THE HOUSE - I had planned to use this space to talk about whether the Pacers made a mistake on passing on DeJuan Blair in the draft.
Blair, who slid all the way to the second round, was selected for the Rookie-Sophomore game Wednesday. Pacers rookie Tyler Hansbrough, well, he's still dealing with his inner ear infection.
I decided to push the Blair-Hansbrough debate to the side about a minute into the Pacers game when it was obvious that coach Jim O'Brien committed a blunder by starting Troy Murphy with four wing players.
Go with Roy Hibbert if you're going to start one big man. Hibbert not only matches up better with Andrew Bynum, but he also gives the Pacers more down low in the post.
O'Brien obviously didn't see it that way.
I'm not saying the Pacers would have won the game by starting Hibbert or going with Murphy and Hibbert together, but the tone was set when Bynum immediately started abusing Murphy. Bynum scored 12 of his team's first 20 points on 5-of-5 shooting. All 12 of those points were before Hibbert checked into the game.
Even Lakers coach Phil Jackson seemed puzzled by O'Brien going with that lineup.
"I don't know if Jim was baiting us by starting Murphy at center," Jackson said. "It was impossible for them to cover Pau (Gasol) and Andrew. We had to find a way to move our offense to get it into them."
O'Brien didn't like being questioned about his decision to start small against a team that has Bynum and Gasol in the frontcourt.
"It's a small lineup, we didn't have a small guy on him," O'Brien said after pausing for a couple of seconds when asked. "It had nothing to do with small lineups, it had to do that we had one of our two centers on Bynum."
Hibbert, meanwhile, came in the game and played like he was trying to prove his coach that belongs in the starting lineup every game.
The big fella had 21 points, six rebounds and two blocks in 28 minutes.
Of course, the Pacers went away from Hibbert because they thought jacking up 3-pointers - 7-of-28 - was more important.
"I was trying to go back at them and I wanted to be aggressive because sometimes I feel like we take a lot more outside shots," Hibbert said. "We need somebody on the inside that's going to put in some damage and put some pressure on the other team to sink in so I can find cutters and guys for open 3's."
Hibbert dropped more than a subtle hint about their love with the 3-point shot when he said "sometimes I feel like we take a lot more outside shots."
The first thing he said to me was that Bynum got the better of him a couple of times. He didn't like that Bynum blew by him for a left-handed dunk and the foul in the second half.
"He is a big guy and by playing against him I did learn," Hibbert said. "I can play against big or small lineups."
That's a player that definitely wants to get better.