The Indiana Pacersstarted the season with concerns about their inexperienced front court after trading last season's leading rebounder, Troy Murphy.
As it turns out, rebounding hasn't been a problem, in fact last night the Pacers out-rebounded the Hawks 42-30 and have held their own on the class throughout the season thus far. Still, the production from Josh McRoberts outside of rebounding remains a concern, as Mike Wells mentioned in his blog post after last night's game.
Josh McRoberts is rebounding the ball, but that’s about it for him. He’s not playing good overall. Team officials have noticed McRoberts’ struggles in other areas of the game.
McRoberts has been an extremely low usage guy, only making four field goals in the past five games, but when he does try to make things happen offensively he can get visibly frustrated. The refs are certainly making J-Mac earn his way in the league, never giving him a whistle unless he's completely mugged. Frustrating as it may be, McRoberts has to play through that stuff and not carry it around for a possession or two more. McRoberts' on court/off court stats heading into last night's game were pretty good so he's certainly not the only problem the Pacers have right now.
With Hansbrough hurt, that lack of depth is more apparent since the Pacers had to rely on James Posey to guard Josh Smith last night in the post. Posey has played a lot of power forward and has been a nice, steadying influence on the floor. But, still, he's not a long-term solution at power forward that's for sure.
Unless the Pacers can make a deal to fortify the front court, they'll have to survive through the growing pains and inconsistent play of the young players they have in McRoberts and Hibbert.
After the jump, a few links of interest from last night's loss.
- Box score
PACERS: Game Rewind: Hawks 102, Pacers 92
Exclusive analysis, highlights, notes, quotes, photos and stats from the Pacers' game against the Atlanta HawksTuesday night at Conseco Fieldhouse.
Atlanta Hawks knock off Indiana Pacers for 7th consecutive time
Mike Wells reports on yet another Pacers' loss to the Hawks along with some classic JOB quotes minimizing anything positive Roy Hibbert did in the first half.
Hibbert vanishes in the second half | Pacers Insider
Mike Wells comments on Hibbert's struggles in the second half and Josh McRobert's struggles overall.
AP: Smith leads Hawks past Pacers
Cliff Brunt reports on the Hawks' win at the Fieldhouse last night.
Hawks 5-1 on road after victory at Pacers | ajc.com
Michael Cunningham reports on the Hawks executing too well for the Pacers to handle last night.
Instant Reaction: Hawks 102, Pacers 92 - Peachtree Hoops
Nice recap from that Atlanta side of things last night.
Injury bug hits Jermaine O’Neal again - BostonHerald.com
The more things change...
- Hoopdata Advanced Box Score - Atlanta Hawks vs Indiana Pacers 11/16/2010
NBA Power Rankings, Week 3: Western Conference Contenders Emerge, But Celtics Are Top Dogs - SBNation.com
Latest SB Nation power rankings have the Pacers at #7 in the East and heating up. Of course, this was done prior to last night's game.