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ChicagoJ
05-30-2006, 11:54 AM
All season long, we heard about the new and improved Pistons offense.

But in the playoffs, Detroit has only scored more than 86 points in a game once in their past nine and they are averaging a pathetic 81 points per game over that stretch (and they're 3-6 over those nine games.)

Yes, their defense is still impressive, only giving up 84 points per game (although the important numbers are not "81" and "84", but rather "-3".)

So my fear is this: Assume the Pacer turn over a new leaf during the regular season next year. That means they play at a faster pace, score more, and emphasize offense. But will they revert to defense-oriented, inept offense in the playoffs?

If so, how much will the team have to change in order to prevent that?

Minor tweaks to the roster and no change to the coaching staff: I could easily envision this team showing a better offense next season only to revert to an antiquated "playoff basketball" model against a good offensive team. this team needs real changes this summer.

Some of us have been calling for more focus on the offense for some time. Others of you poo-poo'ed that idea because "its not 'playoff basketball'". But now the now league appears to be on the verge of leaving the Pacers behind as a "defensive dinosaur".

The Pacers roster, as currently assembled, is a mess. Its not well-suited for the quicker style of play that is winning in this year's playoffs. And the roster as a whole does not compliment its best player well at all. Further, I'm not sure I see our big FA (Peja) as part of the solution.

NOTE: I'm not looking for somebody to come in here and tell me what's really wrong with the Pistons right now. I don't care about Detroit and I hope Miami closes them out soon. What I would like is a discussion about whether a Pacers team, with just a few tweaks and the same coach, is likely to repeat this problem in a matchup next season? Okay, have at it...


+ + + + + +

PS - The one thing I'm really enjoying about this year's ECF is that Ben Wallace has been utterly useless for Detroit in several games. I don't like players like Ben and Jeff Foster that can be solved so easily. But after Detroit has made Jeff Foster look like an amateur so many times I think the turnabout is fair play. :devil: The Pacers need to be paying attention to this lesson from ECFs, too: getting rid of (or reducing reliance on) one-dimensional players should be a high priority for the Pacers this summer, in addition to fixing the team's rotten chemistry.

Shade
05-30-2006, 12:43 PM
The one thing about Rick Carlisle's teams is that they try to play the same way in the postseason as they do in the regular season.

With that said, if we had good success during the regular season and Carlisle changed everything in the playoffs just for the hell of it, I would rent a Greyhound and mow him down, Twisted Metal style.

DisplacedKnick
05-30-2006, 01:09 PM
OK - how true was it that Rick Carlisle was the Pacers "X's and O's" coach during the Bird years?

Because those teams won by outscoring people, not with defense. The limited, slow-the-ball down teams of the last two years just don't mesh with those teams. Of course during the 61-win season I don't remember the offense being particularly restrictive then either.

Putnam
05-30-2006, 01:09 PM
What I would like is a discussion about whether a Pacers team, with just a few tweaks and the same coach, is likely to repeat this problem in a matchup next season? Okay, have at it...





A Pacers team with just a few tweaks and the same coach is likely to repeat this problem in a matchup next season.

I won't discuss the Pacers-Pistons matchup particularly, for the answer is the same for every team the Pacers will face. And I won't remark especially about a playoff matchup, because the same issues are going to affect the 82-game regular seasons.

The number of man-games lost due to injuries has been emphasized by Walsh and Bird, but does anybody think the Pacers would have been harmonious if the man-games lost had been zero? The players would have still been fustrated.

Some folks have argued that the the Pistons would not have won so many games if Wallace and Prince had been out for long stretches, as O'Neal and Tinsley were. That is true. But it does not follow that the Pacers would have won 60+ games this season without injuries. The Pacers team had problems, and the injuries both contributed to and ameliorated those problems.

Going into the season, the fact of having four point guards was considered a problem, and this problem was "solved" by Tinsley being out so much with injuries. Johnson's quite satisfactory performance at the point was possible only because Tinsley was out.

It is hard to make a similar argument that the team benefited from O'Neal's injuries, yet one of the best periods of the season came while he sat. The ball moved better, Harrison had his best games, and the team won when they ought to have won -- even beating Detroit.

