I am waiting to see how many people trumpet last nights loss as a sign of things to come. I know you are out there & even if you don't post it I know you are thinking it.
All that the game vs. Boston confirmed for me was the one belief that I have held for a long long time.
All five players on the floor must be able to score. That does not mean they have to be scorers but you cannot ever have a one or even two man team unless you happen to have either His Airness or the Stilt on your squad.
At differing intervals during the game we had either Jeff Foster or Fred Jones on the floor. Yes I know Fred finally provided some form of offense in the 4th quarter but up until then he litterally was invisible.
I know many will laugh but I think if Austin Croshere & Jamaal Tinsley were there this would have been a differant game.
I know there is a love fest for Foster out there but I just want to state again for the record. Jermaine O'Neal & Austin Croshere work much better together because they offer the entire package & while some will argue that Foster has a defensive edge (I don't believe it but whatever) Austin is worlds away better on the offensive end of the floor. Our defense wasn't that bad, we had some lapses for sure but overall it wasn't the worst defense I've ever seen played.
But our times of going 6-7 min. without scoring a fieldgoal is just maddening.
Foster offers nothing on the offensive end of the floor & I am of the opinion that the reason he garners so many offensive rebounds is because nobody has to guard him so they often forget he is even there.
But I'm not here to complain about Jeff because he is still trying to catch his wind out there & in no way do I place the loss on him. I'm not sure there is any real reason that this was a loss other than poor shooting, lack of any dribble penetration & no post offense oh & poor rebounding, but other than that it was perfect.
I'm not worried about this game at all because I never really felt we were totally out of it till the end & I just have to think that we are not going to shoot 33% from the field as a team very often.
I really was impressed with the defensive traps we were playing & our rotations were more crisp than they have been in a long while. I just don't think defense lost this one for us guys.
On the other hand our guards could not penetrate at all & we often looked as though we were starting our offense beyond the three point arc.
I know this is where we all get a chance to pitch a bitc# at A.J. because there were a couple of times he took almost 10 sec. to even get to the 3/4 hash mark on the floor to even try & set up our offense.
But for as bad as he was last night Saras was worse. How he only accounted for 2 T.O.'s is beyond me. It seemed as though all night long his passes were either wide or short & going 2-10 from 3 point range does not thrill me with any player. I know he can shoot it & at certain points last night he was trying to get the team going but that was a little much. Also Dalonte West abused him defensively. The Celtics obviously had Saras scouted very well & learned real quick that they could crowd him in the corner & he would be far less effective & thus chuck up some wild shots.
I'm not down on him, but I'm just trying to be honest. It's the first real game he's had that I wasn't very happy with his overall play.
Granger also was a little dissapointing because I figured he would be a lot more active. However he played a lot of his time at the 4 spot & I just don't think that is a wise thing for Carlisle to do with him. The guy will be a killer 3 but he's a little undersized at the 4. But for some damn reason Carlisle is in love with this new small ball craze so I guess we just have to trust him on that.
It was good to see David get some meaningfull time on the floor. He looked very happy when he came in the game & as usual he was a bundle of energy on the defensive end & was damn lucky the refs. for whatever reason were swallowing their whistles when he was on the floor because there were several plays that he was like a wrecking ball. I know he didn't have any rebounds which is dissapointing but I want to point out again that the guy caused two defensive rebounds by totally eclipsing Al Jefferson & Kedrick Perkins with his wide body. S.Jax was the benefactor of one board & Saras was the other.
I wish they would have tried to go to him in the post a couple of more times because my beleif is that Boston could not have stopped him. But then my belief is that very few teams could stop the Hulk down low.
Fred Jones just cannot go that long on the floor & be that useless. If he is going to be the shooting guard then for God's sake take the ball & do something with it. I'm not saying to force it but he needs to make something happen out there.
I'm not upset with Jermaine. He has been a Warrior since early in the season & he is allowed a down game. He still grabbed 10 boards so no complaints there. The only constructive criticism I have for him would be to not settle for the jumpers they give you so readily.
I still say he is better when he is playing center. I also still say he is better when he plays with Croshere.
But other than that, it was just a game. There are some things to take away from this but by no means should this be any cause for any Pacers fan to give up on the season. We still were missing two key ingrediants & we still have a couple of young players that will still need some time to find thier way.