The Indiana Pacers began the Jim O'Brien era Thursday night by winning their preseason opener, 101-96. No TV for tonights game so there's not much believing until I'm actually seeing the team in action. From the images formed from Mark Boyle's words, though, I'm really excited to see the next game this weekend. Here's a few items of interest from the game.
- First of all, Jermaine O'Neal sat out tonight, although I believe he dressed for the game. No sense putting game miles on his knee already.
- As a team, the Pacers came out and played a strong first half. Moving the ball and getting easy shots, just as advertised. The Hornets shot in the mid-20% range in the first half. Can't give all the benefit to the Pacers D, since it is preseason and the Hornets did shoot closer to 50% in the second half.
- Mike Dunleavy played like he has been preparing to prove his detractors wrong. 15 points in first quarter. He ended with 20 points in 21 minutes, hitting 2-2 from behind the arc.
- First 3-ball of the O'B era was made by...Jamaal Tinsley. Tins played less than 12 minutes.
- Danny Granger struggled a little, hitting only 2 of 12 shots in 20 minutes. On the radio broadcast, Slikc mentioned Danny was holding the ball too long on a couple of possessions. More work for O'B in implementing his offense.
- Andre Owens played the point down the stretch helping the Pacers close out a game that became tight. Pit Bull doesn't shoot it that well, but he CAN impact the game.
- Travis Diener played a couple of minutes less than Owens, but he did splash his first 3-ball attempt as a Pacers. More good signs on the opening dress rehearsal.
- David Harrison started but only played 9 minutes after spraining his ankle. Ugh! Hopefully his day-to-day status doesn't turn into a month-to-month situation...again.
- O'B comments: Like the offensive movement. Happy they got of 23 shots before 6 seconds had ticked off the shot clock. They made 15 of those shots.
- Defense was shoddy. Plans to get back to work on defensive play. Shot percentage in first half was fool's gold considering open shots missed by Hornets. No one took a charge in first half.
- More O'B: Foster good on the glass. Dunleavy did a very good job moving without the basketball, helped get him a lot of open looks. With Tins in the game, the team did a good job of running and attacking the rim.
- Question on fan with bag on head: O'B worried about providing a winning basketball team for the fans and they'll be back. Short-sighted to worry about one fan, though.
The Pacers play the Seattle SuperSonics on Saturday night at the Fieldhouse.