Each of the Pacers three centers (not counting JO) were out at times with sore back and knees. But that merely masks the problem that Jay@section204 makes in his post. None of the Pacers centers (Foster, Pollard and Harrison) is a complete player. Having Foster on the bench meant that you'd miss his 8-10 rebounds, but also that his offensive weaknesses would not be a factor.

I'm not saying the injuries were a good thing. But the underlying problems are still there. The parts don't fit together well, and just having all the parts back at the same time next year will not solve the problems.

It doesn't matter who's on the floor if Jackson is going to hoist a three with 15 seconds left on the shot clock.

It doesn't matter who's making a cut if Sarunas loses the ball bringing it up the floor.

It doesn't matter who's open on the weakside if nobody is trying for offensive rebounds.

It doesn't matter if Harrison is healthy if he has to sit with fouls.


I guess my point is simple: Strategy comes into play after you get all the pieces to fit. Until you've got that, no strategy is going to work. Marco Andretti didn't lose the Indy 500 on the last lap: he lost it in the pits before the start of the race, when his car was set up to go less fast than Sam Hornish's car.

We saw this year that the Pacers can't run, and they can't play shut-down defense. What is the point of discussing the likelihood that Carlisle will choose to try either strategy?

ChicagoJ
05-30-2006, 01:09 PM
The one thing about Rick Carlisle's teams is that they try to play the same way in the postseason as they do in the regular season.

With that said, if we had good success during the regular season and Carlisle changed everything in the playoffs just for the hell of it, I would rent a Greyhound and mow him down, Twisted Metal style.

True, which is why I don't see a Rick-Carlisle-coached team making the adjustment to the way the NBA playoffs are played in 2006, during the regular season OR the playoffs.

Unclebuck
05-30-2006, 01:18 PM
So my fear is this: Assume the Pacer turn over a new leaf during the regular season next year. That means they play at a faster pace, score more, and emphasize offense. But will they revert to defense-oriented, inept offense in the playoffs?



First, I reject your premise. I think the reason why the Pistons are losing right now is because they've lost their defensive identity, they no longer have a coach who emphasizes defense.

I don't want a coach who does not emphasize defense, first, second, third.

I posted a couple of weeks ago that the Pacers need quick perimeter players to adjust to the "new NBA". But that was for as much defensive purposes as it is for offensive purposes. You need quick defenders who can guard penetration and you need quick penetrators to take advantage of the new NBA. But that doesn't mean you start emphasizing offense at the expense of your defense. If anyone thinks that is my position, it simply isn't, not even close

Unclebuck
05-30-2006, 01:27 PM
Some of us have been calling for more focus on the offense for some time. Others of you poo-poo'ed that idea because "its not 'playoff basketball'". But now the now league appears to be on the verge of leaving the Pacers behind as a "defensive dinosaur".

The Pacers roster, as currently assembled, is a mess. Its not well-suited for the quicker style of play that is winning in this year's playoffs. And the roster as a whole does not compliment its best player well at all. Further, I'm not sure I see our big FA (Peja) as part of the solution.

NOTE: I'm not looking for somebody to come in here and tell me what's really wrong with the Pistons right now. I don't care about Detroit and I hope Miami closes them out soon. What I would like is a discussion about whether a Pacers team, with just a few tweaks and the same coach, is likely to repeat this problem in a matchup next season? Okay, have at it...


.


Pacers need massive changes, I've never argued otherwise, at least not since December.

I've suggested that the Pacers should probably change coaches, but I want a coach who emphasizes defense at least as much as Rick if not more.

But I want a more aggressive defense, guards who can pressure the ball and contain the quick penetrators that are taking over the NBA.

Jay, the problem with the Pacers has nothing to do with their emphasis on defense, in fact I'd like to see greater emphasis on defense. I don't believe for one minute that the NBA has changed to where now offense is the answer and defense does not matter as much, that is simply wrong.

What has changed is the need for extreme quickness from the backcourt and ideally the small forward position. That is why the Mavs are going to make the finals. They aren't going to make the finals because they aren't emphasizing defense, in fact they are doing just the opposite.

Arcadian
05-30-2006, 02:14 PM
I disagree with Jay

1) I know we don't a discussion about what's wrong with Detroit but it isn't inept offense.

