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indyman37
07-06-2007, 04:49 PM
Getting to the point

http://www.cantonrep.com/index.php?ID=363500&r=0&Category=17&subCategoryID=0

<SCRIPT type=text/javascript>document.title = "Getting to the point";</SCRIPT>Friday, July 6, 2007

By JOSH WEIR

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CANTON Keith McLeod's 2006-07 NBA season was going nowhere fast.




Injuries, inconsistent playing time and a trade plagued the former McKinley High School star as he headed toward free agency.




But a résumé-building final seven games salvaged McLeod's season and maybe will earn him a few more dollars.




"That was huge," said the 27-year-old McLeod, who was dealt from Golden State to Indiana in January. "At the end I got an opportunity and I showed a little bit of what I could do."




An injury to Pacers starting point guard Jamaal Tinsley opened the door. In McLeod's final seven games - six of them starts - he averaged 11.0 points in 28.0 minutes, shooting 50 percent (27-of-54) from the field, 46.7 percent (7-of-15) from the 3-point line and 94.1 percent (16-of-17) from the foul line.




"You've got to have respect for a guy who keeps himself ready for an opportunity," said then-Indiana Coach Rick Carlisle.




"He has a terrific feel for the game, and we're finding out he can make outside shots with consistency."




WORKING ON HIS SHOT




McLeod's ability to knock down jumpers has always been his biggest question mark.




"At practice or when I'm working out by myself, I'm making shots," said McLeod, an unrestricted free agent. "But when you get on the floor (in a game), you need that confidence, that up-and-down run to get into a groove. The biggest thing with me is repetition out on the floor."




He was limited to 48 games overall, 26 in Golden State and 22 in Indiana, averaging 4.8 points in 15.0 minutes a night.




But his late-season performance wasn't lost on the Pacers, who let go of Carlisle after the season and replaced him with veteran Coach Jim O'Brien.




"Keith had a very strong finish to last season at Indiana," McLeod's agent, Mark Termini, said. "They've expressed interest in signing him, but we're very early in the process."




McLeod described his exit meeting with Pacers President Larry Bird as "good."




"Bird just said I was the kind of guy they liked - didn't get in trouble, worked hard, did the things that needed to get done out on the floor," McLeod said.




Utah is another destination that would make sense for McLeod. The Jazz recently lost veteran guard Derek Fisher. Utah is familiar with McLeod, who played two seasons in Salt Lake City and seemed to be a favorite of Coach Jerry Sloan.




Termini wouldn't comment on what other teams have expressed interest in McLeod. The agent's close-to-the-vest negotiating style seems to extend to his client as well.




"He'll just keep it at, 'There's been a lot of interest, a lot of talk,' " said McLeod, smiling, about inquisitions to Termini on the interest level he's getting in the open market.




McLeod doesn't worry about his future. He just keeps working.




Starting July 11, he'll spend 10 days in Las Vegas with trainer Joe Abunassar, who has helped NBA players Kevin Garnett, Chauncey Billups, Tayshaun Prince, Baron Davis and Drew Gooden, among others.




McLeod, a quick, slashing point guard, wants to add some strength to his 6-foot-2, 190-pound frame to help with the grind of the NBA schedule.




While he always looks improve his game, McLeod's main selling points never change.




"I'm going to bring energy, defense, a little toughness, a little feistiness," McLeod said. "That's just me. That's how I clawed my way through the league."




He also brings 200 games of NBA experience - including 88 starts -and the ability to adapt to just about any style.




From the hard-nosed Sloan to the fun-and-gun of Don Nelson in Golden State, McLeod has seen it all.




"I just want to be somewhere where I'm going to be able to play," he said, "somewhere that the situation fits me."



I want to keep McLeod. We don't have to sign him to a big contract or anything but I would like to retain him. It doesn't seem like we are really doing anything on the "improving the roster" front and it's looking more and more like we are going to be stuck with what we have at the PG spot. Keith is the type of player Bird supposedly wants, as well as other teams. I think he could be at least a quality backup for our obvious starter. But should we try to keep McLeod or get another PG for a small amount of money?

Cobol Sam
07-06-2007, 04:56 PM
I want to keep him, I agree with Bird's assessment.

RWB
07-06-2007, 05:01 PM
Yes, I think McLeod has shown enough the Pacers should be interested. He's a good citizen for the Pacers and smart enough to relate to and work the fans.

Saw him leaving Coseco this past season and sign autographs for a number of fans outside. Diogu was with him and kept complaining that they needed to go with this pi$$ed look on his face. McLeod busted his chops, told him to quit *****ing, grab a sharpie and start signing. :D

avoidingtheclowns
07-06-2007, 05:05 PM
i would be very pleased if keith came back. especially given his end of the season performance.

JayRedd
07-06-2007, 05:09 PM
Agreed. May as well keep the end-of-the-rotation guy that's already been here rather than bringing in a new one.

Meanwhile, have we heard anything definitive from DA if he's coming back? I know there was some talk of retirement but can't say I've heard anything.

indyman37
07-06-2007, 05:10 PM
Agreed. May as well keep the end-of-the-rotation guy that's already been here rather than bringing in a new one.

Meanwhile, have we heard anything definitive from DA if he's coming back? I know there was some talk of retirement but can't say I've heard anything.
He said towards the end of the season that he is coming back. I think he reiterated that in the end-of-season comments.

Hicks
07-06-2007, 05:13 PM
I'd like to keep him as well. If nothing else he's a solid 3rd PG. At best he's a solid backup PG.

ChicagoJ
07-06-2007, 05:36 PM
He's a better backup PG than anybody we've had since Tim Hardaway.

And maybe the best backup PG we've had since Vern Fleming.

He's not supposed to set the world on fire. He's supposed to keep the offense moving, keep his man in front of him, and let the coach have confidence that he can keep his starting PG at 30-34 mpg without everything going to hell during the other 14-18 minutes per game.

Jerry Sloan has taught him well.

spreedom
07-06-2007, 06:34 PM
I really like Keith too.. he's not a game changer, but he's usually capable of keeping the ship afloat, and that's all I think we need out of our backup point.

Peck
07-06-2007, 07:31 PM
I'd like to keep Keith.

In fact of the two point guards on our team I would start Keith, but that's just me.

Hicks
07-06-2007, 07:36 PM
I'd like to keep Keith.

In fact of the two point guards on our team I would start Keith, but that's just me.

You might want to (I guess I'm asking) clarify why that is.

spreedom
07-06-2007, 08:00 PM
You might want to (I guess I'm asking) clarify why that is.

I guess one method of thinking would be that a guy like Tins might be better suited with a role coming in off the bench as a scorer.. and I'm not sure that I disagree. Maybe that's the kind of shakeup a team like us could use to make a little noise in the East.

Anthem
07-06-2007, 08:42 PM
Agree. I'm perfectly happy to have him as a backup PG, especially if his shot can improve at all.

speakout4
07-06-2007, 09:58 PM
There will be games where he stinks less than Tinsley. :devil:

Evan_The_Dude
07-06-2007, 10:53 PM
I'd like for him to stay, but if he's faced with staying here vs. going back to play with the playoff Utah Jazz, who do you think he'd choose?

thunderbird1245
07-06-2007, 11:00 PM
I'd like to keep Keith.

In fact of the two point guards on our team I would start Keith, but that's just me.


I agree totally. Why is that you ask?

Probably because he defends better than Tinsley (by a large margin in my view), because he is tougher minded, because he is more of a leader, and because I trust him more. He is more reliable, more level headed, less likely to make bonehead plays and crucial mistakes, and seems less likely to get injured. I don't think he has Tinsley's natural talent, and I think Jamal would put up better numbers.....but I think our TEAM would be better with Keith in there.

I also think we can get away with this because we have 2 ballhandlers on the floor I trust in Dunleavy and Daniels, and because we are going to play a 2 guard front alot, where you don't need quite as good an offensive point guard in terms of running the team and making decisions.

Peck and I each love defensive point guards I think, and we've each had our fill of Tinsley due to his lousy defense. (at least thats my view anyway).

Tbird

idioteque
07-07-2007, 12:40 PM
I like Keith, he's a solid backup PG that has done well here with limited opportunities.

I'd love to bring him back for a couple of years and see what he can do. He could end up in Pacers lore like a Haywoode Workman or Vern Fleming type of backup PG who was always rock solid for us when we needed him, realized he was never a star, but just played his role and played it well.

NuffSaid
07-09-2007, 12:51 PM
McLeod's a keeper, no doubt. Would probably make a decent starter, but I'd like to see how the JOB/Tinsley project works out first. Regardless, McLeod is a guy I'd want on the team. TPTB need to make this happen!

NapTonius Monk
07-09-2007, 01:13 PM
Armstrong is going to break down eventually, and with them releasing Greene, they should definitely give him a look.

naptownmenace
07-09-2007, 01:55 PM
I'd like to keep Keith.

In fact of the two point guards on our team I would start Keith, but that's just me.

You ain't the only one!

Naptown_Seth
07-09-2007, 05:04 PM
Well what choice do they have?

Army showed that he's not the answer, at least after the first month. No pick and the crap I saw at summer today shows that there are no Snaps coming to camp this fall either.

Barring a trade that brings someone like Farmar over you have to keep Keith. I'm not thrilled with it personally because I don't love his shot, but as a 3rd PG I'd be fine with him. My concern is that he's going to be forced to start at times and run 35 mpg for stretches. I mean how can you want his 35% FG on the court if you hate Tinsley's 40%?

Yes he started at Utah. And their record that season (pre-Deron)? 26-56. Pair that with the 25 win pace the Pacers ran the last 3 months and you can see a big problem looming if he's your starting PG.

Also despite playing limited minutes which often favors guys in a per48 he still comes in 4th among Pacers PGs in Assists per 48 with 6.4. Compare that to Tinsley (10.6), Saras (8.1), and Army (7.2).

For all the talk about keeping the offense running, how exactly did a sub-40% FG guy getting 1 assist every 8 minutes of playing time do that?

Also note that his steals per 48 ran at a Saras/Troy level, not exactly defensive aces themselves.

ChicagoJ
07-09-2007, 05:11 PM
For all the talk about keeping the offense running, how exactly did a sub-40% FG guy getting 1 assist every 8 minutes of playing time do that?

He's not a starter, nobody is suggesting that.

I've seen plenty of backup-PGs in the NBA that can't shoot 40%, get an assist every eight minutes, or keep thier man in front of them.

If he were better, he'd be starting somewhere else.

For a backup PG, the offense doesn't completely fall apart like it does with Orien Greene, or Erick Strickland, or DA, or Anthony Johnson, or Travis Bust, or, you get the picture.

avoidingtheclowns
07-09-2007, 05:14 PM
I'd like to keep Keith.

In fact of the two point guards on our team I would start Keith, but that's just me.


McLeod's a keeper, no doubt. Would probably make a decent starter, but I'd like to see how the JOB/Tinsley project works out first. Regardless, McLeod is a guy I'd want on the team. TPTB need to make this happen!


You ain't the only one!


He's not a starter, nobody is suggesting that.


i think it could be argued that a few might be suggesting that.

i think he could be a starter in the right system, obrien's isn't one of them. but he's a solid backup.

Hicks
07-09-2007, 05:20 PM
While I generally agree Keith is NOT who you want starting, wait a second: Assists is the measure of how well you run an offense now? Stephen Marbury much?

When I think of "can so-and-so run an offense" I don't think "well how many assists does he get". I think "does he feed players who need to get their offense going", "does he get everyone involved", "can he call plays and do his part in making them work", which leads me to "does he make the pass the leads to an assist", or simply "does he know where to put the ball to initiate a play, even if that pass is about 2 or 3 passes before the assist". Not to mention "does he have a good feel for when to slow or push the tempo" and "does he make passes that arrive right where the scorer needs it to quickly make a move or take a shot". Things like that.

ChicagoJ
07-09-2007, 05:58 PM
i think it could be argued that a few might be suggesting that.

i think he could be a starter in the right system, obrien's isn't one of them. but he's a solid backup.

I don't think that's what they are arguing, though. They are just anti-Tinsley. Not that there is anything wrong with that...

indygeezer
07-09-2007, 06:28 PM
Should we try and keep McLeod?


No, if we try him and he is convicted we should throw him off the team. If found innocent then perhaps we should give him another chance.

dlewyus
07-09-2007, 07:41 PM
I don't think that's what they are arguing, though. They are just anti-Tinsley. Not that there is anything wrong with that...

Count me as anti-Tinsley. I hope I never see him in a Pacer uniform again.

MagicRat
07-09-2007, 11:29 PM
Not that there is anything wrong with that...

I knew I was right to leave you out of my count.....

Dr. Goldfoot
07-09-2007, 11:52 PM
Looking at his overall body of work, I think he's a fringe NBA player. In those last few games where he played significant minutes he wasn't exactly a lock down defender. People keep pointing to his starts in Utah. He started 47 games on a 26-56 team and lost his starting job the next season to a rookie. He's a terrible shooter (.357 career) and doesn't take care of the ball (2.1 ast/to). Despite his decent play at the end of last season, 200 minutes of adequate play doesn't make a starting point guard. I wouldn't be suprised to see him out of the NBA next season.

I look at him the same way I looked at Greene. They both have NBA talent but as deep bench guys. At a certain point, teams start reserving the end of their bench for the young guys with upside and the really old guys with tons of experience. At 28 years old, Keith isn't either of those things.

P.S. I see Greene is on Miami's summer team.

ChicagoJ
07-10-2007, 10:54 AM
I knew I was right to leave you out of my count.....

I didn't say *I* was anti-Tinsely. But as the founder of the anti-(Mo)Ron bandwagon, how can I criticize? I just don't see the same problems with Tinsley that everyone else pretends to see (and I certainly don't see the same problems we had with Ron.) But whatever...

:headache: