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Thread: QotD> Would O'Neal be Better at Center?

  1. #1
    Administrator/ The Real Jay Jay@Section12's Avatar
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    Default QotD> Would O'Neal be Better at Center?

    I don't know who Don is, but as Bill Walton might say: Greenwood *clearly* produces the smartest basketball minds this side of Bedford.


    Q. As far as Jermaine (O'Neal) is concerned, what difference is there between playing forward and center besides jump balls and matchups? I don't understand why we wouldn't leave Jermaine at center if (Austin) Croshere keeps producing at forward as he has. Jermaine still scores, blocks shots and dominates in either position.

    Clearly, Croshere is currently making more things happen on the floor than (Scot) Pollard or (Jeff) Foster did last season. I think we should leave Jermaine at center so Croshere can play forward and allow Foster and Pollard to substitute when needed. (From Don in Greenwood, IN)

    A. You raise an interesting point, because the line between power forward and center is blurred, when it comes to O'Neal and the Pacers. On offense, for all intents and purposes, he is the center. He's the primary low-post option and the opponent's biggest and best interior defender invariably is assigned to guard him. Defensively, however, the Pacers prefer to have an additional big body on the floor to absorb the punishment of guarding the opposing team's primary low-post scorer. This not only saves wear-and-tear on O'Neal, but frees him up to be a help-side shot-blocker.

    Thus far this season, the Pacers have been much more effective, offensively, with Croshere at power forward and O'Neal at center. But they've been much less effective, defensively, and defense remains the first priority for Coach Rick Carlisle and his staff. As soon as either Pollard or Foster returns to full health, expect one to replace Croshere in the lineup because of the need for defense.

    That said, you could build a strong case O'Neal would benefit from being listed at center, even with Foster (or Pollard) on the floor. There is no shortage of premier power forwards in the NBA, so it hard to stand out in a pack that includes Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan and Chris Webber. At center, on the other hand, there is only one other premier player, and his name also happens to be O'Neal. Changing the position label wouldn't change anything about J.O.'s assignments, matchups, or responsibilities. But it could give him a major boost when it comes time for MVP ballots to be counted.

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  2. #2
    Member Hicks's Avatar
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    Default Re: QotD> Would O'Neal be Better at Center?

    Can we settle this once and for all? Any time I see the media talk about it, they say JO doesn't normally guard the best or biggest guy on D, so he shouldn't play at C. Yet many here say he already does that.

    So which is it?

    I already was chatting with Kstat about it, and he says that he guards guys he's more suited for. Case in point, Shaq and Duncan are too strong for him, but he guards KG.

    Do you think this is the case?

    And secondly, does it matter if Jeff or Cro starts to determine who Jermaine guards?

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