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Pacers Need To Expand Definition Of Garbage Time

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It's broken record time again.

During the last five minutes of the game last night, more affectionately known as garbage time, the Pacers played with a lineup of A.J. Price, Brandon Rush, Dahntay Jones, Josh McRoberts and Roy Hibbert. For some reason I was still awake to see it and I couldn't help but think how much, at this point in this season, I would enjoy watching that group play 15 minutes or so a game together. Actually, put in Danny Granger for Dahntay Jones and I'm all in for as long as you want.

This apparently would give Jim O'Brien the cold sweats or a rash or something because I'm certainly not expecting to see this group play together again until the next trash pickup in a future fourth quarter (Friday?). But why?

Seeing these guys get some serious minutes during the serious part of the game was addressed by Mike Wells today in his Pacers Notebook. The young players are well aware of the deficiencies keeping them from more playing time. All have them, they're legit and good for them for working on their games.

"There's not a phase of the game where you can point to any of those guys and say they have that phase of the game down," O'Brien told Wells.

So how many players who are playing have a phase of the game down? None have a complete game that's for sure. Granger is a good scorer. Murphy can hit the trailing three and rebound. Then there's...what else?

And what's the point of grinding for wins at the expense of developing players at this point? Talk about garbage time. With a 20-41 record and six weeks left in the season, it's ALWAYS garbage time. Personally, I can handle the losses and loose play much better if they include the young players who may be part of the future plans.

Just a thought.

After the jump, more links from the loss last night.

AP game report

PACERS: Inside the Game: Blazers 102, Pacers 79
Bruno's Inside the Game report has all of the numbers, notes, quotes and highlights.

Granger can't make Pacers winners
Mike Wells reports on the Pacers coming up short with Danny Granger providing the only offensive threat. Troy Murphy sums up the game neatly: "We turned the ball over way too many times," Murphy said. "Portland did a good job defensively, but we just had some ridiculous turnovers."

Portland 102, Indiana 79: Blazers wear their playoff faces
Jason Quick reports on the Blazers' strong effort last night which includes a great picture of Mike Dunleavy trying to make himself invisible. Didn't work.

Game 64 Recap: Blazers 102, Pacers 79
Dave recaps the game from a Portland perspective.

CITW: Diener may get first taste of playoffs in Portland
Bruno reports on Travis Diener jumping into playoff contention, takes exception to JOB's "irrelevant" remark and laments the first half finish againts the Lakers. The Pacers gave up another late 5 points to the Blazers last night too.

Pacers Notebook: Young Pacers must earn time
Mike Wells finds the young Pacers working on what will give them more playing time. Travis Diener talks about his move to Portland.

That was not an irrelevant loss
Mike Wells found a little more measured Jim O'Brien after last night's loss. He actually thought Danny Granger played well in scoring 30 despite the big loss.

Media Row Report: Blazers 102, Pacers 79
Ben reports from the Rose Garden for Blazers Edge and comes the the familiar conclusion that the Pacers need John Wall.

Updated Lottery Standings 3.4
jsams at Liberty Ballers is maintaining the lottery standings which now find the Pacers in fourth.