On to Indy
Getting ready to jump on a flight to Indy for tomorrow's opener and wanted to drop in with a few things from the day:
-The focus of my preview story that is running tomorrow (I think Mike Wise will touch on it as well in a column) is the feeling around this team that this is a make or break year. Obviously, the Gilbert situation will be a topic all season and having been around him for a couple of years, I don't see how anyone can have a good read on what he's going to do next summer. I'm pretty sure that Gilbert doesn't even know. Antawn Jamison will be a free agent as well and how this team finishes this season will have an impact on his future.
-Jamison summed it up well by saying that during the past two seasons, he never worried about trade talk because Abe Pollin and Ernie Grunfeld told him that it wouldn't happen but he acknowledged that this season could change some things, especially if this team doesn't play up to its potential.
-Oleksiy Pecherov isn't making the trip. He'll stay back and rehab that sprained left ankle. He was still in a walking boot and using crutches today so it was obviously a bad one.
-My colleague at the Indianapolis Star, Mike Wells, said Pacers PF Jermaine O'Neal (knee) will be a game-time decision while Troy Murphy (achilles) is doubtful. Neither player has played since Oct. 17. If they can't go, Jeff Foster and Ike Diogu will start.
-Mike said he was talking to Pacers PG Jamaal Tinsley recently and brought up the fact that Gilbert has dropped some big scoring games on Indy over the years. Tinsley's reply: "It's going to be different this year. He's going to have to defend me now." Good stuff. Tinsley must have been working on his jump shot this summer.
-I recently chatted with a scout who has seen Indy this preseason and he said that Jim O'Brien has them playing real solid defense and is running a wide-open offensive system predicated on spreading the defense and allowing players to drive and kick. They'll also get out and run so tomorrow's game could be fun to watch.
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