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Pacesetter
02-06-2006, 04:17 PM
http://nba.com/pacers/news/060206_pollard.html

Pollard In Middle
Of Pacers’ Surge

By Conrad Brunner Feb. 6, 2006

The first hint something unusual was afoot Saturday night came midway through the first period, when Pistons Coach Flip Saunders was compelled to call a timeout to try to cool off the Pacers' hottest hand:

Scot Pollard

That's right, Scot Pollard, the guy known mostly for the samurai hair and the Hedbergian humor. Lately, though, something else has been happening. Pollard has been playing much more like, well, Pollard.
Just how influential that can be was in evidence immediately Saturday night, as Pollard had six points and five rebounds, including an impressive dunk, in the first few minutes. His effort and energy were tone-setters for the Pacers, who went on to dominate the boards 59-44 in a 93-85 victory. Pollard pulled 14, his most in three seasons with the Pacers.

"That doesn't happen very often where a team that's won a ring in the past couple of years has to call a 'Scot Pollard timeout,' " Pollard said. "I don't know if you can classify that as something I hang my hat on."
Perhaps not but, since moving into the lineup four games ago (starting three) he has been an important anchor inside. He pulled 12 rebounds against Washington, which had been his Pacers high until Saturday night. Those two double-digit rebounding performances in the last three games nearly matched his total (three) of his first 125 games in Indiana.
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"It's been frustrating since I've been here, adjusting to the system and really trying to stay healthy long enough to show myself that I can still play basketball, and also the people that are paying to watch us play," Pollard said. "It'd be nice for the Indiana fans to know why I'm even in the NBA.

"I could see why they're questioning the judgment of trading for me (in exchange for Brad Miller in July 2003), and for good reason. Since I've been here, I haven't been myself, really. Being healthy now, the last couple of games, I feel like I've played about as good as I can play right now and hopefully I'll be able to stay healthy, be more consistent, and get my own self feeling normal again."

Pollard is being characteristically hard on himself. Though relatively healthy his first season, he had trouble adjusting from Sacramento's read-and-react offensive system to the Pacers' more scripted approach and wound up on the bench while Jeff Foster started. The past two seasons have been marked mainly by injuries, including nagging issues with his back that cropped up again in January when he sat out 10 games in a row.
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But now, perhaps coincidentally revitalized by the reunion with former Kings teammate Peja Stojakovic, Pollard has been particularly important for the Pacers. In the absence of low-post threat Jermaine O'Neal, Coach Rick Carlisle is emphasizing defense and rebounding from his front line, which plays to Pollard's strengths.
"It'd be great if he was available on a consistent basis because he's an underrated player on our team and in this league," said Carlisle. "He gets a lot done on the court and he's very steady. He's an experienced big guy and he's one of the best post defenders in the league, especially guarding the really tough players to match up with like Shaq (Shaquille O'Neal) and (Tim) Duncan. I would just love to see him be healthy because when he's been healthy he's really been able to help us.
"He's played a lot of very important minutes for us, it's just that he hasn't been able to string together two or three months of good health and strong play."
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The Pacers' impressive two-game surge, with victories over the Lakers and Pistons, coincides with Carlisle's decision to pair Pollard with Foster in the frontcourt. The decision originally was made in large part because both players were working their way into shape after back problems and it was better for them to enter the game straight from warmups but has turned out to be a tactical coup.

In the two victories, the Pacers – a notoriously poor rebounding team – dominated the boards 114-87, an average margin of 13.5 per game. They pulled 41 offensive rebounds. With Pollard and Foster providing instant energy and aggression, the team has played with renewed passion. It's also possible Carlisle's 21st lineup of the season is one he can settle on for awhile.

"With Peja, with our lineup set, there's less likelihood of them making trades before the deadline so that's out of the head of anybody that was thinking about it or worrying about it," Pollard said. "It makes it easier for you mentally to be able to come in and say, 'You know what? This isn't my last day here. I'm going to be here, so let's play.' So they can give it their all again, instead of being distracted about their named being mentioned in this or that.

"We should be able to concentrate on playing together. I think we're good enough to make the playoffs. We just have to keep playing good team basketball until we get our big pieces back, if we do."
Though Pollard becomes a free agent after this season, and thus could benefit immensely from a strong finish, he said that's not on his mind.
"That's a long way away," he said. "I would love to make the playoffs a priority, to get there and see what we can do. I'm a team guy and my belief is that if I work hard now and our team does as well as it can do, that will help later on. I can't do anything about that. It's out of my control.
"All I can do is try to help my team win and play my game."

CableKC
02-06-2006, 04:29 PM
I hope that we can sign Pollard for the vets minimum...or at least a little bit more....I don't know...whatever it takes to keep him.

Shaggy
02-06-2006, 04:39 PM
Sorry to be the first negative post, but I would not even think about resigning Pollard until he can put together a solid couple of weeks (much less the rest of the reg season and playoffs). How many times have we (the fans) been burned by fools gold? I have nothing but praise for the last 2 games, but those games have not even begun to erase the last 2.5 years of nothing. As Scot said himself, "It'd be nice for the Indiana fans to know why I'm even in the NBA." Amen.

Pig Nash
02-06-2006, 04:39 PM
Blegh, we won't be able to keep Pollard Freddie and Peja, I think we can only keep one or two. I don't know which of those is right though, as those are three of the players who are actually contributing right now.

317Kim
02-06-2006, 04:45 PM
:laugh: "Scot Pollard Timeout" .

