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Pacers Enjoy A Couple Of Days Off For A Little Holiday Cheer Up

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 Did anyone think this was going to be painless?

After a couple of days off, I have to give a Buckner-esque, "My goodness!" to the collective negative assessments after another four-game losing streak.

The most glaring complaint is that the Pacers should completely rebuild. Take the pain, get rid of all of the high-priced contracts and hopefully hit the lottery.

What exactly do you think they're doing?

Comparing the Pacers to other teams right now is not apples-to-apples, unless you want to turn back the clock five years. Nothing has changed since we went over this last year and again this summer. There are still five big contracts (Dunleavy, Murph, Ford, Foster and Tinsley) on the roster until the summer of 2011 so settle in for the long haul. If you want to move any of those contracts sooner, then don't complain about playing time because, as Murph is doing right now, playing is the only way to entice another team into a trade.

Plus, an honest look at the circumstances around changing the image of the team can't be dismissed either. Locally the image has changed drastically, although not yet where it needs to be. But, there's no doubt the current roster is seen in a positive light, unfortunately there's also plenty of apathy toward the team because of the lack of results. Prior to the current state, though, there wasn't apathy, there was disgust. People literally turning away from the product. Now the team needs to start winning to turn the apathy back into passion.

But winning will still be a couple of years away, especially if the key players that could deliver some success, can't get on the floor together.

Player evaluation will be key over the next two years, whether in trades or drafts, Larry Bird doesn't have room to miss. I'm assuming, and would love to know, there are some advance statistics used in evaluations, but not on the same level as teams like Houston and Oklahoma City. Trying something different would be welcomed and obviously, if the results don't change, changes will be made. 

After the jump, a couple of links of interest along with Part 2 of Reggie Miller on the Crate.