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View Full Version : Al Harrington was a bad pick up for the Pacers...



Jim R
11-16-2006, 10:12 AM
This isn't about numbers and production. This really isn't about how good Harrington is, even though he isn't one of the league's top forwards in any respect, but that part of it should be considered too. This is pure and simple Econ 101, chapter on opportunity cost.

Right up front, Harrington's signing did three things which I consider very bad for the Pacers. It moved Jeff Foster to the bench, took focus away from the Pacers actually addressing needs, and slows down the progression of Danny Granger.

Foster is this team's hardest worker, and when you consider he has been productive on the glass as well as the defensive end of the floor, he needs to be on the floor as a starter, getting starter's minutes, against the other team's best big man. Throw into consideration he is not a player who requires anything to be run for him offensively, he is the perfect compliment to JO.

(Think what you want about JO, if this turns into a topic of who I'd rather have between JO and Harrington, I'd take JO everytime.)

This team needed to focus on its backcourt in the offseason. I like Marquis Daniels. His youth and athleticism was a good exchange for Croshere. However, this team has a dire need for a PG who knows how to lead a team and will work hard, and it has an equally dire need for someone who can shoot, especially someone who knows how to come off screens. The Pacers did nothing to address either of those issues in the offseason.

I'm not suggesting fool's gold and thinking the Pacers would have been able to get anything great in deals involving Jackson and/or Tinsley, but with Croshere's expiring contract and a trade exception, I'd have to think a more patient effort address the team's needs would have produced more favorable results.

To me, the third one is the worst part of this all, the progression of Danny Granger. He was a steal last year, and I would have been content with the Pacers struggling for a year pushing him this season as a starter at the SF spot. However, Harrington is too similar to Granger in terms of skillset.

Harrington went through this on the opposite side as the Pacers struggled coming to grips with what to do with him, Bender, and Croshere, all of whom were backing up Jalen Rose then Ron Artest. It was a logjam, a logjam of 'tweener forwards.

Granger too is a 'tweener forward, but he has the ability to do something Harrington doesn't do well at all, guard wings. From a team building and development standpoint, to have players who have a position is a big thing. You hear coaches all the time talk about just getting "players", but the only time that works is when you can guard the opposing team. And while it's not as though Harrington is old by any stretch, I feel he is who he will be for the remainder of his career, while Granger is still a developing talent.

This starts to get more into Harrington's skillset, but he is a non-factor on defense. That keeps him from playing the SF spot in the starting lineup. Sure, there are rotations where he can get away with it in game, but against the wings in the league he has zero shot at guarding those guys.

I would have really wanted the Pacers to work toward solving their shooting problem, moving Jackson to SF, which to me is his more natural position defensively. I was thinking at some point Granger would bump him from the startling line-up, and Jackson off the bench, whether he liked it or not, would be pretty versatile. He could even go crazy vs. the opposition's second group.


Again, this isn't about not liking Harrington or necessarily commenting on what kind of a player he is. I just don't think he is a good fit on this team. There is no question Harrington is a better talent than Jeff Foster, but this is about putting together a team.

Harrington is primarily a player who needs favorable match-ups to succeed. His best asset is the ability to post, primarily around the mid-post area, which is the same area of the floor that JO is best suited. Being a non-factor on defense, it puts more pressure on JO because he is now forced to guard the other team's best post player, as well as erase mistakes by others.

The Pacers are getting killed on the boards, and a lineup that would appear to be built for speed really doesn't like to run much. Of course that's OK because you have to actually rebound to be able to run. Or you have to create turnovers in a position to run, and the Pacers don't that all too well either.

If Harrington was a special player, a difference maker, OK...you take that kind of player. I'm a big believer when getting new players for a team you get a player who either makes you better or makes you different. Of course the assumption is that by "different" you're able to put the opposition in some pretty bad match-up situations. Harrington doesn't accomplish either of those two goals.

I don't see him as a difference maker. The Hawks aren't exactly struggling without him, when they certainly did with him, and they drafted forwards three straight years, the last two years when there were other players available to fit what they needed. It's not a ringing endorsement. I'm afraid he's going to be that good forward on a bad team, kind of like Zach Randolph.

I like Daniels, but he too is more of the same. I'm glad he is here given that no other moves were made to address needs, but this team has a different look if they could have parlayed Jackson and the trade exception for a shooter (i.e. a maker).

Unclebuck
11-16-2006, 10:29 AM
Right up front, Harrington's signing did three things which I consider very bad for the Pacers. It moved Jeff Foster to the bench, took focus away from the Pacers actually addressing needs, and slows down the progression of Danny Granger.

I always want Jeff to play more and usually right after I say that, I'm scolded for thinking such a thing.

Getting Al I don't believe impacted our attempts to get backcourt help. With the trade exception, we basically could only do one thing with it and that was to sign Al. The draft is another story, but I don't know how good Rondo or Williams are going to be yet.

Maybe it does slow the progression of Granger a little - but I thought no one wanted him to play power forward, and even if we didn't get Al, DG would still be playing small forward - and that to me has turned him into a stand still jump shooter has hurt his rebounding and shot blocking.

On the list of things that is causing the Pacers to not play well acquiring Al does not make my list. That was a good pickup. 4 -4 isn't good, but it is better than 2-6 and that is what we'd be without Al. Plus do we really want Jack taking more shots.





I like Daniels, but he too is more of the same. I'm glad he is here given that no other moves were made to address needs, but this team has a different look if they could have parlayed Jackson and the trade exception for a shooter (i.e. a maker).

More of the same? What do you mean.

Do we have another player on the roster who can create his own shot, is a slasher and can make plays for others, oh and is a solid defender. I don't think so

sixthman
11-16-2006, 10:43 AM
Al gives the Pacers more options long term.

Either he or JO could be traded. It seems highly unlikely that the Pacers will want to stand pat with this team. We're woefully short of talent at the guard positions, both sides of the ball and shooting taken into consideration.

Jim R
11-16-2006, 10:53 AM
Buck,

RE: Daniels -- more of the same is a reference to another player who doesn't really possess consistent 3pt range, and/or the kind of guy who is effective at scoring coming off of screens.

The types of scorers you have matters just as much as how many you have. If all your wing scorers are guys who have to shape up or catch and hold guys, I'm just not sure how effecient the offense can be. There needs to be a player who can come off firing, obviously accurately, like a Michael Redd or a Rip Hamilton.

Jackson, Granger, and Harrington all score the same way from the perimeter. It's usually just on kick outs and ball reversals. It's rarely based on something they do off the ball. Daniels is a little different in that he can create his own shot, but the Pacers need someone who can stretch the defense, which would make things easier on Daniels too.

Peja would look nice as well, though more of a SF. Martell Webster for Portland has a chance to be that type of player.

RE: Granger, Foster, and a starting lineup -- I would have envisioned coming into this year with a lineup of Granger, O'Neal, Foster, Jackson and Tinsley. It's a better lineup defensively and rebounding wise, and it gives Granger more opportunities in the offense, which is still very scripted.

RE: Trade exception -- I know the Pacers are very good at keeping a tight lip on things, as Harrington's new agent was mucking up the works for a deal, I would have hoped the Pacers were looking for other avenues.

I think the Croshere/ Daniels trade came before acquiring the trade exception. I don't remember, but the exception coupled with a player certainly have attracted teams looking to get more flexibility.

If they could have paired it with Tinsley or Jackson, I think someone would have gone for it.


I was OK with drafting Shawne Williams, but I thought meant the end of pursuing Harrington. I was OK with struggling this year if it meant developing guys like Granger and Williams. I do agree, I would have rather had Rondo or Marcus Williams. At some point it's OK to draft based on need.

Draft a PG. Deal the Exception and Jackson for a SG who is more suited coming off screens -- to Portland for Webster and a bad contract. Croshere for Daniels Suddenly the Pacers still trend toward the more athletic vision they seem to have, and they bring in younger players with good upside.

Jim R
11-16-2006, 10:59 AM
Al gives the Pacers more options long term.

Either he or JO could be traded. It seems highly unlikely that the Pacers will want to stand pat with this team. We're woefully short of talent at the guard positions, both sides of the ball and shooting taken into consideration.


The whole issue with Harrington was there weren't that many teams in the mix for him. I'm not sure how a 'tweener forward who manages just 6.6 rpg becomes great trade bait. I don't see Harrington starting at forward on a team which competes for a championship, especially when he bumps the hardest worker out of the startling lineup, and moves JO to a position defensively he's not as well suited for.

At $9M per year, I don't see Harrington adding much long term value in a trade.

I think the Pacers had this vision of a lineup in mind, but so far it's a line up that doesn't defend very well and doesn't rebound very well. It also has zero leadership on the floor. The latter isn't Harrington's fault. None of that is actually. Harrington is what he is, a 'tweener who brings nothing on half of the floor.

ChicagoJ
11-16-2006, 11:18 AM
Jim,

I think your premise is flawed.

Your choices are essentially:

1. re-sign Peja for too much money
2. let Peja walk with no trade exception
3. Use that trade exceptiopn on a player that wants to be here.

I can't find any reason to say Al was a bad pickup for the Pacers. Unfortunately, it shouldn't have been the last move the Pacers made (they promised more moves, remember?)

This team still needs a few more trades, but that's unrelated to picking up Al for basically nothing.

I personally think you're really overrating outside/ three-point shooting. We need to convince our guys to take fewer 3FGAs, not find a guy to shoot more. You can still create spacing and good shots by taking advantage of higher percentage shots inside the threepoint line, something that Daniels, Harrington, and Granger can all do quite well in either a catch-and-shoot or creative situation.

The most important aspect of spacing (spreading the floor/ defense) isn't even the distance between players - its forcing your opponent to not risk double-teaming away from any of your players. (Thus, Foster causes more offensive problems than he solves.)

As for the draft - you're right on. We've got a kid in street clothes who isn't close to being ready to play (and hopefully is on his way to the NBDL or he'll be out of the league soon), and a guy we passed on really hurt our backcourt last night.

imawhat
11-16-2006, 02:14 PM
Al was the best pickup of the summer. We have a guy that busts his a55 on both ends of the floor no matter what the score is, and brings fire and leadership late in the game, which is something we've sorely lacked in the past two years.

