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View Full Version : Tbird's 10 game suggestion: A major lineup/rotations change



thunderbird1245
11-19-2006, 01:47 PM
A wise old coach named Morgan Wooten wrote in his "Coaching basketball successfully" book that the only true best time to change your lineup in a major way was after a win, not after a loss. He thought that due to the psychological affects of benching players after losses might spiral, and hurt the attitudes of the player being benched, cancelling out any positives created by the lineup shuffle in the first place. Wooten is the all time winningest high school coach ever, and his book is a must read for all young coaches by the way....a true living legend in coaching young men.

Having said that, Ive been watching the games when I could, analyzing how our team is structured, looking at our strengths and weaknesses overall, and trying to decide how our team can best fit together with the current pieces we have. Clearly, no matter how you shuffle the deck, this is not a championship roster. We are missing a clear second star player, perimeter shooting, consistent defense in the backcourt, and a physical rebounder and screener. We have many weaknesses that offset our strengths of athleticism and depth. We are near the bottom in points scored, and have been blown out embarrasingly twice. On the other hand, we are young, athletic, and just getting to know each other as a unit. We clearly arent a good enough team the way we are playing to just "play who and how we play" and make the opponent adjust to us....instead we are forced to mix and match depending on who our opponent is and how are inconsistent roster is playing on a given night. Its clear to me and important to me for us to figure out who we are as a team, and develop a plan of attack and style of play that we can hang our hat on, and so far we dont have that.

We are at least attempting at this time to be a more athletic team. The only problem with that is is that we are overrating the athleticism of the players who play alot of minutes. For their positions relative to the rest of the league, Harrington as a PF isnt overly big, quick, strong or athletic. Granger isnt quick, fast, or as freakish an athlete as a SF as lots of other NBA players at his spot. We play big minutes with the decidedly unathletic point guard grouping of Tinsley (short, slower), Sarunas (very slow, not strong) and Armstrong ( more athletic than the other 2 but not above avg, and old). The lack of defense at the point of attack for me is a giant huge weakness we have, and we dont get nearly enough offensive advantage from that spot to make playing who we are playing at that spot worth the time and effort in my view.

From a physical and talent standpoint, some of our guys benefit athletically from playing down a spot. As a PF Harrington is undersized and not a good rebounder, but as a "power 3" which is exactly what I think he is, he has a strength and size advantage on his opponent most every game. Granger is an average sized 3 man now woith average athleticism, but move him down to a "2", and he would be guarding a smaller player most nights, and be able to rise up and shoot over the smaller guys defending him. Jackson also always has a physical mismatch when playing inside when he is able to be played in the backcourt. RC seemingly is choosing to play smaller in general, but I now believe with this particular group of players and skill sets that we need to turn that around 180 degrees and become a bigger, more physically imposing team. A team that plays hard, physical, and more aggressive than our opponents. A finesse type of game is fine, but we dont have a finesse type roster.

I'm ready to propose the "jumbo" lineup full force, and to change our bench rotations slightly to wear we always have a size/strength advantage against almost any lineup the oppenent can put out there. Let these other teams make adjustments to us for a change.

PG Marquis Daniels
SG Danny Granger
SF Al Harrington
PF Jermaine Oneal
C A 3 headed monster of Harrison, Baston, and Foster.

I'd always try and have another big in there with JO as a screener/dirty work type player. In reality, none of those 3 guys listed at center is an answer long term, but its the best of who we have. Surely we could get 16 minutes each out them somehow to fill that spot.

I'm not advocating getting rid of anybody, just trying to max out the contributions of who our roster is. Hopefully, we can bring in Tinsley as Daniels backup and play him approx 20 minutes per night or so. Maybe playing against the second unit point guards will help him look more effective and not be such a defensive liability. If Tinsley continues to struggle, Id be ready to give those minutes to Oriene Greene quickly.

Jackson, like last night, is better suited to be a offensive player off the bench. He fits better in that way and can still get his minutes as the primary backup to Granger and Harrington. Jackson should again have a big size advantage playing against some of the backup guards in the league, and can be a post up option for us when JO isnt in the game or is being played at the high post.

