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Big Smooth
03-27-2006, 04:04 AM
This is merely a repost from the Star News but I believe in this sooooooo strongly. So here it is, feel free to comment:


Okay, the P's are 35-33 and 6th in the East at the moment. Some sniping abounds. Some folks dog Carlisle, some dog SJax. But I honestly believe the Indiana Pacers will win the NBA title within 3 years. I'd make a bet on it but this is cyberspace and making bets is pretty difficult.

Adversity molds champions. The NBA is rather unique compared to other professional leagues. In the NBA, the window of opportunity can actually expand as a team faces more adversity. If I need to detail recent NBA history back to the 1980's then let me know. But otherwise, those who have followed the game since 1986 probably feel me.

The Pacers have done an amazing job of holding it together despite what they have faced. The rumble in Auburn Hills obviously set us back but the franchise has bounced back nicely. We made an unexpected playoff run last season. And now, we managed to deal Artest for a great player in Peja. We made a brief run. That momentum died but now we have Tinsley and JO back and healthy. And Granger/Harrison are looking more and more like brilliant draft picks.

SJax is on the hater list. I'll be honest, I've had his back all along but even myself has to question him at this point. But overall, we have the makings of a championship team now. I think it will take at least one more shrewd trade or FA pickup to push this thing over the top, but the P's are on the verge.

I'll say this - build around Granger, Harrison, Jermaine and Peja. Those players are solid. Fill in the blanks. If Tinsley can finally stay healthy, it makes it all that much easier.

The Indiana Pacers are one of the better managed franchises in the NBA. And I think the day will come that Donnie Walsh can enjoy a champagne shower. With the Artest mess out of the picture, I say this moment arrives within 3 years.

The most important point to me is for the younger Pacers fans who perhaps don't remember this franchise until 1994 or later. I can understand your frustration but at the same time, I think you don't see the bigger picture quite so well.

In the NBA, every champion must endure defeat and disappointment before achieving the ultimate goal. I see the Pacers lining up to be the next success story. Not this season, but very soon.

Keep the faith folks. It's coming.

D-BONE
03-27-2006, 07:54 AM
I'll give credit for the optimism and going out on a limb with a bold prediction. Can't say that I'm willing to go that far. Certainly, if everything coalesces perfectly it's not beyond the realm of possibility.

There's two details that interest me. The comment that one more major move is needed and the if Tinsley stays healthy. What would the major move likely be? Sounds like the post rules out a Peja or JO trade.

I still have doubts about how this team works together and how good our individual pieces really are. I look to the remainder of this season to help form an opinion on this and related issues. I have to think PG is a major concern if nothing else given JT's propensity for getting injured.

I understand the point about the big picture pre '94 and the trials and tribulations most eventual champs face before making it. However, that doesn't change the fact that I'd like results sooner rather than later. Kind of human nature when you've been stuck in the "near-championship-breakthrough plateau" for a decade.

Ragnar
03-27-2006, 10:38 AM
Smooooooth


Where you been man?

Anthem
03-27-2006, 10:54 AM
We'll win a title within three years? I said that three years ago.

Evan_The_Dude
03-27-2006, 01:19 PM
I'm the one person on this board crazy enough to believe we can do it THIS year [as long as we stay healthy and keep a motion offense]. So 3 years I believe can happen.

Raskolnikov
03-27-2006, 01:34 PM
I'm the one person on this board crazy enough to believe we can do it THIS year [as long as we stay healthy and keep a motion offense].
No, you're not.

:crazy2:

Raskolnikov
03-27-2006, 01:55 PM
The QOD might be appropiate in this discussion.

http://www.nba.com/pacers/news/question.html


Q. With a strong starting lineup of (Jamaal) Tinsley, (Stephen) Jackson, (Peja) Stojakovic, (Jermaine) O'Neal, and (Jeff) Foster and a strong bench of (Fred) Jones, (Danny) Granger, (Anthony) Johnson, and other experienced players, I see it hard for teams to be able to beat the Pacers. Have the Pacers finally made the step from playoff team to contender? (From P.J. in Elkhart, Ind.)

A. Not yet, but it certainly is possible. Though the primary lineup is now together for the first time this season, it's going to take some time for those players to develop some chemistry, particularly on offense; witness the 29 turnovers Sunday against Philadelphia. Though Coach Rick Carlisle isn't going to revert to the old post-based offensive system, preferring to stick with the more fluid style that has been in place two months, it's been that long since the Pacers have played with a consistent low-post threat and that will require some adjustments. It was hard to tell whether the stunning number of wide-open jumpers Sunday was the result of Philadelphia's focus on O'Neal or just poor defensive rotations but it was certainly a byproduct of post presence.

Carlisle has been using an eight-man rotation off the bench because of the absences of Jones (torn ligament in his left thumb), Austin Croshere (recovering from his second concussion of the season) and Scot Pollard (plantar fasciitis in his left foot). Given the solid production of Johnson, Granger and David Harrison as a second unit, it will be interesting to see how that rotation develops when others return to full strength.

The schedule certainly favors a surge. If the final 14 opponents, just three have winning records (Miami, Phoenix and Detroit) and just two others are in playoff contention (Milwaukee and Chicago). The last six games are all against lottery teams. Of course, we need not be reminded of the Pacers' year-long struggle with such opponents. Still, a golden opportunity awaits. Whether the Pacers seize it or not will tell the story of this season.

Bball
03-27-2006, 02:49 PM
Walsh will retire without a championship. We're too far away now and he isn't enough of a gunslinger to change our outlook that quickly.

-Bball

Anthem
03-27-2006, 03:42 PM
Walsh will retire without a championship. We're too far away now and he isn't enough of a gunslinger to change our outlook that quickly.

-Bball
Wow. That's a bit strong for my taste.

I think we're one or two strong moves away from a good championship run. I'm not sure that Donnie's going to make those moves, though.

Cactus Jax
03-27-2006, 04:43 PM
I hate everyone on the team besides Eddie Gill. He should play 48 minutes, and be a player-coach, and have a statue outside Conseco. ;)

D-BONE
03-27-2006, 04:51 PM
I think we're one or two strong moves away from a good championship run. I'm not sure that Donnie's going to make those moves, though.

I tend to agree with this viewpoint. If this group were to make a serious championship run this year, I'd consider it pretty miraculous given all that happened this year and the fact that we'll probably have to do it on the road every single round.

Their play the remainder of this season could change my mind, but I think we aren't balanced enough. Several already strong or developing players up front, but not enough quality in the G spots. We need a serious impact player at either SG or PG.

If changes are desired to make a more legit "good" championship run, I think it would require us giving up one of our top tier front-line talents, most likely with some peripheral guy thrown in, to get back a better perimeter player. It's logical since we've got more quality guys in that category. Unless Walsh and Bird pull off some coup or do it through free agent addition or subtraction.

Pacersfan.
03-27-2006, 05:15 PM
Here's an outsider's perspective on the Pacers' situation:

http://msn.foxsports.com/nba
(Top 10 things we learned this week)
Nets have played themselves into hunt

Mike Kahn / Special to FOXSports.com

7. Item: Jermaine O'Neal returned to the Indiana Pacers Wednesday night after missing two months with a torn left groin muscle. Sunday he started in a 13-point win over the Philadelphia 76ers and the starting five of O'Neal, Stojakovic, Jeff Foster, Stephen Jackson and Jamaal Tinsley was out there for the first time all season for coach Rick Carlisle.

What this really means: The Pacers remain the sleeper team of the entire postseason. One of the favorites to win the NBA title entering the season, the Artest situation and the non-stop injury problems for O'Neal and Tinsley have kept Indiana from developing any semblance of continuity all season. As it is, they're tied for fifth with the Washington Wizards entering the week, and it should get interesting.

If you'll remember, the Pacers were hamstrung virtually all of last season due to Artest instigating the brawl in Auburn Hills, producing suspensions and a nightmare for Carlisle all season. Nonetheless, they still bounced back to upset the Atlantic Division champion Boston Celtics in the first round. Go back two years and both O'Neal and Tinsley were injured in a tough conference finals loss to the eventual champion Pistons. Finally rid of their albatross, if they can stay healthy down the stretch of the regular season, all bets are off on what the Pacers are capable of accomplishing in this year's playoffs.




I agree! As long as the Pacers stay healthy (big if), anything can happen!

Bball
03-27-2006, 06:24 PM
I tend to agree with this viewpoint. If this group were to make a serious championship run this year, I'd consider it pretty miraculous given all that happened this year and the fact that we'll probably have to do it on the road every single round.

Their play the remainder of this season could change my mind, but I think we aren't balanced enough. Several already strong or developing players up front, but not enough quality in the G spots. We need a serious impact player at either SG or PG.

If changes are desired to make a more legit "good" championship run, I think it would require us giving up one of our top tier front-line talents, most likely with some peripheral guy thrown in, to get back a better perimeter player. It's logical since we've got more quality guys in that category. Unless Walsh and Bird pull off some coup or do it through free agent addition or subtraction.

I agree and it does give me pause.... Uh oh...

Mr Pessimist is rearing his ugly head again...

There comes a point when everyone has to step back and simply be real for a moment. Not only do we need to look at where this team has just been, we also need to look at the history of the NBA championship. How many times has a .500 team turned it on with about 15 games left to play and marched to an NBA championship?

Not only that but let's look at the goalposts we have set for the past couple of years. "IF JO could stay healthy" "IF JO can put on some muscle" "IF Artest can stay sane" "If Tinsley can stay healthy" "IF we can just get player X back on the court" "IF we can just get everyone back on the court" "IF Harrison could be a factor" ....IF IF IF...

Eventually, you have to ask yourself exactly where the goalposts are and when are we going to keep them in one place and deal with them realistically.

Apparently JO and Tinsley can't stay healthy for a whole season (or they (and the Pacers) must be two of the unluckiest people in the world). Obviously, Artest couldn't stay sane as a Pacer (we'll let Sacto figure out whether he can stay sane there).

Other goals, we get to but they aren't enough so the the collective wisdom moves the goalposts again. IE: Last year we'd supposedly be on a tear as soon as JO was back from suspension. Then it was as soon as Sjax was back. Then Tinsley. It didn't matter. We played middle of the road basketball.

Then JO went out with injury... (and we do pick up the pace behind Reggie, Dale, Sjax and crew). Then it was as soon as JO returns, we get Tinsley back, and then get them active in the new offense... then we'll be a championship team again.

We take the Pistons to six and this year was going to be our year. Management would make the golden moves, these players would be motivated, experienced, and focused -and we'd have pieces like Harrison to bring to the table making matchup problems for everyone else. Management brings in "the best player in Europe" and drafts Danny Granger. We're 'set'. I'm surprised we didn't just go ahead and hang the banner last September. But then a funny thing happened....the team played mediocre basketball losing to also rans and dining on fool's gold by beating Miami early.

It was obvious chemistry wasn't good.

Tinsley went down with injury... Artest went Artest... JO went down with injury... "The best player in Europe" is now glued to the bench.

Granger was as good as advertised but we're still marred at .500 ball. Harrison has had his moments, yet we're still marred at .500 basketball.

Yet here we are, talking about a run to the championship.

Meanwhile, San Ant and Detroit keep rolling on, barely losing a game here and there. It's major news and worthy of a new thread here just when Detroit is close to losing... let alone when they actually do.

We had 29 turnovers yesterday in a win. While any win is good, losing 29 possessions isn't going to take you far in the championship. And this is with everyone of the supposed 'core' group of players healthy. A championship caliber team shouldn't be turning the ball over 29 times in the last 1/4 of the season.

I just don't know... the next couple of weeks will be telling but I hope we don't have to move the goalposts again to get excited or find some hope to hang onto. There comes a point where we (more importantly TPTB) need to lock the goalposts in place and start figuring out why these guys can't get it done.

-
And I'll add a note... There's only one championship a year and only one team will win it (except in HS class basketball) so not winning it in and of itself isn't the problem. It's looking back and seeing you never really were close all the time that you were telling yourself you were... "If only...."

-Bball

D-BONE
03-27-2006, 06:52 PM
Mr Pessimist is rearing his ugly head again...

There comes a point when everyone has to step back and simply be real for a moment. Not only do we need to look at where this team has just been, we also need to look at the history of the NBA championship. How many times has a .500 team turned it on with about 15 games left to play and marched to an NBA championship?

Not only that but let's look at the goalposts we have set for the past couple of years. "IF JO could stay healthy" "IF JO can put on some muscle" "IF Artest can stay sane" "If Tinsley can stay healthy" "IF we can just get player X back on the court" "IF we can just get everyone back on the court" "IF Harrison could be a factor" ....IF IF IF...

Eventually, you have to ask yourself exactly where the goalposts are and when are we going to keep them in one place and deal with them realistically.

Apparently JO and Tinsley can't stay healthy for a whole season (or they (and the Pacers) must be two of the unluckiest people in the world). Obviously, Artest couldn't stay sane as a Pacer (we'll let Sacto figure out whether he can stay sane there).

Other goals, we get to but they aren't enough so the the collective wisdom moves the goalposts again. IE: Last year we'd supposedly be on a tear as soon as JO was back from suspension. Then it was as soon as Sjax was back. Then Tinsley. It didn't matter. We played middle of the road basketball.

Then JO went out with injury... (and we do pick up the pace behind Reggie, Dale, Sjax and crew). Then it was as soon as JO returns, we get Tinsley back, and then get them active in the new offense... then we'll be a championship team again.

We take the Pistons to six and this year was going to be our year. Management would make the golden moves, these players would be motivated, experienced, and focused -and we'd have pieces like Harrison to bring to the table making matchup problems for everyone else. Management brings in "the best player in Europe" and drafts Danny Granger. We're 'set'. I'm surprised we didn't just go ahead and hang the banner last September. But then a funny thing happened....the team played mediocre basketball losing to also rans and dining on fool's gold by beating Miami early.

It was obvious chemistry wasn't good.

Tinsley went down with injury... Artest went Artest... JO went down with injury... "The best player in Europe" is now glued to the bench.

Granger was as good as advertised but we're still marred at .500 ball. Harrison has had his moments, yet we're still marred at .500 basketball.

Yet here we are, talking about a run to the championship.

Meanwhile, San Ant and Detroit keep rolling on, barely losing a game here and there. It's major news and worthy of a new thread here just when Detroit is close to losing... let alone when they actually do.

We had 29 turnovers yesterday in a win. While any win is good, losing 29 possessions isn't going to take you far in the championship. And this is with everyone of the supposed 'core' group of players healthy. A championship caliber team shouldn't be turning the ball over 29 times in the last 1/4 of the season.

I just don't know... the next couple of weeks will be telling but I hope we don't have to move the goalposts again to get excited or find some hope to hang onto. There comes a point where we (more importantly TPTB) need to lock the goalposts in place and start figuring out why these guys can't get it done.

-
And I'll add a note... There's only one championship a year and only one team will win it (except in HS class basketball) so not winning it in and of itself isn't the problem. It's looking back and seeing you never really were close all the time that you were telling yourself you were... "If only...."

-Bball

Bball, I'm not sure if I failed to communicate clearly or maybe I just don't underdand your replay. Sounds to me like we're closer together rather than farther apart on this. I specifically choose the term miraculous to describe what I see as an unlikely championship run this year. In other words, if that happened, I would consider it a miracle. Read: not going to happen IMO.

As a result, I suggest making a major player move (or perhaps more). That said, it sounds like precisely what you suggest needs to happen. Shake up the roster b/c this group just is not capable of putting it together. They have the remainder of this season to convince me that some significant changes are NOT in order.

Seed
03-27-2006, 07:10 PM
We cannot afford turning the roster upside down, if we expect a championship within 1-2 years. We should try to make only the most necessary adjustments (SG probably).

Two years ago we were a 0.74 team with 0.62 playoff PCT.
Last year we finished as a 0.54 team with 0.46 playoff PCT.
Currently we are a 0.51 team, and we all know it would take some kind of miracle to go all the way in the playoffs.

If next year is not a solid success story, then I would say this roster is going nowhere, and I'd tear it down.
But for now, let's believe. What else is there to do.

<!--sc--><CENTER> </CENTER>

Bball
03-27-2006, 07:43 PM
Bball, I'm not sure if I failed to communicate clearly or maybe I just don't underdand your replay. Sounds to me like we're closer together rather than farther apart on this. I specifically choose the term miraculous to describe what I see as an unlikely championship run this year. In other words, if that happened, I would consider it a miracle. Read: not going to happen IMO.

As a result, I suggest making a major player move (or perhaps more). That said, it sounds like precisely what you suggest needs to happen. Shake up the roster b/c this group just is not capable of putting it together. They have the remainder of this season to convince me that some significant changes are NOT in order.


We're very close... I was expanding on your point and adding my take, not disagreeing. I'll prface my original reply so that is clearer...

-Bball

Bball
03-27-2006, 07:48 PM
We cannot afford turning the roster upside down, if we expect a championship within 1-2 years. We should try to make only the most necessary adjustments (SG probably).

Two years ago we were a 0.74 team with 0.62 playoff PCT.
Last year we finished as a 0.54 team with 0.46 playoff PCT.
Currently we are a 0.51 team, and we all know it would take some kind of miracle to go all the way in the playoffs.

If next year is not a solid success story, then I would say this roster is going nowhere, and I'd tear it down.
But for now, let's believe. What else is there to do.

<!--sc--><CENTER> </CENTER>

I'm going to save Uncle Buck some typing. The two down years were without Artest. The 'up' year featured Artest for most every game.

Now I will save Jay some typing,
They might've won more regular season games with Artest but by crunch time he would've done something to destroy it all and negatively impact the season and championship aspirations. So either way we weren't a championship team.

Now I will save Peck some typing.
That 61 win season was cotton candy and we're focusing on it too much.

And I probably agree with all 3 of them (which is easy to do when you try to speak for them) ;)


-Bball

rexnom
03-27-2006, 08:04 PM
I'm going to save Uncle Buck some typing. The two down years were without Artest. The 'up' year featured Artest for most every game.

Now I will save Jay some typing,
They might've won more regular season games with Artest but by crunch time he would've done something to destroy it all and negatively impact the season and championship aspirations. So either way we weren't a championship team.

Now I will save Peck some typing.
That 61 win season was cotton candy and we're focusing on it too much.

And I probably agree with all 3 of them (which is easy to do when you try to speak for them) ;)


-Bball

Geez, why do we have to be so gloomy always? I would prefer to be unrealistically optimistic and enjoy myself. We're probably not going to win the championship this year but is it really that inconceivable for us to be there in a few? We have a solid foundation and play the East's best tough. We also have a nice future and we tend to draft well. Look at the Nets. They are ahead of us in the standings but would you rather be in their shoes or ours? There are about five teams that have a better outlook in the NBA than us. And that all can change for the better. Isn't that something? I think that's all Smooth was saying here. And I have to give him credit for having the guts to say it.

Bball
03-27-2006, 08:53 PM
Geez, why do we have to be so gloomy always? I would prefer to be unrealistically optimistic and enjoy myself. We're probably not going to win the championship this year but is it really that inconceivable for us to be there in a few? We have a solid foundation and play the East's best tough. We also have a nice future and we tend to draft well. Look at the Nets. They are ahead of us in the standings but would you rather be in their shoes or ours? There are about five teams that have a better outlook in the NBA than us. And that all can change for the better. Isn't that something? I think that's all Smooth was saying here. And I have to give him credit for having the guts to say it.

I much prefer being pleasantly surprised than to have my hopes and dreams crushed...

-Bball

rexnom
03-27-2006, 09:53 PM
I much prefer being pleasantly surprised than to have my hopes and dreams crushed...

-Bball

My hopes and dreams have been crushed so much in the past few years that at this point virtually nothing can phase me. I swear, we are the most resilliant fan base in basketball.

8.9_seconds
03-28-2006, 12:07 AM
I believe this could be the year. It will happen, if not this year, soon.

Kaufman
03-28-2006, 12:47 AM
This team isn't 1, 2, or 3 players away, necessarily, its 1 chemistry away. We have none. I'm with BBall on this one. The team doesn't play as one, but 5 individual parts. Reminds me of a season in the early 90's when we lost the first game of the season to the Nets and Mark made a comment on the radio at the end of the season wrap up, saying that that season ended a lot like the way it started. Well this season I think will end just like it started - lots of questions. Remember wasn't it Wells who said either this team was going to make it big, or combust? We've combusted. Time for new ideas.

Jermaniac
03-28-2006, 12:53 AM
We are never going to win it, never. Our whole franchise is cursed.