I canít deny it guys, today is bittersweet for me.
To say the news that Danny Granger is going to have season ending (and letís be honest career altering at the least probably) surgery took its toll on me. I have never once hidden the fact that I am an unashamed fan of Danny Granger and to know that he spent his entire career with us which was filled with some of the worst times in our teams history only to be injured and unable to play and contribute when the team is finally ready to move forward is unfair to say the least.
My biggest fear is that this will either be the end for him or it will be so altering that he will never be even close again and people who are just now coming along for the ride will never know that we truly had both a great player and an even better person on our team.
But not only as a Granger fan am I hurting but Iím not going to lie as a Pacers fan this is even more devastating. I know it was unreasonable, especially when we did see him play, but I still held out hope that he would at least be able to be the crafty veteran off of the bench who could still get his points and help the team.
But now, well now I am just hoping and praying that our starting five can physically stand playing almost 40 min. a game in the playoffs. I know we have won the last two games but believe me it was largely on the backs of the starters.
I am sorry for stating this off on such a bitter note but I canít just lie and pretend that Dannyís departure doesnít touch me on a deep level.
However as a Granger fan it really now is time to officially do what really occurred earlier in the season and that is to pass the baton to Paul George and place all of our hopes and dreams into him. It never made sense to me when people felt the need to bash Danny to elevate Paul, they both are great players and Paul now without a doubt is the anchor of our team from here forward. So I wish nothing but absolute success and hope that Paul stays a career Pacer and ends with his jersey in the rafters.
Okay letís move onto tonightís game.
This simply is a matter of a soft jump shooting team not having one of those nights where everything drops meeting up with a physical buzz saw of a defensive team. Honestly if it wasnít for Dirk hitting shots in the first half and old man Carter doing what he always does whenever he sees the Pacers the half time lead would have been more reflective of the ending score than the tied game it was.
There is no doubt that our players were defending and rebounding and attacking the paint at a high level but letís be honest some of this is simply the fact that the Mavericks are both old & soft.
I did laugh though during the game because Rick Carlisle may have changed a lot of things since he has been gone but the one thing he is pretty consistent about is that whenever a team makes an initial run of two unopposed baskets he still calls time outs. That is until the team just runs so many uncontested baskets he eventually gives up which is what occurred during this game.
BTW, exactly who was so important to keep on the Mavericks roster that they decided to let Chandler walk? I mean I get if they felt the need to keep Dirk but anybody else should have been dumped or whatever could have been done to make room to keep him, he was the only physical presence they had.
Iím just going to address this right now so we wonít dwell on it. I know I need to be the bigger person but I canít help myself I nearly pee myself with glee every time I see Jim OíBrien have to sit there and hold a clip board and not be able to arrogantly walk the sidelines like he has a clue to what he is doing. I know that Rick is in charge but I swear to God there really are just some areaís that no matter what position he holds that OíBrien just seems to suck the life out of from a team.
I mean we are a great rebounding team and they are soft but come on are we really 21 rebounds better than them? Well I guess so. Now to be fair to Satan one of the big gripes I ever had with Carlisle was the fact that he just refuses to emphasize offensive rebounding and between the two of them they have the Mavericks convinced that as a team having fewer rebounds than Tyler Hansbrough and Roy Hibbert combined is a good thing. Well it is a good thing, a good thing for us.
Could there be any more of a contrast of actual coaching ability between Vogel & Satan than tonight.
When he left we were soft, boring, disorganized and most importantly of all losing. In fact during Satanís entire reign here we never had a winning season and I believe that we only had one winning month and that was the year that he decided to ďtankĒ but his version of tanking actually meant playing players who were young and athletic so it back fired on him.
Now here we are just a few years removed from his evil presence and look where we are and how we play. I would be willing to say itís because we have better players and we do but Frank changed that team from his first day there and we havenít looked back sense.
I know Roy enjoys doing well against him and donít think that Tyler has forgotten for a min. that the last game OíBrien coached our team that he was inactive so that James Posey could play for his 17 min of uselessness.
Anyway I only do this twice a year so you will have to indulge me on this. In ending my rant against the unholy one I invite him to eat yellow snow.
As to the team were just going to do some bulletpoints tonight.
ē Paul George was great, really a very nice come back game for him because lately he has been less than stellar overall. Not bad mind you but just not that great and certainly that is not we need as a team.
ē Roy Hibbert is playing with an edge and I like it. Since the all-star break he has played better, since the Golden State game he has played much better and since arriving in Texas he has been Royzilla.
ē Damn Tyler Hansbrough. Just when I felt comfortable giving up on him he goes and has this series of games where he has never played this well this consistently for his entire career. The fact he is scoring of course helps everything but I have been just astounded with his defense and rebounding during this time. Not only did he not get embarrassed by Dirk tonight, during two possessions he guarded him as well as anyone possibly could. At this point I just hope we donít see him go back to just getting 8 min. a game other than times when West just has it going.
ē D.J. Augustine has made me actually appreciate the time that Darren Collison spent here.
ē Can anyone actually verify that Orlando Johnson is actually a rookie? I swear he does not play like one, just no fear or hesitation at all. If he is this good now how good will he be in a couple of years?
ē George Hill just quietly kills teams. I know Iím not a huge fan of this stat but even I am impressed by his +/- for this game.
ē The fact that Lance didnít get to the free throw line tonight is just proof to me that these refs were letting a lot of stuff go and well frankly they just missed a lot. He was killed at least 3 times driving and never got to the line. It was fun though to watch him bother Mayo though on defense because he is every bit as big and probably a little stronger than O.J. is.
Needless to say going two and zero on the Texas two step is outstanding and is just a testament to how good our team can be when they focus on defense and try and get most of the points in the paint.
Now onto Phoenix to try and get three in a row on the road, which btw would be outstanding.