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Peck
05-12-2006, 12:10 PM
Today we evaluate the center position.

As it stands right now we have Jeff Foster, David Harrison & Jermaine O'Neal who all can play center. Scot Pollard is a free agent & may or may not be re-signed by the team.

We'll look at the strength & weakness of each player & then evaluate the overall position.

Jeff Foster has been the starter for the past three seasons. Jeff is a very good defender of players who face the basket. He has fairly quick lateral quickness for a big man & thus can position himself between the ball & the basket often times causing a charge or a passoff. Jeff also has quick hands so he does slap balls away quite a bit as well. Jeff is also a very quick rebounder & he has spent time studying where the ball will go after a shot so he often gets to the ball before anyone else because of his knowledge of where the ball will drop.

He is a willing pick setter, screen setter.

His biggest attribute may be in the fact that he is an energy guy. He is always playing at a high level & I don't think anyone has or can ever accuse him of dogging it on the floor.

Jeff's weakness are a complete & utter lack of any offensive skills other than a dunk or a putback lay up. He has zero ability to hit a jumper from either 5 or 15 feet, thus allowing teams to just lay off of him & often times double team Jermaine O'Neal. Jeff is not good at defending back to the basket players as long as they can back him down. If Mark Blount & Brendan Haywood would play vs. Jeff every night they would be all-star players & neither of these two are very good vs. anybody else.

Jeff can be solved by other teams simply placing a body on him. Every year in the playoffs at some point in time Jeff just simply gets put on the bench because other teams shut him off of the glass & his lack of offense makes him a liability on the floor.

Injurys are starting to be a concern as well. Now not in the way that a lot of people think. IMO, his game has improved as he has aged because now he is beginning to rely more on smarts & strength instead of quickness & athleticism. However he is playing fewer & fewer games each year so you have to wonder how his body will handle the beatings that can occur in the post.

David Harrison has something you cannot teach, size. Not only is he tall, a legit 7', but he is very wide & thick. However he is not fat as most of his weight comes from solid muscle. David has shown signs of being a very good player on offense in the low post & can hit a face up jumper from about 10' out which is about all you really can ever want out of your center. He has shown signs of being a great shot blocker in fact on a couple of occasions I'd say he's shown he can be a game changing shot blocker. Only Shaq & Eddy Curry have any hope whatsoever of backing David down & even only Shaq really can do it.

He is a willing screen/pick setter. He does not shy away from physical contact at all & in fact often times people shy away from him.

David's weakness is simple, his brain. This is a man who if he had the mentallity of a Shaq could be a mini me version of the Diesel. I'm not kidding he has the physical tools to do it & is gifted enough on the offensive end to be like him (No I'm not saying he could be as good as Shaq or even as close to as good I'm just saying he could be very good).

He can litterally make the dumbest fouls I've ever seen on the floor in my life & on offense he can be to quick to take shots in a double team & does not pass out as fast as he could.

However one of the main complaints about David coming out of college was that he lacked the work ethic to succeed in the NBA. According to Bird in his press conferance David is staying in Indianapolis again this summer to work with the team & will participate in the summer league team again. I think the work ethic is just fine.

One last problem & it is a big one. His attitude vs the referee's. Obviously the fans in this state are tired of the players on this team acting as though they never commit a foul so David is going to be on a short leash with the fans & if he continues along this path I suspect he will recieve the Stephen Jackson treatment. But worse, I think David is getting a reputation with the officials & let's just say I don't think you will see a lot of benefit of the doubt calls go his way if he doesn't change & fast.

Jermaine O'Neal has all the tools to be a star center in the NBA. He is 6'11" tall & he weighs 265lbs of pretty much solid muscle. He is one of the better shot blockers in the entire NBA & can defend the post very well. He is a premier post player on offense & only maybe a handfull of players have more moves around the basket than he does.

He is becoming a better passer & has worked hard this season to hit whatever cutters we may have.

He is willing to set picks/screens but I wouldn't call him eager to do it.

Jermaine's weakness is along the lines of David's just not as severe. The only reason Jermaine O'Neal is not the # 2 center in the NBA right now is because he does not like physical contact. Body structure wise as I've listed there are only a few who are bigger than him. Whenever teams become physical with him instead of accepting it as a challenge he becomes offended because either they or the refs do not show him enough respect to keep them from doing it. He is a good rebounder but he is a poor positional rebounder & rarely boxes his player off of the glass.

Only Jermaine keeps Jermaine from being a star here.

Scot Pollard is a physical player. He is a good positional rebounder & is a better than average post defender about people backing down to the basket. He can hit a face up jumper from 10-15' & has very good hands around the basket when he tips offensive rebounds. He is a good passer.

He is a willing screen/pick setter.

Scot has lower than average lateral quickness for a big man so players that face the basket can get a jump on him. He has no post offense of his own at all. Injury's have been a proble with Scot for years & his availabilty has been in question many times. However I question how often he is injured vs the coach just not playing him.

Scot is a free agent & I would not be suprised to see him sign elswhere.

Ok, let's look at the position as a whole.

As we speak, IMO, we have only one true center on our team, David Harrison.

Both Jermaine O'Neal & Jeff Foster are better off when they are playing the power forward positions & matched with a stronger post player.

I think that David Harrison has been handled poorly by the current coach. Now don't get me wrong David has not helped his cause at all but I think what the team should have done was during the second quarter if David gets two fouls you just let him play through it. If he fouls out in the first half is that really any different from him getting two fouls in the second quarter going to the bench & then getting two fouls in the third quarter & never seeing the game again? I don't think so. I think right now David is playing looking over his shoulder & I don't think that his helpfull.

If I were the coach I would simply tell David that he can foul & not have to worry about it, but the first time he stops & complains to a ref about a foul then he's going to the bench & the next time he does it he is not getting off of the bench till the next game. Then if he does it again he doesn't play the next game so on & so forth till he understands that he cannot talk to the referee's.

Jeff is just better off when he comes off of the bench because whether he plays as a starter or as a backup his production is about the same & when he comes in vs other teams second tier he is better than they are so he brings an influx of energy.

Jermaine has stated he is going to lose 15 lbs which is a good thing for him so when he does he then will have a legit reason to not be the center. However that just makes our center spot more shaky.

We need to sign a veteran big man who can defend the post & grab rebounds, then we have to convince our coach to let that person play.

Yes, I'll go ahead & say it now. We need a Dale Davis like player as we have since the 00 season, with the short exception of last season when we had Dale Davis. However Dale is to old now to be of any real help so I think we have to look to either work a trade or sign a free agent.

But I'll say it again, you have to have a coach who is willing to play those types of players & so far (other than Dale) Rick has not shown he wants to do that.

The center position, to me anyway, is a glaring weakness on our team & should be addressed immediately.

Unclebuck
05-12-2006, 12:27 PM
I'm not going to get into the specifics, except to say what I've said since the season ended.

I hope that Jeff Foster is the big guy off the bench next season, because that means the Pacers have really upgraded their center position. I do hope that happens.

Now before Doug in OH rips Jeff again I better log off

Doug in CO
05-12-2006, 12:30 PM
I'm not going to get into the specifics, except to say what I've said since the season ended.

I hope that Jeff Foster is the big guy off the bench next season, because that means the Pacers have really upgraded their center position. I do hope that happens.

Now before Doug in OH rips Jeff again I better log off

Nope - that horse is dead - I am done

beast23
05-12-2006, 02:56 PM
I hope that Jeff Foster is the big guy off the bench next season, because that means the Pacers have really upgraded their center position. I do hope that happens.
Ditto.

I don't believe the Pacers will be able to re-sign Pollard, even if Bird says they would like to. I either don't believe Pollard will be willing or I don't believe the Pacers will offer enough.

Harrison has to develop. And, I'm right in tune with Peck's handling of Harrison's mouth. It's exactly the way that I've handled players that I've coached through the years.

It would seem that we have the assets (Jackson, Tinsley, Jones) to acquire a pretty good center... at least one capable of competing for major minutes on the floor.

It all just boils down to how Larry and Donnie prioritize our needs. If a new SG or PG gets more attention, then we will be lucky if we get a backup center that will see many minutes.

Gamble
05-12-2006, 03:09 PM
Well assuming that JO isn't traded and he does lose 15lb than I have
to believe that Larry and DW will go for a center.

Of course I have seen our needs not meet more times than not so
I'll hold my breath.

As for Scott Pollard I hope we resign him and carry 3 centers into
next year. With so many needs I highly doubt we can.

Of the centers out there that we might be able to get, I like Kaman, Nazr, Magloire.

Since86
05-12-2006, 03:15 PM
If I were the coach I would simply tell David that he can foul & not have to worry about it, but the first time he stops & complains to a ref about a foul then he's going to the bench & the next time he does it he is not getting off of the bench till the next game. Then if he does it again he doesn't play the next game so on & so forth till he understands that he cannot talk to the referee's.


You used the right word in the beginning, but changed it to "talk" here. I doubt you did it on purpose, and it was just the wrong choice of word, but DH has to be able to talk to the officials.

An open door of communication between David and an official will help both sides. It will let DH know what he did wrong, and let officials know he's working on their relationship and his fundamentals.

I'd hate to see DH just shut his mouth completely, and never ask for an explaination. Being told why it was wrong teaches more than just being told it was wrong.

But I'd definately draw a line between staring at an official and outright complaining, than asking for an explaination.

blanket
05-12-2006, 03:36 PM
Of the centers out there that we might be able to get, I like Kaman, Nazr, Magloire.

I can't imagine a scenario in which we could pry Kaman from the Clips, but I certainly hope you're right.

PJ Brown might be another stop-gap possibility, as well as Antonio Davis (if he doesn't retire) or *gasp* Michael Olowokandi.

Tim
05-12-2006, 04:36 PM
I am not ready to throw in the towel on David. Most of the work needs to be done between his ears but he might learn to control it.

Jermaine has made progress in this area.

Gamble
05-12-2006, 05:07 PM
I am not throwing in the towel on big DH. I just want a vet who
can produce good defensive minutes for us.

J_2_Da_IzzO
05-12-2006, 05:16 PM
Jermaine O'Neal : Not a center. Could be great center, already is great PF so leave him there.

Foster : Rebounds, nothing more.

Harrison : Few bursts of good offensive game here and there.

Pollard : Defense.

All our legit centers dont have an all round game. Foster and Pollard excel in one thing and David just gives us hope in some games that he can be something good but I doubt he ever will be.

Unclebuck
05-12-2006, 05:52 PM
Foster : Rebounds, nothing more.

Foster and Pollard excel in one thing and David just gives us hope in some games that he can be something good but I doubt he ever will be.



You don't think Jeff is a good defender

brichard
05-12-2006, 09:02 PM
JO should be our center. He doesn't want to be, but he needs to be based on our current roster. Period.

But, since he squeals like a fax machine over it, I sure hope we slot somebody else in the role. But Foster and Pollard are just so flawed on offense that it hurts us. If one thing the Bulls teams taught us, it is that you can win with a marginal center. It is pretty sad when a person laments not having a Luc Longley. (sigh)

And it isn't just that they can't score. They can't catch the ball. They can't dribble. Even when they shoot a 2 ft. layup you don't feel secure it is really going in. Such ineptness at this stage of being in the leauge is just unforgivable. You can blame some of it on the coach, but there is a little bit of Popeye in each of them to not score a bit more.

The injuries between all three guys is pretty daunting as well.

I'm fine with getting a defensive stopper, but give me a guy who can catch, pass, and score 8-10 pts a game. I don't expect Shaq, but throw me a friggin' bone.

Harrison. I don't hate Harrison, I'm just not sure this is the team for him. We just don't need a project at that position at this time. We could handle a project at SF, but now is the time to have a veteran at C.

I would like to keep him, but I've said before that I won't die if he is traded. We have to lose some of our headcases and he is one that should have some trade value b/c of his size and small contract.

Arcadian
05-12-2006, 09:46 PM
I thought maybe 3 years ago that JO was our center. I've since changed my mind. He is a better player lighter and at the PF. Jeff is a PF also.

I'm to the point were I just want a big body to play by JO. Unfortunately we don't have any one who is reliable physically and mentally.

That said our back court is more of a concern to me.

Robertmto
05-12-2006, 09:49 PM
I can't imagine a scenario in which we could pry Kaman from the Clips, but I certainly hope you're right.

PJ Brown might be another stop-gap possibility, as well as Antonio Davis (if he doesn't retire) or *gasp* Michael Olowokandi.

I don't think Michael Olowokandi would come back to Indy because of the time he was arrested in a local night club.

