Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Indiana Pacers

Indiana Pacers Season preview

Projected Starting line-up

G Jamal Tinsley
G Mike Dunleavy
F Danny Granger
F Jermaine O'Neal
C Troy Murphy

Marquis Daniels
Kareem Rush
Travis Denier
Jeff Foster

Last year
Kind of amazing to think how one man has lead to the downfall of an entire organization. From the Royal Rumble in Detroit that had Ron Artest as the #1 entry, to his decision Indiana would be better off if they had the drama surrounding a star player telling a local newspaper that he wanted to be traded, Indiana just has been on a downward spiral since this guy joined the team. Even in the first full season with out the Artest, the hang over was still around. For the first time in 10 years, Indiana missed the playoffs. Of course with Ron gone, he couldn't technically be blamed for this past seasons downfall. That blame falls directly onto Larry Bird on this one. Not that they were doing great with the line-up they had for the first part of the season, but at least they had a record of 20-18. Then came the big trade of the year when Indiana traded Al Harrington, Stephen Jackson, Sarunas Jasikevicius and Josh Powell for Troy Murphy, Mike Dunleavy, Ike Diogu and Keith McLeod.
Some trades are questionable as to which team got the better of the deal. There was no question to this trade. Golden State pulls of the biggest upset ever, while Indiana goes 15-29 the rest of the season. I could never understand the argument here about how Indiana needs time to gel. Golden State didn't need that much time.
Injuries of course also didn't help with Jermaine O'Neal as well as Marquis Daniels missing time during the season. And the Rick Carlisle style of coaching also didn't help matters, as this team was one of the worst in the league in the offensive department. Sometimes you just gotta let a team run once in a while. Again, I just don't understand the coaching style of perfering half court basketball every single possession. The 11 game losing streak that happened after the trade was one heck of a nose dive for this team and the beginning of the sign that this ship is not on the right path.

Off Season
Signed Travis Diener
Signed Kareem Rush

In a off-season that screamed "rebuild", the Pacers did very little. They got a new coach with Jim O'Brien to replace Carlisle, and this will more then likely mean that the Pacers will be able to get out and run once in a blue moon which should help turn things around. But let's also not forget that O'Brien was the third choice, behind Sam Mitchell and Stan Van Gundy. And Ron Artest must have viewed "Being John Malchovich" and tried to make his own version called "Being Jermaine O'Neal". Of course his 5 minutes inside O'Neal had to end at some point, and Jermaine then said that he didn't want to be traded and he just said IF he was going to be, he would perfer the Lakers or the Nets. Here's a hint, when the franchise has had issues in the past with players talking about trades, maybe it's a good idea to avoid the subject completely when talking reporters.

Any time a new coach comes in, it's hard to fully predicate what is in store for a team. Who knows, maybe this team has tons of potential only if they play more of a running game. I have to believe that with this change in style, the Pacers will be a tougher team to beat next year. And with a training camp to better prepare the new players with the old, this team has potential. Unfortunetly, I just don't see the talent. O'Neal has it, although his injury history has to be a concern. In the last 3 years Jermaine has played 44/51/69 games out of the possible 82. He says that he feels great this off-season and ready to go, but in his 11 years he has yet to play a full season. Jamal Tinsey supposedly is a much better PG when allowed to run which he should be able to do this season. In his 6 years he has yet to play 82 games and his last 4 goes 52/40/42/72. Troy Murphy and Mike Dunleavy couldn't get in down playing Nellie ball in Golden State so I don't know if we should expect much from them. Is Diener or Rush all of a sudden going to become superstars? Granger is a nice player, although again, I hear a lot about potential when it comes to this guy but have yet to see any results. And at the end of the day, it's Indiana. They are cursed. I really believe they are going to need to blow this team up, keep Granger and some of your bench, but move O'Neal NOW. If the Lakers will give both Odom and Bynum TAKE IT. Because the East is not as weak as it was last year, and last year they fell hard out of the East playoff pack. Is Jim O'Brien enough to jump over all the teams that had passed them? Or the teams like Boston and NY that has improved since last year?

Things to watch for
1) Return to the playoffs - Indiana was a regular in the post season. Are they about to become a regular in the lottery?
2) New style of ball - New coach, new style. Is this what the Pacers need?
3) The big mid-season trade - Excuses about needing time to jell is fine, but now that you get to start fresh with Murphy and Dunleavy, it's time to show that you knew what you were doing when you made that trade
4) O'Neal return to greatness - He has slipped largely due to injuries. He says he is 100%. Let's now see what direction his game heads.

Can't say that I predict big things this year from Indiana. They got the curse all over them and until they build a new superstar (ala Al Jefferson or Andre Iguodala) I feel they will continue to win a handful of games but to always be distracted with something.

Between 24 and 28 wins this season with a 14th place finish in the East

1 comment:

breatnyS said...

Good defense by the Indiana Pacers drama boys, if only we could patch up the difference, this will be a Indiana good season. They are running, switching in defense, rebounding see those efforts. We don't have yet the Pacers team down.

I which I could see some Pacers games live. I was looking for tickets all the good seats on ticketmaster were taken I had to check broker. And man you don’t want to do that especially for the Indiana Pacers. Thanks god there sites like Ticketwood which work as comparators here is the site
Pacers Tickets

I like slam dunks that take me to the hoop my favorite play is the ally-hoop,
I like the pic n roll,i like the given goal its basketball yo, yo lets go!
Go Pacers Go!!!