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CableKC
03-10-2006, 12:34 PM
http://www.usatoday.com/sports/basketball/nba/2006-03-09-east-notes_x.htm


East notes: Pacers' O'Neal sees return for playoffs

By Roscoe Nance, USA TODAY

Posted 3/9/2006 10:12 PM Updated 3/9/2006 10:38 PM

Jermaine O'Neal doesn't want a postseason three-peat. That's why the Indiana Pacers' All-Star forward says he's not going to risk returning to the lineup too soon after suffering a torn left groin muscle Jan. 24.

O'Neal, projected to miss eight weeks, says he is targeting the playoffs for his return.

"I've gone into the playoffs injured the last two years," O'Neal says. "I want to make sure I get my groin totally healthy and be in shape when I get on the court again. My goal is the playoffs.

"I'm going to take my time. It's in the team's best interest and my best interest."

The Pacers are 9-8 without O'Neal, and they have gone to a more up-tempo style with him out of the lineup. O'Neal says he doesn't foresee a problem adjusting to the change, adding that he doesn't have to use the tail end of the season to regain his rhythm.

"Obviously, I want to get a rhythm," he says. "But I'm a pretty smart guy, so I'm able to adjust. It won't take me long to adjust to the new offense.

"I don't want to work my way back into it playing 15 minutes here and 20 minutes there."

The Pacers (30-28) are fifth in the East, four games behind the fourth-place Cleveland Cavaliers in the race for the home-court advantage in their potential first-round playoff matchup.

"We'd rather have him for as many games as possible," Pacers coach Rick Carlisle says. "It will be decided by his health. He has to be completely healthy. That has to be part of the plan."

Its good that he can get into rhythm....but what about the rest of the team? Don't they have to adjust to him?

I hope that with Harrison's imitation of being a Post player inside the paint that Tinsley/AJ/Sarunas can dump the ball into can help them adjust to getting the ball to JONeal once he comes back.

Roaming Gnome
03-10-2006, 12:45 PM
It's all lip service...by time that J.O. is back, "Stall Ball" will be back in full effect! What are J.O.'s teammates going to have to adjust to? All they need to know is where to stand on the floor and be ready to run back on defense with careless reguard to rebounding.

Yes, I'm in Peck's camp on this one...Rick is reverting back.

Mourning
03-10-2006, 12:47 PM
Well atleast we have an advantage over our play-offs opponent(s) ... they don't know how the team plays with JO and new addition Peja, offcourse neither do we really.

I hope he plays atleast 4 or 5 games before the play-offs start, so he has atleast a little game conditioning and a feeling of how the team does with him back.

Regards,

Mourning :cool:

Bball
03-10-2006, 01:00 PM
Couldn't this same interview and article been done last year? We've been down this road before. The cast of characters might've changed somewhat, but the plot is the same.

-Bball

CableKC
03-10-2006, 01:45 PM
Well atleast we have an advantage over our play-offs opponent(s) ... they don't know how the team plays with JO and new addition Peja, offcourse neither do we really.

I hope he plays atleast 4 or 5 games before the play-offs start, so he has atleast a little game conditioning and a feeling of how the team does with him back.

Regards,

Mourning :cool:
I would hope that he can return by the April 5th Home game against Toronto. That's the start of the last 10 regular season games and at least 2 games before the final showdown against Detroit before the start of the playoffs.

10 regular season games ( or 2 weeks before the last game of the regular season ) should be enough for everyone to get used to each other.

I think its a VERY BAD idea for the Pacers to simply insert JONeal into the lineup and hope that everything instantly gels. I don't care if it is JONeal or not......adding a #1 scoring option into the team is going to cause instant chemistry problems. We've seen this last season....it took a couple of games for the rest of the team to click when JONeal returned from injury. Worst of all....we don't want to do that in the 1st round where we will likely be facing the Cavs.....every game counts in the Playoffs especially against a team that doesn't play very well on the road but does play very good at home. We don't have time for JONeal to assimilate into this "supposed" new offense and hope that it will work off the bat.

pizza guy
03-10-2006, 04:32 PM
I'd certainly like to see him on the court a few games before the playoffs begin. After sitting out for this long, he'll not only have to mentally adjust to the new style (assuming we keep it this way), he'll have to physically adjust to running up and down the court, banging in the paint, and doing the things only playing the game can give you. The idea of JO playing in the up-tempo offense makes me salivate, :drool:, but not if he's going to play in it for 20 minutes and get winded. Should be interesting, I guess.

Pacesetter
03-10-2006, 05:02 PM
Yep ... #7 has shown he can play through pain etc ... he's just got to heal right now. His only goal on earth should be to heal his big frame and when his body is feelin it, then lace up and get back into the flow. This year has been a tough year. The guys are tired, and we just need everyone to support each other and do the right thing!

His comment about being smart was funny. What a cheeky comment! lmao! :grinno:

Lord Helmet
03-10-2006, 05:19 PM
I love isolation!


:unimpress

Outlaw
03-10-2006, 07:01 PM
It's all lip service...by time that J.O. is back, "Stall Ball" will be back in full effect! What are J.O.'s teammates going to have to adjust to? All they need to know is where to stand on the floor and be ready to run back on defense with careless reguard to rebounding.

Yes, I'm in Peck's camp on this one...Rick is reverting back.

Unfortunately I see this coming also...:mad: :banghead: :grumble: