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Thread: Pacers.com - Team Play Has Bird, Walsh Optimistic

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    #PacerNation 317Kim's Avatar
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    Default Pacers.com - Team Play Has Bird, Walsh Optimistic

    Team Play Has Bird,
    Walsh Optimistic

    By Conrad Brunner | Feb. 20, 2006

    As the Pacers return from the All-Star break to prepare for the (figurative) second half of the season, they do so with a mix of mystery, curiosity and, yes, optimism.


    Since the acquisition of Peja Stojakovic, a team has begun to emerge, creating optimism.

    The Pacers have played at their highest level of the season, winning five of six without injured stars Jermaine O'Neal and Jamaal Tinsley, leading to curiosity as to what might happen to the lineup, rotation and offensive approach upon their return.

    Of course, the lack of a timetable for either player's comeback continues to generate mystery about when, or in O'Neal's case if, that will happen.

    "I'm very encouraged," said Larry Bird, President of Basketball Operations. "One of the reasons is the ball movement. That and they're playing unselfishly. It seems like they've got an extra step in their run and it shows. We're starting to rebound the ball better. Scot Pollard being healthy has really helped us. It's really good to see the guys step up when things don't look so good around here.

    "It could be a serious team. We lost Ronnie Artest but we picked up a heck of a player. We got a guy who can get us 20 points and if they continue to move the ball like they have been with Jermaine in there, we'll be a very good basketball team."

    At 26-23, the Pacers stand fifth in the East, in the middle of a tight pack. Just 2Ĺ games separate them from eighth-place Philadelphia, so despite their current standing the margin for error is slim. They conclude a seven-game homestand Tuesday night against the Hornets, then play eight of 10 on the road.

    "I like the way we're playing," said Donnie Walsh, franchise CEO and President. "I think we're playing hard, we're playing together. Basically, getting Peja on the team gives us another scorer, a great shooter and a real good player. To get him is a big addition.

    Walsh


    "When we get Jermaine and Jamaal back we go back to being a team that's got a lot of depth on it. Ö I think they could end up being one of the top three or four teams in the conference."

    Both Bird and Walsh indicated little chance of another move before Thursday's trade deadline, in large part because the injuries to O'Neal and Tinsley have prevented them from being able to judge the team in the aftermath of the Stojakovic acquisition. They need to see how the major pieces fit together before moving forward with team construction.

    "We'd like to get everybody healthy," Bird said. "If we can get everybody back and see what we have, then we'll get a better idea of what we want to try to do in the summertime. Obviously, it'd be nice to have Jamaal and Jermaine and Austin (Croshere) out there at full strength but if it doesn't happen we're still looking.

    Bird


    "I think our goal right now is to continue to play hard. The guys are showing some enthusiasm over the last couple of weeks and we've got to have that carrying on not just through this season but also next season."

    Tinsley has missed 18 of the last 22 games with an injury to his right biceps and elbow. He has been doing conditioning work but headed into the break still lacking the ability to raise his right arm to shoot. This is the third consecutive year injuries have sidetracked Tinsley. Since the start of the 2003-04 season, he has missed 98 of the Pacers' 213 regular-season games (46 percent).

    O'Neal suffered a groin tear in late January. The original forecast was an absence of at least eight weeks, which would mean a return in late March. He was voted into the East starting lineup for Sunday's NBA All-Star Game but was unable to play.

    A third injured player, Austin Croshere, could be back soon. Croshere sat out six games since suffering his second concussion of the season. Sarunas Jasikevicius suffered what is believed to be a mild ankle sprain when he stepped on a photographer's foot during the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge on Saturday in Houston.

    Carlisle


    "We feel like we're pretty good now when we play the way we need to play," said Coach Rick Carlisle. "We can be better, certainly, when we get Jermaine and Jamaal back. The only question is when are those guys going to be ready? I don't know the answer to that. We have a busy schedule after the break. There are going to be a lot of games, so the sooner we can get either or both of those guys back, the better. But without an exact timetable, you're kind of just feeling your way through the situation."

    The Pacers have played the fewest games (49) of any NBA team, but that soon will change. The March schedule brings 18 games. Only once before in franchise history (April 1999) have the Pacers faced as many games in a month and that was in a season forced into compressed schedule due to the lockout.

    On top of the physical grind of the games, the schedule offers little opportunity for practice opportunities to re-acclimate players returning from injuries.
    "As we get guys back, we'll continue to get better," said Stephen Jackson. "Weíre playing well right now but we need all the help we can get."


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    Headband and Rec Specs rexnom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pacers.com - Team Play Has Bird, Walsh Optimistic

    i like that pic...cool to see the guys including j.o. in the celebrations...especially arenas who took his spot...

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    #PacerNation 317Kim's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pacers.com - Team Play Has Bird, Walsh Optimistic

    Yeah, it's nice to see everyone having fun.

    Oh my, 8 of our next 10 games on the road.

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    Default Re: Pacers.com - Team Play Has Bird, Walsh Optimistic

    Tinsley can't lift his arm above his head to shoot? Will he even be available again this season? Man o Man.

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    Jimmy did what Jimmy did Bball's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pacers.com - Team Play Has Bird, Walsh Optimistic

    Either Brunner or the Star dropped a hint he wouldn't be back after the All-Star game while sprinkling in some wishful thinking and spin just the other day.

    As always, you have to read between the lines when it comes to injuries and player returns.

    It would be nice if they could spell these things out a little better.

    OTOH, with Tinsley, it's fairly safe to just always assume he'll be injured and unavailable I guess.

    -Bball
    Nuntius was right. I was wrong. Frank Vogel has retained his job.

    ------

    "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, thatís teamwork."

    -John Wooden

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    OhMyGodHeFumbles
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    Default Re: Pacers.com - Team Play Has Bird, Walsh Optimistic

    Add this to the title: OhMyGodHeFumbles optimistic too!

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    Jimmy did what Jimmy did Bball's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pacers.com - Team Play Has Bird, Walsh Optimistic

    You know, almost every year you see this article. The particulars change but the general message is this:
    "We're looking good for the playoffs this year and we'll likely wait until summer to evaluate where we are before considering any moves. We're not going to make trades for the sake of trades".

    -Bball
    Nuntius was right. I was wrong. Frank Vogel has retained his job.

    ------

    "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, thatís teamwork."

    -John Wooden

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    fifo
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    Default Re: Pacers.com - Team Play Has Bird, Walsh Optimistic

    Quote Originally Posted by Bball
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    "We're not going to make trades for the sake of trades".
    I really like the way D.W & L.B are building the team. I feel i'm getting more and more of a sense about what they are after.
    - Deep roster
    - Ball movement
    - Unselfish offense
    - Defense is still the key
    - Players who Rebound
    - Talent can not be totally sacrificed for discipline

    Seems to me they had made some tough mistakes. They Created a mixture which is deep, talented and can defend and rebound, but selfish and not suited for patient ball movement.

    Ron-Ron was the most obvious mistake. The bet itself was justified, but I think the management should have figured earlier this guy must be traded. After all, they were the ones meeting him everyday at practice.

    Anyway It seems like the current mixture still needs some fine tuning. Doesn't it? They will probably try to keep Peja (assuming he continues like he started). Also - they will be looking for someone with good defensive skills, and trade those who can't fit in with patient offense.

    What say you?

  9. #9
    fifo
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    Default Re: Pacers.com - Team Play Has Bird, Walsh Optimistic

    I would consider first trading S-Jax for a Bruce Bowen style player.
    I really don't think major changes will be done till we know if Peja is here for the next seasons.

  10. #10
    fifo
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    Default Re: Pacers.com - Team Play Has Bird, Walsh Optimistic

    Quote Originally Posted by vapacersfan
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    I dont expect major changes (at least till this summer) but either way S-Jax is out IMO
    Agreed.

    I can see the Pacers turning into a San-Antonio style team, with 3 major offensive weapons in the starting 5: J.O (or KG ) , Peja, and a point guard (I agree Tins might be traded in the summer unless he can pull some grand recovery this year). The other 2 starters will help in terms of rebound and defense, and should be able to provide some points.

    These 3 offensive weapons seem to be worse than what the spurs have, but the Pacers 2nd unit might equal the hands.

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    Default Re: Pacers.com - Team Play Has Bird, Walsh Optimistic

    I'm excited, this should be a good second half!

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    Default Re: Pacers.com - Team Play Has Bird, Walsh Optimistic

    Quote Originally Posted by Jumper
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    Tinsley can't lift his arm above his head to shoot? Will he even be available again this season? Man o Man.
    Indystar:
    Croshere didn't practice Monday evening. He's been out the lineup since suffering his second concussion in a month on Jan. 31. Tinsley (elbow) practiced Monday and is finally shooting with his right hand. Coach Rick Carlisle said there's no specific return date for Tinsley.
    I'm really sorry because of my english (which is my 3-4 language) and I really appreciate Your patience. I hope this board will make me better

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    You are my Lucifer D-BONE's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pacers.com - Team Play Has Bird, Walsh Optimistic

    Tinsley = Bender Pt. 2!! I used to think this guy had a chance to be good. Now I really don't care if he comes back at all. I'm just afraid he'll ruin everything that's been going well the last eight games. Mainly just the distribution of PG minutes is my fear. The current rotation has worked splendidly. Unless either AJ or Saras suffer major slumps, JT shouldn't see the floor. Maybe he'll prove me wrong and I'll be pleasantly surprised but I can't help but imagine this great team aesthetic sabotaged when AJ or Saras gets pissed their minutes are revoked. Can't say that I blame them. I'm cautiously optimistic about the 2nd half. The inevitable chemistry recalibration with injured players coming back, a string of road games awaiting, and a chaotic March schedule are all daunting. However, at least it's fun basketball to watch again and there's some tangible reason to have hope. Cross our fingers for the best case scenario!

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    Well lubricated Skaut_Ech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pacers.com - Team Play Has Bird, Walsh Optimistic

    Quote Originally Posted by vapacersfan
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    I still wish we could see at least one "trade deadline" "risky" trade from DW and LB.

    I hate this sit-still crap.

    We have sat through it for many years, the most recent one being the "sheed" fiasco, and we just stood still doing nothing.

    I dont expect this team to win the NBA title, but I would like to see a dead line move that may put us one step closer. And a place we could start is getting a stable PG......
    What I like about a trade deadline move is that both teams have more of a sense of urgency to get things done. Off season it's easy to keep waiting and waiting and waiting. There's always an excuse. "Well, we Do have the draft." "Well, let's wait to see how the season starts." "We had a good season's end, let's see how summer practices go."

    This is just me, but I think we won't make a move unless we're forced to do so. Traditionally, we've been content as long as we make the playoffs. We don't make the playoff, then that affects team attendence, hence management's bottom, line, then I think they'll feel like doing something.

    What I like about striking now is that other team's needs are more glaring. There's more of a sense of unrgency. I think a team's weakness and strengths are fresher in management's minds and they don't have the time to reflect and rationlize not doing anything.

    Here's an article from LAST YEAR'S trade deadline:

    http://www.nba.com/pacers/news/trade...ne_050224.html

    Conrad Brunner | Feb. 24, 2005

    Walsh
    As expected, and as usual, the NBA trade deadline passed this afternoon without a deal involving the Pacers. Franchise CEO and President Donnie Walsh said he focused on "one or two players that could help us" but equitable deals could not be struck.

    In his 20 years atop the organization, Walsh has made just four deadline deals. This season, though an exception to most every other rule, held true to historical form.


    "There are two things you would do at this point (in the season): you're either going to do deals that would help you financially in the summer, or you do a deal that's going to push you to a spot in the playoffs beyond where you should go," Walsh said. "I didn't see anything out there like that, but a lot of that's got to do with what's going on with our team. We're such an unsettled team that now is not the time to make that kind of move."


    The Pacers discussed various scenarios involving Donyell Marshall, but Toronto opted not to deal the forward. They also expressed interest in Gary Payton, but Boston packaged the veteran point guard in the deal with Atlanta that brought Antoine Walker back to the Celtics.

    Artest



    Suspended forward Ron Artest generated some interest from teams hoping to acquire an All-Star player at a bargain price, but the Pacers weren't willing to consider those types of deals.
    "We had calls from people trying to steal Ronnie," he said. "Because he's not playing for the rest of the year, it was difficult for teams to have an offer of equal value, so they'd take their shot. We'd pretty much made up our minds not to trade him right now, so he wasn't really out there."


    Given the constant stream of adversity that has confronted the team this season, Walsh said he was compelled to be cautious in his approach to the trading deadline because the circumstances have made it very difficult to make an accurate judgment about the team and its needs.


    "I'll be honest: You can't draw conclusions about this team. You can't," he said. "Obviously, (losing) Ronnie is taking half of a super duo out of there and that has an impact, but it also applies to the chemistry of the team. You add on top of the suspensions all the injuries we've had, there's been no symmetry at all to this team.


    "I know I'm safe in saying this has been the most disrupted season I've ever gone through with the franchise. I doubt many teams have ever gone through something like this."
    Hey! What're you kicking me for? You want me to ask? All right, I'll ask! Ma'am, where do the high school girls hang out in this town?

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    White and Nerdy Anthem's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pacers.com - Team Play Has Bird, Walsh Optimistic

    Quote Originally Posted by PaCeRs_GiRL View Post
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    Both Bird and Walsh indicated little chance of another move before Thursday's trade deadline, in large part because the injuries to O'Neal and Tinsley have prevented them from being able to judge the team in the aftermath of the Stojakovic acquisition. They need to see how the major pieces fit together before moving forward with team construction.

    "We'd like to get everybody healthy," Bird said. "If we can get everybody back and see what we have, then we'll get a better idea of what we want to try to do in the summertime. Obviously, it'd be nice to have Jamaal and Jermaine and Austin (Croshere) out there at full strength but if it doesn't happen we're still looking.

    Bird
    Doesn't this sound familiar?

    What makes us think this year will be any different from last year?
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    Headband and Rec Specs rexnom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pacers.com - Team Play Has Bird, Walsh Optimistic

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthem View Post
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    Doesn't this sound familiar?

    What makes us think this year will be any different from last year?
    Wow...it took me a real while to realize that is a year old. Jesus christ.

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    Member Dr. Goldfoot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pacers.com - Team Play Has Bird, Walsh Optimistic

    Or the year before. To management's credit, they did just pull off a big 8 man trade a couple of weeks ago.

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    Banned PacerMan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pacers.com - Team Play Has Bird, Walsh Optimistic

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthem View Post
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    Doesn't this sound familiar?

    What makes us think this year will be any different from last year?
    Geez, we just traded FOUR players! WIll it ever be enough?
    Maybe we should just swap entire rosters with someone?

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    Default Re: Pacers.com - Team Play Has Bird, Walsh Optimistic

    Here I thought Pacers_Girl had returned.

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