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With the Miami Heat in the midst of a two-game home series against the Indiana Pacers, and with the NBA trading deadline looming on Thursday, the scheduling is a reminder of a need for perspective at times such as these.

For four seasons, as the Heat moved Stitched Detroit Pistons Jerseys through the Eastern Conference with their Big Three of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh at the start of last decade, the Pacers Cheap Anthony Tolliver Jersey constantly fought the good fight, banged their heads against the wall that was LeBron, and came up short.

The reality was they didn’t have a shot.

Now there is similar reality for Pat Riley and the Heat to contemplate as they consider both short and long views with roster revision.

The closest thing to that Heat’s Big Three Cheap Christian Wood Jersey these days is what the Brooklyn Nets have built.

[Most Read Heat Coverage] This time, it’s personal for Heat at NBA trading deadline »
James Harden. Kevin Durant. Kyrie Irving.

Is there any trade, or trades, this week that would better position the Heat, with their, at-times, pop-gun offense, to get past those three four times in a best-of-seven series?

Then there are the Milwaukee Bucks, with their offseason upgrade with Jrue Holiday, hardly with the same look as the team Cheap Isaiah Stewart Jersey the Heat vanquished in five games in last season’s Eastern Conference semifinals.

Is a playoff repeat against the Bucks doable? Certainly, but there is more now to the equation for Milwaukee, plus what would be expected, this time, to be a fully ambulatory Giannis Antetokounmpo.

And that’s not even getting to a Philadelphia 76ers team that has shown what a healthy Joel Embiid means, a team that, this time, should have Ben Simmons for the playoffs, and now is getting something closer to All-Star Tobias Harris.

By now, there has become a clear delineation of the elite of the East. There are the Nets, 76ers and Bucks . . . and then the rest of the Cheap Delon Wright Jersey conference. Two of those teams appear overwhelming favorites to hold homecourt advantage in the second round. This time, with actual homecourt advantage.

[Most Read Heat Coverage] Miami Heat home to be called FTX Arena, cryptocurrency exchange secures naming rights »
That’s not to say that the right bracketing can’t position the Heat for a run similar to last season’s, particularly if the Nets can be avoided in the second round, or eliminated by someone else along the way.

(Sorry, but it is difficult envisioning this Heat offense keeping pace with Harden-Durant-Irving, no matter the devious defensive developments Erik Spoelstra conjures when given time. As an example, consider the Heat’s Friday night game against the Pacers.)

So that brings it back to Thursday’s trading deadline and whether to live in the moment, or scheme for a revised plan of attack down the road.

Consider that the Heat never appeared more vulnerable in the East during their Big Three era than they did in their second season together, when it took the best of LeBron to get past the Boston Celtics in Game 6 of the 2012 conference finals and then a Game 7 victory to advance. (Yes, they went seven in the East finals the following year against the Pacers, but it never felt as tenuous, the Heat never trailing in that series.)

That’s why, as the Nets coalesce with their new big three, and as the Bucks play with a desperation to finally make it out of the East with Giannis, there could be something to be said about not sacrificing too much future for the moment.

Yes, Jimmy Butler and Goran Dragic will be a year further into their 30s next season, same with Andre Iguodala and Trevor Ariza, if they are back. But if there is a piece available that can be bought low at the moment (hello, Spencer Dinwiddie) and then evolve going forward, it could be the best path to get back to last season’s path.

[Most Read Heat Coverage] Winderman’s view: Suns 110, Heat 100 »
No, the Heat are not shying from the Nets, yet to play them at full strength this season, with an April 18 nationally televised meeting awaiting at AmericanAirlines Arena.

And there certainly are the anti-Antetokounmpo blueprints that can be dusted off.

Beyond that, neither the 76ers nor Doc Rivers have been playoff givens in recent years.

But what Brooklyn is building looks like something that will endure, likely to eventually get their versions of Shane Battier, Ray Allen and Chris Andersen in support, just as the Heat did along the way with the Big Three.

So that at least gives the Heat a target, aware of how difficult a breakthrough can be against a colossus gaining steam.