2) Dallas, Miami and Detroit all have better defenders than we do. It's not just that teams score better than us. I don't think people understand how mediocre on talent this team really is.

Going along with Jay's idea though the only way to change a system is changing a coach.

brs14ku
05-30-2006, 02:30 PM
I disagree with Jay

1) I know we don't a discussion about what's wrong with Detroit but it isn't inept offense.

2) Dallas, Miami and Detroit all have better defenders than we do. It's not just that teams score better than us. I don't think people understand how mediocre on talent this team really is.

Going along with Jay's idea though the only way to change a system is changing a coach.

Amen to that. I love these guys but we really are not that good when you look at talent alone. We are made for a grind it out type of game and we are in the process of changing to the new school way of basketball: Score first, Defend second, or at least I think that is what's happening.. Why would we have a guy like Peja, assuming we keep him, if we were wanting to maintain the grind it out style of play?

Shade
05-30-2006, 02:59 PM
OK - how true was it that Rick Carlisle was the Pacers "X's and O's" coach during the Bird years?

Because those teams won by outscoring people, not with defense. The limited, slow-the-ball down teams of the last two years just don't mesh with those teams. Of course during the 61-win season I don't remember the offense being particularly restrictive then either.

Actually, I remember that as being a solid defensive team as well. We gave the Bulls fits at times in the ECF with our defense.

ChicagoJ
05-30-2006, 03:12 PM
First, I reject your premise. I think the reason why the Pistons are losing right now is because they've lost their defensive identity, they no longer have a coach who emphasizes defense.

I don't want a coach who does not emphasize defense, first, second, third.

I reject your rejecting of my premise - Detroits defensive PPG is still impressive over the past nine games.

Oh wait, maybe you're also rejecting the notion that low scores equal good defense. :flirt:

Now, if the Pistons have lost thier defensive identity, (and I somewhat agree with this, BTW), its because - I'll say it again - Ben Wallace has been rendered useless because he's such an offensive liability. They've made this guy a cornerstone of their team but it doesn't take a genious to figure out how to get him off the court.

But to complete your thought: this team has gone from one of the better offensive teams in the regular season to an inept team offensively over their last nine playoff games just because they've lost their defensive identity/ Ben Wallace. No way. Try again, please.

But if it makes everyone happier - I didn't get a chance to hash out my "wording" this morning before I hit the submit button.

Would it make you feel better if I slightly-reworded my premise from "offensive ineptitude" to "playing an antiquated bump-and-grind slow-down pace." Something that I thought Detroit had adapted to much better during the regular season than the Pacers, but they still reverted to their old identity in the playoffs => without success.

+ + + + + + +

UncleBuck, I want a coach that places emphasis on point differential by making equal emphasis on good team offense and good team defense. My preference is for a team to be very aggressive at both ends of the court - seeking a high percentage shot as quickly as possible at one end while forcing bad shots and turnovers at the other end, and striving to control the glass at both ends of the court.

tdubb03
05-30-2006, 03:23 PM
I'll honestly be satisfied if the Pacers just make the playoffs next season.

I've admitted to myself that the Pacers championship window left with Reggie.

ChicagoJ
05-30-2006, 03:37 PM
I disagree with Jay

1) I know we don't a discussion about what's wrong with Detroit but it isn't inept offense.

2) Dallas, Miami and Detroit all have better defenders than we do. It's not just that teams score better than us. I don't think people understand how mediocre on talent this team really is.

Going along with Jay's idea though the only way to change a system is changing a coach.

I totally agree with you regarding the talent on this team.

Thus, we've got to change both players and coaches if we want to make the playoffs next year.

Gamble
05-30-2006, 03:44 PM
I'll just say Detriot was going to lose to Miami last year and the other
obvious difference to me is that refs are going after relevant fouls.

Last night showed me that Detriot couldn't get away with a bulling defense.
The clutching and grabbing was being called and like Stern I still think
5% of the fouls were off but I saw a slasher single handly ruin the Pistons.

Shade
05-30-2006, 03:55 PM
I'll just say Detriot was going to lose to Miami last year...

That's a very good point. Before Wade went down, a lot of ppl were convinced that the Heat would beat Detroit last year.

