View Full Version : Pollard might be too good to keep out of rotation

10-21-2004, 03:12 PM
From what I saw Tuesday night, I think Pollard will be part of the regular rotation. Or perhaps the coaching staff ight do what they did last year and use Cro against smaller teams and Pollard against bigger teams.


Pollard Quietly Emerging
as Consistent Contributor

By Conrad Brunner | Oct. 21, 2004
When Scot Pollard joined the Pacers, he came crashing through the front door. There was the controversy of the major trade, angst over the departure of All-Star Brad Miller, the introduction of a strong new personality into the team chemistry and the anticipation that he would become a full-time starter for the first time his career.
For a variety of reasons, things didn't go as planned. Last season was one of the worst of Pollard's career, and left the franchise uncertain of its depth in the middle. So this year, Pollard is taking a distinctly different approach. Very quietly, he has showed strong signs of becoming the consistently productive backup center the Pacers need.

"Jeff (Foster) really had a great year last year and heís coming into his own as a player," Pollard said. "For me, mentally, coming into this year Iíve just given myself the goal of getting into the rotation, of being a consistent player. Beyond that, if I become a starter, thatíd be great -- if itís best for the team. I think I was being a little selfish last year coming in expecting to start and, obviously, it didnít work out.

"What got me to be successful in this league is just fitting in where I fit in and doing what I can do. As opposed to letting things come to me, I go out and take it. So thatís what Iím going to do. Iím going to do the Scot Pollard things: cause havoc inside and do the hustle things. Jeff and I are very similar in that respect and so whoever is going to be more productive with the first group is going to be the starter and whoever works best with the second group is going to be the sub. If it works out that Jeffís the starter and Iím the sub and we win a lot more games that way, thatís what Iím for."

Sound Bytes
Exclusive audio highlights from interviews with Rick Carlisle and Scot Pollard

Through three preseason games, Pollard is the team's leading rebounder at 7.7 per game, a number that's all the more impressive when considering he ranks ninth in minutes (17.3). With Foster nursing a sore hip, Pollard started at center against Minnesota on Tuesday night and produced seven points and 11 rebound in 19 minutes.

Coach Rick Carlisle credited Pollard's aggressive early play Ė he had 10 rebounds in the first half Ė as critical in the Pacers' ability to build a 49-33 lead at halftime on their way to a 93-92 victory, calling him "probably the key guy to the game in a lot of ways."

For his part, Pollard said he is much more comfortable this year, in part because of some of the changes to the offensive system and in part because he knows his teammates and coaches better Ė and they know him. He also dropped 10 pounds in the offseason, which appears to have helped.


"So far, the offenses that weíve put in have been more a style that Iím accustomed to, where Iím diving in, coming from the top on occasion as opposed to just being buried down underneath the basket," Pollard said. "Thatís how I earned my living in my glory days, so to speak. The highlights of my career were all when I was diving towards the basket and crashing the boards and doing all the hustle things.

"Last year, I was just learning the system and now Iím more comfortable with the system, too. Hopefully, I can do a better job of remembering plays than I did last year and get some consistent minutes so I feel more comfortable out on the court. "

Those glory days Pollard referred to weren't that long ago. In 2001-02, he averaged 6.4 points and 7.1 rebounds and started 29 games for the Kings. The previous season in Sacramento, he averaged 14.1 points and 12.3 rebounds in eight starts. He's only 29 years old and is in good health, so there is no physical reason he can't regain something close to that form.

"It makes sense that the more youíre around the team the more you get comfortable with the system," Carlisle said. "Weíre changing a few things, which I think are going to help him be more effective at the offensive end. Everybodyís a year older and a year more experienced, so it helps.


"We know him better. As much as it was a tough situation for him last year, particularly with some high expectations after the trade Ė most people thought he would be the starting center. The way it happened, Foster emerged and won the job but Scot had a very important presence in our locker room. As an experienced pro, as a guy who has been down the road deep in the playoffs with Sacramento, he commanded a certain kind of respect but was very humble about it.

"He had a really important role on this team even when he wasnít playing much because he set a great example. He was on the treadmill every day, working out, keeping himself ready. He was saying the right things to our young players about being ready. And you canít put a price on what thatís worth."

Whatever the cause, it appears Pollard is, well, Pollard again.

"Iím definitely an acquired taste," he said. "I kind of bowl people over sometimes. Now that the guys are more familiar with how I am and the coaches are more familiar with how I am, Iíll be more comfortable being myself and doing what I do."

10-21-2004, 03:30 PM
Bruno's QotD > Is Pollard's Play a Sign?
Jay's answer: "...of the apocalypse?"


