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6 Indiana PACERS
Marty Burns
October 23, 2006
A familiar face is back at forward to help create a new, high-scoring look
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October 23, 2006

6 Indiana Pacers

A familiar face is back at forward to help create a new, high-scoring look

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F DANNY GRANGER 7.5 ppg 4.9 rpg 1.2 apg 0.79 bpg 46.2 FG%
F-C JEFF FOSTER 5.9 ppg 9.1 rpg 0.43 bpg 0.65 spg 55.2 FG%
G SARUNAS JASIKEVICIUS 7.3 ppg 2.0 rpg 3.0 apg 0.53 spg 39.6 FG%
C DAVID HARRISON 5.7 ppg 3.8 rpg 0.88 bpg 50.3 FG% 51.1 FT%
G DARRELL ARMSTRONG * 2.1 ppg 1.3 rpg 1.4 apg 0.44 spg 33.6 FG%

When Al Harrington, who spent his first six seasons with the Pacers, returned to the team from Atlanta last summer in a sign-and-trade, a certain Conseco Fieldhouse security guard was wearing a huge smile. "When I left the first time, he said, 'Just wait. You're gonna be back,'" Harrington says of his stepfather, Aaron Lawton, a member of the arena's staff. "I guess you could say he was pretty excited."

If things go according to plan, Harrington's return will mean more than a happy homecoming. The Pacers believe the 6'9" forward can replace the departed Peja Stojakovic as a third scoring option alongside Jermaine O'Neal and Stephen Jackson. ( Jackson was charged with felony criminal recklessness, battery and disorderly conduct after firing five shots outside a strip club on Oct. 6. His trial is scheduled to begin on Jan. 8.) With Harrington's ability to play inside and out, he figures to be the key to a new up-tempo attack; during training camp, coach Rick Carlisle even used him at center. "I'm the Boris Diaw of the East," says Harrington, who signed a four-year, $36 million deal. "I'll play wherever Rick thinks is best."

When his stepson was traded to the Hawks two years ago, Lawton remained in the Indianapolis area with Harrington's mother, Mona, and Harrington's siblings. He even stayed on the job at Conseco. "They moved out [from their native New Jersey] to be closer to me and fell in love with the area," says Harrington. "My dad says they're never going back."

They have no reason to now that Harrington is back in town.

Projected Starting Lineup with 2005--06 statistics

Record: 41--41 (T6 in East)
Points scored: 93.9 (23rd in NBA)
Points allowed: 92.0 (5th)
Coach: Rick Carlisle
(fourth season with the Pacers)

Jermaine O'Neal

POS. C
PPG 20.1
RPG 9.3
APG 2.6
BPG 2.29
SPG 0.53
FG% 47.2
FT% 70.9

Stephen Jackson

POS. SF
PPG 16.4
RPG 3.9
APG 2.8
BPG 0.53
SPG 1.28
FG% 41.1
FT% 78.6

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