I had to laugh when I read Keauhou’s comment about me possibly becoming a Pacers fan.
Come on now, you know that’s not going to happen. I don’t like the Pacers and I don’t dislike them, either.
What I like to see is well played basketball. Jim O’Brien will have his team playing the game the right way. They’ll be fundamentally sound and they’re going to play hard.
How many victories will that translate into for the Pacers?
I don’t know.
The word around the organization is that they’re going to surprise some teams this season. I’ve got to see them play before I can say they’ll sneak up on people and be a playoff team.
I got an email from a reader asking me why O’Brien is allowing the media to watch practice and Rick Carlisle didn’t.
There’s a league rule that says the media is allowed to watch the final 30 minutes of practice.
The final 30 minutes consisted of shooting drills, free throws and stretching under Carlisle.
The Pacers are usually still scrimmaging when O’Brien let’s the media into practice.
Here’s my surprises in camp so far.
Travis Diener: Bigger point guards will probably try to get physical with Diener and post him up. The thing he does well is shoot the ball. I only saw him miss one shot in practice Monday. Andre Owens is going to push Diener for the back up point guard spot.
Stephen Graham: The only thing I really knew about Graham coming into camp is that he’s Joey’s twin brother.
Team officials like his outside shooting touch and aggressive defense.
Jermaine O’Neal: O’Neal isn’t considered a surprise because everybody knows what he can do. He’s looked good getting up and down the court on transition. I told him after practice one day that he’s slimmed down so much that he looks like he did in Portland. He’s not really that small, but he’s definitely lighter.
Who hasn’t shown me much
Kareem Rush: Rush’s ankle injury hasn’t allowed him a lot of court time. The injury may put him behind in the fight to crack the rotation spot, especially since O’Brien said he’ll probably have four players playing the wing. Danny Granger, Mike Dunleavy and Marquis Daniels are the top three players at that position. The best part of Rush’s game is his jump shot. But the thing is, he’s got to be able to show O’Brien that he can defend to get on the court.