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Waiting on the Pacers vs. Lakers

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The Kobe Bryant Circus comes to town Tuesday night which should bring some added juice to the Fieldhouse. Here are some items of interest to ponder until game time:

  • This is Donnie Walsh's last season with the Pacers, but that doesn't necessarily mean he's reitiring. This Boston Globe story explores Donnie's options should he want to move on to a new challenge. Of course, his hometown New York Knicks are mentioned as a no brainer. If you have the stomach to rehash the events of the past few years, Donnie offers a nice description from his perspective.

  • Zeke is hatin' life in New York, as the New York media begins discussing potential new GM's to clean up the Knicks. Donnie may not have the option to work for the Knicks if Jerry Colangelo or Jerry West are actually considered.

  • On the Jim O'Brien Show, O'B doesn't plan on changing his starting line up despite the success of some player combinations that include current bench players. As kester mentioned in the comments, the combo of J.O, Foster, Dunleavy, Shawne Williams, and Tinsley were the leading 5 player combination in Lenovo +/- for Saturday night's NBA games. For the season, the same combo has the 8th best Lenovo +/- at +27. But, they've only played 11:34 for the season. Look for this combo to find more time together.

  • Jermaine O'Neal continues to rehab his knee while playing at less than 100%. His offensive game has been hampered the most. Check that, his offensive scoring game has been hampered. Without the quick spin move or full jumping ability, scoring around the bucket has been tough. J.O. remains solid working the inside/outside game and passing effectively from the post.

  • To continue with J.O., O'B was discussing his 3-ball theory on the radio show. He demands guys like Dunleavy and Granger don't pass up 3-ball opportunities. J.O. is the only low post threat the Pacers have right now. The opposition knows this and is quick to double him, not allowing him to go one on one. O'B constantly calls plays to get J.O. the ball, often he's trapped with the ball, so the kick-out three is open and those guys have to be ready to fire without hesitation.

  • O'B mentioned that Shawne Williams has surpassed his expectations so far. He worked with him this summer, thought he had good instincts, but didn't know how he'd do when the regular season hit. Shawne shows improvement in different phases of the game nearly every day.

  • Regarding Danny Granger, O'B mentioned he has a lot of growth yet to go before he's playing to his full potential. Being thrust into a spotlight role after the trade last year put a lot pressure on Danny and he's learning to deal with it. In a nutshell, both Granger and Shawne have plenty of room to improve on their already solid play, which makes them valuable assets for the future of the franchise.