Sunday, January 07, 2007

Lazy Sunday Thoughts

Here are a few things rattling around in my dome after the Pacers' road win last night:

  • The day after reporting Jermaine O'Neal's improve or trade me comments, Mike Wells followed up today with quotes from Donnie Walsh on the inconsistent play of the Pacers. Sounds like Walsh shares the frustration with JO and the fans.
  • "I expected the first part of the season to be up and down because of the schedule and because of the fact that we had a lot of new players on the team," said Walsh, who attended road games in Dallas and Oklahoma City this week.
    "The thing I wanted to see is, are we going to keep improving and have there been games where I have thought we are improving. And there have been games where I think we have not improved. I can't tell right now where we are, but I'm not discouraged by the record at this point."

  • Speaking of frustrated fans, the actual number of frustrated fans following the Pacers is certainly dwindling. You have to care to be frustrated and there seems to be plenty of apathy about the Pacers as the past few years with no progress but plenty of craziness has pushed a lot of hard core fans away. Especially this week, nothing the Pacers do will shift the common fan's attention from the Colts. JO's words came nowhere near a PR disaster because they had no impact on the public since they came out several hours before kickoff at the RCA Dome. But I truly believe that the Colts remain a guilty pleasure -- this is still a basketball state. Many fans have turned off the Pacers because they care so much and can't take it. They would love to have their Pacer passion stoked again, but it will probably take some time and certainly better play.
  • JO seemed soothed by the win but certainly not excited. He just wants to win a few in a row to see if the team can raise its level of play.
  • "It's too early," O'Neal said. "We've had situations where we've looked extremely good and then we come back the next night and we look extremely bad. It's too early to say we're making huge steps. It was a baby step."
  • A side benefit of playing the Hornets is spending a little extra time over at The guy writes some great stuff, although he insists that he sucks. He did some thorough research to evaluate the All-Star NBA cheerleader candidates and appears to be on the right track. Feel free to do your own research and challenge his rankings.
  • So let's say things fall apart and JO is shopped. Thinking about where he might end up brought Chicago to mind. Tough to send your best player to a division rival, but they seem to have players and picks that would make sense coming back. JO couldn't complain about joining the Bulls as his low post scoring would work well with Big Ben doing the dirty work. I jumped over to Blog-A-Bull and sure enough there was a discussion on the same topic. They're even warm to the idea of taking Stephen Jackson or Jamaal Tinsley. With the Knicks #1 possibly coming back with a couple of players, it is intriguing to think about.

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