I really want to know what you non-Pacer fans think, I know many have left us after the Pistons series, but I want to know what a fan of other teams think.
Let's assume the Pacers trade Artest for a starting shooting guard of the caliber of Ray Allen, would the Pacers be easier to beat with the following starting 5, vs their current starting 5.
Yes you guys would then be easier to beat IMO.
First off you would be forcing Harrington into the starters role; he may blossom in that role but he could equally show that he is better suited as a 6th man. There have been many players over the years who are at their best playing against 2nd units as 6th men; Aaron McKie is a perfect example when he is forced to start the 1st couple games he can look great but over the long run he starts to struggle and you find out why he is best suited as a 6th man I think Harrington's best role is coming off the bench and if he was relied on to start 82 games he would regress and not be as productive as he is in his current role. Also you would be weakening your 2nd unit considerably by starting him.
Second, losing Artest you would lose championship quality intangibles that I saw him bring to your team this season. The grit and the ability to take the challenge of defending the stud scorers of the other team; who would fill the void as your "defensive stopper" with Artest gone? The first time Pierce dropped 45 or TMac dropped 50 against the Pacers you would be praying you had Artest back in there. You simply can't lose your best defensive player and expect to stay at the same level as a team trust me I know when we lossed our best defensive player in Ratliff the defense really suffered and you wouldn't just be able to throw anybody in there to replace Artest.
Third, the Pacers have great chemistry, by moving Artest your taking out a huge part of that chemistry and you just don't know if Allen will fit in as nicely and whether the chemistry would click. Just my opinion but if I'm the Pacers I don't pull a Larry Brown this offseason and change key ingredients like Artest I would just slightly tweak the roster by adding a more productive starting two guard unless you get an offer you can't refuse like Harrington for Ray Allen etc.,, But to me Artest and JO would be untouchable unless your getting an elite superstar like McGrady in return. So I think you would be easier to beat, your defense would be weaker, your bench would be weaker, you would lose mental toughness, your offense would probably be slightly better unless Harrington struggled then it would be about the same.