I know it was Portland so I do not want to get too high after a win.. but then it's been 3 wins.
First let me say:
We are no longer a bad team. We might not have slipped to 'downright awful', but for a team with championship aspirations heading into the season, we were bad. We were bad before Artest made his trade demand public.
We were a bad team.
I like Peja. I wasn't sure what I'd think of Peja as a Pacer because I don't follow other teams as closely as I follow the Pacers.... So I was open-minded. I knew he could shoot. I've been pleasantly surprised watching him handle the ball. I've been surprised by his rebounding.
And most importantly, I've been pleasantly surprised by his unselfish play. Dare I say it? ....Peja makes the other players better when he's on the court. Even Sjax seems to have gotten into the act of passing the ball. And maybe it is just me, or the wins, but it seems Jackson is taking the ball to the hole when he does make up his mind he's looking to score. I'll take that over jacking a shot up any day.
Somebody else that either benefits from the teams that we've played, the players we've put on the court, or else the fact that he's being played:
Where has this guy been.... other than unceremoniously glued to the bench? I'm happy for Pollard. He came thru for us last year before wrenching his back and now that he's getting a chance this year he's again coming thru.
AJ again looks like a PG and contributor.
Harrison and Granger are both looking like draft day steals. (BTW... Hard to believe how small Harrison looked against his Asian counterpart late in the game).
I've commented upon this already but I'll say it again:
Just when you think Carlisle has lost the team (or is about to) he pulls it all together. These past 3 wins have been inspiring. You can make excuses for them but we did what we are supposed to: Beat the opposition.
Let me take that further... Beat them handily. Only Detroit was close and yet you would expect it to be. We aren't losing to bad teams by unbelievable margins... And we aren't playing 'down' to the competition and letting 'bad' teams hang around (or run off from us).
I like to see the team playing the 'right way' and for the past 4 games (one of which was a loss), I think they have done exactly that. To see it pay dividends in the win column so fast is nice.
Rebounds? We can rebound!!!!
The elephant is still sitting in the living room and he's got his feet on the coffee table and is filling the ash tray with cigars. I suppose right now I shouldn't even worry about it and just see what happens when JO returns. That doesn't appear to be for a while. The question still remains: Why do the Pacers play better without JO? I've convinced myself that it is a fact. It's not just 'prettier' basketball, it is more effective basketball. Maybe 'potentially' that is not the case but we're not a team that has had much luck with potential anyway.