Results 1 to 25 of 34

Thread: Kravitz: This is what hope looks like

Threaded View

Previous Post Previous Post   Next Post Next Post
  1. #1
    Rebirth. docpaul's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Noblesville, IN

    Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo

    Default Kravitz: This is what hope looks like

    This is what hope looks like, what hope sounds like.

    It looks like Roy Hibbert, the young guy who is emerging as the true face of this franchise, taking charges and keeping balls alive and hitting cutters for easy layups.

    It looks like Darren Collison -- finally, a real Indiana Pacers point guard -- jumping into the passing lane, making a steal, taking it to the basket and elevating over Philadelphia's Louis Williams for a slam.

    It looks like Josh McRoberts doing all the little things McRoberts does, defending the lane and diving for loose balls, finally capping it off with a roof-raising dunk late in the third quarter.

    It looks like Danny Granger taking it hard to the basket for a three-point play and, yes, defending -- truly defending -- with active hands.

    And it sounds like 18,165 voices in full throat, Conseco Fieldhouse sounding like it hasn't sounded in way too many years. Was that the sound of a community finally starting to fall back in love with its basketball franchise? After all those irrelevant, lifeless post-brawl years, do the Pacers finally have a product this city can truly embrace?


    Granger has hoped before, knowing deep down his team didn't have the talent or the disposition.

    This is different than hope, more than hope. It's a growing sense of belief.

    "I do sense there's real hope,'' he said after the Pacers' 99-86 home-opening victory over the Philadelphia 76ers. "Finally, we have a solid point guard who will be here for a while. And we've got young guys who are playing well. We've got the mix, the potion, whatever you want to call it, to have a really solid team and make a (playoff) run.''

    The Pacers won in Charlotte and won again Saturday night for the simplest of reasons: They played defense, especially against the Sixers, fighting back after a Philly second-quarter run and putting the hammer down in a game-altering third quarter.

    "Yeah,'' Granger said, laughing. "Pretty good, huh?''

    Coach Jim O'Brien is something of a basketball sabermetrician, a stats guy who keeps his own semi-unique numbers. The Pacers keep track of something they call hustle points -- a compilation of charges taken, loose balls corralled, balls deflected, things like that -- and his team had 69 of those.

    They've already shown they aren't last year's team, or the team before that. They won a road game, something they did just nine times last season. And they won the second game of a back-to-back, although Philly played Friday night, too.

    It's hard to resist the temptation to go a little overboard, to get a little giddy at the way the Pacers have played this first week. But think back to last year's home opener, a funereal loss to the Miami Heat. The season started badly and never got much better. Hope was snuffed out by the first week of November. It was grim, not just because of the losses but the way they too often lost.

    Saturday night, they were too enthusiastic, if that's possible. Hibbert took a second-half charge, jumped to his feet and clapped his hands. He got called for a technical foul. Part of the new emphasis on respect-for-the-game dictum.

    "That's OK; I'll write my check and it'll be fine,'' Hibbert said with a smile. "We won the game. That's what counts.''

    (For the record, it was one of the most ridiculous calls ever. Hibbert wasn't taunting; he wasn't in the suburbs of taunting. I understand the NBA's desire to cut down on all the post-foul-call complaining and gesticulating, but applauding? Really?)

    Yep, this is what hope looks like.

    We haven't experienced hope, or even a facsimile of it, since the 2004-05 season, when the brawl set the stage for the franchise's decline.

    Granted, there have been fast starts before, misleading starts. In 2005-06, they began 4-1 and finished 41-41. In 2006-07, they won three of their first four and finished 35-47. In 2007-08, they began 3-0 and went 36-46.

    This, though, looks different. It feels different. They look like they're building now, establishing a foundation. They finally have their point guard of the future. They have a center who has a chance to be one of the top 10 at his position. They have Granger, who is not only healthy, but looks more and more interested in defending and leading.

    Seriously, who thought McRoberts would emerge as a very workable power forward in this league? Who thought Tyler Hansbrough, whom O'Brien felt was not yet ready to play after sitting in San Antonio, would come out and make an impact against Charlotte and Philly? Who thought T.J. Ford -- maybe it's one of those Halloween-esque zombie deals -- would come back from the hoops grave to be a huge part of this team . . finally?

    This is what hope looks like, what hope sounds like.

    "Jeff Foster has told me what it used to be like around here,'' Collison said. "The goal now is to bring that back.''

    Been a long time, hasn't it?
    Wow... I was out of my seat the whole game... can't wait until the Bucks game on Friday!

    It's so easy to root for these guys... man, what a game.

  2. The Following 9 Users Say Thank You to docpaul For This Useful Post:

Similar Threads

  1. Bob Kravitz: Playoffs aren't in picture this season for Pacers
    By 90'sNBARocked in forum Indiana Pacers
    Replies: 31
    Last Post: 10-27-2010, 11:48 PM
  2. Kravitz > Don't Despair
    By Jay@Section12 in forum Indiana Pacers
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 12-16-2004, 11:41 PM
  3. Kravitz just said something that really bothers me
    By Unclebuck in forum Indiana Pacers
    Replies: 45
    Last Post: 12-14-2004, 01:59 AM
  4. Kravitz Column on Artest/Pop/Brown/Bowen/Wallace Situation
    By Southside_Pacer in forum Indiana Pacers
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 04-30-2004, 01:37 PM
  5. Bob Kravitz is a great asset to the Pacers
    By McKeyFan in forum Indiana Pacers
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 01-24-2004, 07:40 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts