View Full Version : My two cents....

02-20-2004, 09:43 PM
Sorry I haven't really been around lately, my hard drive crashed and so I can't really access my computer. Been a real bad week this week, considering I screwed up 3 tests, my computer crashed twice, now for a good while, my brand new mp3 player suddenly stopped working, Wallace is a Piston, no Artest for a few weeks, etc... Bad week.

Anyway, enough rambling. There were 10 million threads during the last few days, and so sorry if this is repetitive, but I figured my opinion would be better read this way. And sorry if it is boring.

So, lots of things have happened. First off, Artest. Thumb is a concern to me, and it has been worrying me for awhile. I think he did the right thing and decided to rest it. Smart move. I understand that people are upset that we will start going 11-19 or whatever predictions were made.

Artest is valuable to this team, no, essential. In order for us to go to the Finals and win, it is integral that he is a part of it and that he is on top of his game. Keep in mind, ON TOP OF HIS GAME. Do you think he could be effective with a bad thumb? I don't. Not as effective as we need him. He is the most important player on this team, his defense is very important, and the tenacity he brings every game is commendable.

But he can't do this with a bad thumb. Yes, it is his left hand. But his left hand is as important as his right hand. He steals with the hand quite a bit, and he makes many layups with that hand, too. So it is vital that we have him healthy for the playoffs. The regular season does not matter. Yes, it gives us positioning, determines lineups, and sets the tone. But, in the end, the playoffs are it. Wouldn't you rather have a healthy Artest in the playoffs than an unhealthy one? I would.

I know people are worried that we are going to lose our spot as number one in the East. Frankly, we have to play pretty lousy to do that, and I just don't see that happening.

We have the best record in the East for a reason.

Our bench is deep, and we are well coached. There will NOT be a repeat of last year. This is a better team, and THIS TEAM KNOWS HOW TO GET AROUND PROBLEMS. Last year was such a mentally tough year for us. Very tough. But we overcame it, right? Look at us now. We could have just died out this year, too. But we didn't. Just like that, we can get over losing Artest for a few weeks.

Al is not a bad player, and when he is in the starting lineup, he usually tends to do very well.

And we will get contributions from others as well. Austin, as I've said for awhile, is highly underplayed. He will get his chance now. If he is able to give consistancy, that will help. And I think he will.

Now is the time for Bender. As all of you know, I haven't been real high on the guy. Injuries after injuries. I want him to prove me wrong. I want him to shine during this team. I want him to provide consistancy off the bench. If he does this, then we will NOT slack off. But he needs to do this, every night.

Fred Jones is another player I am high on. He needs to start shooting a little more.

And of course, everyone else has to just be themselves and play their games. WE are the best team in the East right now, and we have to prove to the league we can withstand this time without Artest. And we will.

Ok, Rasheed Wallace. Obviously, people are scared out of their mind. I know Unclebuck sounds like his was having a heart attack. No doubt, he is a polished player. He scores and provides interior presence. Detroit has gotten a VERY good player. I don't believe conduct will be a problem for him at this time.

So one has to wonder, just how good will Detroit be? We cannot really say until they play a good 5-10 games. We can't really judge how good they are. Yes he is a good player. But, that doesn't mean the TEAM is good with him. Basketball is a game for 5 players, not 1. That said, they may become the best team in the East hands down. Who knows.

But let us save our judgments until after they PROVE that they are the best team. I don't care that they have Sheed. We have beaten them 3 times this season. Also, if we keep the number one seed, we only have to play NJ OR Detroit. Not both. I think that is something to be positive about. And we likely won't have to play NY, either, considereing they will likely be a 6 or 7 seed.

I am concerned, of course, that Sheed will make them the best in the East. But, we should not worry too much about what we cannot control. Let us play OUR game. We need to win as many games as possible, and play like NBA finalists. Play like we are the best in the East. Do you think Jermaine is worried right now? I highly doubt it. So we shouldn't either. We will find out if Detroit is as good as advertised soon. Then we can talk about them being good.

Sorry about my ramblings there, just my 2 cents. I'm not really being an optimist, I am just placing things logically. No need to overreact, which is what everyone is doing. Lets just watch the Pacers play their game, and watch them rise above the competition.