Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Star}Too much pain cut into Pacers' gains

  1. #1
    Pacer Junky Will Galen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    10,042

    Default Star}Too much pain cut into Pacers' gains

    http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dl...605140448/1088

    Too much pain cut into Pacers' gains
    Injuries at critical times curtailed team's chances to build momentum

    By Mike Wells
    mike.wells@indystar.com

    There still are more questions than answers. Why can't they get along? Why can't they stay healthy? Why doesn't their coach trust them more on offense? Why does chemistry continue to be an issue? What would have happened if they hadn't used 61 starting combinations the past two seasons, or if Ron Artest hadn't asked out?

    All of which is another way of asking: What happened to the team that just two years ago was poised to contend for an NBA championship?

    Indiana Pacers players and management admit there are many mitigating factors -- chemistry, Artest and poor attitudes that have to change -- in the early start to their summer vacation, but they believe the primary reason is simple: injuries.

    Said team president Larry Bird: "Some things didn't go the way they thought this year, and there was a lot of frustration. A lot of it has to do with injuries. We're not going to make excuses, but usually injuries come and go, but we had a majority of pretty serious injuries this year. . . . I don't want to sit here and beat it to death, but we've had as many injuries as anybody in the league, and to key players."

    Said coach Rick Carlisle: "Injuries are tough on what we try to do as a coaching staff. It forces players to do more than they did in the past. In certain situations, guys aren't able to do what the guys ahead of them can do."

    Said Jermaine O'Neal: "You could really tell that guys got worn down physically and mentally. It's hard to deal with this stuff for two straight years. Normally you only go through tough times for a couple of months, not two straight years. It was a difficult situation. It was tough this year because we didn't know who was going to be able to play on almost a game-to-game basis."

    Next question: How can Bird and CEO Donnie Walsh fix something they can't predict?

    The Pacers looked like a dysfunctional group at times, prompting point guard Anthony Johnson to say the culture of the team needs to change. Players tuned out Carlisle. Their 41-41 record was the worst since 2000-01, when they finished with the same record under Isiah Thomas. Their problems ran deeper than Artest demanding a trade.

    Overhauling the roster can be done, but at what price?

    "Making changes is a little harder than you think it is," Bird said. "You've got to have somebody on another team that wants to give you something good for what they're getting. Yeah, you can make trades every day. You can take one of your better players and go get some CBA players, but that ain't how it works. I'm willing to step back, which we are right now, to move forward, but I couldn't stand winning 35 games a year and knowing you'd be lucky to do that. That's not my nature. I want to win every game."

    Instead, Bird wants players to come into camp better prepared for an 82-game season. He said a healthy team will translate into an established rotation. Starters will play more minutes. Reserves will know their roles.
    O'Neal, Austin Croshere, Jamaal Tinsley and Jeff Foster, all part of the primary rotation of players, missed at least 19 games each because of injuries this season. The Pacers missed 236 man games because of injury or illness. What was supposed to be the deepest team in the league relied on backups.

    Bird said there's a reason certain players are reserves: They play well one game, struggle the next. Inconsistency led to losses, which led to frustration, which led to more losses. Add in Artest's trade demand and subsequent departure, and the Pacers were caught in a vicious cycle with no clear escape.

    "I just think (it was) the frustration of the time it took us to get somebody in here," Bird said. "The players will use every excuse. Then the trading deadline came and they were all worrying about getting traded. We've pretty much assured them we're going to try to keep the core of the team together. . . . I'm not going to blame everything on Ronnie. I knew we had a few more problems. Did I think they would come together? Yeah, I thought they would really come together then, but they didn't."

    Artest said on his way out of town that he needed a fresh start.

    The Pacers could use one, too.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Star}Too much pain cut into Pacers' gains

    Trade Jackson in the off-season. If we hold onto to Tins, let him him build up some trade value and package him with Cro's expiring contract and make a Sheed-like trade at the deadline.

    I should be running this team.

  3. #3
    Administrator Peck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    12,527

    Default Re: Star}Too much pain cut into Pacers' gains

    This article begs the one question I asked during the season. Why didn't the team keep Samaki Walker on board? Or if they didn't want to pay his kind of money why not go to the D league & get a big man on a 10 day contract?

    I wonder if some of our injurys weren't from over use on Foster & Croshere having to play so many min. in a physical position?

    Also on a side note I will say this.

    If any team could use the injury excuse it is the Pacers. We have had more injurys to key players over the past few years than almost any team I've ever known.

    However I hope (& I do believe) that whoever is making the personnel decisions will not use it to much in the off-season. My feelings are that even if they were totally injury free that this mixture of players is just not a championship caliber team. Better than 41-41? Sure, maybe even a 2nd round or longshot to the ECF's. But at the end of the day it's just not in the caliber of Detroit, San Antonio, etc.

  4. #4
    Member NorCal_Pacerfan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    1,919

    Default Re: Star}Too much pain cut into Pacers' gains

    I liked hearing Bird's comments on having a healthy team. I just wonder how healthy these guys really are? What do they eat from day to day? How much do they party? How much does Tinsley smoke? But seriously, I would think that they would have nutritionists on board. If you take care of yourself, you can avoid a lot of common illness.

    Having said that, I would still trade Tinsley. He's first on my list to go. Let someone else worry about his constant illness or injury. I think I heard somewhere that he's been healthy for one of our last eight playoff series. I could be wrong, but if that's true, it speaks volumes.
    :thepacers
    No Linking to your own site if it sells something.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Star}Too much pain cut into Pacers' gains

    Quote Originally Posted by Peck
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    However I hope (& I do believe) that whoever is making the personnel decisions will not use it too much in the off-season. My feelings are that even if they were totally injury free that this mixture of players is just not a championship caliber team. Better than 41-41? Sure, maybe even a 2nd round or longshot to the ECF's. But at the end of the day it's just not in the caliber of Detroit, San Antonio, etc.
    I agree. They lack toughness and a personality (identity). The kind of toughness and personality a player like Ron brought to the team.

  6. #6
    How are you here? Kegboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Northside Bias
    Posts
    12,951

    Default Re: Star}Too much pain cut into Pacers' gains



    I'm starting to fear Bball's prophecy will come to pass.
    Come to the Dark Side -- There's cookies!

  7. #7

    Default Re: Star}Too much pain cut into Pacers' gains

    What is Bball's prophecy? That the injury excuse will be used to make few changes?

  8. #8
    Administrator/ The Real Jay ChicagoJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Chicago
    Age
    44
    Posts
    17,000

    Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo

    Default Re: Star}Too much pain cut into Pacers' gains

    Or the humpty dumpty "they'll never be able to put the team back together again" prophecy?

    Or that its all Bender's / Tinsley's fault?
    Why do the things that we treasure most, slip away in time
    Till to the music we grow deaf, to God's beauty blind
    Why do the things that connect us slowly pull us apart?
    Till we fall away in our own darkness, a stranger to our own hearts
    And life itself, rushing over me
    Life itself, the wind in black elms,
    Life itself in your heart and in your eyes, I can't make it without you


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •