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ChicagoJ
03-17-2005, 04:53 PM
As promised...

:soundoff: < My favorite smiley

Well, its in outline form, but you'll get the point. Its already taken too long and as you've seen, I just get angry when I work on it. :blush:

My working title, as you know, has been Why This Team is Built for the Regular Season, but I think a better title might be, Why I Wouldn't Mind if this Team Were Blown Up This Summer.

Although you can nit-pick, make excuses, or point out extenuating circumstances for many of the points, the Pacers - as currenlty assembled - need just about every one of these concerns to be resolved in their favor to return to elite status. Some of you are magically expecting the team to magically "flip a switch" and become contenders again when they walk into training camp at the beginning of next season, but I don't see it.

Here's a bummer, if JO has surgery in early April, and it takes 4-6 months to heal, he's just barely going to have begun basketball-type workouts (as opposed to physical therapy) when training camp starts. If Tinsley's torn ligament requires surgery, he too might not be ready for training camp.

I believe this team's window of opportunity, based on both internal (Reggie) and external (the East isn't as weak anymore) factors, was last season and this season. And yet its come to very similar conclusions in each of the last two seasons: a meltdown by Ron and injuries to JO and Tinsley have combined to eliminate any hope of a championship.

IMO, we'll need to make major changes among our so-called big three to get back to the elite next season. Although its no secret that I hope the team gets rid of Ron, I'm not sure that trading him (and getting a starting-caliber SF in return) is enough.

Anyway, here's my working outline to Why I Wouldn't Mind if this Team Were Blown Up This Summer:

The team’s best player/ first option

Can be solved during a seven-game series by either ‘gimmick’ defenses such as SVG’s swarming defense or double-teams that push him out from the post.
Isn’t very good at passing out of the double-team.
Has the skills to play center but breaks down physically if he spends too much time as the primary post defender
Is he a guy that can lead a team to a championship (like Duncan, Shaq, Hakeem, etc.) or is he a guy that can just lead a team into thrilling but futile playoff runs (like Uncle Reggie, Barkley, Ewing, Iverson, Garnett, etc.)

Chemistry?


Lots of fans pooh-poohed the idea that our team’s chemistry might not be very good * before * the “Promote my CD” situation
There isn’t any reason to believe that, when the full team gets together again, the chemistry problems will have been solved – especially if there is any truth to the rumor that JO and Ron are struggling to co-exist on the same team
Subtracting Reggie from the team, even though he’s never been a “vocal leader”, could remove the one calming influence in the locker room

There’s no guarantee Dale will re-sign with the Pacers


The guy many fans believe to be the team’s “second best player” (and some actually consider him to be the team’s MVP) is completely un-reliable when the pressure rises. Enough said.
The team’s “cog” – the guy that’s truly their second-most important player - their PG – struggles with his physical conditioning


Generally unable to play more than 30-mpg without a breakdown
Claims every summer “to be in even better condition than last season” but has yet to show any results late in the season.
Notable exception – last season. He was benched for the first two months, which effectively postponed his annual breakdown from mid-March to mid-May

We weren’t even the favorite to win the East this season, and the rest of the conference is improving while we’re in neutral


Everybody that said last summer that Shaq and Wade weren’t enough to make Miami a contender was just plain wrong
We’re playing in the same division as the defending champs
Chicago, Washington, Cleveland, Orlando, etc. have made improvements to close the “talent gap” while our team is largely unchanged, except for our sixth-man

Even if we were to win the East, we match up well with San Antonio but they’re just a little bit better at every position (except perhaps PG)
Our coach’s philosophy is to “win now.” He prefers veterans, but our team still has very young players in key positions.


Is Rick’s lack of patience appropriate for this team, as assembled?
Should we trade some of our young guys and/ or our upcoming mid-first-round pick for veterans if he’s not going to let them develop?
I’d be fine with Rick’s approach if he had a veteran team like the teams Bird had, but that’s not the hand he’s been dealt.

The team’s backup PGs are inadequate replacements at initiating the offense


Can occasionally have good games
Offense grows stagnant
Tendency to let big leads disappear

Rule changes – already in place for this season – are not favorable to the Pacers


Hurt our physical defense as the officials are calling more fouls for bumping, holding, etc.
Our only perimeter player that has been able to take advantage of the rule changes, offensively, is 39 years old and retiring

The team’s “Center of the future” – for whatever reason – has regressed significantly during his rookie season


Maybe the rest of the league has figured out how to play him
Foul magnet
Pre-draft rumors of always being out-of-shape
Because the team hasn’t committed the necessary in-game investment, he won’t be ready to start next season, and he might not even be ready to be a permanent member of the rotation
Individual rebounding still leaves a lot to be desired
We just gave up on a high-post center that might’ve complimented JO very well because he never received the necessary in-game investment, either
Even though I was smitten with him early in the season, I’m now 50%/50% between, “He’ll be a legit starting center (Dampier)” and “He’ll drive us all mad with his unfulfilled potential (Jerome James).”
Regardless, Jeff Foster, would be better suited to be a backup (and as said above, there's no guarantee Dale will re-sign with the Pacers this summer)

Our SGs not named Reggie are either:


Very streaky and emotional; or
Rock solid yet undersized

Sure, this team also has some positives, I'm not denying those, that's just not the point of this essay. JO's obviously a great player, and Tinsley, IMO, is one of the best PGs in the game. Rick is, in general a very, very good coach even though he has some flaws that irritate me. Is that enough, given everything that's gone bad over the past twelve months, to point this team back to the elite? Or will it require a bold shakeup help get them there?



I know what we're going to hear preached to us - from the front office, from the Walsh Warriors, etc.: patience, building from within, etc.

:sleep:

That's led the Pacers to as many championships as Ron has (and Reggie, for that matter). I'm ready to try something different and bold.

:soundoff: :soundoff: :soundoff: :soundoff: :soundoff: :soundoff: :soundoff: :soundoff: :soundoff: :soundoff: :soundoff: :soundoff::soundoff: :soundoff: :soundoff::soundoff: :soundoff: :soundoff: :soundoff:

Okay, fire away...

Suaveness
03-17-2005, 05:00 PM
Wow....thats pretty amazing. I would disagree with you, but I just don't have the time :-p

Hicks
03-17-2005, 05:15 PM
Later I want to hit this more point for point. But for now all I will say Jay, is that pointing out all of the flaws under a microscope while shoving all the positives (and there are many) to the shadows is as productive as it is to be a sunshine warrior who pushes the negatives to the same place--- not very much.

Spell it with me: B-A-L-A-N-C-E

Hoop
03-17-2005, 05:32 PM
Later I want to hit this more point for point. But for now all I will say Jay, is that pointing out all of the flaws under a microscope while shoving all the positives (and there are many) to the shadows is as productive as it is to be a sunshine warrior who pushes the negatives to the same place--- not very much.

Spell it with me: B-A-L-A-N-C-E
Great Post !

skyfire
03-17-2005, 05:45 PM
This team has gone through so many different situations this season, I think all it needs it stability.

I see so many complimentary players on our roster at both ends of the floor.

Ron and JO compliment each other on the offensive and defensive end. JO for all his sublime talent is a very traditional offensive player, Ron has a very unorthadox offensive game.

Dale and Jeff are the perfect combination for a rebounding front line, looking at the box scores I see the rest of the team getting significantly less boards but that is because those two are swallowing up all of them.

Freddy and Jax gives us the flexability to play big or small at the SG spot with great shooting and defense.

The PG spot is the biggest ? imho. AJ has definately picked up his game since his slow start after returning from injury but you cant help but feel that he is a weak link. A lightning fast backup PG who can create on offense would be the perfect addition in the offseason. That euro player that was recently rumoured to be linked to us sounds intreguing. Tins' injury worries are definately concerning, but he has had to shoulder the heaviest load of his career during this season.

I honestly cant believe you want to blow up this team after the season that we have had.

kerosene
03-17-2005, 05:50 PM
Notable exception – last season. He was benched for the first two months, which effectively postponed his annual breakdown from mid-March to mid-May


That is a very astute observation. I hadn't really considered it in that light before.

beast23
03-17-2005, 05:54 PM
Damn, Jay. That's one hell of a lot of frustration you're trying to work out there.

Like Suave, I disagree, but do lack a bit of time, since I'll be leaving for home in a couple of minutes. I will try to revisit, though.

But, just as a quick summary for my feelings, I'm nearly as excited about Dale's return as Peck. And without the team's early implosion on 11/19, I believe that the addition of Dale would have proven to be as much the X-factor for us this season as the addition of Sheed was to Detroit last season.

But more on that later. Hopefully tonight.

But I tip my hat to your post. It's well thought out and expresses many of the points that you have brought up over the last couple of months. It should prove to be a great starting point for a rather lengthy discussion.

ChicagoJ
03-17-2005, 06:12 PM
In the name of balance, I've spent most of this essay (errr, outline) criticizing my four favorite members of the team (JO, Tinsley, Carlisle, Harrison).

However, I was very upfront that this essay (errr, outline) was to just look at one side of the issue - this team has major obstacles to overcome to return to the elite. This was not intended to be a balanced essay (errr, outline) of the team, season, etc. I was picking the topic that is dominating my current viewpoint of the team and expounding on it. If you try to make it anything more than what I've said it was, you do so at your own risk.

ChicagoJ
03-17-2005, 06:31 PM
I honestly cant believe you want to blow up this team after the season that we have had.

I honestly can't believe people want to keep this team together.

A match + gasoline... what happened this season is tightly linked to what happened last season. The behind-the-scenes crap that I feared might destroy this team was already rearing its ugly head prior to the brawl. It was (and is) just a matter of time before this team imploded (implodes), and keeping them intact is just an exercise in prolonging the inevitable.

Last season was the aberrition. Although it was loads of fun right up until the moment it blew up...

I like most of the players and coaches individually - you all know that. But I don't have much confidence they can work as a team.

skyfire
03-17-2005, 06:33 PM
We were an elite team last season with a horribly unbalanced roster and barring ill timed injuries could have won it all. Despite the complete shambles this season has been I think our roster has moved in the right direction. We are stronger in the backcourt, have a player to compliment JO and Jeff in DD (presuming we can resign him) and young players like JJ and Hulk show promise for the future.

I think the only major obstacle to overcome is finding a more sustainable and flexible rotation at PG, getting the whole roster healthy and on court together. Almost all the pieces are there for us to become an elite team.

Sure things could go to hell in a handbasket, Ron could get himself suspended for life, JO could continue to bicker with refs and be a black hole, Tins could follow in Bender's footsteps, Hulk could never live up to his potential, etc but after all this team has gone through I think that their maturity will get there.

skyfire
03-17-2005, 06:36 PM
Last season was the aberrition. Although it was loads of fun right up until the moment it blew up...



I dont see last season as an aberration, you dont win 61 games and almost make the finals as a fluke. Ron didn't 'blow up' until after JO and Tins were injured and it became obvious that things weren't working.

MSA2CF
03-17-2005, 06:43 PM
It's not possible to build a perfect team.

The best team doesn't always win the championship.

PacersandIU
03-17-2005, 07:37 PM
I don't know that the chemistry is a big problem. When Al Harrington was on the team he was the only player that hurt the chemistry. When the Pacers got rid of him I think they got rid of a problem and improved the offense and defense with Jax. Jax and DD could be the missing gears to our championship machine...Jax improves our outside shooting while DD gives us another down low presence...let's face it, not many guys in the league fear jeff, pollard, and the hulk... Ron and JO, i think, would put their differences aside if they are serious about winning a championship.

Peck
03-17-2005, 07:38 PM
I dont see last season as an aberration, you dont win 61 games and almost make the finals as a fluke. Ron didn't 'blow up' until after JO and Tins were injured and it became obvious that things weren't working.

Actually Ron blew up right after the first round of the playoffs. Some of us knew but couldn't say & then this past summer Bob Kravits outed Mark Montieth & the star for actually knowing this all along & putting forth the Pacers P.R. line about Ron & migraines. They litterally had to beg him to get on the team plane to come home from Miami.

As to last season being a fluke? I'm torn on that. A win is a win so it's hard to ever call anything a fluke, however I will say that I think the win totall was inflated because of an extremely poor E.C. to start the season. Our record from Nov. to Feb. was just out of this world & most of the E.C. was still injury riddled & honestly just poor.

We beat the Celtics easily, however it is noted by our own paper that they may have been the worst playoff team in history.

We managed to get by the Heat, but let's face it none of us would have wanted to go back to Miami & try and win there.

We went toe to toe with the Pistons for awhile. But let's not act like we were sweeping them. We lost game two in our house with everybody at full strength. The old "what if Reggie had dunked it" question is nice but useless. He didn't, we lost they won.

So, IMO, Jay has a very valid point about last season. I think it was really just more of a case of us being able to snack up on teams during the regular season & put us in line to beat teams we were supposed to beat in the playoffs, up until the Pistons.

Now would we have won with J.O. & Tins? who knows. All I know is we didn't win.

Pacerized
03-17-2005, 07:46 PM
Just because the east isn't as weak doesn't mean our window has closed. This team is still very young, and even without our 3 best players we can make the playoffs. I really don't think Miami, or Detroit can take us if we're healthy. If Artest was traded during the offseason for the right player, I'd be happy, but otherwise, I'm happy with this team 1-9, or if Reggie returns 1-10, and that's as deep as we need to be.

rabid
03-17-2005, 07:51 PM
Ron
J.O.
Jax
Tins
DD
Freddie
Foster
Cro
Pollard
Harrison
AJ
Gill

...and possibly (though not likely) Reggie.

Some flaws there, but healthy and together for a whole season that's an INCREDIBLE line-up. In fact, with Reggie in there (take out Gill or whomever) I challenge all takers to find me a better 12-man roster in the past 10 years.

Peck
03-17-2005, 07:52 PM
As promised...

:soundoff: < My favorite smiley

Well, its in outline form, but you'll get the point. Its already taken too long and as you've seen, I just get angry when I work on it. :blush:

My working title, as you know, has been Why This Team is Built for the Regular Season, but I think a better title might be, Why I Wouldn't Mind if this Team Were Blown Up This Summer.

Although you can nit-pick, make excuses, or point out extenuating circumstances for many of the points, the Pacers - as currenlty assembled - need just about every one of these concerns to be resolved in their favor to return to elite status. Some of you are magically expecting the team to magically "flip a switch" and become contenders again when they walk into training camp at the beginning of next season, but I don't see it.

Here's a bummer, if JO has surgery in early April, and it takes 4-6 months to heal, he's just barely going to have begun basketball-type workouts (as opposed to physical therapy) when training camp starts. If Tinsley's torn ligament requires surgery, he too might not be ready for training camp.

I believe this team's window of opportunity, based on both internal (Reggie) and external (the East isn't as weak anymore) factors, was last season and this season. And yet its come to very similar conclusions in each of the last two seasons: a meltdown by Ron and injuries to JO and Tinsley have combined to eliminate any hope of a championship.

IMO, we'll need to make major changes among our so-called big three to get back to the elite next season. Although its no secret that I hope the team gets rid of Ron, I'm not sure that trading him (and getting a starting-caliber SF in return) is enough.

Anyway, here's my working outline to Why I Wouldn't Mind if this Team Were Blown Up This Summer:

The team’s best player/ first option

Can be solved during a seven-game series by either ‘gimmick’ defenses such as SVG’s swarming defense or double-teams that push him out from the post.
Isn’t very good at passing out of the double-team.
Has the skills to play center but breaks down physically if he spends too much time as the primary post defender
Is he a guy that can lead a team to a championship (like Duncan, Shaq, Hakeem, etc.) or is he a guy that can just lead a team into thrilling but futile playoff runs (like Uncle Reggie, Barkley, Ewing, Iverson, Garnett, etc.)

Chemistry?


Lots of fans pooh-poohed the idea that our team’s chemistry might not be very good * before * the “Promote my CD” situation
There isn’t any reason to believe that, when the full team gets together again, the chemistry problems will have been solved – especially if there is any truth to the rumor that JO and Ron are struggling to co-exist on the same team
Subtracting Reggie from the team, even though he’s never been a “vocal leader”, could remove the one calming influence in the locker room

There’s no guarantee Dale will re-sign with the Pacers


The guy many fans believe to be the team’s “second best player” (and some actually consider him to be the team’s MVP) is completely un-reliable when the pressure rises. Enough said.
The team’s “cog” – the guy that’s truly their second-most important player - their PG – struggles with his physical conditioning


Generally unable to play more than 30-mpg without a breakdown
Claims every summer “to be in even better condition than last season” but has yet to show any results late in the season.
Notable exception – last season. He was benched for the first two months, which effectively postponed his annual breakdown from mid-March to mid-May

We weren’t even the favorite to win the East this season, and the rest of the conference is improving while we’re in neutral


Everybody that said last summer that Shaq and Wade weren’t enough to make Miami a contender was just plain wrong
We’re playing in the same division as the defending champs
Chicago, Washington, Cleveland, Orlando, etc. have made improvements to close the “talent gap” while our team is largely unchanged, except for our sixth-man

Even if we were to win the East, we match up well with San Antonio but they’re just a little bit better at every position (except perhaps PG)
Our coach’s philosophy is to “win now.” He prefers veterans, but our team still has very young players in key positions.


Is Rick’s lack of patience appropriate for this team, as assembled?
Should we trade some of our young guys and/ or our upcoming mid-first-round pick for veterans if he’s not going to let them develop?
I’d be fine with Rick’s approach if he had a veteran team like the teams Bird had, but that’s not the hand he’s been dealt.

The team’s backup PGs are inadequate replacements at initiating the offense


Can occasionally have good games
Offense grows stagnant
Tendency to let big leads disappear

Rule changes – already in place for this season – are not favorable to the Pacers


Hurt our physical defense as the officials are calling more fouls for bumping, holding, etc.
Our only perimeter player that has been able to take advantage of the rule changes, offensively, is 39 years old and retiring

The team’s “Center of the future” – for whatever reason – has regressed significantly during his rookie season


Maybe the rest of the league has figured out how to play him
Foul magnet
Pre-draft rumors of always being out-of-shape
Because the team hasn’t committed the necessary in-game investment, he won’t be ready to start next season, and he might not even be ready to be a permanent member of the rotation
Individual rebounding still leaves a lot to be desired
We just gave up on a high-post center that might’ve complimented JO very well because he never received the necessary in-game investment, either
Even though I was smitten with him early in the season, I’m now 50%/50% between, “He’ll be a legit starting center (Dampier)” and “He’ll drive us all mad with his unfulfilled potential (Jerome James).”
Regardless, Jeff Foster, would be better suited to be a backup (and as said above, there's no guarantee Dale will re-sign with the Pacers this summer)

Our SGs not named Reggie are either:


Very streaky and emotional; or
Rock solid yet undersized

Sure, this team also has some positives, I'm not denying those, that's just not the point of this essay. JO's obviously a great player, and Tinsley, IMO, is one of the best PGs in the game. Rick is, in general a very, very good coach even though he has some flaws that irritate me. Is that enough, given everything that's gone bad over the past twelve months, to point this team back to the elite? Or will it require a bold shakeup help get them there?


I know what we're going to hear preached to us - from the front office, from the Walsh Warriors, etc.: patience, building from within, etc.

:sleep:

That's led the Pacers to as many championships as Ron has (and Reggie, for that matter). I'm ready to try something different and bold.

:soundoff: :soundoff: :soundoff: :soundoff: :soundoff: :soundoff: :soundoff: :soundoff: :soundoff: :soundoff: :soundoff: :soundoff::soundoff: :soundoff: :soundoff: :soundoff::soundoff: :soundoff: :soundoff: :soundoff:

Okay, fire away...

I'm shocked that you have not been ripped on more than you have. While what you say makes sense to me I know that really is setting off the bells to announce Ragnarok (Doom of the Gods in Norse mythology) to some of the sunshine brigade. I know U.B. is either busy & hasn't seen this yet or he has fallen into a seizure induced coma under his computer or is just ignoring you or is as we speak typing a post the size of war & peace.

I will freely admit that Dale Davis being home has taken the bitter winds out of me. It's as though my world has been set straight again.

However if Dale hadn't come home I would not only be agreeing with you I would be calling you an amatuer in your use of the darkside force :devil: . There is far more fertile ground to till here than you have even touched.

But having said that Dale being home has filled up one huge hole for me & I'm consistant on this as I've said it for two straight seasons now. I was never as worried about any other position on the floor as I was the power position.

I always focused my anger at this on Foster because O'Neal just would not do it & I guess he is the franchise so I felt that Foster was the problem.

Unlike some of the others I do NOT feel as though Jeff Foster is a good fit with J.O. Actually I felt he was a detriment on many occasions. However I do feel that a combo of Dale & Jermaine may be something to see. Jermaine has begged for two years now for a player to help him down low & there will be nobody better at baning down low & not needing offense than Dale Davis.

However, & here is where you have some ammo again, it really should never have come down to the needing help in the middle because we HAD a center who did all of that & was able to score yet we just threw him away like yesterdays newspaper with dog crap on it.

You are being way to easy on the Artest fans when you don't make them account as to why they actually beleive anything will be differant.

I don't think you even touched on Bender. The God awfull long term contract of Anthony Johnson & the inability to keep Jamaal on the floor even half of the games this year.

But since Dale is home, it's all good. ;)

Suaveness
03-17-2005, 07:52 PM
Ron
J.O.
Jax
Tins
DD
Freddie
Foster
Cro
Pollard
Harrison
AJ
Gill

...and possibly (though not likely) Reggie.

Some flaws there, but healthy and together for a whole season that's an INCREDIBLE line-up. In fact, with Reggie in there (take out Gill or whomever) I challenge all takers to find me a better 12-man roster in the past 10 years.

The bulls in the 90s.

rabid
03-17-2005, 07:53 PM
Starting 5 sure, but not down to the 12th man. And I'm not trying to be Mr Sunshine when I say that either.

Unclebuck
03-17-2005, 07:59 PM
Won't surprise anyone but I disagree in fact I could not disagree anymore than I do.

Last year was not an aberration, this is a 60 win team, there is no doubt in my mind, and I'll say this again, JO and Ron form the best tandem in the whole NBA and they will win a championship very, very soon.

So Jay you can blow this team up if you want and spend 3 years at least (without any guarantees they will ever get to a 60 win level) just trying to match what we already have.

I say no thanks.

I've never been more convinced after seeing the effect that Dale has had on the team that this team will win a championship very soon.


And before someone discounts my comments because I'm a member of the "sunshine brigade", for the record I've never, ever said anything like this before. Never during the 90's have I said they were going to win a championship. To be honest, I thought they maxed out doing as well as they did from 1994 - 2000.

This current team will be better

ChicagoJ
03-17-2005, 08:02 PM
Just to be clear:

fluke
n.
A stroke of good luck.
A chance occurrence; an accident.
Games. An accidentally good or successful stroke in billiards or pool.

aberration
n.
A deviation from the proper or expected course. See Synonyms at deviation.


Not the same thing. I said aberration, and statistically I'm certainly right.

2000-01 41-41
2001-02 42-40
2002-03 48-34 (and falling apart at the seams)
2003-04 61-21 (with a playoff collapse)
2004-05 32-31 and counting

I didn't say last year's team was lucky, or a fluke. But I do believe this version of the team peaked last season.

ChicagoJ
03-17-2005, 08:06 PM
-snip- Ron and JO, i think, would put their differences aside if they are serious about winning a championship.

I'm intentionally not spending much effort in this post to say what you all know I think about Ron...

But after Ron basically quit on the team and got in the series of altercations with JO, how or when will we ever know (1) that Ron is serious about winning a championship or (2) that JO has any real interest in mending fences with a guy that 'quit on his team'.

And JO probably deserves some blame for apparently being petty from time-to-time as well.

ChicagoJ
03-17-2005, 08:08 PM
-snip-So Jay you can blow this team up and spend 3 years at least (without any guarantees they will ever get to a 60 win level) just trying to match what we already have.

I say no thanks. -snip-

Miami, Detroit, Cleveland, etc....we'll be lucky to get back to the ECFs if we stand pat with the current team.

There's no guarantees either way.

ChicagoJ
03-17-2005, 08:11 PM
-snip-

However if Dale hadn't come home I would not only be agreeing with you I would be calling you an amatuer in your use of the darkside force :devil: . There is far more fertile ground to till here than you have even touched.
-snip-

:laugh:
Yeah, I got tired of how bitter it was making me to write it, so I just cut it off and posted it as an incomplete outline. Besides, there were a couple of topics you mentioned that I didn't want to waste any more keystrokes on.

Los Angeles
03-17-2005, 08:19 PM
I thought everyone at Pacers Digest agreed on everything and just came here to hang around, pass inside jokes and exclude others at the expense of free speech?

Peck
03-17-2005, 08:21 PM
I thought everyone at Pacers Digest agreed on everything and just came here to hang around, pass inside jokes and exclude others at the expense of free speech?

Pretty much that's it.

Hicks
03-17-2005, 08:24 PM
2000-01 41-41
2001-02 42-40
2002-03 48-34 (and falling apart at the seams)
2003-04 61-21 (with a playoff collapse)
2004-05 32-31 and counting

I would throw out 2001, that wasn't even close to the makeup of last year's team. 2002 is a stretch, we'd just had the Jalen trade in effect for a couple of months. I'd only lump 02-03, 03-04, and 04-05 together. 02-03 was a combination of youth and immaturity that comes with it, average at best coaching, and a lot of distraction. One was Artest, and I'll get back to him, but the others were JO's stepdad and Tinsley's mom. That has to be a hell of a distraction when you're only in your mid-20s and that goes on.

Next season, we go from an average coach to a very good one, and despite the loss of an all-star center we still did far and away better than the year before. Ron still had his moments, but compared to 02-03 he was much better behaved, and I think the proof of that is reflected in our performance last season, in record and in playoff length.

This year, we were seeing hints of being snake-bit in the preseason, but with what we had to start the season, we were looking like we could be as good or better this year than the last. 11/19 ****ed it all up.

I think of all you've listed, Ron's the only true major hurtle. If he cleans up, this team probably wins a couple titles. If he doesn't, we never get over the hump. I think the rest will sort itself out. Rick's still a hell of a coach, and has proven many times over he can and does adjust when he needs to, and there's no reason to believe he'll stop now. JO and Tinsley may or may not always get hurt, but it will take a couple more injuries to convince me this is more than just "a thing". As someone pointed out, a lot of great players got hurt at least once during their younger years, which is where JO and JT still are. Once they got a little older, they started to stay healthy consistently.

It all comes down to Artest. Given his and most of this team's age, blowing them up now is too soon. You have to see were things are headed by sticking with it for a time. That time isn't quite up yet. If next year resembles this year or 02-03 or the slips of 03-04 in the Artest department, then I think you pull the plug. But I want to see how he looks next year before I make my final assessment of Ron and this team.

Unclebuck
03-17-2005, 08:33 PM
Jay, the most objectionable thing you have posted in this whole thread is that last year's playoff loss was a collapse. That is an assinine comment. 2003 was a collapse, but losing 4-2 to the World Champs was not. Come on you are ruining your credibility with comments like that.

Hicks
03-17-2005, 08:33 PM
Miami, Detroit, Cleveland, etc....we'll be lucky to get back to the ECFs if we stand pat with the current team.

There's no guarantees either way.

How do you know? The few times we faced those 3 with anything close to our normal roster, we beat them all, the best of the 3, by double digits. It's not about the players' ability, their ability is enough to beat these teams. There are no guarantees, but I have a lot of confidence in the ability of a JT-Jack-Ron-JO-Dale squad to get the job done. That's a lot of defense, a lot of offense, a lot of toughness, and a lot of rebounding.

In the end, it will all hinge on Ron. Not his game, but his off-court actions. The rest I have a LOT of confidence in working itself out.

Hicks
03-17-2005, 08:35 PM
Jay, the most objectionable thing you have posted in this whole thread is that last year's playoff loss was a collapse. That is an assinine comment. 2003 was a collapse, but losing 4-2 to the World Champs was not. Come on you are ruining your credibility with comments like that.

I have to agree. For a team's first visit to a deep playoff series, against a great team, they hung tough and played hard. It wasn't until the injuries piled up that we started to collapse, and really that was only game 5. Game 6 was still very hard fought, and close.

SoupIsGood
03-17-2005, 08:47 PM
I pretty much agree with Jay.

Although I think Rick could develop young talent, and coach that way, I just don't think he came into this season prepared for that. And he refuses to committ to it.

This team will eventually be broken up without ever winning a championship, whether that happens this offseason, or ten from now is up to Donnie/Larry.

IMO, I wish we could get the re-starting balling rolling this off-season, while Donnie is still here. He has proven to be great at picking out young talent, he just needs to stray away from high-schoolers this time.

ChicagoJ
03-17-2005, 08:48 PM
I didn't say the loss itself was a collapse, but what do you want to call it when your second-leading scorer has to be forced onto the team plane in the Miami series, cuts practice with a so-called migraine in the ECFs, skips the team flight and has to fly commercial to Game #6, then goes on a selfish-play binge while he knows JO and JT are laying it all on the line?

I'll retract the word collapse. You tell me which word to use instead. Meltdown? Psycho-neutotic failure? Something else? Bah, I don't even want to talk about him.

Unclebuck
03-17-2005, 08:51 PM
I didn't say the loss itself was a collapse, but what do you want to call it when your second-leading scorer has to be forced onto the team plane in the Miami series, cuts practice with a so-called migraine in the ECFs, skips the team flight and has to fly commercial to Game #6, then goes on a selfish-play binge while he knows JO and JT are laying it all on the line?

I'll retract the word collapse. You tell me which word to use instead. Meltdown? Psycho-neutotic failure? Something else? Bah, I don't even want to talk about him.



Well I thought you were suggesting the team collapse.

Artest was a tad out of sorts at the end.

ChicagoJ
03-17-2005, 08:53 PM
I would throw out 2001, that wasn't even close to the makeup of last year's team. 2002 is a stretch, we'd just had the Jalen trade in effect for a couple of months. I'd only lump 02-03, 03-04, and 04-05 together. 02-03 was a combination of youth and immaturity that comes with it, average at best coaching, and a lot of distraction. One was Artest, and I'll get back to him, but the others were JO's stepdad and Tinsley's mom. That has to be a hell of a distraction when you're only in your mid-20s and that goes on.

Next season, we go from an average coach to a very good one, and despite the loss of an all-star center we still did far and away better than the year before. Ron still had his moments, but compared to 02-03 he was much better behaved, and I think the proof of that is reflected in our performance last season, in record and in playoff length.

This year, we were seeing hints of being snake-bit in the preseason, but with what we had to start the season, we were looking like we could be as good or better this year than the last. 11/19 ****ed it all up.

I think of all you've listed, Ron's the only true major hurtle. If he cleans up, this team probably wins a couple titles. If he doesn't, we never get over the hump. I think the rest will sort itself out. Rick's still a hell of a coach, and has proven many times over he can and does adjust when he needs to, and there's no reason to believe he'll stop now. JO and Tinsley may or may not always get hurt, but it will take a couple more injuries to convince me this is more than just "a thing". As someone pointed out, a lot of great players got hurt at least once during their younger years, which is where JO and JT still are. Once they got a little older, they started to stay healthy consistently.

It all comes down to Artest. Given his and most of this team's age, blowing them up now is too soon. You have to see were things are headed by sticking with it for a time. That time isn't quite up yet. If next year resembles this year or 02-03 or the slips of 03-04 in the Artest department, then I think you pull the plug. But I want to see how he looks next year before I make my final assessment of Ron and this team.

To the extent I'm also passing blame to JO, Tinsley, etc., I think its fine to include those seasons.

By the time JO and Tinsley will have grown to the point where they aren't injury-prone, in three or four more seasons, our roster will have changed significantly. Perhaps those two are the right core, but perhaps they need to be surrounded by cagey veterans, not young whipper-snappers.

ChicagoJ
03-17-2005, 08:54 PM
Well I thought you were suggesting the team collapse.

Artest was a tad out of sorts at the end.

:laugh:

No, the team collapse was the previous season vs. Boston. :banghead:

SoupIsGood
03-17-2005, 08:54 PM
"It all hinges on Ron."

That's the scariest thing I've read in this whole thread.

I can fairly well guess where we will get if we always depend on Ron.

Nowhere.

ChicagoJ
03-17-2005, 08:56 PM
Gotta run, guys...

I'll be in Indy this weekend, going to the game tomorrow night...

Not sure how much I'll get on-line between now and Monday but I'm not dodging anyone...

SoupIsGood
03-17-2005, 08:58 PM
I think flukes can happen, we could win, and I do think he could even take us to one NBA finals.

The question is are you willing to risk that, knowing you very well may fail more than you succeed.

Thats where I think most of the disagreement comes from when threads like this start up...

You are correct.

Ron's "fluke" year was last year. He took us to the ECF's.

I don't think Ron will have a year that great again. And it still, by no means, was even a decent year when contrasted with how most players behave.

beast23
03-17-2005, 09:32 PM
Last season, most of us complained about two things. We needed one additional banger in the paint, and we needed more scoring from the perimeter, notably from our shooting guard.

We said that those additions would put us over the hurdles and gain a championship.

The playoffs came, and we suffered injuries to JO and Tinsley. Despite that, we gave Detroit everything that they could handle. The Pistons players even stated that the Pacers were the best team they had played in the post-season.

Peck states that the Pacers excellent regular season record was partially gained through a steady diet of EC patsies. I'm sorry, Peck, but I think that is horse*****. That statement conveniently disregards the fact that the Pacers had a better record against WC teams than any WC team.

I'll repeat that for clarity. We had a better winning percentage against the Western Conference teams than did any team from the Western Conference itself. Remarkably, we had a better winning percentage against any other Conference, Division or league, no matter how you would choose to slice up your statistics.

That is NOT the sign of a fluke season. No how, no way. Blowing this team up would be totally assinine.

Probably over 90% of us would agree that defense wins in the playoffs. And what we were missing most last season defensively was a better defensive presence and defensive depth around the glass. Even without that presence, we had a very strong defensive team coming out of last season.

The offensive was a decent complement to the defense, and the Pacers had one of the higher point margins in the league.

We acquired Jackson to shore up both the perimeter scoring and perimeter defense, sacrificing Al to make it happen. That took care of one weakness from last season, but in losing Al it also made the acquisition of an interior banger even more important than last season. Recently acquiring Dale filled that need.

My point is that we didn't need to blow up the team last year. And we don't need to blow up the team this year. The former bench players, especially Freddie and Croshere, were utilized more this season. And we had two rookies, Harrison and JJ, who both evolved to the point that, even though rookies, they can be favorably utilized. This season has enabled us to gain much more experience for our bench players than would be realized in a "normal" season.

I realize that given a couple more years Harrison and JJ will become even better players. But I would say that if Reggie were willing to stay and come off the bench, with the likely summer signing of Dale, that next season this team will be just about as good from 1-12 as it can be expected to become. It would be an absolutely great defensive team, and with further maturation of Freddie and JJ, along with SJax, Artest, Tinsley and Croshere, they would also have very respectable perimeter shooting, as well as slashing and post-up abilities.

I don't believe we should do more than minor tinkering with the roster. Now that Dale is here, let this team stay together for next season. Then consider what we need. I don't believe we will require any more than minor tinkering at that point, either. I also believe that we will be right back in the hunt for a title next season.

One need we might have for next season might be another big bench player capable of scoring a few points in the paint. And from where I sit, Harrison could easily fill that need. Apart from that, I could see us acquiring yet another backup PG, possibly involving AJ in a trade. That would give us Tinsley, Freddie and the acquired player manning PG duties, with Jackson or Artest usable in a pinch.

Unclebuck
03-17-2005, 10:04 PM
This is off topic, but oh well.


That where you and I disagree with his [Rons] antics.

All the things listed:

second-leading scorer has to be forced onto the team plane in the Miami series
cuts practice with a so-called migraine in the ECFs
skips the team flight and has to fly commercial to Game #6

You call that a tad out of sorts?

I call that a complete breakdown, but thats just me.


Well I was trying to be a little funny

Sollozzo
03-17-2005, 10:04 PM
Honestly, how can you really evaluate a team that has...

A)-Had it's best player out for long stretches at a time(likely won't play again)
A)-Had it's second best player suspended all year
C)-Had it's third best player out 30 games
D)-Had it's young, extremely important pg, who the team can't gell without....out for stretches, and playing on a gimpy leg
E)-Had several key role players out

and most importantly

F)-Endured what is arguably the most traumatic thing a team can endure outside of a death.


We never got to see much of Jermaine-Artest-Jackson...what is maybe the best three man tandem outside of Miami and Phoenix

I don't see how you can say this team is just built for the reg. season given the circumstances.

Unclebuck
03-17-2005, 10:09 PM
Last season, most of us complained about two things. We needed one additional banger in the paint, and we needed more scoring from the perimeter, notably from our shooting guard.

We said that those additions would put us over the hurdles and gain a championship.

The playoffs came, and we suffered injuries to JO and Tinsley. Despite that, we gave Detroit everything that they could handle. The Pistons players even stated that the Pacers were the best team they had played in the post-season.

Peck states that the Pacers excellent regular season record was partially gained through a steady diet of EC patsies. I'm sorry, Peck, but I think that is horse*****. That statement conveniently disregards the fact that the Pacers had a better record against WC teams than any WC team.

I'll repeat that for clarity. We had a better winning percentage against the Western Conference teams than did any team from the Western Conference itself. Remarkably, we had a better winning percentage against any other Conference, Division or league, no matter how you would choose to slice up your statistics.

That is NOT the sign of a fluke season. No how, no way. Blowing this team up would be totally assinine.

Probably over 90% of us would agree that defense wins in the playoffs. And what we were missing most last season defensively was a better defensive presence and defensive depth around the glass. Even without that presence, we had a very strong defensive team coming out of last season.

The offensive was a decent complement to the defense, and the Pacers had one of the higher point margins in the league.

We acquired Jackson to shore up both the perimeter scoring and perimeter defense, sacrificing Al to make it happen. That took care of one weakness from last season, but in losing Al it also made the acquisition of an interior banger even more important than last season. Recently acquiring Dale filled that need.

My point is that we didn't need to blow up the team last year. And we don't need to blow up the team this year. The former bench players, especially Freddie and Croshere, were utilized more this season. And we had two rookies, Harrison and JJ, who both evolved to the point that, even though rookies, they can be favorably utilized. This season has enabled us to gain much more experience for our bench players than would be realized in a "normal" season.

I realize that given a couple more years Harrison and JJ will become even better players. But I would say that if Reggie were willing to stay and come off the bench, with the likely summer signing of Dale, that next season this team will be just about as good from 1-12 as it can be expected to become. It would be an absolutely great defensive team, and with further maturation of Freddie and JJ, along with SJax, Artest, Tinsley and Croshere, they would also have very respectable perimeter shooting, as well as slashing and post-up abilities.

I don't believe we should do more than minor tinkering with the roster. Now that Dale is here, let this team stay together for next season. Then consider what we need. I don't believe we will require any more than minor tinkering at that point, either. I also believe that we will be right back in the hunt for a title next season.

One need we might have for next season might be another big bench player capable of scoring a few points in the paint. And from where I sit, Harrison could easily fill that need. Apart from that, I could see us acquiring yet another backup PG, possibly involving AJ in a trade. That would give us Tinsley, Freddie and the acquired player manning PG duties, with Jackson or Artest usable in a pinch.




Wow, I nominate this for post of the year. Great job Beast. I agree with it all.

I just want to reiterate, that with Dale and Jax the Pacers have addressed their two biggest weakness from last season, but now many of the same people who were complaining about these weaknesses last season have now moved on to other things to complain about.

indytoad
03-17-2005, 10:17 PM
Honestly, how can you really evaluate a team that has...

A)-Had it's best player out for long stretches at a time(likely won't play again)
A)-Had it's second best player suspended all year
C)-Had it's third best player out 30 games
D)-Had it's young, extremely important pg, who the team can't gell without....out for stretches, and playing on a gimpy leg
E)-Had several key role players out

and most importantly

F)-Endured what is arguably the most traumatic thing a team can endure outside of a death.


We never got to see much of Jermaine-Artest-Jackson...what is maybe the best three man tandem outside of Miami and Phoenix

I don't see how you can say this team is just built for the reg. season given the circumstances.

I think what he's saying is that those points are the problem (well, the first four anyway), and that something similar is going to happen every year, because it has pretty much every year prior to this in one form or another. So that really is the final evaluation of the team.

Geh, I'm bad at this. I need to stick to the game threads.

IndyToad
Chicken of the sea

SoupIsGood
03-17-2005, 10:59 PM
Indytoad has it right, for once..

Kegboy
03-17-2005, 11:44 PM
Once again, Jay makes a persuasive argument. It's all his fault for turning me to the dark side. (Not really, but I'll give him props as making this post reason #108 on my list.)

Anthem
03-18-2005, 12:10 AM
I disagree with most of what Jay said (what else is new? :devil:). Tonight or tomorrow I'll write up a full rebuttal.

SoupIsGood
03-18-2005, 12:14 AM
I disagree with most of what Jay said (what else is new? :devil:). Tonight or tomorrow I'll write up a full rebuttal.

That's the happiest, most innocent looking devil I have ever seen.

ChicagoJ
03-18-2005, 09:59 AM
Honestly, how can you really evaluate a team that has...

A)-Had it's best player out for long stretches at a time(likely won't play again)
A)-Had it's second best player suspended all year
C)-Had it's third best player out 30 games
D)-Had it's young, extremely important pg, who the team can't gell without....out for stretches, and playing on a gimpy leg
E)-Had several key role players out

Haven't you just proved my point? And these guys are young but (1) not as young as people like to make it seem, and (2) have generally reached the point where they are nearly maxxing out thier abilities.


-snip-We never got to see much of Jermaine-Artest-Jackson...what is maybe the best three man tandem outside of Miami and Phoenix

I don't see how you can say this team is just built for the reg. season given the circumstances.

If we're the best three-man tandem (and you didn't even mention Duncan-Ginobolli-Parker or Wallace-Hamilton-Billups or, by next season, James-Ilgauskus-Gooden??) then we're on the outside looking in at The Finals.

Thanks for helping prove my point that this team is built to have a great regular season and lose in the ECFs. :D

ABADays
03-18-2005, 11:33 AM
I do think this team has the personnel to win it all. I thought that at the beginning of the year and with the additional of DD there is no reason to back off that. Two important factors though - resign Davis and Ron committing himself to be a true, dependable NBA player and not a sideshow.

However, I always feel there are one or two other teams on that same road. It takes a little luck.

Destined4Greatness
03-18-2005, 12:15 PM
Seriously, first off If O'Neal needs surgery he'll get it soon. And He'll be healed and already working out by the time that Training camp roles around. I don't think chemistry is a prob. What is something of concern is leadership. We are losing Reggie, and JO is busy being mad at the refs. SO he isn't going to step up. Either Artest, Tinsley or Jackson needs to lead. I hope Jackson. Seriously if were going for a Championship he'll be the guy to turn to for advice.

Bball
03-18-2005, 12:24 PM
Artest imploding is always going to be a worry.

...And until proven otherwise, I will feel this season could've done more long term damage than some seem willing to admit (IOW, Humpty Dumpty might not go back together easily even if all the pieces are there). Next season might not be the dominant and succesful team some are expecting.

I'd be fine with a different approach from the front office. Less patience and more emphassis on the here and now.

-Bball

waxman
03-18-2005, 12:38 PM
Nice post Beast....



We're a year away....

I think this is the best Pacer team I've known...

Yeah there are alot of questions about Ron, but I really don't think he's more insane than Rodman,,, and he managed keep it together enough, to be a big part of mutiple championships.

If a season like this doesn't bring the team together next year....I don't know what will, but I think they deserve (or owe it to each other and the fans at least) a chance at redemption.


IMO blowing this team up puts us another 5+ years out.

ChicagoJ
03-18-2005, 12:54 PM
Artest imploding is always going to be a worry.

...And until proven otherwise, I will feel this season could've done more long term damage than some seem willing to admit (IOW, Humpty Dumpty might not go back together easily even if all the pieces are there). Next season might not be the dominant and succesful team some are expecting.

I'd be fine with a different approach from the front office. Less patience and more emphassis on the here and now.

-Bball

Damnit. It took me how many paragraphs to say what you threw in as a parenthetical comment??

:buddies:

Diesel
03-18-2005, 01:27 PM
I don't know that the chemistry is a big problem. When Al Harrington was on the team he was the only player that hurt the chemistry. When the Pacers got rid of him I think they got rid of a problem and improved the offense and defense with Jax.

Are you kidding. Al was never a problem for this team. His teammates liked him, Al was moved simply because we needed to balance our team and I agreed with that decision I just think we traded the wrong smallforward.

RWB
03-18-2005, 01:30 PM
IMO blowing this team up puts us another 5+ years out.

I agree with this statement completely. I think the jealousy between Ron and JO will be gone. Ron finally got the attention he craves (both good and bad). JO was shown he can't do it alone (I believe his ego told him otherwise). And #1 I believe Ron Artest finally has been shown and understands he is not going to be the great record producer he envisioned. It has taken this major depletion of his cash flow to wake him and his family/posse up. As much as I hate Stern he just may have done the Pacers the biggest favor possible.

Diesel
03-18-2005, 01:37 PM
All I have to say to the people who want to dismantle this team is that we are in the playoff hunt with our 4th and 5th option leading the way. Most teams would have been done but this team continues to claw and fight and that I admire. If this team was healthy and the suspensions didn't happen I think we would be the best in the east especially with Dale with he exactly what we needed inside.

However I have my own concerns mostly with Ron Artest and whether he can be stable enough to lead us to a title, and i would not hesitate moving him if we got a player back with a similar skill level. Another concern is whether Jermaine Oneal and Jamal Tinsley can stay healthy, but that is not enough for me to simply want to start over. A couple of tweaks here and there and we'll be as good as any in the league.

One more think to keep in mind, forget Artest because he's gone for the season, we haven't even played with the combo of Tinsley, Miller, Jackson, Oneal, and Davis on the court at the same time and by the looks of it we won't see it. Nobody can be sure what that unit was capable of doing if healthy. That combination by itself is probably good the 3rd best team in the east.

ChicagoJ
03-18-2005, 02:04 PM
I'd probably be willing to consider a scenario in which JO and Tinsley were the two guys we keep - and surround them with an entirely different (veteran) cast of players. I guess in the short term Dale could be part of the core, as well.

Los Angeles
03-18-2005, 02:07 PM
I'd probably be willing to consider a scenario in which JO and Tinsley were the two guys we keep - and surround them with an entirely different (veteran) cast of players. I guess in the short term Dale could be part of the core, as well.
You mean the two guys that keep getting injured late in the season?

OK, I'll stop right there.

Los Angeles
03-18-2005, 02:11 PM
You mean the two guys that keep getting injured late in the season?

OK, I'll stop right there.
OK - I should clarify and say that this was meant as an off-color joke.

*note to self - increase use of emoticons to convey irony and sarcasm*

Anthem
03-18-2005, 03:00 PM
This post makes me tired. It's too long to handle in one go, so I'll take an overview in this post and a point-by-point approach in the next.

Jay, there's not a point here that on some level I don't understand and, on some level, agree with. As always, your writing is excellent and your content is well-thought-out. It's the overall approach that I really can't wrap my head around. Part of it's the Internet... I know you often say more than you really mean just to get the emphasis across, but I don't always know which times those are. Still, I can't imagine approaching anything in life the way you approach the Indiana Pacers. I'm not in the least questioning your fandom. Unlike Sassan, I understand that you can dislike Ron Artest and still be a fan of the Pacers. But I really don't understand the dark side approach. You're antagonistic towards every single member of the front office (Donnie, Larry, Rick) and the top 5 or 6 players on the Pacers (JO, Artest, Jackson, Reggie, Tinsley). Really, man, what is it you're rooting for?

Now there's no question at all that this season has been a HUGE dissappointment. Moreso for me than you, actually, since I expected a championship and you've been predicting a first-round loss since this summer. Privately, I was as pissed as anyone with Artest. Publicly, I tended to defend him for the same reason I consistently defended I.Thomas: I absolutely hate piling on. And in the spirit of piling on, let's take a look at your post.


My working title, as you know, has been Why This Team is Built for the Regular Season, but I think a better title might be, Why I Wouldn't Mind if this Team Were Blown Up This Summer.
The most honest, from-the-heart paragraph in the entire post. Because, Jay, absolutely nothing here is about why the team is built for the regular season. It's all "Why this team isn't built for the regular season OR the postseason. You (and, to a greater extent, Bball) consistently trot out this "built for the regular season" meme, and I think it's crap. The moves Donnie makes aren't consistent with someone whose only goal is to put together a team to win in the regular season. I know you despise his implementation, and I'll admit he has some faults, but I can't see how anyone could look at Donnie and think he's in it to win the regular season and not the playoffs.


Although you can nit-pick, make excuses, or point out extenuating circumstances for many of the points, the Pacers - as currenlty assembled - need just about every one of these concerns to be resolved in their favor to return to elite status.
Well, I think a good number of these are non-issues, but I agree that they all need to be resolved. The question is, how do we do that? The biggest issues I have with the team (and I have some big ones) aren't even on this list, and I think they're less likely to get resolved.


Here's a bummer, if JO has surgery in early April, and it takes 4-6 months to heal, he's just barely going to have begun basketball-type workouts (as opposed to physical therapy) when training camp starts. If Tinsley's torn ligament requires surgery, he too might not be ready for training camp.
That's true. If it takes 6 months, he'll barely be ready for training camp. But why don't we wait to find out what the injury is before setting up a timetable for his return?


I know what we're going to hear preached to us - from the front office, from the Walsh Warriors, etc.: patience, building from within, etc.... I'm ready to try something different and bold.
You won't hear that preached from me. I wish, just once, you'd name a "Walsh Warrior." I'm sure you must mean me, since I defend him so often. And yet I don't want patience OR building from within. I want changes, and I want to win now. Of everyone on the board, I might have been the most dissappointed with the lack of activity on the trade deadline, because we could have begun to address the biggest problems that I see. The fact that we didn't makes me wonder if the Pacers front office sees them as problems. I don't believe they do. And that's very depressing.

Just once, I'd like to see you propose "something different and bold" in a concrete, rather than abstract, way. But without further ado, let's take a look at the outline.

Unclebuck
03-18-2005, 04:12 PM
Jay, maybe I missed it, but what is your criteria for a team being good in the playoffs. are you expecting the Suns or Sonics to be good in the playoffs. I don't mean to lump those two teams together because there are significant differences between the two teams.

