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Unclebuck
12-12-2004, 08:41 PM
This article says that Artest cannot practice with the Pacers. Rick said on his show last Thursday that the team has not been told yet if and when Artest can practice. Kevin Lee reported last night that all three suspended players were were at Conseco working out Saturday afternoon.



http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/col/story/261251p-223738c.html
Trying to keep Pace

Even without stars, Indy can still shine in East



Reinforcements finally arrived this past week for the suspension-depleted Pacers, when Reggie Miller, Jeff Foster and Anthony Johnson returned to action. Unless the arbitrator in the suspension-appeals case rules in favor of Jermaine O'Neal and Stephen Jackson - and then the NBA Players Association would still have to defeat David Stern in federal court - Rick Carlisle is looking at another long month without his best player and another key member of his rotation.
"Here's what I told my players: You always have a choice when you find yourselves in a difficult situation," Carlisle said recently. "You can give in or keep fighting. Luckily, my guys have turned this into an opportunity to show what they can do."

It just hasn't translated into wins, because talent rules in the NBA and not many teams could survive the hit delivered to the Pacers. Since the riot at the Palace of Auburn Hills on Nov. 19, they have lost six of nine games and five straight entering this weekend's set of back-to-back games against the Bucks and Kings.

As much as they miss O'Neal's all-around play and Jackson's ability to stretch defenses with his long-range shooting, the Pacers can still survive their absences. If the suspensions stand, O'Neal will return Jan.15 against Orlando, while Jackson would come back Jan. 26 against Boston. The Pacers have a few major factors in their favor: Playing in the East, they can always count on running into Atlanta, Charlotte or Chicago, three of the worst teams in a woeful conference. Plus, over the next five weeks, their schedule is favorable.

Consider their road schedule for the rest of the month: Atlanta, Chicago, Charlotte and the Nets. The home portion is just as soft, with games against Toronto, Philly and New Orleans. Granted, their Christmas rematch with Detroit will be no party.

But in the first half of January, Indiana gets one more home game against Milwaukee and a road game at New Orleans. The schedule catches up with the Pacers in early January, with a road trip to San Antonio, Dallas, Phoenix and Memphis that would be brutal even if they were at full strength. And, just before O'Neal returns, Amare Stoudemire and the vastly improved Suns visit Indy.

But, barring more injuries, the Pacers should stay afloat before while O'Neal and Jackson serve their suspensions.

"There's no question that it's tougher to win games without your better players," Carlisle said. "But we know that even if the appeals don't work out, the fight happened only an eighth of the way into our season. So we're still getting two of our guys back for the entire second half of the season. We've just got to hold the fort until they're back. We've just got to get to the point where we get (O'Neal and Jackson) back and be in as strong a position as we can for when the playoffs start.''

O'Neal has been practicing with the team since last week. Jackson, who was also given a chance to take a few weeks off from practice by Carlisle, is expected back this week. Ron Artest can't practice at all as he serves his season-long suspension.

"We have some goals we're aiming for,'' Carlisle said. "But we're steadfast about keeping those private.''

Going deep into the postseason is undoubtedly among the goals. As crippled as the Pacers were by the events of Nov. 19, they will have more than enough time to make it a reality.

Mailman could ring in San Antonio


People who know Karl Malone from his Utah days insist he was never going back to the Lakers at the start of 2005. So maybe Kobe Bryant did Malone a favor. Now, Malone has a legitimate excuse not to want to return to L.A.


"I didn't say he'd be a distraction," said Bryant, after basically saying that waiting for Malone was a distraction. "If I thought he was a distraction, I would have come out and said it."


Given Kobe's track record, that's highly unlikely. Anyway, with Kobe hanging a "No Vacancy" sign on Staples Center, Malone can now go where he really wants to end up his career: Playing for a chance to win his first title, in San Antonio.


One person who talked at length with Malone at John Stockton's retirement soiree in Salt Lake City a few weeks back reported that the Mailman confided, "I ain't playing for the Lakers and I ain't playing for Minnesota."


As long as his knee is fine, and he claims it is, Malone would be perfect for the Spurs, who need another big man. They continue to blow hot and cold with Rasho Nesterovic and consider Malone a better defender, tougher and more coachable than the high-maintenance Malik Rose.


Slam Dunks



"We're not going to beat the Bulls' record." That was Rick Sund, Seattle's GM, talking by phone from Seattle this past week. Sure, the Sonics aren't going to go 72-10 this season, but did anybody ever imagine that they'd be 17-3 going into last night's game against Boston? They concluded their astounding first quarter of the season with back-to-back road wins in San Antonio and Dallas. Trouble could be in the offing, though. Guard Ronald Murray is coming back soon from an quadriceps injury, meaning Nate McMillan has to decide whether to give Murray his old job back or continue to stick with the wildly successful three-guard rotation of Ray Allen, Antonio Daniels and Luke Ridnour. Already, there have been internal rumblings from players who know that the shot-happy Murray could alter the Sonics' winning chemistry. If McMillan is smart, he won't touch a thing.


