View Full Version : Indiana Pacers Have Fresh Storylines To Follow Heading Into Training Camp

09-20-2010, 01:56 PM
by Tom Lewis on Sep 19, 2010 10:57 PM EDT in News

As much as the Indiana Pacers have tried to change over the past couple of years, the fact remains we were stuck with the same ol' story the past two seasons.

After unloading Jermaine O'Neal's onerous contract, the team has continued to slog through the past two seasons with too many unattractive contracts and a roster with enough talent to beat any team on any night while at the same time lose to any team on any other night.

They've worked with the slimmest margin for error which was often closed by injuries of all sorts. How often did a sure-fire win through three quarters turn into a loss after the final buzzer? Great efforts gone awry have been the norm. While the exceptional win every once in awhile over the likes of the Celtics, Lakers or Cavaliers helped placate the faithful, the ugliness of blowouts -- see at Miami last year -- and losing streaks fueled by inconsistent play and playing rotations have been all too common.

Same players, same coach, doing the same things to produce the same type of results.

But this season, things will be quite different even if the end results in the won/loss column are similar. After the jump, take a look at some of the interesting storylines to consider as the season approaches which developed during a chat with Clark Kellogg.

Expiring Contracts- Those bulky contracts are now valuable assets since the double as cap space next summer. One has already been moved with Troy Murphy going to New Jersey as part of a deal that brought in new point guard Darren Collison and veteran swingman James Posey. How will the remaining players with expiring contracts react as the season plays out? Who will be moved?

New Players - Consider Collison and Posey fresh storyline number one to follow when looking for an instant impact on the court.

Power Forward- Will the Pacers make a move before the season starts? Will a player on the roster seize the opportunity to grab the available playing time? Can Hansbrough and Foster stay healthy? Can McRoberts consistently produce and carve out a role? Speaking of role, will Magnum Rolle be on the roster?

Granger's gold medal - How will Danny Granger's experience with Team USA impact his season? Will it show both on and off the court in his play and leadership of the team?

Dunleavy's health- Mike Dunleavy struggled last year coming off major surgery. Will his production return to pre-surgery levels? How will he handle a reduced role, if not?

T.J. Ford - Will he continue to keep quiet if he doesn't play and isn't traded? Could he possibly come in and compete for a starting role?

Brandon Rush- How will he react with his career in the balance after his drug suspension? Can he earn an extra year under contract? Why have there been so many glowing reports of his offseason work?

Roy Hibbert- He's spent his offseason becoming a fan favorite and appearing to work his butt of to develop his game. How will that work show up once the season starts?

The young players - Paul George has plenty of talent but isn't expected to make much of an impact during his rookie year. Will he work his way into a role of some sort? Lance Stephenson has the talent to play right away, but will he be allowed?

Sophs bouncing back from injury- Both Tyler Hansbrough and A.J. Price have been working their way back from injury all summer. Will they be able to play and provide the depth this team desperately needs.

As Special K put it, "There's an awful lot to chew on as we look forward to training camp time. How it plays out is part of what makes every season interesting and every training camp period worth watching especially when you've been where the Pacers have been the last three or four years."

As the season draws closer, we'll be delving into these topics a little deeper and of course looking forward to everyone's thoughts on the topics. Also, if you have any other storylines you are looking forward to following, please add them to the list in the comments.

09-20-2010, 04:42 PM
It's like I'm watching a soap opra. "Will he respond to his drug suspenison? Find out soon."

09-20-2010, 04:46 PM
No kidding

"As the Pacers Turn"

09-20-2010, 05:34 PM
Where are the "so many glowing reports" of Brandon's offseason work? I've heard it mentioned that he's out in LA working out with Earl Watson and other NBA guys, but I don't know that I've heard any more than that. I'd love to read some good things about Rush right now.

09-20-2010, 05:51 PM
Where are the "so many glowing reports" of Brandon's offseason work? I've heard it mentioned that he's out in LA working out with Earl Watson and other NBA guys, but I don't know that I've heard any more than that. I'd love to read some good things about Rush right now.

Unfortunatley I think its the usual "PR Stuff" fluff piece

I mean think about it , Was Wells there when Brandon was working out?

Or did a Pacer or Ex Pacer say that, (as if he would give a negative report)

09-20-2010, 08:50 PM
I like the situation better this year than in past years. I don't think it is the same old story at all. When Tinsley and Jackson and Daniels were under the law, they were major parts of the team. The two guys now who have shamed themselves seem less vital to the present and the future.

I think steady incremental improvement of Hibbert and the advent of Collison are going to be the major stories, and those are both very positive. Dunleavy and Foster will be positive if they are healthy, and if not they'll be positive anyway as the calendar rolls away.

To me, the only clouds are Hanbrough's heath questions, TJ Ford still being on the roster, and the fact that the Pacers are going to win 30-some games in the coming season.


09-20-2010, 09:05 PM
Something that occurred to me ..

Ya know who Darren Collison reminds me of ?

A young ,more athletic Darrel Armstrong mixed with flashes of Chris Paul ..

I think Collison really learned alot and modeled some of his game from Paul , being his backup and mentor ..
In all honesty ,from the standpoint of player development, I think Darren coulda used another year of Paul's mentoring.. But then we more than likely would not have been able to get him to the Pacers..

As far as the Armstrong comparison.. he just reminds me of him alot for some reason..
For instance , the seemingly infinite amount of sheer motor in him when he is on the court, and the way he moves around with his speed..

I really think Collison is gonna shock alot of people with getting to "be the man" and run his own team .. He is gonna be really good for us .. I just hope JOB's system doesn't hinder his game ..
Collison is the type of player , I think , that will make everyone on the court with him .. look like a million bux ..

I don't expect DC3 to come in and be a franchise player , right off the bat .. but I think after a full season with us , he will come to be what we are expecting from him .....given the chance ..


Larry Staverman
09-20-2010, 09:30 PM
Although Solo wasn't all that impressive last year everyone seams to have written him off. I think it is too early to tell.

I haven't heard any off season reports on him at all but I have to believe he is working on his game. The front office has not commented on him either way as far as I know.

The only things we know for sure are they want to trade Ford, we have a couple players with off court issues, someone needs to claim the starting PF spot, we have too many wings and they would like to sign Rolle.

I think people are assuming Solo doesn't fit but we need to wait until we see what we have in training camp to determine what moves will be made by the team. Some people may be surprised by the final roster.

09-20-2010, 11:19 PM
I think Solo had his chance last year when Tyler and Jeff were both out.
Since he wasn't playing much at all I would say the handwriting is on the wall.

09-21-2010, 12:13 AM
I think Solo had his chance last year when Tyler and Jeff were both out.
Since he wasn't playing much at all I would say the handwriting is on the wall.

To be fair, JOB chose to play Dahntay Jones and Dunleavy at PF over Josh.

Playing time, especially from a new young guy, doesn't mean much, regardless of who is hurt.