Get your attention?
Before you go crazy, read about the context I am talking about.
When Jackson was here it was oft-discussed on this board that the fortunes of the Pacers were tied to the fortunes of Jackson. There was a whole thread dedicated to this when Jackson was with the Pacers and I wish I could dig it up, although I've been having trouble finding it.
"Dunleavy went into Wednesday's game at Portland averaging 22.4 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists and shooting 53 percent in victories this season. He's only averaging 11.0 points and shooting 40 percent in losses
"When I get in the flow offensively, it's pretty clear we're a good team," Dunleavy said. "When I don't, we struggle. Why that happens, I don't know. My approach is the same every night. I think it's pretty clear we're a good team when I can get my hands on the ball."
That quote is from a recent Indystar article. Are the Pacers fortunes now tied to Dunleavy in a similar way that it could be argued they were tied to Jackson during a portion of his tenure here?
When Dunleavy shows up and plays aggressively the Pacers usually win. However some nights he just doesn't get involved in the offense. Last night was kind of an outlier because he did get involved but he did get involved, but played poorly and the Pacers lost. If Dunleavy takes 15 shots like he did last night, he usually will make more than 6 of them.
However I'd rather have a game like this from Dunleavy than one in which he gets involved but plays poorly, because more often than not when he gets involved he will play well. When Dunleavy plays passively that's what really dooms the Pacers.
Stephen's situation was a little more complicated. Sometimes he would try too hard on the offensive end, with erratic drives and poor shot selection. He would play poor defense and try to make it up with great offense (that turned out to be terrible) in his best impersonation of a playground legend. If Stephen played the slightly better than average defense he was capable of, and controlled his shot selection and deferred when necessary, the Pacers were in a good position to win with him.
This isn't meant to get into a discussion of why Jack left Indy or whatever but I think it's an interesting idea to ponder.