Maybe we've all just been overrating the Pistons a little bit. Of course, it's hard not to when you comile the best record in the league.

Btw, if the playoffs the last three years have taught us anything, it's that the good teams win despite lack of homecourt advantage. It's important, but not nearly as important as some make it out to be. Anymore, it seems like the team with the best record in the league rarely wins the whole thing.


I'll just say Detriot was going to lose to Miami last year and the other
obvious difference to me is that refs are going after relevant fouls.

Last night showed me that Detriot couldn't get away with a bulling defense.
The clutching and grabbing was being called and like Stern I still think
5% of the fouls were off but I saw a slasher single handly ruin the Pistons.

The Pistons were grabbing and clutching even more than usual last night, which is a sign of fatigue. Some of the calls Miami got were ridiculous, though. But it's about time Detroit was on the other side of the coin for a change.

Will Galen
05-30-2006, 05:03 PM
The Pacers roster, as currently assembled, is a mess. Its not well-suited for the quicker style of play that is winning in this year's playoffs. .

Actually the Pacers roster is very well assembled. It has at least two people that can play at every position. Even with all the problems it still made the playoffs. The problems are injuries, lack of chemistry, and lack of quickness at the point guard position. It also lacks a go to guy.

Give the Pacers two players, a point that can stop penetration, and a go to guy, and they will be one of the favorites again. A lot of chemistry problems would be cured by winning.

The powers that be know this that's why they are not going to mess with the core of the team. Actually one player could solve our problems if they were like Wade or Arenas.


As for the Pistons, they aren't getting the lucky breaks they were getting. The year they won the title we were better than them. What helped them beat us was injuries to JO and Tinsley, and Larry Brown's adjustments. Last year Miami was better, but had injuries.

This year, it's coaching problems. Flips not the coach Larry is, plus they wore themselves out mentally chasing the win record and not using their reserves. I posted something mid season about that.

EDIT; It's been my observation that teams that go on long winning streaks, once they lose, they lose their focus for a while and are just as apt to lose two games in a row. Detroit, in the hunt for the season win record stayed focused to long. Now they can't get it back because of the mental fatigue of being focused so long. This is why they are a step slow now. For instant they weren't a step slow during the season.

Gamble
05-30-2006, 05:52 PM
Are they a step slow or is that every team elevates thier game in
playoffs? I see it as the Pistons being out manned and out played by
a team that is deeper and quicker than Detriot.

Your observation is at conflict with your previous statements about
Detriot drawing lucky breaks the 2 previous years unless your saying
they're fatigue goes back that far.

To me it has alot less to do with coaching and alot more to do with
players.

ChicagoJ
05-30-2006, 06:12 PM
Actually the Pacers roster is very well assembled.

This will be fun... :buddies:


It has at least two people that can play at every position.

That's not really a good thing. What they need are five "clear" starters that (1) don't have glaring weaknesses; and (2) are playing thier natural positions (and are the best on the team at their natural positions and three versatile bench players that can back-up multiple positions and mix nicely with the players around them. Playing ten players in the playoffs will get you beat 95% of the time.


Even with all the problems it still made the playoffs.

Well, this team *IS* built for the regular season.


The problems are injuries, lack of chemistry, and lack of quickness at the point guard position. It also lacks a go to guy.

I think the injury problems are caused by, or at the very least, exacerbated by the fact we've got so many guys playing away from their natural positions.

Lack of chemistry - that's a real problem for this team but one of the important factors is that most of the current players don't compliment JO very well - thus there's always among ballhogs.

Lack of quickness - this is huge problem for this team and it doesn't stop at just the PG position. In fact, I'd argue that we need to improve our quickness at every position except PF (and maybe C, but quickness is pretty low on my list of priorities for a C).

Lacks a go-to guy - this is preposterous. JO is a great go-to guy. Problem is two-fold, his team doesn't go-to him very well, and when they do go-to him, they stand around and expect him to pull off a miracle against a triple team. He needs better spacing, especially from the other frontcourt positions, he needs a better entry pass than AJ can provide, and he needs help playing the post defensively. Thus, this team is assembeled very badly.


Give the Pacers two players, a point that can stop penetration, and a go to guy, and they will be one of the favorites again. A lot of chemistry problems would be cured by winning.