Yes, Orlando has the talent to go far - in the East - but the big story is that with 11 new faces - if you count Grant Hill and Pat Garrity, who played a combined two games last season - the team has meshed faster than anyone expected. Hill chalks that up to the preseason trip the team took over Labor Day weekend to Las Vegas, as suggested by director of player development Otis Smith. Besides playing in pickup games, the players bonded in bowling tournaments and at lunches and dinners. "I realized then we had chemistry and camaraderie that was not forced," Hill said. "We all enjoyed each other's company. So we had chemistry before we ever picked up a ball in training camp. I haven't been part of a team like this in a long time."


Bad news for two promising point guards: While the Clippers are saying that prize rookie Shaun Livingston is out a few months with a dislocated kneecap, we hear he's probably done for the season. Meanwhile, a few high-level suits in the Bucks organization fear that T.J. Ford may never come back from spinal surgery.

Originally published on December 11, 2004

sweabs
12-12-2004, 08:51 PM
Bad news for two promising point guards: While the Clippers are saying that prize rookie Shaun Livingston is out a few months with a dislocated kneecap, we hear he's probably done for the season. Meanwhile, a few high-level suits in the Bucks organization fear that T.J. Ford may never come back from spinal surgery.
Those are serious downers for both teams, and obviously both players.

TJ is such an exciting player to watch - I hope for his sake, and the Bucks that he can get back...because that team just isn't the same without him.

And as for Ronnie...I think that's absurd he can't even practice.

Anthem
12-12-2004, 10:32 PM
While the Clippers are saying that prize rookie Shaun Livingston is out a few months with a dislocated kneecap...

What a wimp. A kneecap? The guy obviously doesn't know how to play with pain. He's a nice player, but he just doesn't have the mental ability to play in spite of injuries. Croshere would have played right through it.

Oh wait, Livingston? He plays for a team that's not the Pacers, so it's ok. The only guy that should be playing on a bad knee is Jon Bender.

:devil:

Unclebuck
12-12-2004, 11:20 PM
What a wimp. A kneecap? The guy obviously doesn't know how to play with pain. He's a nice player, but he just doesn't have the mental ability to play in spite of injuries. Croshere would have played right through it.

Oh wait, Livingston? He plays for a team that's not the Pacers, so it's ok. The only guy that should be playing on a bad knee is Jon Bender.

:devil:


That was funny

Kegboy
12-12-2004, 11:22 PM
What a wimp. A kneecap? The guy obviously doesn't know how to play with pain. He's a nice player, but he just doesn't have the mental ability to play in spite of injuries. Croshere would have played right through it.

Oh wait, Livingston? He plays for a team that's not the Pacers, so it's ok. The only guy that should be playing on a bad knee is Jon Bender.

:devil:
:applaud:

Stryder
12-13-2004, 12:04 AM
Remember Livingston is the kid who couldn't even bench 185 lbs. once during workouts pre-draft. That's very sad.

He needed to go to college. Sad he didn't.

Anthem
12-13-2004, 01:44 AM
Remember Livingston is the kid who couldn't even bench 185 lbs. once during workouts pre-draft. That's very sad.

He needed to go to college. Sad he didn't.

Why did he need to go to college? Right now he's collecting a paycheck and he has the best doctors in the world looking after him. Please explain how he'd have been better off in college.

Stryder
12-13-2004, 08:59 AM
Why did he need to go to college? Right now he's collecting a paycheck and he has the best doctors in the world looking after him. Please explain how he'd have been better off in college.

He needs to physically mature. The kid is not ready to play in the professional game. And more than likely he needs to mature mentally and emotionally...but I don't know the kid, so I can't really say for sure.

Seriously, just because someone has the ability to score a bucket every couple of games at the pro level, it does not mean he should be there...

IMO, he would have been better off with a couple of years at the college level.

Stryder
12-13-2004, 10:06 AM
He gets the opportunity to do all this in World Class facilities making 3 or 4 million a year now. I can't disagree with his decision.

I can't disagree with it either, but I still wish some of these players would make the decision to go to college...

Peck
12-13-2004, 10:10 AM
I can't disagree with it either, but I still wish some of these players would make the decision to go to college...

How about a farm league??? Forget college, let people go who want an education. If you have the talent to play ball but aren't ready then the N.B.D.L. should be for you. Come to think of it the N.B.D.L. is for Bender as well. :tongue: