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Roaming Gnome
07-18-2007, 11:10 PM
July 18, 2007


Pacers' summer play impresses O'Brien (http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070718/SPORTS04/707180467/1088/SPORTS04&template=printart)
By Mike Wells
mike.wells@indystar.com
July 18, 2007


Indiana Pacers coach Jim O'Brien left the Orlando summer league last week with a good feeling about the players he expects to be on the roster next season.

Shooting guard Kareem Rush shot exceptionally well from long distance.
Small forward Shawne Williams continues to mature physically and mentally.
Andre Owens, a combination guard attempting to make the transition to pure point guard, had "five strong days," according to O'Brien.
Small forward Stephen Graham played solid defense.

"The games, along with the practices we had before going to Florida, were good for the guys that will be coming back," O'Brien said. "They got a chance to get a jump on the defensive stuff and some of the nuances we will be using when training camp starts (in October)."

Rush, who played in only two games, should help a Pacers team that finished 30th in the league in field goal percentage last season. He averaged a team-high 18 points and made 8-of-10 of his 3-point attempts.

"He was really confident and difficult for teams to stop," O'Brien said. "We were very pleased to see him do exactly what we signed him for."
Williams followed Rush with 14.5 points a game, with Graham and Owens adding 13.6 and 12.0.

O'Brien said small forward Kasib Powell also stood out but likely won't be at training camp because of a logjam at his position.

Summer league marked the end of official practices for the Pacers until camp, but O'Brien said players will work out at Conseco Fieldhouse or their offseason homes. Mike Dunleavy and Ike Diogu recently worked out at the Fieldhouse.

Team officials continue to try to acquire another point guard.
The market has dwindled in the past week. Among the free agents still available are Brevin Knight, Steve Francis, Earl Boykins, Jannero Pargo and Keith McLeod. The Pacers have had conversations with the agents for Pargo and McLeod. Starter Jamaal Tinsley is the only true point guard on the roster.
"I'm not going to put words into (president Larry Bird's) mouth, but he's constantly trying to put the best basketball team on the court," O'Brien said. "If that involves signing a free agent, we'll do it. If it involves a trade, we will do that. But his job and my job are to make sure we try to improve the Indiana Pacers and the personnel we have."

Ragnar
07-19-2007, 09:56 AM
BREVIN KNIGHT PLEASE

Jim R
07-19-2007, 10:05 AM
Brevin Knight, thank you. That would be a nice pick up, but I'm guessing his constant state of injury would scare them away. I do like him as a player though.

Shade
07-19-2007, 10:36 AM
I hope it's not Pargo. He isn't any good.

Naptown_Seth
07-19-2007, 11:15 AM
Does JOB know they streamed the summer games on the net?

Rush did look confident against summer guys and did shoot the 3 well in 2 games. I'm happy with that and clearly he appears headed for decent minutes with the Pacers. Not sure if that will have a major impact but I suppose it could.

Shawne however did not look much better than he did last year and is still a ways off in his development. I love his game and have plenty of confidence in him, but his summer outing wasn't exactly impressive.

The rest - meh. All I saw was a lot of slop most of the time, very few NBA caliber plays, the kind of things you can count on being able to do on a daily basis in the league. In other words driving out of control and flinging up a helter skelter layup/hook that goes in is not going to be part of a NBA players go-to moves. ;)

Dr. Goldfoot
07-19-2007, 11:42 AM
I watched a few of the games online and peaked at the box scores. From what I saw, Shawne Williams played poorly considering the competition. Rush did what I expected. Owens and Graham I didn't even pay attention to.

No to Brevin Knight. He'll be 32 this season. He's had a couple of decent seasons on horrible expansion teams, undersized at 5'11', injury prone, not even on the radar when it comes to shooting 3's. He is known to be a defensive presence and he's quick. He'd be Tinsley's backup and isn't part of the future.

The Pacers need to address the backup point with youth. Pargo is roughly Jamaal's age and has the quickness and defensive presence needed. He can also knock down the 3. Everyone else mentioned in that article is a joke....Francis,Boykins,McLeod.

I think these guys are more interesting. They were free agents. I don't know if anyone's scooped them up yet. Royal Ivey(26), Smush Parker(26) & Eddie House(29). Ivey has a defensive presence and can hit the three but couldn't break the Hawks rotation. Parker can hit the three and was able to maintain the point for Jackson and the Lakers but still hasn't learned the meaning of defense. House can hit the three but at 29 has had trouble sticking anywhere.

I think those three guys would be better than anyone else mentioned.