View Full Version : Pacers Notbook; Very Colorful Quote from Carlisle!

Will Galen
12-08-2006, 05:51 AM

Pacers Notebook
By Mike Wells

Pacers' best shooter: Bird?
On team president's 50th birthday, O'Neal talks about retired superstar's skills

Indiana Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said it doesn't seem that long ago that he and team president Larry Bird were teammates with the Boston Celtics. Jermaine O'Neal said he thought Bird was 35 or 40 years old.

Nice touch: Larry Bird, who turned 50 Thursday, was a pure shooter. He's shown in the 1988 NBA All-Star Shootout. - Andrew d. Bernstein / NBAE/Getty Images

Bird wasn't at practice, but there was plenty of talk of him turning 50 Thursday.

"I looked at some of his accomplishments on TV (Wednesday night). He's a hell of a player," O'Neal said about the Hall of Famer from French Lick. "I wish him 50 more years of great health."

NBA TV showed documentaries, commentaries and highlights all day Thursday of Bird, who led the Celtics to three championships.

"I probably would bet all of my contract that he can still shoot," O'Neal said. "He's one of the best pure shooters of all time. He kind of changed the whole format with the 6-9, 6-10 players who can put the ball on the floor."

Would Bird be the Pacers' best outside shooter if he suited up today?

"That's a dangerous question," O'Neal said, laughing. "I'm going to say no, because he's been out for so long. If he was playing every day, really staying in basketball shape, I would probably say yes."

Turnover, turnovers

Carlisle was nine words into his postgame speech after Wednesday's victory against Orlando when he focused on a constant negative: turnovers.

"We did a lot of good things out there, but the turnovers continue to haunt us, and we're going to have to keep working at that," he said.

Carlisle sounds like a broken record when talking about his team's turnover problems this season.

The Pacers are averaging nearly 18 turnovers, which is second-worst in the league, and are giving up 20.3 points per game off turnovers, which is 29th in the league.

If there's a way to turn the ball over, they've done it.

Throwing the ball to a teammate who is standing out of bounds. Throwing the ball to a defender. Even throwing the ball off the backboard while attempting a pass.

Point guards Sarunas Jasikevicius and Jamaal Tinsley lead the Pacers in turnovers at 4.8 and 4.7 per game, respectively. O'Neal also is averaging more than four turnovers.

"Sometimes we're trying to throw the ball through a defender's nose and have it come out his rear end and go to a teammate," Carlisle said. "We've shown signs of being a sensible team at times, and other times not so much. Until we can get it down to 15 and under on a consistent basis, we're going to be a schizophrenic offensive team and we're going to have a schizophrenic personality."

Harrison practices

Center David Harrison said he felt good after his first full contact practice since spraining a joint in his left shoulder while stretching more than three weeks ago. Carlisle said Harrison could be activated soon if he continues to progress.

O'Neal was limited because of a sore left hamstring but should play tonight against Portland.

That quote from Rick had me chuckling out loud. That was totally unexpected!

12-08-2006, 08:14 AM
Somebody needs to double-check their turnover stats, I think. I assume those are per 48..........

12-08-2006, 09:51 AM
Its true that the Pacers are next-to-worst in turnovers per game (17.8), and they are virtually tied with the Lakers for last place. The team with the fewest is Detroit (12.0).

Another way to think about turnovers is the differential between how many you allow and how many you give. Turnovers are a function of speed and fluidity, and a quick team is going to have more. But if it forces more than it gives, it can still come out OK.

But the Pacers are low in differential as well as total turnovers. According to Pacers.com and NBA.com, the Pacers average 17.8 turnovers per game, and opponents 16.4 per game. That differential is the 8th largest in the league. Boston (3.1 turnovers per game behind its opponents) is the worst. There are 14 teams with a positive diffeential on turnovers, lead by Chicago with a remarkable 3.6 more take-aways than give-aways per game.

12-08-2006, 08:18 PM
Somebody needs to double-check their turnover stats, I think. I assume those are per 48..........
Not only that, but I was commenting on those very same per48s about 10 days ago or so while addressing the contributions of the PGs. Did someone pull the wrong numbers from here? ;)

And on top of that I recall making the big stink about that backboard pass by Saras.

Anyway, since then both have at least been better offensively, but the TOs continue. People got upset with me for ripping into Danny's game, but he is a prime contributor himself. He's given away some pretty ugly ones, including that one last game where he just turned and nearly handed it to Grant Hill (intended for Jack on a PnR).

I'm understanding of pressure TOs, but a lot of them are coming unforced. JO loses most of his from pressure, but Tins, Saras, and Granger... Jackson is 50/50. He can't protect from the high side double-team, but he also has forced some silly plays for bad TOs.

This team would be so much stronger if they could just trim that stuff out.

BTW, hilarious quote from Rick.