ChicagoJ
05-12-2006, 09:55 PM
You don't think Jeff is a good defender

You're trying to pick up last minute "Most Humerous" votes, aren't you??



David is a better post defender that Jeff, already.

Jeff is good at that wimpy front-the-post crap. :woot2: :unimpress

ChicagoJ
05-12-2006, 09:58 PM
I thought maybe 3 years ago that JO was our center. I've since changed my mind. He is a better player lighter and at the PF. Jeff is a PF also.

I'm the guy, three seasons ago, who started the "JO is the best C in the Eastern Conference" thread. (Pretty sure it was lost in one of the fires or I'd bump it.)

But I no longer believe that, and it has nothing to do with Shaq coming East.

JO needs to play PF. His body can't hold up to the beating he's been taking ever since Brad left.

beast23
05-12-2006, 10:29 PM
The one thing that I would say about Foster offensively is that he is a decent pick and roll PF.

However, he is only going to be effective if he would be teaming up with a PG that can score from outside over the screen or off of the drive around the screen. Someone playing like AJ played in the playoffs. However, Jeff would only be able to score on the roll to the basket; as everyone knows he is not able to hit the 10-15 foot jumper when he slides out of the pick.

Unfortunately, the Pacers do not employ the pick and roll very often. Tinsley is not consistent enough from the outside to pull it off effectively with Foster and AJ is not a crisp enough passer.

But I do believe Foster would be a better contributing offensive player if we had the right PG for him to pair up with. Not that Foster would ever be more than a 3rd or 4th option on the floor at best, and not that we would ever go looking for a PG just so we could pair him up with Foster.

But if we are looking for a PG anyway, the pick and roll would be a nice tool to add to the Pacer offensive game, and Foster would certainly benefit from it.

ChicagoJ
05-12-2006, 10:35 PM
I'd be happy if Foster could just improve himself to the be a legit "fifth option" on the court.

:devil:

Unclebuck
05-13-2006, 08:26 AM
Let me just say it seems to me that we are having so much trouble trying to find a suitable player to complement JO, that maybe JO is the problem. If he is so good shouldn't he make the other players around him better. Should it really be this difficult and pain staking to find a decent player to play alongside him. I mean do the Spurs have as much trouble finding a suitable player to complement Duncan.

Is it any coincidence that the Pacers have played their best ball over the past two seasons with either Dale and Jeff starting or Scot and Jeff starting. Are there any other top 10 or top 15 player in the whole NBA where the same thing happens.

It does make me wonder

able
05-13-2006, 08:39 AM
xcuse me ? Spurs ? You mean they have dropped Nazr and Nesto ??

Common Buck, U you know better :D

Nazr besides JO and it is likely JO comes out MVP

JO has a physical problem playing C and it has little to do with the banging he receives, though it sure aint healthy, but that is his "build".

A C needs a low center of gravity, same as in Judo, the lower the center of gravity, the harder it is to push you around or topple you over.
JO's upper body is very strong, which allows him to make any move he wants, but due to his legs being long he has a high center of gravity which makes him also a good shot blocker.

He gets pushed around not because of a lack of strenght or work, but because his "balance" is easily disturbed in a pushing match, hence he is not suitable for it, a player with a low(er) center of gravity like Polly or Hulk is harder to push while JO might bench press twice as much (figuratively) then they do.
That physique is also what makes him an exteme good PF, so let's just play him there.

All I can say is that IMO Peck is spot on with 99% of his consdirations here and that I (on top of that) sincerely hope the coach (whomever he may be) will start playing our players in their natural position so we can get the best out of them instead of the occasional "match-up".

ChicagoJ
05-13-2006, 10:33 AM
Let me just say it seems to me that we are having so much trouble trying to find a suitable player to complement JO, that maybe JO is the problem. If he is so good shouldn't he make the other players around him better. Should it really be this difficult and pain staking to find a decent player to play alongside him. I mean do the Spurs have as much trouble finding a suitable player to complement Duncan.

Is it any coincidence that the Pacers have played their best ball over the past two seasons with either Dale and Jeff starting or Scot and Jeff starting. Are there any other top 10 or top 15 player in the whole NBA where the same thing happens.

It does make me wonder

We've still got a team built around a sweet shooting skinny somewhat slow SG that has retired.

