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Bball
12-14-2005, 03:55 AM
Pacers: We'll win with team play
Indiana aims to find success without former All-Star forward Artest, on squad's inactive list


By Mike Wells
mike.wells@indystar.com
Their lineup is different. The goal isn't.

The Indiana Pacers think they can be one of the top teams in the NBA without forward Ron Artest.

The Pacers are tied for the second-best record in the Eastern Conference despite some early problems. Staying near the top could prove more problematic, however, because they'll have to make up for the loss of an All-Star forward. Artest is on the inactive list for at least the next three games as the Pacers try to trade him.

"We can give up talent for team chemistry," rookie Sarunas Jasikevicius said. "Team chemistry is more important than talent. We definitely have enough talent to go very far."

Artest said he thinks the Pacers will be better without him, but they still have to replace his defensive skills and 19 points a game. Last year, they made the playoffs without him but lost in the second round.

Stephen Jackson will take over at small forward, with Jasikevicius moving into the starting lineup at shooting guard.

Coach Rick Carlisle agrees with Jasikevicius; he says the sum of the team will offset the loss of any individual.

"That's why you have a team," Carlisle said.
"If you do things hard and together, you can overcome some things."
Though questions about Artest will continue until he's traded, the Pacers think they can move forward by not having him around.

"I think in some ways it's kind of a relief to have it behind us," forward Austin Croshere said. "It's an opportunity to go forward without any distractions; there's not any 'what ifs,' and I think it's welcomed."

The Pacers, who play at Boston tonight, are feeling confident after winning their past two games (without Artest) by getting back to playing team basketball on both ends of the court.

"The best way I can say it is we've played well, we've moved the ball and played great defense the last two games, so we are showing signs that we are getting the chemistry," Jackson said.

"We can't put the blame on Ron. We can't say because Ron's not here, everything's flowing better. All we can say is we're starting to figure each other out, we're starting to play well together and we're starting to play like the team we know we can be."

Carlisle said the most prominent lineup change will involve Jackson and Jasikevicius. Jackson played small forward last season after Artest's season-ending suspension. He'll become the second scoring option behind O'Neal.

Jackson's production has increased lately. He's shooting nearly 59 percent in the past two games.

"He was in this position last year," Carlisle said.
"He did a terrific job considering the circumstances. Not only is he our second scorer, but he's a guy that is going to have to make plays for us. He's going to have to guard a lot of very good players at the (small forward) position. His responsibility level increases given our present situation."

Jasikevicius, a natural point guard, doesn't mind playing shooting guard but admits he needs work. His defense could be an even bigger issue now that he must stop some of the top shooting guards.

"The last couple of games, it's been effective for us," Carlisle said.
"I wouldn't preclude anything from being a possibility. We'll continue to look at it and do what's best for us to have a chance to win. Right now he's at that spot and we'll see where it goes."

http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051214/SPORTS04/512140468

DeS
12-14-2005, 04:43 AM
I don't like the idea of moving Saras into SG position. Simply he will not be as good in the position, he will not be at his best there. I don't think that it's a long term solution:
1) I'm not sure about his defence against oponent SG's;
2) It will be hard to lead the team at the position ;) And the leader type floor general is what we need more at this moment.
But... I assume Rick has no other choice.

Puovils
12-14-2005, 04:57 AM
Saras in SG is VERY VERY bad idea. He can shoot, but he is't true scorer. He is PLAYMAKER. damn :mad:

Lithfan
12-14-2005, 04:58 AM
It doesn't mean anything SG-PG whatever. Simply Saras will have another guy that can run with the ball near him. He also doesn't have to guard another team best scorer, this role can go to AJ. I think its for the best since as I said before, Saras needs good ball handler near him. Last game prove that he still runs plays at SG position as he had nine assists.

317Kim
12-14-2005, 05:22 AM
Their lineup is different. The goal isn't. :grinyes:

I like Runi at SG..he can run the floor at the same time and if needed then he'll make a few baskets or throw in a few sparks.

NPFII
12-14-2005, 05:31 AM
I'd play Fred instead of AJ.

PG probably means "the guy who brings the ball up the floor".

Well, was MJ the PG of the Bulls? Is Kobe the PG of the Lakers? Was Jalen the PG of the Pacers (touchy touchy...)?
With all due respect, bringing it up isn't such a tough job. AJ can do it, Jax can do it, Fred can do it, he!! even Danny can probably do it if necessary.

The point is that Saras will get the ball on the wing to start the offense AFTER the ball is brought up by someone else.
HE will then either dump it to JO (option 1), give it to Jax for a one-on-one (option 2), or make a pick-n-roll move with one of the bigs (option 3).

Distributing from the wing, and making the decisions - that's where he can contribute the most (along with deadly shooting). Call it PG, SG whatever.

DeS
12-14-2005, 05:46 AM
Last game prove that he still runs plays at SG position as he had nine assists.
It proves only that Saras can play SG, but nothing more. It does not prove that this is the best for the team at all. Saras is not a good scorer. To keep Saras at SG only because of the assists - it's a waste of talent. And if Saras desperately needs a good ball handler near him - he better start practicing it now, because IMO pacers can't allow such the comfort.

Unclebuck
12-14-2005, 08:11 AM
I realy don't consider Saras as the "shooting guard". AJ will defend wheover is the better backcourt player. And on offense, what I noticed in the last game is although AJ generally brought the ball up it seemed half the time Saras ran the halfcourt offense and the other half of the time AJ did.

So when Ricky Davis is in the game, AJ will guard him. And if the Celtics point guard is pressuring whoever the Pacers have bringing the ball up the pacers can have the other guard bring it up.

Makes a lot of sense.


What about when Tinsley comes back though

Harddrive7
12-14-2005, 08:21 AM
I'd play Fred instead of AJ.

PG probably means "the guy who brings the ball up the floor".

Well, was MJ the PG of the Bulls? Is Kobe the PG of the Lakers? Was Jalen the PG of the Pacers (touchy touchy...)?
With all due respect, bringing it up isn't such a tough job. AJ can do it, Jax can do it, Fred can do it, he!! even Danny can probably do it if necessary.

The point is that Saras will get the ball on the wing to start the offense AFTER the ball is brought up by someone else.
HE will then either dump it to JO (option 1), give it to Jax for a one-on-one (option 2), or make a pick-n-roll move with one of the bigs (option 3).

Distributing from the wing, and making the decisions - that's where he can contribute the most (along with deadly shooting). Call it PG, SG whatever.


Yeah but, Doesn't a lot of saras' plays come from bringing the ball up? Ok maybe not a LOT in Rick's offense, but there is a few.

NPFII
12-14-2005, 08:28 AM
I realy don't consider Saras as the "shooting guard". AJ will defend wheover is the better backcourt player. And on offense, what I noticed in the last game is although AJ generally brought the ball up it seemed half the time Saras ran the halfcourt offense and the other half of the time AJ did.

So when Ricky Davis is in the game, AJ will guard him. And if the Celtics point guard is pressuring whoever the Pacers have bringing the ball up the pacers can have the other guard bring it up.

Makes a lot of sense.


What about when Tinsley comes back though

When Tinsley comes back he will be back in the lineup, and Saras will go back to backing him up, along with Fred. Jack will start as SG and move to SF. Danny will probably start at SF.

8-man rotations:
w/o Tinsley: AJ/Saras/Jack/JO/Foster, Fred/Danny/Croshere (DH/Pollard/Gill get garbage minutes)
with Tinsley: Tinsley/Jack/Danny/JO/Foster, Saras/Fred/Croshere (AJ gets PT only if there's foul trouble, defensive problems, etc). DH/Pollard/Gill still get garbage minutes

The real problem of this team is what happens if Jack gets in to foul trouble. He will usually have to guard the opponents best offensive players at SG or SF, and he'll pick up fouls. Who will pick up the scoring when he's out? Fred? Danny? Saras? Not very good options all around...

NPFII
12-14-2005, 08:32 AM
Yeah but, Doesn't a lot of saras' plays come from bringing the ball up? Ok maybe not a LOT in Rick's offense, but there is a few.

Actually - not really.

Most of the times he passes it to the wing and does the route to the corner to take his man out of the defense while the ball goes in to JO. If that fails, it's Jack's turn to try. If that fails as well he'll get the ball on the wing for a pick-n-roll.

The only plays where he initiates the offense AND brings the ball up are on the high pick-n-rolls, or a double-pick for a 3-pointer. That doesn't happen much.

BlueNGold
12-14-2005, 08:44 AM
I have no idea what Carlisle is doing. It is obvious the line up should be:

PG - Saras
SG - Jax
SF - Granger
PF - ONeal
C - Harrison

Mordecaii
12-14-2005, 08:50 AM
Maybe Carlisle wants to get Granger some more experience and playing time before he throws Granger to the wolves? Maybe with that lineup there's no one to help Saras bring the ball up if they decide to aggressively trap?

abington
12-14-2005, 08:58 AM
Jax is better at the 3 than the 2. He has no handles and can't guard smaller guards. He played well for us last year at the 3, and I like the idea of him moving back there.

BlueNGold
12-14-2005, 09:13 AM
Maybe Carlisle wants to get Granger some more experience and playing time before he throws Granger to the wolves? Maybe with that lineup there's no one to help Saras bring the ball up if they decide to aggressively trap?

Good point, but is AJ any better at bringing the ball up than Harrison? :laugh:

As a smaller lineup with better ball handlers I would have the following:

Saras - PG
Fred Jones - SG
Granger/Jax - SF
JO - PF
Foster - C

I just do not think AJ should be the starting PG with Saras on this team. In any event, Fred is starting to catch fire and this could be his year.

abington
12-14-2005, 09:19 AM
So it's.....

Tinsley
Saras
Jackson
Croshere
O'Neal

?

Interesting. I had wanted to see what Tinsely and Saras would do on the court together, so this should be fun.

That 5 approaches Washingon Generals defense.

BlueNGold
12-14-2005, 09:25 AM
So it's.....

Tinsley
Saras
Jackson
Croshere
O'Neal

?

Interesting. I had wanted to see what Tinsely and Saras would do on the court together, so this should be fun.

Nice offensive players, but that is an awful matchup against the Celtics. Ricky Davis will light Saras up like a candle. There is not nearly enough size in that lineup to contend with the Celtics...who have a number of large centers. JO will get beat up. Jack will have his hands full with Pierce. I see trouble if that lineup is on the floor the majority of the game.