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Thread: A little positive spin, courtesy of SI.com's C.Mannix

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    Member Mushmouth's Avatar
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    Default A little positive spin, courtesy of SI.com's C.Mannix

    Almost impossible to play worse, eh?

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/200...ers/index.html
    Danger signs

    Pacers in desperate need of wake-up call vs. Celtics

    Posted: Monday April 25, 2005 1:18PM; Updated: Monday April 25, 2005 1:27PM



    Should Boston's Raef LaFrentz remain as hot as he was in Game 1, the Pacers will be home for the summer sooner than later.
    AP



    There is a belief among coaches that if you're going to lose, it's better to lose by a lot than get edged out by a little. The idea being that a blowout loss doesn't weigh on the minds of the players as much as a buzzer-beater or a defeat in overtime would. After dropping a 102-82 Game 1 to the Celtics, the Pacers and their coaching staff pray that adage is true.

    Indiana's 20-point loss in Boston Saturday night was embarrassing, but a closer look shows Indiana is not as overmatched as it appears to be. First, the shooting will even out over the course of the series. Boston opened the series shooting 51.4 percent from the field to Indiana's 34.8 percent. But it's unlikely Raef LaFrentz, who torched the Pacers from outside in Game 1 -- going 8-9, including a perfect 5-for-5 from beyond the 3-point line -- will be quite so efficient the rest of the series.

    Second, as poorly as Jermaine O'Neal played (3-12 for only 7 points, 17.3 under his season average), many of his missed opportunities came inside the paint, point-blank misses that will likely fall for the All-Star center as the series progresses.

    Finally, Dale Davis -- whom I believe will be a big factor in this series -- was a complete non-factor on Saturday. The veteran Davis isn't a scorer, but he is a blue-collar worker underneath the rim. For all his talents, Antoine Walker is not the type of player who likes to mix it up around the basket, and if Davis can control the offensive boards, he could draw Walker into committing some bad fouls, especially early on.

    All those optimistic observations aside, Pacers coach Rick Carlisle should hope the Indiana team that walked off the parquet floor Saturday night is one that is never heard from again. Reggie Miller was terrible -- his overreactions to Tony Allen's aggressive defense made him look like a surly rookie and not the 18-year veteran that he is. Miller showed no confidence in his jumper, and instead made failed attempt after failed attempt to draw cheap fouls. O'Neal, who owned Boston in last year's playoffs, clearly favored his right shoulder and by the start of the fourth quarter had two ice bags wrapped around his sore arm. And Anthony Johnson reverted to his backup form, "leading" an Indiana bench that scored only 32 points, most of which came when the game had already been decided.

    Which leads into the last point. Game 1's tide started to turn when both teams started to dig into their benches. While Carlisle called on Austin Croshere and Fred Jones, Celtics coach Doc Rivers had the loaded gun that is Ricky Davis in his arsenal. Davis played like the varsity kid who was just asked to play in the JV game -- he was head and shoulders better than anyone on either team's second unit. In addition, Davis' confidence (and candor -- Davis began yapping at any Pacer within earshot immediately after his first basket) seems to inspire his teammates. If Davis is able to control large portions of the series by himself, the Pacers could find themselves making summer plans before the calendar turns to May.

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    Default Re: A little positive spin, courtesy of SI.com's C.Mannix

    Ok. Here's what we do:

    * Don't overcompensate for LaFrentz. He is going to be pumped, take some lousy shots, and that will be it. On the other hand, whoever is guarding him has to still recognize that he can hit the outside shot. We have to honor it at least a little bit. And by the way, the person guarding him outside shouldn't be Dale. Dale needs to hang out in the middle and protect against the drive. If that means JO chases LaFrentz, fine.

    * Run. Get the ball up the court. They are pressuring our backcourt and we don't have the ball handlers to fight back. Get the ball up the court immediately, THEN set up the play if need be.

    * Reggie needs to concentrate on hitting the open jumper and not worry about being Disrespect Hero Reggie. You aren't getting any special treatment your last year. Deal with that. And if you've got the shot, take it. Don't waste the extra second looking for Steve. He'll get his shots.

    * Wipe that smile off Ricky Davis' face. And do it hard. If he gets frustrated, that switch can flip at any time and he will be useless. If Ricky is frustrated and angry, he will do stupid things. He's ripe for it to. Now everyone is looking to him after the monster game he had last time.

    * Trust our jump shots. Like it or not, it was outside shooting that got us this far this far this year. If our shots fall we've got a shot. If we're tentative, then we're blowing the only chance we've got. Are you listening Reggie, Steve, Freddie, AJ, and Austin? If you've got the shot, take it.

    * DON'T get off to a good start. Let Boston think it's got this thing wrapped up. Let them start trying to hit Alley Oops again. Just hang within 10 pts. Then make our move. Remember, this is a playoff game on the road. We're not SUPPOSED to win. They are.

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    Default Re: A little positive spin, courtesy of SI.com's C.Mannix

    Quote Originally Posted by 3Ball
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    * Run. Get the ball up the court. They are pressuring our backcourt and we don't have the ball handlers to fight back. Get the ball up the court immediately, THEN set up the play if need be.

    Uhhhh... you realize Rick is still coaching this team and AJ is the best PG we can put on the court...
    Why do the things that we treasure most, slip away in time
    Till to the music we grow deaf, to God's beauty blind
    Why do the things that connect us slowly pull us apart?
    Till we fall away in our own darkness, a stranger to our own hearts
    And life itself, rushing over me
    Life itself, the wind in black elms,
    Life itself in your heart and in your eyes, I can't make it without you


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