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The Other Side: Indiana Pacers


Yeah, whatever. (AP Photo/John Raoux)


The Indiana Pacers remain one of the more perplexing teams in the NBA. They are one of the middling Eastern Conference teams that remains in the playoff picture simply because they occasionally win games. Newly-minted all-star forward Danny Granger referred to his team as "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" after they pulled off an impressive 107-102 win against the Orlando Magic on Friday.

The Pacers (20-31) have recorded wins over three of the teams with four best records in the NBA -- the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers and Magic. They also have losses against two of the teams with the five worst records in the NBA -- Memphis and the Los Angeles Clippers. The win over Orlando snapped a three-game losing streak. They are now just four games out of the eighth spot in the East.

When the Pacers faced the Wizards on Dec. 15, the Pacers snapped a six-game losing streak -- and a three-game losing streak at Verizon Center -- with 118-98 victory, as Granger scored a game-high 27 points. The Pacers are one of the highest scoring teams in the league, ranking fifth at 104.7 points per game, but they are one of the worst defensive teams, ranking 28th in the league and allowing 106.9 points per game. The Pacers love to fire from beyond the three-point line and they average 7.75 threes per game, eighth-best in the league.

Here's what else you need to know about the Pacers before they play the Wizards tonight at Verizon Center:

1. Danny Granger Is Having a Dream Season -- Despite That Tricky Knee
Danny Granger will be the least heralded of the first-time all-star selections this weekend in Phoenix. He has been under radar for most of his time playing basketball, but now that he ranks fifth in the NBA in scoring at 25.5 points per game, Granger is getting plenty of attention. A candidate for most improved player, Granger had a game-high 33 points on Friday against Orlando and has scored at least 30 points 15 times this season. He ranks third in three-pointers made (124) and shoots 39.5 percent from beyond the arc, so he will also participate in the three-point shootout on Saturday. Granger continues to play despite a sore right knee that has bothered him for a month. With the Pacers still remotely in the playoff hunt, he refuses to take any rest.

2. Jamaal Tinsley Is Upset
Stephon Marbury has received an unwarranted amount of attention for the New York Knicks' refusal to play him or release him, but he isn't the only player being paid not to play. Jamaal Tinsley, however, has had enough. Tinsley hasn't been around the team since the end of last season, when the team removed his nameplate, gathered his belongings, shipped them to his home in Atlanta and told him to stay away. The promise was that they'd work on a trade, but Tinsley's agent, Raymond Brothers, said the NBA players union will likely file a grievance against the Pacers because the Feb. 19 deadline is approaching, no deal is on the horizon and Tinsley wants to play.

3. Coach Jim O'Brien Is Constantly Tinkering
Because of injuries and inconsistency, the Pacers have used 12 different starting lineups the past 29 games, including four in the past four games. Searching for the right mix, O'Brien decided to go with a small ball lineup on Friday with Troy Murphy at center, Danny Granger and Mike Dunleavy at forwards and T.J. Ford and Jarrett Jack in the backcourt. That lineup is 1-1 this season. Maryland native Jack has started 22 games this season and the Pacers are 11-11 when he is among the first five players announced in the pre-game introductions.

By Michael Lee  |  February 8, 2009; 10:18 AM ET
 
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Comments

If AJ is guarding Danny Granger put him down for 50 points

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 8, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Indiana's one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA, which means the Wiz will probably only score 90 pts, the way things are going!

Posted by: rxs85 | February 8, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Larry,

You want to take a poll of people in here or anywhere who think we would be a .500 team with better coaching??? Your delusional at best!

Your opinion is whack is what it is!

My opinion is reasonable!

And I never said our players were "crap".

They are young and for the most part talented with a couple of exceptions. They might be legit players in another couple of years. Right now, they should be spare parts or role players and are being forced into action due to injury.

So, POLL PLEASE...

WHO IN HERE THINKS THIS TEAM AS IS IS A .500 CLUB WITH THE "RIGHT" COACHING?????????

Posted by: rphilli721 | February 8, 2009 2:34 AM

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 8, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

RpHilli721, lets bring some subjective sanity to this debate.

Lets compare two teams that had there coaches torpedoed. The Minesota Tims' and our Washington Wizs'.

Since Kevin Mchale took over a 4-15 Tim's he has went 13-17. And Kevin Mchale, I would not consider the caliber of coach as Hubie Brown. But he has done a credible job with a Team of players I would not rate ahead of the Wizards players and in the West.

Since our boy took over our Wizs' at 1-10, he has went 9-30. Now everybody agrees that Taps is not a credible coach but even he has managed or the Players have managed to win nine more games to go 9-30.

Now there is no way that with a good calibur coach, in the class of Hubie, it would be inconceivable that this Team could not have won at least 20 games. That's only 11 more games than this sorry unqualified coach we now have.

I always said that when it comes to these playas' some of yawl' cannot see the forest for trees. You are one of them.

You are judging this Team on sorry inept results that comes from BAD and I mean really Bad coaching.

At 1-10, if Ernie Grunfield had hired a real NBA coach that was all about winning and it did not matter who he had to play to win, rookie, vet, or unproven, there is no way this Team would have only 10 wins.

I submit it would be more like 20-25 wins, virtually, a 500 ballclub.

And just to put more clarity on the situation, 500 ballclubs don't mean you are great, you still got problems, you still bad, but you hanging in there.

With this coach, we have not had a chance, to just 'Hang In There'.

I don't know what you looking at RpHilli721, but there is enough talent on this team to just Hang In There.

We need a coach for crying out loud. I've said a long time ago, some of Yawl' need to get off these playas'.

We don't have no Wise Council to measure their performances against.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 8, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Also RpHilli721, your anlogy lacks faith. Your analgy seems to indicate that the results would have been the same even with a different coach.

Thats having no faith in decisions that one makes in order to achieve a desired result.

You have looked at the players and predetermined that this group in cannot win.

You might be right, but I make no such assumptions, when clearly you can change the results by inserting a different phenomenon, such as a competent coach.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 8, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Just a couple points about the above: If you're going to compare outcomes after a coaching change, you should probably look at all six (or is it seven?) teams that changed coaches this season. Otherwise it's just selecting facts that seem to prove your point and ignoring ones that potentially contradict it.

As to the relative talent levels, I'd have to disagree-- I think that in the absence of Arenas and Haywood, the Wolves are more talented. Remember they picked up Mike Miller as well as Kevin Love, and both filled team needs. In fact, I'd argue taht the Wolves severely underperformed during the first part of the season and are now playing up to their talent level -- which is about middle of the pack in the West.

You haven't demonstrated that Tapscott is a poor coach -- more just assumed it, based on his record. Hubie Brown may be an excellent coach, far superior to Tapscott or Ed Jordan, but once again, you haven't proved it.

In fact, with all due respect Larry, this whole thing is an assumption. Maybe you're right, and the Wiz would be at 20+ victories with another coach, and maybe you're wrong -- maybe they'd be worse. Point is, we'll never know.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 8, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Let's see.

With Blake Griffin, McGee, McGuire, Nick Young and Crittendon getting plenty of playing time and Avery Johnson as coach, the future could look pretty bright for the Wiz next year.

Posted by: charley42 | February 8, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

charley42

Avery Johnson turned down Memphis. What makes you think he's coming here? I hope he does come here,too preach to the Wiz!

Posted by: jeremydvid | February 8, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

In fact, with all due respect Larry, this whole thing is an assumption. Maybe you're right, and the Wiz would be at 20+ victories with another coach, and maybe you're wrong -- maybe they'd be worse. Point is, we'll never know.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 8, 2009 4:17 PM

Samson151, you are absolutely correct. Here is what I said about RpHilli721's comment in reference to mine.

RpHilli721,

Unless we fire this incompetent person the Wizard's call a coach, your point or mines will never be proven now will it. So your point of view bears no more validity than mines now does it.

You believe the players are crap. I do not. Its just that simple and nothing else. You believe wise council (good coaching) won't make much of a difference with these players.

I believe that wise council (good coaching) will have made an extreme difference with these players.

Unfortunately, as long as Taps is coaching neither your point or mines will be proven one way or the other.

So, if my opinion is so damn stupid, what does that make yours.

Be careful RpHilli721, I was born at night, but not last night.

So Samson121, I agree with you wholeheartedly, but for some reason that point is lost on RpHilli721.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 8, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Troy Murphy vs. Darius Songolia at center, while McGee and Hibbert sit and watch.

The NBA: where stupidity happens.

Posted by: Izman | February 8, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

It seems obvious that the Wiz's major problem is not coaching; it's been often said, the injuries to key personnel were devastating this season. Perhaps we should cut Tapscott a little slack; I'd agree he's not playing with a full deck but for me that means the loss of his trump cards, Arenas and Haywood.

The empirical evidence suggests that the Wiz would be circling the porcelain belly-up under John Wooten or Red Aurebach. Two points of evidence, they started the season 1-10 under a different coach and then the injuries and short roster.

Not to condemn the younger players, they may yet develop into quality NBA players they just aren't ready for prime time yet. The only upside to the disastrous injuries is the hope that game time run will further advance McGee, McGuire, Young, Blatche, Pecherov and Crittendon beyond the skill levels they would normally be at going in to next season.

Posted by: pdarroch | February 8, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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