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View Full Version : Conrad Brunner Q/D, Are Pacers a Team of Olympic Proportions?



Will Galen
04-08-2005, 01:41 PM
http://www.nba.com/pacers/news/question_050407.html

Are Pacers a Team of Olympic Proportions?


Thursday, April 7, 2005
If you'd like to pose a Question of the Day to Conrad Brunner, submit it along with your full name and hometown to Bruno's_mailbag@pacers.com. Brunnerís opinions are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of Pacers players, coaches or management.
QUESTION
OF THE DAY
Conrad Brunner

Q. Didn't the Olympics show that a reasonably talented team playing team basketball can beat a team of superstars taking turns going one-on-one? Is there a resident of the State of Indiana that didn't learn that lesson years ago watching (Bob) Knight's Hoosiers, (Gene) Keady's Boilermakers, (Tony) Hinkle's Bulldogs, or their favorite high school team? (From Frank in Indianapolis)



A. Thank you, Frank. Now, when somebody asks me to explain just how this shorthanded, overmatched, undermanned and battered team is managing to not only survive but climb the playoff bracket, I finally have a sensible answer: the Pacers have become Argentina.

The voluminous list of talents they lack has been much-discussed Ė everywhere but inside the locker room. What they have done is exactly what Argentina did in the Olympics: overcome any perceived disadvantage in physical ability with collective execution, commitment and will. In a league dominated by two- and three-man sets, the Pacers are playing five-man basketball both offensively and defensively, and the results are manifest not only in their record, but the fan response to their performance.

Though Stephen Jackson and Reggie Miller are doing most of the scoring, every player has ownership of the current surge. Scot Pollard, Dale Davis and Jeff Foster have taken care of the dirty work inside. Anthony Johnson has been a revelation at the point. Fred Jones, James Jones, Austin Croshere and Eddie Gill have made the second unit a consistent positive factor.

Whether they can do as Argentina did, shock the world and win the gold medal remains to be seen. But what the Pacers already have done, and continue to do, is comparably inspiring to watch.

Bball
04-08-2005, 01:47 PM
...And playing this same type of basketball with even more talented players can only be better and go farther IMHO...

-Bball

Will Galen
04-08-2005, 01:49 PM
I find it interesting to contrast what Brunner says with what Mark Montieth says, pretty much opposite answers to the same question.

http://www.pacersdigest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10808
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Question: I know I speak for lots of other Pacer fans by stating the obvious here, and asking you this question: The Pacers seem to be playing excellent "team basketball" without the services of Ron Artest, Jermaine O'Neal and Jamaal Tinsley. I understand the underdog mentality and the "it's us against the world" thing, but is it more than that?

If I can see it, then Donnie Walsh, Larry Bird and Rick Carlisle HAVE to be seeing it! Maybe we really don't need all three of these "team stars" after all? Don't you think there must be some thought being directed toward this situation "upstairs"? Hopefully, the aforementioned "stars" are taking note of what's happening as well. (Steve from Fortville, Ind.)

Answer: I'm sure the front office has noticed the recent play. It's important, however, to point out that most of the recent wins have come over weak teams, with the exception of the one over Miami. And while this team will make the playoffs, it might not get past the first or second round. Obviously the front office has greater ambitions than that.

The effort and unselfish play have been impressive, but I don't think many people consider Artest, Tinsley or O'Neal to be selfish. It's really a matter of how Carlisle directs the offense. When Artest and O'Neal play, he runs the offense through them around the basket, which leads to others standing and watching. With this lineup there's a need for more movement on the perimeter and more balance, which brings out the best in Reggie Miller, Anthony Johnson and others.

The bottom line, however, is that you can't win a title without having some All-Star caliber players. A team such as the Pacers have now might make for a good story and be fun to watch, but a team like that has never won a championship. The trick is to get All-Star players and get them to play within a team system. The Pacers certainly did that last season when they won 61 games.

If there's a lesson to be learned from the current lineup, it's that the fundamentals of rebounding, setting screens and defending pay off. The injured players should keep that in mind when they return.

Anthem
04-08-2005, 01:50 PM
I find it interesting to contrast what Brunner says with what Mark Montieth says, pretty much opposite answers to the same question.

Maybe I'm stupid, but I don't see it as that big of a contrast.

Could you elaborate?

Will Galen
04-08-2005, 02:13 PM
Maybe I'm stupid, but I don't see it as that big of a contrast.

Could you elaborate?


Brunner;
What they have done is exactly what Argentina did in the Olympics: overcome any perceived disadvantage in physical ability with collective execution, commitment and will.


Montieth;
"The bottom line, however, is that you can't win a title without having some All-Star caliber players."

Brunner is saying they have a chance, Montieth is saying they have no chance without All Stars.

Los Angeles
04-08-2005, 02:16 PM
Brunner;
What they have done is exactly what Argentina did in the Olympics: overcome any perceived disadvantage in physical ability with collective execution, commitment and will.


Montieth;
"The bottom line, however, is that you can't win a title without having some All-Star caliber players."

Brunner is saying they have a chance, Montieth is saying they have no chance without All Stars.
A solid argument could be made that Reggie, AJ, Jax and Dale are all playing at an "All-Star caliber" level right now.

but I'll leave the details to someone else.

ChicagoJ
04-08-2005, 02:50 PM
I don't know about a 'solid' arguement for any of them other than Jack.

AJ, Reggie, and Dale are, however, playing like legit NBA-starters, and previously they either weren't or, in Dale's case, he was relegated to the end of someone else's bench but he replaced a guy that we all like as a backup C but only a few people actually like as a starting C.

Since86
04-08-2005, 03:00 PM
Brunner;
What they have done is exactly what Argentina did in the Olympics: overcome any perceived disadvantage in physical ability with collective execution, commitment and will.


Montieth;
"The bottom line, however, is that you can't win a title without having some All-Star caliber players."

Brunner is saying they have a chance, Montieth is saying they have no chance without All Stars.


Playoffs are a sprint. The season is a marathon. You have to have the players to make the playoffs, and just relying on us against the world won't last that long. Once other teams figure you out, it's over. If there was a chance to play Argentina, or any of the other teams, 3 or 4 times before the olympics then the outcome is different. Film can only show so much. Playing against the teams shows you how your team can exploit their weaknesses.


This team is playing great, but I wouldn't bet one days pay that they'd make the playoffs if all the current players were gone from the start. That's the difference between a good NBA player and a superstar, the superstar has more talent to work with.

Will Galen
04-08-2005, 03:24 PM
This team is playing great, but I wouldn't bet one days pay that they'd make the playoffs if all the current players were gone from the start. That's the difference between a good NBA player and a superstar, the superstar has more talent to work with.

If all the current players were gone from the start . . . we wouldn't have any players.

So I wouldn't bet anything either . . . (grin)

Since86
04-08-2005, 03:27 PM
Lol. You know what I mean.......hopefully.

Will Galen
04-08-2005, 04:06 PM
Lol. You know what I mean.......hopefully.


If you meant this current team wouldn't have made the playoffs if they had started the year, I disagree with you! I think they would have a better record than they have now.

Since86
04-08-2005, 04:37 PM
If you meant this current team wouldn't have made the playoffs if they had started the year, I disagree with you! I think they would have a better record than they have now.

Right after the brawl this team played great as well. Then what happened? Teams figured out how to stop them, and then went into the dive. Fortunately JO came back to stop the bleeding, then Sjax.

Why am I even rationalizing this out? Take any teams top 3 players away from them for the whole year, and not one would put a better record together.......The top THREE.......

The lakers didn't even loose their top 3, and got back some talent. Look at where they are.......

Hicks
04-08-2005, 04:56 PM
Right after the brawl this team played great as well. Then what happened? Teams figured out how to stop them, and then went into the dive.

This team has more pieces than the post 11/19 one did. That team started Eddie Gill at PG, with no real backup, Fred at SG, with no real backup, James Jones at SF, with no real backup, Croshere at PF, with no real backup, and then at Center we had Harrison, an off-and-on (the bench) Pollard, and John Edwards.

Now we have AJ backed up by Gill, Reggie playing like it's 2000 backed up by Fred Jones, Stephen Jackson backed up by James Jones, Dale Davis backed up by Austin Croshere, and a healthier Scot Pollard backed up by Jeff Foster. That's a hell of a lot more than the post 11/19 team had, even when you count the CBA wannabes we signed along the way.

To top it off, we're getting JO back for the playoffs.

Since86
04-08-2005, 05:06 PM
This team has more pieces than the post 11/19 one did. That team started Eddie Gill at PG, with no real backup, Fred at SG, with no real backup, James Jones at SF, with no real backup, Croshere at PF, with no real backup, and then at Center we had Harrison, an off-and-on (the bench) Pollard, and John Edwards.

Now we have AJ backed up by Gill, Reggie playing like it's 2000 backed up by Fred Jones, Stephen Jackson backed up by James Jones, Dale Davis backed up by Austin Croshere, and a healthier Scot Pollard backed up by Jeff Foster. That's a hell of a lot more than the post 11/19 team had, even when you count the CBA wannabes we signed along the way.

To top it off, we're getting JO back for the playoffs.

Agreed. But honestly, theres a reason these are backups. As much as I like Reggie, I have a hard time thinking that he could play at this level all season.

This team is making a sprint against some low level teams, and just out hustling other teams. I highly doubt that a full season's record would be equal, let alone higher than it is right now.