Against my better judgment, I must say that the Indiana Pacers post-Reggie Miller are somewhat alluring.
Danny Granger is quickly becoming an all-star caliber player, Marquis Daniels has asserted himself and become a solid starter and T.J. Ford’s back problems have not seemed to bother him in his first season in the Hoosier state.
With all that being said, the Pacers are still a tepid 6-10 and do not look to be getting any better anytime soon, even with the flashes of potential seen from rookies Brandon Rush and Roy “Dr.” Hibbert, times are tough in Indiana.
Suffice it to say, these are not the Reggie Miller/Dale Davis/Rik Smits/Jalen Rose/Mark Jackson Pacers that the Lakers disposed of in the 2000 NBA Finals.
The Lakers enter their first East Coast jaunt sporting a 14-1 record, two wins shy of tying their best start in franchise history and coming off a 13-point win against Toronto on Sunday night, in which neither Kobe, Pau or Derek saw the court in the fourth quarter. Although this may not make for the most exciting and intriguing theater, come playoff time, to have well rested superstars will prove to be invaluable.
Now only if Sash’s ankle will fully heal, maybe he can make some shots. GAHD!
Tipoff: 4:00 PM PST
- National: N/A
- Los Angeles: KCAL (Joel Myers & Stu Lantz)
- Indianapolis: FS Indiana (Chris Denari, Clark Kellogg & Quinn Buckner)
- Los Angeles: AM570 KLAC (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
- Indianapolis: 1070 AM The Fan (Mark Boyle & Bobby Leonard)
Lakers: None to report.
- Out: Mike Dunleavey (bone spur in knee)
SHADES: Much to the pleasure of this writer, Vladi Radmanovic continues to wear his quickly developing trademark orange-tinted superpower three-pointer eye shields. With the orange-tinted superpower three-pointer eye shields in combination with Vlad’s one-clip, he is fast becoming one of the most unique looking players of all time.
Orange-tinted superpower three-pointer eye shields for LIFE!
The Luke Question: I liked what Phil Jackson did on Sunday night, inserting Luke Walton alongside the starters to close out the first half. In the five or so minutes he played in the first half, he immediately made his presence known, doing what he does best: passing.
He found Kobe on an electric pick and roll, and led the charge for the Lakers to expand their once four-point lead to ten by halftime.
Say what you will about Luke Walton, but used properly, he is a valuable asset to this Laker team. We were all witness to that Sunday night.
(Prize: Orville Redenbacher Gourmet Popping Corn from Valparaiso, Indiana!)
I gave you the starters of the 2000 Indiana Pacer team that met the Lakers in the NBA Finals. Tell me the bench of that Pacer team.