So Donald Sloan nails a wide open three point shot directly in front of the Chicago Bulls bench which in and of itself is very entertaining and enjoyable if you are a Pacers fan. However it became priceless if you got to witness the titanic nuclear explosion hissy fit that Tom Thibodeau threw. He was so mad at his own team for losing Sloan on coverage that I almost expected him to unleash a giant mace and take out their bench ala Sauron vs. the humans and elves in L.O.R.
He is almost as much fun to watch as the game itself is, as the game progresses he is like a pressure cooker building up steam and at some point in time you get the feeling he is going to blow. Who wants to bet when he does blow it will either be on Dunleavy or Boozer for lack of defense?
Speaking of Boozer I am just never going to be able to look at him again for the rest of my life without seeing that time someone took a sharpie to his noggin. To say he had a rough night would be like saying Custer had a bad day at Little Big Horn. However he can revel in the fact that while his day was bad Noah’s day worse.
Sometimes in life we are granted a reprieve from the flop artist extraordinaire of this world and thankfully tonight his pulling, pushing and flailing was not rewarded with the normal swallowing of the whistle that we have become accustomed to.
That is not to say that the officiating in this game was in any way good, equitable or fair. Any time Tony Brothers officiates a game I need to just have a bottle of Pepto Bismol loaded and ready for use. That call where Deng took 23 steps to the basket without dribbling and this idiot calls Paul George for a blocking foul was actually cartoon villain worthy, well either villain or probably more likely Mr. Magoo for those of you old enough to know who I’m talking about. The only call that was worse was Derrick Rose jumping up and having Roy Hibbert cleanly block the ball and during the aftermath the referee who was on the other side of the play and had no visual at all as to what was going on makes a foul call on Roy, you guessed it the referee in question was none other than Tony Brothers. Frank got a T on that first foul and it took all he had to not get tossed on that one.
Why, man, they doth bestride the narrow world
Like a Colossus.
Okay I changed up the Shakespeare a little bit for you but right now that is about the only saying I can think of at the moment.
Yes it’s early in the season, yes some teams aren’t really trying yet, yes there is a long way to go and many different things can happen.
We know all of that, we understand that you can’t get to high after a win or to low after a loss and 5 games into a season does not mean a single real thing in the scheme of an 82 game season but here is the other part of that truth.
We can’t be any better. Absorb that for a moment before you try and refute it. Sure we can play better, God knows at some point our offense has to actually work over an entire game right? Right?
But it doesn’t matter at this point in time. Play better defense or better offense or Roy scores 20 ppg or Paul breaks open for an 80 point game, it doesn’t matter. There is zero way to improve on our record at the moment. You can’t get better than undefeated.
Doesn’t mean we have reached the mountain top or anything, it just means through 5 games we have played well enough that playing any better would not make one bit of difference. That’s just an odd place to be in for me because it’s not something in my lifetime that we have ever done, well technically I was 4 when they did it once before but I didn’t know it.
For those of you that have been with us here during the rough times this is the reward for all of those dark and lonely nights sitting in a fieldhouse with about 5-6K of our closest friends.
This team has a little something for everybody and I have a feeling if we can keep a very high win % for all season that we will be the next OKC Thunder team for the causal fan of the NBA.
The bandwagon is big enough for everyone to jump on board and the atmosphere in the fieldhouse certainly is a lot better than it being quiet enough so that Satan actually could hear me yell at him, but I’m not going to lie either. I am a bit of a snob when I say that I appreciate you guys both here and at the fieldhouse who have been here through thick and thin, I know that when in the future (hopefully a long long time from now) when the team isn’t a title contender you guys won’t disappear with the wind.
Speaking of disappearing in the wind have you actually taken the time to watch Roy Hibbert in the paint this year on the defensive end when teams come in at him? If you haven’t you have missed some of the most incredible awe inspiring things you will ever see on the defensive end. Roy may block 5 shots a game but I’m telling you that he either alters or just shuts out at least 3 times that many every single game. If you like defense then there is just no possible way you can not enjoy watching teams alter their entire offensive set because Mt. Hibbert is in the way.
I had the pleasure of attending Saturday night’s game vs. the Cavs with Uncle Buck and while we were discussing various topics Hibbert vs. Mutombo came up and Uncle Buck said something that took me by surprise. He said he believes that Roy is a better interior defender than Mutombo. My first reaction was to be aghast and then to state that even just considering Roy in the same conversation with Dikembe was a real moral victory.
But the more and more I have thought about it the more and more I have come to the conclusion that the idea may not be as crazy as I initially thought. I still have memories of Mt. Mutombo when he was with Denver and Atlanta so he was young (ish) and very athletic at the time. But when I think how many plays Roy runs out of the paint area and that our defensive philosophy is to actually drive players to Roy I now wonder if maybe Roy isn’t at the very least approaching Mutombo’s level?
Between Roy’s interior defense and Paul George smothering the perimeter it’s no wonder people are actually forgetting that for whatever reason David West has turned into a terrific defender in his own right this season. He had 3 steals in this game alone and another couple of deflections that just took a wrong bounce back to the Bulls.
While you can make the argument that several people are responsible for the comeback win I just don’t think you can over look that it probably started in the 3rd quarter with David deciding that all defensive rebounds would be his, including running the floor to scoop back that Watson missed layup in traffic off of a terrific steal. David was no more important that anyone else but his contributions can’t be overlooked either.
Also how can you even talk about this game without talking about the 21 combined points of Sloan/Scola? That steal fast break layup from Scola who then beat feet back to the other end to grab an in traffic rebound was just huge. But hitting that face up jumper with consistency was even more important because it opened up the floor for Sloan and even George who then were able to drive to the basket and in Paul’s case draw fouls.
I don’t give a fig what Gerald Green is doing because he was worthless and I knew last season that Miles Plumlee had some ability but even knowing that if Scola can just give you what he gave you in this game, which I actually think on some nights he can give you much much more, that trade was a gem for our team.
Oh yea and C.J. Watson’s left shoe lace has more value than what D.J. Augustine did all of last regular season. Two game’s he’s started and he has more than held his own against Jennings & Rose. Solid backup point guard.
Which brings me to something we were talking about after the game out by the practice court. I asked who the player of the game was and everybody said someone different and I said that since there was no one player that you have to go with the coach.
Since then I have changed my mind. I think a win like tonight really has to go to the person who put this al together and in this case it goes to Larry Bird. Every single player that contributed tonight was either hand picked or at the very least approved by Larry Bird. From West as a free agent to drafting Roy & Paul & Lance and trading for Hill and Scola this is the engineering work of Bird. Frank may make the car run but the blue prints come from up top.
Again you don’t get a trophy for being 5-0 and I don’t want to read or hear one single Pacer being satisfied with this. But as fans, well at least in my case, I’m going to enjoy the ride and understand that this is the payoff for the years of suffering.