The Indiana Pacers face the New Jersey Nets tonight at Conseco Fieldhouse which makes one wonder just when the Pacers will win again.
Won't be easy. Sure the Nets are 2-20 and the Pacers already beat them in New Jersey, but both teams arrive at tonight's game in vastly different situations. The Pacers are without Danny Granger and in a team-wide shooting slump that is simply puzzling. On his radio show last night, Jim O'Brien made the point that at the law of averages will kick in at some time and shots will begin falling. No better time than the present.
JOB also raised a point about the lack of practice time for so many players. Yesterday, as has been the norm, Mike Dunleavy, Tyler Hansbrough and Jeff Foster didn't practice. He didn't bring it up as an excuse, he was responding to a caller who thought the players were looked tired at the end of games. JOB responded that he's never had a team that he's practiced less than this group so they shouldn't be tired. First thought: That's a problem.
The team is trying to work through problems but doesn't have key players available to take reps. He mentioned the team working on special situations yesterday and that Hansbrough had to watch instead of taking part fully. Just another reason why it's easy to point fingers of blame but in reality there are myriad issues of varying levels involved in the Pacers struggles right now.
As for the Nets, they're trending the other way with the return of Devin Harris and Courtney Lee to the lineup. The Pacers had their hands full with Chris Douglas-Roberts and Brook Lopez in the last meeting, so remember that tonight's game will be a bear. Harris was a nightmare for the Pacers last year and I expect that will be the case again.
After the jump a few links of interest including some great radio interviews, A.J. Price earning some time and Danny Granger trying to take his time to make sure he returns healthy and ready to play full throttle.
PACERS: Pacers-Nets preview
Bruno's scouting report reminds us that the lowly Nets aren't the same team the Pacers beat in New Jersey earlier in the season.
- Coach Dakich had some extra-sweet hoops talk on his radio show yesterday. First, all hoop fans will enjoy his chat with Sam Perkins (audio link) as he and Big Smoov discuss some great Bob Knight stories and Michael Jordan's Hall of Fame speech. Later in the day, the Mighty One, Mike Wells dropped by the studio (audio link) for an extended discussion of the Pacers' current woes. Miss a little, miss a lot!
Granger disappointed but upbeat
Bruno checks in with Danny Granger with rehab in full swing.
Pacers' Price to get more time
Mike Wells reports on A.J. Price taking advantage of his playing opportunity and quickly earning the trust of Jim O'Brien. "I'm going to find a way to get A.J. some minutes every game just because I think he's going to be a very good player and I think he's going to be a very good player quickly," coach Jim O'Brien said Thursday. "If that means I'm going to have to give some looks occasionally at a three-man rotation at the point, then I'll do it. But I think it's important I grow A.J."
Granger: Comeback ‘going to be hard’
Mike Wells reports on Danny Granger trying to stay patient so he can rehab his injury back to full health.
- The Pacers launched a pretty cool campaign yesterday, allowing fans to submit a nomination for people they know who would benefit from a pair of free tickets to either the December 26th game against Atlanta or the December 30th game against Memphis. They're looking to reward Indiana residents who are in need yet continue to make an impact in their community.
Distributing Granger's shots
Andrew Perna takes a look at where the Pacers will find their offense without Danny Granger taking the bulk of the shots.
On the Beat: Hansbrough Adjusting to NBA
John Perrotto checks on on Tyler Hansbrough finding his way in the NBA.
Pacers Crate: Austin Croshere joins the boys
The latest episode of Pacers crate includes Austin Croshere in on the discussion. The group discusses Cro's transition from playing to yakking as an analyst for home game television broadcasts.
New Jersey Nets want Terrence Williams to show more drive
Julian Garcia reports on the Nets and rookie Terrence Williams trying to get on the same page.