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Peck
05-17-2006, 03:39 AM
The Power forwards...

On Paper this is one of the, if not the, strongest positions on the Pacers. We have an all-star caliber player in Jermaine O'Neal & we have three players who can back him up who all bring something differant to the table.

Jermaine O'Neal.

The Good: Can be a dangerous player in the low post in fact he can be one of the best players in the NBA in the post because he has a rare ability that few have. He can use either hand around the rim. He is a strong face up shooter up 20'. He has become a decent passer & has begun to find the cutters, when we bother to have them. He is one of the best weak side shot blockers in the NBA. He grabs a lot of rebounds.

The downside: A lot of Jermaine's problems, IMO, are mental. He can be easily taken off of his game when a team plays him physical because I think he sees this as a sign of disrespect. In fact any player who played with him when he was in Portland almost downright owns him because for whatever reason he just cannot over come the mental side of that. He has a tendancy to take fadeaways a little to often & frankly even though he grabs a good share of boards he is not that great of a rebounder because he rarely uses fundamental skills to get his boards. He is slow to make decisions in the double team, although he is getting better. Increased mass has only produced a slower Jermaine that is more injury prone, not the bruising player we had all hoped for. He has stated he is going to correct that though so this should become less of an issue in the future. Injurys are also a concern but some of thes injurys have come because of the increase in weight IMO.

The outlook: Here is the part where I hate to talk about things. Money. I don't care what a player makes but when it impacts the entire team you have to take this into consideration. Jermaine O'Neal is being paid top 10 player money & right now he's not even close to being a top 10 player. The reason this is so important is because we have so much of our salary cap tied into him that we cannot sign other free agents or easily move other players. The simple over riding fact for me about Jermaine is one thing, he does not make players around him better. In fact look at all of the talk about finding players who compliment him. He has to have an outside shooter he has to have a rugged defender. Now in truth every team needs both of those things but in J.O.'s case you have to wonder why a guy who is tagged a franchise player cannot elevate those around him to a higher level.

Also not to belabor this point but to me he seems a very old 27. Maybe it's the injurys, maybe it's the physcal structure or maybe it's just his attitude but he seems a lot older than 27 to me.

I see very little room for the Pacers to move him. I'm not sure they should but sadly I don't think I would be to upset if they did move him on. Which isn't saying much for a guy who is the face of the franchise.

Austin Croshere.

The Good: Simply a good soldier. On this team that is not only a blessing but it's an F'ng miracle. He attempts to be a leader both on the floor & in the locker room but I just don't think he has the credibilty to do it. He is a good solid basketball player. He doesn't do anything stupid & very rarely hurts the team when he is on the floor. He can hit from mid-range & long distance. If he has a clearing he can drive. He is a premier freethrow shooter. He is a good passer. He is an underrated defender & rebounder. He is a willing pick/screen setter.

The downside: Frankly falls in love with the three point shot to much. Now a caveat to that is this, this may be the fault of coaching. Carlisle wants spacing & Austin certainly can do that & on occasion he can break a game open. However you never want to count on that. He has no post up game & whenever he does drive the lane it is either going to be a layup or him dribbling it off of his own leg out of bounds. Consistancy has been an issue with him as well. He has had games where he is off & on but like Bird said, he is a backup for a reason. His contract is obscene & always has been.

The outlook: Hard to say in all honsety. I could see him staying here this season & the Pacers using the savings next season off of the cap. But then I could also see him packaged with either Jamaal or Jax to a team that wanted his expiring contract. All I know is that early in this season when the team was falling apart he was the only person who night in & night out laid it on the line.

Danny Granger:

The good: The man rebounds. He not only rebounds but he fights for rebounds. I've seen talk of him being used at the two & all I can do is shudder in fear of that. I want him at three & three only but if not that then going with him as a four when you go small is not a bad thing. He can score, he can rebound, he can defend. I don't think he is a starting caliber 4 but he can play there for a few min. a game.

