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View Full Version : Mike Wells: A $#@*&^& atmosphere Pacer News



Major Cold
04-01-2009, 11:19 AM
Mike Wells
indystar.com
http://blogs.indystar.com/pacersinsider/archives/2009/04/a_playoff_atmos.html


THE `BURBS - You can't tell the Pacers are a long shot to make the $#@*&^&# (remember I said I wasn't going to say that word) by the way they've played lately.
You would have thought the Pacers were playing a $#@*&^& game against the Chicago Bulls as loud as Conseco Fieldhouse was in the fourth quarter. All the players were standing on the sidelines. The fans were standing. Larry Bird was even standing.
"There's never been a time in a game like this that I've ever thought our team felt like they were out of it," coach Jim O'Brien said after the game. "A great group of guys that really have a unbelievable desire to win and they have been able to will themselves to victories like this."
Somebody recently asked me about fan support at the fieldhouse.
I told that person it's been great for the most part because all the fans really want to see is a team that competes hard on a regular basis AND stays out of trouble off the court.
The Pacers have stayed out of trouble off the court and they've played hard for the most part this season.
--Josh McRoberts is trying to show he deserves to be mentioned with Brandon Rush and Roy Hibbert when people talk about the future.
McRoberts tied his career high of 10 points in 18 minutes.
"He hasn't really played center at all," O'Brien said. "We wanted him to roll to the basket on pick-and-rolls and be able to space the court with Murph. We haven't had a chance to practice that and with Jeff being out decided it was a good time for him to go."
Here's what McRoberts said about his extended playing time.
"I try to be ready all the time," he said. "All of us guys at the end of the bench must be ready to get any opportunity that presents itself to play."

--Some of you have asked what's going on with Jamaal Tinsley's grievance case.
Don't expect anything to happen anytime soon. I hear it could be June before something is determined.
The Pacers have a big board in their practice facility that has every player on the roster and another board on the other end of the court with their upcoming opponent's roster.
Tinsley's name was on there early last week, but it was gone later in the week.
The Pacers have definitely done their best to distance themselves from Tinsley.
They shipped his belongings to him last summer, didn't put him in the media guide and wouldn't let him work out at the fieldhouse. All the parties involved want a resolution so Tinsley can try to resume his playing career.
--Mike Dunleavy told Pacers.com that he doesn't have a timetable on his return, which is what team officials have been saying since the surgery.
"There really isn't (a timeline) at this point," he told the website. "It's just too hard to say. It's a long-range recovery so to pinpoint when I'll be back jogging, running, playing, all that stuff, it depends on the prior steps. Believe me, I want to know as bad as anybody else but they can't give me that. So I just have to take it week-by-week and month-by-month.
"The way things have gone through the surgery and the first three weeks, it can't be going any better right now. The full expectation is that I make a recovery and I'll be better than before I had the bone spur in there. But you just don't know how it's going to turn out."
The uncertainty surrounding Dunleavy's return makes it even more important for Rush to continue to develop.

Naptown_Seth
04-01-2009, 12:09 PM
Best crowd I've been in over the last few years. I was at the home opener vs Boston, but not the LA win.

I mean considering that the Pacers are out of it, the Bulls are nothing special and it was TUE night, it was like the punch was spiked. The thing is that I felt it too. It was the group of guys playing, the excitement behind pulling for Rush, Roy and Josh. Danny back in the groove. TJ as the scoring 6th man rather than the PG messing things up...even though he still tries the same problematic tricks when he is playing.

It didn't hurt that Brad Miller was getting really fired up over his last 3 foul calls. That got the fans at my end of the court going pretty good.

I just think TPTB need to realize that the fans WANT to see Rush, Roy and Josh out there because the only thing they believe in now is the future. For all the "make the playoffs now" talk that just comes off as spinning wheels. I don't think most fans bought that anymore than they were willing to buy one more run at it with JO/Tins.

People don't want losing, but they want to get on with moving ahead. Troy has been playing great, Dun was solid last year, but even there I think fans haven't been feeling like they were the two stars and were ready to sit back and watch their growth, certainly no more than they felt that way with Jeff.

It's not vets making a last ditch playoff push that we want, it's the future players showing promising progress and lively play that gets fans fired up now.

