E-Mailing with the Enemy: Indiana Pacers

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Dennis Velasco gets the inside scoop on the Indiana Pacers from Tom Lewis (@IndyCornrows) from Indy Cornrows.

1) Okay, let's get this out of the way, Lance Stephenson was robbed. At least that's how I see it. There has been some resistance to my mind control efforts toward people that disagree with me to some degree, but what are your thoughts, as subjective as they may be? Is is Born Ready's reputation? That those that did make the team aren't as worthy? Do you think Joe Johnson deserved to make the team before Stephenson?

I definitely agree that Stephenson did enough on the court to deserve an All-Star appearance, but also don't think it was a slam dunk. He was among a group of DeRozan, Wall, Lowry, Afflalo that deserved strong consideration. Personally, I didn't have Joe Johnson in that mix, so I do think he should've made it over Johnson, but understand why he didn't make it in general. Stephenson's antics which are fantastic for driving opponents nuts, didn't do him any favors in the voting. I can imagine LeBron and DWade telling Spo, "I don't care who you vote for, as long as it isn't Stephenson."

2) Whew! We can breathe a bit now and turn away from controversial players. So, about that Andrew Bynum rumor. How real is that and how do you see him contributing when it happens? Yes, it's a strong rumor that can actually become reality today!

It is real. As I respond, Bynum is at the Fieldhouse with his agent with all expectations that they will emerge with a deal well before tip time tonight. The only concern with Bynum is his health and ability to actually play. The Pacers culture and strong locker room won't let Bynum bring any nonsense into the equation.

Pacers Get Andrew Bynum



3) Danny Granger has been back for 20 games this season thus far, and from an outside point of view, he seems to be up and down. However, do you think he's done enough to keep being a rotation player or should the Pacers look to shop his expiring contract before the trade deadline? Ultimately, what do you see happening to him? Do the Pacers let him leave without compensation during the offseason?

Granger seemed to hit a wall during the recent road trip and he will have to fight through it to continue building up his game again. He had about a ten-game stretch where he really helped the reserve unit roll, adding the offense they need desperately. As long as the knee holds up, I think he'll continue to improve throughout the season. Unless the Pacers move a few players, I do think they'll let Granger walk. They need every cent of his current cap space so getting anything back would be a challenge while still scraping up the space to sign Lance Stephenson in the offseason.

4) The Pacers are 21-2 at home, losing to young running teams in the Detroit Pistons and Phoenix Suns. Give a Nets fan some hope and breakdown how an old, slow-paced team, playing the backend of a back-to-back can come in and beat the Pacers. It's fine if you answer, "Are you crazy? Not possible."

Frank Vogel claims he doesn't mind a faster pace for his team, but they are much better when things slow down, so the Nets playing at a slower pace won't help the visitors. Some combination of Deron Williams, Shaun Livingston and Joe Johnson are going to have to get it going on the perimeter to give the Nets a chance. The Pacers like to keep Hibbert at home around the rim, so teams that can make them pay on the perimeter have found ways to beat the Pacers of late.

5) What are three to five other things that Nets fans should know about the Pacers and give us a final score!

- The Pacers bench has really been struggling of late. I mentioned Granger slowing down, but Luis Scola has also had a bad case of the clanks over the last few weeks after being nearly automatic during the first couple of months.
- Paul George is due to hit some shots. In the last three games, PG is just 1-for-16 from behind the arc and didn't score over 20 points in any of those games. George hit a slump earlier in the season and snapped out of it for a monster stretch of game through mid-January. Just giving you a heads up.
- Final score: The Pacers are almost desperate for a win and with the Bynum shake-up news today, I'd expect energy and focus won't be an issue, so I'm calling the Pacers earning another home win, 101-92.

DV's Prediction: Indiana Pacers 96, Brooklyn Nets 89. (Sad face)
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