The bad: Well, honestly nothing other than size & my fear that by not giving him a defined role that suites him he will become a jack of all trades master of none. However this is not Bender we are talking about, his basketball I.Q. is very very very high.

The outlook: I see him playing a lot of min. at the four unfortunately. Rick loves to go small & Danny fits right into what he wants.

Jeff Foster:

The good: Great rebounder from the four spot in particular when he comes off of the bench. Above average defender of face up player. Good lateral foot speed, used to be great but injurys have taken thier toll.

The bad: His offense is offensive. He is often overwhelmed by stronger players & his lack of shot blocking makes him anything but a paint intimidator. Injurys are becoming a concern as well.

Outlook: Like Croshere I really can't say. I could see him right back here & then I could also see his reasonable big man contract moved along with one of the knuckleheads to a team that would want him as a safety net in case one of the idiots fails them. If there were any justice he would be the first big man off of the bench & he would be fine in that role whether it was center or power forward.

Overall I think we see that what on paper looks like a major advantage for us really may not be. It's not a weakness but I'm not sure it's the asset we had hoped for either & this is without me anaylizing the way that Carlsile uses J.O. on offense.

One of our biggest problems in this spot is in the name itself. Out of the playears I've named we do not have one that fits the title "power" in power forward. A Reggie Evans or Michael Ruffin type player might go a long way in ending the drought of power players we have had in this role for several years, minus last season but Dale played Center anyay.

As to my belief regarding Jermaine? Sadly, I think that since it is almost impossible to move him I think a new coach would do him a world of good. I hate saying that btw because I don't want people to think that I believe that Rick is to blame for all of the woes of the team & J.O. but I think it is a factor.

Will Galen
05-17-2006, 04:59 AM
[QUOTE=Peck]As to my belief regarding Jermaine? Sadly, I think that since it is almost impossible to move him I think a new coach would do him a world of good. QUOTE]

I sure don't understand why you think JO would be hard to move. Disagree completely!

DisplacedKnick
05-17-2006, 05:45 AM
[QUOTE=Peck]As to my belief regarding Jermaine? Sadly, I think that since it is almost impossible to move him I think a new coach would do him a world of good. QUOTE]

I sure don't understand why you think JO would be hard to move. Disagree completly!

He'd be easy to move for a package of lesser players (not necessarily bad players - just lesser) and a draft pick or two. He'd be tough to move for equal value if you're talking about getting a franchise player in return.

able
05-17-2006, 07:30 AM
Peck, I'm gonna ask you to re-consider the "JO thoughts".

Read what Jay has to say (and I subscribe to that) in the Peja thread; "This team was never build around the franchise player"

Making others better can only be a two way street, and most of the players in this current line-up are so far away from doing the things where they could be better with JO in the line-up that it is almost painfull.

Can you name me a few players that are "suitable" to cut, shoot nad spread the floor so JO can be a threat inside instead of a tripple teamed monster?
Help block out so he can go after a rebound?

Tell me outside of Peja, who makes JO "the" player on the floor outside of JO?
Tell me which player can get him the ball in "perfect" position in the post?
Tel me which player cuts so he can pass out of the double-triple team?
Tell me which player creates the space for him to do some rebounding?

You can have the fastest computer in the world, but without access to it or a monitor, you can do nothing with it.

ChicagoJ
05-17-2006, 11:46 AM
As to my belief regarding Jermaine? Sadly, I think that since it is almost impossible to move him I think a new coach would do him a world of good.

I sure don't understand why you think JO would be hard to move. Disagree completely!

Sure, but why would you? Unless you're planning to blow the team up and start over?

Has JO demanded a trade? He should only be traded for someone that makes us better. (I disagree with the masses that think KG is an upgrade to JO - an injury-hobbled JO still got the Pacers into the playoffs which is better than KG can say - If the knock on JO is that he doesn't make his teammates better then at least he's better at that than Garnett.) Would San Antonio trade us Duncan for JO and SJax? (:drool: ). Of course not. The handful of elite players that would be an upgrade over JO are nearly untouchable right now.