I would be shocked if any team other than Spurs, Heat or Pistons won the championship this season.

But what does it take to be a good playoff team.

Anthem
03-18-2005, 04:28 PM
This is still difficult. Each of these is worth a thread on its own.


The team’s best player/ first option
- Can be solved during a seven-game series by either ‘gimmick’ defenses such as SVG’s swarming defense or double-teams that push him out from the post.
- Isn’t very good at passing out of the double-team.
- Has the skills to play center but breaks down physically if he spends too much time as the primary post defender.
- Is he a guy that can lead a team to a championship (like Duncan, Shaq, Hakeem, etc.) or is he a guy that can just lead a team into thrilling but futile playoff runs (like Uncle Reggie, Barkley, Ewing, Iverson, Garnett, etc.)
Totally unfair to Jermaine.

I see the first two as the same issue, so there's three issues here. I'm going to address them out of order.

First, I have no idea what "has the skills to play center" means. Is Ben Wallace a center? Jermaine has the skills to play power forward. I honestly don't understand the fascination with the characteristics of the center vs. the power forward. And I don't see how it's a major problem that the same guy not be both the primary offensive scoring threat and the primary post defense player. Nobody does it that way, Jay. Shaq doesn't guard the best big man either. It's not unreasonable for Jermaine to mention that if he has to be the primary offensive weapon on every possession, it would be nice to have someone help on D so he didn't have to be the primary defensive weapon as well. I think I'll love the tandem of JO and Dale, and I honestly can't see what the problem here is. You're asking something of Jermaine that nobody else in the league (even Duncan) is asked to do. I mean, who do you think he is? Ron Artest?

Second, I didn't think JO was "solved" in the Miami series. SVG didn't show anything wrong with JO, he showed how terrible our shooting guard position was. Watching Reggie this year has pissed me off, because if he still has gas in the tank, why didn't he show any in last year's playoffs? If Reggie had played like this last year, we'd have been the champions. I believe that. Swarming defenses aren't solved by one great passer, they're solved by a good team offense with multiple shooters. Even with Reggie playing terribly, Ron had a great series, in part, because of the attention played Jermaine. I *WANT* a guy on my team that draws that kind of defense. And as a caveat, Jermaine's passing has gotten better every year. It looked pretty good this year before we started playing "box and one" offense. He's a better passer than Shaq was at his age. I'm not worried about Jermaine's passing.

Third, almost everybody on your "loser's list" is a HOF player without a good squad. I believe Jermaine can lead a team to a championship. I believe those other players could have, too, with a better supporting cast. Plus, you've already closed the book on several players still in their prime, while leaving out past greats. I don't know if it's intentional or not, but the response you'd likely get if you compared Jermaine to people like John Stockton, Karl Malone, and David Robinson would have undermined the rest of the point.


Chemistry?
- Lots of fans pooh-poohed the idea that our team’s chemistry might not be very good *before* the “Promote my CD” situation.
- There isn’t any reason to believe that, when the full team gets together again, the chemistry problems will have been solved – especially if there is any truth to the rumor that JO and Ron are struggling to co-exist on the same team.
- Subtracting Reggie from the team, even though he’s never been a “vocal leader”, could remove the one calming influence in the locker room.
- There’s no guarantee Dale will re-sign with the Pacers.
I know memory is selective, but I'm reasonably certain we'd established to all of our satisfaction that the "promote the CD" situation had nothing to do with promoting the CD. I agree, though, that chemistry is probably the biggest problem. It's #1 on my list of issues. None of our concerns, match, though. I also think it's silly to worry about Dale, for reasons I will explain below.


The guy many fans believe to be the team’s “second best player” (and some actually consider him to be the team’s MVP) is completely un-reliable when the pressure rises. Enough said.

Straw man. I don't think anyone has considered him the MVP this year. I'd be willing to say that for the second half of last season, he was the MVP of the team. I also disagree that he's completely unreliable "when the pressure rises." He's unreliable, but it has nothing to do with pressure. To support that arguement requires so much twisted logic that I'm continually amazed you keep bringing it up.


The team’s “cog” – the guy that’s truly their second-most important player - their PG – struggles with his physical conditioning.
- Generally unable to play more than 30-mpg without a breakdown
- Claims every summer “to be in even better condition than last season” but has yet to show any results late in the season.
- Notable exception – last season. He was benched for the first two months, which effectively postponed his annual breakdown from mid-March to mid-May.
Well, this is a more fundamental question that I really don't have a good answer to. Is Tinsley's injury the result of poor conditioning? I don't know. As far as I can answer, nobody has suggested that it was. You've ignoring the fact that, every year, he HAS been in better shape than the year before. Remember the early days? I went back and watched some old tape, and the difference is profound. The guy now eats right, mantains his weight, and works hard in the offseason. He does have a troublesome history of injuries (one of my issues), but I'm not sure any basis has been laid for saying they're conditioning problems.


We weren’t even the favorite to win the East this season, and the rest of the conference is improving while we’re in neutral.
- Everybody that said last summer that Shaq and Wade weren’t enough to make Miami a contender was just plain wrong.
- We’re playing in the same division as the defending champs.
- Chicago, Washington, Cleveland, Orlando, etc. have made improvements to close the “talent gap” while our team is largely unchanged, except for our sixth-man.
- Even if we were to win the East, we match up well with San Antonio but they’re just a little bit better at every position (except perhaps PG).
I had us as the favorites to win the East this season. If not for the absolutely snakebit nature of this season (I'm not talking about Ron's suspension, I'm talking about the continual string of injuries), I still think we could have.

Regarding the "Shaq and Wade" comment. They weren't wrong. They were absolutely right. Shaq and Wade aren't enough to make Miami a contender. While Shaq's been dominant and Wade has continued to improve, Udonis Haislim has also improved dramatically. Before the season, we all joked about him, but he's turned into a very solid 4. And it's not just playing with Shaq, although I bet it has a lot to do with practicing with Shaq. The guy's just solid. There's also that Jones (the other Jones).

I don't deny the improvements to the other teams, but let's try to keep them in perspective. Orlando? Not in the playoffs. Chicago? Get back to me when they have somebody signed past their rookie contract. Washington looks great, and much improved, but if we get our act together then they're not a threat. Cleveland looks dangerous in the long term, but with Jax and Artest at the swing positions and Dale (who won't get pushed around by Z) up front, we're in as good a position to beat them as anyone. And watching Gooden guard Jermaine is very enjoyable for me.


Our coach’s philosophy is to “win now.” He prefers veterans, but our team still has very young players in key positions.
- Is Rick’s lack of patience appropriate for this team, as assembled?
- Should we trade some of our young guys and/ or our upcoming mid-first-round pick for veterans if he’s not going to let them develop?
- I’d be fine with Rick’s approach if he had a veteran team like the teams Bird had, but that’s not the hand he’s been dealt.
I agree with most of these points, but I'm less worried now than I was 2 years ago. These guys are getting to the point that you can no longer call them "young players." They're coming into their primes, and trading for veterans is, for the most part, no longer necessary. A couple of years ago, though, I'd have said yes in a heartbeat. The team doesn't lack veterans, it lacks roles (the true #1 on my list).


The team’s backup PGs are inadequate replacements at initiating the offense. - Can occasionally have good games
- Offense grows stagnant
- Tendency to let big leads disappear
I'm not going to spend any time defending Gill, who I think is an excellent third-string point guard. You just have to keep in mind that he's a third-string point guard. Upgrading that position's not worth the trouble.

I have nothing bad to say about AJ right now. I was really on his case early in the season, but it looks like he's starting to figure out how to run a team. Last year when he was playing well, he wasn't really playing as a PG. He was a small SG that brought the ball across. That's begun to change. We haven't blown many big leads lately (primarily because we haven't had many big leads lately). :devil:


Rule changes – already in place for this season – are not favorable to the Pacers.
- Hurt our physical defense as the officials are calling more fouls for bumping, holding, etc.
- Our only perimeter player that has been able to take advantage of the rule changes, offensively, is 39 years old and retiring.
Yeah, they do. But they hurt other teams just as much. Historically the team D has been good because of stellar performances from a couple of guys (that goes back to Larry Brown). Last year, the team D was good because every guy on the court was a legit defender and the team D was great. I'm not worried about our defense.


The team’s “Center of the future” – for whatever reason – has regressed significantly during his rookie season.
- Maybe the rest of the league has figured out how to play him.
- Foul magnet.
- Pre-draft rumors of always being out-of-shape.
- Because the team hasn’t committed the necessary in-game investment, he won’t be ready to start next season, and he might not even be ready to be a permanent member of the rotation.
- Individual rebounding still leaves a lot to be desired.
- We just gave up on a high-post center that might’ve complimented JO very well because he never received the necessary in-game investment, either.
- Even though I was smitten with him early in the season, I’m now 50%/50% between, “He’ll be a legit starting center (Dampier)” and “He’ll drive us all mad with his unfulfilled potential (Jerome James).”
- Regardless, Jeff Foster, would be better suited to be a backup (and as said above, there's no guarantee Dale will re-sign with the Pacers this summer)
I'm absolutely shocked that you spend this much time on Harrison. Come on, Jay. If you're going to use the words "center of the future," at least evaluate him against that standard and not "center of the present championship team." Your first statement is plain craziness: "Maybe the rest of the league has figured out how to play him." I readily admit you've seen more games than me, but I haven't heard you or anyone else propose that his problems are anything other than self-inflicted. Equally curious is "Pre-draft rumors of always being out-of-shape." Actually, the pre-draft rumors were that he was LAZY and always out of shape. I haven't seen any sign of either of those. He wasn't in NBA shape this season, but he was in better shape on Nov. 1 than he was on draft night. A summer with Dale will straighten him right out.

Half of the remaining bullets are the same issue stated different ways. Harrison is a rookie big man that has not yet adjusted to the speed of the NBA game. That's not a big deal to me... he's hardly unique among rookie big men. He fouls because he hasn't yet figured out how to keep his position and uses his hands too much (see also, Tinsley three years ago). He drops passes (especially zip passes from Tinsley) and rebounds, but his position is good and he has a history of having good hands (voted "Best Hands" blah blah blah). This will get better.

I agree that Harrison needs more game time and that Foster's an ideal backup. I have no idea what you mean when you say Brad Miller didn't receive enough game time.


Our SGs not named Reggie are either:
- Very streaky and emotional; or
- Rock solid yet undersized
News flash, man. Reggie is "very streaky and emotional." Compared to Reggie, Jax is the model of consistency. I'm perfectly content going into next season with Jax starting and Fred backing him up. Would I rather have Ray Allen? Sure, but not for the money. Please expound on why you think the Jax/Jones combo is deficient.

My brain hurts.

Alabama-Redneck
03-18-2005, 04:30 PM
Thank you, Anthem, Thank you.

You just said what I was sitting here trying to decide whether to say or not.

There is no way I would have been as "politically correct" as you and would probably have just caused more controversy.

Again, thank you.

:cool:

MSA2CF
03-18-2005, 04:34 PM
And will the injuries really matter that much if JO/JT are out until the beginning of the season? As long as the team doesn't go 2003-2004 Orlando Magic and lose nearly the first fourth of its season's games, the team would still make the playoffs, which is the goal. More and more I've begun to think about the regular season as a warm-up to the post-season (playoffs). So it doesn't really matter if we ended up the 5th or 6th seed because JT/JO would have been back long enough that we would have been able to see how this team works/the roles players should be in to make this team work its best.

At least that's how I'm thinking about it.

Hicks
03-18-2005, 04:43 PM
Thank you, Anthem, Thank you.

I'll second that. It's what I was trying to do, but I think failed to.

SoupIsGood
03-18-2005, 06:02 PM
I'll try to sum up why I think we are not a good playoff team, real quick.

-Tinsley: Make whatever excuses you want, but he breaks down late in the year.

-Artest: Pretty well breaks down every year. I do not want to head into the playoffs with this man on the team, after last year's behind-the-scene ruckus, and this year's collapse. He simply isn't reliable, hasn't ever been, and is a detriment to chemistry.

-O'Neal: Don't get me wrong, Jermaine is a very, very good player. I have no problem with his injurys, as he still usually plays most the games. But you cannot deny that Jermaine is a bit soft, on defense, the boards, and his offense (not so much, but he shoots too many fades/jumpers, low FG% for low-post player). If Jermaine is going to be on the team, he needs to play next to a great defender, and rebounder, who plays physical on both ends of the court. I admit, it appears Dale may be that guy, but I worry whether he can play this well for very long. And even if he is this guy, he certainly isn't in our long-term plans.

-Foster: He can not be our starter. Again, with Dale playing well as the starter, this point may be lost. But if Foster is our starting center heading into the playoffs any year, we are in trouble.

-Harrison, Pollard, both Jones, and Jackson - I have no problem with any of these guys, they will fill their roles when called upon. Except Harrison, his role is to better as a player right now, I have no problem giving him a few years to work at this. And Pollard, his back is a worry, but I see Pollard as a luxury, we do not necessarily need him, but he is nice to have.

-Dale: I want to see how he performs the rest of this season, and if he re-signs, before counting on him for next year. I admit, however, that his stellar play, if kept up, really eliminates a lot of my gripes for a few years.

-Croshere: Simply put, a bad fit for this team. Love the guy, but he needs somewhere else to play.

-Bender: A bust, I don't really consider him part of the team now, or in the future.

-Johnson: If we had a rock-solid PG, I'd be okay with him, I think. I don't particularly care for his game, but he is consistent, and not likely to turn the ball over. Our starting PG is the problem right now, IMO. There are more pressing needs than improving this position, and come playoff-time, Fred could always play here a bit.

So, if Artest were to suddenly become dependable, Tinsley stay consistently healthy, Dale play this well for a year or two, and Harrison emerge as the next Dale, and our back-up PG position improved, I suppose I would be okay with this team long-term.

I can buy Dale playing well, Harrison turning into a nice player, and addressing back-up PG in the off-season. They aren't all that likely, but I believe they are possible.

I just don't see Ron ever becomind mentally reliable, or Tinsley physically reliable.

I think we need to move Ron and Jamaal. Get back a decent PG with speed, who plays good to great defense, and a player in the Josh Howard mold, and we can still be very good. I realize trading these two for veteran players of this caliber is harder than snorting a brick through your nose, draft picks may be our best bet here. (And I know Tinsley's contract status, don't come at me with that, I realize he is about untradable)

I would like it if we moved Croshere, Johnson, and Bender, but that is by no means a pressing matter.

If Dale can't hold up for a few years, or Harrison flops, we have much bigger problems, however.


I must be feeling nice, or forgetful, I feel as if I am in the sunshine brigade after that post. What happened to all the other problems, either Dale solves that many of them, or they simply aren't occuring to me right now.

SoupIsGood
03-18-2005, 06:04 PM
So much for "real quick." That got long-winded in a hurry. :blush:

MSA2CF
03-18-2005, 06:19 PM
Why do you discount any chance of championship victory if our starting center isn't the prototypical kind? Jeff gets his rebounds night in and night out and chips in his share of points too. I don't see the problem people have with him. Every single position does not need to be balanced. Every starting position does not need the best player at that one either; what it needs is the most effective at beginning a game or whatever goal the team has in mind. No team will ever have amazing talent or the best quality of players at all five starting positions. I hope I'm getting the point across. What I want to say is that it doesn't matter if Jeff isn't a scoring monster or do-it-all type of player; if he's effective starting, the team will be just fine. I see no reason why Jeff Foster being a starter will prevent this team from winning it all.

MSA2CF
03-18-2005, 06:26 PM
Maybe it's Jamaal's prolonged absence and people are forgetting what he brings to the team, but I cannot see how Jamaal is a detriment to this ballclub. He isn't perfect, but we could be a lot worse off.

Jermaniac
03-18-2005, 06:29 PM
So we should blow up a team that is one step away from the play offs and build it from the ground and wait for another 3 years for them to get back to be as good as we where last year, I think not. Keep this team together they can win it all.

Anthem
03-18-2005, 06:33 PM
Why do you discount any chance of championship victory if our starting center isn't the prototypical kind?

I don't know what a prototypical center is. Last year the championship center was Ben Wallace. Before that I believe it was Rasho Nesterovic. Before that it was Shaq.

Foster's a good player, but I think his ideal position is backing up both power spots. Dale can start at center with Jermaine at PF. Foster can play with either one.

Harrison should get minutes as well, which shouldn't be difficult. There's room for those four guys in the rotation. Scot, Austin, and Bender, though, are out of luck.

Alabama-Redneck
03-18-2005, 06:43 PM
I'll try to sum up why I think we are not a good playoff team, real quick.

-Tinsley: Make whatever excuses you want, but he breaks down late in the year.

-Artest: Pretty well breaks down every year. I do not want to head into the playoffs with this man on the team, after last year's behind-the-scene ruckus, and this year's collapse. He simply isn't reliable, hasn't ever been, and is a detriment to chemistry.

-O'Neal: Don't get me wrong, Jermaine is a very, very good player. I have no problem with his injurys, as he still usually plays most the games. But you cannot deny that Jermaine is a bit soft, on defense, the boards, and his offense (not so much, but he shoots too many fades/jumpers, low FG% for low-post player). If Jermaine is going to be on the team, he needs to play next to a great defender, and rebounder, who plays physical on both ends of the court. I admit, it appears Dale may be that guy, but I worry whether he can play this well for very long. And even if he is this guy, he certainly isn't in our long-term plans.

-Foster: He can not be our starter. Again, with Dale playing well as the starter, this point may be lost. But if Foster is our starting center heading into the playoffs any year, we are in trouble.

-Harrison, Pollard, both Jones, and Jackson - I have no problem with any of these guys, they will fill their roles when called upon. Except Harrison, his role is to better as a player right now, I have no problem giving him a few years to work at this. And Pollard, his back is a worry, but I see Pollard as a luxury, we do not necessarily need him, but he is nice to have.

-Dale: I want to see how he performs the rest of this season, and if he re-signs, before counting on him for next year. I admit, however, that his stellar play, if kept up, really eliminates a lot of my gripes for a few years.

-Croshere: Simply put, a bad fit for this team. Love the guy, but he needs somewhere else to play.

-Bender: A bust, I don't really consider him part of the team now, or in the future.

-Johnson: If we had a rock-solid PG, I'd be okay with him, I think. I don't particularly care for his game, but he is consistent, and not likely to turn the ball over. Our starting PG is the problem right now, IMO. There are more pressing needs than improving this position, and come playoff-time, Fred could always play here a bit.

So, if Artest were to suddenly become dependable, Tinsley stay consistently healthy, Dale play this well for a year or two, and Harrison emerge as the next Dale, and our back-up PG position improved, I suppose I would be okay with this team long-term.

I can buy Dale playing well, Harrison turning into a nice player, and addressing back-up PG in the off-season. They aren't all that likely, but I believe they are possible.

I just don't see Ron ever becomind mentally reliable, or Tinsley physically reliable.

I think we need to move Ron and Jamaal. Get back a decent PG with speed, who plays good to great defense, and a player in the Josh Howard mold, and we can still be very good. I realize trading these two for veteran players of this caliber is harder than snorting a brick through your nose, draft picks may be our best bet here. (And I know Tinsley's contract status, don't come at me with that, I realize he is about untradable)

I would like it if we moved Croshere, Johnson, and Bender, but that is by no means a pressing matter.

If Dale can't hold up for a few years, or Harrison flops, we have much bigger problems, however.


I must be feeling nice, or forgetful, I feel as if I am in the sunshine brigade after that post. What happened to all the other problems, either Dale solves that many of them, or they simply aren't occuring to me right now.


I hope you are good at whatever you do for a living, because as a GM for a Pro basketball team, your career would be very short-lived. :o

:cool:

sixthman
03-18-2005, 06:44 PM
How are you going to make this team better Jay? Obviously you want to trade Artest and Tinsley. Maybe O'Neal. So tell us how you are going to "blow up" this team and make it better. I want to hear these trades. Maybe we should pass them along to fans of the teams we are trading with to get their reaction. Jamaal Tinsley and Scot Pollard for Steve Nash is not going to fly, Jay.

If it hasn't occurred to you, this team you have given up on was very young last year and tasting playoff success for the first time. It also had very average guard play, especially defensively. And it was injured. But mostly it was very young and inexperienced in dealing with playoff pressure. The Pistons were largely a veteran team, as were the Lakers, San Antonio, and Sacramento. I think the miracle might have been that they did as well as they did. Rather than blowing this team up, I think I'd prefer to keep the core together and continue to tweak the team. I think that is obviouslyour best chance to reach for the brass ring. We'll need some luck. Sure. But there has never been a team win an NBA championship who didn't enjoy some good fortune along the way.

Anthem
03-18-2005, 06:51 PM
Rather than blowing this team up, I think I'd prefer to keep the core together and continue to tweak the team.

I will say that this team needs quite a few tweaks. That's high on my list.

But I won't bring out my list until we get a solid win streak, just because I hate piling on.

EDIT: And re Tinsley, I love how suddenly he's our only advantage against the Spurs. Historically, he's been looked at (on this forum and elsewhere) as having no chance to attain the god-like status of Tony Parker.

Los Angeles
03-18-2005, 07:14 PM
OK - so there's a new bash on indystar that calls Jay, among other things, a Kravitz fan, unintelligent, and - this one's my favorite - a racist "deep down inside." It's obvious Sassan is the writer.

I have to come out and support Jay - not necessarily for what he's said - but more for the fact that he said it. It took guts and confidence to come out and post something he knew would not necessarily be received well. Very big of him.

I also think it's a credit to the rest of the forum that many have taken a step-by-step approach and have addressed his post with respect and intelligence.

This has been the best read in a quite a while.

Anthem
03-18-2005, 08:37 PM
Oh, for all that I disagree with almost everything he writes, Jay's one of my favorite guys on the forum. Sassan's a child.

That's all I'll say about the Indystar, though.

SoupIsGood
03-18-2005, 09:18 PM
I hope you are good at whatever you do for a living, because as a GM for a Pro basketball team, your career would be very short-lived. :o

:cool:

Yes, let's keep hanging on to two players who fail us every year. :unimpress

SoupIsGood
03-18-2005, 09:22 PM
Why do you discount any chance of championship victory if our starting center isn't the prototypical kind? Jeff gets his rebounds night in and night out and chips in his share of points too. I don't see the problem people have with him. Every single position does not need to be balanced. Every starting position does not need the best player at that one either; what it needs is the most effective at beginning a game or whatever goal the team has in mind. No team will ever have amazing talent or the best quality of players at all five starting positions. I hope I'm getting the point across. What I want to say is that it doesn't matter if Jeff isn't a scoring monster or do-it-all type of player; if he's effective starting, the team will be just fine. I see no reason why Jeff Foster being a starter will prevent this team from winning it all.

When did I ask for a scoring monster? I basically said a Dale-type player will do fine...


The thing is, Jeff isn't effective starting. Look at last year's ECF, for example. He isn't a factor against more physical centers.

MSA2CF
03-18-2005, 10:50 PM
I didn't say that you wanted a scoring monster.

Jeff isn't effective starting? Why are we looking back to last year's playoffs? This is 2005; last year is over. NO MORE!

Hicks
03-18-2005, 10:55 PM
Jeff isn't effective starting? Why are we looking back to last year's playoffs? This is 2005; last year is over. NO MORE!

Looking to LAST YEAR's playoffs to predict his effectiveness in this year's is crazy talk to you? :hmm:

skyfire
03-18-2005, 11:01 PM
Anthem your first reply was exactly my sentiments on the whole situation. Your eloquence saved me having to type it out.

I think Tins and Parker are players whose careers are intertwined as a thread (http://www.pacersdigest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2589) from ages ago suggested. A finals matchup with the spurs would be epic. I also believe that with Tins' injury worries an insurance policy in the form of a upgraded 3rd string PG is a smart move. I'm tipping that LB goes for a european player here. I hope that Tins can continue the improvements he has shown over the last few years though.

Once Ron returns, everyone seems to assume it will be make or break for his career, any future crap could carry a life long ban. I believe that Ron can make the growth in maturity to help the Pacers succeed on and off the court. You guys are entitled to your opinion that he will fail.

MSA2CF
03-18-2005, 11:09 PM
Looking to LAST YEAR's playoffs to predict his effectiveness in this year's is crazy talk to you? :hmm:

Yes.

Hicks
03-18-2005, 11:09 PM
Wow.

MSA2CF
03-18-2005, 11:14 PM
So much has changed from last year's playoffs; it's really hard to compare much. This team is very unique. I don't believe there's a whole lot to be said about effectiveness last year versus this. That's just the way I'm thinking.

Anthem
03-19-2005, 12:24 AM
Anthem your first reply was exactly my sentiments on the whole situation. Your eloquence saved me having to type it out.

I think Tins and Parker are players whose careers are intertwined as a thread (http://www.pacersdigest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2589) from ages ago suggested.

First of all, thank you. And second, thanks even more for remembering that thread, which I thought was one of my better ones.

sixthman
03-19-2005, 02:01 PM
Looking to LAST YEAR's playoffs to predict his effectiveness in this year's is crazy talk to you? :hmm:

I'd ask the same question. Seems "crazy talk" is inferring last year's playoff performance is the best these guys will ever do in the playoffs. ;)

Last year these were inexperienced playoff players. Anyone who claims Jamaal Tinsley, Ron Artest, Freddie Jones and Jermaine O'Neal peaked last year and played their best ball will be proven wrong.

Hicks
03-19-2005, 02:11 PM
I'd ask the same question. Seems "crazy talk" is inferring last year's playoff performance is the best these guys will ever do in the playoffs. ;)

Last year these were inexperienced playoff players. Anyone who claims Jamaal Tinsley, Ron Artest, Freddie Jones and Jermaine O'Neal peaked last year and played their best ball will be proven wrong.

I was focusing on Jeff, whom you don't even mention......

I agree those 4 will do better.

sixthman
03-19-2005, 02:21 PM
I was focusing on Jeff, whom you don't even mention......

I agree those 4 will do better.

Yes, and how much better would we have been last year, if we had Stephen Jackson to chase RIP. I always assumed one reason Jackson was added is because he matches up well with Hamilton.

Hicks
03-19-2005, 02:56 PM
Yes, and how much better would we have been last year, if we had Stephen Jackson to chase RIP. I always assumed one reason Jackson was added is because he matches up well with Hamilton.

Have I missed something? I have no idea why you're asking me this.

But since it's been brought up, I love the Al for Jack trade. I think it was the missing piece that would give us a great shot at defeating Detroit. Signing Dale is the 2nd time I've felt that way (we badly needed someone as tough as him in the paint). I'm one of the ones who thinks if we return next year with basically the same roster minus Reggie, we have a terrific shot at a title.

I think the big risks are 1) Ron doing something else to **** the team. 2) Injury Bug: Year 2

Barring those, I'm very happy with what we have.

sig
03-19-2005, 03:10 PM
I don't think there is any problem with JO' Neal. I know Artest is a very talented player and popular on this forum but I'd just have to jump at a chance to trade him. Just wouldn't want to trust the guy as one of my main guys on a championship caliber team. I think I'd try to package him off to a Western conference team like Seattle for Ray Allen in a sign and trade this summer. Seattle may a team in flux with all their FA's (Radman, Allen, James Daniels). I wouldn't mind the Pacers getting Antonio Daniels also. I'd trade all of Jackson, Artest, Anthony Johnson and Bender for those 2 if it would work capwise and if Seattle would do it. Then go find another SF in FA. Will the Pacers have a mid level exception to use.

Anthem
03-19-2005, 03:55 PM
Why would Seattle take Bender when they have Lewis?

Shoot, why would they take Bender period? He's the least tradeable guy on the team (way below Artest).

able
03-19-2005, 04:12 PM
I thank Anthem for writing what he did, since I agree with a lot, it shortened my posting for a change to less then 5 pages :D

This team is build to win it all, no matter how you look upon it, let's use some stats:

2003-2004 reg season stats for our starters;

player ppg apg rbpg bpg stpg min/pg
Tinsley 8.3 5.8 2.6 .33 1.62 26.5
Miller 10.0 3.1 3.4 .14 .81 28.2
Artest 18.3 3.7 5.3 .68 2.08 37.2
O'Neal 20.1 2.1 10.0 2.55 .76 35.7
Foster 6.1 0.8 7.4 .33 .87 23.9

Playoff:

player ppg apg rbpg bpg stpg min/pg
Tinsley 8.4 5.0 2.9 .19 1.75 26.4
Miller 10.1 2.8 2.3 .19 1.13 28.4
Artest 18.4 3.2 6.5 1.07 1.40 38.9
O'Neal 19.2 1.2 9.1 2.25 .50 37.8
Foster 3.6 0.8 6.6 .31 .81 19.2


2004 - 2005

player ppg apg rbpg bpg stpg min/pg games played
Tinsley 15.4 6.4 4.0 .30 2.03 32.5 40
Miller 13.7 2.1 2.3 .06 0.85 32.1 48
Artest 24.6 3.1 6.4 86 1.71 41.6 7
O'Neal 24.8 2.0 9.0 2.10 .59 35.3 41
Foster 8.4 0.8 9.9 .23 .88 27.9 43
Jackson 18.0 2.3 5.0 .33 1.36 35.2 33

What does this show us?
That while JO and Tins (and Fred Jones) were injured in the playoffs there is no noticable drop in their season stats, which can only mean that they must have improved remarkably in the playoffs to remain close to that standard.
Dissapointment on the RM stats, but we went over that last year, and Reggie even stated that he had left the team in the cold.

Now this year:

Artest 7 games, if he had kept those stats up, nobody on this board would have wanted to trade him even for Michael Jordan, not with what he adds on defense.

Jax 33 games, still less then anyone else, yes due to suspension.
The oldest member of the team has the most games, even though he started the season with an injury (that is only for "starters" Fred Jones (62) and James Jones (27) have actually the most games played).


Now I don't hear anyone complaining about the shot selection of Jax, which is my main worry if he is to be a starter next year, but for odd reasons I do not see him starting next year, no matter what, we will see.

The improvement by most players on this team is terrific, most of them including the bench are playing their career best, considering their age we have no reason whatsoever (and Jay has not given one reason for that either) to believe that this is their peak, but even if it is they are expected to play at least at that level for another 5 - 8 years.

Mel's injuries in his second year were due to a laps in conditioning due to his mother's passing away and his involvement with her and traveling between games to be at her side.
Last year, a freak accident, nothing to do with conditioning, players get hurt every day, if anything he's proven that he's willing to die for this team, which in my opinion counts for a lot.
If anything his off-season work this year was even better, and he is/was in the best condition of his career, the minutes he played this year are proof of that beyond a doubt, the fact he has a foot injury which was likely mis-diagnoised does not make him a liability.

JO's injury last year, after being undercut by our alltime favorite opponent BW had certainly nothing to do with being injury prone, the fact he played with it shows his heart, but every time you land like that on your leg, you will be walking on crutches for a while, so yes, he has more then proven to be the warrior he is.

Reggie doing what he does at the moment (silently proving some people wrong that stated that he simply didn't have it anymore or couldn't bring it consistently) is amazing, and if it proves anything then it is that the "gameplan" we have used over the past year might not have been that good, a little more concentration and plays for Reggie might have altered some outcomes, though I have a feeling he was not 100% in it last year.

Jeff is Jeff, despite being a starter, he is not. The return of DD has given hope in that department and David Harrison is definitely not anything Jay makes him to be (truly Jay, sometimes I get the feeling you listen to much to Chi-radio and yes they would suggest this kind of stuff, as would all teams that passed up on him, let's face it, he has a very bright future in the NBA)

Ron, well as Jay says "my position is well known" or is it? Until now I have only spoken about the legal things, the "soap" that the radio and television are and the huge amount of misinformation that is being fed as "truth".
Let me state it to make it very clear; Ron was wrong, he should not have gone into the stands, however he's a Pacers, he's extremely talented, he's a very good kid and he's proven he's human, what's so bad about that?
The fight with JO you gonna say? the missed flights, the migraine-gate etc?
Of course there is/was stuff happening in the background, after all this is a sport where the "biggest d1ck syndrome" is ruling almost as much as in football. Let's face it, dunking "on" someone proves you're "the man" the press writes about "Wade giving Garnett a facial" (humorous assocation I made before reading on/seeing it .... let's not go there :D) "It's JO's team" and so on make that clear, name me one self-respecting player with a lot of talent that will not fight for status in this league and I will show you a perennial loser.

Do you really think that in all locker-rooms in the league it is party after the game? Do you really think all those players who are thrust together for the sake of the game and the owner/fans like each other so much that there is no friction? Sorry to dissapoint you but this is not your Thursday night veteran player league where the "fun" is more important then the game, this is a league where players make millions of dollars per year based upon "status" in a team.
The two biggest d1cks on the team are bound to have scuffles, in nature the lion fights the young'uns every year till he gets beaten and goes of to die alone.

WHY is this team a championship team in my opinion?

For starters, look at the first 6:(next season)

Jermain O'Neal
Ron Artest
Jamaal Tinsley
Dale Davis
Stephen Jackson
Fred Jones

Stampeding on the bench:

David Harrison
Anthony Johnson
James Jones
Austin Croshere
Jeff Foster
Scott Pollard

on the IRL:
Jonathan Bender
John Edwards (D)
Eddie Gill

Now if you want to make that lot better then the only place you can really look at is either the far end of the bench or the IRL adn you really have to ask yourself if there is that much dire need to improve those.

Will DD re-sign? (I surely do not hope he will resign)
Most likely, it is his wish, it is most likely the team's wish and therefore it is bound to happen.

I do think that for balance reasons (if no changes are made to that position in the off-season) Fred should start over Jax.

I foresee problems with Jax this coming sesason though not as big, but he will be benched several times for his shot selection, there's no way RC will be as lenient as he is now forced to be due to circumstances, it is something Jax is known for and he better work at it at a rate that is higher then his temper or he will be riding more pine then he likes.