AesopRockOn
11-16-2006, 03:49 PM
Al was the best pickup of the summer. We have a guy that busts his a55 on both ends of the floor no matter what the score is, and brings fire and leadership late in the game, which is something we've sorely lacked in the past two years.

I agree somewhat but I think that his rebounding has been inconsistent and that we expected him to be somewhat of a force on the inside but he seems to stay outside more than he should. I haven't watched games so I don't know much about his shot selection.

It's been eight games: we don't know; he might be a bad pick but like Jay said, we really didn't have much choice. We had to get Al for Ron or sign some overpaid role player. I'm still optimistic because tinsley isn't out for the season. :)

imawhat
11-16-2006, 05:51 PM
I agree somewhat but I think that his rebounding has been inconsistent and that we expected him to be somewhat of a force on the inside but he seems to stay outside more than he should. I haven't watched games so I don't know much about his shot selection.

It's been eight games: we don't know; he might be a bad pick but like Jay said, we really didn't have much choice. We had to get Al for Ron or sign some overpaid role player. I'm still optimistic because tinsley isn't out for the season. :)


Al's pulling down a more than respectable number of rebounds per game, considering where he is playing. He does what he can in his position. It doesn't look great because he's being compared to the best rebounder in the NBA (arguably). Al's ranked 44th out of 173 forwards, so he's around the upper 25% in that category.


There's no way he's a bad pickup. His positives outweigh his negatives by a huge longshot. He takes good shots, he's shooting .496 from the field and .467 from 3 pt. range, he's an excellent team defender, and he's good in transition both ways. He's the best thing the Pacers have right now, and he's the best we'll have all season.

TheDon
11-16-2006, 08:10 PM
I think everyone just needs to take a step back and just breathe, we was told there'd be growing pains and that's what we have. Of course I was upset and vented alot of frustration after the Bulls loss but taking a step back and looking at it there were definite positives we could pull from that game. I don't think we can call the Boston game a part of the growing pains as much as it was just a collective lack of effort in conjunction with an off night which every team has(talking more about the off night than lack of effort). If we come back and win against the nets on friday and build on it these little bumps in the road won't even be remembered, we know we have the talent we just need to find our niche in this system of offense.

GO PACERS

denyfizle
11-17-2006, 05:51 PM
simple Econ 101 huh?... rubbish. Al is the biggest reason we're 4-4 instead of 0-8. Gettin AL is just a piece to the puzzle but we still have a lot of moves to make and improvements to do. I can't believe you'll blame our woes on the player that's playing best for your team. I was hoping there was a great explanation behind such an audacious remark. Picking up Baston was a waste. That whole White thing was a waste. Heck picking Williams probably is a bad move too. But you know what, maybe the real bad pick up was Rick Carlisle's extension. Seriously, we proclaimed that we were trying to go uptempo, so far it's been non-existent. But cmon, handing RC an uptempo lineup is just like trying to ask Granny Goose to drive a ferrari or Flava Flav to sing a ballad; it ain't gonna work!!!

Our personnel in itself isn't that talented. We're at where our capabilies pretty much could take us. We don't have a consistent and reliable scorer so I won't even bother mention a go-to guy.

We don't have a rebounder that can help out JO underneath other than Feisty. But we need a tough Dale Davis type of dude though. Jeff is a pest but we need a beast... a banger. Hulk can bang, but I guess he was born to do banging in a different sport. He just doesn't seem to have the savvy and aptitude to play basketball.

Danny Granger is a fine player but it's quite obvious that he's not as good as a lot of people in Indy overrate him to be. Tinsley continues to be inconsistent. Jack though has shown a lot of progress from last season. But you know what, plain and simple we're just not that good a team right now. Us picking up 2 trash players that were just supposed to make numbers work whould've suggested that long ago. I'm not at all bothered by our play. I think the players are trying really hard. That's why I prefer watching this team compared to last year's. Maybe we all got spoiled even during the past 2 season when we got shagged. At elast we all thought we were "title contenders" when we eliminate the bad luck. But right now, we are just not that good a team straight up!!! LB and DW have a lot of work to do. Hopefully we can pull it together.

aceace
11-17-2006, 06:28 PM
I would move jax and granger to the bench, start foster and daniels and see what happens, also more low post from JO. As someone said Al is why were 4-4 and not 0-8. Al is 100% positive for this team.

ajbry
11-17-2006, 06:34 PM
Those of you clamoring for Jack and Danny to be benched for Foster and Daniels...

1) Jack is the Reggie replacement. He did not come here to come off the bench, simple as that. Nor does he warrant being benched in favor of Marquis Daniels, who hasn't proven a whole lot yet (except for 1 nice game and an overall consistent lack of errors).

2) Granger is everyone's favorite around here, why is everyone jumping off the bandwagon? He provides essentially everything we need and should be the starter. It's only 8 games into his 2nd NBA season, in a new offensive scheme. We need to have quite a bit more patience.

Just
11-18-2006, 01:20 AM
Al was an awesome pick up, the guy has been beasting it up out there.