Monday, January 31, 2011


The Indiana Pacers fired head coach Jim O'Brien after three-and-a-half seasons.

The Pacers were stuck in mediocrity. After a 121-169 record under Jim O'Brien and failing to make the playoffs in three straight seasons, Team President Larry Bird had seen enough.

At 17-27 halfway through this season, it was obvious the Pacers were sliding out of the playoff race once again. The team started off at a respectable 9-7 and appeared to be poised for a trip to the playoffs. But they are 8-20 since December 1, losing seven of their last eight. 

Of course, the Pacers were not expected to keep pace with Miami, Boston, Chicago, Orlando, and Atlanta but they have enough talent to beat out the weaker teams in the East. The offseason acquisition of point guard Darren Collison combined with the development of center Roy Hibbert and all star play of Danny Granger should be worth more than a 17-27 record.

Offensively, the Pacers are terrible. They rank 24th offensively and their go-to play is to hoist up a three. Most of the offensive struggle began when O'Brien chose to criticize his young center through the media. Hibbert's lack of confidence was visible on the court as he tossed up careless hook shots. His field goal percentage has fell considerably and he has even discussed seeing a sports psychologist.

The Pacers were amongst the top five in the league in defensive efficiency much of the season but have slipped to eighth as O'Brien sat the team's only shot blocking threat, Hibbert, for long stretches of time. The awkward rotations were what did the coach in.

He failed to use Tyler Hansbrough, Paul George, and Lance Stephenson, instead opting to let shoot-first players like Brandon Rush get most of the minutes. In a recent game against Chicago he played big man Jeff Foster in the fourth quarter over the hot-shooting Josh McRoberts. He watched as a small Bulls lineup pulled away for a win.

Now that O'Brien is gone, it is Larry Bird's time to shine. He has not made the best personnel choices but he does find his team with significant cap space going into the offseason. For the first time without Donnie Walsh in his ear, Bird will have a chance to make a big splash.

Friday, January 28, 2011


Click the links to view five articles to catch up on this weekend.

- Coach Spoelstra is using pie charts to help teach the Miami Heat. Tauntr got a hold of some of these.

- Bandwagon Knick wonders if Ronny Turiaf should be on the floor more for the New York Knicks.

- Fanhouse has the great story of LaRue Martin. Martin was selected first overall by the Portland Trail Blazers in the 1972 NBA Draft; ahead of Bob McAdoo, Paul Westphal, and Julius Erving.

- Henry Abbott on the True Hoop blog set the internets ablaze by suggesting Kobe Bryant might not be a clutch player. The real point of his article is that reputations speak louder than stats.

- Read up on the Lakers some more. Los Angeles is the site of the upcoming All Star Weekend and many are saying Lakers forward Lamar Odom deserves a spot on the team. The Lakers Nation thinks Odom should be focused on a more important award.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


New York Knicks star Walt "Clyde" Frazier kicking back in his room in New York in 1971. It doesn't take a large imagination to know what went down in here. It's hard to blame him after he put up 36 points and 19 assists in Game 7 of the 1970 NBA Finals. The game is mostly remembered for Willis Reed's inspiring efforts to play despite an injury but it was Frazier who led the Knicks to a victory over the Lakers.  

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Dikembe's Finger is now officially on Twitter!

Follow @DikembesFinger on Twitter to read tweets about NBA observations, deals, rumors, and Dikembe's Finger blog news.

And for reading on the go, Dikembe's Finger blog is now available in a mobile format. Simply visit the site in your phones browser and you will see a much more mobile-friendly version of the site.

There have been some new additions to the blog sideroll, including the latest tweets, an NBA scoreboard from ESPN, and search feature. Feel free to leave feedback on the recent changes.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Even when posts on Dikembe's Finger are scarce, Dikembe Mutombo's charity work continues. With the site back running, it is important to remember what Mutombo is all about. He recently wrote the following post on the United Nations website

Think playoff games have high stakes? Today, another 450 people - mostly children - will die from measles. Join me today to help stop this preventable disease from claiming more innocent lives.

Watch this short video to learn why I'm working with the United Nations Foundation and its Measles Initiative partners to help vaccinate children around the globe. Then consider pitching in to help save lives - one vaccination at a time.

For every dollar you donate, the United Nations Foundation will protect another child. If we all do what we can - pitch in a few dollars - we can easily vaccinate an entire village.

Thanks to donations people have generously sent in from around the country, the Measles Initiative has already been able to immunize 700 million children in less than a decade.

But this deadly disease still threatens the lives of millions of children. A new measles outbreak is reported every day. We've got to make sure this disease doesn't rebound and take more innocent lives.

Donate today, and make a contribution that will last a lifetime.

Thanks in advance for making saving children's lives a part of your legacy.

Follow Dikembe's words. To donate to the Measles Initiative click here.