Anybody & I mean anybody from this day forward that tells you it can't be loud in the fieldhouse because of acoustics is lying. The reason I call this a throwback is because the fans were in throwback mode tonight. The madhouse on Market street moved up two blocks.
Sometimes we just need adversity to get us over the top. I think to often we've just come to count on J.O. or Reggie or Ron or whoever to just pick up the game & take over. Tonight the fans took over. It wasn't even a sellout & at first it wasn't even close. But the stands did start to fill up during the first quarter & it looked to me like there was a lot of walk up traffic.
Look, let's be honest, we can't expect these results all the time. But as long as they give us this effort, this is going to be special. I mean 94 good from bad special.
Rick called it, we love the game NOT the stars. To this day many of us still love Haywood Workman from that group & there was never a bigger lunchpail kind of gutsy player. Until now, we have an entire team filled with hero's.
Let's look at them.
But first let's look at the man. Reggie Miller.
Again, he's old school, so it's universal that people love him. But the truth is this is an old vet. who's reputation is already set in stone with this franchise. He doesn't have to be a cheerleader. But there is not a bigger fan in that building that Reggie Miller. He's the first player off the bench onto the floor whenever the squad comes out for a break & he's giving high fives to everybody. He even broke out an old dance for us tonight. Like I said, he doesn't have to do this, the fans are going to love him come hell or highwater but he is only night & night out proving why he is was & always will be the face of this franchise.
To the players on the floor.
I'm telling you that last years draft was the strongest draft in N.B.A. history. James Jones was a mid second round draft pick & we knew last season that if he was on another team with a chance to play he had some skill. I had no idea he was going to be this skilled. Did you see the defense the guy played on Paul Pierce? The fact that Pierce ended with 20 points is a sham because James just outplayed him all night long. His rebounding is out of this world good. I don't expect him to continue to grab double figure boards all season long but man this helps.
I'm going to aks a question now & I hope everybody doesn't think I'm just doing this to pick on him but.... If James continues this play for a couple weeks or even close to this play can we explore trading Bender for a warm body? I don't mean dump him I mean make a move to get some help in here for the rest of the season? Seriousley, isn't James already doing now what people hope Bender would some day do? I haven't checked the records yet but hasn't James already outrebounded him for a career high? I'm not even sure what Jon's career high is on points? Again, I'm not talking about just dumping him, but couldn't we use another players who can actually play?
Scot Pollard. The most impressive thing is the picks that he laid down. The pick & roll was working great between him & Jamaal. He was a trooper cause you could tell his back was killing him. He displayed some of the old hands of stone from last year as well, but we can forgive him for that because of the way he tried at everything else. If I'm not mistaken I think he blocked Raef two times in a row.
Austin struggled from the floor. No other way to put it. But again, as he is apt to do, when the game gets bigger the better he gets. He looked like superman coming up up & away with some of those boards in the fourth quarter & let's face it for the most part the guy is money from the foul line. He needs another low post scorer on the floor to work at his best, but he is a good enough & smart enough player to never hurt you on the floor.
Fred Jones. He banged his knee. I nearly passed out. This guy has got serious hang time when he has a shot. Someone, I don't remember who, compared him to Dwane Wade. He's not in Wade's class, but there is a lot of similarities in their game. Kareem Rush who???? I think Fred has gone a long long way in making sure there is a role for him all season long. If Ron doesn't come back then I wouldn't be suprised to see Fred get the start over Jackson.
Speaking of Jackson, has anybody heard from or about him since the incident? The Pacers seem awfully quiet about him.
Mel Mel the abuser was in full force tonight. Anytime he sees Gary Payton his eyes light up & the competative juices start to flow. Just what we need another fight to break out. Did you see Pierce & Jamaal at the three point line? Either way he was the nights scoring machine & that is the way I think we will have to play these games somebody differant almost every night.
Do you guy realize that between 7 players we broke 100 points?
David Harrison was tired tonight. He was huffing up & down the floor almost from the begining. It's going to take some time to get into condition to play 30 plus min. a game. He still cleared out space on the floor & for the second game in a row he used his left hand around the basket. We still have to remember this was the last pick in the first round, but he still is going to be a player.
Ed Gill. He did a decent job of shooting & although defensively he doesn't give you what A.J. does, he still isn't bad. He made a solid contribution to the floor although he wasn't specatular.
As I said, it's not realistic to expect these results all of the time but for last night this was one of the most enjoyable games I've been to for years.