View Full Version : Pacers.Com }How Will Lineup Change Without Artest?

Frank Slade
12-14-2005, 02:56 PM
So looks like Sarunas is the fulltime starter at the 2 for now.
Which I guess I had already assumed that , but it's funny how they never just came out officially and said it.

Of course I guess any thing can change depending on what trade happens.

How Will Lineup Change Without Artest?

Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2005
Conrad Brunner

Q. Do you think that Danny Granger is ready to start in the place of Ron Artest? If not, how do you shift the lineup around in the interim? (From Will in Muncie, Ind.)

A. For the time being, Stephen Jackson will move from shooting guard to small forward, but Granger will become one of the first options off the bench. In the old rotation, when Artest was given a rest, Jackson was frequently used as the backup small forward. Now, with Jackson starting, Granger is the most likely to inherit those extra minutes. He'll be needed defensively against some of the bigger small forwards that like to post up.

Jackson played his best basketball of the season as the small forward in the last two games, which may just dispel the notion that shooting guard is really his natural position. For whatever reason, he struggled mightily in the backcourt, either because he couldn't get into the flow as a tertiary option behind Jermaine O'Neal and Artest, or because of the way that position sets up in Coach Rick Carlisle's offensive scheme.

With Jackson at small forward, Sarunas Jasikevicius will continue to start at shooting guard, which could work to his and the team's benefit. Considering he's the best perimeter shooter on the roster and one of the best in the league he should feel more freedom to exploit his greatest strength. Though there were concerns about his individual defense entering the season, he has worked very hard in this area and has become a capable team defender. Fred Jones also has been a more active defender this year and is a strong backup. And don't forget, Jackson can slide back into this slot when Granger comes off the bench.

Though Anthony Johnson has been starting at the point, Jamaal Tinsley is expected to return to his spot in the lineup Friday night against Utah in Conseco Fieldhouse. It appears Jeff Foster will be back in the starting lineup tonight against Boston, allowing O'Neal to return to power forward on a full-time basis.

When Tinsley returns, the second unit rotation will probably feature Johnson, Jones, Granger and Austin Croshere, with either Scot Pollard or David Harrison available as needed. As you can see, even without Artest, the Pacers have the ability to cover every position with at least two quality players.


12-14-2005, 03:02 PM
My head is spinning