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News » Indiana Pacers Getting Inside 2008-04-29

Indiana Pacers Getting Inside 2008-04-29

Indiana Pacers Getting Inside 2008-04-29
The Pacers showed promise this season, but it still wasn't enough to get them to the playoffs. They missed the postseason in consecutive seasons for the first time in nearly 20 years.

Pacers president Larry Bird vowed -- again -- that he plans to make changes during the off-season.

Best of luck doing it, because the Pacers don't have any salary cap space and they're stuck with a bunch of lengthy, bad contracts.

"It's tough, I understand the situation," Bird said. "My job here is very clear, to try and get this franchise back to winning. But I know what's going to happen before we get there.

"The first thing I want to do is really take a look at the things that have happened in the past off the court and address them. Then get into the team and really get after it through the draft and this summer. We have to change some players on this team because a lot of things have happened."

The first order of business is to find teams willing to take a gamble on Jermaine O'Neal and Jamaal Tinsley, two players that have been wearing a Pacers' uniform for too long now.

The problem Bird will face is that teams are reluctant to take their contracts because of their history of problems. O'Neal, once one of the premier players in the league, played in only 42 games this season. Tinsley, a premier point guard when healthy, appeared in just 39 games.

SEASON HIGHLIGHT: Danny Granger and Mike Dunleavy both thrived in coach Jim O'Brien's up-tempo offense. The two averaged career highs in points and were the focal point of an offense that relied on three-point shooting. Both players attempted at least 389 three-pointers, with Granger making 171 and Dunleavy making 165.

TURNING POINT: The Pacers lost at least three straight games seven times this season. They would have likely made the playoffs if they had half as many losing streaks. Lack of mental and physical toughness is the reason behind the constant losing streaks. They lost more than 10 games where they had leads of at least 10 points.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: April 29, 2008


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