This was originally going in the Sixers thread but it evolved. Did we win that Sixers game? The post-game thread certainly doesn't reflect that. Did Danny punch someone in the face? Because the post-game thread certainly reflects that.
Honestly, it's becoming borderline unbearable to me how we treat Danny. The man is playing hurt, he's leading the team, he is the only Pacer save TJ and Obie that seems to care about winning and losing, and we're complaining.
Obviously he sees the writing on the wall - his teammates aren't going to stay healthy/play through pain and just don't care as much as he does about the team's overall success. And as a result, we are slowly playing ourselves out of playoff contention. You wouldn't be getting frustrated?
What bothers me even more is that if Danny wasn't getting bothered by this, we'd still be complaining. Then we'd be complaining about a lack of fire. How do I know? Because that's what happened last year on this board. It seems Danny flipped a switch this year. He's stepped his game, mentally, emotionally, and physically. That's as much as any of us could have asked of him.
We have one of the top players in the league on our team. And he hates losing to boot! Even better, he feels connected to this franchise to the point that he can't take losing. Toronto has a guy like Chris Bosh who hates losing so much that he is going to leave Toronto in two years to win more/demand a trade before that. Unfortunately, we seemed to have stumbled upon a Reggie Miller type determined to make this franchise a winner.
My god, what is up with us? Are we the most cynical fanbase there is at this point? Did the brawl really screw us that badly? Guys, let's enjoy our star player. It's ok. Yes, he's a star and yes, he's going to act like it. Thank God. Why? Because if he doesn't stand up for his team and his franchise, nobody else will. And I think people will respect him more, not less, for this.
And I'm sure Danny knows of his defensive short-comings as well. I just feel like in this system, a player has to decide where to focus their energy. Danny (or Obie) has chosen offense for him, I guess. Considering our lack of go-to scorers, I'm ok with that. The problem I have is that Obie basically forces our guys to make that choice.
I don't mean this against a particular poster or group of poster. It's just my own two cents about this situation. I was fortunate enough to see the Pacers in person a couple of weeks ago for the first time in a year or so and my perception of Danny changed. In person, he is such a warrior. He did not look even 80% healthy but he stepped up and took/hit the big shots (Caron just made one more) when the rest of team behaved like the ball was a hot potato. More impressively for me, his body reacted with every positive and negative part of the game. At points, it was like watching Jordan out there, staring down Jack for letting Butler abuse him, high-fiving Jack for hitting a three in the corner, etc. And Danny is not JO. When crunch time came, he took - and hit - the big shots and he guarded Caron. He blamed himself for the failure to cover Caron on that last shot much more than he did anybody else that night. You win championships with guys like this (Danny) as your number one or number two guys.