This is going to be short and sweet.
After the Lakers game two night ago, I said I liked where the Pacers were, I thought they were coming together, starting to develope some chemistry, starting to play hard, starting to play well together. Something happened between the Nuggets game and the Kings game. (Yes I know they played the Warriors in between) But I see a different team the past 3 games now. Roles are defined, I think the players know what they are expected to do.
Not sure how good this current team can be, but I like what I see. They appear to be playing up to their capabilities.
As far as this game tonight, I loved the ball movement, and I thought they played really hard. More than anything they look like a team. The first home game after a west coast trip is always tough, impressive win tonight.
Let me start with DH. He started tonight and played pretty well. No doubt he provides a physical presense. No doubt he is a huge man. Hopefully he can continue to improve.
Danny Granger continues to impress me. One thing that has really improved now that he is playing a lot, is his shooting, he now is confident and I have confidence he'll make shoots. He is also extremely unselfish, a very willing passer and I think that is rubbing off on his teammates.
He's a keeper.
Saras, he needs to ease up a little. Ease up on himself, I think he tries to be perfect and he'll never be. His behind the back pass to Jax tonight was sweet. Defense continues to get better
AJ, I'll never understand why so many hate him. But he looks good to me. I can see why Rick has confidence in him, I have confidence in him to make the right decisions.
I want to do something a little different tonight. Instead of talking about Cro and Jeff separately, or even pitting them against the other, I want to say they are both invaluable. They both play hard all the time and play only to win. In many ways they are the backbone of this team and the most stable players on the team right now. We need them both, sure they are different, but they are mature players, who play the right way.
Let me say something about Rick Carlisle. Most of the people at the forum party wanted Rick gone after this season. The theory seemed to be that he is good getting a team to the playoffs but not winning it all. And he's good with a less talented team. Well I don't know about that. The only thing I know is the Pacers have been an extremely well coached team for three years now, and until Rick "loses the team" he should be the Pacers coach for as long as he wants, no questions asked. I wonder if any of you see some of the other teams and how poorly coached they are.
When I watch other NBA games, and I watch as many as I can, I see poorly coached team after poorly coached team, but the Pacers are not one of them.
Another myth is that Rick does not want this team to run, he does, he just wants them to be smart about.
I don't see how anyone could watch the Pacers and not think they are well coached. He's one of the best coaches in the NBA, and the idea that we could do better is insane.