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When I say the name Mo Williams, what comes to your mind?

For me, a lot of things. First, those glorious purple and green uniforms that we’ve all come to miss, even after the Bucks knocked their recent rebrand out of the park a few years ago. The Mo Williams Show also stands out, as at a time in which the product on the court from the Bucks was very mediocre, the off-court entertainment really meshed well. But by far, the moment from Williams that stands out the most is his incredible game-winner vs. the Pacers, a shot that capped off one incredible comeback. Let’s do a deep dive on that November night.

The date? November 12th, 2005. One of the top songs in the country at the time? Gold Digger by Kanye West. The Chicago White Sox had recently swept the Houston Astros in the World Series. I was a fourth grader at the time. As for the Milwaukee Bucks, they had an above .500 start to their new campaign and were heading into this matchup sitting at 3-1.

Milwaukee’s opponent was the Indiana Pacers, a team who had come off a 44-38 record the previous year and the No. 6 spot in the East. This marked the first time the two teams were squaring off against one another in the fresh year.

Long-time Indiana Pacers executive Donnie Walsh is stepping away from the team, he told IndyStar on Wednesday. Here are 5 things to know about Walsh’s contributions to the franchise:

Reggie Miller after being selected by the Pacers in the first round of the 1987 Draft.
1. He drafted Cheap Reggie Miller Jersey
This story is well known. Pacers fans wanted the team to take hometown hero Steve Alford with the No. 11 pick in the 1987 NBA Draft. Alford starred for New Castle High School, winning IndyStar Mr. Basketball in 1983, then led IU to the 1987 national title.

Walsh took Reggie Miller.

“Upon General manager Donnie Walsh’s announcement, the reaction from the 5,000 spectators in MSA was predictable: boos,” then IndyStar beat writer David Benner wrote.

Miller, of course, went on to stake his claim as the greatest Pacer of all-time. He joined a team that had made the playoffs twice in 13 seasons – losing in the first round both times – and was the centerpiece of a franchise that made the playoffs in 14 of 15 seasons, including six Eastern Conference finals and the 2000 NBA finals. He played all 18 of his seasons in Indiana so he dominates the career leaders lists: games (1,389; Cheap Rik Smits Jersey is second at 867), points (25,279; Smits, 12,871), assists (4,140; Cheap Vern Fleming Jersey, 4,038) and steals (1,505; Fleming, 885).

And it happened because Walsh made an unpopular decision.

Jermaine O’Neal reacts after a shot against the Celtics in the 2005 playoffs.
2. He traded for Jermaine O’Neal
Dale Davis was at the heart of some of the most successful Pacers teams in history, had just made his first all-star team … and Walsh traded him for a player who had played 11.5 minutes per game and averaged 3.9 points over the four previous seasons.

But Jermaine O’Neal quickly became the foundation of another successful run of Pacers teams.

He averaged 12.9 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.8 blocks in his first season then made six consecutive all-star teams, led the franchise to six playoff appearances and finished third in the 2003-04 MVP voting, the highest a Pacer has ever placed.

5/13/00. Pacer Jalen Rose talks over a play with coach Larry Bird. Pacers/76ers second round game 4. First Half action. (Robert Scheer Photo)
3. He traded for Jalen Rose
This deal demonstrates two levels of Walsh’s success: Trading for Rose, then holding on to him until he could reach his potential.

Walsh traded Cheap Mark Jackson Jersey, Ricky Pierce and a first-round pick for Rose, Reggie Williams and a first-round pick.

Rose was not immediately successful as he clashed with coach Larry Brown, averaging 9.1 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists. The fact Walsh traded the popular Jackson has been speculated to be one of the reasons for the friction. But Walsh then traded to get Jackson back and eventually replaced Brown with Larry Bird, who unlocked Rose’s potential.

Rose was the best player on the Pacers’ NBA Finals team, averaging 18.2 points on 47.0% shooting, 4.8 rebounds and 4.0 assists. He was even better the next season — 20.5 points on 45.7 percent shooting, 6.0 assists, 5.0 rebounds — but the Pacers lost in the first round of the playoffs.

“As soon (as Larry Bird was named Pacers coach), he was like, ‘I’m going to turn that guy into a player,'” Rose told “He gave me a bigger role. I made another sacrifice that normally four-year players that were lottery picks don’t make, I actually went and played in Summer League in Orlando. Just to show Larry I appreciated him and his belief in me.”

