Waiting on the Pacers vs. Heat
Once again, the Pacers' are expecting Shaquille O'Neal's return when they play the Heat. Last Thursday in Miami there was noise about Shaq's return. With the Pacers broken up by the trade it made sense for Shaq to skip the game. A few days later and Shaq still has not played, plus Dwyane Wade missed the Heat-Knicks game on Monday. Wade is expected back while Shaq's return is a mystery. After so much time off, maybe it wouldn't hurt the Pacers if Shaq played. The rest of the Heat would have to get used to having the big fella on the court again which could disrupt the style they've been playing without him. Call me Mr. Positive. Here is Bruno's preview.
- Jermaine O'Neal seems happy with his new running mates. Like everyone who watched the Pacers beat the Bulls, JO realizes Dunleavy and Murphy are a nice fit for the Pacers' offensive system and could really make it hum with more familiarity. He does his best to avoid disrespecting his ol' pal Al while complimenting Mike D and Murph. Don't worry JO, we know what you mean.
"What’s most important to us right now is to get everybody comfortable, get everybody on the same page, and really get geared up for the second half of the season, because that’s what really counts," said Jermaine O'Neal. "You have to be willing to believe with the guys that we have. These guys are really built for a system, Troy Murphy, Ike (Diogu), and Mike Dunleavy, all those guys are doing very well in our system.
"We all seem to play well off of each other, not that Al (Harrington) and those guys, we didn’t mesh -- it wasn’t like that -- but considering I didn’t know much about the guys, they’re perfect for the system that we have. If we were going to trade guys like we traded, those would be the perfect guys to trade for."
- Darrell Armstrong was fabulous against the Bulls. His 38-year-old legs can't do it every night, but when he's up for the effort he's straight relentless. Carlisle enjoyed watching his mini-KG from the bench.
"I've been around the NBA for a long time and Darrell Armstrong is Kevin Garnett in a 5-10 body," Carlisle said. "He gives that kind of energy. He has that kind of unbridled enthusiasm for the game and for his teammates. He's a guy that was written off so many times before he got to this league. He's got a heart as big as Conseco Fieldhouse."
- Jamaal Tinsley's status for Wednesday night is day-to-day. On the telecast of the Bulls game, Chris Denari mentioned that Tins wanted to go on Monday night but the training staff wouldn't let him.