So I've made my annual trip to Indy. I have tickets for the Memphis game on Wednesday. I don't know if this is the best or worst of all possible times to come see a Pacers game. We'll find out soon enough.
I've been thinking about what I would do if I were Jim O'Brien. Here's what I come up with:
PG - AJ Price - Neither Ford nor Watson is playing at a very high level right now. AJ looks good in practice, right?
SG - Luther Head - He's been our best guard over the last several games. He'll get killed by big 2's on the defensive end, but I'm going to have him take it right at those guys on offense and see what happens. He's also the first guy I'm subbing out.
SF - Brandon Rush - Brandon's looked better lately. He's our best perimeter defender and, I think, slightly better at guarding 3s than D. Jones.
PF/C - Tyler Hansbrough - He's the hardest working player on the team, and is probably quickly becoming the most popular for the game-watching casual fan. He's also acheiving a decent amount of success on the court.
PF/C - Troy Murphy - Everybody's favorite punching bag is actually playing well lately. He's been the best vet by far over the past 5 or so games. I start him for two reasons: his play warrants it, and I want to send a message to the other vets. Also, the defense has shown the ability to function well with one unathletic player (see early season win streak w/ Hibbert), for now I'm choosing Troy.
Dahntay is the first man off the bench and he's coming in for Head.
I'm bringing Dunleavy in for 2-3 5-6 minutes stretches each game. When he's in the game he's ordered to never stop moving on offense and to never try and create off the dribble. I'm also making sure he's always in the game with Hibbert or Solo and never with Murphy.
Ford/Watson - If Price plays moderately well he's getting 30+ mpg. For the other PG minutes, I'm going with what the team needs: Ford for offense, Watson for defense. I'm probably not going to play a 2 PG backcourt, but if I do it's not going to be Watson/Price.
Hansbrough is getting as many minutes as possible.
I'm rotating Murphy and Hibbert, trying to get about 24 mpg for both. I'm never, ever playing them together again.
I'll play Solo and McBob every game at both positions.