Chicago Bulls Dennis Rodman (91) shots for two around Indiana Pacers Cheap Antonio Davis Jersey (32) during the first half of Game One the Eastern Conference Finals Sunday, May 17, 1998, in Chicago.
4. He traded for Cheap Detlef Schrempf Jersey and Antonio Davis
Cheap Herb Williams Jersey was one of the Pacers’ best players for some lean years, averaging 15.0 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocks over 7-plus seasons.

Walsh dealt him to Dallas for Detlef Schrempf and a second-round pick that became Antonio Davis.

Schrempf averaged 8.3 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.9 assists in four seasons in Dallas but quickly became the Pacers best player, averaging 17.0 points, 8.6 rebounds and 4.1 assists while spending most of his time as the sixth-man. He was traded for Cheap Derrick McKey Jersey to give the team a defensive boost in 1993-94.

The Pacers also acquired a second-round pick in 1990 in that deal and used it on Davis. He didn’t join the Pacers until 1993-94 but, along with Cheap Dale Davis Jersey, was the heart and soul of a very successful run of Pacers teams.

Mark Jackson (13) cheers on his teammates from the bench as the Pacers play in 1998.
5. He traded for Mark Jackson … twice
The deals Walsh made around Mark Jackson are a class in how to run a professional sports franchise.

First, Walsh acquires Jackson for Eric Piatkowski, Pooh Richardson and Malik Sealy. Jackson helped the Pacers reach the Eastern Conference Finals for the second consecutive year in 1994-95 but was then dealt after the 1995-96 season when the Pacers lost in the first round.

Jackson, Ricky Pierce and a first-round draft pick that was used on Efthimi Rentzias were traded to Denver for Cheap Jalen Rose Jersey, Reggie Williams and a first-round draft pick that became Erick Dampier. (The Pacers dealt Dampier for Chris Mullin after one season.) Rose eventually blossomed into the best player on the 2000 NBA Finals team.

“We’ll be talking about whether this is right or wrong until we start playing and then it will tell us,” Pacers executive Donnie Walsh told IndyStar at the time. “I just sensed we needed to do something just to change the nature of our team.”

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But when the Pacers started slow the following season (25-27), Walsh brought Jackson back. Eight months later, the Nuggets dealt Jackson back to the Pacers (with Cheap LaSalle Thompson Jersey) for Vincent Askew, Eddie Johnson and two second round picks (Jason Lawson and Tremaine Fowlkes). Denver was looking to clear room under the salary cap due to its struggles and the Pacers had their point guard back.

Walsh was willing to acknowledge a mistake and not only got Jackson back but surrendered little in return.

In a six-year period, the Pacers received five-and-a-half years of Jackson, Rose and Mullin for 50 games of Jackson and spare parts. Oh, and four appearances in the Eastern Conference finals, with one trip to the NBA Finals.

Indiana would gain control early on throughout the opening two periods, utilizing their talent between Jermaine O’Neal, Stephen Jackson, and Ron Artest (boy, you also get quite the trip down memory lane when I mention those names). At halftime, the visitors would lead Milwaukee by 16 points, 56-40. A big difference was the differential in free throws between the two teams. Indiana sat at 14-of-16 from the strip, while Milwaukee converted just 5-of-12.

The Pacers would keep things chugging along until the Bucks began to come alive in the third quarter, rattling off a 21-5 run. Following a pair of free throws from TJ Ford, Milwaukee knotted it all up at 61 apiece.

Despite the strong efforts by the Bucks that had put themselves back into the game, it wasn’t long before Indiana regained control. Ron Artest had a small run to begin the fourth quarter, which helped inspire Jermaine O’Neal to provide a spark with seven points of his own. In the blink of an eye, the Pacers were back up by double digits, 92-79.

However, the Bucks wouldn’t say die. Led by Michael Redd, Milwaukee would scratch and claw their way back into the thick of things. Following an 8-0 run, the Bucks found themselves back in the single-digit range at 96-90 with just over two minutes remaining in the game. Redd’s 12 points down the stretch would be crucial, especially as he knocked down three free throws after being fouled by Cheap Anthony Johnson Jersey behind the 3-point line.

Those free throws sliced Indiana’s lead to just a single point at 101-100. On the Pacers’ next possession, Cheap Fred Jones Jersey was fouled, which resulted in him splitting a pair of free throws (Indiana missed ten down the stretch). Then, with no timeouts remaining, Bobby Simmons got the rebound and the following chaos unraveled:

There are so many things to take away from that video. Williams’ celebration of crouching down to the floor as the shot was in the air was iconic. I remember my brother and I mimicking it in our driveway on our hoop for weeks to come. Jim Paschke absolutely killed the call, even though he just used three simple words: “Williams, three…YES!!!!” And how about Johnny Mac just losing his mind and yelling out “THEY WON THE GAME…UNBELIEVABLE…THEY WERE DEAD!” at the top of his lungs? Man, what a night at the Bradley Center.

What do you remember about this game? Let us know in the comments! Our Brew Hoop Co-Editor Mitchell Maurer was actually at this game…and says he blogged about it on his MySpace! Look at him connecting with Bucks fans before the existence of Brew Hoop.

Also, if you have any suggestions of a deep dive you think would be fun to go back and take a look at, suggest it as well! Hope you’re all staying safe and healthy.

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Domantas Sabonis is quickly becoming one of the best offensive big men in the game.

Domantas Sabonis has had quite the evolution during his four-year stint in the NBA. In the first year of his career, which was spent with the Oklahoma City Thunder, the former Gonzaga star looked like a bust, as his 39 percent shooting percentage was evidence he wasn’t ready for the vicious world of the NBA low post.

After moving to the Indiana Pacers in the deal that also forced Cheap Paul George Jersey and Cheap Victor Oladipo Jersey to swap places, Sabonis become one of the best reserves in the league, routinely bulldozing second-unit centers and helping the Pacers become part of the furniture in the Eastern Conference postseason.

Last year, Sabonis stepped on the accelerator, making his first All-Star team while averaging 18.5 points, 12.4 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game, all of which are new career highs. He is also one of the best in the league when it comes to production that doesn’t show up in the box score, as only Rudy Gobert was more effective at setting screens last year than him. With an offensive-minded coach in Nate Bjorkgren taking over for the defensive mastermind that is Nate McMillan, expect those numbers to increase this season.

The son of EuroLeague legend, Portland Trail Blazers stud, and Hall of Famer Arvydas Sabonis, Domantas might not have his dad’s trademark bulk on the interior, but he has made up for it by becoming a lean, rim-running machine with excellent passing and improving defense.

Though it’s a few months later than usual, coming in early-December instead of late-September, tantalizing-training-camp-video season is here just the same. With ball movement aplenty and nary a missed shot, the latest 56-second offering from Pacers Sports and Entertainment has it all, from the continued use of (mostly small) hybrid lineups to Domantas Sabonis knocking down a three while playing alongside another big that isn’t Myles Turner.

Cutting further through the noise and clutter, however, is an early glimpse at Nate Bjorkgren’s playbook. For the first 20 seconds, as the ball hops around the perimeter with all the crisp speed of a flat stone skipping across the surface of water, two evenly dispersed units are shown orchestrating the same set, which just so happens to be an old favorite of the double-big Pelicans and offensive guru Chris Finch, who — as you may recall — the Pacers interviewed for their coaching vacancy.

With Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins operating like rotating shields, the play is designed to use the four and five-men as double screeners (twice!) to generate open looks for multiple ball-handlers.

Let’s break it down.

Step 1: First, Davis and Cousins set a stagger for Jrue Holiday to come get the ball from Rajon Rondo at the top of the key.

Despite the funky camera angle, and the fact that the action is developing on the opposite side of the floor, that’s also what’s happening, here, when Cheap T.J. McConnell Jersey makes a brief cameo to fire the ball to Cheap Edmond Sumner Jersey on the move.

Step 2: From there, Davis and Cousins shift to the area of floor where middle pindowns are typically set to chase the first stagger with a second. This time, freeing Purdue’s E’Twaun Moore to receive a pass from Holiday.

Again, this exact same choreography is performed by the Pacers, as Cheap Doug McDermott Jersey and Myles Turner shift closer to the baseline to set a second set of consecutive picks, with Cheap Kelan Martin Jersey cutting to the wing in the role of Moore.

Step 3: After that, Bjorkgren puts a twist on a classic. For the Pelicans, Moore drives and kicks off the catch to Holiday, who then misfires on a pull-up, mid-range jump-shot. However, if Davis were more comfortable moving to a spot to spot-up, the option would be there for him to simply back-pedal out to the three-point line, as does McDermott.

Side-by-side, the plays are identical, with the exception of Bjorkgren’s emphasis on finding the deep corner in lieu of possibly flowing into side pick-and-roll.