Q. It seems like (Scot) Pollard has gotten off to a super start this preseason - very good news for all Pacers enthusiasts. He is averaging 17 minutes and 7.7 rebounds (21 per 48 minutes). That is the aggressive Pollard we know! Do you think we will see numbers like that from him this season? I mean 17 minutes and around 5-7 rebounds and aggressive play? I surely hope so! And if he is back like that how would you rate our front line (compared) to Detroit's? (From Jacob on Copenhagen, Denmark)

A. Pollard's productivity has been a very quiet development, but hardly insignificant. In three games, he has played no more than 19 minutes and has pulled no fewer than five rebounds. He is the team's leading rebounder despite ranking ninth in minutes played. That's much more like the Pollard the Pacers thought they were acquiring last season. In addition, he is playing much more aggressively and has been very active around the basket. Pollard has come into this preseason with a much different mindset than last year and it appears to be working. A year ago, he assumed he was going to be the starter, which was a very new circumstance for him. That, combined with the fact it can take teammates some time to adjust to his unusual personality, contributed to what was effectively a lost season for the veteran.

But Pollard came to camp this year in exceptional shape, 10 pounds lighter than last year. In typical Pollard fashion, he acknowledged that the weight loss was an accident, the unexpected byproduct of a vacation cruise. He also was carrying too much weight last season and has historically been much more effective at around 260. If Pollard can produce like this during the regular season, it would be a major positive for the Pacers, because it would alleviate the need for another consistent big man in the rotation. And if rookie David Harrison continues to progress once recovered from his shoulder injury, the Pacers will have three quality options at center.

Detroit has Ben Wallace, Elden Campbell, Derrick Coleman, Rasheed Wallace and Antonio McDyess in its frontcourt rotation. The Pacers have Jermaine O'Neal, Jeff Foster, Pollard, Austin Croshere and ultimately Harrison and Jonathan Bender. The Pistons have more experience and bulk, but the Pacers have more athleticism and comparable matchup flexibility. Because Indiana has O'Neal, the only dominant low-post player in the mix, it's difficult not to give the Pacers the advantage Ė if Pollard is indeed back to form and Bender begins to fulfill his potential.

10-21-2004, 04:04 PM
Pacers frontcourt an advantage over Pistons frontcourt? Not sure Kstat would agree. With the los of Al I think the Pstons might have a better frontcourt, but now the pacers have improved their backcourt, so I don't know, very interesting

10-21-2004, 04:05 PM
Pacers frontcourt an advantage over Pistons frontcourt? Not sure Kstat would agree. With the los of Al I think the Pstons might have a better frontcourt, but now the pacers have improved their backcourt, so I don't know, very interesting

10-21-2004, 04:19 PM
I will believe that Pollard will contribute when I see it happen in a regular season game. Actually more than one game.

I will say he looked pretty good in the last pre season game. But it is pre-season.

10-21-2004, 04:51 PM
Ragnar, I can undersand the wait and see approach, and I don't expect that much from Pollard, just the type of play he displayed while a Sacramento King.
But his activity was very diferent from last season. he looked old and tired last year. think if Foster lost some of his athletic ability, he would be horrible, well Pollard is similar. so if Pollard has re-gained what he had, he can be effective

10-21-2004, 05:03 PM
When Pollard talks, I keep hearing, "I've got this big fat contract, and I just assumed last summer when the Pacers made a trade to get me, that they would just hand me thier starting position...

"After I embarassed myself last season because I wasn't ready to win a starting spot or even earn any minutes in the rotation, I decided I better get my @$$ in gear...

"I guess this isn't Sac-Town anymore, where its the only game in town and everybody loves a clown...

"These people aren't basketball crazy because its the only game in town; these people are life-long hoops lovers and I can't really fool them, no matter how goofy I act...

"I just hope I re-establish some credibility so I can go into coasting mode again...

"I really don't like winter in the midwest, maybe I can get traded before it gets too cold..."


Paraphrasing what I said the other day: I really hope Bender and Harrison play well enough that Pollard gets stuck on the injured list, where he belongs.

10-21-2004, 05:16 PM
Pollard is Mr. Sound Bite. He rips off some great one-liners.

I guess this isn't Sac-Town anymore, where its the only game in town and everybody loves a clown:dancingbavetta:

Never had used a dancingbavetta before. Nice.

We need Scot to have a solid year.

10-21-2004, 05:24 PM
Just to be clear... you realize those were my interpretations of his sound bites, not his actual words.

Speed Freak
10-21-2004, 07:35 PM
I swear that Pollard said sometime during this offseason that he enjoyed living in Indianapolis. Based off his comments after the most recent preseason game it sounds like he wants to succeed with the Pacers rather than work to be a valuable trade.

I do agree that a couple surprising preseason performances shouldn't give hope to a productive season though. It is, at least, a stepping stone in the right direction.