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And if there are any doubts about the need to target a conquest, consider the past of the Heat’s opponent this weekend, and the futility for the Pacers of four years of banging their heads against the Heat’s Big Three, with Paul George, Roy Hibbert, Lance Stephenson and Frank Vogel never getting their breakthrough.

IN THE LANE
ALL FOR ARIZA: So what is a Trevor Ariza worth on the NBA market? A look at some of the players Ariza has been dealt for in his record-setting 11 trades over his career: For Steve Francis in 2006 (in going from the Magic to the Knicks with Penny Hardaway). For Brian Cook and Maurice Evans in 2007 (in going from the Magic to the Lakers). In a four-way trade in 2010 that included Troy Murphy, Courtney Lee, Darren Collison and James Posey (in going from the Rockets to the Hornets). For Rashard Lewis in 2012 (in going from the Hornets to Wizards with Emeka Okafor). In a three-team trade in 2014 that included Omer Asik, Omri Casspi, Alonzo Gee, Scotty Hopson and Melvin Ely (in going from the Wizards to the Rockets). For Kelly Oubre Jr. and Austin Rivers in 2018 (in going from the Suns to the Wizards). For Kent Bazemore and Anthony Tolliver in 2020 (in going from the Kings to the Trail Blazers with Wenyen Gabriel and Caleb Swanigan). For Robert Covington in 2020 (in going from the Trail Blazers to the Rockets with Isaiah Stewart). For Christian Wood in 2020 (in going from the Rockets to the Pistons with Stewart). In a three-team trade that included Delon Wright, James Johnson and Justin Jackson in 2020 (in going from the Pistons to the Thunder). And for Meyers Leonard this past week (in going from the Thunder to the Heat). Along the way, Ariza signed free-agent contracts with the Rockets, Suns and Kings.

ISRAELI PRESPECTIVE: Before Leonard was excised by the Heat for salary-cap purposes in the trade for Ariza, Washington Wizards rookie forward rookie Deni Avdija, currently the league’s only Israeli player, offered his perspective on the anti-Semitic slur recently uttered by Leonard while livestreaming video-game play. “Listen,” Avdija said during a post-practice video interview, “I don’t really want to get into those kinds of things. But I think Meyers didn’t have those kinds of intentions. I think he did a mistake; we know that. We don’t accept those words. But, I know he’s a good dude and he didn’t mean to do that. And hopefully, he understood the mistake.”

DEAD LEGS: The Cleveland Cavaliers weren’t making excuses as they dealt with another road loss to the Heat this past week, but they did offer insight on pandemic life in the NBA when it comes to playing on the road. “It’s not just for us, it’s every team,” forward Larry Nance Jr. explained. “We meet in the morning and guys just go back to their rooms, because we’re not really allowed to do anything else, and lay there for six hours until it’s game time. You don’t got any legs. You’re tired. Anybody that’s laid in bed for six hours during the day knows you can’t get up and feel normal, that’s just what it is. Whether it’s sleepy legs, I think the whole league is feeling that. Said Cleveland guard Collin Sexton, “Just sitting around all day and not being in the gym, that’s terrible.” Given more freedom at home the next day, the Cavaliers then went out and defeated the Boston Celtics the following night.

DULY IMPRESSED: Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said he found it intriguing that former Heat star LeBron James is now a part owner of the Boston Red Sox. “You knew that he has a great eye and passion for business,” Spoelstra said, “and he doesn’t set any boundaries on where he can take it.” Spoelstra then noted a particular interesting element of the equation, “He’s a big Yankees fan, so I think that makes it fun.”

NUMBER
2nd. Where the Heat’s 19-game home winning streak against the Cleveland Cavaliers, which was extended Tuesday, ranks in the NBA among active streaks. The longest remains the San Antonio Spurs’ ongoing 21-game home winning streak against the Wizards, which will endure into next season, with the Wizards’ lone visit of the season complete. The Heat again host the Cavaliers at AmericanAirlines Arena on April 3. The Milwaukee Bucks also have a 19-game home winning streak against the Utah Jazz, with that streak to continue into next season.

