Friday, August 25, 2006

Adam Morrison > D-Wade, Lebron, 'Melo

Scoop Jackson has written one of his customarily insane pieces for ESPN's Page 2 (which I'm assuming is basically for writers who weren't good enough to write for "page 1" or the homepage. Hilarious how there's even a Page 3 now. Hmmm, maybe even I could write for Page 4...) This one's basically a random collection of garbage attempting to masquerade as both witty and somehow intelligent at the same time. Here's a real gem of a section that Scoop managed to pull out of his a.... nalytic mind:


Let me make it clear that I hate Adam Morrison. Not as a person, but his skills are just vastly overrated. I mean, it says a lot when in one of the worst draft classes in recent memory, the team with the first pick decides to take some random European guy that nobody's ever heard of and that they themselves probably just met a week prior. That would be Bargnani... or however you spell his name. Bargeanini? Baloney? Whatever. The point is that Adam Morrison looked lost at many times in college, to mention nothing of the NBA. Hmmm, too much analysis on just the heading, I suppose. Let's move on, Scoop.

Love Kirk Hinrich, but he's not going to save you.

I don't know about you, but I'd much rather have Chris Paul saving me than Hinrich. Oh, and surprise! Chris Paul just happens to be on the team! What do you know!

Love Bron, but he's not going to save you.

Errr, yes he is. Game on the line, I want the ball in this guy's hands. In fact, I think I'd want the ball in the hands of literally 100 guys before I'd want Adam Morrison shooting.

Love Melo, but he can't drop 35 every game and he can't trade 3s with the world.

Yes, but he also shot the best FG% in "close and late situations." So yes, I say there's a far greater chance Melo saves you than Adam Morrison. .

See, there's a difference between being able the shoot 3s and having range.

This is just a laughable argument. "Having range" = Good ability to shoot the ball from "far away." "Far away" = 3 Point line. Thus, "Having Range" = "Ability to Shoot 3's."

But, perhaps Scoop is insinuating something else here. Please don't tell me Adam Morrison can shoot the three. Please, please, please do not try and say this.

Bird had range, Mullin had range, Miller (aka: Reggie) had range. The second any one of them stepped across halfcourt ... Yung Joc, it was goin' down.

Sure they had range. And you know there's this Adam Morrison guy. And he can't shoot threes. Oh, I know you wouldn't say that.

This team is void of long-range specialists.

Try "devoid." I hear that there's this thing you can do after writing articles. It's called "editing." Try it some time. It saves you from writing idiotic, meaningless sentences like the one above.

And when you are going up against teams that specialize in dropping bombs from beyond the 3-point line you have to counter their attack with something ... or someone.

Ah, I have faith. You wouldn't say Adam Morrison was that someone. This is obviously just an intro to Gilbert Arenas... or Bruce Bowen, right?

Adam Morrison was that someone. Even though he didn't have any international or NBA experience, he was 6-foot-8 with range. Silly range. Scorer's-table range. Oscar Schmidt range.

Oh... My... God. You think Adam Morrison has the same range as Larry Legend, Chris Mullin, and Miller aka Reggie????? What have you gone and done, Scoop? Adam Morrison. Reggie Miller. I think I'm having a heart attack.

And at some point, scoring two points for every three points that Spain, Greece, France, Turkey or Dirk is scoring is not going to add up. Oh, my bad, yes it will -- it'll add up to an L.

I'm done commenting. You heard it from the man, ladies and gentlemen! The solution to all of Team USA's problems? Adam Morrison, aka 3 point shooting extraordinare!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Guess what this one's about?

Yep, that's exactly right. Leadership. Just about every article this summer can be categorized as "leadership," "Dwayne Wade", "Pacers suck," or "All of the above." Boring, you say? Nope. Quite the opposite.

Leaders of the Pack. Sports Illustrated. Arash Markazi.

lead·er (n.) 1. One that leads or guides. 2. One who is in charge or in command of others.

I'm very, very impressed that you managed to hold yourself in check and not write
"3. Dwyane Wade, Lebron James, or Carmelo Anthony."

Oh, Webster, if it was only that simple.

Would you like to try writing a dictionary?

If the definition of a leader could be summed up in a couple sentences, there wouldn't be thousands of books written on the subject

Um. People don't write books about the definition of a leader. They write books on how to become a leader. Big difference. Most everyone agrees on what a leader is. That would be that simple thing you quoted.

and countless seminars where people pony up hundreds of dollars to learn how to become an effective leader in (insert random number) easy steps.

Yep. I just saw a guy "ponying up" yesterday. I believe George Bush just appointed him as the new Secretary of Defense a few hours ago.

Everyone has theories on what it means to be a leader.

Um. Except not...

Vince Lombardi said that "leaders aren't born they are made,"

That would be a theory on how leaders are made not what they are. See the difference?

Napoleon Bonaparte said a "leader is a dealer in hope,"

You're quoting a French guy. Great way to make a strong argument.

while Groucho Marx said, "only one man in a thousand is a leader of men -- the other 999 follow women."

I'm pretty sure this is what they call a "joke." As in, it's not an actual theory. Actual, meaning a "real." In simple terms, this is commonly referred to as "humor." Novel, isn't it?

While it is one of the most powerful titles that can ever be bestowed upon a person,

One of the most powerful titles? Are you freakin' kidding me?? I can think up probably 1000 more desirable titles than "leader" off the top of my head.

it is bandied about in sports with the same carelessness as other lofty words such as "dynasty," "legend" and "immortal."

That's because leaders are far more common to come across than "legends" or "immortals." If you think about it, almost every team in every sport has a team leader, so to speak. Even the bad ones have them. Atlanta- Joe Johnson, GS- Jason Richardson, Houston- TMac, New York-... well, I did say "almost." Legends are "legendary" because they are rare. Hard to come across. Once a decade maybe. Comprendez-vous?

How many times have we heard reporters and fans alike ask, "Who's the leader on this team." Here's a hint, if you have to ask, there isn't one.

I seriously doubt I've ever heard anyone ask that. (Except of the Knicks.)

The leadership question was brought up several times during Team USA's training in Las Vegas last month. With so many all-stars and "leaders" on one team, how could you pick just one? Well, Mike Krzyzewski went the easy route on Thursday and picked three, and it was the best decision he's had to make since becoming the head coach of the national team.

So basically, he had 3 candidates to choose one from... and he decided to choose all three?? And this makes him a good coach? Fantastic analysis, one must admit.

In Sin City, it was quickly evident that the team gravitated toward LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony (who were later named co-captains while practicing in Sapporo, Japan). I mentioned as much in this spot

Gee, thanks for the inside dish... on who the team captains for the USA world team are. I was just dying to know.

more than two weeks ago when Kryzewski told me that, "The guys look up to LeBron, Dwyane and Carmelo. They are three established guys in the league and those are the three initially that set the tone because they've worked hard everyday."

This is decidedly ironic, especially once one completes reading the next sentence (pay attention to the Chris Paul part).

Players would hang out in James' room and play cards, booray to be exact, pick Wade's brain about winning the championship a few months ago and listen to Anthony tell jokes and rib other players, especially Chris Paul, who carried 'Melo's bags to and from practice.

Yep, 'Melo's worked hard every day. Chris Paul? What's he done? Carry some dude's bags around?

While the trio are the undisputed leaders on their respective teams (with all due respect to Shaquille O'Neal),

Of which, two out of the three teams are at best average...

no three superstars were meant to handle the role of tri-captains better than the stars of the Class of 2003.

Want to explain?

Not only does the threesome get along better than most teammates -- never showing any animosity towards each other despite their competitive nature -- but they embody what it takes to be a leader in today's game, which isn't always easy to do.

Oh! That's what it is! They're such spectacular leaders because they get along better!!! How did you figure it out? Oh, and what's that? They embody what it takes to be a leader??? I haven't read such brilliant ideas in, well, ever! Hey, aspiring youngsters! Make sure you don't show any animosity, and you could be a USA team captain too!

Being a team leader in the current sports climate is a tricky position. It's a far cry from the simplistic popularity scale we all experienced back in high school.

This comparison deserves no comments.

No one in school ever followed the smartest student who aced every test and spent most of his time cooped up in his room dissecting the Pythagorean Theorem.

Thanks for showing all your readers your amazing math skills! Pythagorean Theorem? What's that? Sounds so complicated, though!

Who the HELL dissects the Pythagorean Theorem?!??!?! What would such an activity even mean? Dissect the Pythagorean Theorem?!!? This is way, way, way too good.

Sure we could have all gained something from hanging out at his house and playing Dungeons and Dragons for fun after making flash cards for next month's test, but who wants to do that?

No thanks, dude. I'd rather dissect some more theorems.

Most of us followed the fun-loving dude throwing the kegger at his house after the game on Friday night.

Hmm, that would definitely help to explain your severe lack of brain cells.

A great leader in today's game is an equal balance of Dungeons and Dragons and Dewar's and Drambuie.

Playing Dungeons and Dragons... means you're smart?

Not only does he have to be the smartest guy in school, but he also has to be the guy throwing the best parties, making sure everyone is getting along and having a good time. You see, the key isn't just how good you are at what you do, but how good you make other people feel while you do what you do. That's what makes James, Wade and Anthony great leaders.

Read: James, Wade and Anthony dissect the Pythagorean Theorum, play dungeons and dragons, make flash cards, and throw the best parties... all at the same time!

They not only excel on the court, but they will be the first to pick up their teammates when they are down, talk to them after practice and buy them a round at the club that night.

And they play basketball?!? Pinch me.

If Team USA wins the gold, with the Class of '03 trio leading the way, it will be interesting to see how the team reacts to the addition of Kobe Bryant when he returns to the squad following the World Championships after he recuperates from his knee surgery. Would Bryant be content to take a back seat to three younger players and not be the unquestioned leader?

Of course! I mean the guy didn't even complete college! How can you expect him to even know what the Pythagorean Theorem even is!

Bryant is very much like the kid with straight A's who never learned how to interact with the other students.

Leading the league in scoring = getting straight A's and not interacting... I don't see the connection. At all.

While he may be the most physically gifted player in the game,

You mean most talented, right?

there is little doubt that he's also one of the most enigmatic.

And what, pray tell, does this have to do with your article?

That potential drama, however, will have to wait for another day as Team USA prepares for the start of the World Championships this weekend in Japan where they will be lead by Anthony, James and Wade, three players whose leadership qualities on the court and off the court might just might make for the right mix to bring back the team's first gold medal of any kind in six years.

And immediately after the awards ceremony, join these three leaders for their press conference where they will be announcing their discovery of "The Pythagorean Theorem: Part 2"! Free flash cards will be distributed.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Let's all collectively bash the Pacers

A nearly two week long drought of articles, both stupid and not so stupid, has finally been ended by- who else?- Dave D'Alessandro.

(On a completely unrelated note, his bio picture looks like he's a pirate, for some reason. A hobo pirate who hasn't shaved in a week. Doesn't TSN give advanced notice about picture days, or something like that? I mean, this is just a terrible bio picture. Unless, he looks like this all the time. I wouldn't be surprised.)

And just to make sure that his compadre at TSN, Sean Deveny, has his original point drilled into reader's heads, Pirate-Man has written literally the exact same article that Deveny did two weeks ago! Let's go! Here's "Why the Pacers Suck!" Part Two!

Pacers' moves could make them chum in the water. TSN. Dave D'Alessandro.

"Chum in the water?" That sounds like a patented pirate saying to me.

In the TV business, critics use the term "jumped the shark" to denote the point at which a series has passed its peak. No clue what the shark reference means, but I'll assume it's something hip.

Well, see "jump the shark" is a modern pirate saying. It's a phrase that's only been recently developed and brought into use. Only the modern, and really "hip" pirates use this phrase. Shame on you. You call yourself a pirate?

By the way, it took me exactly 5 seconds to look up what "jump the shark" really means. Try it, Pirate-Man. There's this site called "" It was created just for ignorant pirates such as yourself.

