Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
OK, two picks going down with one shot. Those Cheap Bastards select:
Don Buse, PG, Pacers, Suns
My reasons for hunting down a guy like Buse were ball handling (backup to Stockton,) shooting off the bench (good 3 pt FG%,) and DEFENSE. Buse was named to the first team all Defensive team six times.
A 6'4" guard from the University of Evansville, Buse played 13 seasons (1972–1985) in the American Basketball Association and National Basketball Association as a member of the Indiana Pacers, the Phoenix Suns, the Portland Trail Blazers, and the Kansas City Kings. Buse was known for his dependable ball-handling, tight defense, and clutch-shooting, and he appeared in two All-Star games (one in the ABA in 1976; one in the NBA in 1977) during the course of his career. His best season occurred in 1975–76, when he led the ABA in both steals per game (4.12) and assists per game (8.2) while also contributing a career high 12.5 points per game. In the next season, his first in the NBA, Buse again led all players in steals per game (3.47) and assists per game (8.5).
And another article about the underrated Buse.....
Cleveland – In a gathering of NBA players, Indiana’s Don Buse probably would be lost in a crowd of three. To the basketball buff, he is recognizable, but seldom eye-catching.
However, the more you become a Buse-watcher, the more you appreciate the 6-4 guard. The 10-year veteran from Evansville is having his best year as a pro, and he’s undoubtedly enjoying it.
Pacers Coach Jack McKinney has given him a license to take three-point shots. Buse has responded by leading the NBA in three-pointers with 58 though March 1.
“I have confidence with the shot,” said the 31-year-old sharpshooter. “Jack has given me that shot and if I miss, I know I’m not going to get chewed out.”
Buse is averaging more than 10 points per game, but probably more important is his ability to protect the basketball. Among the ball-handling guards, who control the ball around 75 percent of the time, Buse made just 71 turnovers though 58 to games lead the NBA.
Buse also plays tough defense, usually assigned to the opponent’s best backcourt scorer, but he doesn’t want to be looked on as a specialist.
“Don is very important to us,” said McKinney. “It’s the little things he does, things you don’t notice – handling the ball, setting up the offense, making steals, and disrupting the other team’s offense.
“He isn’t real fast or quick, he doesn’t jump real high, but he sure is smart,” added Detroit rookie guard Isiah Thomas. “Buse is very aware of what is happening on the floor.”
George McGinnis is another Buse booster. “Boo is the guy we always count on,” said the Pacers Big Mac. “He hasn’t lost his touch on the threes. I just can’t think of many other point guards doing the job Boo is doing for us.”
Buse said of his contributions, “I don’t like the role of just a defensive player. I feel I contribute other things. In the past, I’ve passed up a lot of shots, but I’m looking for my shot now.
“I’m enjoying it this season. I feel good and, maybe, I’ll want to play two more years. I’m on the last year of my contract.
“I’d like to stay with Indiana and, if I had my choice I’d like to sign something before the season ends. I’m not going to try to break the bank. If I continue to have the season I’m having, there might be a team interested in me.”
Buse was drafted by the Virginia Squires of the old ABA in 1972. The Squires sold his rights to the Pacers and he played four years with Indiana in the ABA, plus one in the NBA, before being traded to the Phoenix.
The Suns traded him back to Indiana in 1980 and he has been a big part of the Pacers’ success ever since.
This season, McKinney had Buse slotted as the third guard. However, when the Pacers played an exhibition game at Buse’s alma mater as Evansville, he started in the place of Johnny Davis. Buse has started every game since.
If the NBA ever gets around to naming an all-underrated team, Buse probably will be the captain.
Last edited by JCMElway; 10-19-2013 at 09:01 AM..