Unless you want to trade big for small and pursue somebody like DWade. I don't recommend trading big for small, though.

Arcadian
05-17-2006, 12:37 PM
Has anyone seen how much Brand's stock has improved this year? Is it because he improved or that he got some players around him?

rexnom
05-17-2006, 01:04 PM
Has anyone seen how much Brand's stock has improved this year? Is it because he improved or that he got some players around him?

Both. Word around LA is that Brand simply raised his game to a whole new level over the summer.

As for JO, I don't see why we are SO concerned about the cap. Sure, JO makes lots of money. Would you guys feel better if he made two million less each year? OK. Still, that wouldn't bring us closer to the cap. And even if it did, it won't give us enough space to sign someone significant (or at least more than the exceptions). Additionally, what FA could we sign that is better than JO. And if such a FA existed, then we would have to overpay him a lot more than what we are supposedly overpaying JO.

I just think that JO is better than what many people think AND that he is still improving. I seriously watched him improve as a passer and team player last year and that really impressed me. He can still become one of the elite. The man has yet to reach his peak.

Gamble
05-17-2006, 04:21 PM
I have to agree with most of you guys on here.
Elite PF's all need to have good players around them and in my opinion JO
has had good players around him but not a complete team.
In the case of Howard, Bosh, KG, and Yoa their teams are incomplete.
However for Duncan, Brand, Shaq, Dirk and Stoudamire their teams are overall
built better.

We all know you pay more in the NBA and get less when it comes to
your big men but in the case of the Nets you can see how not having a
post up player really hurts your chances of getting out of the second
round.

Slick Pinkham
05-17-2006, 04:33 PM
I disagree with the masses that think KG is an upgrade to JO - an injury-hobbled JO still got the Pacers into the playoffs which is better than KG can say - If the knock on JO is that he doesn't make his teammates better then at least he's better at that than Garnett.).

Garnett has played and started in 47 playoff games, Jermaine has started in 50. I don't give him much props for the 20 more playoff games in Portland when he sat next to the trainer. If you blame KG for not leading his team to more playoff games, then JO should not escape the same scrutiny.

I can't honestly name anything other than shotblocking that Jermaine does better.

I really like Jermaine and would not want to trade him for anyone who isn't a top 10 player.

Bball
05-17-2006, 05:15 PM
I've come to believe JO minimizes those around him. I have to wonder how much of that is coaching and trying to consistently pretend JO is something he's not and thrusting him into the wrong role... and how much of it is JO simply forcing things, not doing the little things, and not being enough of a team player?

IOW... you could have Jordan and Magic outside and if the team continually played "JO Ball" like we do now those guys would never excel on the Pacers.

-Bball

beast23
05-17-2006, 09:43 PM
I've come to believe JO minimizes those around him. I have to wonder how much of that is coaching and trying to consistently pretend JO is something he's not and thrusting him into the wrong role... and how much of it is JO simply forcing things, not doing the little things, and not being enough of a team player?
-Bball
Is that minimizes or minimalizes? :D

I believe its a combination of both, but primarily the first.

Without JO, the players were playing a motion game and great team ball, offensively. I thought Rick had orchestrated a great offensive for the players available to him... and it was pleasing to the eye for the fans.

Jump ahead to a few games prior to JO's return, and the Pacers began slowing down their offense, running more half-court sets, and more plays through the post. Once JO returned, the motion game, as well as the equal opportunity offense, became a thing of the past.

That is due to coaching, that was not by any choice that Jermaine made.

However, when the ball is passed into JO after he sets up near the paint, he has CHOICES as to what he will do with the ball. He can spin off his man and go strong to the rim much like he did in one of the last playoff games. Or, when tightly guarded and pushed away from the basket, he can elect to take a 14-15 foot turnaround jumpshot, instead of passing the ball back out to a perimeter player.

But the bottom line is, no matter how a coach chooses to play his player, the player always has choices himself regarding what constitutes a good shot to take and a potential bad shot to avoid.

An on-court leader will typically make the right choices the vast majority of the time. Jermaine just isn't there yet.

One could argue that the good and bad choices come down to the player. However, I think that coach can easily be faulted for continuously putting the player in the position where he is tempted by a poor choice in the first place.

So, it's a double edged sword. And it's nearly impossible to be certain in any attempt to lay blame.

owl
05-17-2006, 10:09 PM
I believe part of the problem is making JO something he is not. This was mentioned earlier. What he is not or should not be is the main scorer on the team. He is not Karl Malone who is a better scorer than JO. What did that
get Utah? No championhips. JO needs a perimeter/penetrating scorer
to take the burden off him. That person is not on the team currently.
That fits more with the way players are allowed to play in the NBA.
JO just is not a main scoring threat. He has poor shooting mechanics.

owl

brichard
05-17-2006, 10:50 PM
When you look at the amount of money invested at the PF between JO and Croshere alone, it almost takes your breath away. I'm not sure what percentage of our cap is dedicated to PF, but it has to be one heck of a lot.

And how many games have those 2 players been out the last couple of years. I think that is the other particular painful reality. Lots of dough spent on guys who have played with extensive injuries and also been forced to sit out with injuries.

I do think a better team can help any player, how could it not? But I totally agree with Peck's assertion that JO does not make his team better. He doesn't direct them, create synnergy with them, or do anything out of the ordinary in regards to developing those around him. Some of his comments, "We need another big guy" just shows that he doesn't believe in those around him. I think JO believes in JO, but I'm not sure who else gets that same treatment from him.

This team will be fine with JO if we get a better leader and if he willingly relinquishes the role.

I don't blame JO for not being a bruiser, because that is not what he was meant to be. Although his passing has improved, I'd like to see it get even better. I want to feel safe he'll make his FT's late in the game.

As Peck stated, most of it is between the ears. He certainly is one of the better athletes, scorers out there.

Croshere is a nice guy, but woefully inconsistent. I just don't know how many inconsistent guys you can have on your team. I can't help but like him, but I often wonder if a change of scenery would be good for him.

Granger is a stud and should stay a 3. His natural abilities, length and quickness, are better suited covering people at that spot on the floor.

Skaut_Ech
05-18-2006, 07:36 AM
Is that minimizes or minimalizes? :D

I believe its a combination of both, but primarily the first.

Without JO, the players were playing a motion game and great team ball, offensively. I thought Rick had orchestrated a great offensive for the players available to him... and it was pleasing to the eye for the fans.

Jump ahead to a few games prior to JO's return, and the Pacers began slowing down their offense, running more half-court sets, and more plays through the post. Once JO returned, the motion game, as well as the equal opportunity offense, became a thing of the past.

That is due to coaching, that was not by any choice that Jermaine made.

However, when the ball is passed into JO after he sets up near the paint, he has CHOICES as to what he will do with the ball. He can spin off his man and go strong to the rim much like he did in one of the last playoff games. Or, when tightly guarded and pushed away from the basket, he can elect to take a 14-15 foot turnaround jumpshot, instead of passing the ball back out to a perimeter player.

But the bottom line is, no matter how a coach chooses to play his player, the player always has choices himself regarding what constitutes a good shot to take and a potential bad shot to avoid.

An on-court leader will typically make the right choices the vast majority of the time. Jermaine just isn't there yet.

One could argue that the good and bad choices come down to the player. However, I think that coach can easily be faulted for continuously putting the player in the position where he is tempted by a poor choice in the first place.

So, it's a double edged sword. And it's nearly impossible to be certain in any attempt to lay blame.

