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View Full Version : Maybe this team is better without Ron



naptownmenace
12-19-2005, 11:21 AM
The Pacers are 14-8, six games over .500 for the first time this season IIRC. They are 4-1 in the games they've played since his last game against Dallas last week and are getting more contributions from their role players (Granger and Sarunas specifically).

It seems that the return of Tinsley and Croshere has stabilized the team as well. Kudos to Rick for difusing the PG controversy by starting Tinsley and Saras together. That was a brilliant move as it seems that Saras is filling Reggie's shoes admirably and the backcourt defense hasn't suffered much in the two games they've started together.

Maybe Ron was right about the team being better off without him.

IMO, depth is overrated and chemistry is underrated in the NBA. Look at the teams that have won the title the past 5 years.

The Lakers, although they had Kobe and Shaq competing for shots, had some of the best role players in the league. Brian Shaw, Ron Harper, AC Green, Glenn Rice, Rick Fox, and Robert Horry were guys that took a lesser role with the team and were the chemistry glue that held that team together. It's no surprise that when they added The Glove and The Mailman and lost Rick Fox, Harper, Green, Shaw, and Horry that they faltered.

The Spurs and Pistons have followed the same pattern. They don't have multiple guys saying things like, "I'm one of the best players in the NBA." They don't even seem to care about the individual stats. They don't have players that sabotage the offense because they "need" to get their shots.

That's the problem with the Pacers. As long as Ron and JO were both on the team, we had two players who believe they could be the best player in the NBA. The difference is with Ron he wasn't willing to swallow his ego and play for the team. JO is the leader and he didn't want to be lead.

Without Ron, everyone clearly knows this is JO's team. There's no second guessing that point and I think the rest of the team is more likely to follow the program with JO. JO always stays within the framework of Rick's system both on defense and offense whereas Ron's freewheeling on offense seemed to be contagious, spreading to Tinsley and Jack.

I think that trading Ron will just further help JO's development as a superstar leader too. He doesn't have to worry or wonder about Ron. He knows that he is now the undisputed best player on the team. I have a feeling he'll have a MVP worthy season, baring injury.

I really think that this team will be just fine without Ron. They are still the second best team in the East and in the top 4-5 teams in the entire league. Will they get past the Pistons? Who knows? They took them to 6 games with Ron and without Ron. Both seasons Ron was a distraction IMO. Maybe with him out of the equation and the Pacers playing team basketball they'll be able to beat the Pistons.

Anyone care to agree?

Hicks
12-19-2005, 11:31 AM
Way too soon to tell. Plus if we're bringing in Al and Watson, I may feel more inclined to agree than I do now.

Unclebuck
12-19-2005, 11:37 AM
Nap, as always you make a lot of excellent points. I would say the team is happier, the chemistry is better, the role players are playing better, but I don't think the team is better overall. The schedule has been very kind and the Pacers have been able to win. But like I said to Peck, if the Pacers play the next 4 games like they generally have played the past 3, they will go 0-4.

However the team prior to 12/10 (they day Ron asked to be traded) wasn't that great either, so if the right trade is made, and the chemistry improves even more and players stay healthy, who knows this team might be better off without Ron.

NPFII
12-19-2005, 12:01 PM
Nap, as always you make a lot of excellent points. I would say the team is happier, the chemistry is better, the role players are playing better, but I don't think the team is better overall. The schedule has been very kind and the Pacers have been able to win. But like I said to Peck, if the Pacers play the next 4 games like they generally have played the past 3, they will go 0-4.

However the team prior to 12/10 (they day Ron asked to be traded) wasn't that great either, so if the right trade is made, and the chemistry improves even more and players stay healthy, who knows this team might be better off without Ron.

I'll take you one further - when any trade will be made, chemistry will improve, and the team will deifinitely be better off without Ron.

I agree tho, that until that trade is done - the current team is average at the most, and will probably go 1-3 (I think we beat the Clippers at home, or steal one of the road games). Hopefully "The Trade" is done before the road trip, so the new team has some tough games to gel on, with little expectations.

CableKC
12-19-2005, 01:25 PM
Team chemistry wise......we may be better off without him....but when it comes to locking down an extremely gifted offensive player like Lebron....that is when we are going to miss what Artest brings this team. Being 4-1 against .500 teams or less with 2 road games isn't bad.....but this isn't a real test to gauge how we are without Artest.

Let me know if you think that we are a better team without him when we face the Cavs and Lebron puts up about 30+ points at home and we get blown out in Cleveland.

That's the very reason why I want the best lockdown defender that we can get in any deal with Artest ( and not Harrington )......we need guys that are better then SJax, Freddie and Granger on the defensive end to limit players like Lebron, AI, Rip, and Wade.

recap
12-19-2005, 01:32 PM
Team chemistry wise......we may be better off without him....but when it comes to locking down an extremely gifted offensive player like Lebron....that is when we are going to miss what Artest brings this team. Being 4-1 against .500 teams or less with 2 road games isn't bad.....but this isn't a real test to gauge how we are without Artest.

Let me know if you think that we are a better team without him when we face the Cavs and Lebron puts up about 30+ points at home and we get blown out in Cleveland.

That's the very reason why I want the best lockdown defender that we can get in any deal with Artest ( and not Harrington )......we need guys that are better then SJax, Freddie and Granger on the defensive end to limit players like Lebron, AI, Rip, and Wade.

I agree completely. The Cleveland game will tell us a lot. I think that in a couple years Granger could be that defender, but not now.

Peck
12-19-2005, 02:56 PM
I agree with Naptown on this 100%.

Mourning
12-19-2005, 03:08 PM
Team chemistry wise......we may be better off without him....but when it comes to locking down an extremely gifted offensive player like Lebron....that is when we are going to miss what Artest brings this team. Being 4-1 against .500 teams or less with 2 road games isn't bad.....but this isn't a real test to gauge how we are without Artest.

Let me know if you think that we are a better team without him when we face the Cavs and Lebron puts up about 30+ points at home and we get blown out in Cleveland.

That's the very reason why I want the best lockdown defender that we can get in any deal with Artest ( and not Harrington )......we need guys that are better then SJax, Freddie and Granger on the defensive end to limit players like Lebron, AI, Rip, and Wade.

I aggree, though I do think SJax is a good defensive player when he puts his mind to it and Granger seems really gifted in that department aswell! So to who does this narrow down then in your opinion? I have Caron Butler and Mikael Pietrus on my list as above average backcourt defenders we might be able to nap.

Regards,

Mourning :cool:

CableKC
12-19-2005, 03:19 PM
I aggree, though I do think SJax is a good defensive player when he puts his mind to it and Granger seems really gifted in that department aswell! So to who does this narrow down then in your opinion? I have Caron Butler and Mikael Pietrus on my list as above average backcourt defenders we might be able to nap.

Regards,

Mourning :cool:
If SJax was the answer on the defensive end against quick Guards that can score at will that we will likely face in the Playoffs ( like Lebron/Rip/Wade/Iverson ), then I would have no concern....but the answer is that he isn't...cuz if he was...we would have made it past the Pistons last year and somehow contained Rip. On top of that.....if we are depending on SJax to put his rather "gifted" mind to focus on playing defense....then I am not willing to bet on it.

Granger maybe gifted and could be the defensive player that we all dream about.......but I seriously do not see any significant improvement on the defensive end this season to make a difference.

The bottom line is that we do not have the answer to shutting down players that we have to shutdown if we are depending on SJax/Granger/Freddie/Baby Al.

Mourning
12-19-2005, 03:26 PM
If SJax was the answer on the defensive end against quick Guards that can score at will that we will likely face in the Playoffs ( like Lebron/Rip/Wade/Iverson ), then I would have no concern....but the answer is that he isn't...cuz if he was...we would have made it past the Pistons last year and somehow contained Rip. On top of that.....if we are depending on SJax to put his rather "gifted" mind to focus on playing defense....then I am not willing to bet on it.

Granger maybe gifted and could be the defensive player that we all dream about.......but I seriously do not see any significant improvement on the defensive end this season to make a difference.

The bottom line is that we do not have the answer to shutting down players that we have to shutdown if we are depending on SJax/Granger/Freddie/Baby Al.

I don't exactly remember, but didn't Sjax match up with Prince more then with RIP?

Anyway, I don't think I wrote that SJax is a superb defender also didn't call him "gifted" (that I called Granger) on defense, but he is certainly pretty good when he puts his mind to it. My thinking is I would like to get an extra insurance or a better defender at SG too, so we have a huge flexibilty at SF and SG the coming years, depending on matchups we can throw above average to good defenders at the top-flight offensive players in the league (at SF and SG).

Further, I don't think we are going to the Finals this season anyway, so I'm content on waiting a season on Danny developing. I don't see Freddie getting signed in the summer either.

Regards,

Mourning :cool:

ABADays
12-19-2005, 03:33 PM
Nap, I had to chuckle at your use of the word maybe ;)

ChicagoJ
12-19-2005, 04:03 PM
Nap, I had to chuckle at your use of the word maybe ;)

:laugh:

I had written a post that said I agreed 100% EXCEPT for one word - "Maybe".

But I deleted it before I posted it because I thought it made me sound like an @$$.

You made the same point with far more diplomacy than I could've.

Unclebuck
12-19-2005, 04:25 PM
I don't exactly remember, but didn't Sjax match up with Prince more then with RIP?

Anyway, I don't think I wrote that SJax is a superb defender also didn't call him "gifted" (that I called Granger) on defense, but he is certainly pretty good when he puts his mind to it. My thinking is I would like to get an extra insurance or a better defender at SG too, so we have a huge flexibilty at SF and SG the coming years, depending on matchups we can throw above average to good defenders at the top-flight offensive players in the league (at SF and SG).

Further, I don't think we are going to the Finals this season anyway, so I'm content on waiting a season on Danny developing. I don't see Freddie getting signed in the summer either.

Regards,

Mourning :cool:


Jax defended Prince more than he did Rip, but he defended Rip quite a bit also. There were times when Reggie defended Prince.

What surprised me is that Prince had trouble defending Jax, more than Artest.

CableKC
12-19-2005, 04:31 PM
I don't exactly remember, but didn't Sjax match up with Prince more then with RIP?

Anyway, I don't think I wrote that SJax is a superb defender also didn't call him "gifted" (that I called Granger) on defense, but he is certainly pretty good when he puts his mind to it. My thinking is I would like to get an extra insurance or a better defender at SG too, so we have a huge flexibilty at SF and SG the coming years, depending on matchups we can throw above average to good defenders at the top-flight offensive players in the league (at SF and SG).

Further, I don't think we are going to the Finals this season anyway, so I'm content on waiting a season on Danny developing. I don't see Freddie getting signed in the summer either.

Regards,

Mourning :cool:
I don't mind waiting for Granger to develop....but even if we let this season go....we are still going to have to find a suitable answer to effectively guarding the SG position...cuz Lebron, Rip and Wade aren't going away anytime soon. Maybe in a season or two...I can see Granger effectively guarding Lebron....but I don't see him doing anything against quick Guards like Rip, Wade and Iverson.

Also.....if it truly looks like we aren't going to make it this season....then why rent Harrington for a year? Why not get the role players and pieces now to build around JONeal/Sarunas/Foster/Croshere/Granger?

Even if Harrington leaves and his salary is freed up...are we hoping for capspace to sign a free agent? Realistically...if we are a playoff bubble team after this season...then what would make a Free Agent want to come to play in a small market team like Indianapolis? You could say that Sarunas came....but he came before with Artest on board during the regular season when the Pacers looked like a contender...rather then a pretender.

Mourning
12-19-2005, 04:47 PM
I don't mind waiting for Granger to develop....but even if we let this season go....we are still going to have to find a suitable answer to effectively guarding the SG position...cuz Lebron, Rip and Wade aren't going away anytime soon. Maybe in a season or two...I can see Granger effectively guarding Lebron....but I don't see him doing anything against quick Guards like Rip, Wade and Iverson.

Also.....if it truly looks like we aren't going to make it this season....then why rent Harrington for a year? Why not get the role players and pieces now to build around JONeal/Sarunas/Foster/Croshere/Granger?

Even if Harrington leaves and his salary is freed up...are we hoping for capspace to sign a free agent? Realistically...if we are a playoff bubble team after this season...then what would make a Free Agent want to come to play in a small market team like Indianapolis? You could say that Sarunas came....but he came before with Artest on board during the regular season when the Pacers looked like a contender...rather then a pretender.

I don't think you could place me in the pro-Al camp with regards to getting him here for a second stint. I'm not for that. I think I gave two names that interest me at SG (Pietrus and Butler). Both are good defenders as far as I know and pretty young, so there's definitely room for improvement there. They seem certainly adequately offensively at the very least aswell.

Personally, I really don't want to use Granger at SG, except maybe against select opponents NEXT year, certainly not this year.

I don't think we will be able to get the defender a la Bowen or in his class that you seem to be looking for, but I think clustering a number of good defensive SGs and SFs against some of the better and elite players in this league and by doing that (hopefully) wearing them down during the match by at all times beying able to keep a fresh and rested body on them both on defense AND offense (to let them use as much energy on their defense aswell)might do us good.

Another note: I want Sarunas to play PG as much as possible. he's not bad at the 2, but his gifts are much better used at the 1. Just limit Tins minutes to about 24-28 a game and let Sarunas get about 24 there aswell, AJ getting the rest, while Sarunas fills in a small role as a back up SG, depending on matchups.

Regards,

Mourning :cool:

Mourning
12-19-2005, 04:51 PM
Jax defended Prince more than he did Rip, but he defended Rip quite a bit also. There were times when Reggie defended Prince.

What surprised me is that Prince had trouble defending Jax, more than Artest.

Maybe, SJax is/was, I dare not say it .... less predictable then Artest (on the court :D) ? :uhoh:

Regards,

Mourning :cool: