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Thread: Odd thoughts from the first pre-season game

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    Administrator Peck's Avatar
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    Default Odd thoughts from the first pre-season game

    Well, this will be the first of the new season. You know the season where I had dedicated myself to letting go of the past and trying to embrace this new team. Stealing from the great Lloyd Bridges "it looks like I picked the wrong day to quit sniffing glue".

    It all started innocently enough. There was the magic of going back to the place where the Pacers ruled back in the day (and in some ways I wish we could take some of the things from there back to the fieldhouse with us, which I will get to later).

    I go in and once again, just like the draft party, you can tell that people are actually excited to be there. There was like a giant "group hug" if you will of good will towards the team. People who did not know each other were talking up the team and sharing information about players that others weren't familiar with.

    Then there was the player intro and once again, much like the old days, Austin Croshere got the loudest applause of the night for the players.

    However Austin would soon be outdone because they introduced Slick Leonard (decked out in some bright colored Pinkish suite) and he certainly recieved the loudest ovation of the evening.

    With Slick on the sidelines was David Craig who also recieved an enormous ovation, which was very nice.

    There was the pre-game ceramonial tip where Slick threw up the ball.

    At this point in time the fans were still excited and ready to go. From there it pretty much went to hell.

    Look let's not kid ourselves here on two levels.

    1. It was a pre-season game so nobody should take away much from what we saw.

    2. It is definately going to be a long process to get us back to being a winning franchise.

    Oh, before I get to the game I must add this. Mike Dunleavy must have thought that this was retro night for everyone because he was wearing the most God awful 70's three's company leasure suite that I have seen on a real person in forever.

    Ok, I don't know whether to laugh or cry about this but at one point in time in the 4th quarter we were down by 40 points. Yes, 40 points.

    If it wasn't for Shawne Williams channelling Jalen Rose's ability to score meaningless baskets we would certainly have lost by that much.

    Let's face it if you are trying to win back fans, well this certainly probably was not what the management had in mind.

    I don't think anybody would have been upset if we would have lost the game, but the fact that not only were we not competative we were actually comical did not help the cause.

    I think we scored a whole whopping 7 points in the 3rd quarter.

    Again, nobody should take away to much from this but still it was certainly a blown opprotunity.

    I'll just give a brief rundown of the players.

    The good.

    I thought T.J. Ford was good. He moved the ball well and at least he hit a shot or two. Defense was just ok, but for God's sake he was playing vs. Chris Paul so I think it is understandable that his defense was only good.

    Josh McRoberts. I have no predisposed opinion of him. I could care less about high school or college basketball. But out of all of the big men I thought he had the most impact in the shortest amount of time. His defense was suprisingly good, in fact I was shocked that this guy was defending like he was. He wasn't playing vs. Simms either he got his steal and block off of Hilton Armstrong who had been causing all of our other big men fits all night long. He was active on the boards and he busted his @ss every min. he was on the floor (much like you would expect a player trying to make a team to). I don't care much for him wearing that number (or Rush wearing Billy's number for that matter either) but from tonights game I would keep him.

    Rosho. Solid game. Nothing spectacular but he has legitmate size and he played physical enough to bother Tyson Chandler in the first quarter. I have a feeling that barring a trade this will be your center for the year. Not a great thing but not crap either.

    Maceo Baston. Solid game. Still suprisingly athletic for a guy his age. Had a series at the end of the game where he blocked 2 shots in a row. Still not an offensive force but in tonights game I don't know that anybody could be considered an offensive threat.

    Jeff Foster. Really I would not call him good, just same old same old but in tonights game that would qualify as good compared to others.

    Croshers. Again, good is not the proper term because like others he could not hit the ocean from a boat. But he did hit the boards hard and defended well.

    The "they didn't suck as bad as the others".

    Brandon Rush. My fist time seeing him in person. He has legitimate size and if he can defend at this level will probably be a very good player depending on his shot dropping. I didn't get a feel for his athleticism tonight so I don't know about that. First night gitters for sure, but I am giving him a pass because first game in and all.

    Roy Hibbert. Looking past the entire elbow thing because honestly I missed the second that happened trying to explain to the Diamond one why he was called for a defensive foul. I look up and Ely is going crazy, so I can only assume that Roy swung his elbow high and caught Melvin in the face. We got to see a little of both side of Roy tonight. We saw the potential of the size and the fact that if he can develop a shot he will be at least an offensive option. But we also got to see that this is a 7 footer who did not avg. double figures in rebounding in college. I only pray this guy hits the weight room. He does not need to bulk up like Shaq but he needs to get more lean muscle on him. The good news is he doesn't appear to shy away from physical contact. If you didn't see the game Roy had a one handed dunk that rocked the rim and backboard.

    The bad.

    Jarret Jack. His ball handling made me long for Andre Owens. Seriously this was the single most dissapointing thing of the night for me I think. I have wanted Jack on the team for a long time so believe me I was rooting for him. But for whatever reason he could not handle the ball at all. I don't know what his final stats were but I know that the guy had to lead us in turnovers. His shooting, like the rest of the team, was abysmal but it was his ability to play the point guard that bothered me the most. He does attack the glass so that is good and it looked like he was pulling in his share of boards but man his dribbling was just scary bad.

    Shawne Williams. Don't let his final stats fool you. He hit two meaning less non guarded shots to end the game. Sad, sad, sad. I think Shawne needs a new address because honestly I think it is a two fold problem here. One is certainly Shawne but I also think that O'Brien is not the right type of coach for him.

    Marquis Daniels. I have blocked his entire game out of my mind.

    Ok, that's enough of the players and the game itself.

    It was pre-season so I just pray we forget this and move on. I know I will be paying for therapy to try and forget this.

    At halftime they honored some of the old ABA Pacers who were present, which was nice. It was especially nice to see Don Buse in the house and for the entire Collisium to go "Boooooooo" when he was introduced which brought a smile to his face.

    I just wish Mel Daniels could have been there for that.

    Now some of the things about the overall experiance.

    A. First and formost it has been since M.S.A. since I have been to a game where they darkened the fan section during the game. I can not tell you how much of a benefit it is to do this. It puts all of the emphasis on the floor where it should be. I don't know if this is possible at the fieldhouse but I would love for them to do a 5 game trial of dimming the lights.

    B. Boomers Dancing Harry routine. My God that was great. The outfit, the music, the moves. He must add this to his gimmicks at the fieldhouse. However if he is putting the "whammy" on someone I want to make sure it is not on us.


    It was great to see Pacers basketball again, I just wish it wasn't quite like this.

    On to the next game.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Odd thoughts from the first pre-season game

    great analysis
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    Default Re: Odd thoughts from the first pre-season game

    The thing I like about watching preseason games is that I can watch just to evaluate players and the team and not care about the score. Perhaps the best thing about tonight's game is that we may very well have gotten our worst shooting night of the season out of the way already. It's not going to get much worse than 31% FG and 3-21 (14%) from 3 point.

    One interesting thing was to notice the transition from the 1st to the 2nd quarter. People often complain about the lack of offensive structure under O'Brien, but it was clear tonight that they ran many more sets once O'Brien started coaching. This is exactly what you'd expect, but it was still nice to see that O'Brien's hand is not as light offensively as many think.

    Tonight's game may have been a good example of just how important Dunleavy is to the offense.

    Players:

    TJ Ford: The offense played much better with Ford on the floor than with Jack. One thing that was on display tonight that I think we will all fall in love with this season was his midrange game. Ford doesn't really have 3 point range, but his midrange pull-up jumper is as good as nearly anybody's.

    Jack: I think we got a good taste for what Jarrett Jack can and can't do tonight. He had 8 TO's, but I'd say at least 4 of them came during the first quarter. Jack is not meant to play playground ball. What he did show tonight was that he's a pretty good finisher and that he excels at using screens to get himself into the lane. He also played some pretty darn good defense on Chris Paul during the 3rd quarter. He also grabbed 8 boards.

    Granger: During the first half he was clearly looking to attack the basket and he got to the free throw line a few times doing so. In the 2nd half he started settling for jumpers which weren't going down.

    Croshere: He was pretty much what you'd expect him to be, but his defense was a little better than I remembered. His shot wasn't falling, so he was pretty much worthless on offense.

    McRoberts: He played tough defense, blocking one shot and challenging a few others. He also had a nice steal, a couple of nice passes, and a couple offensive rebounds. He's very athletic, and a bit tougher than I expected. If I only had this game to go on, I'd definitely keep him over Croshere.

    Roy Hibbert: We ran a few plays for him and he failed to score on most of them. He's going to need time to adjust to the amount of contact in the NBA. He actually looked a little quicker than Rasho.

    Brandon Rush: His shot looked good even though it didn't go down. He showed the ability to get to the rim. He played good defense and made a couple nice passes.

    Shawne Williams: If he doesn't leave as sweetener in a Tinsley deal, maybe we should cut him. Croshere, Baston, and McRoberts were all more impressive than Shawne.
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    Headband and Rec Specs rexnom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Odd thoughts from the first pre-season game

    For all your efforts to block out Quis's game, you should also be commended on a job well done forgetting about Danny's game tonight.

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    Default Re: Odd thoughts from the first pre-season game

    I really liked what I saw out of McRoberts. His defensive effort was great and we really need some athleticism at the big spots. I will be pissed if he is cut.
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    Default Re: Odd thoughts from the first pre-season game

    Peck got it all right, so I won't repeat much.

    Rasho: Nice work attacking the ball in the first half. I like him over Foster now.

    McBob: Nice late effort. He really shown that he has potential to be out there on the floor. Solid big guy. I want to see him backing up Rasho.

    Maceo: Other than the two blocks of late, get him in street clothes. He doesn't need to play, at least with this team.

    Rush: Early rookie jitters. It's better for him to get these out of his system now. He had spurts of good play. No one was really "solid" tonight.

    Hibbert: A great tenacity to attack the ball. I like that, and I look forward to seeing more. His hook shot looks good and he can get to the basket just fine, he just can't finish...yet.

    Danny: Where was the real Danny Granger, tonight? I am glad he was working on other aspects of his game, but it didn't look like him at all out there.

    Ford: All expectations met. He really controls the floor and doesn't fool around. I do not miss Jermaine at all anymore. For good.

    Jack: A little less razzle dazzle and a little bit more fundamental basketball. He looked a lot like Tinsley out there handling the ball and turning it over. I have still yet to see what he is capable of.

    Croshere: Nice first quarter play. Of course this as well goes for everyone. I loved the ovation he received and he did play well within that time. I was really thinking that was someone good in Croshere's body out there.

    Quis: He still owes me a pair of shin guards. (And he knows it now.)

    Foster: I like him as a person, but he does not fit in with this team anymore.

    Williams: WTF is he still doing on this team? That's right, I'm off the Williams Wagon.

    Murph: DNP

    Dun Dun: That crazy get up was just the funniest thing I've seen.

    All in all, it was a fun experience. I was glad I got to spen this time with my dad, and it was nice of him telling me more about the players during halftime while they were being honored.

    Next time, they need to work seating out a little better. I felt like I was blocked off from the game in almost all aspects. I was in Row A of Section 30, and I felt like an area code away.

    Travis came out of the locker area and told me he didn't mean to blow us off during the last game of the season last year. He was going to give my girlfriend his jersey and he changed back into street clothes as you all remember.

    I have a ton of photos. I'll post them.

    I saw Hicks and Roaming Gnome, couldn't say hi. BillS, thanks a million for talking to us after the game. It was nice to rationalize what happened and congrats on the season tickets.
    Last edited by duke dynamite; 10-09-2008 at 01:58 AM.

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    Default Re: Odd thoughts from the first pre-season game

    I loved the music style.
    Don't ask Marvin Harrison what he did during the bye week. "Batman never told where the Bat Cave is," he explained.

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    Default Re: Odd thoughts from the first pre-season game

    Quote Originally Posted by Suaveness View Post
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    I loved the music style.
    The organ...wow. It gave the game a great feel.

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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Odd thoughts from the first pre-season game

    I didn't see any of the game, so I can't comment on it, I have it dvr'd and hopefully will have a little time tonight to watch some of it.

    Peck, they most certainly can dim the lights in the fan section at Conseco and I have been calling for them to do so for several years now. Not sure why they haven't at least tried it. If nothing else it would make the many empty seats less noticeable on TV. Wonder what the reasoning is. A [place like Conseco they could have many levels of "diming" - I suggest they try just dimming a little.

    Jack is a combo guard - That is why I have been saying over and over again that he'll see a lot of time at the shooting guard. He's just not a natural point guard, never has been and often time in Portland he would play with a more natural point guard on the floor. - like Brandon Roy. So if you are going to grade him on his "point guard only play" , - you will be disapointed, but if you look at his overal game, like defense, rebounding, hustle - you likely will like what you see. But I've been saying ever since the trade - that I still expected Diener to get some of the backup pt guard minutes because he'll run the team much better than Jack. Jack is not the type of point guard or player that you give him the ball and run plays for him to create
    Last edited by Unclebuck; 10-09-2008 at 08:47 AM.

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    Default Re: Odd thoughts from the first pre-season game

    I can see Jack being on the floor with Dun a lot. Some people said that Hibbert was slow to react. I disagree. I thought he hedged screens very well and then get back to his man before the opposing guard turned their shoulders to the screeners direction.

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    Default Re: Odd thoughts from the first pre-season game

    My take:

    General comment: for all that we are getting on the Pacers, offense, the Hornets' defense was absolutely amazing. They were talking to each other, constantly moving across the lane, and the fact that our rust showed in the outside shooting meant that we simply weren't going to score. Their ability to completely block driving and passing lanes was helped by our spacing, which was waaaay too close, but some of that was forced by the Hornets' defense as well.

    Second, I think it was clear that the purpose of the game last night was to try many different lineup combinations, and even when one sucked it was left in place to see if it would gel. I liked this because that's what pre-season is for.

    Finally, as Kevin Lee noted, this was the Hornets' second game and the Pacers' first.

    Pro:

    TJ Ford - I was pretty impressed with his ability to keep the ball moving. In fact, I think he was the only one not completely thrown by the Hornets' defense. I came away feeling he was absolutely the best pickup of the summer.

    Roy Hibbert - As did others, I missed the full elbow play (I thought an inadvertent elbow was a Flagrant 1, not a Flagrant 2? I also was looking at him as Ely stepped toward him and didn't see a literal chest thump, though Roy certainly didn't run away) because I spent most of the time watching his feet and positioning. One of my biggest complaints about Harrison was that his feet never seemed to know where they were supposed to be - this was not a problem for Roy. He may not break out this season, and it remains to be seen what the reaction is to his upcoming fine and suspension, but he is at least saying the right things (not arguing the ref call) and putting himself in the right places.

    Austin Croshere - OK, I've always really liked Austin, so I'm biased. I think he hit the floor running and did very well for a 15-spot on the roster. I was personally more impressed with his work than that of Baston, and McBob was pretty blah until the 4th.

    The Starting Lineup - Obviously once Dun and Murphy are back this is probably not going to be the starters, but the combination of Ford, Danny, Austin, Rasho, and Marquis actually looked pretty good together. I wouldn't mind seeing them on the floor as a transition grouping.

    CON:

    Jack - Who taught this guy to handle the ball? His TO numbers don't tell the whole story - the number of time he lost his handles and had to recover was easily equal to the number of actual TOs. I'm surprised at how hard it was for him to keep up with what was going on, and things pretty well died with him out there.


    MEH:

    Brandon Rush - I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt and call this first-game jitters. The grading curve won't be so kind next time.

    Danny Granger - I'm going to hope this was just an off night.
    BillS

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    Member RamBo_Lamar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Odd thoughts from the first pre-season game

    The main reason the Pacer's lost was pretty obvious to me.....

    Slick's coaching in the first quarter was horrendous, and as a result they
    did not build up that huge lead they were supposed to. All he did was just
    sit there and clap every now and then. What kind of coaching was that??

    ()

    Seriously though, I expect to see much the same results from most other
    teams that play against the Hornets...they are very good and will likely be
    in the thick of things come late in the playoffs. They are already tight.

    After the Pacer's roster is finalized, then they should be much better able
    to focus on embracing their individual roles and building some consistency.

    All things considered, I don't think it was such a horrible outing.



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    Default Re: Odd thoughts from the first pre-season game

    Quote Originally Posted by duke dynamite View Post
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    The organ...wow. It gave the game a great feel.
    One thing I will never understand about our sports teams is the fact that they build these things to have a retro feel to them, obviously thinking that the people in the city ENJOY the retro feel to the venue, then play all this crap *** music inside.

    Case in point is The Vic, where when it first opened they played organ music and everything like an old time ballpark, and it was awesome to go there for a game. Then they changed it to sucky rock and rap and I hardly go any more.

    I know there is a package of music that all NBA teams use. Is it required to have that? I know I stopped going to Conseco when they had that wanksta DJ screaming at every timeout. Bring back some of the old feel to a new place. It's obvious the fans would be for it.

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    Default Re: Odd thoughts from the first pre-season game

    Quote Originally Posted by Peck View Post
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    Boomers Dancing Harry routine. My God that was great. The outfit, the music, the moves. He must add this to his gimmicks at the fieldhouse. However if he is putting the "whammy" on someone I want to make sure it is not on us.

    ABSOLUTELY!!! Boomer must incorporate the Dancing Harry routine into his act!

    The fans will LOVE it!!!

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    Member naptownmenace's Avatar
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    Default Re: Odd thoughts from the first pre-season game

    Great thoughts Peck! You noticed the same things I did while watching from home.

    I'll just add that TJ looked like the best player on the team last night. He pushed the ball hard up the court and didn't have too much trouble beating Chris Paul off the dribble. That was really impressive considering how good a defender Paul is and how much Jack struggled trying to do the same thing when he was match against him to start the 3rd quarter.

    McRoberts, Baston, and Croshere played better than Foster in almost every way, which was ver surprising. I was really pleased with the way McRoberts got up and down the court and his defense and hustle was much better than I expected. Out of the 4 PFs I think that McRoberts provided the biggest spark and appeared to be the most athletic.

    Danny looked totally out of sync last night. He started the game being aggressive which was great but then settled into taking contested long-range jumpers. Another thing I noticed is that when he drives he takes off too early and from too far out on the floor. He should study the way that Paul Pierce attacks the basket and could certainly improve on his ability to change directions when driving the lane. Still, it was just the first preseason game and I know he has the ability to play better and expect him to do so as he gets used to his new teammates.

    One thing I certainly didn't like last night was the offensive or lack of offensive sets the Pacers ran last night. Nine times out of ten, it looked like they just dribbled the ball up the court and the players just moved aimlessly around the perimeter. There was also very little ball movement.

    Contrast that with the way the Hornets played. They sets down screens for Peja and Peterson, they ran the pick and roll with Paul, and they reversed the ball and found open shooters in the corners all night long.

    The offense needs a lot of work right now but I think Dunleavy and Murphy will help out a lot in the spacing and ball movement areas when they return. It's not brought out very often but Mike and Troy move very well without the ball and are pretty good at working to get open.

    Anyway, with all that said, it was just a preseason game - the first one. At least this gives the coaching staff a good sense of what the team needs to work on and I'm sure they'll play much better on Friday against the Bulls.
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    Larry is not coming back, he didn't have a meeting with Orlando for not reason, yeah he is coming back to the NBA but not to the Pacers, the notion that he is a taking a year off and then come back is absurd.
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    GOOD GOD THAT'S LARRY BIRD'S MUSIC!

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    Default Re: Odd thoughts from the first pre-season game

    Can someone tell me how many lineups that JO'B experimented or used this game?

    I'm guessing this is a Pre-Season game for JO'B to evaluate who we should keep and therefore used various lineups and combinations to see who worked well with the end-of-bench guys....which could explain why we did so bad. As someone in the Game thread mentioned.....we were using some odd combination of rotational players in the 3rd QTR when the Hornets were using their primary Starting Lineup.
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    Default Re: Odd thoughts from the first pre-season game

    Quote Originally Posted by RamBo_Lamar View Post
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    Seriously though, I expect to see much the same results from most other
    teams that play against the Hornets...they are very good and will likely be
    in the thick of things come late in the playoffs. They are already tight.
    I agree. I was very impressed with the Hornets last night. They played as a team all night long on both ends of the floor. Their ball movement was very impressive. It wasn't just Chris Paul creating shots for everybody. He'd pass the ball to a semi-open guy, we'd react, they'd pass to another semi-open guy, we'd react again, and then they'd find a wide open dude who'd nail an open jumper. Teams with good ball movement will still kill us this season.
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    Default Re: Odd thoughts from the first pre-season game

    Peck, good post. After watching Jack run the point it made me long for Travis as our back-up to TJ. Jack did play decent defense, but was painful to watch handling the ball. Maybe he will do better, (as UB mentioned) playing a 2g with TJ when defense is needed.

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    Default Re: Odd thoughts from the first pre-season game

    Dimmed lights and the organ. snif....maybe someday I'll be able to jog again.

    Makes me all nostalgic....winning would make me feel absolutely 40 again.

    Although, they used to also bring in HS bands back in the day.
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    Default Re: Odd thoughts from the first pre-season game

    Dimmed lights! Yes!
    O'Brien has been fired! Yay! What took so long?

    ------

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    Default Re: Odd thoughts from the first pre-season game

    These odd thoughts and recaps are going to be really important to me this season since I can neither see or hear the games now. Good job guys.

    I hope everyone enjoyed the retro feel of the game. Ahh - Dancin' Harry - I hope Boomer does incorporate some of it in his act. One question - why wasn't Mel there? I think I do remember reading something about an illness that had struck him. Is he still around the day-to-day operations of the front office. It's really sad he wasn't there.
    The best exercise of the human heart is reaching down and picking someone else up.

  22. #22
    Denim Chicken duke dynamite's Avatar
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    Default Re: Odd thoughts from the first pre-season game

    Quote Originally Posted by indygeezer View Post
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    Although, they used to also bring in HS bands back in the day.
    They are doing it all again.

  23. #23
    MVP HC's Avatar
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    Default Re: Odd thoughts from the first pre-season game

    I demand an organ and dimmed lights at Conseco.
    When all of your wishes are granted many of your dreams will be destroyed -MM


  24. #24
    Administrator Roaming Gnome's Avatar
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    Default Re: Odd thoughts from the first pre-season game

    Well, we know that NY always had an organ and the Lakers introduced an organ the 2nd season in the Staples Center. Why can't we, since we are all about the nostalgia?
    ...Still "flying casual"
    @roaminggnome74

  25. #25
    Administrator Peck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Odd thoughts from the first pre-season game

    You know the organ is alright, however I don't really care so much about it as I do dimming the lights.

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