After flirting with the idea of playing point guard since he was in Denver, Rose finally got his chance to play PG. While he may have averaged 6 assists, he almost averaged 3 TO's a game. Nonetheless, Rose is learning to become a leader. However, with Travis Best being more effective at point and Jalen as a scorer, we might see less of Rose as a point guard come next season.
In the playoffs, Best proved his value to the Pacers. Coach Thomas needed him on the floor. He accepted the role that was given to him whether starting or coming off the bench. He plays a lot of minutes anyway and finishes off games. Look for Best to get more minutes if the Pacers find a reliable backup point guard.
Due to injuries, Edney played only 24 games. When give a chance, he was a spark plug at times.
Evaluation: Rose was an a more effective player when he plays a scorers position. Instead, the Pacers should do what the Hornets do. Pacers should start Best and if Rose wants to play point then have him do so when Best comes out. One reason that Thomas agrees with Rose playing PG is the fact that they don't have a solid backup point guard. Needing that backup, he decides that it would be better for Best to come off the bench.
Miller is probably the only guy they don't force to play multiple positions. Miller was off to a firing star during the season and slowed down when Rose returned.
Evaluation: Miller should be a mainstay here.
When the lineup finally got settled during late last season, Al Harrington emerged as a regular mainstay at the SF spot. He was a hard-nosed player who was becoming an offensive threat late during the season.
Coming off a big contract, Croshere struggled incredibly. We didn't see the same Croshere from a year ago. After the season, Croshere came back to Thomas and said that he really learned a lot during this season. Expect Croshere to be a man on a mission next season.
Bender was disappointing last season. Although he is still young and has a lot to learn, he was given a chance by the Pacers to help out last season. However, he didn't come through and made mistakes. Bender has a world of talent and we'll see how he fares next year.
If McKey was younger, Pacers certainly could have used some of his stability. Still a solid player, McKey showed age. He's a veteran that provides defensive stability and leadership.
Evaluation: The small forward spot is the most crowded position. Pacers need to move one of their young guys for a backup point guard or a big guy.
After being stuck behind the loaded Blazers, O'Neal finally got a chance to shine as a Pacer. His first full season as a starter was impressive. If his play was a sign of this too come, watch out for this kid.
Foster is another version of Bill Laimbeer. He's a rough player who gets you the boards. He exceeded expectations by providing solid minutes he was put on the floor.
Evaluation: Good combination of O'Neal as the power forward of the future and Jeff Foster as a role player.
During the start of the season, Sam Perkins was a starter by default. He's a veteran and backs in the three pointers. However, due to his age, his in incapable of playing a lot of minutes. This last season was probably his last.
Tabak is one of those guys who exceeded expectations. Not a lot was expected of him, but like Foster, he provided solid minutes whenever he was on the floor. He is a free agent and may be back if Perkins retires or leaves.
Evaluation: This is the position they need most help. Hopefully Brezec, who is coming over next season, is the guy. However, they should give Brezec more time to develop. They need some reliable that can play a ton of minutes. They should force and overwork O'Neal. They absolutely need a center.
- Zan Tabak - They should bring him back if Perkins does not resign. He should comes back as a backup center, not a starting center.
- Sam Perkins - They should bring Perkins back with the intention of using him between 15-20 minutes. They shouldn't start him. However, I don't think he will be back.
- Terry Mills - Don't bring him back. They can always sign him during mid-season.
- Bruno Sundov - Barely saw action, he's still young and he's cheap. They can afford to bring him back to fill one of those injured reserve spots.
- Lari Ketner - Played only three games, don't bring him back.