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Bball
06-15-2004, 01:06 AM
Just sharing some reading I've found...

-Bball
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http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/scorecard/nbanews.asp?articleID=35068

Indiana Pacers 2004 Draft Preview

(Sports Network) - Indiana fell short of its goal to reach the NBA Finals, as the Pacers were knocked out by the Detroit Pistons in six games in Eastern Conference finals.

The Pacers do have two All-Stars on their roster, as forwards Jermaine O'Neal and Ron Artest, who was the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year, are in the prime of their careers.

Al Harrington, who can play power or small forward, gives the Pacers a solid sixth man. Twenty-three-year-old Jonathan Bender is still developing even though he has played five seasons in the league.

Indiana has its point guard in Jamaal Tinsley, but 38-year-old shooting guard Reggie Miller's best days have passed him by. It is time for the Pacers to replace the 17-year veteran.

With Jeff Foster as its starting center, Indiana could also try to upgrade its presence in the middle. Foster is more suited to be a backup.

The Pacers should try to select a guard who Miller can tutor in the final year (s) of his career. Trading up could be a possibility. Bender could be the bait, as there are teams who believe there is still a big upside to the 23- year-old veteran.

Key Player(s): Ron Artest (forward), Jonathan Bender (forward), Jeff Foster (center), Al Harrington (forward), Reggie Miller (guard), Jermaine O'Neal (forward), Jamaal Tinsley (guard).

Team Needs: A center, a scoring guard to replace Miller and a backup point guard.

Draft picks: 1st round (29th overall), 2nd round (58th overall).
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http://www.indystar.com/articles/2/154542-9462-036.html
SPORTS LETTERS
Pacers sorely need to fill void left by Brad Miller


June 13, 2004


Larry Bird says changes might be made because the other teams in the division are improving. He says the Pacers need to get bigger and need more outside shooting.

Looking inside the division, it's easy to see where to improve. Michael Redd, Jamal Crawford, Richard Hamilton and LeBron James like to feast on the Pacers. When the Pacers had Brad Miller you couldn't double team Jermaine O'Neal. Not so now.

They should send Al Harrington, draft picks and players to Washington for Kwame Brown, a 7-footer who can score and rebound; Juan Dixon, a quick point guard who can score; and Larry Hughes.

Tom Swanson

Indianapolis

By playoff performance, Artest is overrated

The recent letter calling for Larry Bird to get rid of Austin Croshere and trade Jonathan Bender, Jeff Foster and Jamaal Tinsley "to make the Pacers a serious contender" was ludicrous at best.

The writer stated that O'Neal and Harrington are not "tough enough" to lead the team to a championship. That's also ludicrous.

He left out the most over-praised and overrated Pacer in the playoffs, who seemed to have left his leadership and shooting skills back in the locker room. One writer calls Ron Artest the "Pacer least dispensable," but anyone watching the playoffs would have to disagree. Pacers coaches and management say there have to be some personnel changes. Those who stay will also have to make some changes -- in passing, shooting, teamwork skills and attitude.

Herm Albright

Indianapolis
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http://www.sunherald.com/mld/sunherald/sports/8885281.htm

NBA NOTEBOOK

Pacers coach admits he'll have to do some trading

By SEAN DEVENEY

It wasn't exactly news, but ears around the league did perk up when Pacers coach Rick Carlisle admitted last week the team is too loaded with wing players and a trade must be made.

Small forward Al Harrington, small forward Jonathan Bender of Picayune and shooting guard Fred Jones will be trade bait, and Harrington is the most likely to go. Of equal importance to the Pacers will be whether shooting guard Reggie Miller can be convinced to give up his starting slot to either Jones or Bender.

Small forward Ron Artest is an option at shooting guard, but he is such an ideal small forward that it would be tough to pull him out of that spot.

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I present this one only because of the title. Look closely....

Lakers gain OT on clutch Bryant shot, beat Pacers to tie series


By: CHRIS SHERIDAN - Associated Press

LOS ANGELES -- In a performance that cemented his status as one of the great superstars in NBA history, Kobe Bryant pulled off a most stunning display on the sport's biggest stage.

Bryant tied the game with a 3-pointer with 2.1 seconds left in regulation and helped the Los Angeles Lakers pull away for good at the start of overtime in their 99-91 victory against the Detroit Pistons in Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday night.

"It's probably the biggest shot I've hit in my career, period," Bryant said.

Seconds from facing a 2-0 deficit with the series headed to Detroit, the Lakers evened it at a game apiece behind Bryant's 33 points and seven assists.

"It's all about rising to the challenge," Bryant said. "High stakes. I know I can rise to that."

The teams will go at it again Thursday night, each having earned a greater level of respect for their opponent. The Lakers now realize more than ever that the Pistons are anything but a pushover, while Detroit now knows that no victory is ever secure when the ball can end up in Bryant's hands for the biggest shot of the game.

"It's a challenge," Bryant said. "A dogfight. No one said it was going to be easy. We look forward to going up there."

Shaquille O'Neal added 29 points for the Lakers, six of them coming in the extra period as Los Angeles improved to 7-0 in overtime games during the regular season and postseason.

One of those victories came on the final night of the regular season at Portland when Bryant hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to force overtime, then won it at the end of the extra period with another 3 to give the Lakers the Pacific Division title.

This time, things looked fairly hopeless for the Lakers as they trailed by six points with less than 40 seconds left in regulation. But O'Neal converted a three-point play and Chauncey Billups missed a runner for Detroit, giving the Lakers a last shot.

"Well, we always believe Kobe can make miracle shots even when things are not going well for him," coach Phil Jackson said. "That was a great shot."

Naturally, the ball went to No. 8. And naturally, Bryant drilled it.

"That's why he's so special," Pistons coach Larry Brown said.

After hitting the shot over the outstretched hand of old high school rival Richard Hamilton, Bryant ran back to the bench to chest-bump teammate Devean George as Detroit called timeout to set up a last shot.

"Shaq gave me a great down pick," Bryant said. "I had Richard on me, and I just tried to gather my balance and knock it down."

Rasheed Wallace let Tayshaun Prince's inbounds pass slip through his hands, and the clock expired without the Pistons attempting a final shot.

The momentum was squarely on the Lakers' side by then, and Los Angeles outscored Detroit 10-2 in the extra period to even the series.

Bryant began the extra period by feeding O'Neal for a dunk, but he then picked up his fifth foul with 4:18 left. Did it matter? Not a bit.

Bryant scored on a drive, fed O'Neal for a 4-footer and scored on a driving bank shot for a 97-91 lead.

The capper came when Luke Walton, a surprise contributor in the first half and at the end, sent an alley-oop pass to O'Neal for a dunk.

Detroit shot just 1-for-9 in overtime, ruining a performance that seemed so promising as regulation wound down.

Billups scored 27 and Richard Hamilton 26 for the Pistons.

The difference-maker in the first half was Walton, a rookie who didn't even get off the bench in Game 1.

Besides making all three of his shots and grabbing three rebounds, Walton had five assists. Two of them came on passes to Bryant to begin a 15-6 run to close the half that gave the Lakers a 44-36 lead.

Los Angeles was able to sustain a comfortable margin through the early part of the third quarter, in large part because the Lakers' own sloppiness was matched by Detroit's. After Jackson berated Payton as he walked off the court during a timeout, Bryant came out and hit a 22-foot jumper for a 54-43 lead.

Detroit began chipping away by going at the Lakers' two aging superstars, Rasheed Wallace taking on Karl Malone and Billups going at Payton. Both Los Angeles players began making mental mistakes on offense, too.

Getting 16 points in the quarter from Billups and eight from Rasheed Wallace, Detroit pulled within one point late in the quarter and trailed 68-66 entering the fourth.

Walton didn't get off the bench in the second half until after Detroit scored the first basket of the fourth quarter to tie it, and the Pistons pulled ahead on a 3-pointer by Lindsey Hunter as Jackson went with a lineup of Walton, Kareem Rush, Brian Cook, Derek Fisher and O'Neal.

O'Neal took a pass from Walton and plowed into Ben Wallace with 6:17 left, picking up his fifth foul and heading to the bench. A give-and-go layup by Hamilton off a pass from Rasheed Wallace was followed by an airball by Bryant, and Rasheed Wallace then fed Ben Wallace for a reverse layup and an 81-77 lead.

Detroit traded baskets with the Lakers on the next two possessions, and a missed 3 by Bryant was followed by two free throws by Hamilton for an 87-82 lead with 1:19 left. Notes:@ Jackson's girlfriend, Jeannie Buss (daughter of Lakers owner Jerry Buss) went on a local radio program Monday and said she was 95 percent certain Jackson would return to coach the team next season. "She freelanced on it," Jackson said.

http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2004/06/09/sports/professional/22_32_376_8_04.txt

Young
06-15-2004, 01:09 AM
All I know is I think we could get some questions answered come draft day, questions regarding this teams makeup. [Possiable rumors of Harrington being dangled for a top pick, god I hope not though.]

Steveman
06-15-2004, 01:17 AM
They should send Al Harrington, draft picks and players to Washington for Kwame Brown, a 7-footer who can score and rebound; Juan Dixon, a quick point guard who can score; and Larry Hughes.

What do you all think of this?

Cactus Jax
06-15-2004, 01:18 AM
They should send Al Harrington, draft picks and players to Washington for Kwame Brown, a 7-footer who can score and rebound; Juan Dixon, a quick point guard who can score; and Larry Hughes.

What do you all think of this?

