First let me tell you how bad it is getting here in Pacerland, this from Twitter earlier tonight.
@dukedynamite I am livid. Guess who may not renew next year if something doesn't get fixed
Now I'm sure Duke was speaking in the heat of the moment but let's be honest here if someone who tries very hard to always look for the bright side of things for the team is this way how do you think someone who is not so optimistic is taking this?
I said it before and I'll say it again. The fans that are there are the fans that are going to be there. They aren't going to lose any more fans and they are not going to bring in new fans so now is the time to play the players who need developing.
The first long losing streak knocked everybody down, Danny going down with injury knocked most everybody out and I think this long losing streak has officially put the death knell on the season. I think even the most optimistic fan looks at this team and says that making a late season push for either an 8th seed or worse yet a 9th seed is about the worst thing that the club could do. We need talent and right now the only way we are going to get it is by getting a higher draft pick.
Now I caveat that by saying that this assumes that we make no changes to the club, which right now I don't believe we will. However if for some reason we get some new player that improves us then I am open to changing my thought but as of now I just don't see it.
I think I'm probably done talking about O'Brien. What is the point? Unless Bird was bluffing or hedging his bets it is safe to assume that not only is Jim going to be here this year but I think some of you might want to find an alternative team to watch next year as well. I certainly hope not but right now that is where I feel like we are headed.
I will say this for Jim for last nights game. I saw that starting lineup of his and I didn't know to laugh or cry. I mean other than Hibbert who I think he should be forced to start no matter what he wants, but I digress, there really are not a lot of better alternatives on the bench. And the quality of the starting lineup had me asking myself is this the single worst lineup in the entire NBA? I answered my own question (yes I was talking to myself) and just said yes. That may be the single least talented group of players to start in a game in several years on about any team in the NBA.
I mean D. Jones could be a high rotational player on a good team, Murphy and Dunleavy could also both be specialist on good teams but I don't think either starts, S. Jones would be a back up big man and probably not the first one off of the bench either and T.J. Ford would never be on a good team. He could start for a bad team (thus us) and he might be able to find backup work for a good club like Dallas but that is about it.
But as bad as that was with no Granger, no Foster, no Hansbrough there is just not one other player on the bench (other than Hibbert & maybe Price) who I was thinking to myself we really need to get this guy out there.
Let me just add that Brandon Rush is continuing on his treadmill to nowhere. Giving him min. on the floor is like giving him the Glengarry leads, it's just like throwing them away.
Really in 20 some min. of action he got up 4 shots and didn't hit a single one of them? From his twitter account from earlier today he said he was d@mn tired for some reason. Perhaps he should claim he is coming down with the flu or something because his play on the floor is pretty much making everyone else sick. BTW, no matter how bad I have ripped on O'Brien this season I have NEVER blamed him for Rush's poor performance and I will continue this. He has been given everything and he is doing NOTHING with it.
Troy Murphy is doubtful for the game vs. the Griz tonight. Is it wrong to want to write in an all-star ballot for Brad Millers leg?
O'Brien keeps saying he is searching for something in the starting lineup and has literally changed 4 of the 5 starters yet there is always one that never seems to have his starting job taken???? Also there seems to be some form of correlation between when one player goes to the bench the team seems to make a run. I'm just not sure which player that is.
Dunleavy hit a couple of shots and looked a little better but overall I still say he has hit the wall hard, at least I hope that is what it is.
But enough doom and gloom, we all know what we have on the floor and we all pretty much know how this season is going to turn out. So let's take a few min. to appreciate a couple of good things that happened in the Chicago game.
Roy had a pretty good overall game. This guy is a true professional and I think as a human we should be happy to have him. Other players would have pouted or not played well or hard from being benched (again) but Roy came right in like he does every game and played hard. He did a good job of drawing fouls and then hitting his free throws. He also seemed to be active on the glass.
Josh McRoberts, well frankly since both Tyler and Danny were out and I knew before the game even started that it was going to be Roy out of the lineup I almost didn't want to watch the game because I figured it would be boring as h#ll and that I would be treated to non stop jump shot parade.
Thanks to Josh I got to see two of the best dunks of the year on our team and probably the best power forward pass I am going to see all season long from any team.
In the second quarter he was on absolute fire.
Also I will take time to give JOB credit here; he stuck with him and did not re-insert Troy. However Tyler did hit a three so maybe Jim started to believe.
Also I will give Troy credit here as well, nobody was cheering harder on that bench for Josh than Troy was.
Then the second half came and the Bulls adjusted and Josh was pretty well shut out, not to mention he was pretty gassed by the end of the 4th.
But thanks to him the game was at least fun to watch for a few min.
Now if Troy can't play tonight and if Tyler is still out Josh is going to be called on again.
Here is the problem that I see with this. I always hate when a player goes from not playing for games at a time to being called on for heavy min. It really almost sets them up to fail so I have no doubt that Josh is going to struggle and be fatigued. You wouldn't think he would be but when you are not used to playing those kinds of min. it will take a lot out of you.
So I would like to have everyone take a deep breath about him for the upcoming game. If he produces great, but don't get to excited. Teams have not seen much of him and don't have him scouted all that well so the second time they play him they will adjust.
If he falters then his detractors need to take a break as well, it is unfair to expect any player to go from 14th man to starter and excel.
He doesn't have to be spectacular but he does have to compete and I am far more interested him rebounding and defending well than I am in him putting on a dunk session, although that would be nice as well.
Once again Luther Head provided valuable min. on the floor. In fact every single min. that Rush is getting needs to go to this guy. He was doing a lot of things that helped get us that run in the second. He was moving without the ball and he fires his shot in an instant and lets face it, he is the only guard on our team that when he shoots you think actually has some type of chance of going in.
In fact I would really like to see Luther start at the two and D. Jones start at the three till Danny returns or at least till Mike gets his wind back.
Here is my shocking statement of the night. If Danny and Tyler would have played I think we would have beaten them. They were fouling to beat the band vs. Roy, I think Tyler would have fouled out their entire frontcourt in about five min. and they have no real answer for Danny.
But alas they were not here so it is what it is.
I hate the loss but at the very least I walk away from this one not feeling like we laid down.
BTW, that Rose is one hell of a player. Does he ever miss?