Honestly I wasnít sure I was going to do another one of these this season up until the last game but after seeing the game tonight vs. the Mavericks I felt inspired to write for some reason.
This post may be somewhat combative as I have been going through all the different stages of death and grief and tonightís emotion de jour is anger.
I want to put an argument we have been having for a couple of seasons now to bed.
Josh McRoberts belongs in the NBA. All season long we have read some people come on here and make prognostications that Josh has no NBA talent or skill.
That is just hyperbole and frankly it is becoming hyperbole at the highest level, high enough to rival the anti-OíBrien hyperbole that some of them get so mad about.
Now before we go off of the deep end with what I am saying be sure to understand what I mean.
I mean that Josh has the talent level to play in the NBA. IMO, he has the talent level to actually play a decent role on a team like the Pacers in the NBA.
I am NOT saying he should be a starter, a star, an all-star or even the 6th man. I am however though saying that playing D. Jones and Mike Dunleavy at the 4 spot on the floor on a consistent basis for extended min. at a time is a damn foolish thing to do.
The end of the first quarter of that game was actually entertaining for me to watch. Did you see how S. Jones and Josh were not allowing the Mavericks to just have their way in the paint and then all of a sudden the guards also had to alter their shots? Well that is because we actually had an athletic front line that defended the paint. Notice Dirk didnít do much of anything at that time? Thatís because Josh was not allowing him open spots on the floor and closed out on him very rapidly.
OíBrien defenders can make all forms of excuses about why Troy plays and gets big min. and they can make an argument for almost everything that he does (not that I believe most of it but I can understand some of it) but the one thing I will never EVER understand is the fact that the guy refuses to play a traditional lineup of big men that are athletic.
Roy Hibbert goes to the bench in should come Solomon. Murphy comes out in should come McRoberts. Now obviously this changes once Tyler comes back but I am not sure that is going to happen this season
Our wing players and point guard all play better with these guys in here as they know on defense if they miss a play one of the two of them will be there to pick up the slack.
On offense Jones can hit the mid range jumper and Josh may have the best offensive recognition of any of our big men on the team.
Every single time that Josh gets a dunk in traffic or makes a no look pass to a cutter for a lay up it is because he created it.
That dunk he did with Mike was a shot he created because he recognized the defense was not paying attention to him and kicked it into high gear to get the easy two.
That no look pass he threw to A.J. for a lay up at the end of the game was created because he looked the defender off of the ball for what ended up being any easy two.
This is not the first time he has played well this season. In fact other than one game that comes to mind I will say that every single time he has been given a chance to play he has actually contributed in a positive fashion on the floor.
Now I know someone is going to be a smart @ss and say well why donít we trade him for LeBron or do you think the Cavaliers need to throw in a first rounder as well.
Itís not like that. Iím not stating the guy is all world, Iím just saying there is zero reason he should not be playing.
Yes, if I had my way he would play more than Troy but I am not going to sit here and advocate that. I am just saying that when Troy goes down for a breather there is no reason Josh should not be coming in to spell him.
Hell Mike played better when Josh was on the floor and actually looked like he enjoyed playing.
Ok moving on to other issues.
Why God must Brendan Haywood turn into Patrick Ewing every single time we play him? I donít care if itís Jermaine, Roy, Jeff or whoever. This guy has to circle the dates on the calendar when he plays the Pacers because he almost always goes off on us. Thank God he is now out west where we only have to see him twice a year.
Butler is one heck of a good pick up for them and I think he is going to make them a very tough team to beat in the West. Probably not enough to take the Lakers but I donít think L.A. will sweep them either.
A.J. Price, yeah good call on that one Jim.
BTW, I was never so disappointed than yesterday when KnicksRGarbage pointed out to me that Roy Hibbert was doing nothing more than the John Wall dance the other night. I thought Roy came up with something new and inspired.
I donít really even care to break the game or team down anymore as I have written this season off and am just hoping for a surprise in the draft (a nice surprise please) so I will let everyone else break down the game.
I just wanted to get my disgust out there about the entire Josh McRoberts and Solomon Jones issue.
Actually my real concern now is that Jim will start using them together and we actually wonít just be seeing what we have but will play well enough with them to win a few games.
So maybe I shouldnít look a gift horse in the mouth here. By all means Mike Dunleavy at the power forward spot for the rest of the season?