After absorbing a front-court assault from Kobe Bryant, Andrew Bynum and the rest of the Lakers on Wednesday, the Indiana Pacers practiced yesterday to prepare for more big bodies and MVP candidates when LeBron James and Shaquille O'Neal arrive at Conseco Fieldhouse this evening.
The Pacers only have so many options and against the elite teams, none of them are perfect. Bruno's Scouting Report finds Jim O'Brien realizing big vs. small wasn't the main problem against the Lakers, Andrew Bynum was the problem.
"(Bynum) got after the big lineup, too. It didn't really matter," said O'Brien. "It's a small lineup (but) we didn't have a small guy on him. It had nothing to do with small lineups. We have one of our two centers on Bynum. Was he posting up Danny (Granger)? No. Was he posting up Dahntay (Jones)? No. He was posting up either Roy (Hibbert) or Troy Murphy.
"Our small lineup is by far the best. We started the second half with the big lineup and it got murdered."
Regardless of who is on the court for the Pacers, they have to execute and play hard. Offense has been a bigger problem than defense in most losses and that will be the case again tonight. If the Pacers settle for the three too often, even when they're missing said threes, they won't be getting many second chances and will struggle to keep up.
After the jump, a few more links of interest include a sour Danny Granger and more small-ball talk around the Crate.
- Stacy Paetz joins the boys for little small-ball discussion on the latest episode of Pacers Crate.
Granger struggles through off season
Mike Wells reports on a dejected Danny Granger on the day he was officially left off the All-Star roster after earning the nod last season. There are some bothersome quotes in this story but this part stuck out.
Instead of sulking, Granger should attempt to grab the leadership void and motivate his teammates, right?Please tell me no one with in the Pacers' organization is telling Granger he's tried to do too much in his effort to motivate and lead his teammates. If so, they should be fired for gross negligence. All-Star caliber play requires more than 25 points per game.
"Sometimes I've been told I try to do too much and then sometimes I don't do enough," he said. "It's a process that's somewhat confusing in a way, especially with the ups and downs of the team. It is tough and it's a challenge."
The Numbers Behind "Going Small"
Tim Donahue breaks down the Pacers' lineup options and finds issues anyway you slice it.
NBA Talking Points: Where The NBA Needs A Redzone Channel
Check out the SB Nation NBA stories for the week.
Blazers' search for size and other trade chatter
Marc Stein's latest trade tremors still includes talk of the Nuggets and Jeff Foster but mentions luxury tax issues making things tricky. I'd think the back issues sidelining Foster would make things tricky as well.
LeBron James fined $25,000 for kicking water bottle
LeBron lost a little tip money for losing his composure during a Cavs' win recently.