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Thread: White, Williams On Different Paths {Pacers.com 10.9.06}

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    Default White, Williams On Different Paths {Pacers.com 10.9.06}

    http://www.nba.com/pacers/news/digest_061009.html

    White, Williams On Different Paths


    By Conrad Brunner | Oct. 9, 2006
    In most respects, James White is not a typical NBA rookie.

    In many respects, Shawne Williams is.



    Though both of the Pacers' prized draft acquisitions are considered integral parts of the team's future, their training camp experience thus far couldn't have been much different.


    White, who turns 24 this month, is a veteran of five years at two major universities (Florida and Cincinnati) under three different head coaches, which prepared him well for the transition to the NBA – so much so, in fact, that with Stephen Jackson sidelined due to minor injuries sustained in an incident early Friday morning outside an Indianapolis nightclub, White has filled his spot with the first unit in practice.


    "He plays the game and doesn’t look like a rookie player," said Coach Rick Carlisle of White. "He'll make a few rookie mistakes but he carries himself with a veteran affect which is great to see. (Danny) Granger was like that last year. Tayshaun Prince was like that my second year in Detroit. Generally, guys that have been in college three, four, five years have those characteristics. He's done pretty well."


    Williams, 20, who played just one year at Memphis, is struggling with the learning curve accelerated by the requirement that he be able to play multiple positions.


    "This is by far more difficult on Shawne Williams than any of our other players," Carlisle said, "because he's learning a perimeter position and a post position and he's a rookie player trying to observe a lot of things for the first time. He's working hard at it, but it's a challenge."

    White



    White has a confident aura about him, not quite cocky but definitely not intimidated by his new surroundings. His quick adjustment has not been entirely surprising but doesn't make it any less gratifying. He could start the Pacers' first preseason game Wednesday night against New Jersey in Conseco Fieldhouse, assuming Jackson is unable to play.


    "The things we do here, I've really seen it all before," White said. "I played in college for five years for three different coaches. They all run their different systems. When we do different things, eventually one of the things I did in the past will come out, so it's pretty easy to pick up on things."


    So does that mean he doesn't really feel like a rookie?
    "Nah, not really," he said. "I still feel like I get blamed for everything. The games harder because the guys are a little bigger, a little faster, things like that but as far as picking up plays and the defensive rules, it's all the same."

    Williams



    Williams is a lithe 6-9 forward who may be best suited for the perimeter now, but the Pacers believe he will grow into a strong interior force. He's facing essentially the same demands as Granger last year in learning very different positions, though Williams has far less experience to draw upon.


    "That makes it a whole different level, trying to learn outside and inside," Williams said. "It's totally different positions. For one person to go out there and learn one position is kind of easy. But to learn two or three else, that's something. Coming from college, we'd run the 3-2 set. Now you come down and we've got probably 20-30 plays they put in on one day and you're trying to learn the four, then they switch to the three and you forget the four, then they put you back at the three. It's a big challenge, man.


    "It's like the ACT test all over again. It's something I've got to deal with. It's part of becoming an NBA player."





    Jackson
    JACKSON "VERY DOUBTFUL" FOR WEDNESDAY

    Though Jackson is expected to rejoin the team Tuesday, he will participate only in light drills until the stitches in his mouth have been removed. Carlisle said Jackson was "very doubtful" for Wednesday night's preseason opener.


    "It's going to be a few days before he'll be able to participate in contact drills because he has a lot of stitches in his lips and the plastic surgeon wanted to make sure those things don't get busted out," Carlisle said. "He'll be able to do some non-contact things and it'll be good to have him back."
    Jermaine O'Neal said the fallout from the incident involving Jackson, Jamaal Tinsley, Marquis Daniels and Jimmie "Snap" Hunter has offered an important lesson for the team.


    "First and foremost, all of us have to learn from the situation and put ourselves in situations where our lives and careers won't be tested," he said. "Obviously, that can be anywhere but you want to cut down the percentages a little bit. The next thing is we've got to put that situation aside, let that situation handle itself and continue to concentrate on basketball. We're on a very strict timetable here where we need to be productive every single day. We don't have time to have any setbacks.


