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Vali
10-02-2006, 09:40 AM
http://www.nba.com/pacers/news/questions_061002.html

Speed
10-02-2006, 11:31 AM
WHAT WILL THE LINEUP LOOK LIKE? Probably not that different. Jamaal Tinsley, Stephen Jackson and Jermaine O'Neal all are expected to retain their starting spots, with the other positions flexible based on the opponent. If the Pacers want to go bigger, Jeff Foster can start at center with Al Harrington at small forward. But the predominant group figures to feature Danny Granger at small forward with O'Neal and Harrington manning the two frontcourt spots. Key reserves figure to be Sarunas Jasikevicius and Orien Greene at the point; Marquis Daniels and James White at the wing spots; and Foster, Maceo Baston and David Harrison up front.

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I hope this is true about Greene, he really offers a nice 15-20 minute of help defensively on the D Wades, Gilbert Arenas' of the world, plus he's young. Greene was/is by far the one guy I was hoping would get one of those last spots. I think he'll actually work his way into the rotation, too.

Speed
10-02-2006, 11:33 AM
Here it is in its entirety:

After a summer laced with questions, the time has come for the answers to begin revealing themselves.

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The fourth training camp under Coach Rick Carlisle begins Tuesday in Conseco Fieldhouse and it offers vastly more intrigue than usual. At least two of the five starters are likely to be new, with Danny Granger and Al Harrington expected to move into the lineup, and 11 of the 18 names on the roster weren't there when the 2005-06 season ended.

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This is not a rebuilding team, but it is very much in transition. To that end, we examine the key questions the team must answer in the coming weeks and months.

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WHAT WILL THE LINEUP LOOK LIKE? <o:p></o:p>
Probably not that different. Jamaal Tinsley, Stephen Jackson and Jermaine O'Neal all are expected to retain their starting spots, with the other positions flexible based on the opponent. If the Pacers want to go bigger, Jeff Foster can start at center with Al Harrington at small forward. But the predominant group figures to feature Danny Granger at small forward with O'Neal and Harrington manning the two frontcourt spots. Key reserves figure to be Sarunas Jasikevicius and Orien Greene at the point; Marquis Daniels and James White at the wing spots; and Foster, Maceo Baston and David Harrison up front.

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IS THIS TINSLEY'S LAST STAND? <o:p></o:p>
Considering the ups and downs of his five seasons in the NBA, Tinsley's career has to be on about its ninth life. The last three seasons have basically been a wash because of injuries but he is nonetheless the favorite to win the starting job at the point because of his overall talent level. You'll probably read stories about how hard he worked in the offseason to get himself into shape, but that really is only a small part of the issue. Tinsley generally reports to camp in condition; where he falters is in doing the things necessary to maintain his fitness throughout the season. If he commits to a year-long program, he could begin to realize some of his immense potential. If not, there are a lot of other point guards on the roster eager for the opportunity.

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HOW FAR CAN J.O. LEAD THE TEAM? <o:p></o:p>
Assuming he's able to avoid the injury problems that have truncated the past two seasons, O'Neal has the opportunity to ascend to the level of truly elite players in the NBA: those that not only produce All-Star numbers but show the ability to lift a team to a different level. There's no question he has the talent to join that very small group. He also has the platform as the franchise player of a team that expects to contend. Now, it must all come together.

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IS GRANGER READY TO START? <o:p></o:p>
The small forward position has been handed from Jalen Rose to Ron Artest to Peja Stojakovic and now, from those well-established stars, to Granger. The lithe young forward has the skill set to be the best all-around player of that group, no mean feat. The Pacers will need his defense, athleticism and aggression to help fuel the team at both ends of the floor. Perhaps the biggest challenge for Granger will be in preparing and maintaining his body to handle the additional workload.

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WHAT IMPACT WILL HARRINGTON HAVE? <o:p></o:p>
Because he combines substantial talent with positive energy and a recharged will to win, Harrington should be a very significant force on the team from both a physical and mental standpoint. By all accounts, he's a much better overall player than when he left for <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /><st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Atlanta</st1:place></st1:City> and the experience of two years of losing with the Hawks has fueled his desire for team success. His offensive game should mesh nicely with frontcourt partner O'Neal and put that much more pressure on defenses to make difficult decisions about whether, and where, to double-team.

