December 25, 2005
By Mike Wells
Jackson lets his temper get the best of him
Indiana Pacers small forward Stephen Jackson is supposed to be one of the team's leaders, a player who is mentally strong and helps keep his teammates' emotions in check. If the first 24 games are any indication, Pacers coach Rick Carlisle and the rest of Jackson's teammates need to do a better job keeping his head in the game.
Jackson, a streaky player who is moody at times, leads the Pacers with six technical fouls. The rest of the team has a combined seven technicals. Jamaal Tinsley has three, while Carlisle and Jermaine O'Neal have two each. Ron Artest, who is on the inactive list, has none.
Jackson, who had six points on 2-of-11 shooting, was ejected for the first time this season in the final seconds of Friday's loss at Cleveland for arguing an offensive foul called against Tinsley.
Switching things up
Jeff Foster started at center Friday, but the Pacers' inability to spread the floor with outside shooting prompted Carlisle to go with Austin Croshere, who has started 14 games, at the start of the second half. The Pacers trailed by 12 points at the time.
"I just decided to go back to Cro to see if we could open up the floor a little bit," Carlisle said.
"The matchups in the game dictate certain things. Jeff did a good job the first six minutes, and he generally played well. I don't think he was the reason we got behind."
Foster, who finished with no points and five rebounds in 10 minutes, only played four minutes in the second half. Croshere had four points and three rebounds in 20 minutes.
Strong outing for Jones
Guard Fred Jones has only five double-figure scoring games this season, but his past two came when the Pacers needed a lift off the bench.
Jones scored eight of his 15 points in the fourth quarter Friday when the Pacers fought back from a 16-point deficit at the start of the quarter to tie the score. Jones shot 7-for-7 on his way to 17 points Dec. 8 when the Pacers came from 16 points down to blow out the Wizards.
"He's been playing with energy. He's been playing with force for the last three weeks," Carlisle said. "He's a difference maker for us."