The Pacers hit the road for four games against Western Conference teams. Tuesday night the P's stop in Denver to take on the Nuggets. The Pacers owe the Nuggs a loss after the debacle in the Nuggets visit to the Fieldhouse earlier this month. Remember the 46 point first quarter? The 74 point first half?The second half implosion? Hopefully, Nuggets will return the hospitality.
Here are a few items to ponder while waiting on the game:
Mark Montieth tells us Jermaine O'Neal plans to play in Denver. I assuming some unexpected swelling of his knee would still keep him out. As for the MRI taken on Saturday:
O'Neal has missed the past three games and four overall with knee and calf injuries. An MRI taken Saturday revealed a slight tear in his calf, but the knee was "stable," according to coach Jim O'Brien.Hmmm, stable. Stable as in, it wasn't stable and now appears to have healed to a certain level of stability or stable as in, the knee was never structurally damaged. But if there's no apparent damage, what is causing the swelling? Also, a "slight tear of the calf" doesn't sound promising. Could the slight change to full-blown if pushed to far? Man, this is frustrating. I really want to see O'B's Pacers with a healthy J.O. My confidence in that ever happening is dwindling away.
Bob Kravitz focuses on the solid play of David Harrison. Love this line from DH:
When David Harrison fell from his mother's womb all those years ago, a referee's whistle blew.O'B seems to know how to push Harrison, yet encourage him to deal with what holds him back on the court. He has had several fabulous rotations in games this year. With J.O.'s uncertain health, Harrison's continued contributions will be critical.
"I was born with two fouls on me,'' Harrison, an Indiana Pacers center, said with a smile.
- Bruon's Caught in the Web also focuses on David Harrison burgeoning role with the Pacers. He also mentions the difference in Mike Dunleavy's stats in losses and wins.
One of the most interesting statistical trends of the first month of the season has been the disparity in Mike Dunleavy's production in wins and losses. When the Pacers win, he averages 21.2 points and shoots .505 from the floor. When they lose, he averages 11.0 points and shoots .400.I've noticed this trend and always pinned it on Dunleavy for not being consistent and disappearing at times. When the Pacers were struggling in the second quarter against Cleveland, I noticed Dunleavy was 2-2 from the field. Usually I assume his production dips are due to off shooting nights and he's not one to shoot out of a bad night. But to make his first two shots and not take any more the rest of the half was alarming. Shouldn't the Pacers be running plays to get Dunleavy more than two shots? Jamaal Tinsley has upped his offensive production in the past two games, but it looks like he's taking Dun's shots in the process.
- Avery Johnson was fined $25,000 for his fourth quarter melt down in the Mavs game against the Pacers.