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View Full Version : My thoughts after attending the Celtics game tonight



rexnom
04-13-2006, 12:47 AM
First of all, let me just say that I don't wish to step on the toes of the great recapers like Peck or Bball or think myself too good for the post-game thread but because of college, I rarely get to see Pacer games at Conseco and I just have a lot of thoughts from seeing the game up close.

Following Peck's lead, I decided to go fairly early to see some of our guys warmup. I had about tenth row seats so I had a fairly good view. Outside of the regular stuff that we already know, AJ being professional, JT not caring, etc. I saw some interesting things. I was really encouraged by JO. He went out there and only practiced FTs. Not much of anything else. He has improved lately on the stripe and I think it's due to this. He was out there early with KO and just practiced those FTs. I just wish everyone on our team had his diligence there. I don't think there is anything wrong with his work ethic. Also, those of you who want to trade him for anything other than a no-brainer deal are crazy. The man has clearly improved his game tremendously. (More on JO later). I also saw Jack working a lot with Chuck. That was kind of nice too. AJ was out there guarding Eddie Gill who just drained three after three on him. I know we've discussed this before but man. During warmups Gill is something else.

As for the game, I don't think we should be too encouraged. The Celts did not play Wally, West, and Jefferson and only lost by five. Our defense was just horrendous. Anyone and everyone scored on us.

The coaching was good except Peja was not utilized well enough. Towards the end of the game Granger was on Pierce and doing as good a job as anyone can do on Pierce come 4th quarter. Rick took Granger out and put Peja in. I don't understand this at all. Jack was not shooting well and guarding the Celts's SF. Why not take this opportunity to play Danny and Peja? It would have worked. And Jack missed three wide-open shots that would have sealed the game for us. Weird. Otherwise, I wasn't too mad at Rick. I think the vote of confidence did him good. Two notes though. One, he took JO out early when he wasn't playing well, disproving, at least to me, the whole coddling JO theory. However, I am starting to think more and more that there is something going on with Jack. In the first quarter, after playing great defense on Pierce, Jack fouled him while Pierce made the shot. He was so upset he just walked to the bench and sat down without Rick having enough time to get anybody in. Fortunately JO drew a quick foul and Peja was able to come in. It was really weird. Rick didn't even talk to Jack. It just seemed like he was upset with himself.

About the players...you have to look past the stats on this one because both defenses were SO bad that even Gerald Green had a tremendous night. BTW, I don't think that kid will bust. Unless he has Bender-like injuries, Green is a future star. He is incredibly athletic and fast. He needs to bulk up though. Like, really. He reminded me of a skinnier Bender out there. Scary.

Tinsley...I am as big of a JT fan as anyone. I believe we would have lost last year if it wasn't for him. Tonight, however, he almost cost us the game with mistake after mistake after mistake. Every time he did something good he followed it up with a poor decision. I think Rick got on him about taking less shots, however, and that's good but make no mistake, Tinsley should not be starting or finishing right now...he's head is just not 100% in the game. I am starting to believe that we can do OK with AJ...speaking of AJ...

AJ...at the end of the game when AJ came back in it was almost funny to watch our team. All of our guys were actually afraid of the ball. No one would come to get it from AJ. So AJ just said "screw it" and took it in himself. I don't think JO got a fair chance on that next to last shot, the rest of the team had already run out the shot clock. I think the jury is still out on him and being a clutch performer. I am not quite ready to call JO a choker quite yet. ANYWAYS, back to AJ. AJ needs to stay. He is just old reliable these days. You know what you get. And still, it amazes me how many teams back off of him and give him the 3. Just wow.

Croshere...Croshere was just great again. I think there is a direct correlation between Austin playing and the team's success. He is the leader of this team now. He seems to be the only willing to call everyone out and really do what is required of him. I think Austin is the Robert Horry of this team. The wily veteran.

Jack...oh Jack. What disappoints me is that he is so good. So very talented. The best defender on the Pacers, no question. The job he did on Pierce was as good as anyone. I think that Pierce got in his head or something though. Once Pierce started making shots, Jack started struggling on offense. He sat on the floor after a missed layup while his man hit an open jumper on the other side, he complained to the refs...it all just gets really frustrating. I think Jack should stay. But somebody needs to tell him to grow up. If he had the maturity of our"quiet leader" rookie then he would be the SG we all dream of.

Sarunas...Saras was terrible. Just terrible. I don't know what to do. How many times did Green 1 or Green 2 score on him? 2, 3?

