Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Camp Countdown:Power Forwards (Pacers.com)

  1. #1
    Pacer Junky Will Galen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    10,043

    Default Camp Countdown:Power Forwards (Pacers.com)

    http://www.nba.com/pacers/news/camp_...pf_060928.html

    Camp Countdown:
    Power Forwards

    Editor's Note: With next Monday's media day marking the dawn of Conrad Brunner's 22nd NBA training camp and 19th covering the Pacers, our resident analyst breaks down the roster, position by position, continuing today with a look at the power forwards in the fourth of our five-part series.

    INCUMBENT


    O'Neal
    After spending recent seasons bulking up in order to hang with the bangers and suffering unprecedented injury problems Jermaine O'Neal took a different approach to the offseason, with the goal of getting back to his old self. Which is to say his younger self. The result should be a leaner player better able to exploit his athleticism. That, combined with an enhanced conditioning program that has focused on flexibility and durability, should give him a much better chance of beating the injury bug. It's not like O'Neal has had something chronic. Two seasons ago it was a dislocated shoulder. Last season it was a torn groin muscle. Prior to that, he had missed a total of 20 games in his first four seasons with the Pacers. O'Neal can be penciled in for 20 points, 9-10 rebounds and two blocked shots per game and has improved to a 70-plus percent free-throw shooter. Given the likelihood of smaller lineup combinations, his rebounding will become even more important, particularly on the defensive board. It does appear he will remain a power forward and not shift to center, as has been speculated, with either Al Harrington or Jeff Foster manning the five spot.

    CHALLENGERS


    Harrington
    Harrington was primarily a power forward in Atlanta but developed as a small forward with the Pacers. Because of his combination of post moves and mid-range shooting, Harrington is likely to find most of his minutes at either small forward or in a re-defined center spot, depending on the look of the matchups. Regardless of the positional designation, he'll be on the floor -- somewhere -- for at least 36 minutes per game.

    Maceo Baston, quietly signed away from EuroLeague dynasty Maccabi Tel Aviv, gives the Pacers something they haven't had in awhile a jump-out-of-the-gym shot-blocker who runs very well. In fact, he and former Maccabi teammate Sarunas Jasikevicius were something like the EuroLeague's version of Montana to Rice (or Manning to Harrison for younger readers) on the fast break. Though lean, Baston has wiry strength to go along with a healthy dose of desire to prove himself as a quality NBA player.

    First-round pick Shawne Williams' future is at power forward though he'll need to build strength and experience in order to take his game inside. His long-range shooting ability, athleticism and ball skills will serve him well against generally less agile opponents, but he could need some time to develop both physically and professionally. Initially, most of his minutes could come at small forward.

    One of the players acquired from Dallas in the Darrell Armstrong trade, Josh Powell looks like a candidate to be the most pleasant surprise of the preseason. The Udonis Haslem look-a-like has been very impressive in the players' informal workouts, demonstrating a respectable mid-range shot. An energy player who works hard, defensively, Powell could push hard for a roster spot.

    BOTTOM LINE

    After two frustrating seasons, O'Neal appears poised for a very strong year. He not only wants to prove himself capable of leading the team back to elite status, but to show the injury problems of the past couple of years were an aberration. Though a 10-year veteran, he's still just 27 years old (he turns 28 next month) with a bright future as one of the league's most productive big men. Because of the depth of the roster in general and the power forward position in particular, O'Neal won't have to do it alone, but he will have to do it if the Pacers are to rise to the top in the East.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Camp Countdown:Power Forwards (Pacers.com)

    Here's what jumps out at me:

    Quote Originally Posted by Conrad Brunner
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    It does appear (O'Neal) will remain a power forward and not shift to center, as has been speculated, with either Al Harrington or Jeff Foster manning the five spot.

    .....snip....

    Regardless of the positional designation, (Harrington will) be on the floor -- somewhere -- for at least 36 minutes per game.
    The 4 and 5 can be pretty similar with O'Neal and Harrington playing them together. Is the designation important at all? If it is important, does it only matter for offense? Will O'Neal guard the other teams top big man, whether 4 or 5, or will the two of them hold to their positions?

    How many other teams' centers can Harrington stand up to?
    And I won't be here to see the day
    It all dries up and blows away
    I'd hang around just to see
    But they never had much use for me
    In Levelland. (James McMurtry)

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Brown County, Indiana
    Posts
    3,719

    Default Re: Camp Countdown:Power Forwards (Pacers.com)

    Quote Originally Posted by Putnam View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote

    How many other teams' centers can Harrington stand up to?
    Pretty much none of them. The talk of Harrington as a center (in particular, on defense) is almost as dumb as them trying to make Granger a shooting guard.

    Players playing out of position ain't a good thing. This team should realize this by now.

  4. #4
    The Last Great Pacer BlueNGold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Indianapolis
    Posts
    15,133

    Default Re: Camp Countdown:Power Forwards (Pacers.com)

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom White View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Pretty much none of them. The talk of Harrington as a center (in particular, on defense) is almost as dumb as them trying to make Granger a shooting guard.

    Players playing out of position ain't a good thing. This team should realize this by now.
    No doubt. There is a lot of talk over the summer that seems to ignore the cold hard reality that Al can barely guard some PF's in the NBA...let alone centers.

    One of Al's problems is that he is a tweener...between SF and PF. He is 6'9", not terribly undersized for PF, but he does not have very long arms nor does he have hops. Krstic would simply drain jumpers by shooting over him. Shaq would dunk on him every time he got the ball. Ilgauskas would destroy him much like Krstic. That's some of our main competition just in the east. He will not be able to guard these guys. God knows what would happen if he had to face Yao or Duncan. Al is a strong guy, but centers are used to being guarded by guys at least as strong and usually taller and longer with better shot blocking ability.

    It will be nice when the real season starts and reality sets in. The game is not played inside a bubble and this is not a science experiment.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Camp Countdown:Power Forwards (Pacers.com)

    I'm going to take the cheery angle and say that if Harrington averages 36 MPG, and most of those come as a Center, his numbers might actually be good enough to make the All-Star team as a Center

  6. #6
    Diesel_81
    Guest

    Default Re: Camp Countdown:Power Forwards (Pacers.com)

    Well if Boris Diaw can play the center position all year I guess so can Harrington.

  7. #7
    1..2..3.. lil old blue sportsmusicxboxpacer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    indy baby!
    Age
    29
    Posts
    322

    Default Re: Camp Countdown:Power Forwards (Pacers.com)

    Quote Originally Posted by Diesel_81 View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Well if Boris Diaw can play the center position all year I guess so can Harrington.

    he got the point there..
    IF YOU A PACER FAN DONT BASH TO THE PACERS..!!!!!

  8. #8
    The Last Great Pacer BlueNGold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Indianapolis
    Posts
    15,133

    Default Re: Camp Countdown:Power Forwards (Pacers.com)

    Quote Originally Posted by Diesel_81 View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Well if Boris Diaw can play the center position all year I guess so can Harrington.
    An undersized center only works if you have a track team (with a real PG)to beat the behemoths down the floor. Phoenix and Diaw are the rare exception, not the rule...and we are not Phoenix and Al is not Diaw.

    Diaw is longer and more athletic than Al...and as a result Diaw had 5 times as many blocks as Al last year. I would consider Baston to be more akin to Diaw. Al is a physical player who will have 5 times as many fouls if he faces the likes of Ilgauskas, Krstic and Shaq...not a good solution against our competition in the East.

    ...you are certainly not alone in your view, but IMO imaginations are running wild on this topic.

  9. #9
    Headband and Rec Specs rexnom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    New Haven, CT
    Posts
    8,751

    Default Re: Camp Countdown:Power Forwards (Pacers.com)

    Positions are WAY overrated. This isn't fantasy basketball.

Posting Permissions

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