Probably going to be a quick one tonight guys.
I came home & watched the replay a little bit ago & I have to ask a question.
Did I hear Quinn Buckner right? Did he say that Jermaine was not handling the Pacers winning & new style very well emotionally? Alberts did a quick cover by saying that J.O. would work perfectly into this new system but by that time the cat was out of the bag.
Am I the only person who heard that? It was in the first quarter for those of you that still have it on tape. I've already deleted mine but you can go back & hear it for yourself.
What I took from that was that Jermaine was not mad or anything he was just hurt by the apperance that the team does better without him. At least that's what I hope he is thinking. That is human, that is understandable & that makes sense to me. I sure as heck don't want to think the guy is mad because they are winning without him.
I'm not going to dwell on this because I don't want all of the replies to just be about that. J.O. looked a lot more involved on the bench from what I could see & on TV he looked like he was supporting the team.
I just hope he tells Rick that he wants to be part of this.
Let's move on.
The bench was rotten to the core during this one. Not a single player came off of that bench & played worth a d@mn IMO.
They're entitled to a stinker just like any other player is, but God let's just hope they don't do this as a group again. One player being off is fine we can even tolerate two but all five????? That's hard to overcome.
But overcome it we did thanks to deadeye shooting from our backcourt & our starting three.
A.J. was 10-14 Peja was 9-16 & Jax was 8-10 from the floor & very few of these shots were dunks.
Now we are not going to shoot like that every night, in fact I doubt if we shoot that good many more games. But for this game it was all that was needed.
In fact if you look at almost every stat across the board the Warriors beat us.
They outrebounded us by 45-43 they had more fast break points than us & had more points in the paint. We did go to the line more often & we each turned the ball over the exact same amount of time.
Due to foul troubles we went with a small lineup on several occasions which did not work out very well for us, but in this case I understand why Rick had to do this.
Let's do the good the bad & the ugly for a change.
Anthony Johnson. He was the engine that made the car run. There is no better way to put this that I can think of. Whenever A.J. went to the bench we were in trouble. Whenever he was in the game he held the team together & he was the one thing you can not teach, practice or become. You either are or you are not & in this game he was. Clutch.
He still looks like Beetlejuice from Howard Stern so that might make him in the ugly catagory. But his game sure as heck wasn't ugly.
Peja. What can I say other than to admit over & over & over again to everybody. I was wrong.
I didn't want him on our team, I thought that from a talent standpoint this was a horrid trade & that while I would have taken a bag of chips for Nutball I thought Peja was worse than a bag of chips.
I couldn't have been more wrong if I tried. This guy is better at everything than I thought he would be. He is even a better shooter than I though & I always thought he was a good shooter. He is a superstar shooter. We have been blessed with some great pure shooters over the years here. Reggie, Eddie Johnson, Chris Mullin, Dale Davis (I kid, I kid) but Peja is better than all of them with maybe the exception of Reggie. Maybe. He hasn't hit the big time big game shots yet so let's see what he can do there.
Caveat: Chris Mullin was a player at the end of his career when he was here so in fact as a young player Mullin was a better shooter but he had lost his quick release when he was here especially in year 3. But he could still deadeye shoot, just not under pressure anymore.
Back to Peja. He is far more physical than I would have ever dreamed & his rebounding makes me drool. He had 8 boards in this game. Now Granger is going to out do him in the reboudning department eventually but that is no shame because I think evenatually Granger is going to outdo everybody in the rebounding departement on our team.
Stephen Jackson. In one 30 second time frame Jackson took was was a wonderfull, joyous, spectular game. Wadded it up & pitched it in the trash can. Then he came back & redeemed himself (but only to a point)
What am I talking about? Well, simple. He had played out of his mind good both on defense & offense. Then he got his 5th foul & Carlisle took him out of the game. First he waved Rick off, then after it was clear that Granger was going to come in he sighed & hung his head & stood there for a few seconds while Rick is waving for him to come out. He did go out but then stood there & yapped at Carlisle from his seat.
I'm putting Jax's game into the good catagory. His game on the floor was great, probably the best game he has ever played overall here as a Pacer. He was a willing passer for a change, he held his own on defense, he didn't overdribble but on two occasions & he attempted to help on the boards. So I was very very pleased with his on court production.
But this crap of yapping @ Rick everytime he comes off of the floor has got to stop. Obviously he has no respect for the coach because if he did he would not do this in front of his team, the fans & for God's sake the uppermanagement.
I think it's time for TPTB to bring Jax into the office & lay it on the line with him. He does this again, it's a fine. He does it again after that & he loses his starting job for a game. Again he loses his starters spot for three games & after that he gets suspended for conduct detrimental to the team.
Is this tough? Yes, yes it is. But by allowing him to do this crap it just shows other players that they can do it as well. Think A.J. leaving the floor slowly & getting that "T" I said that very night why shouldn't he be able to do it because Jax does this all of the time. What happens to Carlisle if Harrison or Pollard or Foster or Jones or pick any other Pacer starts doing this whenever. What happens when Jax refuses to come out of a game at all?
It's time for the upper guys to step in & back up the coach on this.
I hate to even do this because Jax played a heck of a game, but as we all know from the past three years. Just playing the game well isn't enough.
Jeff Foster. 5-8 from the freethrow line. I'm more happy that he got to the line 8 times than I was with him hitting 5 times. Well I'm happy he hit them as well . He shut Diogu out, period. Ike looked small & insignificant compared to Jeff & there was a reason for that. He was. Foster as the Power Forward thrills me to death. The combo of Foster & Pollard makes me even more happy. I don't know what to do about Austin when he comes back. Well in a game like last night I think it would have been very helpfull to have him in there because of foul trouble. But I really like the tone that Pollard & Foster set out there.
Scot Pollard. Hulk Hogan has nothing on him. He was legitimately p!ssed about blowing that play. Man I hate to see that. I mean nothing upsets me more than a guy caring about his job. Ok, that was sarcasm for those who could not detect it. Isn't it nice to see a guy be mad at himself for a change & not be mad at a ref? No honestly isn't that refreshing? In all honesty he was to hard on himself, even though he didn't grab all that many boards he sure as heck set the tone. He attacked the rim every chance he got & he was setting some bone crunching picks out there.
I'm not even going to point them out individually. Our entire bench stunk up the joint & yes that includes Granger who for whatever reason just could not get it going.
Harrison was back in foul trouble, Jones couldn't hit the ocean from the deck of a ship & Saras was useless.
It's best to just pretend these guys didn't play in this game & just move on.
I cold live the rest of my life without seeing this motion from this guy.
Overall, this was another great win. Now we have the world champs coming to town on Sunday so I say let's give it to them & get # 5.
BTW, I am not a believer yet. But I think I'm starting to lean that way.
Now is the time on Odd toughts when we dance. Join me.