I would think Artest would get the assignment on Rip and SJax would get Prince. Remember SJax is a bit taller than Artest so matchup wise I think it could work well.
Good points Beast....
to go along with getting easy baskets off turnovers I think its essential to get some quick hitting early offense....before Detroits D has time to settle in.
And i'm Not talking about jacking up 3's with 18 seconds still on the shot clock....but pushing it occasionally after made buckets and have JO, DH, Ron, or Jack flash through the lane and seal their defender in the post before the D can double hard. We did a little of that last night with Harrison.
We kinda got away from doing that last year....but we've done it more often in previous seasons.
On the Pacers roster the best at guarding Rip, IMHO, are:
1. AJ - the only problem is he's usually guarding Billups.
2. Stephen Jackson - he did an excellent job on Tayshaun last year and I think he can keep up with Rip.
3. Tinsley - the only shortcoming I can see with this is that Jamaal has a tendency to grab his man when cutting around screens. The refs would be all over him if he did that.
4. Bender. That's right, Jon Bender! He's not that quick but he was able to get his lanky frame around the screens in 2004 and with his height, he really bothered Rip's shot. Too bad he was inept on the offensive end in '04 and unavailable in '05.
I didn't bring Artest up because He's not quick enough and too big to get around those tight Detroit screens. Fred is the absolute worse at guarding him, IMO. He's just too short and a step slow.
Fred guards him SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much better than most here think. I guess you just look at the point totals? There were 2 games in particular where Freddie was just all OVER him, not a breath between them, Hamilton double pumping and doing everything he could just to get a shot off. And draining them. Now most of you would look at the baskets he made. I look at how HARD he had to work for them. And Freddie makes him work. Big time.
We won't play slow-ball anymore. Anybody who saw the game last night could see that.
We had 4-5 plays where we caught philly napping and inbounded the ball 90 feet to billups leaking down the court off of made baskets.
Our motion offense allows for a lot of quick shots. Whomever is open can shoot. Flip doesn't care who shoots, so long as it's a good shot.
Our bench also plays a huge factor in this. Our starters sat for large gaps in the middle quarters, and Arroyo, Dice and Mo Evans came out and did a great job. Darko was ok for essentially his first real game, but he bought Ben Wallace 8 minutes of rest in the 2nd qtr. Even Delfino had an explosive Ginobili-style dunk, despite the fact Rip was too hot to play him much.
At one point last night, we hit 18 out of 20 shots.
Rip didn't get his 37 because we were forcing the ball to him, he scored 37 because our motion offense made the defense chase 2 or 3 guys off screens, and they weren't able to concentrate on just Rip.
I've beena HUGE Flip Saunders fan, and last night was an example why. He lets his players play. The Pistons are a unique team that will play hard defensively no matter what style they use or how lax their coach is, but I love Flip because he's one of the best in the NBA and divising offenses around his talent.
We still win with defense, but we no longer slow the tempo down, as we showed last night agaunst Philly.
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I like Jax on Rip. He slides around screens pretty well, and is long enough to bother Rip's shot. Also, as has been said, Jax can dominate Rip on the offensive end. Post him up and get him in foul trouble, or wait for the double team and wait for the pass. Regardless, Jax is one of those players I'm sure Rip doesn't like to see on a regular basis.
Granger could be decent against him, but he's a rook, he'll have hit the wall by then, and that's a LOT of pressure for a rookie.
Another thing I noticed last night was that it seems that Saunders takes the shackles off the point guards. Arroyo is a true PG who knows how to run a team. And the two years Larry Brown spent molding Chauncey Billups into being more of a true PG instead of a scoring combo guard are going to pay huge dividends if last night was any indication. Billups didn't even look to score much, especially in the first half.
"See how stupid those fans sound complaining about the officials. That is one reason why I hate when Pacers fans complain about the refs - does not come across well at all, no matter the merit. "