The Pacers have turned in the paperwork to pick up the third-year option on Rush and Hibbert’s contracts.
This is no surprise, and I had noted their contract amounts in an earlier Cap & Trade.
Hibbert has shown some improvement over last year, averaging 7 points and just over 7 boards in his first two games. However, he’s only shooting 44% and has looked very slow. Fouling continues to limit his minutes and effectiveness, as he’s getting whistled for just under 7 fouls every 36 minutes.
Brandon Rush has started the first two games, or at least that’s the rumor. I guess “non-existent” would be the polite way to describe his performance.
In any case, it’s far too early to know for sure what kind of players either of these guys will be, so the Pacers made the no-brainer move of picking up their options.
UPDATE: The team announced this news officially today, and Jimmy had some perspective to add that will hopefully comfort fans who are already on suicide watch about how the team has looked in its first two games.
“To a large extent, what we have to realize and what we have to have is a certain degree of patience with Roy, Brandon and Solomon (Jones, Hibbert’s backup),” said Coach Jim O’Brien. “Solomon is in his third or fourth year but he hasn’t played much. So we’re playing with two (second-year players as) starters and the guy coming off the bench at the center spot just doesn’t have enough reps and minutes under his belt.
“Just because Brandon had a good last month (in 2008-09) and Roy had a good last month doesn’t mean they all of a sudden are going to come in and be dominant individuals. They’re just not. My job is to try to grow the young guys and right now we’re just at the point where these guys have to play basketball and play aggressive and make things happen instead of hoping things will happen.”
Relying on young guys is always a gamble. Unless they are Derrick Rose, they are wildly incosistent, which makes sense because they are not only dealing with trying to figure out how to be effective in a league full of players who are way better than anyone they’ve ever played against, but also trying to figure out how to adjust to an entirely differnt lifestyle and income bracket.
Unfortunately, this team needs consistent production now.
How is Dunleavy feeling again?
And in other bad news, Jeff Foster’s suffered the dreaded “high ankle sprain” that usually takes a while of rest to heal. The Pacers characterized the official timetable as “a couple of weeks.”
Not good. Mike Wells, however, has reported that Tyler Hansbrough could make his debut next Friday in Conseco against Washington. One the one hand, that’s one more young, inconsistent guy in the rotation. On the other, that’s one more able-bodied player in the rotation.
Hurry up, Tyler.
Dahntay, Roy, Tyler and Earl were delighting the kids with a song that might become the anthem of the Pacers 2009-10 season: “If Dunleavy only had a knee…” (Image: Frank McGrath/Pacers)