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Pacers beat Warriors; Murphy joins Celtics

Pacers beat Warriors

The Indiana Pacers almost gave away another one, but thankfully they buckled down and earned a tough 109-100 victory over the Golden State Warriors, led by Danny Granger’s 27. 

The Pacers raced out to an early double digit lead, but when the second unit took over in the second quarter, the momentum shifted, and the Pacers actually found themselves down at the half. 

They raced out to another lead in the third, and had to hold on for dear life down the stretch.  Very lucky to get away with a W, as they gave Dorrell Wright a wide open three in the corner with about 30 seconds to go that would have tied the game.  Instead, he missed, and the Pacers hit their free throws the rest of the way to secure the W.

Tomorrow night is against the Thunder, and it’ll be bloody hard to get a win.  I still remember Russell Westbrook being unstoppable last time.

Oh, and it was great to see Lance Stephenson getting some minutes out there.  This was his second NBA game and he looks like he was ‘Born Ready’…sorry, that had to be said.  Paul George and Tyler Hansbrough are also becoming more and more integral parts of the team.

Former Pacer Troy Murphy joins Celtics

Here’s an interesting one.  After being bought out by the Warriors, former Pacers power forward Troy Murphy signed with the Boston Celtics rather than the Miami Heat, who also picked up Mike Bibby.

Murph had a good run in Indiana as the second option behind Granger and was one of the league’s top rebounders and three point shooters.  In New Jersey he got next to zero playing time and was traded to the Warriors just before the trade deadline.  And all of a suddent he is considered the missing piece to a championship.

I’m somewhat fascinated by all of this.  First of all, Murph chose Boston over Miami — and it must be because he thinks Boston has a better chance of winning than Miami — even though with Haslem still out and with the Miami Big Three, he has a chance to get more minutes and shots with the Heat.

In Boston, provided Shaq and Jermaine are playing, he’ll be way back on the depth chart (behind also KG and Big Baby), but probably before Kristic and definitely before Chris Johnson.  In Miami, he’d be the first guy behind Chris Bosh at PF and can play the Centre when they need more offensive punch.

Secondly, I’m suprised that Murph is such a coveted player.  Sure, he can spread the floor with his outside shooting, but his rebounding stats are overrated because he played on an Indiana team that relied heavily on him for boards.  But most of all, his defense is absolutely atrocious.  Any Pacers fan can attest to that.  He gets bullied around under the ring by bigger, stronger guys, and he can’t keep up with anyone more athletic than him, which is just about everybody. 

Would he help a team like Boston, a team that is built around its defensive prowess?  Or would he actually harm them in the playoffs?  Remember, this is a guy that’s never played a playoff game in his life.  That said, I wish him all the best.  He has a genuine opportunity to win a championship.