PDA

View Full Version : Camp Countdown:Centers {Pacers.com}



Frank Slade
09-29-2006, 10:16 AM
Camp Countdown:Centers

http://www.nba.com/media/pacers/camp_centers_2006.jpg
Al Harrington (L) could join Jeff Foster (top R) and
David Harrison (bottom R) in the center rotation in 2006-07.

INCUMBENT

He's been many things in his career but Al Harrington has not been a center. That may well change with the Pacers, at least in terms of semantics. Given the importance of expanding Danny Granger's role at small forward and Jermaine O'Neal's entrenchment at power forward, Harrington is in line to get a trial as a form of hybrid center.

It probably would be more accurate to view O'Neal and Harrington as two post players – it really is the predominant frontcourt configuration with most teams these days, considering the dearth of true pivot men – but somebody has to carry the traditional positional designations.

Harrington's ability to post up as well as hit the mid-range jumper could make him a matchup nightmare, particularly with the threat of O'Neal on the floor. Defensively, Harrington has experience against all three frontcourt spots and thus gives the coaching staff nice matchup flexibility.

Whatever position he's listed at in the box score, Harrington's responsibilities will be familiar – to score 15-20 points per game, grab 6-8 rebounds, defend aggressively and play with energy. Those things he can do from just about anywhere.

CHALLENGERS

It's reasonable to postulate the wear-and-tear of being frequently overmatched against bigger front-line centers has contributed to the injury problems (lower back and hip) that have kept Jeff Foster out of 40 games the past two seasons. If so, a move to the bench, which offers more favorable matchups, could relieve some of the physical demands. Don't expect his playing time to diminish much, if at all. His rebounding, defense and energy are far too important.

Entering his third season, David Harrison is approaching the time when a breakthrough can be reasonably expected. Though a gifted scorer and shot-blocker, Harrison has struggled with foul trouble, defense, rebounding and temperament to this point. He has the tools, and the frame, for the job but needs the maturity to know what to do when opportunity knocks.

A true 7-footer with a soft touch, John Edwards returned to the Pacers in the Harrington trade but may face an uphill battle to make the roster. He wasn't able to carve much of a niche on an Atlanta team that needed all the inside help it could get so has much to prove on his second time around in Indiana.

BOTTOM LINE

Nowhere do the Pacers have players so thoroughly different than at center with Harrington, Foster and Harrison. Rebounding could be the key to Harrington's ability to support the smaller lineup. Foster obviously is a proven commodity in that area while Harrison is something of a wild card. If he can take a big step forward this season, it could make life a little easier for all involved.

Pacers.com (http://www.nba.com/pacers/news/camp_countdown_c_060929.html)


For what it's worth, listened to the tail end of Bruno last night on WIBC with Kevin Lee.

He said the Pacers Offices "Upstairs" and "Downstairs" are very pleased with JO's workout regiment and atittude. He is adhering to the Team's workout plan, stressing the word team, as opposed to his own routine in the past. No more focusing on the power game, and him bulking up, lifting weights etc.. Will look to use his quickness.

Bruno believes Foster will still play 20-25 minutes but will no longer face the larger "Big Men" in the league, when on the court. This he believes should help limit the injuries.

Unclebuck
09-29-2006, 10:28 AM
I don't care what we want to call it, but I see a frontline of Danny-Al-Jermaine. If you want to call Al the center, I don't care, it doesn't matter what you call the positions. I would consider JO the center.

Kegboy
09-29-2006, 11:43 AM
This is getting ridiculous. Call JO a center and get it over with.

As much as we may need another big man, if Edwards makes the roster again over someone more deserving, then he must have dirty pictures of somebody.

Putnam
09-29-2006, 12:11 PM
It's wild that we're using a 6' 9" guy as our center. But I like having Danny, Al and Jermaine on the court together so I'm cool with it.

There is reason enough to think it can work. Remember the "Hot Zones" thing that Flava Dave introduced a couple of weeks ago?

http://www.nba.com/hotzones/popup.html

If you look at Harrington's results, he took 42 % of his shots from right under the basket last year. And, of course, he made a high percentage of those shots.

sweabs
09-29-2006, 12:17 PM
Hahaha - this is getting so stupid.

If JO feels more comfortable with Al being labelled the centre so he can be labelled as power forward, that's fine. Whatever makes him feel comfortable I suppose.

The very fact that the Pacers have gone to such lengths in the last week or two to prepare us for Al as a centre is reasurring in the sense that it looks like we'll really get to see that #33 at the small forward spot. :D (No, not that #33, Mr. Wisecrack).

Kegboy
09-29-2006, 12:24 PM
Hahaha - this is getting so stupid.