It’s that departure that makes the clip most interesting. For one, given that Bjorkgren has said that he hasn’t designated starters yet, it seems notable that most of the footage coming out of practice typically involves balanced lineups; in this case, with Turner and Sabonis anchoring separate units alongside a mobile shooter at the four or occasionally Cheap Goga Bitadze Jersey. That alone shouldn’t be taken to mean that the Pacers will be starting with, or leaning mostly on, a smaller attack, but it does seem to reinforce the idea that the team is preparing for a wide-range of playing combinations, including plenty in which their two bigs, making roughly $18 million apiece, are staggered.

Additionally, look back at how Oklahoma City’s defense is scrambling to guard everyone on that possession. When Andre Roberson goes under on the second pick of the first stagger, Steven Adams stunts toward the ball and then jumps back to Cousins. On the second stagger, Adams fully switches to Moore with Paul George veering in front of Boogie. If any one thing goes awry in that sequence, Cousins could get an easy dunk diving in front of a smaller wing or pop out to three against a lumbering five.

That’s a lot of chaos to keep track of, not counting the fact that the Pacers ranked among the bottom third of the league in corner three frequency last season. To that point, for a team that has long struggled to create offense against switching defenses, there’s upwards of five swaps that have to be made to cover that action in addition to a potentially long contest. Remember: Over the last two postseasons, with Boston switching off-ball screens and Miami clamping down on driving lanes, McDermott has gone 2-of-17 from three with only three (total!) attempts coming from the corners.

Granted, this play provides no guarantee of made shots, but at least it offers a more multi-faceted means for generating attempts with other reads and counters already baked-in.

Plus, if nothing else, there’s an easter egg (staggered staggers!) to keep an eye out for during the preseason slate beginning on Saturday against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Can Cheap Domantas Sabonis Jersey continue to become a star while playing alongside Myles Turner?
“In this offense (Turner) can stretch the floor and is really tough to guard,” Bjorkgren said. “You’re going to see him being very active. And that’s for both bigs, whether they are on the floor together at times, or one at a time, they’ll be very active out there.”

The biggest questions that are hanging around Sabonis right now involve his defense and his fit alongside Cheap Myles Turner Jersey, as figuring out which big man to put on the floor is the definition of a double-edged sword. When Turner leaves and Sabonis is by himself in the post, the team allows 111 points per 100 possessions, far below what McMillan wanted. When the two are on the floor together, two 6-11 bigs sharing the floor often creates a logjam on the interior. No team shot fewer threes than Indiana last year, and Turner’s 34 percent clip from three-point range isn’t good enough to make him a true weapon there.

Sabonis’ effort on the defensive end is not in question, but he isn’t a great shot blocker and often struggles against some of the stronger centers in the East. Another year with McMillan could’ve helped make that leap and become an above-average player on that end, but Bjorkgren will likely spend most of his time trying to get Sabonis to expand his offensive creativity.

It’s not hyperbolic to declare that Sabonis is a younger, less-accomplished version of Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic given how similar their games are right now. The elder Sabonis was heralded for his slick passing ability, which remains uncommonly precise for a player of his size to this day. That trait appears to be genetic, as the younger Sabonis can control the offense from the elbow while finding shooters for open looks after passing out of the post.

If he can develop a better jumper to make himself more of an offensive threat away from the basket, that could be the missing ingredient that takes this offense to the next level. Most of Sabonis’ shots attempts came right at the rim, and he only showed the ability to extend his range out to the free-throw line.

Where Jokic excels is his ability to pull up from deep, making him a constant threat with the ball in his hands. Sabonis might have a feathery touch near the rim, but back-to-the-basket big men are going the way of the dinosaur in the NBA, and he needs to work on his three-point game in order to become a true offensive superstar.

What made Sabonis’ production even more impressive, in addition to his limited range, was the lack of dynamic scorers to take attention away from him and pace on offense, both of which adversely affected his scoring numbers. With Bjorkgren now in Indiana, Sabonis is a mortal lock to get at least 20 points per game next year.

Considering that a playoff team like Indiana not only dumped a very qualified head coach, but also decided to switch up their coaching style by hiring Bjorkgren, there are plenty of questions surrounding Sabonis, Oladipo, and the rest of the Pacers. However, if Bjorkgren is able to work with Sabonis and continue his evolution on both ends of the floor, he’ll be much higher on this list in 2021.