J.O...I'll be brief since I already wrote a little on JO but let me just say this...the whole box out argument has SO many holes in it. JO is a presence. He scares people. Why? Because he blocks shots. The puts him out of position. But it's an easy fix...as long as everyone is on the same page. This is why Detroit doesn't have that problem. Sheed and Tay know to get the weak-side board when Ben goes for the block. I can't count the times that some guard beat his man and then went up for a crazy shot because JO was within two feet of him. Excellent job from that perspective. What I like is that I think we're starting to get the hang of this. We had less let downs tonight. One concern, however, is JO's post defense. Gomes and Perkins both were able to often get their shots against JO. It actually surprised me. Maybe he just isn't 100% yet or something. But Perkins especially, frequently out-muscled JO in the post. It was odd. Still, that doesn't take away from the great game.

Danny...I don't understand why Danny and not Jack had to come out in the end. The kid has shown time and time again that he is ready to step it up in the clutch. He played great defense and got a great board on the last Boston play. He had TWO buzzer-beaters (have to give some credit to Tins for the 3rd quarter one although you could see Danny sneaking around and then running really fast towards the basket). The amazing thing, they never seem to call plays for him. When he went one-on-one with a Celtic, he usually beat his man. He is so versatile. He could easily be that clutch scorer we're looking for. Carlisle is just not giving the chance. I think Carlisle wants him to be like Tay. The thing is, I think Danny can be better. Not that Tay isn't great. I love him. But Danny is just SO versatile. He is a joy to watch. He does so many things out there and is always active it's fantastic.

Foster...played nice in the 1st quarter and kept getting to the line. Not sure what happened to him later. Did he get injured?

Pollard...filled in very nicely. Very good at recognizing the weak side board.

Peja...let me tell you, if you haven't seen this guy play in person. You need to see him. He is an absolute joy. I love that stroke and I love how he moves around the court. I love how he carries himself. We kept bobbling sure-fire assists of his, which was a shame. Also, everytime down he finds a cutting lane. It's uncanny. If he played on a Steve Nash or Jason Kidd team, I'm convinced he'd score on a cut every time down. Uncanny, I tell you. Uncanny. He disappeared in the second half. However, it wasn't his fault. I am fairly sure Tinsley never gave him the ball. And we just stopped looking for a guy who scored 19pts in the first half. He doesn't disappear on teams, teams disappear on him. I still think that if given the chance, he will step up and take that big shot. We need to keep this guy. Oh, and as evidenced by tonight, it is quite possible for him and Danny to co-exist. Whenever we're playing against a team with a bigger SG like Kobe or Pierce, Danny can just guard them on defense and then on offense you have two mismatches. Then when we play smaller SGs, Danny is the sixth man. It is quite managable actually.

Well, that's really it. Thanks for allowing me to vent my thoughts...

Rexnom

Anthem
04-13-2006, 01:15 AM
Good recap, man. Thanks.

Pacersfan.
04-13-2006, 01:25 AM
Thanks for the recap rexnom.

Peck
04-13-2006, 01:31 AM
Outstanding recap of the game.

Like you I have to wonder if there isn't some direct corilation to our team playing a little better & the re-emergence of Austin Croshere.

He made me look the fool in this game, you'll have to ask Shade, Gnome & Buck about that if you want to know, but overall I was very pleased with his game.

Eddie does kick @ss in the pre-game, doesn't he?

Also, & maybe I just read to much into this, but it looks like all the guys really like Ed. You know sometimes you need that on your team as well.

Will Galen
04-13-2006, 02:12 AM
I like recaps and I must say this is a good one! Thank you Rexnom!

Bball
04-13-2006, 02:23 AM
Thanks for the recap. I was wrestling with the other computer and didn't get to watch the game as closely as I would've liked.

I didn't notice Tinsley playing bad tho. I also wondered if we minimized JO's role somewhat because it didn't appear we were forcing as much stuff thru him... or that he was forcing as much himself. And I certainly saw some hustle plays from him. Especially in the first half where he was disruptive enough that he caused Boston to lose the rebound out of bounds a couple of times.

I don't remember seeing that kind of hustle from him since back towards the beginning of the season when Austin questioned the team's leadership...
...hey.... hmmmmm.... Is that a coincidence???

But... it is hard to say too much because I had stretches of the game where I only heard it, I didn't see it (thanks to working on a computer that HAS to be working ASAP). That might've skewed things too much for me.

