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Thread: Carlisle clears up the backup point guard situation sort of

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    Default Carlisle clears up the backup point guard situation sort of

    Doubt this will satisfy our most ardent anti-Johnson faction


    http://www.nba.com/pacers/news/news_..._injuries.html



    Sharpening Edge, Regaining Health Key Issues


    By Conrad Brunner
    Indianapolis, April 5, 2004
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Though the Pacers have the top spot in the Eastern Conference locked up, they can not afford to go on cruise control for the final two weeks of the regular season. They have health and personnel issues to address, not to mention the not-so-small goal of regaining a sharp edge before the playoffs begin.
    The critical issues:


    Jermaine O’Neal: His sore left knee has become problematic in that it robs him of jumping ability, and that’s the leg he uses for takeoff. How that affects his overall game, and his minutes in the remaining regular-season games, remains to be seen.




    Point guard: Jamaal Tinsley returned to practice Monday and is expected to start Tuesday against New York in Conseco Fieldhouse. Though that’s good news, his return will have a ripple effect on Kenny Anderson, who was effective in Tinsley’s absence, and Anthony Johnson.


    Jonathan Bender: Though the key reserve is eligible to be activated from the injured list, he remains apprehensive about re-injuring the left shoulder and isn’t likely to be cleared to return at least until Friday.


    Sharpening the edge: The Pacers have lost three of their last four games against teams with winning records, including Sunday’s embarrassing drubbing in Detroit. For a team that wants to be at its peak entering the postseason, clearly there is some climbing to do.


    O’Neal did not score from the low post in Detroit on Sunday, settling almost exclusively for mid-range jumpers and going 4 of 15 from the field. Though he had been on a 24-minute limit for the previous two games to limit wear and tear on his knee, he played 37 against the Pistons and said he isn’t comfortable playing shorter stints.


    "I've got to play,” O’Neal said. “It's such a crucial time for me to lose my rhythm. Rhythm is sometimes hard to get, especially when you play teams like Boston and Detroit that like to mix it up on defense and make you play a different way. If you don't have a rhythm, then you're really not effective in the games. I'm going to have to find times when I can rest a lot during contact during practice and play in the games. It's a hard thing because you want to obviously get practice time, but it's either me playing well in the games or playing hard in practice and not playing well in the games."


    O’Neal also wants to move his game back inside, to use the jumper as a complementary rather than a primary weapon.


    “Some nights, you rely on jump shots but I guess it takes a game like (Sunday) to put that in perspective,” he said. “If I’m out there, I’ve got to give what I can give. I can’t settle for a jump shot. If I’m making them, it’s great. If I’m missing them, I’m killing the team. They went to me an awful lot and I didn’t come through for the team. In big games, if you’re going to a big-time player in this league, you’ve got to be able to come through no matter what.”


    The Pacers went 2-2 in the games Tinsley missed with a viral sinus infection. Getting their starting point guard back into the flow, both from a conditioning and rhythm standpoint, is critical.


    "I'm feeling a little weak right now, but I'm going to go out there and play through it,” Tinsley said. “Most of me getting back is just getting out there and getting into the flow of it. I'm not 100 percent right now, but I've just got to get out there and play basketball."



    Anderson, who played sparingly before Tinsley’s illness, averaged 9.5 points and 4.0 assists in the last four games, starting three. Coach Rick Carlisle said he’d like to find a way to use the veteran more regularly as the playoffs approach.


    [size=18:3560e2c5dd]“I’ve talked to both Kenny and A.J. and I haven’t made a final decision but my feeling is that we could go into a situation similar to what has happened with (Austin) Croshere and (Scot) Pollard, where maybe one guy will play one night based on matchups or something of that nature,” Carlisle said. “Certainly, they’re both fine players and both deserving to play and they both bring something a little different to our team. I really feel like an important part of my job right now is keeping both of them ready to play on the one hand and, on the other hand, keeping our team in position to win. Really, I have such confidence in both guys, I don’t think it matters who plays as the backup.” [/size]


    Bender, still wearing protective padding on his left shoulder, has regained full range of motion and has returned to practice. But he said the shoulder is tender enough that another hit could lead to a major setback that could force him to sit out an extended period of time in the playoffs, and he doesn’t want to come back until he’s confident the risk of re-injury is minimal.

    “I was ready to go the other day but the doctor told me it would be stupid to go out there right and get hit and have to miss the playoffs,” Bender said. “I’m just trying to get it comfortable enough where I can go out there and play and get hit and go through the bumps.

    “It’s kind of hard going out there watching my team and not being able to play, but we’ve got a big thing coming up that I’ve got to be in. I’ve just got to be patient, take my time and get it all the way healthy.”


    Carlisle must balance being protective of his injured players with the need to have the team fully prepared for the playoffs. The Pacers will open their first-round series either April 17 or 18. The regular-season ends April 14.

    ”We’re going to have to use these next eight-to-10 days to keep an edge, especially at the defensive end, and to get better at both ends,” Carlisle said. “Our injury situation and our health situation isn’t perfect right now but I think our medical people are doing the best they can to help us with it and the players are doing their part. They’re getting their treatments and doing what they can to get better. That’s all we can ask for at this point.”

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    Default Re: Carlisle clears up the backup point guard situation sort of

    Since he's D has been much less than impressive in the 2nd half of the season, I can't see what would make him worth playing even half the time anymore. Of course I'm talking about AJ.

    MAYBE the fact that he's a better 3 point shooter. But beyond that?

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    Default Re: Carlisle clears up the backup point guard situation sort of

    Hicks, I still think AJ is a better defender than Kenny. Maybe not against every point guard out there, but against most of them.

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    Default Re: Carlisle clears up the backup point guard situation sort of

    I don't know who is better than who, but it seems as though AJ has not played well lately. This is only from what I can tell. Maybe he should play SG? But that would leave Freddy out...
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    Default Re: Carlisle clears up the backup point guard situation sort of

    I like the job Kenny has been doing AS OF LATE more than AJ - just my preference. But all is well since our man Tinsley is coming back.

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    Default Re: Carlisle clears up the backup point guard situation sort of

    I know I prefer Kenny more and I haven't seen lately where AJ is such a more solid defender than Kenny . I mean the 5 previous games before Detriot Kenny had 0 turnovers and he scored pretty decent also , maybe you gotta weigh out what you need for each game , but I can't for the life of me see what is so spetacular about AJ and his game.

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    Default Re: Carlisle clears up the backup point guard situation sort of

    AJ has really been bad since the Denver game.

    I wish we had spent some time about twenty games ago expirimenting with Freddie as the backup PG.

    For as bad as AJ's been lately, I'm not sold on Kenny Anderson. However, KA was Boston's third-best player during their playoff run a couple years ago. When I normally think of KA, I think of wasted potential (both his individually and the teams he's been on.)

    I'm glad I'm not the coach. It's much easier to second-guess than to really be the decision maker. I vote to just play Tinsley all 48 minutes in the playoffs.

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    Default Re: Carlisle clears up the backup point guard situation sort of

    AJ has really been bad since the Denver game.

    I wish we had spent some time about twenty games ago expirimenting with Freddie as the backup PG.
    That seems like a good project for the summer league. With so few minutes to spread among so many PG's it really wasn't reasonable to do it in mid-season.

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    Default Re: Carlisle clears up the backup point guard situation sort of

    I think Freddie is more of a SG than a PG

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    Default Re: Carlisle clears up the backup point guard situation sort of

    I think Freddie is more of a SG than a PG
    He played the point exclusively in last year's summer league.

    Walsh wanted a combo guard and got one.
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    Default Re: Carlisle clears up the backup point guard situation sort of

    Walsh wanted a combo guard and got one.
    I thought I read that Isiah wanted Freddie and that's what got him picked over Rush or Welsch?

    Anyway, I like Freddie, but I think he's more of a tradeable asset than a keeper in the long run.

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    Default Re: Carlisle clears up the backup point guard situation sort of

    You are right UB it did not totaly thrill me but it is a step in the right direction.

    I have said many times that I would like AJ if he were used properly. He is a spot shooter, sort of a Kerr or Paxson and if he were used that way I would be all for him.

    But in no universe is this guy a poing guard. I hated it when Ron Mercer played the point last year and I think this is pretty close to as bad.

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    Default Re: Carlisle clears up the backup point guard situation sort of

    I never want to see AJ bring the ball up court again. He is one of the worse ball handling PGs of all-time. A little ball pressure by his defender and he's incapable of getting the Pacers into the offense.

    I noticed a couple of times in the Detroit game, he was unable to get up court and make his first pass in less than 12 seconds. That's unacceptable from your point guard, especially if you're playing a team that likes to pressure the ball handler.

    I'd prefer Freddie or Artest to advance the ball and have the offense run through them and just use AJ as a spot shooter on the floor.
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    Default Re: Carlisle clears up the backup point guard situation sort of

    You are right UB it did not totaly thrill me but it is a step in the right direction.

    I have said many times that I would like AJ if he were used properly. He is a spot shooter, sort of a Kerr or Paxson and if he were used that way I would be all for him.

    But in no universe is this guy a poing guard. I hated it when Ron Mercer played the point last year and I think this is pretty close to as bad.

    That is why Rick likes the combo of AJ and Freddie, because Freddie is as much the point guard as AJ is. Freddie is excellent at running the pick and rolls

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    Default Re: Carlisle clears up the backup point guard situation sort of

    I read somewhere last week that the celtics were not holding the summer league this year because the dates needed conflict with the Democratic National Convention I think. Or maybe it was the Republican National Convention.....I can't remember. Sucks when the memory starts to go....

    So I wonder where the pacers will play in summer league this year?

    That is where they played last year wasn't it?

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    Default Re: Carlisle clears up the backup point guard situation sort of

    Walsh wanted a combo guard and got one.
    I thought I read that Isiah wanted Freddie and that's what got him picked over Rush or Welsch?

    Anyway, I like Freddie, but I think he's more of a tradeable asset than a keeper in the long run.

    Regardless of whether it was Donnie or Zeke, FJ is a combo guard (remember the draft-day comparisions to Sidney Moncrief?). I don't think he's a permanent solution at SG, since he's very short and he's not a good shooter. In fact, his strongest skill is his athletic defense and IMO that is best suited for defending PGs. His next strongest skill is his ability to penetrate the defense but he's got to keep improving his 'drive and dish' instead of driving - looking to dunk/ score.

    I'm not opposed to keeping him in hopes that he can develop into the combo guard in a three-guard rotation. It takes a long time for college PGs to learn to play PG in the pros, so it takes even longer to convert a SG to a combo guard. But I'd truly be shocked if he's ever a starting SG in the league.
    Why do the things that we treasure most, slip away in time
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    Why do the things that connect us slowly pull us apart?
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