Monday, January 22, 2007

Waiting on the Pacers vs. Bulls

Jamaal Tinsley's dream of playing all 82 may end tonight.

For a Bulls' point of view, check out Blog-A-Bull.

Troy Murphy is ready to feast on the Eastern Conference and start rockin' the double-double art form he has displayed in the past. Murphy drives home his intentions with a quote Ahnuld Schwarzenegger would envy.
"I like to do it," he said. "I'm going to do it here."
Mitch Lawrence digs into the trade ramifications and suggests this may be the biggest trade in Pacers' history. His sources indicate that Stephen Jackson's impact on the the off court decisions of his teammates was pointing some young Pacers in the wrong direction, namely Danny Granger, and a team culture change was necessary by any means possible.
...Jackson had been among a group of players who were seemingly more interested in enjoying the nightlife in various NBA cities on a regular basis than they were in trying to get the Pacers into the playoffs.
Hmm, I wonder who else was in that group? Certainly helps explain the erratic backcourt production.

Bethlehem Shoals had an interesting Pacer post at the NBA Fanhouse the other day regarding Larry Joe Legend and Rick Carlisle not seeing eye to eye on the Pacers' talent and how to use it. I think it's a bit of a jump to say Carlisle and LJL aren't on the same page based on disgruntled player comments. I have a hard time believing LJL would've done much different with Saras or Jack. Plus, Jonathon Bender's career flame out had nothing to do with Carlisle and more to do with the fact that JB was rarely, if ever, 100% healthy when he suited up. But, having said that, Carlisle should be on his last chance to lead a change in direction.

I recall Bird discussing his vision shortly after joining the front office. He indicated he'd like to put together a team that could put five versatile players on the floor at once. Artest, Harrington, Jackson, Bender, Granger, even Shawne Williams all fit the description of athletic, multi-faceted players Bird envisioned. For several reasons, they haven't worked out. Artest went Artest. Harrington and Jackson have their limitations. Bender had bad knees. So, when those pieces aren't the right fit to run and create mismatches, Carlisle is stuck trying to make something else work. Fair or unfair, Carlisle is starting a new plan again, but if the team remains stagnant LJL needs to try a new sideline leader.

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