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Pacers Will Adjust

Image hosted by Photobucket.comGotta assume that the Rick is doing his best Belichicking behind closed doors right now. What will the do? If I knew, I'd be one of the 16 assistant coaches sitting next to Doc tomorrow. However, here are some of the problems they'll have to solve.

1. Payton on Reggie - can't get the calls when a peer is D'ing him up. Credit Payton too, since he's already fogotten more tricks than Allen will know for the next 3 years (if he's lucky). Still, the refs were calling a tight game on Saturday, which helps the Celtics since the Pacers can't set as many moving picks to free him up. I'd look for more ball movement and spacing that frees up their shooters.

2. Small Ball - they'll hope that Walker comes in and messes everything up, but I just don't see it. He saw what was working and Gary seems intent on keeping that flow. Toine is an excellent passer and if he gets the ball, I'm hoping the cutters will be moving without the ball and everyone else will be setting picks for Paul and Ricky. We could see more of Fred and "Jumaine" Jones as well, to balance the C's bench athleticism.

3. Small Ball II - they've got to establish O'Neal down low without sacrificing the flow of the outside game. If the smaller lineup is in, they have to take advantage with post up play. If Walker is in, they'll still go to O'Neal to see if they can get Walker out of his game. O'Neal will also need to keep his eyes open, as we've seen an extra interior pass often leads to a dunk or layup when the help defense turns their back on their man.

4. Thug Jackson - he's their instant offense guy and he burns hot and cold just like our Davis. If they get him involved early, it will be hard to slow him down. I don't know his game well enough to comment further, but he does seem to love the kick out 3 pointer.

Meanwhile, back in Doc's den, his team of mad scientists are brewing up something that will harness the mojo of game 4 while adding the spice of Toine to the mix. Can't wait to see what they come up with.

Note: I wrote this last night, but I'm bumping it up to focus more attention on the game and less on May.