If they'll trade all that for Harrington, I say do it, but I seriously doubt it. All it would take for me for Harrington is Hughes and Etan Thomas; I think he'd make a better fit than Kwame.

Young
06-15-2004, 01:20 AM
They should send Al Harrington, draft picks and players to Washington for Kwame Brown, a 7-footer who can score and rebound; Juan Dixon, a quick point guard who can score; and Larry Hughes.

What do you all think of this?

I don't like it.

Brown is like JO.

Dixon is a 6'3 shooting guard and not a point guard. I believe he was left for the Bobcats to take.

Hughes just isn't a player I like that much.

Snickers
06-15-2004, 01:24 AM
I think they'd part easier with Thomas than Kwame anyway.

Thomas and Hughes [or Dixon, I suppose. I doubt all three] for Al and #29. I'd do it.

Peck
06-15-2004, 02:01 AM
Why the hell would we want J.O. light? Brown will be a good player but not really any better than Jermaine & you just can't have two of those players on the same team.

However Etan Thomas :drooling:

but that still doesn't answer the shooting guard question.

bread
06-15-2004, 08:41 AM
If the PAcers are going to trade with Washington, how about

Indiana trades:
Al Harrington
Anthony Johnson

Washington trades:
Brendan Haywoode
Larry Hughes

Do you think that Washington would make this trade?


C. Neil Milton

ChicagoJ
06-15-2004, 11:10 AM
If the PAcers are going to trade with Washington, how about

Indiana trades:
Al Harrington
Anthony Johnson

Washington trades:
Brendan Haywoode
Larry Hughes

Do you think that Washington would make this trade?


C. Neil Milton

I've got a hunch that Washington might trade Larry Hughes for anybody with a pulse. I know I don't want him on the court, keeping the ball from the rest of our players. I think Washington has 'buyer's remorse'.

smoothie
06-15-2004, 11:18 AM
trading al for brown and dixon would be a great deal.

just think of what this team would look like with the second comming of JO :o

MSA2CF
06-15-2004, 11:37 AM
I disagree with what the first writer said. I think Jeff is much better suited being a starter. Otherwise he has to fight to "earn" his minutes and will end up overplaying and collecting fouls.

Snickers
06-15-2004, 11:51 AM
I kinda like Hughes. He can be selfish, but he's got a good shot and can create off the dribble. I also seem to remember Donnie being interested in him back when the Warriors were trading him....

Kwame is going to be quite a player, I'd be surprised if the Wiz let him go very easily. He had a lot of good games last season. Sure, we already have JO, but who better to back up JO than.... JO? Well, the light version, as Peck put it. Won't happen, but it'd be interesting

I'd love to get Thomas, or maybe Haywood.

indygeezer
06-15-2004, 11:54 AM
I like Jeff alot.

BUT

What does it say when your starting center barely gets in the deciding game(s) of the ECF?

Hicks
06-15-2004, 12:11 PM
I like Jeff alot.

BUT

What does it say when your starting center barely gets in the deciding game(s) of the ECF?

It says we were playing small because it worked better against the opponent. I don't view it as a "slam" of Jeff at all.

BillS
06-15-2004, 12:19 PM
I like Jeff alot.

BUT

What does it say when your starting center barely gets in the deciding game(s) of the ECF?

It says Rik is in foul trouble ... oops, wrong year ...

ChicagoJ
06-15-2004, 12:26 PM
I like Jeff alot.

BUT

What does it say when your starting center barely gets in the deciding game(s) of the ECF?

It says your starting center is really Jermaine O'Neal.

indygeezer
06-15-2004, 12:33 PM
I respect JF's accomplishments and effort. But I have been calling for additional up front size since long before the deadline. New Orleans ate us up when they had their full team there. Mash and Maglore scared me, and then Wallace was added to Detroit.

I seriously question whether we would have made the ECF if we had played the Hornets rather than the Heat in the 2nd round.

The up front size/depth situation is one we will be worring about all next year if something isn't done this offseason to shore it up. (and yes I DO see the need for the outside scoring threat so that needs to be fixed too)

Unclebuck
06-15-2004, 01:00 PM
I have read in this thread that Hughes has a good shot. He has improved his outside shot, but that is still a weakness of his, I think.

He is an excellent defender, can create his own shot, good ball handler for a shooting guard.

I must admit I don't have a good feel for his entire game.

Hicks
06-15-2004, 02:08 PM
I like Jeff alot.

BUT

What does it say when your starting center barely gets in the deciding game(s) of the ECF?

It says we were playing small because it worked better against the opponent. I don't view it as a "slam" of Jeff at all.

Well it's not like they did it to dis Jeff, BUT it certainly IS a slam that they don't consider you any threat whatsoever to score.

Maybe, but like Ben Wallace, you can still be a good player without having offense.