 5: Washington Wizards at Toronto Raptors: April 25 at TBD

*Game 6: Toronto Raptors at Washington Wizards: April 27 at TBD

*Game 7: Washington Wizards at Toronto Raptors: April 29 at TBD

 

No. 2 Boston Celtics vs. No. 7 Milwaukee Bucks

Game 1: Milwaukee Bucks at Boston Celtics: April 15 at 1 p.m. ET on TNT

Game 2: Milwaukee Bucks at Boston Celtics: April 17 at 8 p.m. ET on TNT

Game 3: Boston Celtics at Milwaukee Bucks: April 20 at 9:30 p.m. ET on ESPN

Game 4: Boston Celtics at Milwaukee Bucks: April 22 at 1 p.m. ET on ABC

*Game 5: Milwaukee Bucks at Boston Celtics: April 24 at TBD

*Game 6: Boston Celtics at Milwaukee Bucks: April 26 at TBD

*Game 7: Milwaukee Bucks at Boston Celtics: April 28 at TBD

 

No. 3 Philadelphia 76ers vs. No. 6 Miami Heat

Game 1: Miami Heat at Philadelphia 76ers: April 14 at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN

Game 2: Miami Heat at Philadelphia 76ers: April 16 at 8 p.m. ET on TNT

Game 3: Philadelphia 76ers at Miami Heat: April 19 at 7 p.m. ET on TNT

Game 4: Philadelphia 76ers at Miami Heat: April 21 at 2:30 p.m. ET on TNT

*Game 5: Miami Heat at Philadelphia 76ers: April 24 at TBD

*Game 6: Philadelphia 76ers at Miami Heat: April 26 at TBD

*Game 7: Miami Heat at Philadelphia 76ers: April 28 at TBD

 

No. 4 Cleveland Cavaliers vs. No. 5 Indiana Pacers

Game 1: Indiana Pacers at Cleveland Cavaliers: April 15 at 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC

Game 2: Indiana Pacers at Cleveland Cavaliers: April 18 at 7 p.m. ET on TNT

Game 3: Cleveland Cavaliers at Indiana Pacers: April 20 at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN

Game 4: Cleveland Cavaliers at Indiana Pacers: April 22 at 8:30 p.m. ET on TNT

*Game 5: Indiana Pacers at Cleveland Cavaliers: April 25 at TBD

*Game 6: Cleveland Cavaliers at Indiana Pacers: April 27 at TBD

*Game 7: Indiana Pacers at Cleveland Cavaliers  April 29 at TBD

 

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Chicago Bulls

DiMoro’s Call: Best Landing Spots For Paul George, Jimmy Butler, Kristaps Porzingis And Others

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Wow, what an offseason.

As we approach Thursday’s NBA Draft there have been a number of big trades that have already tilted the NBA world on it’s axis.

The Charlotte Hornets landing the enigma known as Dwight Howard. The Los Angeles Lakers shipping D’Angelo Russell to the Brooklyn Nets for Brook Lopez. The endless trade rumors surrounding the likes of Chicago Bulls star Jimmy Butler and Indiana Pacers’ cornerstone Paul George.

And that’s just the tip of a very big iceberg, as there are more potential big moving parts that could be in motion as we head into Thursday.

Here are the best fits for some of the rumored talent, and the trades that make sense for all parties involved.

Paul George to the Los Angeles Lakers

Let’s start right here, at the very top.

The Indiana Pacers’ phone has been lighting up like a slot machine in a Las Vegas casino as word broke that Paul George would not be committed to staying in Indy.

This opened the doors for teams like the Cavs to start making their bids to acquire the All-Star forward.

But Cleveland lacks the assets, unless a 3rd team can get involved, to land George and they may not be able to convince George, who seems intent on playing for the Lakers, to stay in Cleveland long-term.

Which is why the Los Angeles Lakers, who are in the driver’s seat above other teams in trade negotiations, are the ideal spot.

And negotiations are getting deep.

ESPN.com’s Marc Stein reported that Indiana is trying to land the Lakers’ No. 2 overall pick and while Los Angeles Daily NewsMark Medina reports that talks remain at a “standstill” Medina was told that PG-13 remains “highly likely” to get traded before the draft.

The Lakers are trying to acquire more lottery picks and were rejected by the Sacramento Kings for pitching an offer including the Kings’ 2 lottery picks.  Essentially, Los Angeles is trying to avoid having to part with the 2nd overall pick.

But they may very well have to if they want to land George.

A package involving the 2nd overall pick, Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle could get close to enticing the Pacers.

Without the 2nd overall pick, Indiana is likely to be asking for a package headlined by Brandon Ingram, which the Lakers should want no part of.

Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves

The Chicago Bulls are actively shopping Butler and some may categorize it as “aggressive shopping”. CSN Chicago’s Vincent Goodwill  reported that the team is “shopping Butler to many teams.”

Jimmy Butler prefers to stay in Chicago but also has some interest in Cleveland.

According to the Chicago Sun-TimesJoe Cowley:

One of the sources indicated that Butler would even push his front office to get the deal done, which is a huge change of direction for Butler, who has told both general manager Gar Forman and vice president of basketball operations John Paxson numerous times over the last year that he didn’t want to be traded. But that was before the Eastern Conference powerhouse Cavaliers became a possible destination.

ESPN.com’s Marc Stein reported that Cleveland has been informed Butler wants to stay in Chicago.

But don’t expect the reports to indicate a deal can’t be done. I just think Cleveland, unless they can pull Phoenix into the game, can get a deal done.

I look at Minnesota where Butler’s former head coach, Tom Thibodeau, is at the helm

Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

According to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein and Chad Ford, the Wolves were interested in Butler last year and The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski says Minnesota is again interested.

If Butler is on his way out, then Bulls fans can get excited about a trade partner such as the Wolves.

Minnesota can offer the 7th overall pick and players such as Zach Levine, Kris Dunn and/or a myriad of other young pieces not named Karl-Anthony Towns or Andrew Wiggins.

Kristaps Porzingis to the Phoenix Suns

Another disgruntled player in the abyss of misery known as the New York Knicks. Phil Jackson is an albatross, but you, and everyone else, already knew that.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, Knicks president Phil Jackson hasn’t ruled out the possibility of trading Porzingis, the 21-year old phenom from Latvia.

While it may be hard to part with Porzingis, the Knicks at least appear to be open to calls about their franchise cornerstone, or making crazy demands.

According to John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 Radio, the Knicks asked the Suns for the 4th overall pick and Devin Booker in exchange for Porzingis, an offer that was apparently quickly rebuffed.

Yahoo Spots is reporting that the Knicks are eyeing either Devin Booker or Marquese Chriss, both considered to be major building blocks for the Suns youth movement and according to the report “neither is going anywhere.”

But does that mean the Suns don’t have anything else to offer the Knicks?

Phoenix can offer pieces such as Eric Bledsoe, the contract of Brandon Knight, Dragan Bender and fluff any package with the 4th overall pick. This could entice the Knicks but maybe not be enough to get the deal done.

The Daily News reported that the Boston Celtics have interest in Porzingis as well, so the Knicks will have plenty of teams to talk to.

At the end of the day, I think their best trade match would be Phoenix who can provide a powerful draft pick paired with a couple of proven, young assets, along with a young prospect, that could be just enough to get a deal done.

DeAndre Jordan to the Cleveland Cavaliers

What a difference a year makes.

Last year, the Los Angeles Clippers made a last-ditch effort to retain DeAndre Jordan as he was about to put on a Dallas Mavericks uniform and now they are shopping him.

The Clips offered Jordan to the Phoenix Suns for Tyson Chandler and the No. 4 pick but were rejected, and rightfully so.

But Jordan could be the “last resort” for the Cavs.

Jordan, who averaged 12.7 ppg and 13.8 rpg earning first All-Star selection and named to third-team All-NBA selection for the second time, would be an instant boost to the Cavs front court and could pay major dividends in an NBA Finals rematch with the Golden State Warriors.

Jordan could help the Cavs control the glass, establish a presence in the paint and also help slow the tempo, keeping the game at a half-court pace.

That should entice the Cavs to at least pick up the phone to call the Clips if they miss on the likes of Jimmy Butler, Paul George or Carmelo Anthony.

And the asking price won’t be as steep as it would for the aforementioned trio.

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Cleveland Cavaliers

Indiana Pacers Contact Cleveland Cavs About Paul George

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Once the Golden State Warriors secured their 2nd NBA title in three years last week fans start wondering just who LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers would bring in to help the team reach the Finals next season.

Many fans and analysts connected the Cavs to Indiana Pacers forward Paul George and the scenario started to gain some realistic possibility this past week.

According to The Vertical, George recently informed the Pacers that he will opt out of his contract in 2018 and become an unrestricted free agent.

Per a report from ESPN, George’s stance has motivated the Pacers to shop George and Indiana called the Cavaliers. Cleveland is reportedly willing to enter into trade talks with the Pacer for George without any assurances he will commit to a long-term deal in Cleveland.

George would be a major “get” for the Cavs. The 4-time NBA All-Star averaged 23.7 points, 6.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.6 steals per game this past season.

The main hurdle for the Cavs would be what they can offer to Indiana in trade. The only attractive assets could be either Kevin Love or Kyrie Irving, with Love the most likely player to be offered.

An offer centered around Love may not be enough to entice the Pacers to part with George, who is likely to generate more suitors than Cleveland, with some of those suitors able to offer Indiana more in return.

This story only emphasizes the oft-criticized current structure of the NBA competitive platform, which seems to only empower “super teams”.

If the Cavs are able to land George, it will be another example of the “rich getting richer”.

 

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