More OJ please!
Eh, you should hit that, Cope.
The more I watch him the more I hope Orlando is part of the rotation this year.
OJ Boom Baby!
If he would have hit that one I would have started an Orlando For Starting Role petition lol.
Orlando strikes me as a guy who won't be fazed by the occasion and won't be afraid to take the initiative when even being with the first team. He can develop into a valuable guy for us.
Some quick thoughts to a somewhat entertaining game with a lot of really crazy lineups.
1. I want more significant playing time for Orlando Johnson...he can hit shots and drive to the basket!
2. It's crazy what happens when Copeland starts hitting those 3s. He will be very very helpful in short spurts...he just needs to hit those 3s more often. I know he got the green light for just shooting every shot in the preseason, so he can get aclimated but hopefully those 2 in a row lit a fire under him.
3. Lance Stephenson is still unstopable on fastbreaks! He got most of his points inside the paint and on the line tonight!
4. Donald Sloan is a really good 3rd string PG...he is better than DJ Augustine. I switched over for a short moment to the Toronto game and saw him loosing the ball and Tyler getting blocked...Sloan and Watson and Scola are way better than those guys!
5. Speaking of Watson, you could tell he is still in jetlag mode...just a step slow tonight.
6. Hilton Armstrong will get the 3rd Center spot, getting blocked like Tyler but can hit freethrows. Rasual Butler is known for his shooting and is currently in a battle with Cope in who is missing the most from the arc. Jackson and Howard never played, so I guess they gonna be released.
7. Solomon Hill is a rookie looking for his role. Sometimes he makes smart decisions but sometimes he tends to overpassing. Seems like he is trying to make it perfect, just like in SL. He got a couple of nice rebounds tonight.
8. Speaking of rebounds...they are the missing piece! Hope we get that straight...that and our defensive system. The new guys still try to figure out how to switch.
9. Hope Danny is ok and it's really just a strained calf!!!
10. MAHINMI HAS BUTTERFINGERS!!! In Europe we play handball and use resin, so the ball has a lot of grip. Maybe Mahinmi will be the first to promote it in the NBA: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...ballwax_01.jpg
Indiana Pacers @Pacers 4m
Vogel says the training staff does not think Danny Granger's calf strain is serious. In a preseason game, he was taken out as a precaution.
From the looks of it, if Orlando keeps it up in the regular season he is one of our top 7 players.
Danny is day-to-day. At least that's what I heard from Mark Boyle.
Armstrong should make the roster. Butler should be cut tomorrow.
I saw Danny going to the locker room, he seemed to be in a hurry but didn't show any sort of pain. Obviously it is never fun watching someone go to the lockerroom, but at the least, he didn't visibly seem to be in any pain. I guess we'll find out tho...
The decision on the 4th. wing or 9th. man in the rotation needs to be settled and should have been tonight. Vogel needs to commit to OJ and move on. I'd like to see Vogel work out the real rotation issues for the remainder of the preseason and maybe in the process we could win one.
OJ played well last season too I thought, so I'm not surprised. He's one of those guys that just does what he's asked, makes the easy pass, hits the open shot and doesn't add any drama... I like him! Seems to be one that understands what a privilege it is to be an NBA player and does the best that he can when he's called on.
Some observations I had:
1) On offense it was pretty clear they were mixing guys used to playing the same position in different units. A number of times you would see two guys trying to take the same position or make the same move on a play, getting in each other's way and more-or-less breaking things up.
2) The Mavs offensive sets were crisp and polished, and the Pacers defense was unable to figure out how to position themselves to attack the offense as a whole. Most of the game, the defense was being played as if each player was solely responsible for his man - little help, no anticipation for where a play was going, no movement to get position for a rebound when a shot went up.
3) Once our lower bench was actually playing the Mavs lower bench the game started to look even (that's when we made the run in the late 4th). Up until then, everyone on the floor looked overmatched.
4) Not enough time to really see what Danny was able to do before he went out, but his lateral movement seemed strong and he got some lift on the three he made. I'd say he looked a little slow on defense, but frankly every single Pacer on the floor looked a little slow on defense, so how much of that is a team malaise and how much of it is specifically Danny is hard to tell. One important point is that Danny's fouls were due to getting his hands into a player going after the ball, not due to footwork issues.
5) Can anyone hold on to a rebound? I know Ian has the reputation for having concrete hands, but my gosh it looked like these guys were playing volleyball out there sometimes.
6) Lance gets the crowd going, but I get the feeling his heads-down flat-out fling himself at the basket play will end up being about as valuable as Tyler's was once it gets figured out. He outruns his dribble far too often and has to struggle to maintain control when turning the corner or getting ready to go up for a shot, and any little bump or touch makes him want to flail. I do, however, want some classic James Brown clips for the center screen when Lance goes down on one of those "OMG I've been SHOT" moments.
Since 4 of 5 starters did not play I don't feel right taking much from this game overall. The players were clearly tired, which may have affected timing and shooting. I am concerned about cohesiveness, but after all the units playing together were very possibly units that had never spent extensive time on the floor.
My prediction, however, is that it is going to take some regular season games for this to clear up, perhaps even up to the first extended road trip (which is often where things start to gel, oddly enough). There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Finally, I was following Candace Buckner on Twitter and I want to say how refreshing it is to have a beat reporter not only paying attention to the game but putting out constant information that was timely and valuable. I really look forward to her work the rest of the season.
I didn't see any of mthe game, and only heard the radio pregame show. Slick sounds concerned about what he has seen so far.
I'm not concerned at all. Let me be clear though, I am always concerned about everything, every game, every minute of every game. So that is my nature, but I don't feel that way about preseason games.
Is it possible that the Pacers might get off to a slow start? sure that is always possible and could the weak preseason be evidence of what is to come? Sure. but I doubt it
Anyone remember how weakly the Pacers ended the regaulr season last year? Probably not, but we did and there was a lot of concern that was quickly and rightfully forgotten as soon as the playoffs started.