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As the Indiana Pacers celebrate being awarded the 2021 NBA All-Star Game, most won’t realize this will be the third time Indiana has hosted the event.

For one night almost 65 years years ago, Fort Wayne was the capital of the sports world.

Perhaps the biggest sporting event the city has ever hosted happened Jan. 13, 1953, when the third annual NBA All-Star Game was played at Memorial Coliseum. A then-record crowd of 10,340 topped the previous mark of 10,094 Stitched Detroit Pistons Jerseys set two years before during the first all-star game in Boston.

“My favorite memory is that it certainly placed Fort Wayne as a major-league operation in basketball even though it was a small city,” said former Fort Wayne Pistons General Manager Carl Bennett. “It gave Fort Wayne a tremendous Cheap Andy Phillip Jersey boost in the eyes of the basketball world. We weren’t just a little hick town.”

RELATED: WANE’s report on 1953 NBA All-Star Game

With a population of approximately 135,000 at the time, Fort Wayne was the smallest city in the league. Pistons owner Fred Zollner paid about $18,000 for a chance to show off the new Memorial Coliseum.

“Fred Zollner had a lot of influence in the league,” said 1953 Milwaukee all-star and later Piston Mel Hutchins. “He put up a lot of money to Cheap Larry Foust Jersey keep some of the teams going, including Milwaukee. He also treated the ballplayers very well.”

“There was also the new building and that was another reason for it,” said Minneapolis and West coach John Kundla. “From then on, they started moving it to different cities.”

Unfortunately, some people believe that all-star game also marked the start of Fort Wayne’s downfall in the league. The next year, the league started a national television contract with Dumont, a deal that was reached during meetings in Fort Wayne.

“At the time, they were starting to think of larger cities, and television frankly was the key factor in removal of the small markets,” former Pistons publicity director and News-Sentinel sportswriter Phil Olofson said.

The game itself featured 14 future Hall of Famers, including greats Bob Cousy, Bill Sharman, George Mikan, Ed Macauley Cheap Mel Hutchins Jersey and Vern Mikkelsen. The Pistons were represented by Andy Phillip and Larry Foust.

The game was also historic because Don Barksdale became the first African American to play in an NBA All-Star Game.

Barksdale was used to breaking barriers, as he was the first consensus African-American All-America player while at UCLA and later became the first African American to play on the United States Olympic basketball team, earning a gold medal in 1948.

“He was a good ballplayer,” Mikkelsen said. “We weren’t surprised he was playing because he belonged to be there. We weren’t sitting around making a big deal about it.”

At the time, Barksdale was one of four African-American players in the NBA along with Chuck Cooper, Sweetwater Clifton and Earl Lloyd. Ironically, Lloyd became the first African American to play in an NBA game on Oct. 31, 1950, and during that same week Cooper and Clifton both made their NBA debuts on different nights in Fort Wayne.

Barksdale scored one point, pulled down three rebounds and passed two assists in the all-star game.

With the sellout crowd and a first-of-its-kind pre-game luncheon, the event was a big success.

“We wanted to make a huge showing, and frankly one of the main reasons was to keep the team in Fort Wayne and make the league recognize Fort Wayne was a good market even though it was a small town,” Olofson said. “I seriously believe we could have sold another 1,000 or more tickets if we had them.”

Though the game itself didn’t start until 8 p.m., cars on Coliseum Boulevard were backed up six blocks an hour and 20 minutes before the opening tip. Among those attending were the full rosters of the Minneapolis Lakers, Boston Celtics and the Pistons.

The game also received great interest from across the country. Zollner sent his plane out at 4 a.m. the day of the game to pick up sportswriters in New York, Boston and Rochester. In all, there were 73 scribes detailing the action, 14 radio stations and seven newsreel cameras.

“To make it even more of an attraction, that game was exceptional,” Olofson said. “Even the sportswriters from out of town said it was the best so far.”

The West won 79-75 as Mikan was named the Most Valuable Player after scoring 22 points and grabbing 16 rebounds. Phillip set up Mikkelson on the two baskets that decided the game.

According to the book “The Zollner Piston Story,” the national media raved about Fort Wayne.

“There may be as good an all-star game in the future,” wrote Ike Gellis of the New York Post, “but the third one staged here last night will never be surpassed.”

Matt Jackson of the Rochester Times-Union reported, “It was a Hollywood production, big league from start to finish. Anyone who inherits next year’s All-Star contest will find it like singing after Caruso to match the efforts of the hard-working Zollner crew. Not a trick was missed in presenting the world’s greatest basketball stars to the record turnout.

“It was the greatest shot in the arm professional basketball has had since the inception of the sport. Every player lived up to all the glowing advance reports.”

Madison Square Garden operator and New York Knicks Owner Ned Irish was quoted as saying, “I don’t know if we want it next year. I don’t think we can do as great a job as Fort Wayne did.”

But they did, drawing 16,487 for the first all-star overtime game.

A few years later, after the 1956-57 season, the Pistons left Fort Wayne for Detroit.

“The league did nothing to encourage Fort Wayne to stay and did everything to encourage Fred Zollner to move to a larger market,” Olofson said. “Unfortunately, over the long haul, Fort Wayne could not support major-league basketball.”

Bennett doesn’t see it quite that way.

“I don’t think it was so much the pressure of moving because we were from a small city as it was an opportunity for Fred to move his team to a big city where he did a lot of his business,” Bennett said. “It was the right move because our Fort Wayne people could not support and did not support that many games. We never would have been able to hold on in Fort Wayne like Green Bay in football.”

During their last two seasons in Fort Wayne, the Pistons averaged 4,745 and 3,859 fans.

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The Detroit Pistons are a storied franchise, unfortunately, many of those stories take place longer ago than we’d care to admit. Since the 2000 season, Detroit has had 17 all-star game bids across eight players. Some of these stars spent only short and unimportant stints in Detroit, while others forged hall of fame careers in the Palace.

Since this week is without regularly scheduled basketball, and since the Detroit Pistons are not represented at All-Star Weekend, let’s Detroit Pistons Jerseys China look back on the glory days.

RELATED STORY: Trade or keep? Where each Piston stands at the deadline
This list will rank all eight players on their time in Detroit. Any accolades or accomplishments outside of their time in Detroit are Cheap Allen Iverson Jersey totally irrelevant.

Detroit Pistons’ All Stars: No. 8 Allen Iverson
Allen Iverson was not The Answer in Detroit. In less than a season, he put up decent numbers, nothing special considering his career, and caused a lot of problems.

His massive ego allowed him to think he was still a superstar that a team should build around, and Detroit was not the fit Cheap Jerry Stackhouse Jersey he thought he needed, and he was not the fit the Pistons knew they needed. Thanks but no thanks.

If you only play 54 games for the team, last place is where you belong.

Detroit Pistons’ All Stars: No. 7 Jerry Stackhouse
Jerry Stackhouse came close to winning rings with Detroit, Dallas, and Miami. In Detroit, Stackhouse was a pretty big-time scorer who didn’t accomplish much, individually or as part of a team.

He actually wasn’t actively bad like Iverson was, he deserved his 2001 All-Star nod, but outside of a few very good years, he was just a better-than-average journeyman.

He was the anti to the Go to Work Pistons that followed. Not a lot of defense, and inefficient scoring, although the offensive numbers weren’t bad.

Detroit Pistons’ All Stars: No. 6 Blake Griffin
Blake Griffin may be remembered as the best LA Clipper the franchise has ever seen, but this list is about Detroit. His first full season on the Pistons gave him his only All-Star nomination, and one could argue that it was Cheap Blake Griffin Jersey the most well-rounded season of his career.

The transition to Detroit saw the high-flying dunker turn into a more back-you-down, knockdown jump shot scorer. He also became a veteran leader on a playoff team, although age took its toll and Griffin has been steadily declining up until his buyout, which mercifully saved the Detroit Pistons some future cap space.