I'm not sure we've had trouble finding the right compliments for JO because I dont' think we've ever tried.

DisplacedKnick
05-13-2006, 10:52 AM
Well, however you pick it apart what it ultimately comes down to is your center position is manned by one good NBA backup, one guy who may eventually become a solid player and one guy who used to be a good NBA backup but is injured a lot.

This team has a lot more holes than it did 3 years ago but this is your biggest.

beast23
05-13-2006, 11:02 AM
Not to open a can of worms, but that unmentionable fellow who was sacrificed a few years ago in a sign-and-trade was a very good match with Jermaine. Someone who can defend the bigger player, take up space around the basket and get a few boards and hit a 10-15 foot open shot. That's really all we need.

Pollard was thought to be that player. And, if it were not for his back problem, could easily have been that player.

I don't see the matchup as being the only problem. What I see is that the offensive sets are also to blame when Jermaine is in the game.

Rick does not use Foster as a center offensively, therefore Jermaine has to play a lot of low post. Matter of fact, Rick has NEVER really attempted to use Foster as a low post player.

Foster's only ability to score is near the basket, so why not see if he can play with his back to the basket, if nothing else as a decoy who quickly passes the ball back out. Or maybe he could use his quickness against other centers and get a few points a game. His other function would be to set low post screens for Jermaine to help get him open.

Perhaps this is just a scatter-brained idea, I don't know.

But one thing to me is very clear. Jermaine plays better when he has a complementary player that is a threat to score. Foster is not a threat to score 15 feet from the basket; he certainly is a threat to score 8 feet from the basket with the ball in his hands.

If we don't get another center, then in those times that Harrison is not in the game it's time to try something new. Because what we are doing now with Jermaine is only partly successful.

But this probably goes back to a coaching change, because Carlisle seems to have tunnel vision when it comes to Jermaine.

Bball
05-14-2006, 12:20 PM
But this probably goes back to a coaching change, because Carlisle seems to have tunnel vision when it comes to Jermaine.

:amen:

-Bball

aceace
05-14-2006, 12:41 PM
On upgrading the Center position: IMHO Granger is ready to take over the 3 as a starter. With that said I would have no problem doing a sign and trade with Peja going and a decent Center in return. I would ship him anywhere except our division. If a Center can't be had then resign him and move Granger to the 2 and send Jax to the Knicks for a bag of chips aka: Jerome James.

jcouts
05-14-2006, 08:36 PM
On upgrading the Center position: IMHO Granger is ready to take over the 3 as a starter. With that said I would have no problem doing a sign and trade with Peja going and a decent Center in return. I would ship him anywhere except our division. If a Center can't be had then resign him and move Granger to the 2 and send Jax to the Knicks for a bag of chips aka: Jerome James.

send Peja back to Sacto for Brad....of course with other players involved...take your picks

Skaut_Ech
05-15-2006, 10:51 AM
Not to open a can of worms, but that unmentionable fellow who was sacrificed a few years ago in a sign-and-trade was a very good match with Jermaine. Someone who can defend the bigger player, take up space around the basket and get a few boards and hit a 10-15 foot open shot. That's really all we need.

Pollard was thought to be that player. And, if it were not for his back problem, could easily have been that player.

I don't see the matchup as being the only problem. What I see is that the offensive sets are also to blame when Jermaine is in the game.

Rick does not use Foster as a center offensively, therefore Jermaine has to play a lot of low post. Matter of fact, Rick has NEVER really attempted to use Foster as a low post player.

Foster's only ability to score is near the basket, so why not see if he can play with his back to the basket, if nothing else as a decoy who quickly passes the ball back out. Or maybe he could use his quickness against other centers and get a few points a game. His other function would be to set low post screens for Jermaine to help get him open.

Perhaps this is just a scatter-brained idea, I don't know.

But one thing to me is very clear. Jermaine plays better when he has a complementary player that is a threat to score. Foster is not a threat to score 15 feet from the basket; he certainly is a threat to score 8 feet from the basket with the ball in his hands.

If we don't get another center, then in those times that Harrison is not in the game it's time to try something new. Because what we are doing now with Jermaine is only partly successful.

But this probably goes back to a coaching change, because Carlisle seems to have tunnel vision when it comes to Jermaine.

Hey, beast, I am so with ya.

Not to be redundant, but I've been saying in other posts that Jeff was a nice scorer (inside) in college. I even saw him play in person. I think as a pro, he's had it so beat into his head that his only funtion is to rebound, that he's let his jumper woefully regress.

Show of hands.....anyone remember when LB started making Dale a scoring option? Bueller?? Bueller? Bueller?

Remeber how funny and painful it was to watch? Dale hunkered over pounding the ball with his back to the basket...then the cringe inducing turaround jumper...clang! But over time, he got a little consistancy to it and teams couldn't just leave him alone, as they do Jeff. I have said since day one that this team underestmaites and misuses Foster. I think he has more versatility than he's been allowed to show in ourn team's quest to have a Rodman/Danny Fortson/Junkyard dog type player.

And, oh, yeah.....


JO should be our center. He doesn't want to be, but he needs to be based on our current roster. Period.

But, since he squeals like a fax machine over it, I sure hope we slot somebody else in the role. But Foster and Pollard are just so flawed on offense that it hurts us. If one thing the Bulls teams taught us, it is that you can win with a marginal center. It is pretty sad when a person laments not having a Luc Longley. (sigh)

And it isn't just that they can't score. They can't catch the ball. They can't dribble. Even when they shoot a 2 ft. layup you don't feel secure it is really going in. Such ineptness at this stage of being in the leauge is just unforgivable. You can blame some of it on the coach, but there is a little bit of Popeye in each of them to not score a bit more.

First of all, Jermaine SHOULD play C. I look at guys like Bosh and Dalembert and Chandler and think how Jemaine should be used the same way.

I think we've set outselves up where the C position is the slop position. It reminds me a bit of when we had Jalen, Mark Jackson, Rik and Mullin on the floor at the same time and Dale or Tank were relied upon to do all the grunt work.

The Pacer's organization has turned Pollard and Foster into grunt men, and part of their game has regressed because of it. I don't think it's a Popeye situation, I think it's the equivalent of Jr. High when they strongly encouraged certain kids to take shop class casue that's all they be good for in life.

Instead of allowing them a full ciruculum, we've put Jeff, Pollard and, yes, Harrison on the short bus program. If we made them a part of the offensive scheme, I betr they both would produce and gain confidence to grow.

Peck
05-15-2006, 11:52 AM
Let me just say it seems to me that we are having so much trouble trying to find a suitable player to complement JO, that maybe JO is the problem. If he is so good shouldn't he make the other players around him better. Should it really be this difficult and pain staking to find a decent player to play alongside him. I mean do the Spurs have as much trouble finding a suitable player to complement Duncan.

Is it any coincidence that the Pacers have played their best ball over the past two seasons with either Dale and Jeff starting or Scot and Jeff starting. Are there any other top 10 or top 15 player in the whole NBA where the same thing happens.

It does make me wonder

I don't know how I missed this when you first posted it but may I suggest that this is quite possibly the best thing you have ever written.

PacerMan
05-15-2006, 12:41 PM
I am not ready to throw in the towel on David. Most of the work needs to be done between his ears but he might learn to control it.

Jermaine has made progress in this area.


agreed. Almost all of my concentration would be on developing David Harrison (and Danny). Talking to therapists while working out, big man tutors, etc
THIS guy can MAKE this team next year if he takes a good step forward this offseason.

PacerMan
05-15-2006, 12:45 PM
agreed. Almost all of my concentration would be on developing David Harrison (and Danny). Talking to therapists while working out, big man tutors, etc
THIS guy can MAKE this team next year if he takes a good step forward this offseason.

If he comes in and demands (with his play) to start, as does Danny. If we go Harrison/Oneal/Granger across the front line with Jeff backing up Jermaine and a resigned Scott behind David, I would be a happy fan. That's only if Hulk takes the steps necessary to advance himself, not by default.

himikey
05-15-2006, 12:58 PM
As much as we love Pollard, his back is shot. That money would be better spent pursuing Nene, Nazr Mohammad or, on the low end, Kelvin Cato or Jarron Collins.

The backcourt situation is damn frightening right now. There's a good chance Tinsley won't return. AJ shot the ball well the 2nd half of the season, but don't forget he's already 31 and is slower than the DMV. Jax needs to go, but isn't worth much at this point.