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Hicks
11-28-2006, 07:00 AM
http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061128/SPORTS04/611280388/1088




Lineup changes loom on West Coast swing
Jackson, Foster set to join Harrington, O'Neal and Tinsley as starters
<!--PRINTER FRIENDLY ARTICLE--> By Mike Wells
<script language="JavaScript"> <!-- document.write( ''+'mike.wells'+'@'+'indystar.com'+' (http://www.pacersdigest.com/forums/+)'); //--> </script>mike.wells@indystar.com
November 28, 2006

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Indiana Pacers coach Rick Carlisle believes long road trips can either bond or break a team.


The Pacers' six-game trip got off to a rough start when they lost at Toronto on Sunday. Now it looks like the Pacers could have a new starting lineup tonight against the Portland Trail Blazers as they continue in search of an identity.


Indications from several players point to Stephen Jackson regaining his starting shooting guard position and Jeff Foster starting at center.
Carlisle declined comment about the situation following the team's practice at a Portland-area health club Monday.


"It's a possibility there could be some lineup changes," he said.
Jackson will replace Rawle Marshall at shooting guard and the starting front court will be Foster, Jermaine O'Neal and Al Harrington.


O'Neal missed Monday's practice with lower back spasms, but he said he should be in the lineup tonight.


Carlisle said on his weekly radio show last week that he would wait about 10 games before deciding if there would be any changes with the opening-night starting lineup of Jamaal Tinsley, Jackson, Danny Granger, Al Harrington and O'Neal. Carlisle started Marquis Daniels in front of the struggling Jackson on Nov. 18. Daniels' stay in the starting lineup lasted three games before Marshall took his place at shooting guard against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Nov. 24.


"We're in a situation where we're trying to find the players in the right position and right rotations," O'Neal said. "It's been a very difficult thing for the coaching staff. As players we have to do a better job with them helping out; giving them some easier choices that work for our team. It's good to have all the guys out there. Jack has been playing well off the bench, but we feel like we need to make a little bit more change to get off to a better start."


The starting combination of Tinsley, Jackson, Harrington, Foster and O'Neal is what some people thought it would be when the Pacers acquired Harrington from Atlanta in a sign-and-trade deal in August. Carlisle started Granger in place of Foster because he wanted to have his best players on the court at the beginning of the game. The move backfired because the Pacers lacked energy and they've routinely fallen behind in the first quarter. They've trailed at the end of the first quarter in 11 of their 14 games this season.


Foster is a high-energy player who doesn't need the ball in his hands to be effective. His main purpose on the court is to defend and rebound. Harrington will slide to small forward, a position he said he wants to play.
"I hate that I got out of it. My first year in Atlanta, I had to move to four after they got Antoine (Walker), then last year I played four all season," Harrington said in the preseason. "I just want to get one more crack at it, because I know I'm a small forward. I can post, I can shoot the 3 now, I can handle the ball. I can punish other threes. No other three besides Ron Artest is as strong as I am. . . . I know I can defend that position."
The Pacers hope the lineup change will bring spark to a team that has yet to play well on a consistent basis.


"Right now we're still trying to figure out the solution and the substance to make things go," O'Neal said. "Obviously we haven't quite found it because we're 7-7 right now. It's a puzzling thing. I feel like when it's all said and done we'll be able to find it."

Hicks
11-28-2006, 07:04 AM
Time for some IF's.

IF Al can guard 3's.

And IF this means Granger gets the 6th man treatment offensively (in other words they ask him to do more than shoot 3's), I can like this move.

ssmall
11-28-2006, 07:54 AM
That a good thing in my book. Not sure about Al and how it will pan out but i don't think he is doing great at the moment anyway, so might aswell try this.

Unclebuck
11-28-2006, 08:22 AM
I thought Al should have been the one to come off the bench (mainly because I want our best defender to start the game to keep the great offensive players under control from the very start) But I also realize bringing Al off the bench probably wasn't an option.

Slick Pinkham
11-28-2006, 08:38 AM
reshuffling of the deck chairs.

Our two weakest positions are still PG and SG, and that has not changed at all no matter you you put there, unless you start the Granger at SG experiment or stick Quis at SG for 20 games and see if he can hack it alongside a PG who can't shoot, which is a scary alternative too.

We are talent-deprived at the moment.

PacerMan
11-28-2006, 08:50 AM
reshuffling of the deck chairs.

Our two weakest positions are still PG and SG, and that has not changed at all no matter you you put there, unless you start the Granger at SG experiment or stick Quis at SG for 20 games and see if he can hack it alongside a PG who can't shoot, which is a scary alternative too.

We are talent-deprived at the moment.


Uh, you might want to check Tins stats for the past week.

Ragnar
11-28-2006, 08:58 AM
We are weak at sg and backup pg. What happened to Green? I thought he was healthy and available?

I know we have talked about this before and shouted it down (myself included) but maybe we should start Granger at the sg. He shoots the 3 better than any of our other sg's.

I do 100% agree that Foster needs to start and that J.O. is not a center.

So in other words a lineup of

Tins
Danger
Al
J.O.
Foster

I would at least like them to try it on for size.

Kegboy
11-28-2006, 09:08 AM
I thought Al should have been the one to come off the bench (mainly because I want our best defender to start the game to keep the great offensive players under control from the very start) But I also realize bringing Al off the bench probably wasn't an option.

QFT

Alabama-Redneck
11-28-2006, 09:14 AM
I like the move. This gives RC the option of bringing Granger in at any of three positions where he needs immediate help. Also, this way DG does not fall in love with the 3 point shot.

It's for sure it will not hurt to try and those starters are familar with each other. :thumbup: :whoknows:

:cool:

Jon Theodore
11-28-2006, 09:49 AM
We have no big guys off the bench now. I guess Baston may get some minutes now. Before we had Foster off the bench to replace JO, then JO to come back a replace Al...etc.

With all of them starting, possibly baston may soon see the floor.

Also, I really really like Al at the three spot.

Fireball Kid
11-28-2006, 09:55 AM
I kinda figured this would happen eventually. A change needed to be made and this small ball stuff just isn't working for this kind of team. I knew it would be Danny Granger going to the bench instead of Al Harrington even though thats where he belongs.

Old as Dirt
11-28-2006, 11:00 AM
Fireball Kid That is the way I see it. I knew that little Al would not come the bench , though that is where he should be.

wjs
11-28-2006, 11:20 AM
A change obviously was needed. JO is not a Center, and neither is Al, our listed center so far this season. Better to put them both in their preferred positions and deal with the problem at Center. Jeff is indeed the best option there right now, although he too is not a true center. But he rebounds and hustles, so start him.

I'd also prefer to see Danny tried at SG, and hopefully we will see some of that coming off the bench. If it works, maybe we then start him there and bring Jack off the bench, which has been working.

Hopefully Baston/Powell will see time off the bench, and we'll understand better WTH White was cut. Harrison should play some too, to see whether he has a future.

If none of that works, we need to deal JO, if even possible, for a quality SG, a rebounding Center, and a pick in the June draft.

hoopsforlife
11-28-2006, 02:23 PM
I believe this is our best option at this time. These guys have played together before, except for AL, instead of Ron, did pretty well.

I think the second team will do much better with DG on it and it should spark a faster more cohesive unit.

This lineup might be the thing that get the Pacers out of this slump. The status quo wasn't working as it was.

Lets see. Granger, Baston, Marshal, DA, and Sarunas.

Keep your eyes open or you will get hit in the head with a pass.

I like it. :)

pizza guy
11-28-2006, 02:32 PM
I believe this is our best option at this time. These guys have played together before, except for AL, instead of Ron, did pretty well.

I think the second team will do much better with DG on it and it should spark a faster more cohesive unit.

This lineup might be the thing that get the Pacers out of this slump. The status quo wasn't working as it was.

Lets see. Granger, Baston, Marshal, DA, and Sarunas.

Keep your eyes open or you will get hit in the head with a pass.

I like it. :)

Kind of a small unit, but it could work if the match-ups were right. Powell or Harrison could come for some size.

Moving Danny to the bench might be the best move for him right now, because he's been misused when playing with JO and Al. Also, Foster definitely brings a new intensity to rebounding right from the start. Hopefully it will get us off to a faster start so we don't have to climb back in the second half for a chance to win.

Bringing Jackson back to the starting line-up is good and bad. Good because he may be our best SG (wow, that's really hard to say...); bad because he's played so well coming off the bench. I guess time will tell.

jcouts
11-28-2006, 03:58 PM
Does anyone remember in 01-02 and 02-03 when we had Harrington guarding Jordan whenever we played the Wiz?

I think that Harrington will do fine guarding 3's...sure, he'll have trouble guarding LeBron, but who doesn't. I think he'll be much more effective on bigger 3's like Melo, Odom and Pierce than Danny. I think he'll also shoot better as a result of less banging down low guarding 4's and 5's.

Isaac
11-28-2006, 04:03 PM
Now that the starting Rawle experiment is over, Marquis better get his 6th/7th man minutes back. I am going to be super pissed if Quis is really being phased out of the rotation.

Shade
11-28-2006, 04:32 PM
I want to see Powell in the rotation, dammit. As good as Rawle was in the preseason, Josh was even BETTER.

imawhat
11-28-2006, 04:50 PM
It was the move I expected to happen before the season started. Finally, our team will start better. Not saying Al or Danny aren't better than Jeff or whatever, but this lineup will work.

Sollozzo
11-28-2006, 04:52 PM
Does anyone remember in 01-02 and 02-03 when we had Harrington guarding Jordan whenever we played the Wiz?





I remember Jordan having a 40 at 40 game.

indyman37
11-28-2006, 05:00 PM
Does anyone remember in 01-02 and 02-03 when we had Harrington guarding Jordan whenever we played the Wiz?

I think that Harrington will do fine guarding 3's...sure, he'll have trouble guarding LeBron, but who doesn't. I think he'll be much more effective on bigger 3's like Melo, Odom and Pierce than Danny. I think he'll also shoot better as a result of less banging down low guarding 4's and 5's.
I think that when the times comes that we play against a team with someone that Al won't be able to guard, RC would put Danny in the starting lineup and maybe bump Foster out.

AesopRockOn
11-28-2006, 05:21 PM
No other three besides Ron Artest is as strong as I am. . . . I know I can defend that position."

Anybody else notice this comparison?


I thought Al should have been the one to come off the bench (mainly because I want our best defender to start the game to keep the great offensive players under control from the very start)

Lol, we're playing the Blazers.

Mourning
11-28-2006, 05:41 PM
Does anyone remember in 01-02 and 02-03 when we had Harrington guarding Jordan whenever we played the Wiz?


Do you remember Al having that serious injury which had a serious impact on his ability to guard the faster type of offensive players? I don't have faith in Al guarding 3's very well, I have more faith in him guarding 4's.

The thing that worries me the most ... Al falling in love with jumpshots from long and medium range and not dishing/moving the ball and moving without the ball as he should.

I hope it works, but I think Al would be the perfect backup PF and SF.

Regards,

Mourning :cool:

Anthem
11-28-2006, 05:57 PM
I remember Jordan having a 40 at 40 game.
:laugh: I was thinking the same thing.

Quis
11-28-2006, 05:57 PM
I kinda figured this would happen eventually. A change needed to be made and this small ball stuff just isn't working for this kind of team. I knew it would be Danny Granger going to the bench instead of Al Harrington even though thats where he belongs.

Why does Al Harrington belong on the bench? He's our best scorer and he's been rebounding like a mad man lately. Is the Allas Mavericks had Big Al instead of Josh Howard they'd be NBA champions right now.

jcouts
11-28-2006, 06:20 PM
I remember Jordan having a 40 at 40 game.

That game was post-Al's-knee-injury on 1/4/03.

I'm not even sure if Al was guarding Jordan that game, he could have been though. Whoever was guarding Jordan had to guard him for 53 minutes that game and if he and Al were matched up, he gave up 33 points to and young and unrefined Al in 45 minutes played.

The 12/27 game of that 01 season (before Al got injured) though, Jordan only scored 6 points on 2-10 shooting. That was more the game I had in mind.

