The first half of the game reminded me of the statue of Jimmy Carter from the Simpsons.
On the bottom was inscribed "Malaise forever" & that pretty much sums up the first half from our standpoint.
The team was flat & the fans were flat.
It was so bad in the first half that Jeff Foster ran into the stands & took the pom poms away from the girl in section 2 & tried to rally the team. Ok he didn't do that but he might as well have. He was trying everything on the floor to get the team going. He was clapping, he was talking he was doing everything but a salsa dance to get the team fired up & it wasn't happening.
I don't know if it was because of such a small crowd (smallest non-weather related crowd I've seen in a long while) or if it was because it was a depleted Bobcats team or if it was just Wednesday but it looked like dawn of the dead out there on the court & Austin Croshere was the lead zombie.
Was Isiah Thomas in the building? Did Austin hear he was about to be traded with Ron to Toronto? Did the insurance run out on the monoxidil?
Whatever the reason Austin could have done everyone the favor & just called in sick for the night, at least in the first half. I can think of at least two time he rose in the air & could not decide to shoot or pass so he ends up throwing it away both times.
He even missed 3 freethrows. Something is terribley wrong when he misses 3 freethrows in a game. He even got a Bobcat p!ssed at him. I had turned my head for a second so I have no idea what occured but when I look up I see Refs. running in-between Austin & some Bobcat (I don't know who)
I haven't seen him play this disorganized since Zeke was here.
Danny Granger had two great blocked shots. No, really they were eyepopping good blocked shots. But that was it. He offered nothing much else all night long either. Maybe he & Austin had the same food & they were suffering from food poisoning?
Actually the fact that we won this game is a miracle considering we didn't have one player above 6'8" tall play very well for very long.
I mean David had a few good min. in the second half & Jeff had a few good min. spread about, Austin did finally get going a little in the second half but that was it.
Jackson was a in a mood all night long for some reason. He & David Harrison got into a verbal spat over a missed pass & then there were a couple of times that Jax stayed back to argue with the refs. while the Bobcats ran the other way.
Thank God for Anthony Johnson. Even the biggest A.J. haters on here have to admit that he saved our bacon in this game. He had a double double & it was from rebounds not assists.
I've come to one conclusion though after watching this game. Rick Carlisle does not have a lot of faith in Saras. In fact Saras almost came out of the game with about 5 min. left to go & Harrison was coming in but Rick pulled him back at the last min. I thought it might have something to do with the fact that Saras was litterally haning his head as he was leaving but then again I don't know that. I don't know what made him change his mind after Saras was already walking to the bench.
But either way whenever Saras was in last night Rick pretty much kept the ball out of his hands. Even Ed Gill was brought in with Saras for awhile & he had control of the ball the entire time.
I will watch this more closely as time goes on to see if there is anything to this or if it was just a one night anomoly.
Primoz was just picking David apart from 15' out tonight. David would never get up on him so Primoz would just let it rip on him. Foster had to come in to stop this but then Primoz just started to take him down low & draw fouls.
Finally in the second half when David wasn't afraid of fouling out he went out & guarded Primoz on the perimater & Primoz tried once to take David on the block. It didn't work so he didn't go back.
I'm not sure if Rick went small out of necessity or habbit. David could have played in the 4th quarter more than he did. Yes I know he would have had some trouble with their quickness but he did a very good job of not fouling in the game & they had nobody who could stop him on the offensive end. In fact I have no idea why we didn't try some post moves with David in the second half more than we did. Whenever they got it to him it was off of a drive & dish. It worked a couple of times but he bobbled it a couple of times as well.
Oh well at least he is playing & he is getting better. This is all that I've ever wanted Rick to do was to give him his shot & Rick is doing it.
No Jamaal, no J.O., no Ron, No Bender (laugh if you want but he is still being paid huge mega bucks) & no Pollard & this team is still competative.
Walsh Warriors should be proud of that because few teams could lose that many players & still win any games let alone float around the .500% mark.
I can tell you one thing though for fact. That fieldhouse was dead & unfortunately I think the fans have started to write off the season.
That's a shame but I can sort of understand because just like the Colts, many Pacers fans were proclaiming this to be the year. It never was, but that didn't stop a lot of people from saying it was.
I am not advocating this at all because I agree with Walsh on the fact that the team should get the best deal possible but I think the fan base needs a shot of adrenaline right now & I'm not sure that Al Harrington isn't exatly what the fieldhouse needs to feel good again.
I'm not saying that this is what is right for the team (I don't know if it is or isn't) but I know Al was never hated in the fieldhouse as bad as he was online (ironic since I always felt that Ron was never loved as much in the fieldhouse as he is online either)
I know that Atlanta doesn't want any part of Ron & I can't blame them but maybe it is time to explore that three way with Denver again.
I just know that there is now a huge disconnect between the fans & this team.
It could be because it was Wednesday, the Colts loss could have had an impact, it could be no J.O. or it could even be it was the Bobcats but something was wrong in that place.