    "For the most part, we haven't talked any more about that particular situation with Jack. He's doing a pretty good job of getting in here and working out on his own. All in all, this team is pretty focused right now. The previous two years, dealing with the situation, we didn't really know how to deal with it at a team. The most positive thing out of that particular situation the last two years is now we know what to do. We know how to deal with it. We know what we have to do to stay focused and stay a unit."


    O'Neal may not play Wednesday because of legal obligations in Detroit.





    Harrison
    NO MORE EXCUSES FOR LEANER HARRISON

    Fully 30 pounds lighter, chiseled and in the best shape of his professional life, David Harrison is reaping the rewards of a rigorous offseason conditioning program in Colorado under the guidance of his former Buffs coach, Ricardo Patton.


    Now weighing in at 262 and able to add or subtract a few pounds as needed by regulating his water intake, Harrison looks primed to take a major step forward in his third season.


    "My main motivation was wanting to be able to stay on the floor," he said. "Any excuse for me not to be on the floor, I don't want it to be made. I tried to eliminate all the other people's excuses and just answer the question, 'Why am I not playing?' "


    Though the new faster-paced offense has led to some speculation Harrison might get left behind, Carlisle doesn't agree. Harrison runs extremely well for a big man and has deceptive athleticism.


    "We've just got to get him comfortable with what we're doing," Carlisle said. "This style suits his abilities very well."


    Harrison has returned to practice full-speed after missing the first three days of camp with a sprained ankle.





    O'Neal
    FAN JAM CROWD IMPRESSES PLAYERS

    Considering the timing, the fact roughly 10,000 attended the team's annual FanJam presented by Conseco on Sunday not only raised the players' spirits, it helped steel their resolve to move forward.


    "Unbelievable," said O'Neal. "When we walked out once we got announced, I just looked around and I was like, 'Wow.' It just goes to show this city is a great city and has a lot of great fans. We feel like they've given us another opportunity to prove ourselves so we'll be working that much harder on the court to put together a product and a team they're going to be happy to watch."


    The highlight of FanJam is an intrasquad scrimmage that resulted in a 39-all tie.





    Carlisle
    NO CUTS YET; TOUGH DECISIONS LOOM

    With Jackson unlikely to play, O'Neal possibly out of town due to legal obligations and John Edwards still nursing a sore back, the Pacers could have just 16 players available for Wednesday night, making it unlikely any cuts could come before the game.


    "I doubt that we'll cut anybody before then but we'll see," Carlisle said. "Right now, I don't think so, though."


    Strong performances by relative unknowns like forward Josh Powell and guard Rawle Marshall, former Mavericks acquired along with Darrell Armstrong, will make the coaching staff's roster decisions much tougher than usual. Assuming the Pacers keep the full complement of 15 players (12 active and three inactive), four players must be release before opening night.


    "The competition is tight," Carlisle said. "There's a lot of guys that have the ability and deserve to be on NBA rosters. Right now it'd be hard to handicap it because there are guys at different positions competing for roster positions and a lot of it isn't necessarily linked to position or a head-to-head competition, per se, so it's going to be very interesting. The games are going to go a long way toward determining who belongs and who doesn't. … It's very much up for grabs."

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    Member Frank Slade's Avatar
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    Default Re: White, Williams On Different Paths {Pacers.com 10.9.06}

    Quote Originally Posted by Hulk
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    "My main motivation was wanting to be able to stay on the floor," he said. "Any excuse for me not to be on the floor, I don't want it to be made. I tried to eliminate all the other people's excuses and just answer the question, 'Why am I not playing?' "

    That's very encouraging to hear. Sounds like Harrison is hungry to prove himself, and answer his critics.

    Why Not Us ?


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    Default Re: White, Williams On Different Paths {Pacers.com 10.9.06}

    Quote Originally Posted by Raskolnikov View Post
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    Williams, 20, who played just one year at Memphis, is struggling with the learning curve accelerated by the requirement that he be able to play multiple positions.

    "This is by far more difficult on Shawne Williams than any of our other players," Carlisle said, "because he's learning a perimeter position and a post position and he's a rookie player trying to observe a lot of things for the first time. He's working hard at it, but it's a challenge."


    Here's an idea... let him learn one position at a time! If he's not going to be ready to play post for a while, and we've got plenty of guys wanting time at the 4, why not just teach him to be a 3? He can learn more later.

    Multi-positional madness.

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    Default Re: White, Williams On Different Paths {Pacers.com 10.9.06}

    And we should go ahead and cut John Edwards. We all know it's coming, might as well get it over with.

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    Default Re: White, Williams On Different Paths {Pacers.com 10.9.06}

    It's great to read an article about basketball.

    FYI - I was watching The Nets Real Training camp on NBATV, and from what the Nets people were saying Marcus Williams is looking really good. I certainly couldn't tell from what I saw. But if Marcus turns into a legitimate starting NBA point guard, Bird has some questions to answer, because I firmly believe taking Shawne was Bird's decision. We'll have to wait probably 3 season on Shawne, and criticism of Bird on his pick isn't about Shawne, it is about not taking Marcus.

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    Default Re: White, Williams On Different Paths {Pacers.com 10.9.06}

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthem View Post
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    Here's an idea... let him learn one position at a time! If he's not going to be ready to play post for a while, and we've got plenty of guys wanting time at the 4, why not just teach him to be a 3? He can learn more later.

    Multi-positional madness.
    That's just an out left there by Rick to ease the pressure on Williams, rather than saying "man, this kid is REALLY green still", which IMO he definitely is. It has nothing to do with multiple positions, as White has been working from the 1 to the 3 at times. Rick per his norm gives the player a cushion in his public comments.

    Williams is just YOUNG, and it shows. I think fans need to put him on the backburner for now and judge him in 2 years. I know people hate doing that again after Al and Bender, but Bender's 3rd year was his best (70+ games) and at the time it looked like he was starting to dial it in. Al came around about the same time in his career.

    Williams has 1 year of college over them too which will help.


    I also don't think its as simple as Shawne vs Marcus. They were worried about character issues and if Shawne ends up being the better or more valuable player (say he's a 4 with a 3pt shot and great post game) in 4-5 years, the same fans upset about missing Marcus would look back at the draft history and say "we coulda had Shawne".

    Draft picks just can't be reasonably judged in year 1 in terms of "best choice made". Mark Jackson went from steal to dud to stud in the course of his career.

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    Default Re: White, Williams On Different Paths {Pacers.com 10.9.06}

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Slade View Post
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    That's very encouraging to hear. Sounds like Harrison is hungry to prove himself, and answer his critics.
    Yeah, that was the same quote that struck me most in that long article.

    (I started a thread on it while you were writing this post, I think.)

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    Default Re: White, Williams On Different Paths {Pacers.com 10.9.06}

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    It's great to read an article about basketball.
    I started a thread two days ago about basketball. I thought is was a pretty good question: Can Al and Danny provide the outside shooting we need?

    But only two people commented.

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    Default Re: White, Williams On Different Paths {Pacers.com 10.9.06}

    Quote Originally Posted by Naptown_Seth View Post
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    but Bender's 3rd year was his best (70+ games) and at the time it looked like he was starting to dial it in.
    I agree with this assessment.

    We rolled the dice and lost. But chances are, Bender could have been more tough and less injury prone and become a real winner.

    Chances are, Shawne could do the same.

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    Default Re: White, Williams On Different Paths {Pacers.com 10.9.06}

    Quote Originally Posted by McKeyFan View Post
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    I started a thread two days ago about basketball. I thought is was a pretty good question: Can Al and Danny provide the outside shooting we need?

    But only two people commented.
    I missed that thread.

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    Default Re: White, Williams On Different Paths {Pacers.com 10.9.06}

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    I missed that thread.
    It's now on the top of page two.

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    Default Re: White, Williams On Different Paths {Pacers.com 10.9.06}

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    It's great to read an article about basketball.

    FYI - I was watching The Nets Real Training camp on NBATV, and from what the Nets people were saying Marcus Williams is looking really good. I certainly couldn't tell from what I saw. But if Marcus turns into a legitimate starting NBA point guard, Bird has some questions to answer, because I firmly believe taking Shawne was Bird's decision. We'll have to wait probably 3 season on Shawne, and criticism of Bird on his pick isn't about Shawne, it is about not taking Marcus.
    How about the fact that Jason Kidd is probably mentoring Williams? You don't think that's helping him? I think Marcus Williams is a far better fit in New Jersey than he would be here.

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    Default Re: White, Williams On Different Paths {Pacers.com 10.9.06}

    Despite the potential that he has to develop into a solid player....do you think that Shawne was a good pick as a 1st rounder in this year's draft?

    As a draft pick in the 2006 draft...based off of his potential....I don't question whether Shawne would have been a very solid 2nd round pick for this year's draft....but I'm wondering if Williams was a good choice for a 1st rounder. Given his talents and who will likely play ahead of him...I guess its okay if he wasn't ready for this season...or even for another two seasons.....but after leaving for the NBA after his sophmore season...clearly he's not ready...not that any NBA rookie should be when they hit the floor for the first time.

    But its pretty obvious that Bird saw something in Shawne that not that many others saw in him.
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    Default Re: White, Williams On Different Paths {Pacers.com 10.9.06}

    Quote Originally Posted by rexnom View Post
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    How about the fact that Jason Kidd is probably mentoring Williams? You don't think that's helping him? I think Marcus Williams is a far better fit in New Jersey than he would be here.
    How about the scouting reports that Marcus was schooling Jay Williams during draft workouts?

    Marcus Williams was already a very polished point guard. He doesn't need a whole lot of mentoring, just needs to be acclaimated with the speed of the game, and to work on his outside shot.

    He dropped because of attitude off the court, not because what he lacked in basketball IQ and ability.

    Still should have taken him, and it still rubs me raw.

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    Default Re: White, Williams On Different Paths {Pacers.com 10.9.06}

    IMO, taking Marcus Williams would equate (or at least appear to) to expressing doubt over Sarunas (something Bird might like to avoid considering it was his effort that netted him in the first place) and even Tinsley to a degree...I personally like the choice of Shawne Williams, although I admit I didn't follow his career at all, because he's a project - someone we can rely on in the future if the JO/Jax/Tins combo proves unsuccessful again and someone that doesn't threaten team unity by challenging for a spot...Now I realize competition is often a motivating factor, but security also means a lot to athletes (especially in terms of building a team).

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    Default Re: White, Williams On Different Paths {Pacers.com 10.9.06}

    I think Marcus Williams just didn't fit in with the new direction the team is going in, which is having good character and athleticism. The Williams I would keep an eye on this season is Marvin, as his progress could be indicative of what Shawne could achieve.

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    Default Re: White, Williams On Different Paths {Pacers.com 10.9.06}

    Quote Originally Posted by Team Indy View Post
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    I think Marcus Williams just didn't fit in with the new direction the team is going in, which is having good character and athleticism. The Williams I would keep an eye on this season is Marvin, as his progress could be indicative of what Shawne could achieve.
    Exactly. I'd have loved to have M.Williams, the player. But that would go against our move towards good-character guys.

    Of course, so did keeping Jackson. So what do I know.

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    Default Re: White, Williams On Different Paths {Pacers.com 10.9.06}

    Quote Originally Posted by Since86 View Post
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    How about the scouting reports that Marcus was schooling Jay Williams during draft workouts?

    Marcus Williams was already a very polished point guard. He doesn't need a whole lot of mentoring, just needs to be acclaimated with the speed of the game, and to work on his outside shot.

    He dropped because of attitude off the court, not because what he lacked in basketball IQ and ability.

    Still should have taken him, and it still rubs me raw.
    And if Marcus ended up in his own Jackson incident? Or worse yet, another one on par with his own?

    The team had legit reasons to feel uncomfortable taking on any more of that type of risk. As it is things are already a mess. Could have been Marcus at Rio instead of Snap, and just imagine how much his image would add to the matter, people would put that down as yet another example for him just as quickly as Jack and Tins (and Tins really hasn't had incidents, just health/attitude questions).


    I'm not doubting Marcus' talent at all. It's just that I'm not doubting the talent of an obvious project player either. You draft youth so you can reach beyond your actual pick status. Shawne stays in Memphis 2 more years and the Pacers wouldn't be able to get him, just like Harrington would have moved outside their range if he went to college.

    Admittedly Shawne could bust, but the talent seems to be there. He just clearly lacks maturity, especially on-court confidence and awareness.


    I will say that with Baston and Powell the team jumped in frontline depth while SarJas ball protection and Greene's bland showing at FanJam have me a little worried about the PG situation again (disregarding Tinsley's health). We could see the team needing more PG help than the help at the bigs we thought they needed.

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