Anyway, in the case of the Pacers, they're in danger of jumping out of the playoff pool and landing in the shark's mouth.

More high-sea allusions. Let's see if you can fish out some more. Ha. Ha.

You can't say they have dead-ended (yet) because at least they recognized the need for a makeover.

They did? Does adding an inexperienced swingman (Marquis Daniels) really qualify them for make-over status? I wonder what you would have called the Heat's moves last summer.

They have added eight new faces

Yes, half of them through the draft. By your definition, every team in the league has had a make-over this summer.

and have one big move left (they hope) in the form of acquiring Al Harrington.


Yet somehow, they seemed to have lost their way, pingponging from good move to bad move with the outcome still to be determined.

Would you mind telling us what exactly these moves are instead of merely calling them "good" and "bad?"

OK, full disclosure: This is the drip-drip-drip phase of the offseason,

Man, quit with the water imagery already. We’ve already established that you’re a pirate.

when GMs go on vacation and writers wish they could do the same,

I'm pretty sure your readers want you to go on vacation too.

instead of choosing a team and giving it the Colbertian Tip of the Hat/Wag of the Finger treatment.

Except there’s this thing. It’s called a job. And you have to do… work. Amazing, I know. And “Colbertian Tip of the Hat/Wag of the Finger?” Oh, brother.

But in the case of Indy, it's irresistible.

So you're saying that it's worth sitting at home all summer so long as you can insult the Indiana Pacers... Whatever floats your boat, I guess. No pun intended.

Bad move: Maybe Larry Bird still is trying to find his front office game, but the last time he said anything in public was to suggest Rick Carlisle didn't hold players accountable. Nice way to boost your coach's credibility, eh?

I'm not sure how this even qualifies as a "move."

I'm still wondering where Bird was when all this discord played out. If the team prez wants more discipline, he should traipse his legendary butt downstairs and dole some out.

Er, that's the coach's job Dave. Guys with "legendary butts" just aren't suitable for such tasks.

Good move: Not matching the contract offer the Hornets gave Peja Stojakovic was a no-brainer. He's not worth $64 million for five years, and if the trade exception acquired in the deal with New Orleans helps the Pacers get Harrington, they'll have immeasurably improved their frontcourt.

Yeah, and if they don't get Harrington? Doesn't look so good any more, does it? Plus, even though he may not be worth 65 mil over 5, Peja is still one of the top 3 shooters in the game. Harrington, well, let's just say he's not in the top 10 among post players.

Bad move: Dumping backup Anthony Johnson was an act of desperation. Maybe he was too blunt, maybe he grumbled about stupid stuff like Sarunas Jasikevicius' jersey being sold instead of his own in the gift shop, and maybe Jermaine O'Neal hated him. But the Pacers got nothing for a very good combo guard, unless they have designs on making Darrell Armstrong the head coach in two years.

Okay, so you think dumping an aging, slow, sluggish point guard in favor of giving a young, up-temo, up and coming point guard more playing time is an act of desperation? I think you’ve been spending too much time with Felipe Alou (and his outfield). True, Johnson had a great year by any standard, but keep in mind, he’s slow and aging. And slow. And plus, 05-06 was his contract year. I sincerely doubt he’d replicate last season’s performance again. And even if this is the terrible move you say it is, how the !@$#%! does Darrell Armstrong becoming head change anything??

And so on.

What do you mean "and so on"???!! You think you can just name four events (only three of them even "moves"!) and then assume that readers will assume that there are more?!?! This is just the height of bad writing. Why don't we just make up some more random "moves?" "Bad move: Larry Bird had breakfast with Jermaine O'Neal today". Or "Good move: Tinsley got his car washed at Chevron over the weekend." Pirate-Man, you're an idiot.

This team has issues. It has an untenable point guard situation, some bad chemistry guys,

Great job. On top of an already atrocious article, throw in some random "chemistry" junk.

a disconnect with the fan base,

Care to quantify this statement in any way? You know, they do record this thing called home attendance. And publish it. At the very least, couldn’t you have made up some poll that was supposedly on the Pacer website? Or something? Anything?

and 15 guaranteed contracts (three rookies, yikes) -- and is scared to death of becoming a luxury taxpayer.

