View Full Version : QOD- Who Will Emerge As Go-To-Guy in Clutch?

10-11-2005, 06:56 AM
Q. I know that Jermaine O'Neal is the leader in the locker room and is probably going to be the most vocal player on the court as far as motivating the other players goes, but will on-court performance affect the leadership of this team? J.O. is a great player, everyone knows that, but who’s going to take the final shot at the end of a close game? Who’s going to take over as our clutch player?
We have all seen Ron Artest take over games on both ends of the court. He has this sick gift of going into this higher level of performance, that’s why we love him like we do. Can J.O. do the same when we need it most? Since J.O. is the leader does that just make him our default for final-second shots, or when we need a bucket in the worst way? My question simply put is: is the void of clutch player left by Reggie up for grabs? (From Ian in Fairmount, Ind.)
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A. Being the team leader doesn't automatically qualify someone for last-second shot duty. Sometimes it works out that way, as in the cases of Byron Scott and Reggie Miller. But Mark Jackson was a strong leader who rarely took clutch shots. The same was true for Sam Mitchell. So while O'Neal is the primary leadership figure on the Pacers and can expect to get plenty of scoring opportunities, he won't necessarily be the guy the team looks to every time in the clutch.
That said, he will probably be involved in most every clutch play, because it will behoove the Pacers to have their primary low-post threat attracting the full attention of the defense in those situations. If the defense double-teams O'Neal, then there will be an open shot elsewhere. If not, the Pacers like their chances with him going one-on-one against just about anybody in the post in that situation. Because of the offensive balance and depth of the team, however, it isn't likely that any one player will emerge as the go-to guy in the clutch. Stephen Jackson and Sarunas Jasikevicius have strong reputations as big-shot makers from the perimeter. O'Neal and Artest can handle most any single defender inside. While the Pacers won't have one pure clutch scorer as they have for the past 18 years, they will have many options from which to choose.

go ahead and delete if this has already been posted. :)

10-11-2005, 02:13 PM
Saras has already proved to be a big time shooter. If we need a 3 and its there why not. If we need a 2 I say JO or Ron.

10-11-2005, 02:17 PM
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