Beast, not to put the pressure on you, but you've been writing some kick *** posts.:tip:

I'll tell ya an comparision I tend to make with JO. It's with Barkley when the Suns went to the finals. The Suns ran the offense through Charles and despite his stature, I think what made him one of the all-time greats was his decision-making. My hope for JO is that he gets better. When we get in trouble is when he pounds and tries to decide. Barkley was pretty decisive and maybe that's part of his personality coming though.


In fact look at all of the talk about finding players who compliment him. He has to have an outside shooter he has to have a rugged defender. Now in truth every team needs both of those things but in J.O.'s case you have to wonder why a guy who is tagged a franchise player cannot elevate those around him to a higher level.

Ouch. And therein lies the crux of my problem with JO: A franchise player who can't carry the franchise. In my mind, Peja is part of the solution IF we can get a dynamic, young PG/SG to put the defense on it's heels. I'm thinking of a Parker/Ginobili/Duncan type situation. I don't think JO can or ever will be THE guy who's straw stirs the drink.

I like how brichard put it:


He doesn't direct them, create synnergy with them, or do anything out of the ordinary in regards to developing those around him. Some of his comments, "We need another big guy" just shows that he doesn't believe in those around him. I think JO believes in JO, but I'm not sure who else gets that same treatment from him.

That being said, I like our PF situation, talentwise. Just give me another guy to be the focus of our offense.

Putnam
05-18-2006, 09:04 AM
When you look at the amount of money invested at the PF between JO and Croshere alone, it almost takes your breath away. I'm not sure what percentage of our cap is dedicated to PF, but it has to be one heck of a lot.





Here is the breakdown. numbers in parentheses are the number of players counted at that position:

Point guard (4) = $12.7m or 15.8%
Shooting guard (2) = $7.9m or 9.9%
Small forward (2) = $8.9m or 11.1%
Power forward (2) = $25.3m or 31.6%
Center (3) = $11.7m or 14.6%
non-players (3) = $13.5m or 16.8%

The non-players are Bender, Walker and Miller

If you consider only the salaries of the active players, then the power forward position captured 38% of all payroll.

Power forward captured a whopping share of the Pacers payroll. But more was paid to NON-PLAYERS than to any of the other four positions! That needs to change.


But to support your point, the team got much more productivity from the point guard and shooting guard spots than from the 4. The past season provides no justification for the salary imbalance.

beast23
05-18-2006, 09:58 AM
I'll tell ya an comparision I tend to make with JO. It's with Barkley when the Suns went to the finals. The Suns ran the offense through Charles and despite his stature, I think what made him one of the all-time greats was his decision-making. My hope for JO is that he gets better. When we get in trouble is when he pounds and tries to decide. Barkley was pretty decisive and maybe that's part of his personality coming though.Actually, Barkley is a very good comparison and is precisely the type of post player I'd like to see JO become. I never really thought about a similar player, I was stuck on the traits I'd like to see in JO.

But I think there is a very big difference in their personalities and the way they approach the game.

Off the court, I find Barkley to be arrogant, lovable, humorous, opinionated, knowledgeable... you get the picture. He's the kind of man off the court that I would find very difficult not to like, not matter whether I agree with his opinions or not. Anybody of his stature that is able to poke fun at himself and laugh the loudest at himself is okay in my book.

But on the court, even though Barkley could interject humor as well, he was business. The team first and foremost, and Barkley second. With the stats he put up, anyone who didn't get to see him play might think that he was all about himself. But that wasn't the case. He had a ton of confidence in his own abilities, but was always looking for the best opportunity for his team to score.

He not only made sound decisions at a moment's notice, he was willing to put his team's needs above those of his own. In other words, the man was a leader in both voice AND actions.

I just don't see this out of Jermaine. You're right. He struggles with quick decisions. But I think he struggles with more than that. I think JO struggles with how own ego on the court. He has to be the man. And for whatever reason, "being the man" to him appears to translate more into trying to score points than doing whatever is necessary to make certain that his TEAM scores points.

