I know I'm not breaking any new ground here and that I could've just broken this post down and put each part into an existing thread. I'm rebellious like that. I'm going to attempt to break down the Pacers position by position.
Can we just drop the absolute negativity surrounding Jamaal Tinsley for a few minutes? Jamaal's been solid. Before you skip the rest of my post and start with your rebuttals, hear me out. I saw a defensive effort against the Heat I've never seen before from Tinsley. He was picking Williams up at the half court line and keeping him from initiating the offense at will. He got beat on some pick and rolls and J-Will flat out ran by him in the open court at least once. What he didn't do was force a bunch of shots, go all Rucker league, or lose his mind and just start pushing people when he got burnt. He had 5 turnovers vs the Heat (one went thru Murphy's hands and one was when he just threw the ball out on the court to let the time expire) and only one against the Knicks. In the same time span he has 12 assists and 5 steals. That's not gonna get you on the all-star team but it's solid. He's also averaging 14.5 points. I am concerned with the overall position though. I like Armstrong. I also know he's 38 years old and his game relies entirely on the one thing 38 year old atheletes cannot provide night in and night out...energy. I want to see DA playing like he did against the Knicks in the playoffs not in a wheelchair. I think if we keep riding this guy like we have post trade that's where he'll end up. He's playing 26 minutes a night because we have no formidable backup points. Orien Greene and Keith McLeod aren't nincompoops like Eddie Gill but I wouldn't be upset if they never saw the court. We don't need a guy who wants 20 minutes a night but we need someone who can be relied upon to keep the train rolling. Maybe that guy is McLeod I don't know.
I've decided to just combine all of our 2's and 3's. This isn't a team with a Reggie Miller or Ray Allen. We have 5 players who play both positions. They may be better at one but all will see time at both. Danny Granger is coming into his own offensively and he did a nice job defensively on Wade, but we need more than 3.5 rebounds a game from him and that's what he's given us since returning to the starting lineup. Daniels and Dunleavy are similar in the sense that they don't have to score to be effective, but on any given night one of them needs to be able to put the ball in the basket. Mike JR.'s shooting has been awful, not his selection per se but he's just not making shots. Daniels shot has started to fall, but over the course of the season he's been on and off. I'm hoping his regulated role will see an end to his inconsistency. Williams got 25 in that first game before the new guys arrived but his minutes have all but vanished. That's alright with me. He's getting 5-10 a game and that will allow him to settle in without the pressure of having to produce. Marshall is the odd man out for now.
The Big Fellas:
JO needs the ball in the post. This is slowing us down. It's also a double edged sword because we need JO to produce and we need him to produce in the post. It's like we're running two teams over the course of a game. We all just need to realize that sometimes we are gonna open up the floor and sometimes we're gonna slow it down and pound it down the other teams throats. I like being able to do both. Jeff Foster is a nice guy. That plays into the hands of Carlisle right now. He can move Jeff to the bench and he'll still give you everything he's got. Foster's seeing 15-20 and I'm fine with that. He may not be a traditional offensive force but he has his moments away from the ball and obviously on the boards. His defense and rebounding will be needed as we go down the stretch. Troy Murphy has that outside shot we've been missing since Brad left us for the coast. While he's not exactly on par with Miller during that part of his career, he's certainly closer than Pollard or Foster ever will be. Ike Diogu is a future piece. If he can work his way in now, like Williams is doing, he'll be fine. I will say I expect him to actually work his way into some minutes by the end of the regular season. He isn't going to make the transition as easily as Murphy and Dunleavy have, but his past numbers indicate he can contribute in the reserve role once occupied by Baston. Maceo is the odd man out for now.
That just leaves David Harrison. I don't care. I gave up on him awhile back. Maybe we can add some variation of Harrison, Baston, Greene, McLeod & Marshall into a solid vet backup point guard. I think things are looking bright as long as Carlisle knows when to play the guys that are producing and sit the guys that aren't without making it a big hullabaloo, we'll be just fine.