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WHAT WILL THE NEW OFFENSE LOOK LIKE? <o:p></o:p>
The Pacers aren't trying to become a run-and-gun team. They are planning to use their increased athleticism and versatility in a more free-flowing offense that should be more entertaining to watch and, ultimately, more efficient and productive. The idea is not to suddenly start scoring 110 points a game, but rather to be effective at whatever tempo is necessary against a given opponent. Without defensive stops and rebounds, however, the offense won't be able to get started.

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WHO ARE THESE GUYS? <o:p></o:p>
Program sales should rise this season as fans endeavor to get to know the new faces dominating the roster. Aside from Harrington, the key acquisitions were Daniels, Darrell Armstrong and Baston. Daniels should play all three perimeter positions and could get a look at the point, should Tinsley falter. Baston, the former EuroLeague star, has eye-opening athleticism and should help as a rebounder and shot-blocker, not to mention fast-break finisher. Though not expected to play heavy minutes, Armstrong brings an experienced leadership voice to the team.

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WILL THE ROOKIES CONTRIBUTE RIGHT AWAY? <o:p></o:p>
Because of the depth on the roster, neither Shawne Williams nor James White will have to step into the rotation immediately, but that doesn't mean one or both won't have an impact. Because of his experience as a five-year collegian, White has much more polish and maturity and thus is more prepared to offer immediate help on the perimeter. Williams, who played just one year of college basketball, will need some time to fill his frame and learn the game but has the long-range shooting ability the team could need.

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IS THERE ENOUGH SHOOTING AND/OR REBOUNDING? <o:p></o:p>
After three decades spent watching some of the finest 3-point shooters in NBA history Reggie Miller, Peja Stojakovic, Chris Mullin, Chuck Person, Sam Perkins, etc. Pacers fans are looking around for the next great shooter. Odds are, he won't be found on the roster, but that isn't necessarily a fatal flaw. A quicker tempo should lead to fewer pull-up 3-pointers as the Pacers focus more on finishing closer to the basket. To use a baseball analogy, they'll be looking for more singles and doubles than home runs. As for rebounding, that could also be an issue if the proposed smaller lineup doesn't include Foster. O'Neal will need to step up his production while his teammates will need to accept collective responsibility for covering the defensive board.

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CAN <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">JACKSON</st1:place></st1:City> REGAIN CONTROL? <o:p></o:p>
For a combination of reasons, not the least of which is the pressure inherent in taking over the position filled previously by Miller, <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Jackson</st1:place></st1:City> has been a highly volatile figure in his brief time with the Pacers. Simply put, that has to stop and <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Jackson</st1:place></st1:City> understands as much. He spent much of the summer in reflection and promises a refreshed attitude this season. If he can channel his passion into positive energy and away from the verbal outbursts aimed at coaches, teammates and officials that scarred the last two seasons, he could be a real difference-maker.

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ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, WHAT'S A REASONABLE EXPECTATION? <o:p></o:p>
Though they aren't in a traditional rebuilding mode, these Pacers will require some patience. Not only will it take all the new personalities time to bond and develop chemistry on and off the court, but the early schedule is downright brutal, with 13 of the first 19 and 23 of 39 on the road. Assuming they can emerge relatively unscathed from the first half of the season, the Pacers will be in position to build momentum around the All-Star break then finish strong. The final regular-season record might not reflect prime contender status but the Pacers should be able to pose a serious threat in the postseason.<o:p></o:p>

AesopRockOn
10-02-2006, 11:58 AM
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WHAT WILL THE NEW OFFENSE LOOK LIKE? <o:p></o:p>
The Pacers aren't trying to become a run-and-gun team. They are planning to use their increased athleticism and versatility in a more free-flowing offense that should be more entertaining to watch and, ultimately, more efficient and productive. The idea is not to suddenly start scoring 110 points a game, but rather to be effective at whatever tempo is necessary against a given opponent. Without defensive stops and rebounds, however, the offense won't be able to get started.

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.

I.E. nobody knows. (It's situational...:rolleyes: )

pantsfish
10-02-2006, 12:11 PM
It's amazing how even the Pacers Web site is saying this is Tinsley's last chance. Things like that tell me the top brass are really listening to what fans have to say.

I think I'm about the happiest I've been with the Pacers since, oh, say, 2000.

pizza guy
10-02-2006, 12:24 PM
ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, WHAT'S A REASONABLE EXPECTATION?
Though they aren't in a traditional rebuilding mode, these Pacers will require some patience. Not only will it take all the new personalities time to bond and develop chemistry on and off the court, but the early schedule is downright brutal, with 13 of the first 19 and 23 of 39 on the road. Assuming they can emerge relatively unscathed from the first half of the season, the Pacers will be in position to build momentum around the All-Star break then finish strong. The final regular-season record might not reflect prime contender status but the Pacers should be able to pose a serious threat in the postseason.

Wow, 23 of 39 on the road. Actually, that may be the best thing for the team. Nothing will bring a team closer than living with each other for a while, and that much time on the road is "a while." I know we've got some big West Coast swing early on, and that could really help the guys get a good gel on and off the court right away.

Either that, or they'll kill each other.

!Pacers-Fan!
10-02-2006, 04:22 PM
i cant stand Tinsley, he looks so tired and looks like he doens't want to play basketball no more. :( TRADE TINSLEY!!

Roaming Gnome
10-02-2006, 04:38 PM
I wonder if the first 13 of 19 and 23 of 39 games being on the road has some to do with getting towards the mid way point of the Colts season and the end of college and H.S. football seasons. I know a lot of casual fans that I either work with or just friends in general don't give a rat's *** about the Pacers until football is nearly over. The Pacers do have some latitude over the schedule and I can see them wanting to play the bulk of their schedule after football is over. It is pretty evident that the Colts are NOW the darling franchise of Indy. Maybe PS&E reallizes this too!

Hicks
10-02-2006, 04:49 PM
I think it's silly how Pacers.com plays up 23 out of 39 games on the road. Wow; a whopping 59% of our games on the road; what a killer. :unimpress

The smaller # is a little harsher, but 13 of 19 is still just 68%.

imawhat
10-02-2006, 04:57 PM
I think it's silly how Pacers.com plays up 23 out of 39 games on the road. Wow; a whopping 59% of our games on the road; what a killer. :unimpress

The smaller # is a little harsher, but 13 of 19 is still just 68%.


I'm optimistic about the schedule, and in a way, I'd prefer it.


The opponents of those road games had a below average winning percentage last year. That helps a little. Also, it means the team will have a lot more time in Indy in the middle-late part of the season. This is crucial because the team will be able to get a lot of practice time in when it's most needed (imo). It might help the team 'gel' better.

Frank Slade
10-02-2006, 05:06 PM
I think it's silly how Pacers.com plays up 23 out of 39 games on the road. Wow; a whopping 59% of our games on the road; what a killer. :unimpress

The smaller # is a little harsher, but 13 of 19 is still just 68%.

Exactly, plus on the bright side, a number of teams like the Pacers will be still be finding themselves early in the season. So you could very well catch a few teams "napping" early on in the season

Not to mention, early on the Pacers have so many new faces, the opposing teams have not had a chance to scout them at all.

grace
10-02-2006, 05:13 PM
I think it's silly how Pacers.com plays up 23 out of 39 games on the road. Wow; a whopping 59% of our games on the road; what a killer. :unimpress

The smaller # is a little harsher, but 13 of 19 is still just 68%.

They're laying the ground work for excuses to use if the Pacers stink.

Los Angeles
10-02-2006, 05:18 PM
I disagree that 68% is not a big number. more than 2 out of every 3 games is on the road. That's considerably bigger than home court advantage in the playoffs (which is 57%)

Still, I very much like the way the schedule is mapped out.

Here's two big reasons to prefer a road-heavy early schedule:

1) Chemistry. Off the court, it's simple: you travel with the team, you eat with the team, you BOND as a team. On the court, it trains you to put on your game face and take care of business regardless of what's going on around you.

2) (as mentioned in the article) A home-heavy late season improves your chances of moving up in the standings late in the season.

pizza guy
10-02-2006, 06:32 PM
Exactly, plus on the bright side, a number of teams like the Pacers will be still be finding themselves early in the season. So you could very well catch a few teams "napping" early on in the season

Not to mention, early on the Pacers have so many new faces, the opposing teams have not had a chance to scout them at all.

That's a good point, as long as the Pacers themselves have an idea of how they're going to play. It's one thing for the opposition to be guessing, another for your team to be guessing as well.

I also like the idea of having a second half with more home games. It gives us a good chance of building momentum going into the playoffs (hopefully), and really being able to iron out the wrinkles.

ChicagoJ
10-02-2006, 06:52 PM
The 13 out of 19 is a big deal. However, at about the half way mark (41 vs. 39), they will have played about half (23 vs. 20.5) of their road games.

Obviously (duh), in the NBA the schedule evens out (unlike the NFL, where some teams get to play the Vikings, Packers, and Lions twice in a season and then everybody in a certain town acts like they've got the best team in football.)