I'm going to try & do this position by position.
But first I will go ahead & just give an overall view of where I think the team is & where it is going.
Well we might as well talk about the big pink elephant in the room to begin with.
Let's just go ahead & get this out of the way right up front. There is a fairly large portion of posters on here who will share this thought.
Next year with Ron Ron the poser on the team (a referance to his supposed posing for the Detroit bus btw) we will be on a single solitary mission. A mission to stamp out evil & as I've already read one poster write, the Bulls 72 win season is in jeopardy. Championship rings are already being sized up & it's just a formality to go through the season.
That is the extreme I know, but I think you would be suprised at how many of our fellow posters actually beleive this.
Then there are those on here who beleive that the lineup, as it stands, is certainly a title contender & they feel very good just standing pat & going into the season with the same exact players because they want to give them a chance.
Quite a few of our fellow posters will fall into this catagory.
Then there is the dark side. There are those who believe that Ron Artest used up his "let's give Ron another chance" card last season when he refused to board the team plane to come home & virtually ended game 6 last season single handidly. They also beleive that there are fundamental flaws on this team that has to be addressed over the summer & that if things remain the same all we will have is another good regular season followed by playoffs where we will have happy sunshiny people saying "well they're still young, we've got to give them a chance to grow together".
Very few will walk on the dark path but those that do will feel confidence in thier opinion & will be heckeled by the masses. It will be up to the dark side to make certain that things stay civil this summer. Because much like when Piston & Pacer fans mix at the fieldhouse these opposite sides do not blend well together.
Jay, a well known hater, made a post in the regular season & it is more appopriate now than ever. http://www.pacersdigest.com/forums/s...regular+season
There is a lot to both agree & disagree with in that thread, depending on your point of view.
Are there other points of view? Sure, but I think the above three cover the vast majority of posters on here.
Now where do I fall? Well let's just say that I have issues with the team as it is composed.
I just want to point out one indisputable fact. With a healthy Ron Artest & an injured Jermaine O'Neal & Jamaal Tinsely the Indiana Pacers took the Detroit Pistons to 6 games & lost. Without Ron Artest at all & an injured Jermaine O'Neal & Jamaal Tinsley the Indiana Pacers took the Detroit Pistons to 6 games & lost.
I see no differance other than now we will be doing it without Reggie Miller. Of course if you are gonna say all three are going to be healthy then that is another story, however all three being healthy is another story & it is something I will cover in depth later.
I also sincely believe there are teams in the East that are not only catching up to us right now I think we may be at the point where Chicago has passed us (depending on Curry's health). The N.B.A. will always be more than happy to have the LaBron dynasty form & if Redd goes there this summer... But Washington is getting close, Orlando will improve & needless to say both Detroit & Miami are ahead of us as we speak. If Shaq doesn't win it this year don't think for a min. that Miami won't go all out to get another player to help him get one.
Needless to say I am NOT one of the ones who beleive a return of Ron Artest will automatically assure a title. But I will deal with Ron in another post about the small forwards.
Today is a day to look at our point guard spot.
As it stands we have Jamaal Tinsley as our starter, Anthony Johnson as the first reserve, Eddie Gill as the third string & Fred Jones who can do emergency work at the spot.
Jamaal Tinsley. I made a post very early in the year & I know I also said it at the forum gathering. I said that I thought Jamaal (at that time) was the best p.g. in the entire N.B.A. Well obviousley Steve Nash took that mantle over & never gave it back but for awhile I thought J.T. was as good as any pg in the NBA. I still stand by that. He, almost by himself, made it possible so that when we were so short handed we were still competative.
He is almost the ideal p.g. for my way of thinking. He is a great dribbler, defenses don't even bother to try & trap him, he is a great creator, he is a good passer, he can penatrate, he can score in the lane & I think he has become a good defender (gambles a little to much but in his case sometimes it pays off big).
He is everything I ever wanted in a point guard & I have been a big fan of his since his rookie season. That is why it is all the more difficult to say the following.
I think the Pacers need to trade Jamaal Tinsley.
I don't know if it's just the Bender backlash or the season backlash or whatever. But I'm just tired of certain players never playing the game. Yes, yes I know he was hurt. Had that mysterious ligiment pain & all. Great, but what people forget & it seems to be a time that all have forgotten is that Jamaal injured his foot in either his first or second game back from not playing because he was sick & hadn't played for like 4 games. But on top of that earlier in the year he was not playing because of a pull, strain or something.
You can be the best basketball player to ever play the game & if you can't play half the season then you really are not doing your team any good. There can never be a flow developed & every time you do get a groove going on, poof your gone again.
Now we hear he reinjured the foot in the semi-finals. It's just not going to end with him. He played 80 games as a rookie and has proceded to play less games every year since.
Now I'll be honest I wasn't thrilled with his morphing into Ivereson this season but I understand we were desperate for offense so I can live with it. But I just can't go through another season knowing that we are one game away from having to lose Jamaal for 3-4 weeks at a time for whatever reason. At this point I don't even care if his injury's are legit or not (BTW I do believe they are legit) it's just time to fill this team again with players who are durable even if they are slightly less talented.
Anthony Johnson. Started out the season sucking. Ended the season as the suprise point guard who actually deserved to start. I still say A.J. is one of the best backup p.g.'s in the entire NBA.
Oh he has weaknesses, no doubt. But they are minute & in fact he works very hard to minimize his weaknesses. He still is a weak dribbler for a p.g. but what can you do? However he is above average as a defender & is really quite a capable scorer & is not afraid to go into the trees.
He is nowhere near the creator that Jamaal is but he is a lunchpail kind of player & I mean that as a compliment. He is also something the Pacers really lack. A solid vet. who is a leader.
I have zero problem with the Pacers keeping him. I do believe his contract is a little large for what he is, but when he was starting at the end of the season & almost avg. a double double I think he earned a huge chunk of that money.
Eddie Gill. In the long tradition of Ollie, Strickland, Brewer, etc. who come to the team & do emergency work as the third guard. As long as he accepts that this is what he is I can't see any real harm in keeping him.
Ok, that doesn't sound like a ringing endorsement & it's not. But for a third string p.g. I think he's fine. He can penatrate & he can shoot fairly well. His defense is solid for his size but his ball handling is..... well... atrocious.
He is good for spot min. & seems to be a good team guy. So, for what he is, I say we should just keep him.
Now since I'm advocating trading Jamaal what do I think would be better? Well, honestly I don't know. A healthy Jamaal would be my answer, but I no longer have faith that that will happen.
To me Jamaal is one of the few real tradeable players we have on this team. He is signed long term & his contract is very reasonable.
I guess I would be willing to explore Uncle Bucks dream of a shooting point guard. God knows that that is repulsive to me on the surface, however it cannot be denied that it has worked for Detroit for a few seasons now.
Ok, fire away at me fellas. Let the venom flow in my direction because since jay is now on vacation it is up to Bball & myself to rep our peeps & show our colors of darkness because as you all know, we ride together!!!!!