This was my first chance to watch the Pacers this season and I have several observations.
I like the new floor a lot, it looks really good in person, does not look as good on TV, but in person the white border looks very sharp. Good job to who ever designed the floor.
The list of Pacers who did not play is too long to list, so let me just discuss those who did play.
Saras - I don't have him figured out yet. He lost the ball several times and had a lot of trouble against the pressure defense of Troy Hudson, I mean he had all kinds of trouble, He made AJ look like Jason Kidd. Saras dribbled the ball off his foot, he threw the ball away several times and simply could not deal with the pressure defense
However, I'm not ready to give up on him, thats for sure. But I do question whether he is an NBA point guard. But he does have a lot of leadership skills, at times he reminded me of Mark Jackson. Saras knows how to run a team. I just don't know if he lacks quickness or if he is just tentative right now.
My sense is that Saras is a specialist, and yet he has some skills that starting point guards have. As I said I don't have him figured out yet. He sees the floor, he can shoot, he can do a lot of things, and he seems to be able to make plays in the clutch. Tinsley might start but if Saras can continue to make plays at crunch time Saras might finish games.
I really studied his defense tonight and I was expecting the worst. Overall I was pleasantly surprised. He reminds me very much of Mark Jackson on the defensive end. Sure, I wish he could pressure the ball and be a lockdown defender, but we know he never will be. But his anticipation is excellent, he was able to get several deflections.
Granger - He reminds me of someone. Scottie Pippen, maybe a little, but he reminds me of someone else and I can't put my finger on it - it drove me crazy all game long. He is taller and bigger than I thought so look for him to play a lot of power forward. The thing that I liked best about him was his team defense, for a rookie his team defense is shockingly good. He helps from the weakside, he's always in the right position, he never looked lost out there on the defensive end that is very unusual for a rookie.
No it is not Pippen. Pippen is more of a point forward, I don't think Danny is that. I just can't put my finger on who he reminds me of. The best thing I can say about him is he knows how to play basketball
Walker - I swear he's no taller than Granger. I suppose we have to keep him, but if he plays any this season we are in big trouble.
Overall tonight the Pacers interior defense was very poor espeically early on, they miss POllard, Foster, J.O and DH.
Cro - he was shooting well tonight and he must have done something to his hair, he looks like he has more on top than he did 5 months ago.
Jax - Was OK, Gill seemed a little better than I remembered . I don't care about any of the other guys who aren't going to make the team.
Let me end with Artest. He scored 26 point on 12 shots. He shot 8 for 12 and he seemed to be very much within the offense. He did seem to get a little tired, but I think that is why Rick is playing him a lot of minutes.
Not seeing David Craig on the bench seemed strange, He has been on the bench every gsame I've ever watched.