View Full Version : New feature on pacers.com

Will Galen
11-13-2006, 09:00 AM
(From Pacers.com)
Editor's Note: Welcome to the latest new feature on Pacers.com, Caught in the Web. Sometimes, in the course of covering games, practices and the news of the day, other interesting items of note can slip through the cracks. Well, consider this weekly column your information caulk. It might not be pretty, but at least it doesn't leak.

Caught in the Web by Conrad Brunner
Nov. 13, 2006


Lineup Roulette Not Carlisle’s Game

Contrary to recent history, Rick Carlisle really isn't a mad scientist when it comes to tinkering and experiment with his starting lineup. Truth be told, he's the kind of a guy who doesn't really like to change it all that much, unless it's absolutely necessary.

Throughout the previous two seasons, necessity was a mother. Carlisle was forced to use 30 lineups in 2004-05, then 31 in 2005-06.

After using seven lineups in eight preseason games and threatening to change the lineup after the second regular-season game, however, Carlisle has returned to his more traditional roots. The Pacers opened the season with their projected starting lineup intact for the first time in five years and it has remained so. The only deviation was forced by Jermaine O'Neal's one-game absence due to an ankle injury.

Which is not to say Carlisle isn't open to the possibility of change, but he does want to give this new group time to establish its identity.

"I really have been reluctant to commit to anything long-term because we've been up and down and this is new territory for us," Carlisle said. "But we've been doing better with it so we're going to roll with it for now and we'll see where it goes for the next week or however long.


"I've been a coach that's always been for consistency when players earn the right to have consistency in terms of their minutes, the rotation and those kinds of things. But this year's a little different. Our depth and the equal-ness at some of our positions in terms of abilities, and the diverseness of some of the guys at the same positions put you in a position to mix and match sometimes if matchups and situations like that are presented."

The odd man out is, of course, Jeff Foster, who has been replaced by either Danny Granger or Al Harrington, depending on how you view things. If rebounding continues to be problematic, Foster could return to the lineup at center, but that would shift Harrington to small forward and Danny Granger – currently one of the hottest players on the team – to the bench.

"It was never meant as a knock on Foster or Marquis Daniels or anybody on our team," Carlisle said. "It'd be very easy to make a case that Foster should start, based on a lot of things – based on his rebounding ability, his track record as a starter has been good in terms of wins and losses. I wouldn't preclude myself from getting to that at some point in time. I feel like Al's natural position is the four or the five. He can play some three but we have other guys that are some of our better players that play the three position. We're trying to make it work this way, so we'll see."

Foster has taken the move in stride.

"To me, it's just a matter of playing," he said. "If I do what I do, I'm still going to play 20-25 minutes a game and go out there and try to shake up the other team a little bit and try to provide a spark for our team."


The perimeter defense could get a boost of Orien Greene is able to return as hoped this week. Greene, who broke the pinky finger on his left hand in his preseason debut, might even be back to play against his former Boston team on the road Wednesday.
Greene played 80 games with the Celtics last season, averaging 3.2 points and 1.8 assists. Boston picked up point guards Sebastian Telfair and Rajon Rondo in the offseason and chose to waive Greene.

"We're hoping he'll be able to practice early next week and possibly be able to play Wednesday or Friday if things continue to go well," Carlisle said. "That's not an official word but that's what we're hoping."

Greene's return would give the Pacers four point guards (although Sarunas Jasikevicius has played more shooting guard thus far), which could crowd the backcourt roster.

"We can keep three active, I think," Carlisle said. "In come cases maybe we can keep four active, I don't know. Healthy bodies are something you always want to have so I'm not going to complain about having healthy players."


One of the biggest enigmas in Pacers history was Kenny Williams, a supremely talented forward that spent four seasons in Indiana (1990-94) before heading to Europe, where he spent most of the next decade in a starring role.
While with Maccabi Tel Aviv, Maceo Baston matched up against Williams (Hapoel Tel Aviv) in Israel during the 2003-04 and '04-05 seasons, including the 2005 Israel Cup championship.

"When he first came over there he was pretty big," Baston said. "He wasn't there my first year; he came later in the season. Then my second year he was there for the whole season with Hapoel Tel Aviv. We played against them in the final of the Israeli Cup. He played well. He was kind of worn down but I could tell he was a good talent back in the day.

"He was kind of in the downswing of his career but he was still pretty athletic and still had the mid-range jumper going. … He still can get up but I kind of took his confidence because I got him a couple of times with some posters, so he gave me the crown."

Williams, who was a second-round pick from Elizabeth City (N.C.) State, is now 37.


There really were just two candidates for the inaugural and unofficial Caught In The Web Pacers Player of the Week award.
Though Danny Granger came on strong with his back-to-back 18-point performances, Al Harrington averaged 22.0 points and 6.0 rebounds while shooting 36-of-66 from the field (.545) in four games, including a big 32-point outing in the victory over Orlando.


In a 2-2 week, one particular game stood out. Playing a hot team with a premium scorer, the Pacers knocked Philadelphia from the ranks of the unbeatens while shutting down Allen Iverson 97-86 last Tuesday night at Conseco Fieldhouse.
Second-year forward Rawle Marshall scored a season-high 16 and was one of six players in double figures for the Pacers, who blew open the game by outscoring the Sixers 60-32 in the second and third periods. Iverson managed just 20 points on 8-of-22 shooting against a swarming zone defense.


At age 38, Darrell Armstrong isn't shy to admit he uses just about anything he can find as a source of motivation. This includes offending headlines from newspapers or, in a more recent case, a certain columnist's criticism.
"(Bob) Kravitz (of The Indianapolis Star), the guy who wrote the article about me being a 38-year-old babysitter, it was funny when he said it but I used it for motivation," Armstrong said. "Age ain't nothing but a number. It's a shame the older you get in this league sometimes organizations start believing it, coaches start believing it but every coach doesn't believe it. Rick (Carlisle) understands what type of player he has in me."


Granger shot .323 from the 3-point line as a rookie and Harrington brought a .288 career mark into this season. Those two forwards, however, have been two of the Pacers' most potent 3-point threats, combining to go 16-of-37 (.432).

As for those guys that play the position named "shooting guard," well, they aren't quite fulfilling their literal destiny. Stephen Jackson, Marquis Daniels and Jasikevicius have combined to make 12-of-50 (.240) from the 3-point line and 48-of-146 (.329) overall.

11-13-2006, 10:22 AM
Hey, at least Kravitz did something positive for the team.....Motivated Armstrong.