Okay, answer me this then. Which team isn’t scared to death of becoming a luxury taxpayer? Mhmm, that’s what I thought. Instead, you make it seem like the Indiana Pacer’s GM (Mr. Legend) is some shriveling old miserly man who’s trotting out the national Swedish croquet team on a nightly basis.

There is talent, starting with O'Neal, who by all accounts is doing the right things this summer.

I love this sentence. All the right things? What the Hell does that mean??!! Working out? Dieting? Not doing drugs? Mr. O’Neal, there’s this pirate. And he knows what you’ve been up to this summer.

But none of this makes any sense without Harrington, who dumped his agent last week to expedite his sign-and-trade deal with the Hawks. If he shows, the frontcourt will be formidable and playoff-worthy.

He showed. Can we officially consider your article “pointless” now?

If he doesn't, the Pacers become the poster team for the perils of rebuilding on the fly.

Sorry, but the Knickerbockers of New York have already published many, many posters on this very same topic. I hear they’re even coming out with a 2007-2008 calendar with Renaldo Blackman on the cover.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The Curse of Zan Tabak

A common theme for writers nowadays seems to be "the NBA is becoming fast-paced, transition oriented, and defensively underwhelming." Combine that (misguided) viewpoint with some ignorant coach bashing and some voodoo/curse nonsense, and voila, one gets the following:

"Pacers don't fit in new NBA." Sean Deveney. MSNBC/TSN. August 1, 2006

For the past 15 years, the problem for the Pacers has been one of a very good team unable to be great. They've been to the playoffs 16 times since 1990 but played in only one Finals.

Great, start your article with a completely unquantifiable assertion. Good? Great? What's the difference? Any team that's made the playoffs 16 times since 1990 has been doing something right... right? And not only did they make the playoffs consistently, it could be said that in the absence of a certain 6' 6'' G/F out of North Carolina, they would have had a pretty good shot at at least one championship.

Heading into last season -- and the season before -- it seemed the Pacers had the talent and the motivation to break that good-but-not-great voodoo.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot about the voodoo part. That's why they could never get past the Bulls in the East. Forget Michael, forget Scottie, forget Mr. Zenmaster. It was the voodoo. The voodoo that constantly whispered in Reggie Miller's ears "You're good-but-not-great! Good-but-not-great! Good-but..." It was the voodoo Reggie Miller dolls that Chicagoans stuck pins into before every playoff game.

Until, at least, the antics of Ron Artest squashed the hopes of each of the last two Pacers teams before the Christmas shopping season got rolling.

Yep, on that fateful night of the brawl, guess which Voodoo doll Detroitians stuck their pins into? Hint: Not Reggie Miller.

It could be the curse of Zan Tabak. You may remember, Tabak was a little-used center on the Pacers' Finals team in 2000.

It could very well could be the curse of Zan Tabak, you bring up a good point Mr. Deveney. But don't forget the voodoo. How else does one explain Michael Jordan lighting up the Pacers before 2000? Just plain eerie, if you ask me.

Now, Tabak played 18 games all season for the Pacers and was not accustomed to interviews. Poor guy.

What do you mean "poor guy"?!! After all, it's his fault the Pacers have had to suffer such misery and agony after 2000.

The first one he gets is Biff Henderson. I swear, at that moment, Tabak gave Henderson a look that not only cursed him, but cursed the Pacers, the NBA and the entire sport of basketball. Perhaps that curse on the Pacers stuck.

Yes, the Pacers are truly cursed. Zan Tabak shall haunt them forever. Along with voodoo. And to think they don't even play in New Orleans! Poor Hornets. But at least, they don't have the ghost of a little-used, unaccustomed-to-interview-giving center following them around. Unless you count The Curse of Anthony Mason, which completely accounts for their horrific 2004-2005 campaign.

Entering this year, it looks again like the Pacers will break the good-but-not-great jinx. But that's because this year, I'm not sure this team even qualifies as good.

Ah, but do not worry, they are cursed to be good-but-not-great forever more. Forever. And Ever.

