Bruno has a Caught in the Web segment focusing on Donnie Walsh's assessment of the team. It is not hard to sit down and analyze the current situation and determine how the Pacers are where they are. DW breaks it down without trying to spin any fluff.
"For the most part, this is the result of making a big trade in the middle of the season and bringing in a number of new players," Walsh said. "It's not entirely that but a large part of it is that. In looking at our team play, it's almost like we're in preseason offensively and definitely defensively. Add into that the fact we've had Marquis Daniels and now Jermaine O'Neal out at a very key time of the schedule.
"The team isn't functioning at the level a lot of the good teams are now because they've brought their games over the course of the year to a certain point and we're not at that point. Add into that, for what we have as a team right now, we've got two major players missing. That's why we're in the position we're in. We're not a very good basketball team right now."
I appreciate Walsh's candid comments. No matter what the situation, the trade WAS needed. It may be contributing to the current losing streak but it is not the reason the Pacers are sliding down the standings.
In discussing the top ten protected draft pick, I'm wondering if the Pacers slip into the 9 or 10 hole, can they still let Atlanta take the pick. Let's say Oden and Durant sit at the table with the millions stacked in front of them and still say, "Nah, I'm going back to school." Well, if there isn't a difference maker at 9 or 10, can the Pacers let the Hawks take their pick this year?
Believe me, I don't want to be playing for a draft pick next year, but maybe it will be more valuable in the long run, perhaps in a trade scenario. Do you think the Bulls wish they would've traded the rights to the Knicks pick right now? The value of the pick keeps going the wrong way when earlier in the year it could've fetched the Bulls a piece to help with their current playoff run.
Strange as it sounds, the worse things go this season, the better things look for the future.