Ron ? he'll be on his best behaviour, something might happen in the locker room, as it will again and again with other players, where we learn nothing from, as we shouldn't, we should be worried about the final product, a championship that this team can bring us.

Other teams are improving because they have to, they were lightyears behind, this team is still way ahead and the amount of depth and talent makes them still front-runners for next year.

sixthman
03-20-2005, 02:58 AM
Have I missed something? I have no idea why you're asking me this.

But since it's been brought up, I love the Al for Jack trade. I think it was the missing piece that would give us a great shot at defeating Detroit. Signing Dale is the 2nd time I've felt that way (we badly needed someone as tough as him in the paint). I'm one of the ones who thinks if we return next year with basically the same roster minus Reggie, we have a terrific shot at a title.

I think the big risks are 1) Ron doing something else to **** the team. 2) Injury Bug: Year 2

Barring those, I'm very happy with what we have.

I brought it up because I think Jackson's acquistion directly addresses Jay's concern that this team is not build for the playoffs.

Every team, of course, has to worry about injuries and has injuries, so we're on a par with everyone else there.

Regarding Artest your concern is well taken. We will just have to wait and see because he probably can't be traded for someone who will solve our small forward problems and the P's will rightly roll the dice with him.

ChicagoJ
03-21-2005, 10:30 AM
I just got back online.

Since my original post was so damn long, it will take me a little while to work through Anthem's rebuttal, but I'm looking forward to it.

Maybe he can give me some reasons to find the :sunshine:. :D

Meanwhile, I guess I shouldn't check out that other forum? :rolleyes:

ChicagoJ
03-21-2005, 11:13 AM
Jay, maybe I missed it, but what is your criteria for a team being good in the playoffs. are you expecting the Suns or Sonics to be good in the playoffs. I don't mean to lump those two teams together because there are significant differences between the two teams.

I would be shocked if any team other than Spurs, Heat or Pistons won the championship this season.

But what does it take to be a good playoff team.

First of all, I'd be dumbfounded if anyother other than the Spurs won it all this season (although I haven't seen exactly how bad Duncan hurt his ankle yesterday).

Secondly, if they are challenged by anyone, it would be Miami or Detroit.

I'd love to see the Suns make serious noise in the playoffs - maybe even get to the WCFs. I like thier aggressive style of play and quick pace - although it loses its effectiveness in the playoffs when there are no back-to-backs and overzealous coaches slow the pace to a crawl. I'd like to see a run-and-gun team win soon because I think NBA basketball should be about the greatest athletes in the world demonstrating their skills and athleticism, and grind-it-out styles of play have had the upper-hand for long enough, in my opinion. Ultimately, however, I think the Suns still need to go through some of the "hard knocks" before they learn exactly how tough - mentally - they need to be to win a championship.

But I digress...

A good playoff team has the following (1) mental toughness; (2) the will to overcome adversity; and (3) a talented, well-coached, fundamentally sound group of players that function as a team. Ultimately, I don't believe the team's style ranks higher than about fourth on the list. It just so happens that the teams that have ranked the best at (1), (2) and (3) over the past fifteen-plus years have all been excellent defensive teams but not necessarily excellent offensive teams. There's a correlation there - teams with the will to overcome adversity have the desire to do the dirty stuff, but we've also seen some great, great defensive teams that don't have the requisite mental toughness or the will to overcome adversity.

Ultimately, that's the $64,000 question that I'm asking...

Do these Pacers have, as Rudy T. used to say, "the heart of a champion?"

That's where my concern comes from... I don't believe they do. Although, the skeptic in me is just probably not going to believe it from this team until a banner is hanging from the CFH rafters. At one point in time last season, I might have been a believer, but I'm not anymore. Not with the way each of the last two seasons has unraveled.

However, this is "my" team and although I don't really let this side of my persona out on the internet, I'll go to my grave hoping these guys prove my skepticism wrong. Its not like I didn't start out in the :sunshine: and its not like I don't want to go back there.

Unclebuck
03-21-2005, 11:50 AM
Well I guess I don't know if this team has the heart of a champion or not either. But they do have very competitive players. And best of all their best players are the most competetive. Artest, J.O, Steve, Jamaal. Freddie I think is very cool under presure, Jeff plays the ame all the time.

I like the competiveness of this group. And I think that is a good sign when determining whether they have the heart of a champ.

ChicagoJ
03-21-2005, 11:58 AM
Alright,

I don't agree with the criticisms that this post is "unbalanced". It wasn't intended to be balanced. Its an attempt at a "persuasive essay" to drive home my point. It is assumed that you all have read my first 4,500 posts on here -- which aren't all 'negative', by the way -- and that you remember that I really am, first-and-foremost, a huge Pacers fan ... one who just drove down from Chicago to watch one last brilliant, heroic performance from Reggie.

But if this will appease some of you so you'll actually look at the point I'm trying to make, then here goes...

Why I love Jermaine O'Neal:

Dominant post presence, at both ends of the court
One of the NBA's best clutch performers
Skilled with either hand, on either block
Seems genuinely committed to pursuing the team's goals
Humbly yet openly appreciates Reggie's contributions to the franchise and also his own personal devlopment
JO is a legit MVP-candidate.

Although I've stated several negatives above, I believe JO, if surrounded by the right mix of veterans, could lead the Pacers to championship within 3-5 years from now.

Why I (should) love Ron Artest:

Nobody plays harder at either end of the court
Unique ability to penetrate and finish effectively around the basket
Relishes his role as a defensive stopper
Ron is clearly, and deservedly, one of the top players in the league. However, his inability to control his emotions, conform to his team, handle pressure, etc. are major negatives that outweigh those positives. But in the spirit of balance, I'll remind you all again that I do consider just much talent he wastes every time I complain about him. If he had the game of Carlos Rogers, we just wouldn't wast any time talking about him, either...

Why I love Jamaal Tinsley:

Even though I'm a big JO fan, let's make it clear...

As a retired PG who's always had a soft spot for NYC PGs, when Jamaal is healthy I think he's "the bomb."

I love pass-first PGs that can control the pace of the game, pressure the ball defensively, penetrate and deliver the ball on the pick-and-roll, make an excellent entry-pass, and hit jump shots when the ball rotates back to the PG.

Jamaal is all of those things. I've thought - and argued - that' he's been a top-five PG in the league since he was a rookie. Even during his 'down' periods - I've believed in his ability to grow into a better and more complete PG. He's the type of PG that really makes his team click, and unfortunately, when he's unable to play is when non-PGs begin to truly appreciate just how much he brings to the team.

Now if he could just play more than 30-mpg for more than 50-60 games per season...

Why I love Rick Carlisle:

I love Rick's demeanor, although frankly I also enjoyed it when Slick would just plain go bezerk when defending his players. Rick's even-keep approach is very important when helping a team get through the adversity of a battling a worthy opponent in a long playoff series.
I love Rick's balance. This was a guy that we all assumed was just going to be an 'offensive'-minded HC based on his role under Larry Bird. He's proven to be an even better defensive coach.
Usually, Rick's guys know their roles, know what's expected, etc. This season isn't fair to criticize the coach for role-management. Some decisions (rushing certain starters back into the lineup; but not rushing Michael Curry off to a beach somewhere) were less than ideal. I don't think I've criticized Rick for that, although I've criticized him for other perceived blunders.
I love the staff Rick has assembled, although I'd rather have Rothstein back in Indiana and I'd love to see Dick Harter return...
My biggest criticism of Carlisle is that he isn't committed to developing young players. Maybe I've been too subtle in this, I think the Pacers should trade most of thier youth, and that damn "P-word", for some solid, reliable veterans.
David Harrison

I think I posted much of what I said about David before we knew he hurt his knee back in February and just how much that was hampering his game.

I still think he's got the potential to turn into a very good NBA center, but I don't know how soon he can get there.

My point is:

Keep JO, keep Tinsley, keep David, keep Rick.

Everyone else is replace-able if the right veterans are available.

Laugh all you want, I'd love to see an eight-man rotation similar to this one:

G: Tinsley, V. Leonard (since I know Manu is just a pipe-dream), Brent Barry
F: JO, Matt Harpering, Donyell Marshall
C: Dale Davis, David Harrison

I'm not a RealGM guru and proposing trades is not my strongpoint. I'm just saying that re-working this team so that JO and Jamaal are surrounded by veterans, instead of being the veterans, would be prudent IMO.

ChicagoJ
03-21-2005, 12:06 PM
Did you expect that last post to impact the effect of how much your thoughts are affecting others?

I wonder how you would react if I made a similar post about the Steelers, no matter how well I backed it up...... :devil:

But really, this has been a good read. You're all much smarter than I, so I've stayed out of it.

Hey, I've got to have a little :sunshine: in my life. :blush: :D

NotLosingButWinning
03-21-2005, 12:15 PM
A good playoff team has the following (1) mental toughness; (2) the will to overcome adversity; and (3) a talented, well-coached, fundamentally sound group of players that function as a team. Ultimately, I don't believe the team's style ranks higher than about fourth on the list. It just so happens that the teams that have ranked the best at (1), (2) and (3) over the past fifteen-plus years have all been excellent defensive teams but not necessarily excellent offensive teams. There's a correlation there - teams with the will to overcome adversity have the desire to do the dirty stuff, but we've also seen some great, great defensive teams that don't have the requisite mental toughness or the will to overcome adversity.

Do these Pacers have, as Rudy T. used to say, "the heart of a champion?"


the fact that the pacers are even in the playoff race proves that they have mental toughness, the will to over come adversity, and are well coached. are they a good playoff team, no. but realistically they shouldn't even be a playoff team. by seasons end 3/5 of the starting lineup will have missed half the season or close to it.

SoupIsGood
03-21-2005, 12:22 PM
the fact that the pacers are even in the playoff race proves that they have mental toughness, the will to over come adversity, and are well coached. are they a good playoff team, no. but realistically they shouldn't even be a playoff team. by seasons end 3/5 of the starting lineup will have missed half the season or close to it.


That's great to know our bench has mental toughness, how about the guys that will actually be playing in the playoffs?

ChicagoJ
03-21-2005, 12:29 PM
the fact that the pacers are even in the playoff race proves that they have mental toughness, the will to over come adversity, and are well coached. are they a good playoff team, no. but realistically they shouldn't even be a playoff team. by seasons end 3/5 of the starting lineup will have missed half the season or close to it.
Interesting viewpoint.

The team's so-called leaders are out. The remaining guys have done an unbelievable job buckling-down and holding onto a playoff spot.

This speaks to the mental toughness of our second unit or second-tier starters.

Not sure that exactly answers my question (rephrased as necessary) - do our percieved leaders: JO, Tinsley, or even Ron have the requisite mental toughness?

Yes, I've been proud of the effort these guys have put forth this season. I said, when the suspensions were announeced, that a lineup of Tinsley, Reggie, JJ, Croshere and Foster should be good enough to make the playoffs in the East, where without the Pacers there are only two teams with a legit championship chance, a couple more good teams, and a bunch of young teams that have potential but are still trying to figure it all out (Washington, Chicago, Orlando, Cleveland).

The East is still only six-seven teams deep and there's no reason the rag-tag Pacers team can't *at least* make the playoffs. Yes, the injury bug has been worse than we all hoped for, and our back-ups deserve credit for keeping the ship above water.

My rant has little or nothing to do with how our second-tier players have responded this season...


EDIT - nice to see SiG said all that in one sentence. :blush:

NotLosingButWinning
03-21-2005, 12:29 PM
That's great to know our bench has mental toughness, how about the guys that will actually be playing in the playoffs?

tinsley: showed heart and mental toughness up until he got injured, w/o him the pacers would have struggled to win any games after the brawl. has shown that he is willing to play injured and can take over a game.

j.o.: has show heart and mental toughness numerous times this season and last. yes he has setbacks when he argues with the refs but he stepped up his game big time when he came back. he has willed this team to victory many times. most recently being the win over miami, when he took over in ot. i think he misses artest's presence more than anyone thinks.

artest: no comment.

the rest of the team: see previous post.

Los Angeles
03-21-2005, 12:29 PM
That's great to know our bench has mental toughness, how about the guys that will actually be playing in the playoffs?
This year, they are one and the same.

NotLosingButWinning
03-21-2005, 12:36 PM
The East is still only six-seven teams deep and there's no reason the rag-tag Pacers team can't *at least* make the playoffs. Yes, the injury bug has been worse than we all hoped for, and our back-ups deserve credit for keeping the ship above water.



i disagree somewhat....expecting this team, as it is, to at least make the playoffs is somewhat unrealistic, IMO. mainly because we're asking guys to step up that have never been counted on before this season. whereas other teams like philly, orlando, and new jersey have all-stars on their team who have been there before. i would be surprised if we finish with a better record than all 3 of these teams.

ChicagoJ
03-21-2005, 12:38 PM
Holy crap.

I was going to print this entire thread so I could give a detailed re-read of Beast's, sixthman's, Anthem's and Able's posts. Make some notes in the margins, etc...

Its 54-freaking pages long to print this.

:jawdrop:

ChicagoJ
03-21-2005, 12:43 PM
i disagree somewhat....expecting this team, as it is, to at least make the playoffs is somewhat unrealistic, IMO. mainly because we're asking guys to step up that have never been counted on before this season. whereas other teams like philly, orlando, and new jersey have all-stars on their team who have been there before. i would be surprised if we finish with a better record than all 3 of these teams.

Agreed.

But I wouldn't be completely surprised if some combination of Chicago, Cleveland, Orlando, and/or Washington fall out of the playoff picture, too.

With our injury bug, we could finish anywhere from fifth to tenth. But if I've got a team that should finish anywhere from #5 to #10, and only the top-eight get in the playoffs, I *expect* them to get into the top-eight.

Especially since our 'decimated' roster actually has guys with more experience (AJ, Croshere, Pollard) being asked to step up, and the younger guys are generally more like like Fred Jones, who seem unfazed by any challenge thrown at him...

SoupIsGood
03-21-2005, 12:46 PM
This year, they are one and the same.

Except this year there won't be any playoffs, for us. :devil:

able
03-21-2005, 12:57 PM
Holy crap.

I was going to print this entire thread so I could give a detailed re-read of Beast's, sixthman's, Anthem's and Able's posts. Make some notes in the margins, etc...

Its 54-freaking pages long to print this.

:jawdrop:

Click on the post number, a new screen opens with just the one post.

easier to print :)

beast23
03-21-2005, 03:59 PM
Holy crap.

I was going to print this entire thread so I could give a detailed re-read of Beast's, sixthman's, Anthem's and Able's posts. Make some notes in the margins, etc...

Its 54-freaking pages long to print this.

:jawdrop:
Well, what do you expect? You spawned a monster... :)

It's been a good thread, with a lot of disagreement, and Bender's name has barely been mentioned.

That's quite an accomplishment.

Bball
03-21-2005, 04:10 PM
I think I'll go for a walk outside now,
The summer sun's calling my name, I hear it now.
I just can't stay inside all day,
I've got to get out, gimme some of those rays.

Everybody's smiling (sunshine day),
Everybody's laughing (sunshine day),
Everybody seems so happy today in the sunshine day.

Oooh. Can't you dig the sunshine?
Feel the sun and the rays.
Can't you hear it calling your name?

Repeat first verse.

:D

-Bball

Bball
03-21-2005, 04:13 PM
Did you expect that last post to impact the effect of how much your thoughts are affecting others?

I wonder how you would react if I made a similar post about the Steelers, no matter how well I backed it up...... :devil:



But really, this has been a good read. You're all much smarter than I, so I've stayed out of it.

I just want you to know I caught your little inside humor even if no one else did.
I'm surprised there was no impact on more readers who should've been affected by it... but I guess the effect was lost on them.

-Bball
:D

Suaveness
03-21-2005, 04:19 PM
I think the Pacers SUCK. How is that for some controversy? :devil:

SoupIsGood
03-21-2005, 04:24 PM
I just want you to know I caught your little inside humor even if no one else did.
I'm surprised there was no impact on more readers who should've been affected by it... but I guess the effect was lost on them.

-Bball
:D

I guess I missed where 'impact' became an inside joke. Whats this all about?

MagicRat
03-21-2005, 04:25 PM
I guess I missed where 'impact' became an inside joke. Whats this all about?

Apparently you're not on the inside.........:sorry2: :loser: ;)

Los Angeles
03-21-2005, 04:26 PM
This Thread is Built for the Regular Season, AND the Playoffs.







And maybe all of next year, too.

ChicagoJ
03-21-2005, 04:36 PM
I guess I missed where 'impact' became an inside joke. Whats this all about?

Well, it was an innocuous little thread...

http://www.pacersdigest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8677

ChicagoJ
03-22-2005, 12:44 PM
Its taking me a while to work through all of these excellent posts...


Last season, most of us complained about two things. We needed one additional banger in the paint, and we needed more scoring from the perimeter, notably from our shooting guard.

We said that those additions would put us over the hurdles and gain a championship.


I agree. Those were the two biggest issues as we went into the trade deadline. One more issue returned during the playoffs - Ron's inability to handle pressure. And one last issue came to its predicted fruition after the season when Al asked to be traded.

Since IMO, there were four issues, I was in a decided minority last summer, but I thought we needed to make two or three trades at that time. I thought then that Al, Jon and Ron should all have been shipped out. Drafting Harrison took some of that pressure off, because as you'll recall, I was really pining for Dampier.


The playoffs came, and we suffered injuries to JO and Tinsley. Despite that, we gave Detroit everything that they could handle. The Pistons players even stated that the Pacers were the best team they had played in the post-season.

Peck states that the Pacers excellent regular season record was partially gained through a steady diet of EC patsies. I'm sorry, Peck, but I think that is horse*****. That statement conveniently disregards the fact that the Pacers had a better record against WC teams than any WC team.

I'll repeat that for clarity. We had a better winning percentage against the Western Conference teams than did any team from the Western Conference itself. Remarkably, we had a better winning percentage against any other Conference, Division or league, no matter how you would choose to slice up your statistics.

That is NOT the sign of a fluke season....

As has been discussed, I didn't say "fluke". Somebody else did. I said it was an abberation. The high-water mark. But IMO, that was "as good as it gets" for this version of the Pacers. I think, long-term, we're going to look back at last season and feel like those guys teased us with thier potential, but something always :censored:ed it up, be it injuries, off-court distractions, whatever.


...No how, no way. Blowing this team up would be totally assinine.

Probably over 90% of us would agree that defense wins in the playoffs. And what we were missing most last season defensively was a better defensive presence and defensive depth around the glass. Even without that presence, we had a very strong defensive team coming out of last season.

The offensive was a decent complement to the defense, and the Pacers had one of the higher point margins in the league.

We acquired Jackson to shore up both the perimeter scoring and perimeter defense, sacrificing Al to make it happen. That took care of one weakness from last season, but in losing Al it also made the acquisition of an interior banger even more important than last season. Recently acquiring Dale filled that need.

My point is that we didn't need to blow up the team last year. And we don't need to blow up the team this year. The former bench players, especially Freddie and Croshere, were utilized more this season. And we had two rookies, Harrison and JJ, who both evolved to the point that, even though rookies, they can be favorably utilized. This season has enabled us to gain much more experience for our bench players than would be realized in a "normal" season.

I would normally agree with you. But I predict the stigma of everything this team has gone through this season will linger for a long time. Its partially the humpty-dumpty comment and partially that I fear these guys feel "snakebit."

Do all the problems disappear just because the team goes through an off-season and starts over again in training camp? I'd love to say yes, but I doubt it.


I realize that given a couple more years Harrison and JJ will become even better players. But I would say that if Reggie were willing to stay and come off the bench, with the likely summer signing of Dale, that next season this team will be just about as good from 1-12 as it can be expected to become. It would be an absolutely great defensive team, and with further maturation of Freddie and JJ, along with SJax, Artest, Tinsley and Croshere, they would also have very respectable perimeter shooting, as well as slashing and post-up abilities.

I don't believe we should do more than minor tinkering with the roster. Now that Dale is here, let this team stay together for next season. Then consider what we need. I don't believe we will require any more than minor tinkering at that point, either. I also believe that we will be right back in the hunt for a title next season.

One need we might have for next season might be another big bench player capable of scoring a few points in the paint. And from where I sit, Harrison could easily fill that need. Apart from that, I could see us acquiring yet another backup PG, possibly involving AJ in a trade. That would give us Tinsley, Freddie and the acquired player manning PG duties, with Jackson or Artest usable in a pinch.

I don't believe Reggie is coming back. I got a good chance to watch Dale in person Friday night. I thought he looked great. But I also thought he looked winded. He took more "breaks" when the ball was in play. I'm not convinced he's got as much left in the tank as some of you guys believe.

As you've probably seen in my subsequent posts, my idea is to surround a couple of the keystone players with veterans, instead of youth. Although I didn't say "Dinosaurs". :-p

Clearly, where you and I differ, I think, is with my concern that this team won't be able to just "snap back" into contender form next season. I think this team is going to need a healthy injection of fresh blood - guys who didn't have to endure this disasterous season.

Up next... Anthem, Part I.

beast23
03-22-2005, 01:54 PM
Good response. I believe we have one additional difference. Although he will never be "perfect", I have faith that Ron has changed immensely for the better.

If I am right about Ron, and Dale does have enough in the tank for next season the major issues from last season, from my perspective, will have been successfully addressed.

To me, that means that all pieces that are needed to solve the puzzle will be present in the players that we have for next season. I would just give Carlisle next season to see if it is possible to assemble them correctly to bring home a banner.

Good answers, Jay. Although we agree on the majority of things, it is obvious that we have our differences on this issue. I look forward to the summer and the interesting banter it is bound to bring.

ChicagoJ
03-22-2005, 02:48 PM
Let me add one more thing that I've been thinking about since I hit 'submit reply' earlier today:

I do agree with you that this team, on paper, has the look of a legit contender. All the pieces are in place. Its well-balance between offense and defense. Its well balanced between inside and outside games. Its two best players man the two most important positions on the court (JO, the de facto center even with Dale Davis, and Tinsley, the pace-controlling PG who makes the team gel.)

Ah, nevermind, I'm too scatter-brained to add just one thing.

As for Ron, I'm guilty enough of piling on so I'm trying not to spend much time on him in this thread... my position is clear and I've even repeated it a couple of times today - I'm just not going to believe in him until after he proves he can be trusted for a season or two. But if I'm finally wrong about him, and if he "has changed immensely for the better," then look-out world.

I just give that a 0.000% probability. :shrug:

As for Rick, I've been hard on him because I believe that, with the right team, he'll win a championship. But that's a veteran team, where he doesn't have to worry about developing a young player (Prince, Brezec, Harrison) and incorporating that player into the mix during the season.

ChicagoJ
03-22-2005, 04:23 PM
This post makes me tired. It's too long to handle in one go, so I'll take an overview in this post and a point-by-point approach in the next.

Jay, there's not a point here that on some level I don't understand and, on some level, agree with. As always, your writing is excellent and your content is well-thought-out. It's the overall approach that I really can't wrap my head around. Part of it's the Internet... I know you often say more than you really mean just to get the emphasis across, but I don't always know which times those are. Still, I can't imagine approaching anything in life the way you approach the Indiana Pacers. I'm not in the least questioning your fandom. Unlike Sassan, I understand that you can dislike Ron Artest and still be a fan of the Pacers. But I really don't understand the dark side approach. You're antagonistic towards every single member of the front office (Donnie, Larry, Rick) and the top 5 or 6 players on the Pacers (JO, Artest, Jackson, Reggie, Tinsley). Really, man, what is it you're rooting for?

Fair enough, I'm antagonistic about everyone in this thread. But by now you've also seen my "why I love JO, etc." post.

What I'm cheering for is for the Pacers to win a championship. And when I don't beleive in the team's chances, I end up on the dark side. During the lockout season, I told anybody that would listen that the Pacers were going to win it all, and I believed it. After that season, I've decided to keep my enthusiasm to myself. The cynic was already born during Larry Brown's last season, but until these guys get over the top, I'm not sure I'm going to let the :sunshine: out again. All I know is that every Pacers team I've ever cheered for has fallen short of a championship, (I really am too young to remember the ABA teams, I'm bitter and crabby but I'm only two weeks older than Uncle Buck), so I guess I don't really know what a champion looks like and I'm going to keep demanding more until we actually get to experience one.


Now there's no question at all that this season has been a HUGE dissappointment. Moreso for me than you, actually, since I expected a championship and you've been predicting a first-round loss since this summer. Privately, I was as pissed as anyone with Artest. Publicly, I tended to defend him for the same reason I consistently defended I.Thomas: I absolutely hate piling on. And in the spirit of piling on, let's take a look at your post.


My working title, as you know, has been Why This Team is Built for the Regular Season, but I think a better title might be, Why I Wouldn't Mind if this Team Were Blown Up This Summer

The most honest, from-the-heart paragraph in the entire post. Because, Jay, absolutely nothing here is about why the team is built for the regular season. It's all "Why this team isn't built for the regular season OR the postseason. You (and, to a greater extent, Bball) consistently trot out this "built for the regular season" meme, and I think it's crap. The moves Donnie makes aren't consistent with someone whose only goal is to put together a team to win in the regular season. I know you despise his implementation, and I'll admit he has some faults, but I can't see how anyone could look at Donnie and think he's in it to win the regular season and not the playoffs.

Hold on. I've got a lot of respect for DW. I don't agree with everything he does, of course. But if I've been giving the impression elsewhere that I don't respect/ appreciate the job DW has done then I need to do something differently.

As for your 'piling on' comment. We've discussed this before, off-line. I understand where you're coming from, and I wish I was better at resisting the temptation to pile on. I hope I've managed it well enough to not lose credibility, but I tend to error on the side of piling on instead of sitting by when I think I've got something to add.

Additionally, I've spent a little too much time lately playing up my "hater" persona that Sassan tried to stick to me - although the PD veterans should remember that I'm really more balanced than that and hopefully realize that some of that has been tongue-in-cheek. Yeah, I'm mad at this team right now, but most of you all know I'm not a one-dimensional guy...



Although you can nitpick, make excuses, or point out extenuatng circumstances for many of the points, the Pacers - as currently assembled - need just about every one of these concerns to be resolved in their favor to return to elite status.

Well, I think a good number of these are non-issues, but I agree that they all need to be resolved. The question is, how do we do that? The biggest issues I have with the team (and I have some big ones) aren't even on this list, and I think they're less likely to get resolved.

I'd certainly like to hear them. I've intentionally not tried to address Bender and Artest in this thread, because those topics have been played to death (including my participation in them).



Here's a bummer...That's true. If it takes 6 months, he'll barely be ready for training camp. But why don't we wait to find out what the injury is before setting up a timetable for his return?

My comment was simply intended for those that think everything will be fine when next season rolls around. I'm not even sure we'll have a healthy team when next season's training camp starts.



I know what we're going to hear preached to us - from the front office, from the Walsh Warriors, etc.: patience, building from within, etc. I'm ready to try something different and bold.

You won't hear that preached from me. I wish, just once, you'd name a "Walsh Warrior." I'm sure you must mean me, since I defend him so often. And yet I don't want patience OR building from within. I want changes, and I want to win now. Of everyone on the board, I might have been the most dissappointed with the lack of activity on the trade deadline, because we could have begun to address the biggest problems that I see. The fact that we didn't makes me wonder if the Pacers front office sees them as problems. I don't believe they do. And that's very depressing.

Just once, I'd like to see you propose "something different and bold" in a concrete, rather than abstract, way. But without further ado, let's take a look at the outline.

Ah, we actually do agree in our approach. We just express it differently. Its no secret the one big thing that I think is holding the Pacers back, and so far they haven't really done anything about it. And that just drives me batty.

I've not considered you a "Walsh Warrior." Actually, for whatever reason, I can't identify any of them by name today. I've perhaps mislabeled you, but I've always put you in a similar bucket to UncleBuck, Suaveness, etc... I've assumed you are happy with the status quo and just want to see it all played out without much further intervention. Maybe I'm wrong.

I assume you've seen my subsequent posts that addressed a "do something different and bold" proposal. Trade youth, and trade depth, for veterans that may not have much upside anymore but fit together well. Add a Voshon Lenard, Brent Barry, Donyell Marshall and Matt Hapering to Dale Davis, JO, Tinsley, etc. Even JO has been begging for DW to bring in some veterans (Jon Barry, Dampier, etc.)

So I've thrown out some suggestions, I'd like to hear what's bugging you and how you'd address it. I don't need specific trade proposals - I can't imagine what this thread would turn into if somebody started playing with RealGM. But please identify your concerns and what players (or other action) you'd pursue to address them.

Up next (I think), is your detailed repsonse. Might not get it done until tomorrow, seing as how it alone is six pages long.

SoupIsGood
03-22-2005, 04:32 PM
I think I'll go for a walk outside now,
The summer sun's calling my name, I hear it now.
I just can't stay inside all day,
I've got to get out, gimme some of those rays.

Everybody's smiling (sunshine day),
Everybody's laughing (sunshine day),
Everybody seems so happy today in the sunshine day.

Oooh. Can't you dig the sunshine?
Feel the sun and the rays.
Can't you hear it calling your name?

Repeat first verse.

:D

-Bball


i was lying on the grass on sunday morning of last week
indulging in my self defeats
my mind was thugged, all laced and bugged, all twisted round and beat
uncomfortable three feet deep
now the fuzzy stare from not being there on a confusing morning week
impaired my tribal lunar-speak
and of course you can't become if you only say what you would have done
so i missed a million miles of fun

i know it's up for me
if you steal my sunshine
making sure i'm not in too deep
if you steal my sunshine
keeping versed and on my feet
if you steal my sunshine



Lather, rinse, and repeat

ChicagoJ
03-22-2005, 04:37 PM
I'm not quite sure how we got here, but this is my contribution (as requested by Jay's_Daughter@Section204):

It's rainin' but there ain't a cloud in the sky
Musta been a tear from your eye
Everything'll be okay
Funny thought I felt a sweet summer breeze
Musta been you sighin' so deep
Don't worry we're gonna find a way

I'm waitin', waitin' on a sunny day
Gonna chase the clouds away
Waitin' on a sunny day
:sunshine:

Without you I'm workin' with the rain fallin' down
Half a party in a one dog town
I need you to chase the blues away
Without you I'm a drummer girl that can't keep a beat
And ice cream truck on a deserted street
I hope that you're coming to stay

I'm waitin', waitin' on a sunny day
Gonna chase the clouds away
Waitin' on a sunny day
:sunshine:

Hard times baby, well they come to tell us all
Sure as the tickin' of the clock on the wall
Sure as the turnin' of the night into day
Your smile girl, brings the mornin' light to my eyes
Lifts away the blues when I rise
I hope that you're coming to stay
:sunshine:

I'm waitin', waitin' on a sunny day
Gonna chase the clouds away
Waitin' on a sunny day
:sunshine:

-Bruce Springsteen

MagicRat
03-22-2005, 04:45 PM
Ain't no sunshine when Ron's gone.
It's not warm when Ron's away.
Ain't no sunshine when Ron's gone
And Ron's always gone too long anytime he goes away.

Wonder this time where Ron's gone,
Wonder if he's gone to stay
Ain't no sunshine when Ron's gone
And this (field)house just ain't no home anytime he goes away.

And I know, I know, I know, I know, I know,
I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know,
I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know,
I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know

Hey, I ought to leave the young three alone,
But ain't no sunshine when he's gone, only darkness everyday.
Ain't no sunshine when Ron's gone,
And this (field)house just ain't no home anytime he goes away.

Anytime he goes away.
Anytime he goes away.
Anytime he goes away.
Anytime he goes away.

- Unclebuck

SoupIsGood
03-22-2005, 07:51 PM
- Unclebuck


:spitout:

beast23
03-22-2005, 09:41 PM
What the heckl?

I checked in on my favorite thread and thought I was on the wrong forum for a second.

"There once was a man from..." Whoa... stop that!!!

What the hell? Now you clowns have almost got me doin' it, too.

ChicagoJ
03-23-2005, 07:24 PM
I am now splitting this up into one topic at a time.


This is still difficult. Each of these is worth a thread on its own.

The team’s best player/ first option

Can be solved during a seven-game series by either ‘gimmick’ defenses such as SVG’s swarming defense or double-teams that push him out from the post.
Isn’t very good at passing out of the double-team.
Has the skills to play center but breaks down physically if he spends too much time as the primary post defender
Is he a guy that can lead a team to a championship (like Duncan, Shaq, Hakeem, etc.) or is he a guy that can just lead a team into thrilling but futile playoff runs (like Uncle Reggie, Barkley, Ewing, Iverson, Garnett, etc.)

Totally unfair to Jermaine.

Totally unfair? I assume this is related to your 'piling on' comments.

So I added this later




Why I love Jermaine O'Neal:

Dominant post presence, at both ends of the court
One of the NBA's best clutch performers
Skilled with either hand, on either block
Seems genuinely committed to pursuing the team's goals
Humbly yet openly appreciates Reggie's contributions to the franchise and also his own personal devlopment
JO is a legit MVP-candidate.

Although I've stated several negatives above, I believe JO, if surrounded by the right mix of veterans, could lead the Pacers to championship within 3-5 years from now.

Net-net, I think JO is a legit MVP-candidate.

We used to be concerned about the toll of playing all summer for the national team, and how he'd break down somewhat either physically or mentally as the season wore on.

But he took last summer off (to recover from injury).

Here's the worst of all scenarios. He plays for the national team several years in a row, but he still doesn't get an opportunity to play for a Gold Medal. And he still breaks down.

I know, I know, that hit by Elston makes it a "freak injury". And it is. But I fear he's going to spend this whole summer re-habbing, and I'm afraid we're now in some type of vicious injury cycle with him.

He's young, of course. I'm hoping that, in three-to-four seasons, he's able to work through all of this. But I'm not all that optimistic that it can happen in the next one-or-two seasons. And I'm even less optimistic that Tinsley can get there that fast, but more on him later.


I see the first two as the same issue, so there's three issues here. I'm going to address them out of order.

First, I have no idea what "has the skills to play center" means. Is Ben Wallace a center? Jermaine has the skills to play power forward. I honestly don't understand the fascination with the characteristics of the center vs. the power forward. And I don't see how it's a major problem that the same guy not be both the primary offensive scoring threat and the primary post defense player. Nobody does it that way, Jay. Shaq doesn't guard the best big man either. It's not unreasonable for Jermaine to mention that if he has to be the primary offensive weapon on every possession, it would be nice to have someone help on D so he didn't have to be the primary defensive weapon as well. I think I'll love the tandem of JO and Dale, and I honestly can't see what the problem here is. You're asking something of Jermaine that nobody else in the league (even Duncan) is asked to do. I mean, who do you think he is? Ron Artest?

I define the center as the primary post player, at both ends of the court. That's JO. And it was arguably still JO even when Brad was here, playing in the high post, although Brad and JO split the post-defense responsibilities.

What I'm saying is that JO can play post defense against the other team's top offensive threat in the post. He doesn't have to play "goalie", and make his living intimidating little guys from driving into the paint. Everybody assumes I'm picking on Ben when I say that, really its Mutumbo. He wasn't much of a post defender, so he had to wag his finger at the guards. JO *can* hold his own against all big men not named Shaq. But even though he's excellent at playing those guys (except Shaq) straight up, my observation is that he really isn't in shape to do that for 82-games yet. Frankly, I'm not sure Dale meets that criteria either, but he's closer than JO. That's why I've been begging for Harrison to get minutes, to develop into the rugged post player JO needs. So that JO, as you've suggested, doesn't have to be the primary post player at both ends of the court. That's why Harrison received so much attention later in my post (although I may not get to that one until next week :blush: ).

Now, here's an important question that I don't think I've ever seen addressed: Is JO's post offense or post defense more important to the success of the team? I'd be inclined to argue for his post-defense, because i think he's exactly what you want in a post defender. He's got leverage, he's got quickness, he can defend the entry pass and defend for position. But as I address below, JO's face-the-basket game isn't very good on offense, and if he's allowed to roam the paint defensively then he is a pretty good goalie. But he needs help, somewhere, so he takes less physical abuse throughout the season.


Second, I didn't think JO was "solved" in the Miami series. SVG didn't show anything wrong with JO, he showed how terrible our shooting guard position was. Watching Reggie this year has pissed me off, because if he still has gas in the tank, why didn't he show any in last year's playoffs? If Reggie had played like this last year, we'd have been the champions. I believe that. Swarming defenses aren't solved by one great passer, they're solved by a good team offense with multiple shooters. Even with Reggie playing terribly, Ron had a great series, in part, because of the attention played Jermaine. I *WANT* a guy on my team that draws that kind of defense. And as a caveat, Jermaine's passing has gotten better every year. It looked pretty good this year before we started playing "box and one" offense. He's a better passer than Shaq was at his age. I'm not worried about Jermaine's passing.

I think we're just going to have to agree to disagree on SVG's impact on the Pacers.

When I went to the Houston and Memphis games last month, I spent a lot of time watching how JVG and Fratello played JO. He just plain couldn't get the ball in scoring postion. He only got the ball, facing the basket, 18-feet out. On the rare occastions that he got the ball in the post, he was swarmed and couldn't even find an angle to pass the ball (since the other four guys apparently stuck thier feet in concrete.)

Frankly, he could pass the ball like Bill Walton, but it wouldn't matter. You're attributing that problem to our lack of shooters, and I agree with you. But its also a weakness in JO's game. JO's face-the-basket game isn't very good. You put him in the triple-threat postion (drive, pass, shoot) and I'm not really sure I want him to do any of those. I want him to post up, and go to his spin move or his jump-hook.


Third, almost everybody on your "loser's list" is a HOF player without a good squad. I believe Jermaine can lead a team to a championship. I believe those other players could have, too, with a better supporting cast. Plus, you've already closed the book on several players still in their prime, while leaving out past greats. I don't know if it's intentional or not, but the response you'd likely get if you compared Jermaine to people like John Stockton, Karl Malone, and David Robinson would have undermined the rest of the point.

This is far-and-away my weakest point in the whole document. So throw it out. I'm not going to defend it now. :cool:

Bottom line, I love JO. I don't want him to go anywhere. He's the team's MVP, most important player, most dominant player, whatever you want to call him.

But he's a post player, and post players can't do it on thier own. He's dependent on somebody getting him the ball, in position. And he's dependent on the rest of his teammates moving without the ball to keep the defense honest.

But-for a couple of gimmick-style defenses, he really does make everyone around him better. Now some of that has been mitigated by Rick's coaching. I don't like all the standing around once the ball goes into the post but I don't blame that on JO. And I think that, with proper off-the-ball movement, JO looks like a better passer.

I'm happy to keep JO on this team, but he's got his share of personal obstacles to overcome before he's truly ready to lead a team to a championship.

More tomorrow...

ChicagoJ
03-24-2005, 06:00 PM
Chemistry?

Lots of fans pooh-poohed the idea that our team’s chemistry might not be very good * before * the “Promote my CD” situation

There isn’t any reason to believe that, when the full team gets together again, the chemistry problems will have been solved – especially if there is any truth to the rumor that JO and Ron are struggling to co-exist on the same team
Subtracting Reggie from the team, even though he’s never been a “vocal leader”, could remove the one calming influence in the locker room

There’s no guarantee Dale will re-sign with the Pacers

I know memory is selective, but I'm reasonably certain we'd established to all of our satisfaction that the "promote the CD" situation had nothing to do with promoting the CD. I agree, though, that chemistry is probably the biggest problem. It's #1 on my list of issues. None of our concerns, match, though. I also think it's silly to worry about Dale, for reasons I will explain below.





Well, I think most of us acknowledge that the "promote the CD" situation was a disguise, but some people around here only believe what they read in The Star, so that's what I refer to it as.

Most of us acknowledge that what really happened was that Ron attempted to quit/ retire, JO and Ron got into a physical fight, Rick told Ron to stay home, Ron flew commercial to Minnesota but JO physcially refused to let him in the lockerroom, and then JO physically refused to let him on the team plane after the game.

The sad reality that most fans don't want to face is this, the Pacers *must* choose between JO and Ron. If they're both on the team next season, it will be a disaster.

Of the two, I'd pick JO, but I'm also very disappointed in how he reacted in this situation. He chose to take a huge problem and make it even bigger, by declaring this to be "his" team and making himself "sheriff". He may not have said it in so many words, but he had de facto said, "Either he [Ron] goes or I go." And that's never good when your star player, your MVP candidate, treats his teammates that way.

I've been laughing out loud lately at the number of posters that presume the chemistry between JO and Ron will be fine next season. Maybe. If they each spend the summer with Jesse Jackson and Jimmy Carter, trying to learn the art of diplomacy. :rolleyes:

So you have chemistry concerns, too. But you've just stood back and said "none of our concerns match." What in the world are your concerns? Two of the top players on the team have to be restrained from each other, but some other mysterious chemistry problem bothers you even more. What is it, I'm dying to know???

This is a difficult conversation when you say this is concern #1, but not for the same reasons, without disclosing your reasons.

My point regarding Dale is this: when he re-signs, I'll glady acknowledge that he can help improve team chemistry. But I'm not going to bank on Dale's presence improving team chemistry next season until we know for sure that he's going to actually be on the team next season.

We need some mature veterans - like Dale - on this team, soon.




The guy many fans believe to be the team’s “second best player” (and some actually consider him to be the team’s MVP) is completely un-reliable when the pressure rises. Enough said.

Straw man. I don't think anyone has considered him the MVP this year. I'd be willing to say that for the second half of last season, he was the MVP of the team. I also disagree that he's completely unreliable "when the pressure rises." He's unreliable, but it has nothing to do with pressure. To support that arguement requires so much twisted logic that I'm continually amazed you keep bringing it up.

The MVP dig was intended for you-know-who, since he's no-doubt been lurking and calling me names from a distance. :unimpress

I'm trying not to talk about Ron much in this thread for two or three reasons. (1) I'm utterly bored with him. Its always the same thing. (2) I've got plenty of non-Ron related concerns to talk about. (3) If he's still on the team after the next trading deadline, I will have lost all my remaining interest in the Pacers. I'd really like to say that my timeframe is the beginning of next season, but I fear that Bird and DW will continue to over-value him and won't recieve any decent offers until after Ron is back on the court.

Regardless, I want to talk about your accusation, made without any meaningful supporting comments, of twisted logic. And to do so, I'll apparently have to talk about him. :banghead:

However, if its useful, substitute the phrase "When things don't go the way he wants" instead of "When the pressure rises." Same thing, in my book.

He's absolutely horrible at handling adversity, from a team standpoint.

Let's look at an abbreviated timeline.

Ron doesn't like to be coached; he doesn't like to be benched. When Tim Floyd would "coach" him, or point out areas for improvement, or bench him, etc., Ron would (1) claim his fingers hurt, (2) throw equipment across the room, (3) pout, (4) do other stuff that's been discussed ad nauseum.
Ron appearantly can't take criticism well, since he broke his idol's ribs during a freaking pickup game.
When the 2002-03 team was coming unglued - Tinsley's mom was dying, JO's step-dad shot himself, Brad had his annual late-February injury, etc., Ron couldn't handle the pressure of being the one guy the team should've been able to depend on. The meltdown in Miami. The post-game temper tantrum after Jordan showed up in the Washington game. The flagrants, the burst of anger toward the HDTV camera after losing in NY, the altercation between Mel Daniels and Ron in the tunnel after fans poured beer on him in Boston (perhaps we should've seen this coming), etc.
The first preseason game last season was a pretty big clue as to what Ron's really like to deal with. Ron gets a "T" for pretending to flip the ball at the ref. Maybe an overreaction, but Rick doesn't approve and pulls him from the game. Ron refuses to sit on the bench with the team, and he sits in the stands, in front of Larry Bird. Bird tells him, "That's not how were going to do it this year, Ron" and sends him back to the bench. Ron then complains after the game that if he's going to get benched for that, then the Pacers should just trade him now. I'll give Ron credit for being right; they should've traded him right then.
Every time the 2003-04 team would hit a rough spot, such as a sluggish December, Ron could be found in the middle of it as well. He didn't like the offense, so he was either complaining about it or breaking away from it - and getting benched for 'conduct detrimental to winning'. The team is struggling against Miami, and they have to force him to board the plane. As the Pacers lose Tinsley, and JO hobbled, and the lead slips away in Game #6 of the ECFs, what happens? a flagrant foul, a forced dunk attempt over Ben Wallace, and a three-pointer with more than 18 seconds on the shot clock, while Jim Gray reports that Rick is screaming to give the ball to JO.
With Ron, he's alwasy trying to prove that he - personally - can step up. But he always lets the team down.

What's the common denominator here? These may or may not be anger managment issues, sometimes his problems don't appear to be temper-related. Sometimes he just forgets he's part of a team and tries to do it all himself.

How is this twisted logic?

You again took the easy position of attacking my comment without really putting anything behind your comments. Show me where that's twisted. What other common denominator is there that I'm overlooking?

And even at that, you agree he's not reliable.

Help me out here...

:buddies:

Anthem
03-25-2005, 02:15 AM
Man, this is fun. We almost need to split our comments out to a new thread, because this is going to get very messy very quickly.

I'm going to make a new thread responding to the "what problems do I see" posts, because bringing them in here will just muddy the waters further.

As for responses, we'll see. I may have to get to them tomorrow.

EDIT: As for the "discussed this offline" comment, I wasn't aware that we've ever spoken offline. Am I forgetting something? As far as I can remember, I've only ever met Rimfire and kerosene (both were kind enough to offer me tickets, which I obviously took. Yes, I'm a mercenary).

Anthem
03-25-2005, 02:23 AM
As for Ron, I'm guilty enough of piling on so I'm trying not to spend much time on him in this thread... my position is clear and I've even repeated it a couple of times today - I'm just not going to believe in him until after he proves he can be trusted for a season or two. But if I'm finally wrong about him, and if he "has changed immensely for the better," then look-out world.

I just give that a 0.000% probability. :shrug:

By the way, I'm taking this as your default position from now on, and I'm not going to comment on Artest. I know what you think, you know what I think, and everybody on this board knows what everybody else thinks. Until there's some new information, I don't think there's anything else to talk about.

The only "new information" that's come out recently has been the fact that Walsh, Bird, Carlisle, JO and David Hitler Stern all seem to believe that Ron "has changed immensely for the better." I think Stern's faking, but the rest seem sincere.

But like I said, until there's new information I don't see what there is to talk about. If I'm clever, I'll develop an ABADAYs-type smiley.

ChicagoJ
03-25-2005, 09:41 AM
Man, this is fun. We almost need to split our comments out to a new thread, because this is going to get very messy very quickly.

I'm going to make a new thread responding to the "what problems do I see" posts, because bringing them in here will just muddy the waters further.

As for responses, we'll see. I may have to get to them tomorrow.

EDIT: As for the "discussed this offline" comment, I wasn't aware that we've ever spoken offline. Am I forgetting something? As far as I can remember, I've only ever met Rimfire and kerosene (both were kind enough to offer me tickets, which I obviously took. Yes, I'm a mercenary).

I meant via PM, as opposed to the public board.

Anthem
02-04-2006, 10:52 PM
Wow. I was looking for the thread where I talked about the team fitting together, and I found this instead. I'd forgotten this... it was epic.

And while I stand by everything I said, it cannot be denied that Jay was absolutely dead on with this one:

The sad reality that most fans don't want to face is this, the Pacers *must* choose between JO and Ron. If they're both on the team next season, it will be a disaster.

Bball
02-05-2006, 04:51 AM
Artest imploding is always going to be a worry.

...And until proven otherwise, I will feel this season could've done more long term damage than some seem willing to admit (IOW, Humpty Dumpty might not go back together easily even if all the pieces are there). Next season might not be the dominant and succesful team some are expecting.

I'd be fine with a different approach from the front office. Less patience and more emphassis on the here and now.

-Bball

Anytime someone bumps one of these old threads I have to re-read the thing to make sure I didn't say anything to embarrass myself in the way of predictions or declarations.

Of course even a blind squarrel gets a nut sometimes...

-Bball

Harmonica
02-05-2006, 09:01 AM
There is no doubt in my mind, and I'll say this again, JO and Ron form the best tandem in the whole NBA and they will win a championship very, very soon.

I've never been more convinced after seeing the effect that Dale has had on the team that this team will win a championship very soon.

And before someone discounts my comments because I'm a member of the "sunshine brigade", for the record I've never, ever said anything like this before. Never during the 90's have I said they were going to win a championship. To be honest, I thought they maxed out doing as well as they did from 1994 - 2000.

This current team will be better.

Oops.

Unclebuck
02-05-2006, 09:10 AM
Anytime someone bumps one of these old threads I have to re-read the thing to make sure I didn't say anything to embarrass myself in the way of predictions or declarations.

Of course even a blind squarrel gets a nut sometimes...

-Bball



I always do the exact same thing.

ChicagoJ
02-06-2006, 04:55 PM
Wow. I was looking for the thread where I talked about the team fitting together, and I found this instead. I'd forgotten this... it was epic.

a) I hate being right (and the upcoming Tale of Two Cities thread may spark a similar dialogue, or it may not).

b) You did start a different thread to talk about how the pieces didn't fit together, and it was excellent. Did you find it, or do we need to keep digging for it?

Anthem
02-06-2006, 11:47 PM
Right here, man.

"Anthem's Dark Side Thread (For Jay)"

http://www.pacersdigest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10455&highlight=anthem%27s+dark+side

Took a while to find... it was on page 107.

Los Angeles
02-07-2006, 01:52 AM
I'd probably be willing to consider a scenario in which JO and Tinsley were the two guys we keep - and surround them with an entirely different (veteran) cast of players. I guess in the short term Dale could be part of the core, as well.


You mean the two guys that keep getting injured late in the season?

OK, I'll stop right there.

Wow, we didn't even make it half way this year. :sad: :banghead:

denyfizle
02-07-2006, 03:10 AM
This team isn't built for the regular season; it's already self-destructed.

Jermaniac
03-12-2006, 09:43 PM
This team isnt even built for the regular season with Carlisle as its coach. I'm afraid this crap will happen in the playoffs.

SoupIsGood
03-12-2006, 09:45 PM
This team seems to be built for the playoffs now. We can't beat the bad, bad teams but play the good ones well.


There are no bad teams in the playoffs. :)

Kegboy
03-12-2006, 09:47 PM
This team seems to be built for the playoffs now. We can't beat the bad, bad teams but play the good ones well.


There are no bad teams in the playoffs. :)

That's what I was thinking. Go us! :cool:

Jermaniac
03-12-2006, 09:58 PM
If we played the Raptors or Knicks in the 1st round, we would lose in 5 games