View Full Version : Why Hasnít Baston Been Given A Chance?

11-19-2006, 06:59 AM
QOD for Conrad

Why Hasn’t Baston Been Given A Chance?

Friday, Nov. 17, 2006
Q. The rotation seems to be a work in progress, which would be expected with this many new players. I like the energy that Darrell Armstrong brings off the bench and would love to see them add another energy guy, Maceo Baston, to the rotation. I was impressed with what Baston was able to do in limited minutes in the preseason. He would go in for 10 minutes and the next day would be on ESPN's top plays of the day. I think he and Armstrong together would be a nice lift for the team but I've noticed he's been on the inactive list; what's up with that? (From Mitch in Fishers, Ind.)

A. I've been wondering the same thing myself. Baston isn't some young player that needs time to learn the NBA game. He's a 31-year-old veteran who established himself as a premier defender, rebounder, shot-blocker and transition finisher with one of the best teams in Europe, Maccabi Tel Aviv, winning a couple of Euroleague titles in the process (with Sarunas Jasikevicius as a teammate). And he's spent time in the NBA before, albeit under unfortunate circumstances, when he signed with Toronto during the 2002-03 season so he could be closer to his father, who was ill with cancer.
He would seem to have a number of qualities the Pacers need at the moment, including the energy you mentioned. And yet he has been on the inactive list for five straight games. Though he was bothered by a sore foot for a time during the preseason, health doesn't seem to be an issue anymore. The rotation just hasn't had room for him as Coach Rick Carlisle has preferred to employ smaller lineups in hopes of getting the transition game established. Even Jeff Foster, the first big man off the bench, has averaged just 18.4 minutes. A couple of circumstances could favor Baston, though. David Harrison, who has played semi-regularly, was unable to practice Thursday because of a sore left shoulder that required a sling. If Harrison is unable to play tonight and possibly beyond, that should create an opening for another big man. The team's monumental struggle on the boards should also point toward Baston's increased use, since that is one of his specialties. This is a guy that gave up stardom in Europe for a chance to prove himself in the NBA, so he obviously is hungry. And the Pacers need all the hunger they can muster at the moment.

11-19-2006, 07:05 AM
I'm afraid that its partially Saras fault, if you know what I mean...

In any case its a shame. Look at Parker (Toronto), "European" player from the same team (Maccabi) paying back his salary when given a chance. I'm 100% sure that Saras and Baston are capable to do that too.

11-19-2006, 01:42 PM
That's an interesting answer from Bruno. It's as puzzling to him as the rest of us I guess, but you'd think he'd have a partyline answer and that doesn't appear to be what we got. We got a giant "shrug" instead.

Why did we sign a guy we're not playing, even going as far at to put him on the inactive list? And since he's over 30 years old it is not like we're waiting on him for the future. We could've kept White if that was the case.

I'm starting to wonder if there are some contingency plans in place that he is a part of. Otherwise, management has some questions to answer.


11-19-2006, 02:25 PM
Bball, let's make this a first; there is no hidden agenda, there is no conspiracy, forget all those options and go with what you can see, feel and touch, forget smell, sense or other slightly dodgy things, just what is there; in plain view:

Start with LB coming in (while just being told he can not buy a part of another franchise, here he comes as employee).
First action; fire Isiah Thomas.
(unhappy, just signed superstar)
Second action; Bring in friend and former collegue/employee
enter Rick Carlisle

Carlisle's first season (where the impact of the coach is minimal as well as big, minimal as in to teamwork, players know each other, big as in plays ran) 61 wins

Bird moves overseas and scans the European coastlines and finds on one of them a "gem" in Sarunas J. who goes by many nicknames, let's call him sara, short and easy.

Bird courts Sara

Rick wants the P's to play like Det (where he was fired)
Players "buy in" and after an injury riddled ECF we start the new season with great hopes and glory, till the brawl

LB is in EU scouting

Rest of season, dime-book story, with not that happy ending.

3rd Rick season, LB has finally done it, at the expense of 4 millon dollars a year he has signed his Sara.
Rick in the meanwhile was happy with his AJ and had a hard time dealing with JT.
Now he had a 3rd one to deal with, one he after some testing actually did not want, but since it was his friend, he had his back and played the guy asmuch as possible.
Not very successfull.

Rick hired his friend, the legendary KO who was also fired, from another team, for bad player management, but as co here would do great.

not very successfull

relationship with players worsened, RA wanted out, end of season after 1 month, JT got the pouting disease (according to some) and even JO was no that happy.
Meanwhile the draft class of the first year really ran by LB was DH
not that successfull
the new draft (lucky drop?) was DG,

1 success

this off-season they promised a clean ship, new faces and a new direction

not very successfull

Jax, shooting incident, perhaps facing jailtime, and you wonder why his shooting is off ?

3 more players involved, innocent or not, scandalized anyway, and tarred and feathered in the meanwhile, "they" dislike them now (gossip).

A row of bad luck and freak injuries is now called "injury prone" so we pray they stay healthy.

Draft a project; for when?
trade to get a 2nd round pick that we sign straigt away to a 1st rnd contract, only to drop him from the roster before the season opens.

sign another pg waved by the Celts to a 2 year contract,
not (yet) very successfull

trade AJ for 3 people, keep 'm all

Powell, on the bench or IL
Rawle, sporadic minutes
DA good backup.

semi succesfull

in the meantime the big LB had found another Euro, hey those EU holidays had to be tax-deductable, so he had to show result;
Baston enters for a 2 year contract and at 30 is assumed to ge tplaying time straight away;

not very successfull.

Considering LB was in Europe most of the time, the trades (from RA to AJ) are mostly DW's work, and semi-successfull successfull depending on you opinion of the AH signing, techincally however that was a very smart move.

So that leaves LB, now actively interfering with coaching (I want to be closer to the team) and telling RC to play his Sara, and to play "uptempo"

As far as I can see, from the bare facts, LB and RC are running this team and perhaps even the franchise straight into the ground.

What I saw last night of JO is not a player that wants more shots, wants to be a prima donna and I have no reason to believe that is why he is unhappy.
Perhaps he is unhappy because at most times it looks as if the team thinks he'd better do it all alone (1 on 4 defense and such)

A slow starting team one night is a motivational or tiredness case, every night it becomes a coaching matter.
It is the coaches staff's task to get the players ready.
If they are ready in the second half, then they can be ready in the first half as well, IF prepared properly.

The players get a pass from me till now, all of them, though Jax is on probation, and I'm keeping my eye on JT, but the coaching staff is in the doghouse and they are keeping LB company.

11-19-2006, 03:30 PM
Your post seems to have way more speculation than my post above. You filled in a lot of blanks with random speculation to make your timeline and 'facts' fit.

If the things you said are actually true, WTF is Donnie Walsh even here for? Is he the Pacers' version of Nero?

All I said was this (in a nutshell): If there isn't a plan for Maceo then management has some questions to answer. It may not be answered for the fans but it should be answered for the Simons... and probably for the coach as well.


11-19-2006, 05:37 PM
HArd to determine who is the POORER administrator/judge of talent:

Bird or his Boston Buddy McHale (still going, after his one success--Garnett --hey, anyone can get lucky)

Whatever the case, these 2 are at the bottom of anyone's list.

The Pacers are my team, and I'll support them.

But it's brutal watching them.

Can we have YET ANOTHER poor start to a game?

11-19-2006, 05:49 PM
Everything bad = Bird

Everything good = Walsh

It's no wonder he's the Teflon Don. Nothing sticks!


11-20-2006, 01:39 AM
Why was Baston even given a roster spot that should have been used for James White?

11-20-2006, 02:53 AM
We're 5-5......give him and/or Powell more minutes next to Harrington and/or JONeal.....it can't hurt....just to see if either of them can make a difference ( hopefully like how Foster makes some difference when he is on the floor ).

11-20-2006, 03:46 AM
Considering LB was in Europe most of the time, the trades (from RA to AJ) are mostly DW's work.
Honestly, your'e taking it a bit too far here. Any Euroleague fan will tell you that seeing Bird in a Euroleague game is not a common sight. He watches games from time to time to keep updated, but no more than that.

11-20-2006, 10:00 AM
Honestly, your'e taking it a bit too far here. Any Euroleague fan will tell you that seeing Bird in a Euroleague game is not a common sight. He watches games from time to time to keep updated, but no more than that.
He's over there for up to a month at at time... or at least he was his first year here.

11-20-2006, 10:00 AM
We could've kept White if that was the case.

pizza guy
11-20-2006, 01:16 PM
I've liked Baston while he's been on the floor. Not a lot of offensive production, but good hustle, and I don't see him causing problems or being a defensive liability. I'd like to see him get more playing time, but I'd also like to see Powell get more as well. It's a toss-up right now, but either way, we need someone in the starting lineup to do the dirty work.

Here's an idea. Move Al to the bench and start (yeah, I said it) one of Baston or Powell. Foster doesn't play well with JO, and has provided a great spark off the bench. I've mentioned before, playing Danny at 2 and Jack at 3, so our lineup would be:

PG: Tins
SG: Danny
SF: Jackson
C: Powell

Baston fits better in the PF role, IMO, so Powell gets the nod here. Harrison and Foster can come off the bench as C and PF, respectively, giving a good balance of offense in Harrison, defense in Jeff, and a sort of tag-team rebounding. I say "tag-team" because Jeff, as we know, posts great RBD numbers, and Harrison doesn't necessarily, but because of his size, can block out and allow Jeff to squeeze the orange. Al coming off the bench provides a good offensive punch because he can work inside and out, and Hulk has decent touch inside. It also caters to Al's lack of rebounding because Foster and Hulk would be doing most of the dirty work there. This leaves Baston with minutes either because of foul trouble, or match-ups. It also puts 'Quis/Sarunas and Red Bull/Sarunas in at the guard spots. They play very well together, and it provides a decent offensive threat, both inside and out. Not world-beaters, but you should respect them as a defense.

It sounds a little crazy to start Powell, given his limited playing time thus far, and because we'd be sitting Al to do it. But we absolutely need more rebounding, and this seems to me like the way to go based on who plays well with who, taking into consideration scoring and defense as well. No, I'm not a professional coach or anything, so this is just a theory. But, I think it's good in theory.

11-20-2006, 03:28 PM
Why was Baston even given a roster spot that should have been used for James White?

Jermaine has played limited games two seasons in a row, so my guess is that we wanted to keep a bigger body, just in case.

I've liked Baston while he's been on the floor. Not a lot of offensive production, but good hustle, and I don't see him causing problems or being a defensive liability.

Baston isn't what he's hyped up to be, defensively. He can get blocks, but other than that he got consistently burned by mediocre players on the defensive end. It was only the preseason, but that's not something that takes time to get better at when you're 31.