Thursday, January 18, 2007

A Few Pacers Play the Heat Tonight - More on New Pacers

The Pacers have an important game tonight at Miami, but will be shorthanded as the ex-Warriors make their way to Indy. Not worried about Shaq returning anymore since it probably won't matter. All focus is on the Pacers trade now anyway. Actually, in Indy all of the focus is on the Colts and Patriots. Whenever the Colts' run ends there will be a lot of casual Pacer fans tuning in and asking, "Where is Al Harrington and who is that skinny, shaggy-haired kid?" Here is Bruno's preview that is actually trade talk. Here is more on the former Pacers.

Larry Joe Legend is actually starting to take some heat for his moves over the past couple of years. You have to at least give him and Donnie Walsh credit for cutting their losses and admitting when they’re wrong. Well, they don't come out and say it but their actions speak for them. LJL/DW didn’t waste any time with James White when they realized he wouldn’t work out. To be fair, Artest wasn't brought in by LJL but he certainly had to deal with the him. The guy wasn't easy to move so he tried to put the best public face forward. Eventually Artest burned him for good. Now, they admit Al doesn’t work well with JO and Saras didn’t offer what they expected. They just didn't have the right pieces and wanted to make a change.

While admitting mistakes is admirable, it sure would be nice to hit a home run one of these times. Finding a late first round or second round pick that becomes a big time contributor ain't easy but I'd say the Pacers are due. My confidence level in a rejuvenated Mike Dunleavy or Troy Murphy is non-existent. I'd like to know what kind of health assurances they received with regard to Murphy. He misses games and still doesn't appear 100%. Let's say there are no more trades this year, if Murphy misses 15-20 games due to injury it could be ugly at the Fieldhouse.

The salaries per year for Murphy and Dunleavy are roughly the same as Harrington and Jack, with the big exception that they both last one year longer. I still don't think it is that big a deal (especially since I'm not cutting the checks). The keys to the deal for the Pacers are getting something from Ike Diogu and getting some consistent outside shooting from Dunleavy and Murphy. Al and Jack could score but they weren't reliable night in and night out and certainly didn't compliment JO's game. If Murph and Dunleavy can provide a consistent inside/outside compliment to JO then we're on to something.

As for Diogu, his game was not built for Nellie Ball so it's not hard to see how he was lost in the shuffle in Golden State. With all of the bunnies the Pacers have missed around the hoop this year, I'll be stoked if Diogu can come in an grab a couple of boards and put the ball back in the basket. Is that too much to ask?

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