Talking About Pacers: July 28, 2009
“Talking About Pacers” is going to be my attempt at a semi-regular link-dump to any interesting piece of Pacers-related sports writing that I come across. This whole thing might be revamped in the near future, but, for now, that’s what you can expect when you see a post titled that way.
Forsaking extra ado, let’s get after it.
Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald discusses the hold up and potential deal-breaker in the Boston/Indiana sign-and-trade negotiations surrounding Marquis Daniels:
The problem is believed to be Indiana’s lack of interest in guard Tony Allen, whom the Celtics offered to the Pacers. The Celtics also reportedly have attempted to include guard Gabe Pruitt and forward Bill Walker in the package.
Though in the market for another wing player, the Pacers want something the Celtics aren’t willing to offer.
The Pacers, beset by past citizenship issues, reportedly are reluctant to bring in Allen. The guard’s offcourt issues, including death threats in Chicago that required extra bench security during last spring’s playoffs, cut against the grain of Pacers president Larry Bird’s attempt to move away from the legacy of Ron Artest and Jamaal Tinsley.
“They need a third team, and that’s complicated,” one source said. “No other teams have jumped at it so far.”
Fred Kerber of the New York Post speculates about the Nets, who reportedly are interested in Big Baby Glen Davis, becoming that third team:
The Celtics’ proposed sign-and-trade to land free agent Marquis Daniels from the Pacers has run into complications and could lead to the need of a three-team deal. Enter the Nets, with their legitimate interest in Davis, who averaged 15.8 points and 6.0 rebounds during the playoffs last season. The Celtics have indicated they will match any reasonable offer for Davis.
“We have not made any offers to anybody,” Nets team president Rod Thorn said.
UPDATE: Forgot to add Mike Wells’ blog post from yesterday about how the Pacers might fill out the rest of the roster, which could include taking a player or two back from the Celtics or, possibly, acquiring former Rocket guard Luther Head.
The Pacers are expected to resume talks with the Boston Celtics about a possible sign-and-trade deal for Marquis Daniels this week. The Pacers aren’t focusing strictly on a trade with the Celtics to get their 14th, and possibly 15th, player.
They’ve still got their eye on former Illinois guard Luther Head, who can play both guard spots like Jarrett Jack but with a better jumper.
Kerber of the New York Post also mentions Knicks GM Donnie Walsh’s plans to meet with Jamaal Tinsley about playing in MSG next year:
Team president Donnie Walsh hopes to meet with free agent point guard Jamaal Tinsley this week.
Bill Simmons’ favorite movie of the 2000s is inexplicably Almost Famous. I mean, it’s a good flick and all, but better than City of God, Anchorman, Adaptation., There Will Be Blood, X2, Children of Men, No Country for Old Men, Snatch, Old School, Ocean’s Eleven, The Assassination of Jesse James, 25th Hour, The Savages, Zoolander, The Wrestler and Thank You For Smoking (among others)? Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion, I suppose, but that’s a pretty odd movie to choose as a favorite, especially if you factor in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Dark Knight and Iron Man.
Fortunately, my thoughts are generally more aligned with the Sports Guy about the NBA than about the silver screen. Here, he offers some advice to his buddy Chad Ford in the form of a quote from the movie Almost Famous:
13. Listen, my advice to you — and I know you think these guys are your friends — if you wanna be a true friend to them … be honest and unmerciful.
To my ESPN colleague Chad Ford, who wrote about Indiana’s summer (the Pacers added Tyler Hansbrough and Dahntay Jones) that “I like the strategy Larry Bird and David Morway have been employing the past couple of years in Indiana. Instead of swinging for the fences in the draft, they are trying for singles and doubles, and they’re connecting.” All due respect to my favorite Hawaii-based columnist, but doesn’t going for singles and doubles ensure 38 to 40 wins and a mediocre lottery pick every year? What am I missing? How is flipping Jerryd Bayless for Brandon Rush, then having to spend another $11 million on Jones (who does the same things as Rush), hitting a single or a double? I think we need to lace up the gloves and fight on another podcast soon.
Nate Timmons of Nuggets blog Denver Stiffs (which just merged with the Nuggets blog Pickaxe & Roll) seems to agree with Simmons:
I’m fairly confident when I say that adding Afflalo pretty much cements the starting shooting guard spot for J.R. Smith. Afflalo has the ability to be a pretty good perimeter defender and provides some scoring pop that should pretty much wipe out the loss created by Dahntay Jones accepting a deal with the Pacers.
I can’t fault Jones for taking the money and a chance at a starting spot, but I applaud the Denver front office for finding a player on the cheap (just a second round pick) that can come in right away and solidify a rotation spot.
Charley Rosen of Fox Sports thinks the Pacers are the fourth worst team in the NBA. Here’s why:
The best athletes on the Pacers all have significant limitations: Dahntay Jones can’t score. Ditto for Jeff Foster. T.J. Ford is among the most selfish point guards in the league. And Danny Granger can’t defend.
Even worse, the level of athleticism possessed by Troy Murphy, Mike Dunleavy and Tyler Hansbrough is far below average.
Overall, there’s not enough fluid offense and not enough defense of any description for the Pacers to avoid being a chump team.
Ball in Europe speculates about who should be included on an All-Time European Dream Team, and Sarunas Jasikevicius, Detlef Schrempf and Rik Smits all get the nod. Here, he talks about Rik:
When Larry Bird took over as coach in Indiana, the Pacers were transformed into a team which lived and died by perimeter shooting. With four guys out deep, who was there to nail rebound after rebound against the likes of young Shaquille O’Neal and crazed Dennis Rodman? That’s right: The no. 2 overall pick in the 1988 NBA Draft, Rik “The Dutchman” Smits. Despite chronic foot problems, Smits still managed a fine 12-year career of 12,871 points, 5,277 rebounds, and 1,111 blocks mostly as a Robin to Reggie Miller’s Batman.
T.J along with some of his fellow Longhorns have put together a site called Texas360Now.com. It is a site that is going to feature a lot of former Texas players and let fans get to see them in new exciting ways.
SP Stevenson at Indy Cornrows talks about an uplifting, if unlikely, Jonathan Bender comeback story:
Obviously, it’s going to be a tough road for Bender to get a roster spot in the league again. I have to wish him the best of luck, but has a 28-year-old ever felt so old before? I couldn’t believe he was only 28 when I read the article, and I wouldn’t be surprised if his body couldn’t believe it either. I’m sure some fans will speculate on a return to Indy, but that’s highly unlikely to happen.
Again, the Disney storyline is compelling: A teen prodigy is derailed by injuries and is forced to retire at an early age; he spends his retirement doing boatloads of community service in New Orleans to help build houses after Hurrican Katrina; he attempts a comeback and scores the game-winning basket in Game 7 of the NBA Finals.
Sounds like a hit movie to me.
Jonathan Bender certainly oughta wish upon a star if he wants to play in the NBA again.