Thanks to the NBA's new rules interpretation,

Why does every article insist on including this line? Seriously, does no hand-checking on the perimeter qualify as a "new rules interpretation." I can't figure out what you guys are referring to. The new ball? Is that it? Or maybe you're getting confused with FIBA?

there's no question that the league is turning to increasingly smaller lineups featuring more versatile players.

Yes, a lot of teams have used smaller lineups, but it's not due to a "new rules interpretation." It's merely because faster, more athletic players out-hustle, out-defend, out-everything their sluggish, slow moving counterparts.

And, looking at the Pacers' roster, it seems the franchise is stocking up on that type of player.

If they hadn't gotten Marquis Daniels, would you have even made this comment? Just because you acquire a Maverick doesn't mean you're trying to turn into them. Sheesh.

The awaited return of Al Harrington gives them small forward capable of playing power forward. Second-year man Danny Granger will be a solid NBA wing man.

Wingman? What does that mean? Playing on the wings? Please tell me that's not what you meant.

Rookies Shawne Williams and James White were high-value picks in this year's draft.

High value? Here's some more utter rubbish thrown at readers. What exactly causes a pick to be considered highly valuable? Their tremendous "upside"? "Freakish" wingspan? "Unlimited" potential? Got any more cliches?

Marquis Daniels, acquired in a trade from Dallas, can play three positions.

Thanks for helping me prove my point.

OK, so the Pacers want to pick up the tempo, and they're building a Phoenix-ish roster.

Who the #$@!%# said they were? Just because you trade for Marquis Daniels does NOT mean you automatically turn into the Phoenix Suns. To "be" the Suns, you need a PG that loves to run in transition (Jamaal Tinsley actually fits this description, too bad you didn't have the sense to talk about him instead of some random draft picks), a SG that loves to run around like crazy and fire away at the hoop whenever it is within 40 feet of him, a SF that's really said SG in disguise, a PF that's also really said SG in disguise, and a C who's really a 3 point shooting PF/SF masquerading as a center. As much as it might shock you, Jermaine O'Neal and Danny Granger cannot shoot threes. The acquisition of one player does not cha- eh, you get the picture. (I hope.)

But Indiana is still coached by Rick Carlisle, a guy who prefers the Chinese water torture pace -- you know, drip, drip, drip till you submit.

I am sure it would surprise you to know that the Pacers averaged 88.6 PoPG (perhaps the best current way to measure the pace at which teams play.) The Dallas Mavericks, who in your estimation, I am sure play anti-water torture averaged only 87.9 PoPG. Granted the Suns ranked first with a ridiculous 95.1 rate, but 88.6 PoPg sure ain't water torture. If you want to see that, go watch the Grizzlies 85.9 or the Pistons at 86.3. The Pistons incidentally had an 89.1 PoPG average when Carlisle coached them...

Carlisle is good at coaching that way. He twice won 50 games in Detroit with that method and won 60 games in his first season with Indiana.

So why are you saying the Pacers should change again? Oh yeah, I nearly forgot. The curse of Zan Tabak. And all that voodoo stuff.

What makes the Pacers think Carlisle will suddenly morph into Mike D'Antoni? Or that he should?

Trust me, you are the only one who thinks this.

Perhaps, if you're wondering why Carlisle does not have a contract extension yet, the answer is that Pacers brass can't foresee Carlisle adapting to the new NBA.

No, it's because the Pacers have not gone deep into the playoffs, or as deep as one might have expected prior to the 05-06 season. Once again, that can hardly be considered Carlisle's fault with the Ron Artest circus whirling around him. And please, PLEASE, quit with the "new NBA" garbage. You just won't quit, will you? Fine, let's settle this once and for all. You believe that "speed" and "quickness" and "pace" are the new ways to win in the NBA. Well, Mr. Deveney let us then examine the correlation (if any) between winning and running.

