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View Full Version : Odd thoughts as we lose our series to the Nets 4-2.....



Peck
05-05-2006, 01:24 AM
In the upcoming days I will begin a position by position breakdown of our team but for tonight I want to focus on the game, the series & maybe a little of the season (althoug I don't know if I will get to that or not)

First things first though.

Congrats to the New Jersey Nets. They won fair & square & clearly were the better team throughout this playoffs. Good luck vs. the Heat.

I know a lot of fans on our club will complain about some of the refereeing & there were a couple of games where you had to scratch your head, but at the end of the day the Nets beat us not the NBA.

Before I talk about the team or the players I want to address one thing, I want to talk about the fans.

The fans that showed up for this game, & there appeared to be a few more than were at the previous two games, were outstanding.

In the third quarter they had a whole defense chant going without any prompting from Reb or music.

Whenever the team made any kind of effort play or made a move to get back into the game the fans were out of thier seats & cheering like mad. Even at the end of the game when it was no longer in doubt who would win the series a great number of fans stuck around & gave a nice hand to the players & went crazy for A.J. as he was leaving the floor.

So for all of the complaining about the fans from this season & even this series let it be said that for last night that was a Pacers fan base & they did support thier team.

Also on a side note, does anybody wonder if someone from the Pacers management doesn't read a little bit here? Remember in my last odd thoughts I talked about how I thought it was poor for the team to recognize the military while there was singing & dancing going on? Well, tonight they did the same thing except this time it was dead quiet when Reb did this. There was no singing or dancing this time. If the Pacers managment did read that & is reading this I want to say thank you. If they just did it on thier own I still want to thank them. People who serve our country deserve at least 10 seconds of clear air while they are being mentioned. My hats off to the Pacers for this move.

Now to the game.

Fred Jones & Anthony Johnson combined to score 40 points on the Nets back court. :arrgh:

Alright we might as well do this right up front. Anthony Johnson is a hero & deserves every bit of accolades that will be heaped upon him for this night. I'm not exactly sure, nor have I ever been sure, of why some of you don't like the guy. I liken him to a better Haywood Workman. Sure Woody played a more stifling defense but A.J. is no slouch & he is one hell of a better scorer. But other than that they are the same, they worked thier way around the minor leagues & floated from team to team until they found a home in Indiana.

People keep asking me if I think A.J. can be our starting point guard & my anwer to them is this. He has been your starting point guard for two years now so I see no reason at all why he couldn't continue in that capacity.

I would have no problem at all if the team decided to bring in a young player to groom for the spot & let A.J. start for a couple of years.

But that is for the future let's talk about now.

Anthony Johnson outplayed Jason Kidd for this entire series. How the hell is that even possible? Either way great job by A.J. & a great series. No one, not a single person can lay even a complaint at his feet for this playoff loss & the season that was.

Danny Granger came to play as well. He gained very very very valuable experiance from this playoff series as he was able to go against one of the premier one on one players in the NBA & got better at defending him every game. He was in the middle attempting to get every board, although he didn't come up with that many he was in there fighting like a warrior born.

I don't know how good Danny will be in the coming years but I will say that as this year went on I saw definate improvements to each level of his game. This guy has actually made himself into a good three point shooter which I never knew he had in him. I was very impressed with a couple of his drives to the basket during this game & hope that as the summer goes by he works on that aspect of his game.

But like A.J. nobody can lay any blame at this guys feet. He is a rookie & he played well those two things give him a clean slate to head into summer.

Ok before I go any further I have to ask a question.

How do we go into an elimination game with our starting center injured & not play Scot Pollard one single second on the floor? When you are short handed isn't that the time the bench is supposed to help you? It's not like when Scot has played he has sucked, in fact I will venture to say that he almost by himself turned game 3 around for us & won that game with his five min. salvo he put forth. Yet he only played, I think, 2-3 min. since that time.

At one point we had Croshere as our center & it wasn't because the Nets went small because Jason Collins was still in the game. This is one of the things about Carlisle I will never understand, why he will not play true centers more than he does is a mystery to me.

Look I understand why not more of Harrison, I'll get to him below, but no Pollard? Unreal.

Well, while were here we might as well deal with David.

3 min 11 sec is not enough time to judge anyone by. If your going to say that he sucked so bad that Rick couldn't play him any more you are going to have to explain then why he didn't play Scot instead.

Harrison has problems, I won't even try & lie about that. However Harrison also has attributes that letting him play for 3 min 11 sec will never show either. I started this thinking last season & I will continue it today, we need a big man coach for him.

We can lay some of the blame though at Harrisons feet for the series & the season for him. He has to learn to shut his mouth. Yes, he gets bad fouls called on him, but not everyone of those foul calls are bad. He does commit some of them, but even if he didn't I am sure he has a rep. already in the ref'ing cirlce for being a whiner & complainer. That will only go to get more fouls called on him IMO.

As to the game, well I can't say anything about it. There was just not enough time to see him do anything one way or the other.

I might as well ask this now as well. Why was Jeff Foster not even at the game? He's now injured so bad he couldn't wear a suite to the game & sit on the bench?

This team is a mess behind the scenes & we'll talk more about that in the next few days but I just can't believe that Jeff didn't even come to the game.

Saras. It's hard to gripe about a guy who has been up & down more than a yo-yo this season but in all honesty that was pretty much 12 useless min. of basketball. He was part of the push to get back into the game but in reality he didn't do anything to destinguish himself on the floor. Which is still better than what Fred Jones gave us.

Fred Jones you suck, that is all. Talk about play yourself right out of a contract. If anybody uses this game as a barometer for him & his next contract he will be luck to sign for what he is making now. Worthless comes to mind when I think about his contributions to the team in this game. How in the name of God can a shooting guard go 26 min. in a game & not score a point? He had a couple of good games this series but he has had some real stinkers as well & in all honesty isn't that the microcasm that is Fred's career? As I said last season I think ultimately he is probably better off as a good player on a bad team than a mediocre player on a good team.

As to the game, yes a crap load of blame can be laid at his feet. He can get some for the series. However I will not lay much if any blame at his feet for the season.

Jackson. Well needless to say I would not have been suprised if he wasn't at the game, as I said in my pre-game post. However to his credit he did show up & play so we won't even discuss this. As to his game, well if he were to be complaining about anybodys defense all he would have to do is look a the box score & see his man led thier team in scoring & if you want to say Carter was his man then he still got off 24 so either way he didn't make me think "Joe Dumars" with his defense. I pointed out to Shade several times during the game that I thought he looked like his head was somewhere else. There was a time out at a crucial juncture that he looked away from Carlisle while he was drawing up a play. 2-10 in an elimanation game? Not good when you are expected to be the # 2 option.

He gets blame for this game, for the series & he certainly deserves a good deal of blame for this season.

Austin Croshere. I hate this version of Austin Croshere. I do NOT unerstand why he reverts to this crap so often. Is it him or Carlisle or a combo? I don't know. All I know is that our starting power forward grabbed 4 f'n rebounds & blocked zero shots while shooting 4 d@mn three pointers. I haven't looked yet but I know that he shot more three's for this series than he did from 2 point range. That disgusts me more than I can even tell you. However for the series he had a couple of good games & a couple of useless games so overall he was a Pacer or at least this version of the Pacers. He did a decent job early on with Krystic but he is just to short to guard him.

So Austin deserves a ton of blame for this game some for the series & very little for the season. Until he got his bell rung twice he was easily our most dependable player.

Jermaine O'Neal. Look it is not fair to heap all of the criticism on a guy based on his contract. In fact I couldn't care what player earns except when it means that you can't get other players because all of the money is tied up in a few players. So while it's not fair to judge J.O. based on this, well life is NOT fair.

Tonights game was just another in this series of games where J.O. really did not do anything more than just be a good player on the floor. But as the Diamond one pointed out, Jalen Rose could have given you 21 & 6. I heard some of his post game comments & all I will say is this. I agree but while I agree I disagree. Yes the team should have never let our big men go as time went by. However Jermaine YOU are also supposed to be a big man. For God's sake he is 6'11" tall of solid mass & yet time after time Grandpa Clifford Robinson would bang him all over the floor. When he wasn't doing it Jason Collins was moving him around. Look I know he needs help & no Jeff Foster is not that help, but for whatever reason Rick Carlisle does not beleive in centers. Or is it maybe he thinks J.O. is or should be the center & feels as though he should be able to handle it? I don't know the answer to that but I do know this. We did not get even star play from J.O. this series let alone superstar play from him other than for one game. But before & after that one game he was just another player on the floor. No better or no worse than Nenad Krystic. That wouldn't be a problem if it wasn't for the fact that this he is supposed to be the flagship of our team.

I know that my opinion of J.O. is unfair to a point but like I said life is unfair.

He gets a crapload of blame for this game, for this series & yes for this season.

Now to coaching. Rick tried new & differant things all throughout the series. Foster was already benched by the time his injury came up (hmmmm... that sounds familiar for some reason) so Rick had made the adjustment to go back to Cro. He even tried a zone defense during the series.

However at the end of the day our team fell apart. Can Rick be blamed for that? No, not for all of it. But he does deserve a good deal of the blame in this game. In the third quarter we made a push to get the ballgame down from I think an 11 point lead. We did this by pushing the ball & creating turnover. However the very first time this did not produce a point, in comes J.O. & we went to the tried & true method of dumping it to J.O. for four straight plays. I don't think we scored once.

Also his maddening desire to go small all of the time kills me. For the series I thought he did as well as he could in the style he wants to run.

I give him some blame for tonights game, some blame for the series but when it comes to the season I give him the lions share of the blame.

I've just heard about to many players now who just cannot stand the man & don't want to play for him. In a lot of cases we would be more than willing to part with the players but when you have this many who grumble about it...

Anyway I am not going to look ahead tonight, that will come probably tomorrow.

I will say this, I am glad we got into the playoffs though because Danny got some real experiance.

However in a way I am not that upset because I was really afraid that the more the team advanced the fewer changes would be made. It's going to be a long off-season & I don't know that we will see all that much movement on the team.

Jumper
05-05-2006, 02:28 AM
I am holdin on to my britches...

Big Smooth
05-05-2006, 04:28 AM
I might as well ask this now as well. Why was Jeff Foster not even at the game? He's now injured so bad he couldn't wear a suite to the game & sit on the bench?

This team is a mess behind the scenes & we'll talk more about that in the next few days but I just can't believe that Jeff didn't even come to the game.

On the TV broadcast they mentioned multiple times that Jeff Foster was not on the bench because he was busy keeping his back warm and loose in case he needed to play. Now the game was not a blowout so I don't know, draw your own conclusions there. But supposedly there was a rhyme and reason for his absence from the bench.

A bit confused by Pollard's lack of playing time too. If nothing else, he was very good at getting under Nads skin in Game 3. That is worth something.

D-BONE
05-05-2006, 06:47 AM
I don't think FJ will ever be much more than a back-up, but I wouldn't lay that much blame for the series loss on him. He was playing through an on going injury to his shooting hand so you've got to give credit to that on a team with such ridiculous injury problems. Last night he had a bad game. It happens.

I dont' really think I'd pass around blame for the game/series. I thought the team gave great effort the entire series for the most part despite being obviously outmanned and overmatched. Admittedly, they often didn't seem to give the effort with any cynergy. Like 8 guys all trying hard individually but not always with a unified purpose.

I can understand people wanting to lay series blame on Jack due to his temper tantrum supreme game and his general low offensive production. I would counter the point about his scoring though. He shouldn't be a #2 option on any team. That is just a factor of circumstance this year.

Good point on Pollard. No reason why he doesn't get some decent minutes.

owl
05-05-2006, 07:00 AM
Peck said....."However in a way I am not that upset because I was really afraid that the more the team advanced the fewer changes would be made. It's going to be a long off-season & I don't know that we will see all that much movement on the team."

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++++

The last point is the one thing that scares me more than anything else.
I do not know if I could watch this bunch next year. The biggest thing is the carping and griping by some of the players. It makes me sick.


owl

DisplacedKnick
05-05-2006, 07:38 AM
Just a couple of quick notes responding to Peck.

On Pollard, according to a couple of postgame recaps he was injured.

On Foster, according to the telecast he was in the locker room the entire game getting treatment for his back in case they absolutely had to put him in - they said he was less than 50% and Carlisle didn't want to use him but might in an emergency.

I disagree on Croshere for one reason: The Pacers had no shot at winning this series unless someone could hit enough 3's to stretch the defense to allow JO to really go to work to put points up and get NJ's big men in foul trouble so the Pacers could get the edge on the boards and score on put-backs to offset the TO differential and keep NJ from being able to run out and ...

Anyway, that job should have been Peja's, and Jackson to a certain extent. They didn't so it fell to Croshere. He didn't either and overall his game sucked bu on offense he basically played as a spot up shooter. I don't think, under the circumstances, that was wrong.

brich
05-05-2006, 09:00 AM
Nice summary as always Peck.

Reading your post emphasised to me something I mentioned in a previous thread. We have an odd mix of players on this team. Either that, or Rick is tring to run a Bizarro version of an offense.

We have shooting guards who don't shoot well (nothing wrong with slashing, but you have to able to knock shots down from the outside when the defense packs it in), we have point guards who don't handle the ball well, we have PF/Centers who can rebound/defend but not score, and we have other PF players who can score but can't/won't rebound.

If I was the coach of another team versus this Pacer lineup, then the gameplan against them would seem to be pretty simple. Shut down O'neal, and then force the Pacers to beat you from the outside. Admittedly, shutting down O'neal is a tough proposition, but it is easier when you have guys like Foster and Pollard (I like both of these guys by the way), because you really don't have to guard them.

With the exception of Peja, who really didn't play this series, there is nobody else who is a serious threat from the outside. Johnson was during this series, but he is like most of our shooters, streaky.

I agree with you that a big man coach is a must for this team, but not just for Harrison. I don't expect Pollard or Foster to ever be big time scorers, but they would both be valuable with at least some kind of offense. A baby hook, a bank shot, something to keep the defense honest, and to take some pressure off JO. It would be ideal to have a strong defender at the PF or center spot (to complement JO...wherever he is playing) who could give you 10 and 10. It is more likely that Harrison could develop into this player versus trying to resucitate life into Pollard/Foster's offensive games, but I would try both.

We also need a conistent shooter. We need somebody that is a deadeye shot who can stretch the defense. We really need a couple of guys like that. Peja fits the mold, but I understand the concerns of overpaying him and/or whether he wants to be on this team.

The only other solution I see is adapting a west coast type of offense. That would probably allow Sarunas, Jones, and others to be more effective on the offensive end. Our current "grind it out" half-court offensive set makes very poor use of the talent on this team.

Doug in CO
05-05-2006, 09:21 AM
Fred Jon es not only played 26 minutes without a point - his decision making down the stretch was what - in my opinion - costs us any chance of stealing the game (not the series, the game).

indygeezer
05-05-2006, 09:46 AM
Fred Jon es not only played 26 minutes without a point - his decision making down the stretch was what - in my opinion - costs us any chance of stealing the game (not the series, the game).


Hey! We agree on something. ;)

Gamble
05-05-2006, 10:27 AM
I would still take Fred Jones as a back up for a reasonable price.
I understand his decision making sucks but he is still young and if his
hand every gets better than I could see him improve.

I can only hope that we don't resign Peja and use that money to
sign someone like Mike James. I will say that I have been awfully
critical of AJ in the past but for a good reason.

WE go from a true pg in Jamal to a scoring pg to AJ. ITs no wonder
our offense grinds to hault with a coach with little offense creativity
and utilizing our players the wrong way.

IF management wants Rick C. to stay then fine but we best give him
the talent he'll use and not some players he'll try to conform into something
there not. This off season is going to be a long one and I not sure
Management can trade this team up rather than down.

Rinuven
05-05-2006, 10:56 AM
I agree with you that a big man coach is a must for this team, but not just for Harrison. I don't expect Pollard or Foster to ever be big time scorers, but they would both be valuable with at least some kind of offense. A baby hook, a bank shot, something to keep the defense honest, and to take some pressure off JO. It would be ideal to have a strong defender at the PF or center spot (to complement JO...wherever he is playing) who could give you 10 and 10. It is more likely that Harrison could develop into this player versus trying to resucitate life into Pollard/Foster's offensive games, but I would try both.


I know a lot of the offseason talk will focus on several of the perimeter players, but I've felt for awhile this is precisely what the Pacers need. I remember the impact that Dale Davis' development of that 10 ft jump shot had on the team (all star birth, finals run). It really opened up some nice options in the middle and took some pressure off of some of our other big men. Presently, the lane gets pretty clogged up when either Foster/Pollard are in the middle. You love the attitude and hussle those guys bring, but let's face it, they don't draw a lot of attention when the Pacers are on offense. Am i wrong, but wasn't it Carlisle who worked with Dale on the development of that shot? Couldn't the same be done for a guy like Foster or Harrison? While I agree there likely needs to be some roster changes, I think there are some things we could be doing with the guys we have to help us out.

~Rin~

Hicks
05-05-2006, 11:42 AM
For the record, I believe Jeff Foster was there. He was sitting on the OTHER side of the tunnel (rather than the bench side, this is closer to the basket). Wearing a gray suit.

BillS
05-05-2006, 11:44 AM
I agree with pretty much everything Peck has said, with the correction by Big Smooth on Foster.

I think if a better coach was available I might be able to be persuaded to change coaches, just because I am so mystified by the player decisions.

And I don't know about so many players not liking Rick - even though :bunny: or even :wells: might not gut it up to cross Bird, one would think that :badger: would do it.

RWB
05-05-2006, 12:20 PM
The one thing Ron Artest and Reggie had in common was their love for the game and proved that by working on it during the summer. I think Granger has that mentality and a good indication of that is the man will come back next season with added muscle.

The rest of the team? I'm not sure if anyone else has that dedication, including the coaching staff.

Skaut_Ech
05-05-2006, 12:21 PM
For me, all we accomplished by making the playoffs is damaging the trade value of just about every player on the team, save AJ, who now has an overly developed value, which I'm afriad Donnie/Walsh will act upon by keeping him. His value is sky high. Use him as a bargaining chip.


remember the impact that Dale Davis' development of that 10 ft jump shot had on the team (all star birth, finals run). It really opened up some nice options in the middle and took some pressure off of some of our other big men. Presently, the lane gets pretty clogged up when either Foster/Pollard are in the middle. You love the attitude and hussle those guys bring, but let's face it, they don't draw a lot of attention when the Pacers are on offense. Am i wrong, but wasn't it Carlisle who worked with Dale on the development of that shot? Couldn't the same be done for a guy like Foster or Harrison? While I agree there likely needs to be some roster changes, I think there are some things we could be doing with the guys we have to help us out.

Nice, rin, nice. That's what I've been saying, too. I actually saw Foster play in person while he was in college. He USED to have a nice little midrange jumpshot. Over the years, however, Pacer's brass has obviously told him, "we need rebounders, quit shooting. Rebounding is what you're here for and over time, that jumper has disappeared.

Harrison seems to be fullfilling the orginal scouting report on him in the draft. UYou guys remember?

A former McDonald's All-American and top 10 high school prospect.
His father is a former NFL player and Harrison also is said to be a pretty
impressive football player. Submitted his paper work to the NBA for early
entry and hired John Elway's agent, Chris Emens. He's in for sure now.
Upside: Harrison is strong, runs the floor well for a big guy and can put up
good numbers when his head is in the game. Has the NBA body and strength scouts are looking for at the position. A good, but not great athlete. He's a big time offensive rebounder and shot blocker. Has improved every year, but hasn't reached the potential scouts had hoped he would.


Downside: Questions about his maturity level and dedication to the game are big, big issues for scouts. Still very raw. Doesn't have great hands. Not an explosive jumper. He's a legit seven footer but has a smallish wing span. His defensive effort can be lack luster.


Insider Projection: Scouts don't really like his game, but considering he's
the only American 7-footer in college with any kind of game right now, he's
going to get the benefit of the doubt. Someone will take a chance on him in
the first round. Think Michael Olowokandi, folks.

Right here. Right now, Pacer's brass needs to decide if they are going to keep him or trade him on his promise. Personally, i think the guy has a steep learing curve. I don't know that he will ever get it, BUT, if he stays, do with him as they did with olowokandi. Get him his own personal center's coach.

Kandi bristled at the idea and was openly disrespectful to Kareem. I think the attempt to do the same with David needs to be made. He acnnot and will not do it on his own.

indygeezer
05-05-2006, 12:40 PM
Reading that scouting report on Harrison Skaut, I was reminded of another young Pacer big man.....his name was Eric Dampier. What a marvelous career he has had since being traded from the P's.

Unclebuck
05-05-2006, 01:12 PM
Just an aside: Lamond Murray must be a terrible defender, rebounder, passer, ball handler and just about everything, because he is a great shooter, but he never plays.


Are there any good point guards coming out of college in this years draft. If there are and I have no idea, I'd be satisfied with AJ as the point guard while the youngster learned. I'm agreeing with you Peck

Suaveness
05-05-2006, 01:17 PM
Reading that scouting report on Harrison Skaut, I was reminded of another young Pacer big man.....his name was Eric Dampier. What a marvelous career he has had since being traded from the P's.

I disagree. I think he had 1-2 good years around contract time, and other than that he just hasn't been that great.

indygeezer
05-05-2006, 01:20 PM
I disagree. I think he had 1-2 good years around contract time, and other than that he just hasn't been that great.


Um, sorry. We REALLY need a tongue-in-cheek smilie around here. Damp is a complete bust IMO.

Anthem
05-05-2006, 01:25 PM
Right here. Right now, Pacer's brass needs to decide if they are going to keep him or trade him on his promise.
Harrison actually has some value around the league. I see him as a pretty decent bargaining chip. He's a big young center with potential. There aren't many of those around.

I like him a lot, personally, but if it comes down to it I'd be happy to move him if it brought us something worthwhile.

Suaveness
05-05-2006, 01:30 PM
Um, sorry. We REALLY need a tongue-in-cheek smilie around here. Damp is a complete bust IMO.


Oops. Sorry I didn't catch that :blush: