SI Vault
Pablo S. Torre
October 26, 2009
AS A 15-year-old on the New Jersey AAU circuit, Pacers guard Dahntay Jones chuckled the first time he saw power forward Troy Murphy take the court for the opposition. "Troy played for the Newark Rams, this inner-city team," Jones recalls. "He was this big white guy among all these black kids who ran up and down the floor. But he turned out to be fearless." Teenage Troy, in fact, was basically doing then what 29-year-old Troy does today: racking up double doubles by banging down low (at 11.8 rebounds per game, he was second to Orlando's Dwight Howard last year) and draining threes (at 45.0%, he was the NBA's most accurate shooter with more than 185 attempts). Says Jones, "He's always been a monster."
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October 26, 2009

11 Indiana Pacers

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They play an exciting style, but I don't see how they're ultimately going to succeed. If you control tempo against them and you know a good shot from a bad shot, you can win.... Danny Granger has become a good shooter and a better ball handler than I thought he'd be, though his stats are probably inflated by the way they play. I'm not sure if he could stay on the floor with a team that stresses defense.... The way they play obviously suits T.J. Ford, but he can get selfish—too often he'll take it one-on-one in transition and force shots. He hasn't shown a lot of improvement as a playmaker. He can make the obvious pass, but that's about it.... I don't know if Roy Hibbert fits with their up-tempo style. By the time the shot has gone up, he may just be getting up to the half-court line—and then he's got to get back defensively. In another system he could be O.K.... I'm interested to see if Tyler Hansbrough's energy transitions to the pro game. My gut feeling is that it won't. He's got short arms and he shoots it right in front of his forehead, so if a defender has a hand up, he's going to have trouble. He overpowered people in college, but that won't work so well either.

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