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Hoop
03-10-2005, 08:33 PM
http://www.thejournalnet.com/Main.asp?SectionID=96&SubSectionID=287&ArticleID=49612

Should Pacers call do-over?
By RICK MORWICK

March 9, 2005

You hate to call it a throwaway season, but what else can it accurately be called?

A championshipís out of the question, the playoffs arenít guaranteed, and the best players canít stay on the court.

So there you have it: A throwaway season for the Indiana Pacers.

Itís time to face that disappointing fact.

We knew the going would be tough after the brawl. Yet we held out hope that somehow, someway, the Pacers could hold it together and still make a run at something.

But we know now that they canít.

Theyíre not getting healthier, theyíre not getting luckier, and theyíre not getting Ron Artest back.

They wonít get any of it until next year, when maybe, just maybe, they can fulfill the promise that will go bitterly unfilled this season.

No, the Pacers havenít thrown in the towel. The fact that theyíve lost only half of their games instead of three-fourths is a powerful testimony to that.

But letís be honest. We stopped getting excited about .500 seasons 15 years ago. Anything short of reaching the conference finals is now a failure.

Thatís as it should be, and thatís why 2004-05 is a throwaway season.

So what if the Pacers make the playoffs? Who cares?

Unless they make a run at the Eastern Conference title, sneaking into the postseason is a rather hollow achievement.

And make no mistake, the Pacers arenít primed for a run at the East.

They can barely walk.

Jermaine OíNeal is out for who knows how long. Jonathan Bender is probably out for the season. Jamaal Tinsley is out all the time. And Jeff Foster is out almost as often as heís in.

Ditto Scot Pollard.

Factor in the fact Artestís season long suspension almost certainly wonít be reversed, and thereís no reason to expect a dramatic reversal of fortune for a team thatís had nothing but misfortune all season.

Much of it the Pacers brought on themselves, but some of it they didnít.

For example, Artestís mindless charge into the stands in Detroit didnít have to happen. Neither did Stephen Jacksonís equally mindless free-for-all with fans.

Same for OíNealís sliding haymaker during the same infamous Nov. 19 incident at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

The whole sordid mess cost the Pacers Artest for the season, Jackson for 30 games and OíNeal for 15.

So by mid-January, the Pacers were already well-behind the 8-ball.

Still, there was hope.

Maybe the return of OíNeal and Jackson would ignite a spark for the second half of the season.

But a spark never came.

Instead, the Pacers got injuries. Lots and lots of injuries.

Those are the things they canít control.

Reggie Miller missed the first 16 games with a broken hand, and itís pretty much been one injury after another for the Pacers since.

As a result of injuries and the brawl, the Pacers have not had their normal five starters on the floor at the same time all season.

Nor will they, unless Artest is miraculously re-instated.

To the organizationís credit, injuries have not been an excuse. Rick Carlisle, Donnie Walsh and Larry Bird donít make excuses for anything, which is refreshing.

But it doesnít change reality.

No, fans shouldnít stay away from Conseco Fieldhouse or turn their backs on the Pacers. The franchise goes to great lengths to do things the right way, to put a winning product on the floor and be a source of civic pride for the faithful.

The Pacers still deserve support.

But they wonít contend for a championship, and theyíll have to fight like the bland Pacers of yesteryear just to get into the playoffs.

Thatís what makes the season forgettable.

PacerFan31
03-10-2005, 08:37 PM
ahh an article from the daily yournal........I live in New Whitleand so thats the paper we get the most...I hate the daily yournal

XXSASSXX31
03-10-2005, 08:46 PM
What a season...this is truly the season from hell, take away the suspensions...i've never seen a team as hurt as us and being .500 is really a testiment to what great coaches and CEO in Donnie Walsh we have.

Roaming Gnome
03-10-2005, 09:10 PM
This is actually a real newspaper columnist? That column sounded like something I would read off of here. No, some of you on here write much better then that! That was painful to read, and I'm not talking about the topic of the column!!!

Strait high school journalism at it's worst!

SoupIsGood
03-10-2005, 09:12 PM
This is actually a real newspaper columnist? That column sounded like something I would read off of here. No, some of you on here write much better then that! That was painful to read, and I'm not talking about the topic of the column!!!

Strait high school journalism at it's worst!

Agreed.

ChicagoJ
03-10-2005, 10:00 PM
I was about to say I can't believe Rick Morwick is still employed.

There's a reason we all called that paper The Daily Urinal.

beast23
03-10-2005, 10:45 PM
There's a reason we all called that paper The Daily Urinal.No kidding!

I lived in Perry Township for my first 30 years. Then moved to White River Township in Johnson County, living just down the street from Bud Herron, a former? editor of the Urinal. I lived in JC for 16 years, before relocating to the far northeast corner of Marion County.

For years, I felt like the only redeaming quality about the Urinal was that it would publish the names of all traffic offenders and legal convictions, regardless of age. It was a way of at least getting a warning about kids your teenagers were hanging around.