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I've had such a weekend you wouldn't beleive me if I told you.
Needless to say I did not get back for game 5 & the trouble I had to go through to get to even see the game on tv in my hotel room is just to hard for even me to imagine, let alone explain to you guys.
This is the first Pacers playoff game I have ever missed since the 80's. It sucked beyond belief to not be there. But fear not, I sold my seats to a co-worker & her two sisters & I saw them on T.V. so I know for a fact my tix. didn't go to any outsiders who should not have been there.
I don't even know where to begin. I guess win or lose I will have to say that Carlisle certainly can no longer be accused of being unwilling to change.
Croshere totally changed the game in # 4 & then he was as useless as tits on a boar in game # 5.
Austin is certainly a streaky player, even more so now than he used to be.
What will happen with him in game # 6? Who knows. I'm not even sure he will start & for that matter after last game I'm not sure he should.
This is a ***** trying to look at this from two differant games btw. It would be unfair to totally overlook his contributions in game 4 but then again his total lack of anything in game # 5 was unforgivable.
Let's just hope he give us something.
Normally I wouldn't go here with this but I think in this case I will.
I do not like to use injury as an excuse for anything, but sometimes it just cannot be overlooked. If we go down in this series, it's a damn shame because in my mind it will always be a "what if" series. A win is a win & I'm sure the fans in Michigan won't give back the series, but the fact that our superstar & our offensive lenchpin are both hobbling is a little more than just minor bruises.
I will always wonder what if Jamaal & J.O. had both been 100% for this series.
Oh well, the series isn't officially over yet & there is still a good possibility that we can bring this back home for game 7. But it is going to take something more from Reggie Miller than 5 shots.
Let's talk about that for a min. can we? What good is a player on the floor when all he does is throw back the ball? I know a lot of you like Reggie for his being a decoy, but in truth what hole is opened up by him being out there? J.O. still gets the same double team as he would if Bender were on the floor. BTW, I'm stealing the throw back line from Greg Anthony. He described Jeff Foster as a throw back player, meaning that whenever you would throw Jeff the ball he would throw it back & not initiate any offense.
Reggie, IMO, get's the same treatment. At the end of the 4th quarter when we had our last realistic chance (somewhere between the 4-6 min. mark I think) Reggie got the ball & threw it to Jermaine. J.O. got the double so he throws it back to Reggie. Reggie had a second for a three, he didn't take it. I'm fine with that because what happened next was Reggie started to drive the ball. I'm thinking pull up or floater coming our way. Instead he throws it to J.O. who is being doubled again. This time Ben get's his hand on it & we are going the other way. The game was over right there & then. Twice Reggie passed up shots so he could do his old "inside outside" game.
Now all of this would be fine if he was our p.g. but from our two guard spot I would like to see something more.
That something more was provided by Fred Jones.
By all rights Fred Jones should be starting vs. Hamilton, but we all know that the fans in this town are never ever going to accept that.
My friend FireTheCoach said 4 years ago & it rings even more true today. This team will probably never be able to grow until the chord is cut with Reggie.
BTW, before all of you R.A.S. members try to lynch me understand I think Reggie has had some great moments this year. We don't win game 1 without him. But if he is going to be on the court it has to be in a capacity more than just a decoy.
Why am I reading anybody griping about Al Harrington? Throughout this round Al has been the most consistant Pacer on the floor. His fighting mentality has kept us in many games. If J.O. can't go tonight I want Al to get his spot on the floor.
One thing though. I don't want to leave without mentioning one thing.
Rip Hamilton is killing us. There may be nothing we can do about it either. The best chance we have on the guy is not Ron Artest. It's Fred Jones & Fred ain't gonna stop him.
Rip is a player. Detroit has one hellova cornerstone for years to come.
It's been a good series & win or lose I think it's safe to say we all can be proud. It's not enough, but only one team can walk away saying that it ever is at the end of the year anyway.
BTW, Detroit plays great defense. Hands down, no argument.
However, we can't shoot. We have no shooters. One off-season aquisition, no matter the outcome of this series, should be to get another player who can knock down a 15' jump shot. I know they are rare, but we need to look.
Basketball isn't played with computers, spreadsheets, and simulations. ChicagoJ 4/21/13