I do question a couple of late game things....
JO's clunker in crunch time was a reminder of why there's a problem with JO's game. He never should've even taken that IMHO. It was totally forced.

AJ's lay up near the end (after his steal)- I believe he had Austin coming to the hoop wide open for a better shot than AJ himself took and I've seen AJ taking too many 'hero' shots and coming up short so that I would've preferred he passed it to Austin. I'd have to see the replay and see if my eyes deceived me but it sure looked like Austin could've easily slammed it home if AJ would've dished off. IOW, just because he hit it, I'm still not ready to trust his late game/end of quarter judgements. But AJ hit the shot so I guess it's a moot point. ...this time...

-Bball

able
04-13-2006, 05:01 AM
Nice recap. I jus don't understand the anti-tinsley glsses.

Out of the 7 Ast JT had in the first half, 4 or 5 were on Peja.
Peja got pulled in the 4th (when JT was playing) with 8 minutes to go, to only return with less then 1 min to play. A player that's not in the game is the toughest to hand out Ast to that count towards anything but turnovers.

Rick said he most likely overplayed JT in the 2nd half, and he subbed him becuse JT was tired. he had (when taken out) played 12+ minutes straight.

Despite AJ's late game heroics (for once not the scapegoat) J played a very solid game and both times we got 10(+) point leads it was with him in the game, playing with the bench or the starters.

Seed
04-13-2006, 06:15 AM
Sarunas...Saras was terrible. Just terrible.

29 seconds from hell.



I don't know what to do.

Trade him.



How many times did Green 1 or Green 2 score on him? 2, 3?

Once, but who's counting.

Lithfan
04-13-2006, 06:18 AM
Sarunas...Saras was terrible. Just terrible. I don't know what to do. How many times did Green 1 or Green 2 score on him? 2, 3?


Great recap indeed! Thanx.

However, the quoted line raises some questions.
Saras played 30 seconds in the 1st quarter and thats it!
Green scored once during this period. Saras didn't guarded him. Green is forward. WTF!!!

You are probably confusing between Saras and Peja.

By the way, question for those who attended the game:
Was there any reason that Rick played Saras only 30 sec in the 1st?
Like all of the sudden he reminded that he should stick to two guards rotation?

hoopsforlife
04-13-2006, 06:34 AM
29 seconds from hell.


Trade him.


Once, but who's counting.

LOLAL

rexnom
04-13-2006, 08:04 AM
After cooling off a bit now, I realize that I might have been a bit harsh on Tinsley. He was key in establishing the lead. He was key in losing too, however. I don't know, maybe he was in too long. But he was very frustrating towards the end. I'd be willing to chalk it off as fatigue though. So it's ok.

About Sarunas, fairly sure he got put on Gerald Green, Green just whizzed by him and then got back and had about five feet of openness to knock down a shot. And the thing with Green is that if you just guard him, he can't hit a shot but if he is open, he does exponentially better. Anyways, even though we all cheered when Saras came in, we all sort of quietly cheered when he came out too. I don't doubt that he could have gone and had an impact on the offensive game but when your defense is that bad and you don't have a Peja-like influence on the game, it is extremely hard to overlook.

AJ I think was doing his best Mike James impression towards the end but I can't really blame him. Most of our guys seriously looked like they had the "no, I don't want it, you take it" look on their face towards the end. That makes me wonder, does Rick call as many plays towards the end? Because that AJ shot could not have been a play.

sixthman
04-13-2006, 11:49 AM
I like recaps and I must say this is a good one! Thank you Rexnom!

Enjoyed the post immensely, too!

Austin had another nice game and JO was a stud, giving me hope.

Damn, I like it when we win.

sixthman
04-13-2006, 11:51 AM
That makes me wonder, does Rick call as many plays towards the end? Because that AJ shot could not have been a play.

After the game, AJ said it was a busted play - so apparently a play was called.

Jermaniac
04-13-2006, 12:03 PM
Great recap indeed! Thanx.

However, the quoted line raises some questions.
Saras played 30 seconds in the 1st quarter and thats it!
Green scored once during this period. Saras didn't guarded him. Green is forward. WTF!!!

You are probably confusing between Saras and Peja.

By the way, question for those who attended the game:
Was there any reason that Rick played Saras only 30 sec in the 1st?
Like all of the sudden he reminded that he should stick to two guards rotation?Ohh yes Saras did guraded him, and thats why he only played 30 seconds.