Pacerized
11-28-2006, 08:47 PM
I'm totally behind this move, and really wanted this lineup from the start. Foster is our best rebounder, and best big man defender. Jax is probably our best option at the 2. I've read a lot of concerns with Al at the 3, but honestly I've always thought this was his best position. Yes, he may have been burned a few times, but I always thought Al was a very good defender at the 3. When Al played the 3 prior to Artest, he was considered our best defender. I don't think he's slowed down that much.

Evan_The_Dude
11-28-2006, 09:23 PM
All this means is that this lineup will start the game and probably 3-4 minutes into the quarter (assuming a good start) we'll switch to the old starters again.

Fireball Kid
11-29-2006, 12:48 AM
Why does Al Harrington belong on the bench? He's our best scorer and he's been rebounding like a mad man lately. Is the Allas Mavericks had Big Al instead of Josh Howard they'd be NBA champions right now.

Steve McQueen, is that you?

pizza guy
11-29-2006, 01:05 AM
Well, that worked.

CableKC
11-29-2006, 01:51 AM
Geez.....a starting lineup with Tinsley/SJax/Harrington/JONeal/Foster.....I couldn't see this one coming.....:rolleyes:

A-Train
12-02-2006, 03:57 PM
I like the move.

Sure, Foster isn't the protypical center, but he rebounds like a madman and isn't concerned with getting shots on the offensive end. Putting Granger, who has a nice offensive game, out there with JO and Al on the frontline only stunts his ability to play his game. Instead, he was left with shooting three's and trying to fill in with the "little things" that are exactly what Foster brings naturally.

Let JO play PF, Al will do fine at SF and Granger will now be the leader of the 2nd unit as opposed to having to "fit in" with the starting five.

Granger starting at SG is certainly intriguing, but bringing him off the bench as the 6th man with the ability to fill in at the 2, 3 or 4 is a bit more intriguing to me at this point.

PacerMan
12-02-2006, 04:30 PM
I want to see Powell in the rotation, dammit. As good as Rawle was in the preseason, Josh was even BETTER.

Yeh, I don't see why he's not getting a sniff. Especially since Hulk's been hurt. Anyone heard when he'll be back?

PacerMan
12-02-2006, 04:31 PM
I remember Jordan having a 40 at 40 game.

Jordan was very special.

Anthem
12-02-2006, 05:09 PM
Granger starting at SG is certainly intriguing, but bringing him off the bench as the 6th man with the ability to fill in at the 2, 3 or 4 is a bit more intriguing to me at this point.
I don't think Granger's had a sniff of the two since we picked up Marquis Daniels.

Naptown_Seth
12-02-2006, 07:13 PM
I want to see Powell in the rotation, dammit. As good as Rawle was in the preseason, Josh was even BETTER.
I suspect that as things get ironed out with the main rotation RC will be afforded the chance to start introducing guys for learning minutes in more practical and effective situations.


Well, that worked.
It sure has. This rotation looks a lot more natural. I think they've played better ball without actually making some of the talent problems go away. You still have Jack looking for his touch and the PG spot is up and down and weak defensively, but the rotation seems to emphasize the strengths and downplays the weaknesses.

Now if they can only go with this rotation for another 10-15 games. Seems like they have just about found the right mix.

I still hate most of the running, it's pathetic. Baston, Saras, Rawle, Granger, fine, but the starters? No, don't do that any more, just get into the HC set and go from there, I can't stand to see another blown 2 on 1 because both Pacers are at the rim at the same time.


Finally saw Danny go hard to the hole vs Seattle. I was starting to worry. He needs a dog shock collar at practice that goes off at the 3pt line. He's got a decent shot from out there, but it should be just a spice to his overall game. He can offer so much more.

BlueNGold
12-02-2006, 07:22 PM
I am pleased with this lineup and think a half court set would yield the best results with this group. However, who should post up depends on matchups. Al may have a big advantage at times in the post against smaller defenders. If a bigger player is on him, he should take them out 25 ft and drain threes while JO puts pressure on the middle.

Anthem
12-02-2006, 08:26 PM
Finally saw Danny go hard to the hole vs Seattle. I was starting to worry. He needs a dog shock collar at practice that goes off at the 3pt line. He's got a decent shot from out there, but it should be just a spice to his overall game. He can offer so much more.
I thought of you when he made that drive. A nice move, which I knew you'd appreciate.