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Open Game Thread #37: Pacers at Suns - LJL Talks, Again

After a disastrous loss last night in Utah, the Pacers are staring down another howitzer tonight as they try to bounce back against the Phoenix Suns. Here's Bruno's Scouting Report emphasizing the daunting task at hand. The Pacers current offensive woes have the scent of an L wafting in the air against a Suns team that will find points easy to come by against the friendly Pacer defense.

Larry Joe Legend talked to Bob Kravitz and Eddie White on 1070AM this afternoon. I'll try to paraphrase what I heard while at work. I missed the middle portion of the interview and will re-visit it when the podcast is available. But as for what I heard here are the main points.

LJL was asked how he felt after last night and if there are any changes brewing. He says he's not holding up too well after last night's disaster. You always look to make changes if you think it's going to make your team better. Everyone has their feelers out but I can't guarantee anything will happen. LJL sounded like he was in more of a trading mood after the game last night compared to his comments to Mike Wells prior to the game last night.

What he's satisfied with: I like the style, getting up and down the court. That's the way I played in Boston.

What the team is lacking: Need to tighten up their defense. Too many guys are inconsistent. Not just one guy. Gotta have 3 or 4 guys and a bench guy or two getting it done every night and the Pacers are not getting that from any of the players.

Are you satisfied with where you are with JO? Expecting a quick, yes, there was instead hesitation and then a qualified answer. J.O. brings shot blocking and defense. Hate to lay all the blame on JO because of the swollen knee hasn't allowed him to play.

Admits the Ronnie Artest deal really hurt the team. They went for it and it didn't work out. Ronnie is the type of guy J.O. needs to play beside.

Are you enjoying yourself? Overall I like it because I learn so much. But today, no. The losing hurts so much, I know what basketball means to the state, I watched the Pacers' telethon, so the losing makes it tough.

After signing off, Kravitz says that when he calls Bird's office, the phone rings once and Bird himself answers.

In black and white the words appear far more down and out than the actual tone they were spoken in. There was no resignation in LJL's voice. He sounded committed as ever and in fact mentioned enjoying the film work and scouting he was working on prior to the call.

Update [2008-1-9 18:18:18 by Cornrows]: Here's the audio of LJL's interview on 1070AM from Wednesday afternoon.

Here's what the efficiency numbers say:

Team Pace Off.Eff. Def.Eff.
IND 96.8(2nd) 105.2(18th) 106.7(13th)
PHO 96.2(4th) 115.0(1st) 107.7(15th)

Projected Starters
Jermaine O'Neal F Shawn Marion
Danny Granger F Grant Hill
Troy Murphy C Amare Stoudemire
Mike Dunleavy G Raja Bell
Andre Owens G Steve Nash

Feel free to leave your thoughts on the game in the comments.