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View Full Version : Odd thoughts from the throw back days.....



Peck
11-24-2004, 01:35 AM
Anybody & I mean anybody from this day forward that tells you it can't be loud in the fieldhouse because of acoustics is lying. The reason I call this a throwback is because the fans were in throwback mode tonight. The madhouse on Market street moved up two blocks.

Sometimes we just need adversity to get us over the top. I think to often we've just come to count on J.O. or Reggie or Ron or whoever to just pick up the game & take over. Tonight the fans took over. It wasn't even a sellout & at first it wasn't even close. But the stands did start to fill up during the first quarter & it looked to me like there was a lot of walk up traffic.

Look, let's be honest, we can't expect these results all the time. But as long as they give us this effort, this is going to be special. I mean 94 good from bad special.

Rick called it, we love the game NOT the stars. To this day many of us still love Haywood Workman from that group & there was never a bigger lunchpail kind of gutsy player. Until now, we have an entire team filled with hero's.

Let's look at them.

But first let's look at the man. Reggie Miller.

Again, he's old school, so it's universal that people love him. But the truth is this is an old vet. who's reputation is already set in stone with this franchise. He doesn't have to be a cheerleader. But there is not a bigger fan in that building that Reggie Miller. He's the first player off the bench onto the floor whenever the squad comes out for a break & he's giving high fives to everybody. He even broke out an old dance for us tonight. Like I said, he doesn't have to do this, the fans are going to love him come hell or highwater but he is only night & night out proving why he is was & always will be the face of this franchise.

To the players on the floor.

I'm telling you that last years draft was the strongest draft in N.B.A. history. James Jones was a mid second round draft pick & we knew last season that if he was on another team with a chance to play he had some skill. I had no idea he was going to be this skilled. Did you see the defense the guy played on Paul Pierce? The fact that Pierce ended with 20 points is a sham because James just outplayed him all night long. His rebounding is out of this world good. I don't expect him to continue to grab double figure boards all season long but man this helps.

I'm going to aks a question now & I hope everybody doesn't think I'm just doing this to pick on him but.... If James continues this play for a couple weeks or even close to this play can we explore trading Bender for a warm body? I don't mean dump him I mean make a move to get some help in here for the rest of the season? Seriousley, isn't James already doing now what people hope Bender would some day do? I haven't checked the records yet but hasn't James already outrebounded him for a career high? I'm not even sure what Jon's career high is on points? Again, I'm not talking about just dumping him, but couldn't we use another players who can actually play?

Scot Pollard. The most impressive thing is the picks that he laid down. The pick & roll was working great between him & Jamaal. He was a trooper cause you could tell his back was killing him. He displayed some of the old hands of stone from last year as well, but we can forgive him for that because of the way he tried at everything else. If I'm not mistaken I think he blocked Raef two times in a row.

Austin struggled from the floor. No other way to put it. But again, as he is apt to do, when the game gets bigger the better he gets. He looked like superman coming up up & away with some of those boards in the fourth quarter & let's face it for the most part the guy is money from the foul line. He needs another low post scorer on the floor to work at his best, but he is a good enough & smart enough player to never hurt you on the floor.

Fred Jones. He banged his knee. I nearly passed out. This guy has got serious hang time when he has a shot. Someone, I don't remember who, compared him to Dwane Wade. He's not in Wade's class, but there is a lot of similarities in their game. Kareem Rush who???? I think Fred has gone a long long way in making sure there is a role for him all season long. If Ron doesn't come back then I wouldn't be suprised to see Fred get the start over Jackson.

Speaking of Jackson, has anybody heard from or about him since the incident? The Pacers seem awfully quiet about him.

Mel Mel the abuser was in full force tonight. Anytime he sees Gary Payton his eyes light up & the competative juices start to flow. Just what we need another fight to break out. :) Did you see Pierce & Jamaal at the three point line? Either way he was the nights scoring machine & that is the way I think we will have to play these games somebody differant almost every night.

Do you guy realize that between 7 players we broke 100 points?

David Harrison was tired tonight. He was huffing up & down the floor almost from the begining. It's going to take some time to get into condition to play 30 plus min. a game. He still cleared out space on the floor & for the second game in a row he used his left hand around the basket. We still have to remember this was the last pick in the first round, but he still is going to be a player.

Ed Gill. He did a decent job of shooting & although defensively he doesn't give you what A.J. does, he still isn't bad. He made a solid contribution to the floor although he wasn't specatular.

As I said, it's not realistic to expect these results all of the time but for last night this was one of the most enjoyable games I've been to for years.

sweabs
11-24-2004, 01:42 AM
I love reading your reports Peck. Especially when I don't get to see a lot of these games.

Your idea about trading Bender for an able body is intriguing now that we can see what James Jones can do. But I have to remind myself...its only been 2 games. I'm trying to envision this stellar defense that he plays? I mean, he seems to have that long body like Tayshaun...are they similar? And the guy shoots lights out - that is always good. I think if the offer is there for Bender - sure...let JJ get his. He's proven himself so far - let's hope it continues.

And what you said about Reggie - that just makes me smile. I love the guy - he's the man. Just a class act.

Once again - I love reading your posts :) Amazing as always.

Peck
11-24-2004, 02:08 AM
We've got to see more than two games from J.J. to make sure that these aren't flukes. No way do I expect the guy to average a double double. But if two weeks from now he is still playing at a high level then I say drop the hammer. Bender will never give you more than what J.J. did last night.

As to Prince, no not IMO. God help me because I'm sure that U.B. is gonna come swinging at me for this, but truth be told J.J. has a lot of Artest like qualities as a defender. He's not nearly as physical, but he is physical & he really plays on the inside of the man with the ball. Actually now that I think about it he reminds me a lot of an old 76er & Nugget by the name of Bobby Jones in that respect. But again, it's only been two games.

Cactus Jax
11-24-2004, 02:50 AM
Like I said a hundred times after I saw JJ for the 1st time in the summer league, he reminds me of a raw Scottie Pippen on defense. Plus he has a better shot to boot, but he has to work a lot harder to get to Pippen's level on defense.

Hoop
11-24-2004, 03:05 AM
The amazing thing about JJ is he played power forward in college and has made the transition to SF/SG both offensively and defensively at the NBA level. The kid was a Academic All-American too.

RWB
11-24-2004, 09:11 AM
I've always been one of Bender's biggest supporters but the Pacers come first so if there is someone out that will really help the team then so be it. BUT....your statement Bender will never give you more than JJ last night maybe or maybe not. Look I know everyone HATES the word potential, by this time and so do I. What Donnie, Bird, and Carlisle see is Superstar or Bust. There are many good players in the league but few Superstars and I still think it's worth the risk because at the end of the day there are Al Harringtons, SJax, Ricky Davis and other assorted good available players you can get. The JOs, Paul Pierce difference makers do not fall in your lap everyday so you have to take that risk. If the kid wasn't still young then yes for the amount of years he's been in the league I've would have just cut him.

Alabama-Redneck
11-24-2004, 10:20 AM
Let's set the record straight. JJ played 44 minutes last night. 44 very good minutes, by the way. Bender has never played 44 minutes in a game and it is not fair to say he has never given us those kind of numbers.

Was it Christmas 2 years ago that he produced an outstanding game and in a lot less time than 44 minutes??

I am not downing JJ or his performance but ragging Bender is a little uncalled for unless you make acturate comparisons.

Ragnar
11-24-2004, 10:45 AM
Saying that it has only been two games for J.J. so we should give Bender more time made me wonder how many full games we have seen out of Bender? Anyone know?

Seriousley guys Jones has shown us more in two games than Bender has shown in how many years.


I agree if we can trade Bender by all means do it.

Alabama-Redneck
11-24-2004, 10:52 AM
Excuse me but wasn't it just a matter of days or a couple of weeks ago that many had resigned to the fact that JJ should be on the IR or cut all together to make room for somrone else. Hmmm!! Let's see, which way is the wind blowing right now???

Unclebuck
11-24-2004, 10:52 AM
Don't trade Bender no. have you ever heard of buy low and sell high. Trading him now would be a big mistake

ABADays
11-24-2004, 10:56 AM
Great post Peck.

I am a born and bred Hoosier. I also come from the days of the ABA (obviously). Until guys like Gervin and Dr. J came into the league, the ABA WAS a lunch pail league. A lot of second chance guys getting the opportunity and, for the most part, taking advantage of it. Combine the two of these factors and, like most Indiana basketball fans, there is a sincere appreciation for just leaving it all out there on the court - win or lose. I have been critical at times for getting on players or the team for not giving that effort.

Throw back days is an interesting term. To nearly everyone, it means hard-nosed, honest effort work ethic. It's what we saw the past couple of games from the players. If that continues, these players will have the undying gratitude of Pacers fans young and old. Indiana basketball fans remember those things.

Regarding Reggie Miller. I have defended him more times than I care to count. No matter what anyone else says, Reggie IS the Pacers. It has to give the younger players an unbelievable lift to see this guy being their cheerleader.

We OWE Scot Pollard and Austin Croshere. To me, they are throwbacks. They have both gone through tough times with this franchise. Neither complained. Both were always ready to do their best when called upon. I'm very happy for both of them.

The younger players. It would not be possible for them not to NOW understand the depth of passion people have for this team and what they will get if the effort is there night in and night out. And for the fans, WOW what have we learned about the character of those guys in such a short time. To me, having the honor to put on a Pacer uniform is something special and it comes with price.

Now . . . Jonathan Bender. Yes, I have been hard on him. I bought into the "potential" and "best practice player" for too long. The fact is, he is too fragile to be of any long term use to this team. And, I am begining to think part of it is mental. I have come to the conclusion he feels there is no way for him to EVER live up to the "potential" tag . . . so he hides. And really, who could blame him. I understand I don't run this team, but if I did, Bender would be only ahead of Edwards on the depth chart. Given his opportunity, James Jones has delivered and has earned my respect. He has seized his opportunity where Bender never has.

In two games, these guys have taken a place in my heart along with the old Pacer ABA championship teams. And a few losses won't change that - as long as the effort is there. I don't doubt it will be.

Lastly, Rick Carlisle deserves an incredible amount of credit for what is happening. His players play for him.

ChicagoJ
11-24-2004, 11:45 AM
Peck, you made the comment that we scored 100 points with only seven guys.

I'm not worried about the make-shift Pacers scoring points - we are putting guys that were major 'scorers' in college at four postions (Fred, JJ, AC, Harrison), and JT compliments those guys very well offensively. We'll put points on the board.

We might get in trouble, on the road, defensively. But I'm confident this lineup can fill-it-up offensively.

Grant
11-24-2004, 12:45 PM
I agree with UB, Bender is too much of a question mark to trade now. The Pacer's have to hope that he can play injury free for the second half of the year and then spin like crazy that his injuries are flukes. I suppose that you mean to trade him after the year ends because, we need him at SF for the rest of the year.

Doug in CO
11-24-2004, 01:48 PM
Peck - I am blown away by Reggie Miller. His attitude is just unbelievable. Every time I start feeling sorry for myself I just watch him and am just so damn proud that he is our player - our faace as you said it.

I think he will play next year and come off the bench - anyone who ever questioned this man's ability to step back and not be the man needs to watch what he does in his suit.

You guys are going berzerk over James Jones - I sure hope you are right, because Bender is a bust.

Hicks
11-24-2004, 01:55 PM
Don't let Bender go. I think we can all agree whether he breaks out or not doesn't really effect this team's championship asperations, so just hang onto him. He's young, he could surprise, and the way the team is built, we don't need him to. If he does, it's just a HUGE pile of gravy.

Slick Pinkham
11-24-2004, 02:12 PM
I'd like to see what Bender could do with lots of playing time now, but it's inaccurate to say that he hasn't had plenty of opportunities in the past.

Three years ago Bender played in 78 games and averaged 21.1 minutes per game.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/statistics?statsId=3328

He has had many opportunities to play as much as he could handle. James Jones has few of the physical gifts but at first glance has way more basketball smarts.

But... don't trade Bender just to dump him, because he will bring NOTHING in return, unless Doc Rivers STILL thinks he's a bigger Tracy McGrady.

Peck
11-24-2004, 02:52 PM
I've always been one of Bender's biggest supporters but the Pacers come first so if there is someone out that will really help the team then so be it. BUT....your statement Bender will never give you more than JJ last night maybe or maybe not. Look I know everyone HATES the word potential, by this time and so do I. What Donnie, Bird, and Carlisle see is Superstar or Bust. There are many good players in the league but few Superstars and I still think it's worth the risk because at the end of the day there are Al Harringtons, SJax, Ricky Davis and other assorted good available players you can get. The JOs, Paul Pierce difference makers do not fall in your lap everyday so you have to take that risk. If the kid wasn't still young then yes for the amount of years he's been in the league I've would have just cut him.

Actually we need an Al, Jax or Ricky Davis right now. What good does it do to have the differance maker if he never makes a differance?

I would never suggest cutting him but I long ago gave up on the idea that he was going to come into the league & tear it up. I just think he might someday (maybe) be able to contribute on a consistant level.

Everybody keeps using J.O. as the example that one day his flower will bloom & I'm not even opposed to that thought but I want to make one other point with it. J.O. had to change teams for his flower to bloom & with Bender you may be faced with the same thing.

It looks like Harrison is going to be a lock at center for the next few years & J.O. is the power forward. Artest I have no idea if he will be back or not but if you keep Jackson & I think we all can agree that Fred has earned some spot on the floor where the hell does that really leave the next great player in the league? 6th man?

We have 25 games that we have to hold serve & I'm willing to go to battle with the players on the floor. But wouldn't it be nice to get them some help, other than N.B.D.L. players?

Let's just be honest here, Bender is helping nobody at this point. I understand U.B.'s point about buy low sell high, but at some point in time the stock never gains in value & you just have to trade it off. In other words I don't think you will ever get more for him than you could right now. He still has that mythical potential power behind him & some G.M. will take the risk.

Again, I'm not saying trade him for a bag of beans but try & work a deal to get a player here who could help today & stay with us in the longrun.