This rotation means a slight change for Harrington and Oneal. It means they wouldnt be paired as the 2 biggest guys on the floor very much if at all. It limits JO's time at center to emergencies only, and limits Harrington's time at PF to only about 10-15 minutes per night max. Most of his time playing this way would be at the SF. If defensive liabilities are occuring playing this way, then on the nights thats happening Harrington would just have to be benched for Jackson/Granger or whomever we had to play to guard somebody. For JO, it means Id increase his minutes to around 36 per night on average, slightly up from where he is now.

Looks like this on a per minute basis:

PG Daniels 28/ Tinsley 20, with Armstrong and Greene ready at a moments notice. Sarunas would be inactive. If this move doesnt get more out of Tinsley than we are getting now, then I'd be ready to cut the cord with him too. Playing Daniels at the PG is the single best way I see to get him minutes, get better defensively, and not cut into the minutes of Granger and Jackson.

SG Granger 30/Jackson 18, with Greene again ready to play if needed. Obviously if Greene was playing alongside Daniels you could interchange the positions with those two if you want to list it that way.

SF Harrington 24/ Jackson 16/ Marshall or Baston 8.

PF Jermaine Oneal 36/ Harrington 12. We have to have one of these 2 guys on the floor at all times barring something weird happening.

C Harrison 16/Foster 16/Baston 16, with Josh Powell standing ready if one of these guys can't hack it. This is clearly the worst part of our roster by the way. I think Id start Harrison at this time only because he can't seem to come off the bench and play very long, so id try starting him to see if he gets in the flow better that way. Harrison can play until he gets 2 fouls, then we can start the parade of center substitutions. Foster is only effective in my view for shorter stretches, and we risk injuries and lack of effectiveneness with him if we play him too long. Baston can hopefully pair with JO some of the time to at least hold the fort for a while inside. This is clearly an area we need to upgrade in somehow someway next offseason.

Id clearly play some zone some, id definitely emphasize playing physically and strongly, and id especially emphasize, to Harrison, Foster, and Baston to make their fouls count, and that I want to see nobody drive the lane without feeling it afterwards. Im not saying I want us to play dirty, Im saying I want us to play tougher and stronger.

Im benching the defensively soft and finesse playing Sarunas for now, and Im giving Tinsley an ultimatum to either play better and accept this new bench role or I'll sit him too. Hopefully by starting Harrison we'd get something positive from him, and another reason Im advocating that is to find out for sure what we really have as a player with him. It's time for him to grow up and help us more, or to find a new team to play for.

These Indiana Pacers.... hopefully the strongest, toughest, meanest group of players in the NBA. I want teams to have to complain about us to the media and the league. I want opposing teams and their fans to fear and hate us. I want us to quit being so soft and be the team the opponents hate to play the most.

5-5....about what we expected, and about what we should be. But not good enough, and not good enough to settle for. Mediocrity is unacceptable. The sky isnt falling, and I realize patience is a virtue, but we are soft physically, fragile emotionally, and inconsistent in our effort. The changes I recommend I hope would solve some of our obvious problems.

JMO as always.

Moses
11-19-2006, 01:54 PM
I like the idea of a jumbo lineup and you are completely right about the fact that we never make teams adjust to us and we are the ones who always adjust and change our game plans. We will never win a championship if we don't have a strength as an offense. The only problem with the lineup you proposed is the fact that smaller and quicker guards will be able to penetrate and get our bigs in foul trouble pretty quick..but I think the way JO has been playing is going to keep PGs and SGs out of the lane.

I like it and would love to see that lineup. Grangers emergence as a 3 point shooter really makes the line-up viable as well as the fact that Harrington would murder a ton of guys offensively from SF.

D-BONE
11-19-2006, 02:05 PM
I'm all for getting Quis significantly involved in the PG rotation. Have been since we got him. What do we have to lose? If it doesn't work you can always go back to the drawing board. Although I like the idea of DA having at least some set minutes in the rotation b/c I think he can be a solid producer in a limited role.