BillS
04-01-2009, 12:18 PM
I just think TPTB need to realize that the fans WANT to see Rush, Roy and Josh out there because the only thing they believe in now is the future. For all the "make the playoffs now" talk that just comes off as spinning wheels. I don't think most fans bought that anymore than they were willing to buy one more run at it with JO/Tins.

People don't want losing, but they want to get on with moving ahead. Troy has been playing great, Dun was solid last year, but even there I think fans haven't been feeling like they were the two stars and were ready to sit back and watch their growth, certainly no more than they felt that way with Jeff.

It's not vets making a last ditch playoff push that we want, it's the future players showing promising progress and lively play that gets fans fired up now.

That's only true because the team has been only slightly off in a lot of losses this year. I'd be pretty sure that the attitude of the city would be a lot different if we'd spent the year getting blown out by 20 and only letting the vets play short minutes while the rookies get lots of playing time.

If you are a vet and you know that no matter how hard you play you'll get swapped out for a rookie just so he can get experience, even if it means losing the game, how are you going to feel? How is your locker room going to be? How can you show Indianapolis a team that clearly wants to win?

If you are a rookie and you get the rep for being bad, the fans start coming down on you and start getting upset at your learning curve. If your minutes are growing as the season progresses, the fans are behind you as the underdog and you can make some big defensive mistakes but still have people feeling you should have had more minutes. I mean, did we <i>really</i> want Roy to be treated the way Rik was treated?

I think if you are on the "win now" side you aren't happy because we didn't. If you are on the "play the rookies at all costs" side, you aren't happy because there are a lot of DNP-CDs out there. I think overall for the team, though, this year was an excellent balance between the two, and this has unquestionably led to the type of atmosphere we're seeing in these last home games.

Suaveness
04-01-2009, 12:25 PM
That atmosphere was enthalling. I haven't had that much fun at a Pacers game in ages. You kind of wish it was like this every game, as you could tell everyone in the game wanted to win. The people sitting behind me were yelling and cheering the whole game, and it made me start to yell and cheer as well. I actually couldn't believe the fieldhouse had gotten so loud.

Speed
04-01-2009, 12:36 PM
THIS talk gets me excited as a Pacer fan. I can't believe it's April 1st and the Pacers are 11 games under .500 and I am fired up for next year. It just goes to show you this is still a Pacer town, I don't care what anyone says.

NuffSaid
04-01-2009, 01:12 PM
While watching the game at home, I looked over at the Mrs and commented that the lower level sections looked pretty full. Then I took mental note of the calender...March 31...a team that's pretty much out of the post-season race at the end of March and yet the Fieldhouse was rockin'! I must say I was surprised, yet happy, too. Happy to see that the fans haven't turned their backs on this franchise.

Now, granted, the crowd might have showed only because it was the Bulls - I did see a few Bulls jerseys out there. While I won't discount the possibility of rival fans coming to see their visiting team play, I will say that IMO the local fans are still very much in support of watching the home team perform well on or off the court. As long as the fans don't see any quite in their team no matter the outcome, they're maintaining a positive image off the court, and as BillS said they aren't getting blown out by 20+ pts every game, fans will come out to see them play.

I must admit I'm more excited about this team even though their record isn't steller than I was about last year's team. And based on what we've seen from Hibbert and BRush, as well as Granger's development one can only look favorably on the Pacers' future.

Playoff atmosphere indeed!

Roaming Gnome
04-01-2009, 01:14 PM
I know that I was extra fired up due to all the Bulls fans in my immediate vicinity. That was a lot of fun last night.

Hicks
04-01-2009, 01:59 PM
That was a very fun ending to the game in person.

WetBob
04-01-2009, 02:15 PM
We had a huge contingent (around 35 of us) that drove down from Purdue for the game. While the group was about split in half as far as Pacers fans and Bulls fans, I can tell you that the punch definitely was spiked.

Major Cold
04-01-2009, 04:46 PM
We had a huge contingent (around 35 of us) that drove down from Purdue for the game. While the group was about split in half as far as Pacers fans and Bulls fans, I can tell you that the punch definitely was spiked.
:plot::buddies::alcohol::champagne:innocent: