I'm relatively new to this forum and should probably just keep my mouth shut but....
I have opinions , too.
Ron Artest certainly screwed up big time last year. He was suspended by the league for entering the stands and fighting. Whether the suspension was warranted or not is debatable. After last season, I think everyone agreed we needed this guy to compete. This year is kind of perplexing. He stabbed the team in the back , so to speak , by requesting a trade. The team then suspends him , ultimately for the rest of the season. Many players in the past , including Pacers , have asked to be traded. I can't remember any of them being suspended. I know "this is the last straw" , "he's a cancer" and so on and so forth. I can't help but think suspending him hurts the team in various ways. It removes one of our best players from the equation. It has apparently reduced his trade value. A storm of controversy has hovered around the team for the last month and half. Originally, it appeared to divide the locker room in some ways. The team had to acclimate itself to life w/o Ron and if and when a trade occurs will have to do the same again. I can't help but wonder if suspending the guy was the correct approach.
The Trade still looms. I've been completly unimpressed with nearly all of the trade rumors. Defensive players , injured players , overpaid players , trades involving too many players , players who put up decent numbers on really bad teams(look no futher than Tony Campbell of the expansion T-Wolves or Brezec of the Bobcats) or in some cases trades that make no sense for some of the teams involved.
Jamal Tinsley takes a beating on these boards. He's the best point guard on the Pacers. He doesn't turn the ball over too much. He has had the injury bug the last two years. He can score and create his own shot. His 3pt% has steadily risen throughout his career. The offense flows much better when he mans the 1 spot. The stats back up his t/o's %'s etc...Mel Mel's assist to turnover ratio (2.44 to 1)is favorable compared to Tony Parker's(2.19 to 1), Chauncey Billup's(2.42 to 1) and even Isiah Thomas'(2.46 to 1). He has 3 or more steals in 7 of the 19 games he's played this year. His scoring average has risen when other players go down and he hasn't shown any resentment to losing those shots when thay come back.
Stephen Jackson ,although certainly a thug , has played pretty damn well as a Pacer. 17.6 ppg .364 3pt% aren't bad numbers from your 2 guard. His shooting percentage has been questioned this year . He's shooting .434 from the field. Unfortunately, that isn't really considered too bad in todays NBA. Ray Allen(.430),Kobe Bryant(.444),Michael Finley(.395) and Sarunas Jasikevivius(.419) aren't shooting any better than Jack. Not to mention, since the latest injuries he's kept this team afloat with the help of Freddie "The Duck" Jones. His 2.34 turnovers a game aren't really that high either.
Sarunas Jasikevicius isn't that great. He should not be the starting point guard. I'm not even sure he should be the 2nd stringer at this point. .419 from the field? 1.34 to 1 t/o ratio? There was a time when Pacers.com asked " Who is the most clutch Pacer?" and like 70 some percent of the respondents said this guy. Who after less than half a season , is showing me why it took him so long to get to the NBA. He's remarkably slow , makes just as many errant passes as the others who are berated on this board and the other one (indystar board) and he's shown he's almost completely unable to play out of position. Our other point guards can all continue to contibute from the two guard , but this guy falls off the face of the earth.
JO's leadership skills, Rick Carlisle and coaching & the rest of the team will have to wait until later installments.