I’m sure you don’t care, but I’m awfully excited.
- The Young Guys – Obie says that they’ll see a lot of action in the first three or four games, but their floor time will begin to diminish as the regular season approaches. In this case, it’s important to note that the “Young Guys” do not include Hibbert, Collison, and probably McRoberts. The guys who need to show something to stay in the rotation probably include Paul George, Lance Stephenson, and Magnum Rolle. Guys who may or may not be watching come the start of the season also include A.J. Price and Brandon Rush.
- Paul George – Yeah, I know. I mentioned him in the last bullet, but I really need to see the guy play. He shot poorly Wednesday, but I need to see this guy’s floor game. There are two things I’ll be watching closely – defensive awareness and ability to rebound from his position.
- The Post and the Pick – I’m going to try (and probably fail – depending on how many beers I have) to chart Roy’s touches in the low post, the high post, as well as all PnR action, particularly involving Collison. I’m especially interested in watching how comfortable Collison looks after he gives up the ball. Just know this – when I report back tomorrow with incomplete results, it’s all the fault of my brother, Terry, and my nephew, Rob. Phone numbers and addresses will be provided for harassment purposes.
- Josh-a-Roy – The two played pretty well the other night, and they seem to be settling in as a tandem. How well will they play off of each other, and how well can the control the glass?
- Speaking of Glass – Both Conrad Brunner and Mike Wells commented on the rebounding problems of the other night. Again, they did OK on the offensive end, but got slaughtered defensively. Tonight’s a great opportunity to improve, but it’s really, really important that we understand who the opponents are. Memphis led the league in Offensive Rebounding percentage, snatching 31% of the available rebounds off of their glass. Orlando was 25th, grabbing less than 25%. Orlando adopts a very similar philosophy to the one employed by the Pacers the last two year – sacrifice offensive rebounds to ensure good floor balance and transition defense. The Pacers should do better tonight simply because of a different opponent, so a better outing will not be indicative of anything, really.
I should note that in this and the previous pre-game post, I mentioned either nothing or almost nothing about the opponent. That’s because it’s the preseason. You don’t really have games, per se, in the preseason. What you have is two teams trying to do their own thing and figure out what they have. That there is another team on the floor is really only a happy coincidence.
In any case, this is the first live action I get to see of what promises to be a very different Pacer team than last year’s.