Tinsley, Jackson important for Pacers

Updated: February 26, 2005, 12:38 AM ET
By Greg Anthony | ESPN Insider
Over All-Star Weekend, I spent some time with the Indiana Pacers' Jermaine O'Neal, and he spoke of the Pacers as a team on the outside looking in but still very comfortable with who they are and where they were.

Stephen Jackson is back from suspension and has shown signs of being a major contributor down the stretch, and he's going to have to be for this team to be successful. It's difficult to replace the impact of a player such as Ron Artest because of Artest's ability to dominate both ends of the floor. There are very few guys in this league who can do that, and even a team as deep as the Pacers is going to be hard-pressed to fill that void.

On Friday, Jackson scored 28 points, including 11 straight in the fourth quarter, in the Pacers' 106-82 victory over the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers.

Former NBA guard Greg Anthony covers basketball for ESPN.com Insider. He joined ESPN in November 2002 as a studio analyst for the network's NBA coverage. He appears on all of ESPN and ESPN2's NBA studio shows.

ALSO SEE