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05-07-2006, 06:34 AM
A painful reality for Pacers

http://www.boston.com/sports/basketball/articles/2006/05/07/a_painful_reality_for_pacers/

Injuries weren't only reason they faltered

By Peter May | May 7, 2006

It was a season that began with great promise. Ron Artest was back, and supposedly contrite. Jermaine O'Neal was healthy. Surely, things couldn't be as bad as they had been in the Pacers' own annus horribilis of 2004-05, when Artest, O'Neal, and Stephen Jackson got lengthy suspensions.

Think again.

''Every year is different, but this one was unusually challenging at a lot of different levels," said Indiana coach Rick Carlisle on Friday, the day after the Pacers were eliminated by the Nets in six games. Indiana led the series, 2-1, before dropping the final three games. None of the three games in Conseco Fieldhouse was a sellout, and the Pacers needed 40 points from Anthony Johnson Thursday to stay close to the Nets.

''In some respects," Carlisle said, ''it was tougher than last year. We lost more than 200 man-games to injuries. But we made the playoffs, made a go of it, got banged up, and came up short."

How could things have been tougher than last year? After all, weren't Artest and Larry Bird on the cover of the Sports Illustrated basketball issue, promoting harmony and understanding? That lasted one month. Artest then demanded a trade and remained a non-player (without anyone taking his spot) for six weeks, until the Pacers dealt him to Sacramento for Peja Stojakovic.

Then you had the injuries. You think Doc Rivers had it hard? Carlisle would take the Celtics' health issues in a heartbeat. Jamaal Tinsley missed 40 games, then sat out all but one game of the New Jersey series, playing a grand total of 7 minutes. Stojakovic played only twice against the Nets because of a sore knee; Indiana won both games. Think he was missed?

O'Neal missed 31 games. Jeff Foster (19 games) and Austin Croshere (32) also were out for a significant amount of time.

And this team still rallied down the stretch to make the playoffs as the No. 6 seed for the second straight year. And in neither year, for even one single game, has Carlisle had his full complement of players, healthy and able.

Now comes the annual ritual of wondering what will happen next year. Let's start with the coach, who has a year left on his contract. For some reason, the Pacers have not given him an extension, and there is no way the Pacers can allow him to coach as a lame duck. It doesn't work. Carlisle knows that. The Pacers know that. There is plenty of time to re-up him, but given the job he has done under ludicrous circumstances the last two years, why hasn't it already happened?

Is it because of Carlisle's legendary prickly personality? ''Let's just say that it would be very hard to have the success we've had the last five years without me getting along with my players," he said.

And what about those players? Indiana has made some truly awful trades the past few years (Jackson for Al Harrington, Brad Miller for Scot Pollard) and looks to be going the wrong way. (It's interesting that Harrington wanted out because he wanted to start. Think he would have started a few games these last two years?) Pollard is an unrestricted free agent and Stojakovic will be once he exercises his opt-out clause. O'Neal even said that it wouldn't surprise him if he were traded.

After Thursday night's finale, Pollard told the Indianapolis Star-News, ''It was ridiculous this season. I've never seen or been a part of a more messed-up situation in my career. It was a combination of a ton of things. If they were by themselves, it wouldn't be a problem. But when they all hit, there's nothing you can do about it."

There's the inevitable talk of blowing up a group that, to be polite, didn't mesh. That's easier said than done in today's NBA. (For instance: What team in its right mind would take on Jackson?) Carlisle said, ''I believe health and tweaking [the roster] could get this thing back on track. Now, can we get it to be a championship-caliber team? That's another conversation."

It wasn't on Nov. 19, 2004. That night, the Pacers went into Detroit and kicked the you-know-what out of the defending champion Pistons. Indiana was arguably one of the top three teams in the NBA at the point. But the victory was quickly forgotten after Artest went into the stands and, frankly, the Pacers have not been the same team since.

Bird, the team president, said a year ago that it would take a year or more for Indiana to overcome that night. That seemed silly at the time. It must kill him now to know he was

Kegboy
05-07-2006, 10:08 AM
As much as I hate Boston sports, they've got the best writers in the business, have for 30+ years. IMO, the only good thing about "Adult Boomer" is we get an inordinate share of media attention in the Boston papers because of him.

