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Pacesetter
02-22-2006, 07:32 PM
http://nba.com/pacers/news/preview

That Anthony Johnson can be productive and the Pacers successful with him in the starting lineup at point guard should come as no surprise. He proved as much last season.

What Johnson has accomplished lately, however, has raised more than a few eyebrows. The 31-year-old veteran has strung together the most prolific stretch of his career, scoring at least 19 points three times in the last four games while averaging 18.8 on 56.1 percent shooting. He's a big reason the Pacers head into Detroit at 27-23, riding six wins in their last seven games – including a 93-85 conquest of the Pistons on Feb. 4 in Conseco Fieldhouse.

"I'm just being ultra-aggressive," Johnson said. "I don't think at any point in my career I've been this aggressive and I feel very confident about my offensive game right now. My jumpers are going down and guys are finding extra possessions to get extra looks at the basket. I'm pushing the ball, make or miss, in transition, so I'm just trying to make things happen offensively."

Johnson has not only soothed the pain of Jamaal Tinsley's absence, he's made a case for remaining in the lineup once the former starter returns to full health.

"He's played great," said Coach Rick Carlisle. "He's been a major catalyst for our recent success. He's a damn good player. I think we're all aware of that. I think we were aware of it after he led the team down the stretch last year. We need him to continue to play the way he's playing because it's making a difference for us."

After averaging 11.3 points and 6.3 assists as a starter last season, Johnson has produced 9.8 points and 4.9 assists in that role this year. In that span, he has started one more game than Tinsley and the team hasn't skipped a beat, going 35-27 with Johnson in the lineup, 34-27 with Tinsley.

"At the end of last year, my confidence went sky-high when it was basically just me, Reggie (Miller) and Jack (Stephen Jackson) getting it done," Johnson said. "This year, I guess I've been asked to step up to the challenge and answer the bell again. Those kinds of things drive me. Last year, people didn't think we would make the playoffs and that was a driving point.

"This year, with Jamaal and J.O. (Jermaine O'Neal) being out, people thought we would fall off. I take those challenges personally and I take the challenge of people doubting me time and time again personally. I just go out and try to prove them wrong and show them I can play and can be pretty productive."

This game begins a rugged schedule stretch for the Pacers, with eight of the next 10 on the road. No opponent will present a greater challenge than the 43-9 Pistons. "Detroit's very motivated for a lot of reasons," Carlisle said. "They're fighting for the best record in the league. They dropped a game to us two or three weeks ago which will make them more motivated to win. We've just got to play our game and play it well. If we do that we'll let the chips fall where they may." - pacers.com

__________________________________________________ _____________

Ok, the gauntlet has been throw down ... let's see what ya got AJ!!!

Kstat
02-22-2006, 07:33 PM
AJ Leads Pacers Into Detroit

Huh? Was he the first one off the team plane or something?

MagicRat
02-22-2006, 07:46 PM
Huh? Was he the first one off the team plane or something?

Don't act like that title didn't send a shiver of fear down your spine.........

317Kim
02-22-2006, 07:46 PM
Show us watcha got AJ! :woohoo:

Thursday night would be a great night for our 2nd unit to combine for 54 points. :innocent:

EDIT: MR is funny :chuckle:

Kstat
02-22-2006, 07:47 PM
Don't act like that title didn't send a shiver of fear down your spine.........

So long as he takes a cab or something...I'm not sure he can run from the airport to the Palace in time for tipoff..

Moses
02-22-2006, 07:48 PM
Huh? Was he the first one off the team plane or something?

Don't act like that statement didn't send a shiver of fear down your spine.........
:laugh:

MagicRat
02-22-2006, 07:49 PM
http://home.comcast.net/~magic_rat/kickpistons.gif

Pacesetter
02-22-2006, 07:51 PM
Huh? Was he the first one off the team plane or something?

The name of the article was, "Johnson Leads Pacers Into Detroit". :grinno:

317Kim
02-22-2006, 07:51 PM
http://home.comcast.net/~magic_rat/kickpistons.gif

:woot: http://home.comcast.net/~magic_rat/kickpistons.gif:woot:

SoupIsGood
02-22-2006, 08:10 PM
Don't act like that title didn't send a shiver of fear down your spine.........

:lmao:

Ragnar
02-22-2006, 08:16 PM
I like the first line. "That Anthony Johnson can be productive and the Pacers successful with him in the starting lineup at point guard should come as no surprise. He proved as much last season."

Did I miss something? Last year he was horrible. Most of our losses came when he was starting last year and a lot of them this year came that way untill Rick changes the way the team plays.

Dont get me wrong I am thrilled with the way AJ has been playing lately. Maybe it was Ricks horrible system all along. But to say he did well last year is a misnomer. The ONLY reason we got out of the first round last year was because AJ went back to the bench not because he was leading the team.

Bball
02-22-2006, 08:21 PM
I like the first line. "That Anthony Johnson can be productive and the Pacers successful with him in the starting lineup at point guard should come as no surprise. He proved as much last season."

Did I miss something? Last year he was horrible. Most of our losses came when he was starting last year and a lot of them this year came that way untill Rick changes the way the team plays.

Dont get me wrong I am thrilled with the way AJ has been playing lately. Maybe it was Ricks horrible system all along. But to say he did well last year is a misnomer. The ONLY reason we got out of the first round last year was because AJ went back to the bench not because he was leading the team.

And AJ was a BIG part of the reason we got in the playoffs in the first place last year.

-Bball

Moses
02-22-2006, 08:27 PM
And AJ was a BIG part of the reason we got in the playoffs in the first place last year.

-Bball
He was also a big reason why we almost lost in the first round. Tinsley pretty much hobbled us to a victory over the Celts.

SjA3837
02-22-2006, 08:28 PM
And AJ was a BIG part of the reason we got in the playoffs in the first place last year.

-Bball
:amen:

SjA3837
02-22-2006, 08:29 PM
He was also a big reason why we almost lost in the first round. Tinsley pretty much hobbled us to a victory over the Celts.

But what did Tinsley do to get us into the playoffs ? :confused:

Pacesetter
02-22-2006, 08:52 PM
Inside the numbers:

#8 Anthony Johnson:

For guards he's #32 in assists, not in the top 69 in 3FG%, not in the top 66 in FT%, he's #63 in spg, #62 in ppg, he's #73 (the rookie is #72) in efficiency, not in the top 49 for FG%, he's #42 in double doubles (uno). #65 in rpg.

But fundamentally he's out of this world ..... :idea:

Ragnar
02-22-2006, 09:13 PM
Lets be fair AJ is playing great right now. I find it amusing that he is doing exactly what the Tinsley haters have been trying to pretend Tinsley is but hey he has been playing great. Yes he is a shoot first pg right now but its working.

Unclebuck
02-22-2006, 09:25 PM
AJ played very well during March and April last season when the Pacers ended the season on a 15-8 run

denyfizle
02-22-2006, 09:45 PM
AJ is solid WHEN his shots go down. He isn't really a pure point guard.

BlueNGold
02-22-2006, 10:19 PM
AJ is solid WHEN his shots go down. He isn't really a pure point guard.

Nice and concise. This is exactly how I have viewed him for a long time.

....but now I think our style of play fits him better than the grind it out game. He seems to move well without the ball. Also, he may not be Jason Kidd, but he seems to take care of the ball pretty well which is crucial in an offense like this. He is also an above average defender with long arms for the PG position. He may not be a great shooter, but he is a decent scorer...and he can hit the mid range jumper with some consistency. He also can post up smaller, quicker PG's. All in all, one heck of a backup PG IMO. ...and I hate his game!

pizza guy
02-22-2006, 10:27 PM
"He's played great," said Coach Rick Carlisle. "He's been a major catalyst for our recent success. He's a damn good player. I think we're all aware of that. I think we were aware of it after he led the team down the stretch last year. We need him to continue to play the way he's playing because it's making a difference for us."

Wow, I never thought I'd hear Rick say anything like that!

:jawdrop:

OhMyGodHeFumbles
02-22-2006, 11:21 PM
Must kick Pistons` can!!!

Fireball Kid
02-23-2006, 12:08 AM
So is Anthony Johnson now being labled the leader of the Pacers now???

D-BONE
02-23-2006, 06:22 AM
I would say AJ is a leader of the Pacers now. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that AJ and Jack are the leaders of the team currently. In addition, those two led the team last year during their impressive late-season playoff push when the supposed leaders of the team were either still suspended or injured. They are not the most talented or perhaps the most likeable guys on the team. However, in the recent string of success they've played hard, they've played well, and, well, they've played. They've also been catalysts in establishing the team dynamic we've enjoyed so much lately. Many others have contributed during this run as it's been a real team concept. JO (and probably JT) eventually will get a shot to have significant impact this year. I just wish some people would admit the prominent role AJ and Jack have played, give them the credit they deserve, and not constantly badmouth or minimize them. :soapbox:

grace
02-23-2006, 11:45 AM
So long as he takes a cab or something...I'm not sure he can run from the airport to the Palace in time for tipoff..

Somebody (like MagicRat) should post the picture of AJ driving the team bus. Or maybe he flies the plane and Stephen drives the bus. I forget.

Fool
02-23-2006, 11:52 AM
Grace, is your sig supposed to imply that you are the cow in that relationship?

grace
02-23-2006, 12:04 PM
Grace, is your sig supposed to imply that you are the cow in that relationship?

Well, since you brought it up VA had expressed an interest in being in my sig.

[Edit: it's now reworded. And by the way if anyone watched Bulls pregame on Comcast Sports Chicago you'd already know Moo & Oink.]