My buddies Michael De Leon and Jeff Garcia (who you might remember from the latest episode of The 8th Seed podcast) over at Project Spurs asked me a few questions about what they can expect out of the Pacers tonight. Here’s an excerpt of the first few questions. Head over there to read the rest. And be sure to stop by there on the reg for all the latest on San Antonio’s finest.
Mike De Leon: The Pacers are now 24 games into the season with a 9-15 record. Is this where you thought they’d be 1/4 of the way through the season?
Jared Wade: Pretty much, yeah. I was hoping an early return from Mike Dunleavy, Jr. — who is and has been the engine of the team’s offense whenever he’s been healthy — would have had them closer to .500 but this is around where they were expected to be record-wise. Unfortunately, just as MDJ was getting back (and he’s still actually on a 24 to 28-minute-per-game limit due to his knee), Granger went down. With Murphy and Jeff Foster missing some games as well and Brandon Rush looking like a guy who should be playing in the Spaghetti Leagues of Italy at best, the 9-15 record actually isn’t that bad.
Mike: The Pacers have been considered an offensive team for the past few years — and they definitely have always and still do push the pace — but their inability to score has been their main problem this year.
Jared: It’s just horrible to watch them try to put points on the board. They’re shooting 43.4% so far this year, and the only teams worse than that are Chicago, Charlotte and woeful New Jersey. Being that inefficient should be impossible in Jim O’Brien’s offense, which generally gets players a ton of open jumpers. Some of it is just unexpected poor shooting by guys like Granger and Murphy (who has been hot in his last 5 games). The injuries and lineup inconsistency don’t help either, of course. But more than anything, it’s just been 24 games of stagnant, standing-around offense — which is something I imagine the old legs of the Spurs will have no trouble defending tonight.