According to Mike Wells, Shawne Williams will be rarin' to go after sitting out 3 games for the costliest traffic violation in history. (Use your turn signal, people. Oh, and don't drive around gun-toting acquaintances with smoldering blunts. This advice should be in every driver's ed manual.) Troy Murphy also appears close to returning to the line-up.
So, if Murph is ready, who goes inactive?
The Pacers have been going 11 deep so far and no one has earned a demotion. Stephen Graham and Courtney Sims will definitely be inactive, but what about that last spot? I imagine it will rotate depending on the opponent. Most logical option is Pit Bull Owens, which stinks because I love what he brings and he's shown that he and Diener can play together and cause problems for the opposition. But, Marquis Daniels can fill any additional minutes needed at PG.
If O'B wants to inactivate a big, you have to look at David Harrison. Two weeks ago this was a no brainer, but DH has played some critical minutes so far, and played quite well. Ike Diogu? He's filled a needed offensive gap in the second unit's front court.
What about Kareem Rush? No way, gotta have that loaded gun (his words, not mine) available off the bench. He proved his worth against Miami and O'B can't shut down his game and confidence as it begins to grow. Actually, Shawne Williams will probably have to earn his minutes and a spot on the bench in uniform.
This is really a nice problem to have, isn't it? The way O'B has taken care of everything else, I have no doubt he'll manage this situation well, without "losing" anyone along the way or harming team chemistry. Let's face it, so far all of the projected inactive players have played meaningful minutes and we're only 3 games into the season. Dealing with the strain of the 82 game grind will offer opportunities for all 15 players throughout the year. So, really this isn't a big deal. Regardless of who the 12th and 13th man are they aren't going to have much impact on the W-Ls. It's just nice that we don't have a list of five or six guys we'd like to see inactive.
Links of Note
- The Pacers were number seven in Mike Kahn's Top Ten Things.
7. Item: The Pacers have come out of the blocks with a vengeance and are surprisingly 3-0 despite the slow start from All-Star Jermaine O'Neal, who missed the first two games with a hyper-extended knee suffered after arthroscopic knee surgery.I agree with the idea that J.O. and Tins will be key over the long haul. I understand their injury history, but you can say that about any team. You lose your best players for a significant amount of time and you'll do worse. Ya think?
What this really means: Ostensibly, there has to be concern over O'Neal, who has struggled with injuries the past few years. His health prevents the team from reaching its lofty expectations. Consequently, the prospects for this season have ebbed, but new coach Jim O'Brien has brought a new feeling to the team.
Like O'Neal, it's imperative that point guard Jamaal Tinsley lose the injury-prone inclinations and be the explosive floor leader he has teased to be. But three games into it, the Pacers are being led by the wings — Danny Granger (22.7 pts., 8.7 reb. and 1.7 steals) and Mike Dunleavy (22.3 pts., 9.0 reb. and 3.7 asst.). As early as it may be in the season, both Granger and Dunleavy have the ability to perform at a high level — as expected by so many. But it still comes down to O'Neal and Tinsley, and it doesn't matter who is coaching that team — the dependability factor is loaded with questions.
- Matt Wilson at The Fanhouse dug up this classic clip of Larry Joe Legend selling designer jeans 25 years ago. I was a little young for the Chardon jeans, plus they were a bit pricey. I was happy rockin' the latest star jeans or painter pants from the Squire Shop.
- Check out the Pacers Weekly Update for a well-rounded look at the what is going on with the Pacers on and off the court.