If JO feels more comfortable with Al being labelled the centre so he can be labelled as power forward, that's fine. Whatever makes him feel comfortable I suppose.

The very fact that the Pacers have gone to such lengths in the last week or two to prepare us for Al as a centre is reasurring in the sense that it looks like we'll really get to see that #33 at the small forward spot. :D (No, not that #33, Mr. Wisecrack).

Of course JO doesn't want to be labelled a centre. He doesn't want anything to do with that crazy British spelling. Makes it sound like Euroleague, or something. :-p

Personally, I have no problem playing Al at centre. It sounds so revolutionary, so avantgarde. :chuckle:

Speed
09-29-2006, 12:29 PM
It's so funny how no one here is fooled by all this talk of Al the Center, very impressive. I wholeheartedly agree, this is alot for JO's sake as far as labels. If they really would make Al do exclusively Center stuff, what would be the over/under on him being hurt, by no fault of his own.

Welcome home AL, not only do you get less money and years on your contract we are going to play you against guys way bigger than you to shorten your career, so your buddy can be his best position.

I'm joking of course, unless it really did work out that way. But what will really happen is JO and Al will share Center type duties along w/ Jeff and DH, I even think Baston can play here in an up tempo setting.

I too, want Granger to be at small forward, and i'm all for having your best out there.

Speed
09-29-2006, 12:32 PM
Of course JO doesn't want to be labelled a centre. He doesn't want anything to do with that crazy British spelling. Makes it sound like Euroleague, or something. :-p

Personally, I have no problem playing Al at centre. It sounds so revolutionary, so avantgarde. :chuckle:


Fostre can play Centre, but not Grangre or Snap Huntre.

sweabs
09-29-2006, 12:32 PM
Of course JO doesn't want to be labelled a centre. He doesn't want anything to do with that crazy British spelling. Makes it sound like Euroleague, or something. :-p
I was even going to put "No, not that #33 Kegboy" anticipating a Larry Bird wisecrack from you. And of course, you found another way to get me.
:giveup:

P.S. God save the Queen!

Frank Slade
09-29-2006, 12:55 PM
Of course JO doesn't want to be labelled a centre. He doesn't want anything to do with that crazy British spelling. Makes it sound like Euroleague, or something. :-p

Personally, I have no problem playing Al at centre. It sounds so revolutionary, so avantgarde. :chuckle:


I believe the Pacers will have JO play the Uber-Magnum PF Spot.
Harrington will play the Centre-Lite spot.

:eyebrow:

Jose Slaughter
09-29-2006, 01:12 PM
Gees, why can't we start Harrison along side O'Neal & Granger & bring Harrington off the bench?

Eindar
09-29-2006, 02:51 PM
Gees, why can't we start Harrison along side O'Neal & Granger & bring Harrington off the bench?

Sounds good to me, and should be entertaining for the 3 minutes it takes DH to get himself into foul trouble :)

Honestly, I have a feeling that the Starting Centre spot is David's to grab. If he is able to stay out of foul trouble, play solid defense, grab some boards, and knock down the 10 foot jumper, he'll play as much as he can handle. Then it simply becomes a matter of JO, Al, and Danny divvying up the remaining minutes at C, PF, and SF. The downside of this is that if Harrison proves he's ready, Foster and Baston might as well be put on the Inactive List, because they'll never see time at PF/C outside of garbage time.

JayRedd
09-29-2006, 04:22 PM
It's so funny how no one here is fooled by all this talk of Al the Center, very impressive.

Also surprising , seeing as how people have been calling Jeff Foster a center for 2 years now.

SoupIsGood
09-30-2006, 11:54 AM
I love our frontcourt.

Danny al-Jermaine, with main guys like Foster and Harrison subbing. And then also additional guys like Baston, Powell or even Williams to toss in there.

I wish our back court were that good. I think it nearly can be, if our starters prove reliable. We've got the excellent subs in Saras and Quisy, and the 'bonus' guys in White and Armstrong and Snap or whoever.

I'm afraid to say it, but our season pretty much rests on the shoulders of Tins and Jack. If they prove reliable, we're going to be a great team.

Pacerized
10-02-2006, 02:43 AM
Everything I read seems to indicate the starting front court has already been determined before training camp, and I disagree with the lineup. I still think Foster is our best option at center, and our best big man defender. I also don't want to see a lineup of 5 players who all want to get theirs. We need a role player on the floor. Granger hasn't proven himself to be ready for the starting spot yet, so IMO he should be the first, or second player off the bench. I want to see all of the center minutes going to Foster, and Harrison, and that's not going to happen if Al, or J.O. are playing center.