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Will Galen
10-20-2005, 04:32 AM
http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051020/SPORTS04/510200446/1088/SPORTS04

Pacers find themselves thin in the middle
All 3 of the team's centers, along with O'Neal, miss game against the Spurs

By Mike Wells
mike.wells@indystar.com

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, walking the sidelines in the first half of Tuesday's game, yelled a question to Indiana Pacers coach Rick Carlisle: Who is playing center?

Carlisle looked on the court, looked at Popovich and shrugged his shoulders.

Carlisle's three centers -- Jeff Foster, David Harrison and Scot Pollard -- were on the bench in street clothes along with Jermaine O'Neal.

The lack of healthy bodies has hurt the Pacers' chemistry on the court in the preseason. Foster (Achilles) and Pollard (calf) are expected to miss the start of the regular season. Harrison is out at least another week.

"We're still doing a lot of things we wanted to do, but when you don't have three 7-footers out there to go through stuff, it makes it hard," Carlisle said. "We have to roll with it and hope we can get guys back as quickly as possibly but not rush them back."

O'Neal, who has missed the first four preseason games with a right thigh contusion, is expected to play tonight against the Minnesota Timberwolves in Billings, Mont.

The Pacers have lacked an inside game outside of Ron Artest in O'Neal's absence.

"Jermaine adds a different type of post-up dimension," Carlisle said. "Getting Jermaine back, we're going to be playing quite differently than we are now because of those dynamics. It's a challenge. We still have a lot of stuff to get in. It's going to take every bit of concentration that we have as a team."
O'Neal, though, won't spend much time at power forward. The injuries will force him to play a lot at center.

"We always feel like having him at the (power forward) spot gives us a matchup advantage," Carlisle said. "We'll be able to mix him in a little bit at (power forward). It will be good to see him back on the court."

O'Neal's return means the Pacers will have their top three scoring options -- O'Neal, Artest and Stephen Jackson -- on the court for the first time since before the Nov. 19 brawl at the Palace of Auburn Hills (Mich.) last season.
"That's going to be fun getting him back and playing with him," Artest said. "We need our whole team."

Sticking by his word

Jackson didn't back off his statement about the league making a "racial statement" with its new rule banning chains.

"That's how I feel about it," he said Wednesday. "It is what it is. It's basically over to me. I can't do anything about it, but abide by the rules."

Jackson was bombarded by local and national media as he left the practice court Wednesday. He wore four chains to Conseco Fieldhouse for Tuesday's game against the San Antonio Spurs.

"It's probably the last time I get to wear them," he said. "I love wearing my jewelry, but I love my job more than getting fined and getting suspended, because the biggest part of this season is to control our emotions and try to be positive on and off the court. They want us to put our jewelry away. I said my piece, that's how I feel and that won't change."

317Kim
10-20-2005, 06:14 AM
I've heard tooo many things so is JO playing or not? I think it's leaning towards YES but not sure.


Jax is kinda stubborn although I do like how he stated this:
"It's probably the last time I get to wear them," he said. "I love wearing my jewelry, but I love my job more than getting fined and getting suspended, because the biggest part of this season is to control our emotions and try to be positive on and off the court. They want us to put our jewelry away. I said my piece, that's how I feel and that won't change."

Hicks
10-20-2005, 11:22 AM
He should be in uniform tonight.

Frank Slade
10-20-2005, 11:25 AM
He should be in uniform tonight.

Yeah I heard Scott Pollard on 99.5 this morning,. JO will be back playing center tonight.. and Samaki has a very big and painful bruise . and is still sitting out .

Harmonica
10-20-2005, 01:06 PM
The lack of healthy bodies has hurt the Pacers' chemistry on the court in the preseason. Foster (Achilles) and Pollard (calf) are expected to miss the start of the regular season. Harrison is out at least another week.

Christ, how many minutes do we need each of these guys each night? 15-16 minutes? :shakehead

317Kim
10-20-2005, 01:37 PM
I'm sooo glad JO is gonna play tonight. I just hope he doesnt confuse rotations etc.

Great..We get JO back but Smaki is injured...well atleast AJ and Fred are good to go still. :knockonwood:

Frank Slade
10-20-2005, 08:20 PM
Here in VA our local rap/hip-hop station (HOT)99.5 did a special on S-Jax comments.

Very itneresting discussion on the issue.....................

Oh, and its good to see at least these guys are saying the right things....

Ok in a small way I feel bad for Jax as he is being used a littlle by the media...
Yesterday every known internet site had the Headlines Jackson says dress code is Racist ! even People PC.Com it was on thier logon page, it was everywhere !!

when in reality if you actually read the article the most defiant in the interviews were AI, Paul Pierce who both said they may or will openly defy the league , as well as Duncan made comments that its really stupid etc..

but I guarantee you wont' find Duncan as the headline anywhere.
The media knows after the Brawl the general public eats up any of the bad boy pacer gossip. Which means Jackson should have kept his comments to himself of course.. but in a small way it is dis heartnening to see his comments tossed out there for that reason and no where today are there any headlines of him agreeing to go ahead and follow the rules of course....:(

shags
10-20-2005, 08:30 PM
Ok in a small way I feel bad for Jax as he is being used a littlle by the media...
Yesterday every known internet site had the Headlines Jackson says dress code is Racist ! even People PC.Com it was on thier logon page, it was everywhere !!

when in reality if you actually read the article the most defiant in the interviews were AI, Paul Pierce who both said they may or will openly defy the league , as well as Duncan made comments that its really stupid etc..

but I guarantee you wont' find Duncan as the headline anywhere.
The media knows after the Brawl the general public eats up any of the bad boy pacer gossip. Which means Jackson should have kept his comments to himself of course.. but in a small way it is dis heartnening to see his comments tossed out there for that reason and no where today are there any headlines of him agreeing to go ahead and follow the rules of course....:(


I agree. Once Jackson brought up race, that's the only part of his message that got heard. Other than that, I agree with everything he said.