May brings up good points that haven't been mentioned locally, without the vindictiveness that some feel is necessary. He questions Rick's personality, his lame-duck status, even talks about how the Al-Jack trade was a monumental failure.

bulletproof
05-07-2006, 10:48 AM
May brings up good points that haven't been mentioned locally, without the vindictiveness that some feel is necessary. He questions Rick's personality, his lame-duck status, even talks about how the Al-Jack trade was a monumental failure.
It seems to have rubbed off on some fans here as well. Before anyone posts their vitriol here, they should read this several times over:


Then you had the injuries. You think Doc Rivers had it hard? Carlisle would take the Celtics' health issues in a heartbeat. Jamaal Tinsley missed 40 games, then sat out all but one game of the New Jersey series, playing a grand total of 7 minutes. Stojakovic played only twice against the Nets because of a sore knee; Indiana won both games. Think he was missed?

O'Neal missed 31 games. Jeff Foster (19 games) and Austin Croshere (32) also were out for a significant amount of time.

And this team still rallied down the stretch to make the playoffs as the No. 6 seed for the second straight year. And in neither year, for even one single game, has Carlisle had his full complement of players, healthy and able.

It wasn't on Nov. 19, 2004. That night, the Pacers went into Detroit and kicked the you-know-what out of the defending champion Pistons. Indiana was arguably one of the top three teams in the NBA at the point. But the victory was quickly forgotten after Artest went into the stands and, frankly, the Pacers have not been the same team since.

Peck
05-07-2006, 12:34 PM
It seems to have rubbed off on some fans here as well. Before anyone posts their vitriol here, they should read this several times over:


And while we're reading that several times I invite you to read this part several times.


And what about those players? Indiana has made some truly awful trades the past few years (Jackson for Al Harrington, Brad Miller for Scot Pollard) and looks to be going the wrong way.

Bball
05-07-2006, 12:41 PM
, they should read this several times over:

While we might've lost many of the same games anyway, the reason we lost them wasn't solely because we were the less talented team on a given night (in fact we lost plenty of games where we arguably were the more talented team), instead we lost them playing bad basketball.

Bad basketball.

Bad basketball on many levels. From questionable gameplanning and adjustments to playcalling and turnovers. We made all the mistakes a well-coached team doesn't make. That doesn't mean Carlisle isn't a good coach, but it means he lost this team and they quit listening... or he gave up on it.

We shouldn't be using injuries as an excuse for bad basketball.


-Bball

bulletproof
05-07-2006, 12:46 PM
And while we're reading that several times I invite you to read this part several times.

In the context of that article, you bolded the wrong trade. If you were going to highlight one, it should have been the Harrington for Jackson trade, because May talks about the Pacers being arguably one of the top three teams in the league before the brawl. Harrington was a significant part of that 61-win, ECFs team. Miller wasn't. Although Harrington wasn't part of that team that "kicked the you-know-what out of the defending champion Pistons."

Unclebuck
05-07-2006, 12:46 PM
Seems like that writer has the mistaken impression that Brad was traded for Pollard. Oh well it is a common miconception.

Arcadian
05-07-2006, 01:18 PM
I hate the Al Harrington trade on so many levels.

He's a player who was unhappy with the offense. If most felt then the way most do now about Rick's offense how many would disagree with him. After seeing Ricks love for isolation can really call him a black hole?

He is a player we chose talent (Ron) over character in a trade that brought in more character issues.

Maybe he wasn't an All star but he was a tough player who could lead. How many players do we have on the roster like that now?

owl
05-07-2006, 06:48 PM
Should Donnie trade a player everytime they ask for a trade?
It seems like everytime he does that shortly thereafter that player could
have made an impact on the team because someone else dropped because of
injury.

owl

Bball
05-07-2006, 07:02 PM
Should Donnie trade a player everytime they ask for a trade?
It seems like everytime he does that shortly thereafter that player could
have made an impact on the team because someone else dropped because of
injury.

owl

No, he shouldn't... But if players didn't become disgruntled and ask for a trade I'm not sure we'd ever have any player movement.

I'm sorta joking... But we do seem to have more than our fair shade of trades that were instigated by a player demand/request as opposed to making a move to attempt to better the team and it being surprise out of left field.

-Bball

Will Galen
05-07-2006, 07:44 PM
And while we're reading that several times I invite you to read this part several times.

And what about those players? Indiana has made some truly awful trades the past few years (Jackson for Al Harrington, Brad Miller for Scot Pollard) and looks to be going the wrong way.

You mean the Brad Miller who was finally healthy for the playoffs and averaged 9.2 points and 3 rebounds?

Sollozzo
05-07-2006, 08:06 PM
Although Harrington wasn't part of that team that "kicked the you-know-what out of the defending champion Pistons."


I've seen you mention the fact that the Pacers beat Detroit on November 19, 2004 a couple times this past week.

A nice win, but nothing is proven in November. Beat a team in May, that's when it counts. For a year and a half, I've heard people gloat time and time again that the Pacers beat the Pistons as if it proved they were better. Don't forget the Hawks won in November 04 at the Palace.

bulletproof
05-07-2006, 08:15 PM
I've seen you mention the fact that the Pacers beat Detroit on November 19, 2004 a couple times this past week.

A nice win, but nothing is proven in November. Beat a team in May, that's when it counts. For a year and a half, I've heard people gloat time and time again that the Pacers beat the Pistons as if it proved they were better. Don't forget the Hawks won in November 04 at the Palace.

It's really the only thing we have that offered a glimpse of how good that team might have been. But I wasn't the one who brought it up here. Peter May did in his article.

Roaming Gnome
05-07-2006, 09:28 PM
While we are at it...Didn't we beat the Pistons once this year? :smartass:
We must be clearly better then that squad. :eyebrow2: :zip:

Hicks
05-07-2006, 09:47 PM
The Miller bashing is amusing. If he were still here 3 times as many Pacers fans would be in his corner. He could suck the rest of his career and he'd have been a better career big man than Jeff Foster.

bulletproof
05-07-2006, 09:55 PM
There's been no real bashing here. Will used a little observational humor, but that's about it. But Peck brought it up in the first place.

SoupIsGood
05-07-2006, 10:10 PM
The Miller bashing is amusing. If he were still here 3 times as many Pacers fans would be in his corner. He could suck the rest of his career and he'd have been a better career big man than Jeff Foster.

So it's okay if he sucks, as long as he's better than Jeff?

:disturbed


Between his play in this postseason, and his being Jerome James' doormat last year, I think Donnie made the right move in not resigning Brad.

Hicks
05-07-2006, 10:23 PM
:sigh: Some people will just look at the bad and pretend that's all there is. And yes, he has plenty of bad. I just think the good outweighs the bad.

Unclebuck
05-07-2006, 10:29 PM
Here is the Sacramento Bee's grade of Brad's playoff performance

http://www.sacbee.com/content/sports/basketball/kings/story/14252725p-15068788c.html


C Brad Miller G: 79; PPG: 15.0; RPG: 7.8 APG: 4.7
For all of Miller's contributions in his last three seasons, it was an unfortunate end to this one. After a series full of his own mysterious absence - with a woeful 9.2 points and three rebounds per game against the Spurs - many Kings fans booed when coach Rick Adelman went to reinsert him late in Game 6. Miller wasn't able to maintain the mini-resurgence that occurred when Artest arrived in January, and his inability to stop penetration became a glaring weak spot for opponents to expose. One has to wonder if his lack of aggressiveness - especially in the postseason - may hurt his chances for the Olympic team, with tryouts looming in July.

Robertmto
05-07-2006, 10:33 PM
Why does no one like Brad Miller anymore? Jealousy is cute...

vapacersfan
05-07-2006, 10:35 PM
Why does no one like Brad Miller anymore? Jealousy is cute...



:potkettle:

So, how about that Lebron James?

Robertmto
05-07-2006, 10:37 PM
:potkettle:

So, how about that Lebron James?

Well he's no Tayshaun Prince apparently...

vapacersfan
05-07-2006, 10:48 PM
You could say that.

You could also say he advanced to the second round, something the Wizards have failed to do in forever.

But hey, no point in letting facts get in the way of a good story.

Hicks
05-07-2006, 10:52 PM
You could also say he advanced to the second round, something the Wizards have failed to do in forever.