I hope he keeps this up! We need all we can get from him :)

Eindar
02-06-2006, 04:47 PM
It'd be nice to have him on the cheap. The nice part is that since we swapped Peja and Ron, he might be reluctant to go back to Sacto :)

fwpacerfan
02-06-2006, 04:53 PM
I like Pollard when he's healthy. The problem is that much like Tinsley and JO he is injured way too often to keep around.

denyfizle
02-06-2006, 05:20 PM
Vets minimum or he's gone. Harrison is developing. Foster getting healty. JO plays the 5 sometimes. Lorbek has shown promise and can play the 5 sometimes. It's hard to see how Polly will fit in our team if he needs to be paid more than the min. But I sure hope he sticks around.

Pacesetter
02-06-2006, 05:26 PM
Thanks Scot!!!

P.S. Everything happens for a reason! :cool:

Unclebuck
02-06-2006, 08:01 PM
I like Scot, I have a lot of confidence in him, good things seem to happen when he's on the floor. He just knows how to play and that is so important for a big guy

skyfire
02-06-2006, 10:04 PM
He has a good mix of toughness, size and ability to mix it with the Pistons front line. I loved it last season when he got up in Ben Wallace's face.

Hopefully he can teach Hulk some of that post defense, we so badly need in a bigman who will play next to JO.

pizza guy
02-06-2006, 10:57 PM
Scot has played quite well. As a matter of fact, the Detriot game was as good as I remember him playing, but maybe that's because I barely remember him playing at all. He's a good big guy, able to hold his own on defense against anyone in the league, and knows how to get the rebounds and loose balls. I'm not sure if he should come back next year, but, I don't really see any reason why he shouldn't. If he stays healthy for the rest of this season, I say we sign him on for the vet. minimum, and he can provide his hustle and hopefully be a model big man (defensively at least) for Hulk. If his back is just too bad, I don't want to keep him sitting on the bench just for looks, especially since he ain't good looking.

Of course, if he cuts his hair to look like a normal person, I'll be glad to keep him even if his back is messed up; that hair is awful!

FrenchConnection
02-06-2006, 11:17 PM
Of course, if he cuts his hair to look like a normal person, I'll be glad to keep him even if his back is messed up; that hair is awful!

Maybe Scott needs to go to a market where his fantastic hair is appreciated. We want them all to look like Dan Quail. Seriously, I think that if all we offer is the vets minimum he will go back to Sacto.

pizza guy
02-06-2006, 11:42 PM
While he is a good player, and certainly a great guy, what has he done to deserve much more? He hasn't played in most of the games for 2 years. I like him, and what he brings to the court, but much more than minimum is pushing it, don't ya think?

SoupIsGood
02-06-2006, 11:43 PM
While he is a good player, and certainly a great guy, what has he done to deserve much more? He hasn't played in most of the games for 2 years. I like him, and what he brings to the court, but much more than minimum is pushing it, don't ya think?

Yes.


I think it's just a question of where he would rather take the vet's min from. Here, or Sacto? He is not the kind of guy to chase a ring. IMO he returns to Sacto.

Los Angeles
02-07-2006, 01:46 AM
I personally think that he will make more than the vet's minimum.

He's a true center (which is rare enough), and a serviceable, mature backup (even rarer).

Someone will pay good money for him.

SoupIsGood
02-07-2006, 01:56 AM
I personally think that he will make more than the vet's minimum.

He's a true center (which is rare enough), and a serviceable, mature backup (even rarer).

Someone will pay good money for him.

That'd be true, but he's fragile, damaged goods now. His back problem ain't going away....

Los Angeles
02-07-2006, 02:00 AM
That'd be true, but he's fragile, damaged goods now. His back problem ain't going away....
If someone can take a chance on a kindney transplant recipient, someone else can take a chance on a gimpy back.

EDIT: I'm not saying it's the smart choice, I'm just saying it's likely going to happen.

Mr.ThunderMakeR
02-07-2006, 02:08 AM
Could someone fill me in on why Scott would prefer Sacramento over here? I mean it doesn't really seem like he accomplished too much there, does he have family there or something?

SoupIsGood
02-07-2006, 02:12 AM
Could someone fill me in on why Scott would prefer Sacramento over here? I mean it doesn't really seem like he accomplished too much there, does he have family there or something?

They adore him there

denyfizle
02-07-2006, 02:58 AM
Sacto might want to make a run at him. His homestate Utah too. But with Shaq not as dominant as he used to and the game getting faster and smaller, I think not a lot of teams would really pursue Polly unless he proves he can still play well and stay out of injury til the end of the season. So I hope we get him at the vets min or just a tad bit more.

Hugh Jorgan
02-07-2006, 02:14 PM
Could someone fill me in on why Scott would prefer Sacramento over here? I mean it doesn't really seem like he accomplished too much there, does he have family there or something?

I am a long time Kings fan here in Sac and I will tell you why we like Scot... He plays with heart and gives 100%. During our good days, Floppy Divac was playing some bad ball and you could hear chants of "Put in Pollard!" because we knew he would come in and take the charge instead of automatically flopping to the ground.

Call it nostalgia, but I miss the days of the Kings BenchMob.... exciting times.

Slick Pinkham
02-07-2006, 02:18 PM
the Pollard that played in Sacto would also be a big hit here.

Since he hurt his back he has never regained the agility & speed that he once had.

If he could play 70 games I'd keep him at a low salary.

grace
02-07-2006, 03:18 PM
Of course, if he cuts his hair to look like a normal person, I'll be glad to keep him even if his back is messed up; that hair is awful!

Have you seen him without hair? :puke: Think bald Rik Smits only meaner looking. :shudder:

I'm not a big fan of the 3 pony tails. I really don't like the french braids either. Now if he got dreads like Brian Grant. :drool:






Note to Hicks: We really need a sarcastic drooling smilie.

3Ball
02-07-2006, 03:45 PM
He might just retire. He's making so much money on this contract, he could never quit. But he might just say "to heck with it, I'm going to go have fun with my millions" after this year. Why risk injuring his back further?