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10-08-2004, 01:16 PM
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Pacers Team Report

Oct. 8, 2004

COMING OUT SWINGING: The Pacers are built for winning in the regular season: PF Jermaine O'Neal is one of the league's top 10 players, SF Ron Artest is a legitimate No. 2 scorer and the league's reigning Defensive Player of the Year, and coach Rick Carlisle will settle for nothing less than consistent overachievement. That combination resulted in a league-leading 61 wins last season, and there's no reason for a letdown. O'Neal and Artest are entering their primes, and Carlisle, in his second season as coach, should know how to better deal with Artest's tantrums, PG Jamaal Tinsley's inconsistent play and SG Reggie Miller's graceful aging. The team's biggest offseason move was bringing in SG Stephen Jackson to replace Miller as a starter, and Jackson--a champion with the Spurs two seasons ago--is hungry to win. The player the Pacers traded to get Jackson, SF Al Harrington, should be ably replaced by SF Jonathan Bender, who might get consistent minutes for the first time in his career. He is a surprisingly good shooter for a 7-footer--40.9 percent from 3-point range last season--and is a strong finisher in the! transition game.

AGAINST THE ROPES: The Pacers made it to the Eastern Conference finals last spring, but they were unable to outduel Detroit as they had during the regular season. When the Pistons clamped down, O'Neal and Artest had trouble scoring, and no one else stepped up. Jackson can be an athletic third scoring option, but his shooting runs hot and cold. Everything the Pacers excel at--defense, inside play and coaching--the Pistons do just a bit better. The team could use more offense from the center spot. Jeff Foster is mechanical, and his backup, Scot Pollard, was a bust last season, his first with the Pacers.

PROJECTED LINEUP PF Jermaine O'Neal Must prove the knee that hindered him in last season's playoffs is sound. SF Ron Artest The NBA's top perimeter defender, he averaged 18.3 points last season. C Jeff Foster Showed some spark in the playoffs but often underperforms. SG Stephen Jackson Will have to beat out Reggie Miller, but time is on Jackson's side. PG Jamaal Tinsley Still needs to work on his decision-making.

KEY RESERVES SF Jonathan Bender PG Anthony Johnson SG Reggie Miller

SEAN DEVENEY'S SCORECARD This is an excellent defensive team, but the Pacers have to produce more on offense if they hope to make it past the Pistons. It will be up to Jackson to provide some points.

10-08-2004, 02:14 PM
Decent article, I agree with a lot of it. but I would never say that Foster is mechanical. Pollard is mechanical. Greg Dreiling was extremely mechanical

10-08-2004, 02:33 PM
Yeah, decent article.

Personally, I think we will be better offensively this season, especially IF Bender remains healthy and when the 2nd half of the year kicks in and Jackson has had his first season half under Rick's system behind his belt. I think we will sorely miss Al when JO has an injury or a suspension. JO couldn't be replaced, but Al did decently to good in the past seasons when JO was out, however you can't have it all and SG needed a sterm upgrade with a look on a Reggie-less Pacers team.

Anyway, I don't think Detroit wasn't superior offensively last season to our team, I think they were also on that department very close to each other.



10-08-2004, 02:35 PM
And, yes, Uncle Buck, I aggree with you that Jeff definitely is not "mechanical", he's one of the fastest centers in the league and also pretty athletic.



10-08-2004, 04:32 PM
I know I have been out of the loop for a few days, but I thought reggie was starting.

10-08-2004, 04:46 PM
He is.

10-09-2004, 07:41 AM
Pistons are better at inside play than us?