But hey, no point in letting facts get in the way of a good story.

:lmao:

Yeah, like 2005.

vapacersfan
05-07-2006, 10:55 PM
:lmao:

Yeah, like 2005.

Damn, you got me there. But hey, a year can feel like forever if you have to deal with a Redskins season followed by a Pacers season [stoping attempt to backtrack now]

My point still stands. The Cavs advanced, the Wiz did not, and the jealousy is obvious from the post[s] in the other thread by our resident Wizard fan.

Will Galen
05-07-2006, 11:08 PM
There's been no real bashing here. Will used a little observational humor, but that's about it. But Peck brought it up in the first place.

Correct! Peck bringing it up once again was the only reason I said it. I wanted to keep Miller myself.

Peck
05-08-2006, 12:44 AM
I've seen you mention the fact that the Pacers beat Detroit on November 19, 2004 a couple times this past week.

A nice win, but nothing is proven in November. Beat a team in May, that's when it counts. For a year and a half, I've heard people gloat time and time again that the Pacers beat the Pistons as if it proved they were better. Don't forget the Hawks won in November 04 at the Palace.


Thank you.

I've been thinking the same thing myself for quite some time.

People also fail to remember that not only did we beat them that time but later in the season we beat them at the Palace as well as Dale Davis abused the entire Piston front court.

It was a nice November win, that is all. As Gnome pointed out we even beat them this year with David Harrison running wild on them. Am I to also assume that David Harrison is better than the entire front court of the Pistons because in that one game he outplayed them?

We were motivated to win that game, it was nothing but a regular season game to them.

Peck
05-08-2006, 12:48 AM
You mean the Brad Miller who was finally healthy for the playoffs and averaged 9.2 points and 3 rebounds?


Well, since this was humor I thought I would laugh as well.:laugh:

Oh wait, I'm not laughing at these stats (although they are humorus). I'm laughing at Scot Pollards production in our playoff series.

But then I start to cry when I realize that as bad as Brad sucked, which it looked like he did, he still outscored Jeff Foster 9.2 to 2.8

bulletproof
05-08-2006, 01:11 AM
Well, since this was humor I thought I would laugh as well.:laugh:

Oh wait, I'm not laughing at these stats (although they are humorus). I'm laughing at Scot Pollards production in our playoff series.

But then I start to cry when I realize that as bad as Brad sucked, which it looked like he did, he still outscored Jeff Foster 9.2 to 2.8

So Brad outscored him by 6 points and Jeff out-rebounded him by 6. Seems like a wash to me.

Hicks
05-08-2006, 01:35 AM
6 - 3 = 6?

Hicks
05-08-2006, 01:35 AM
btw, we could always compare Brad's #s to the Center we actually got for him...

Peck
05-08-2006, 01:42 AM
So Brad outscored him by 6 points and Jeff out-rebounded him by 6. Seems like a wash to me.


What the hell are you talking about?

Jeff scored a total of 11 points for the entire playoff run Brad scored 57.

Are you just talking about Avg. per game? Well if that is the case then you are right. But I would point out one small tiny detail. Brad played all 6 games that the Kings had, Jeff played in 4.

Also where do you get Jeff outrebounded him by 6? Jeff did outrebound him but it was 6.0 to 3.0. So he did not outrebound Brad by 6 so therfor it was not a wash.

bulletproof
05-08-2006, 01:44 AM
Okay, a semi-wash.

Peck
05-08-2006, 01:45 AM
btw, we could always compare Brad's #s to the Center we actually got for him...


My bad.

Pollard scored 0 points in the playoffs.

He grabbed 1.3 rbg.

Peck
05-08-2006, 01:46 AM
Okay, a semi-wash.


Seeing as how that is the closest thing to a concession I've ever seen you make, I'll take it.

Semi-wash.

bulletproof
05-08-2006, 02:02 AM
What have you wanted me to concede?

PacerMan
05-08-2006, 11:18 AM
I'd still like to get Al back, and we know he'd like to come back. Sign and trade Peja and whatever (tins/Saras) for a first class 2 or pg and draft one of the other.
Jermaine/Al/Danny could play very well against MOST lineups. Resign Scott and keep Foster and David unless we need to include one of them.