This will probably be fairly brief tonight.
I hate losing, there are no moral victories and at the end of the day we are now on an 8 game losing streak.
Now having said that I want to say that I am fairly satisfied with the game. I am pretty happy with both the coaching and the effort from the players tonight.
Let's be honest here 4 games in 5 nights is hard on a healthy club but when you add injury and illness to the mix it is no wonder that we lost.
However this was not a tank job and even though we never really were in it, we never really got put out of it either till very late in the game and from a fans point of view that is about all I can ask when we are both short staffed and honestly missing our best player.
It's not an excuse btw; it just is an honest assessment of what occurred.
I am very happy that JOB took the steps tonight to limit the time on the court by certain players. If for no other reason we got to take a look at some of the younger guys just to see what they can do.
Let's be honest with ourselves here for a min. None of the young fella's are going to break out into 1st team all-stars but we need to know if going forward next season if they can contribute. I know practice is one way for coach's to know this but there is nothing like real game experience and not in garbage time to see what you can do.
A.J. Price is very interesting to me. Like I say all of the time I do not watch college ball so I had no idea who he was or what he did until he came here and frankly to begin with I read more about his Police blotter than scouting reports.
But there is something there. This kid does not play like a low second round draft pick, he plays like he belongs and he is not bashful or shy about shooting the ball or leading a play.
In other words for lack of a better term he has some swagger to him. Not in a bad cocky way but in a "I'm confident and you aren't going to get in my way" kind of way.
I don't know if he is going to turn out to be something or not but right now I will say that it would not surprise me one bit to think that he might actually be a starting caliber point guard. If that is the case, then jackpot for Bird.
BTW, I'm not saying he will be I am just saying with what I have seen I wouldn't be surprised.
He has already made Travis Diener obsolete.
Roy Hibbert just once again proved that given the ability to work with a mobile athletic power forward that he can be a force. His defense still is rough but notice how he did not look as bad tonight? Double double off of the bench, which btw Bird really should not let happen, I know you don't want to step on a coach's toes and all but in this case he needs to be told Roy needs to play. Roy does not need to play for future development, although that is also a side benefit; he needs to play because he is our best center right now.
Josh McRoberts ultimately had a very good game as well. He had a few min. in the first half where I was starting to worry that he was going to pretend to be Brandon Rush and hide in the bushes. But by the end of the 2nd quarter he started to work up a sweat.
Believe me I was relieved that he had a good, but not great game. The reason I say that is because a good middle of the road game makes it so that everyone can have their pound of flesh but nobody will be 100% correct.
Nobody can claim that Josh should be bumped up to starter and nobody can just blow off the Chicago game as a fluke
I think for those of us who want Josh to do well we can look at this and say "there is something there worth looking further at".
My boy Seth has been jocking McBob up for me so I will let him do the honors again tonight but I do want to add one thing to the discussion about him.
This guy really is one hell of a passer for a forward. I'm not talking about just good awareness and getting to his man. I am talking about crisp hard passes that hit his man in scoring positions. Hell Mark Jackson would have been proud of a couple of his passes.
One last thing before I move on and yes I know once again I am beating the Troy and Jeff dead horse again but I have to say it.
This season is lost, at least in the aspect of being playoff contenders. So with that in mind it is time to see both of them a little less and Josh and Solomon a little more. We need to go forward knowing if there is anything there at all.
I was very concerned about Josh this summer because when I saw him in the pre-season he did not look like his offense had progressed at all. However the past two games have given me a glimmer of hope.
But let's see how he does once team scout him a little more. That is if he continues to get playing time, we'll see.
Luther Head, how this guy got DNP-CD's to begin the season with is beyond me. How he could not get anything but a partially guaranteed contract in the NBA is also a mystery to me. Look I realize that he is going to be a journeyman player for his career unless he hooks in the right place. But right now this guy is our best shooting guard, that actually says more about our club than it does him but still you have to give him some credit.
I don't want to look at to many negatives tonight but there is something really wrong with Dunleavy. He doesn't have his legs for sure, so why then do we continue to start him when we are having trouble getting big deficits to begin the game you might ask? Well I don't know is the answer I will give you.
But right now I am beginning to think there is something else wrong as well. I was more than willing to write it all off to conditioning but right now I'm not sure that is all of it. It could be the knee is acting up or it could be he hit a mental wall as well as a physical one or it could be something else. It would not offend me if we told Mike to take a couple of games off to see if maybe he could rest and get some energy back because I still believe that this is most of his issue.
BTW, it is obvious from watching the post game show that Mike Connelly grew up a Pacer fan. Said he loved playing at home here and glad to play well in front of family and friends but he was sorry it had to be against the Pacers. The funny thing is from the way he said that I actually believe him.
Nice to see Rip Van Rush awaken from his 20 game nap and join us for a ball game. Hell he even had a couple of hustle plays that saved the ball to us, one of which lead to an easy basket. I figure we should be in for another game like this sometime in March from him.
Also I know that there are a lot of people who do not like Zach Randolph and I have heard that he is NOT a nice person from people who knew him up north. But it is kind of nice to see him start to actually get his career together and be a part of a team and not just some troubled gun for hire.
As to Jamaal. I'm over it, I never really held Jamaal to the contempt that I did J.O. or Ron. Sure I turned on him about 3 years into him being here but it had to do with him missing so many games. Then as his career went on here he added the off court stuff and then he started to play bad.
But I do remember when he was a rookie and I thought he was great. So overall I guess I just don't care. I'm glad to see he has made a home for himself.
2009 will go down as one of the worse years in Pacers history, not the worst but certainly one of them. I know we won't start 2010 off well but let's hope by the time we get to the latter part of the 10 we will start to see light at the end of the tunnel.