Of course, the chemistry problems that erupted in the 2004-05 and 2005-06 season were still present in the 2003-04 "61 Win!!" season. They were suppressed by winning, but they weren't "cured." When the winning stopped (what were we, 7-2 when Ron tried to quit on the team the week before 11/19? Man the losing was overbearing :rolleyes: ), bad chemistry rears its ugly head.


The powers that be know this that's why they are not going to mess with the core of the team.

Then they are utter fools.


Actually one player could solve our problems if they were like Wade or Arenas.

Now who in the heck are the Pacers going to trade for either of those players? JO? If so, we'll spend the next decade trying to find the right post player to play alongside those guys.

Will Galen
05-30-2006, 06:18 PM
Your observation is at conflict with your previous statements about
Detriot drawing lucky breaks the 2 previous years unless your saying
they're fatigue goes back that far.

How did you ever arrive at that conclusion? I think they have mental fatigue this year from chasing the NBA's won lost record. The prior years they had some good luck. There's no conflict at all!

Will Galen
05-30-2006, 06:40 PM
[QUOTE=Jay@Section204]

Well, this team *IS* built for the regular season.

This is just a well wore catch phrase on here that really doesn't mean anything.


Lacks a go-to guy - this is preposterous. JO is a great go-to guy.

We just disagree.


Then they are utter fools.

They are fools because they disagree with you, huh? COUNT ME IN!


Now who in the heck are the Pacers going to trade for either of those players? JO? If so, we'll spend the next decade trying to find the right post player to play alongside those guys.

Who mentioned a trade?

aceace
05-30-2006, 09:23 PM
Heres my fear: 1 We really don't know what we got, so many injuries, suspensions etc. who knows how good this team could be. We started off good before RA decided he wanted his walking papers. We never recovered and looked dismal at times. Blew about 7-8 games in the last minute. Jax had so many bad calls against him (just ask him) he was livid for half the game. Everytime AJ got it going Tins would comeback for his 2 game stretch just long enough to screw it all up. Where do you really start in the off season.

jcouts
05-30-2006, 09:29 PM
A tough defensive team does not have to be a slow-it-down offensive team. Why do you think the Mavericks are winning right now? They're playing hard nosed defense, which creates the transition/semi-transition opportunities.

The Pacers right now are set up like a Bobby Knight team. We have no one who knifes through the defense like Wade, Diaw, Howard, Harris, even Fatoine. We play inside-out basketball on offense, and that era has passed. Our defense doesn't need to be soft for our offense to be flashy. Ideally, they need to both be there.

recap
05-30-2006, 11:10 PM
A tough defensive team does not have to be a slow-it-down offensive team. Why do you think the Mavericks are winning right now? They're playing hard nosed defense, which creates the transition/semi-transition opportunities.

The Pacers right now are set up like a Bobby Knight team. We have no one who knifes through the defense like Wade, Diaw, Howard, Harris, even Fatoine. We play inside-out basketball on offense, and that era has passed. Our defense doesn't need to be soft for our offense to be flashy. Ideally, they need to both be there.

I agree with you about defense. I would love to see us get the players to pressure the ball. However, this team is set up nothing like a Bob Knight team. His teams rarely played inside-out. His big men set screen after screen and recieved easy lay-ups when the defense broke down. We don't have a single big man that really knows how to set a screen. That is probably the area where we miss Dale Davis the most.

DisplacedKnick
05-30-2006, 11:12 PM
Actually, I remember that as being a solid defensive team as well. We gave the Bulls fits at times in the ECF with our defense.

Very average IMO. Other than Dale you didn't have a top defender on the team. Everyone else was serviceable but your guards were Jackson and Reggie - very vulnerable to quickness. It wasn't a terrible defensive team but I don't remember it being a strength.

That team (the finals team anyway) won by scoring over 100 ppg when very few teams scored that much. They gave up close to 97. Not particularly good - it was a team that won more by outscoring opponents than relying on defensive stops.

Not so sure about Bird's first two years. There's only 1 6-game stretch from that period I remember and nobody here probably wants to talk about that.

ChicagoJ
05-31-2006, 12:14 AM
Well, this team *IS* built for the regular season.

This is just a well wore catch phrase on here that really doesn't mean anything.

:wtf:

Maybe if somebody else uses it. But if someone else is using it I want proper citation or a royalty payment. :devil:

Clearly if I'm saying it then its referencing back to my original post hypothesizing that this team - as currently assembled - is a "paper champion" that will always peak during the regular season.

http://www.pacersdigest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10326

(I thought about making a joke asking how anyone could possibly forget that thread, but I was afraid it wouldn't sound funny.)



Lacks a go-to guy - this is preposterous. JO is a great go-to guy.

We just disagree.

Why, because being #2 in the league for lead-changing shots in the last two minutes is clear sign of not being a go-to guy? Granted, that was a couple years ago, and Rick has not used JO very well in clutch situations (perhaps the only in-game decisions Isiah ever got right as a coach). Please explain yourself, because that's a weak answer.



Then they are utter fools.

They are fools because they disagree with you, huh? COUNT ME IN!

Thanks for that useful insight. :unimpress

No, any GM that actually believes that "winning cures all ills" is a fool, IMO.

Definitions 1, 2, and 3 would apply:


fool
n.

One who is deficient in judgment, sense, or understanding.
One who acts unwisely on a given occasion: <CITE>I was a fool to have quit my job.</CITE>
One who has been tricked or made to appear ridiculous; a dupe: <CITE>They made a fool of me by pretending I had won.</CITE>

As I said above, it may "mask" the problem. But that is nothing more than a band-aid. Good GMs (think: Dumars, West, Riley) know how to move players along before problems re-surface, especially if the winning stops. Our team tends to keep a player until they have no possible salvage value (Artest, Tinsley, SJax as just three examples.)



Now who in the heck are the Pacers going to trade for either of those players? JO? If so, we'll spend the next decade trying to find the right post player to play alongside those guys.

Who mentioned a trade?

You're right, I mis-read that the first time.

Anthem
05-31-2006, 12:41 AM
I disagree with Jay's premise that we're a team built for the regular season. If we were built for the regular season, we'd win more regular season games.

Bball
05-31-2006, 08:39 AM
I disagree with Jay's premise that we're a team built for the regular season. If we were built for the regular season, we'd win more regular season games.

What we are is a team not really built for anything. Simply a series of bandaids and patchwork pieced together to keep us above .500 and in the hunt for the playoffs.

-Bball

Shade
05-31-2006, 11:39 PM
I disagree with Jay's premise that we're a team built for the regular season. If we were built for the regular season, we'd win more regular season games.

Yeah, I was just about to post that. If we're built for the regular season, we're built rather poorly.

Lithfan
06-01-2006, 07:56 AM
Dear PD members,

Finally there is a consensus, well except UB.

Offence is the answer.

Three out of top 4 teams are offence oriented!

This doesn't mean that defense can be neglected, but the offence is the major part of the equation.

Edit: see this thread - http://www.pacersdigest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=21535

indygeezer
06-01-2006, 09:26 AM
Jay and all darksiders not to fear!!

It is all part of the plan. We will make small cosmetic changes but keep intact our core losing team for the swan-song year of Carlisle's contract. We will lose, enter the lottery, and end up with Greg Oden.

It's all part of David Stern's Master Plan to recompense the Pacers for the drubbing he gave us over the Ron Artest affair.

Think of it, with same team/same coach=instant lottery
add in the duplicity of the League office and we have instant Oden.


(ya know, I could learn to LOVE conspiracy theories....they're fun)

Gyron
06-01-2006, 09:31 AM
Boy you can sure tell geez is retiring from that company.....His internet time has gone up significantly since the announcement.

indygeezer
06-01-2006, 10:27 AM
Boy you can sure tell geez is retiring from that company.....His internet time has gone up significantly since the announcement.


funny thing about knowing you only have 29 calendar days left (minus a 9 days vacation and week-ends).

indygeezer
06-01-2006, 10:28 AM
Boy you can sure tell geez is retiring from that company.....His internet time has gone up significantly since the announcement.


oh yeah....it's too bad the quality of the posts hasn't improved too tho.

Gyron
06-01-2006, 10:45 AM
Yeah but we enjoy having you back, no matter the quality.