Doug
04-13-2006, 12:21 PM
Good recap. Thanks.

IMO, Sara should *never* get lit up by Green. Because he shouldn't be guarding him. That's a coaching problem.

The two words that popped into my head watching Gerald Green: "Christmas Game". So I obviously agree with the Bender comparison, or at least his performance had a "Bender-esqe" feel to it.

It's tough to watch Danny Granger play and not get excited about his potential. He's going to be really, really good. He's not as physically gifted as some players, but boy does he really understand the game. That means the little things, too, positioning on both offense and defense, movement, when to help. And you can almost see him learning more every single play - when he makes a mistake I feel like he's analyzing what just happened and figuring out how to handle it in the future. Danny is everything Bender was not in this respect.

joeyd
04-13-2006, 04:33 PM
Excellent recap, but wanted to mention some things. I have been to several games this season, but say what you will about Jackson, the guy always seems to be trying. Yes, he sometimes makes bad decisions, but his intensity is a positive thing. I just wish it was more contagious. Foster, Granger, AJ, Croshere and even Pollard always played hard when I've seen them.

If I had one recommendation for Foster, it would be to get out early and start shooting foul shots with JO. It is unacceptable for anyone to be shooting around 50% at the free throw line, and I think with his several opportunities, he was well under that during his brief stint during the Celtics game before the back spasms hit. Just as with most things in life, it's all about discipline.

Lastly, I also think that Granger is under-utilized. In some ways, this guy reminds me more of Allen Iverson than Scottie Pippen in how he gets things done on the court. He's a smart player, and always a threat. Indeed, he could evolve into our all-around go-to player. At this point, we'd be hard-pressed to call anyone's number over that of another player's. Right now, Peja would be the go-to guy outside the paint, and JO inside the paint, but Granger can potentially go from anywhere. Truly an exciting player who should only get better with time.

CableKC
04-13-2006, 05:32 PM
Rick took Granger out and put Peja in. I don't understand this at all. Jack was not shooting well and guarding the Celts's SF. Why not take this opportunity to play Danny and Peja? It would have worked. And Jack missed three wide-open shots that would have sealed the game for us. Weird.
I am not surprised that Carlisle does that. By Default...he is always going to go with who he is most comfortable....SJax...whether he is doing good or not.

Get used to it...in the playoffs........Granger, Sarunas and Harrison won't see any real playing time.

CableKC
04-13-2006, 05:45 PM
Why are you all surprised that a player as quick as Green could continually score on a player like Sarunas?

Its not like Sarunas can provide any real defense.

I just have no idea why Sarunas is guarding him in the first place....but I'm guessing that Sarunas was playing backup SG minutes....that's why he was stuck with guarding Green.

Hicks
04-13-2006, 07:15 PM
It's tough to watch Danny Granger play and not get excited about his potential. He's going to be really, really good. He's not as physically gifted as some players, but boy does he really understand the game. That means the little things, too, positioning on both offense and defense, movement, when to help. And you can almost see him learning more every single play - when he makes a mistake I feel like he's analyzing what just happened and figuring out how to handle it in the future. Danny is everything Bender was not in this respect.

What makes you say that? Because he doesn't dunk the ball a lot? Seriously; I'm confused by this. He looks fairly atheletic to me, but looking beyond that, he's tall, he's strong, he's long. How is that not physically gifted?

pizza guy
04-13-2006, 08:07 PM
I've liked Sarunas since he played his first game as a Pacer, and I was completely content with him on the bench last night. He was in for those 30 seconds and I saw him "guarding" Green and I thought, "oh know, this is bad." Green beat him only once I think in those 30 seconds, but, had it been 35 seconds, he might have gotten beat 3 times. Green would've burned him ALL night because he's just too fast for Sarunas. Definetely agreed with that one.


It's tough to watch Danny Granger play and not get excited about his potential. He's going to be really, really good. He's not as physically gifted as some players, but boy does he really understand the game. That means the little things, too, positioning on both offense and defense, movement, when to help. And you can almost see him learning more every single play - when he makes a mistake I feel like he's analyzing what just happened and figuring out how to handle it in the future. Danny is everything Bender was not in this respect.

:stupid:

owl
04-13-2006, 08:35 PM
What makes you say that? Because he doesn't dunk the ball a lot? Seriously; I'm confused by this. He looks fairly atheletic to me, but looking beyond that, he's tall, he's strong, he's long. How is that not physically gifted?


