Series Recap: Bulls vs Pacers

Check out the best dunks, blocks, assists, game-winning shots, celebrations, and interviews from the heated first round series between the Bulls and Pacers.

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Contract Extension on Table for Dwight Howard

Dwight Howard

Dwight Howard

Orlando Magic President of Basketball Operations Otis Smith said Friday that the organization has offered superstar center Dwight Howard a contract extension, but Howard said he has not seen it.

“The extension is on the table,” Smith said. That extension is believed to be for two seasons. Howard can become a free agent following the 2011-12 season.

Real GM

Chris Paul: Hornets Committed to Winning

Chris Paul

Chris Paul

Whether Chris Paul remains with the New Orleans Hornets after next season, when he can opt out of his contract and pursue free agency, is not certain.

However, the Hornets did not hurt their chances of keeping him around long-term after extending the two-time defending Los Angeles Lakers to six games in the opening Western Conference playoff series.

After the game, Paul said he saw a positive sign, teammates showing disappointment instead of satisfaction for extending the series when most predicted a Lakers sweep.

“They are most definitely serious about winning,” Paul said. “Guys were devastated, and that’s one thing you always look for.”

Real GM

Frank Vogel Voices Desire to Return to Pacers

Displaying the positive attitude that energized Indiana Pacers players and fans, interim coach Frank Vogel explained why he believes he should be the next head coach.

Frank Vogel

Frank Vogel

Vogel took over for Jim O’Brien at midseason, went 20-18 and led the team to its first playoff berth since 2006. The Pacers were competitive in losing their first-round series to the Chicago Bulls.

“One thing I learned the last three months is that I can do this,” he said. “I’m confident in my leadership abilities, my management abilities, my coaching abilities. It’s been an honor to coach the last few months, it would be an honor to coach in the future.”

HoopsWorld

Nuggets to Sign Aaron Afflalo Long-Term

Aaron Afflalo

Aaron Afflalo

The Nuggets went 18-7 down the stretch after the megatrade of Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks. Nuggets executive Masai Ujiri would like to build off that momentum.

“We’re going to try to keep the core together and build from here,” he said.

“That’s the goal.”

Asked specifically about Aaron Afflalo, an off guard who averaged 12.6 points per game in a breakout season, Ujiri said there’s “no question” he will be a Nugget for years to come.

Real GM

Dwight Howard Hints at Orlando Stay

Dwight Howard

Dwight Howard

The Orlando Magic’s official playoff mantra has been “Blue and White Ignite.” The official post-playoff mantra now has to be “Blue and White, Keep Dwight.”

The Magic have to do whatever it takes to show Howard he can still win championships in Orlando. That’s going to be difficult after this series in which Howard was too often a one-man band with a supporting cast of kazoo players.

“Right now it’s about figuring out how I can make myself better; it’s not about what team I’m going to play for,” Howard said when asked about his future. “Right now, I’m with the Magic so all the speculation can stop.”

“Keep believing,” he added when asked what he would like to tell Magic fans. “It’s going to get better. I’m going to do whatever I can to lead my city.”

FanNation

Josh Smith Drives, Spins, and Slams

Josh Smith shows his finesse and power with the nice drive and dunk.

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Report: Warriors Interested in Jerry Sloan

Jerry Sloan

Jerry Sloan

The Golden State Warriors are interested in bringing Jerry Sloan out of retirement to take over the job vacated by the firing of Keith Smart, according to sources.

Sloan resigned from the Utah Jazz in February after 22 years on the job, just weeks before the Jazz traded superstar point guard Deron Williams and began a rebuilding era.

Sloan, 69, has said he is not interested in returning to the NBA, but reports have suggested he could be persuaded to make another run with a new team.

SB Nation

Stern Favors International Goaltending Rule

David Stern

David Stern

In an interview with 790 The Ticket in Miami, NBA commissioner David Stern indicated the league is considering adopting the international goaltending rule.

“Well I’m going to urge the owners — and it’s not very radical but we were talking about it for awhile — to adopt the international rule on basket interference,” Stern said.

“That is to say, once the ball hits the rim it’s in play. Because I think that it’s too hard to call. I think that we don’t want to stop the game every time to see if it’s the right call, but the camera that looks down on the basket can tell the story if the refs have gotten it right. And it’s just impossible to call to make whether the ball’s touching the rim, on the rim, off the rim or the like. And I think that would make the game faster, better, and less controversial. And I think we’re going to be putting in more — I forget the exact number — just more replay opportunities because we really want to get it right. So those are the biggest things.

Real GM

Knicks Pick Up Billups’ 2012 Contract Option

The New York Knicks decided not to buy out the contract of point guard Chauncey Billups on Wednesday, ensuring he will be with the team for his full $14.2 million salary for the 2011-12 season.

Chauncey Billups

Chauncey Billups

The Knicks had until Friday to pick up the option or pay Billups a $3.7 million buyout.

“Chauncey, Amare [Stoudemire] and Chauncey [Billups] are a great nucleus, as we continue to look to improve our team going into the offseason,” Knicks president of basketball operations Donnie Walsh said in a statement. “Chauncey is an extremely talented and experienced point guard — we are very happy to have him back.”

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