Last 4 NBA Champion PoPG:
Miami Heat: 90.1 PoPG (16th overall)
San Antonio Spurs: 87.2 PoPG (27th overall)
Detroit Pistons: 86.3 PoPg (29th overall)
Los Angeles Lakers: 88.7 PoPg (19th overall)

PoPG Team Leaders, 05-06, Season Finish in Parentheses
1. Phoenix Suns: 95.1 PoPG (Lost Conference Finals)
2. Denver Nuggets: 93.7 PoPG (Lost 1st Round)
3. Charlotte Bobcats: 93.4 PoPG (Missed Playoffs)
4. Golden State Warriors: 92.8 PoPG (Missed Playoffs)

5 out of the top 10 Posession Per Game Leaders failed to make the playoffs. The Dallas Mavericks, San Antonio Spurs, and Detroit Pistons all finished among the last 10. The champion Miami Heat ranked dead even at 16th overall. I rest my case. Surrender. Now.

Maybe the new rules have rendered Carlisle a dinosaur at age 46.

New rules, new rules, new rules. Blah, blah, blah.

I have a hard time imagining Larry Bird firing his friend and protege, but then, once it becomes clear that the Pacers are not so good, Bird is going to need to cover his own rear.

Maybe he can propose some of his own new rules. Wasn't Carlisle the one who wanted bigger rims or something?

That's because, though the Pacers have added eight players, the changes have been cosmetic and the real work has not been done. This team did not need to trade Austin Croshere or Anthony Johnson or Peja Stojakovic.

You're kidding. You think they should have kept Austin Croshere? You're hopeless. Utterly hopeless. Peja, whatever. They couldn't have really done much to stop him from leaving. The "trade" was purely cosmetic, in that it was a sign and trade. Gosh, I thought you were the NBA article writer.

They were not the problem. Indiana needed to dump Jamaal Tinsley and Stephen Jackson. Or at least one of them. Tinsley has done plenty of damage for the Pacers -- in the locker room. He pouts. He does not practice. He milks injuries. But instead of trading him, the Pacers moved backup Johnson, solidifying Tinsley's spot as the starting point guard. Tinsley missed at least 30 games for the third straight year and, effectively, got a promotion. That sends some kind of locker-room message, eh?

Yes, and it also sends a kind of locker room message if you let one of the most talented young point guards in the game (Tinsley) go in place of an aging, veteran, pace-slowing (!) point guard (Johnson.)

Oh, and, has anyone else wondered how the Pacers plan to run more with Gimps-ley as the starting point guard?

I cannot believe you actually wrote this. Tinsley has to rank among the top five point guards you would most want to see running a fast break. The guy has crazy vision, and great passing ability... Sure, blame him for being injured and acting like an idiot, but in the end, he has the talent. I mean the only guys (PG's not LeBron and Dwyane) I'd rather see running a break would be... Kidd, CP3, and... that's it. Oh, wait, and that other guy. On that one team the Pacers are foolishly attempting to copy, in your view.

Even if Bird turns into St. Larry, that won't solve the Pacers' woes. Behind Tinsley are Sarunas Jasikevicius, Darrell Armstrong and Orien Greene. Assuming Tinsley sits out his customary 40 games this year, which of those players would you want to be your starting point guard? I'm going with Armstrong, 38 years old and still ticking.

Is this supposed to be a sarcastic comment? Because there are a whole bunch of teams that would love to have Jasikevicius and Armstrong backing up their 1 spot.

And if Jermaine O'Neal gets hurt, forget it. Harrington would play the four-spot with, um, Maceo Baston behind him.

You could make this same stupid argument for any team in the entire league. "And if Player X gets hurt, and his backup Y also gets hurt, then um, player Z (with obligatory random sounding European name) gets to play!

But that is indicative of where this roster is now. Too many wings,

For the last time, Danny Granger is not a wing player. This is just crazy.

no point guard,

except Tinsley, Sarunas, and Armstrong. Yep, no point guard. And point guard depth? Atrocious.

no depth up front.

*spits out half swallowed water*

At least Pacers fans won't have their high hopes dashed. The best they can hope for this year is so-so.

Wait if they're hoping for a so-so year, how do they simultaneously have "high hopes?" We really need to build that time machine now. Zan Tabak, your days are numbered!