Another player I'd like to see JO emulate is Karl Malone. Malone forced shots. But in their two man game, did you ever notice how many times the entry pass was made by Stockton, only to have Malone immediately return the ball? I once saw Malone in an interview and he stated that he knew as he was receiving the ball whether he would turn to face the basket, lower his shoulder and drive, or just pass the ball back. And his key word for knowing was "comfort". If he was not comfortable when the ball arrived, he immediately passed it back out.

Seems pretty simple doesn't it? Instead of trying to create an opportunity that is not there, wouldn't it make sense that a player is either "comfortable" or "not comfortable" with the entry pass and basing what he does on that comfort level? It would probably cut down on the number of turnovers for Jermaine, and it would probably result in a better quality shot being taken by the offense, further resulting in a better shooting percentage by the team.

Gamble
05-18-2006, 11:44 AM
Ouch. And therein lies the crux of my problem with JO: A franchise player who can't carry the franchise. In my mind, Peja is part of the solution IF we can get a dynamic, young PG/SG to put the defense on it's heels. I'm thinking of a Parker/Ginobili/Duncan type situation. I don't think JO can or ever will be THE guy who's straw stirs the drink.

There is not one big man that anyone can come up with in todays NBA
that can carry a franchise. Does Yoa do it or KG. Big men do not carry
franchises and only Shaq came close but even he didn't get it done
until Kobe.

I am not a JO apologist at all but the straw that stirs the drink always
comes from the guard position. To me there are only 2 exceptions in the league Lebron and possibly Kobe.

The Pacers need relability in dishing the ball and outside scoring.
Normally an offense that involvles everyone is what makes a team
great not one player alone.

brichard
05-18-2006, 01:36 PM
Beast, not to put the pressure on you, but you've been writing some kick *** posts.:tip:

:iagree:

indytoad
05-18-2006, 02:22 PM
There is not one big man that anyone can come up with in todays NBA
that can carry a franchise. Does Yoa do it or KG. Big men do not carry
franchises and only Shaq came close but even he didn't get it done
until Kobe.

Duncan?

And since I don't have anything else to add: injuries.

IndyToad
Ain't no one keepin score

ChicagoJ
05-18-2006, 02:31 PM
If Duncan played with AJ/ SJax/ Peja/ Foster, I think we'd all be griping that he wasn't earning his contract as a franchise player, either.

He's a post player, and by definition the post player needs critical help from their surrounding cast, even if said post player is the best player on the team.

CableKC
05-18-2006, 07:20 PM
I would like to add that IMHO, I feel that JONeal has become more gun-shy when it comes to playing and scoring inside the paint. Despite being labeled a Low-Post player........unless the game or Playoff series is on the line.....I have seen JONeal settle for more of his mid-range jumpers and strayed further away from the paint rather then take his game inside where he is more likely to get banged up.

Brian
05-18-2006, 07:59 PM
Its not just players that JO played with in POR that dominate him.Its whomever he is friends with in the league.Him and Kwame Brown are good friends,and Kwame always burns JO.

MagicRat
05-19-2006, 09:42 AM
As long as he looks good, who cares if he makes other players look good?.....

http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060518/SPORTS/605180393/-1/ARCHIVE

Style: The NBA's right look . . .

All of Jermaine O'Neal's new suits paid off for him, according to GQ magazine.

The Indiana Pacers forward was one of 11 players the magazine talked about in its May issue in which they used the words "wack to the shiznit" when breaking down some of the league's top players in their business casual attire.

"The Pacers' main man seems to have a real tailor," the article said of O'Neal. "His clothes, including his shirts, are properly cut for his body. . . . Jermaine likes trendy urban styles, such as the zoot-cut long coat."

O'Neal, who has long worn designer suits, prepared for the new dress code the league implemented this season by ordering more suits at the start of the season.

Other players discussed included Allen Iverson, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, LeBron James and Steve Nash.

-- Mike Wells