Granger is not Matrix athletic as far as leaping ability and maybe not quite
as quick a jumper but he is plenty athletic. I believe he resembles
most Scottie Pippin. He is angular like Pippin and shoots like Pippin.
His first step is a little slower than Pippin. Granger is good.
Bottom line


owl

Doug
04-13-2006, 09:29 PM
What makes you say that? Because he doesn't dunk the ball a lot? Seriously; I'm confused by this. He looks fairly atheletic to me, but looking beyond that, he's tall, he's strong, he's long. How is that not physically gifted?

I didn't choose my words very well. I certainly wasn't try to put him down. He *is* pretty athletic. I was trying to say he's not "freakishly atheletic". He's pretty strong for his size, but not Ben Wallace / Ron Artest strong. He's a good leaper, but not a jump out of the gym leaper. He's a decent ball handler, but not a cross-you-over, behind the back, what just happened, player. He is not a human ESPN highlight film, like so many of the younger players aspire to be.

But basically what I was trying to get at is that he does not depend upon his athletic skills as much as he does his basketball skills. He is the anti-Bender.

Hicks
04-13-2006, 10:10 PM
I didn't choose my words very well. I certainly wasn't try to put him down. He *is* pretty athletic. I was trying to say he's not "freakishly atheletic". He's pretty strong for his size, but not Ben Wallace / Ron Artest strong. He's a good leaper, but not a jump out of the gym leaper. He's a decent ball handler, but not a cross-you-over, behind the back, what just happened, player. He is not a human ESPN highlight film, like so many of the younger players aspire to be.

But basically what I was trying to get at is that he does not depend upon his athletic skills as much as he does his basketball skills. He is the anti-Bender.

In that case I totally agree. It's huge that that is the case, too; it means he won't fade away in 3 years when his body is worn down a bit (see Fred Jones)

brichard
04-13-2006, 10:35 PM
Thanks for the recap, and it is good to get different perspectives.

pizza guy
04-13-2006, 11:38 PM
I didn't choose my words very well. I certainly wasn't try to put him down. He *is* pretty athletic. I was trying to say he's not "freakishly atheletic". He's pretty strong for his size, but not Ben Wallace / Ron Artest strong. He's a good leaper, but not a jump out of the gym leaper. He's a decent ball handler, but not a cross-you-over, behind the back, what just happened, player. He is not a human ESPN highlight film, like so many of the younger players aspire to be.

But basically what I was trying to get at is that he does not depend upon his athletic skills as much as he does his basketball skills. He is the anti-Bender.

Yeah, that I can definetly agree with.

Bball
04-14-2006, 07:05 AM
I didn't choose my words very well. I certainly wasn't try to put him down. He *is* pretty athletic. I was trying to say he's not "freakishly atheletic". He's pretty strong for his size, but not Ben Wallace / Ron Artest strong. He's a good leaper, but not a jump out of the gym leaper. He's a decent ball handler, but not a cross-you-over, behind the back, what just happened, player. He is not a human ESPN highlight film, like so many of the younger players aspire to be.

But basically what I was trying to get at is that he does not depend upon his athletic skills as much as he does his basketball skills. He is the anti-Bender.

Maybe he's smart enough to play the game the right way rather than try and get by on athleticism alone?

-Bball

Doug
04-14-2006, 08:56 AM
Maybe he's smart enough to play the game the right way rather than try and get by on athleticism alone?

-Bball

Exactly.

And he seems to learn and adjust very quickly. I can see him getting better every year. He's going to have a very long and very successful NBA career. (Hopefully all with the Pacers.)

BillS
04-14-2006, 09:27 AM
He is the anti-Bender.

Oooh, I like this. I'm stealin' it for my sig!

beast23
04-14-2006, 12:10 PM
Bottom line is that Granger is a fundamentalist... my kind of player.

He already knows how and is willing to do the dirty work... boxing out, screening, taking the charge... you name it.

What I notice about him defensively is his positioning and that he knows "how to block a shot". He doesn't block many shots as the ball is being released. Instead, he blocks shots 8-12 inches from the release, avoiding fouls.

As long as Smits played, this is one thing he never was able to learn. He let his size go to waste defensively by picking up cheap fouls trying to block the ball at the shooter's hand and not just after the release.

Anthem
04-14-2006, 12:24 PM
Bottom line is that Granger is a fundamentalist...
I thought he was a Jehovah's Witness?

:flirt: