Jermaine O'Neal now remains as the only player suspended in Detroit still on the Pacer's roster. Purged of Artest, Jackson, and Johnson....the pacers move on one step more in getting back in the fan's good graces......and in my opinion, improving the team.
I realize as a player Jackson wasn't the liability most thought he was, but as a person, with a history, it was time for a new zip code for Jax. Can't really say I can think of a moment during his stint as a Pacer whereI have a fond memory. But good luck in Golden State, and beware of the strip clubs with rainbow flags out front...it may not be what you're looking for.
Conversly, as a person, I'm sad to see Harrington go. Good kid, long, positive history with the team and city, but it just wasn't working out between he and Jermaine on the court. He was becoming more and more discontent and was speaking up about it. Truly, good luck in GS Baby Al.
Sarunas was, unfortunately, a bust for the most part. One of my favorite pet guys on the team, he just didn't live up to the "Best player in Europe" tag he had coming in. Though markedly improved from last year on defense he still remained a liability.....and when his shot wasn't falling, he was a 1AST/1TO kind of guy. He wasn't going to stay with us after next year anyway.
As for the new guys....
Diogu could be another Walsh stroke of Genius. At the end of last season, when he got the minutes....he was a 16 and 9rb guy with over a block a game. I'll take that from a 23 yr old with limited experience. Some more minutes and experience, he could be a stud.
Murphy has had seasons of double double genious in his recent history. He's had multiple 20rb games can shoot the mid-range and even long range jumper.
Dunleavy is a solid all around player. Nothing special anywhere, but he's solid, and smart in most categories. As mentioned in various media sources...he may be trade bait for Maggette..which would be pretty nice.
If you're a stat freak, and it means nothing....we just picked up 3 guys drafted in the first 15 picks(2 in the first 10)....so at some point these guys had some crazy potential.
Unlike our Pundit here, I don't think it's time to trade Jermaine. He's playing some of the best basketball of his life, is still relatively young and a solid person in the community(and this is Indiana...."good guy" tag can't be underated). We've added 2 more solid people in Murphy and Dunleavy...both of which compliment his game well. I don't know what Diogu is like as a person, but no sketchy history so far(knock, knock, knock). But for now, 6'9", 23yrs old, 255lb, long arms, good footwork, is all I need to know.
As for Saturday, when was the last time you were this excited to see a game in mid January?