Harrison? I can see having to play him in your scheme. Hopefully we'd get something for it, but I don't know. I'd expect if that troika were used at C that foster would get more than 1/3 of the minutes, but not that much more than 1/3 necessarily. This also interests me b/c I want to see what Baston can do with a some consistent stints. He might at least be able to give us a little in shot blocking and boards.

sweabs
11-19-2006, 02:09 PM
I agree with your proposed lineup change. One thing that Rick has been known for, is playing to "counteract" the opposing team's lineup. It's a rare occasion when we see Rick actually make a lineup that the other team will have to worry about. With your proposed change, I think we could create matchup problems on both the offensive and defensive end...and I like the possibilities.

I think we need to give Marquis a chance at PG. That is our biggest weakness on the defensive end. We can't continue to have guys like Mo Williams, Gilbert Arenas, Deron Williams, etc. play career nights against us. On the offensive end, he is very good at penetrating and slashing which could open up opportunities for the rest of our guys. I really think he could thrive in such a role.

I just want this team to establish an identity. If we were to go big as you have outlined, I think it could help in that regard. Forget all this small ball stuff you're seeing across the league - those Indiana Pacers are going big and they're causing problems. I like the sounds of it - and I think it could truly work. At the very least, I'd just like for Rick to give it a chance or two.

Seed
11-19-2006, 02:16 PM
Baston is no center. He is a lean, athletic PF.

D-BONE
11-19-2006, 02:21 PM
T-Bird, question. How would the move to this approach mesh with or alter the alleged up-tempo philosophy on offense?

To me it seems like we're ever so slowly settling in to a more "medium" paced offense anyway. In other words, somewhere between a truly fast-paced game and the ultra slog ball we often agonized through last season.

As you noted, while we are more athletic than before, we still don't have the personnel to go all out up tempo comparatively anyway.

rabid
11-19-2006, 02:34 PM
Some questions:

-Would the team still be able to run, or would this lineup put us squarely back in the half-court, pound-it-into J.O in-the-post game. Because I think we've all seen enough of that style of ball. It was moderately boring to begin with and after 3 full seasons of it I don't know if I could bear to watch it anymore.

-How does this help address turnover problems. And again, don't tell me that slowing down and grinding out every possession is the answer (because I know that would help - but see my first point).

-I want to like Harrison's game. But if you start him he'll get 2 quick fouls every game, probably in the first 5 minutes most nights. So Foster is going to end up in there anyway.

-Quis is not ready to be our starter at the point. As much as Tinsley has struggled, you can't just put in Quis all of a sudden just because he's bigger. His perimeter shooting is awful (worse than Tinsley). And who in this lineup is going to make the "scoring pass."

-Danny would be a great defender at the 2, but on offense he's not anywhere near athletic enough for us. We need a "stud" at the 1 or the 2, and Danny isn't there yet. Our perimeter defense would improve greatly with this new lineup, but in terms of shooting, scoring and playmaking, Quis/DG over Tins/Jax is a wash at best.

-Finally, asking the entire starting lineup to change position (at the same time) is a recipe for short-term disaster. Yes, these guys can all play those positions, but some haven't been asked to hardly at all this year and would have to re-learn the playbook from those positions (esp. the guards). You'd have even more turnovers at first while everyone adjusts.

Summary: I'd rather watch this team TRY to play a more up-tempo, transition-based game that is at least fun to watch (when it works) than watch us go back to the conservative, grind-it-out, throw-it-in-the-post game version where we win just enough games to make the playoffs but put the fans asleep (including me) in the process. No thank you sir.

If we can't have the style of play we've been promised, then trades need to be made before the deadline.

thunderbird1245
11-19-2006, 02:37 PM
T-Bird, question. How would the move to this approach mesh with or alter the alleged up-tempo philosophy on offense?

To me it seems like we're ever so slowly settling in to a more "medium" paced offense anyway. In other words, somewhere between a truly fast-paced game and the ultra slog ball we often agonized through last season.

As you noted, while we are more athletic than before, we still don't have the personnel to go all out up tempo comparatively anyway.

Well, you can't get a running game if you are either:

A. Taking the ball out of the net because the opponent keeps scoring on you.

B. If you can't get a defensive rebound and outlet the ball.

With this lineup Id be hoping to at least be able to improve our defense in the half court, contest shots better, allow less penetration, and be able to rebound our own defensive glass better. Hopefully, most of our running game could be fueled by causing just as many if not more turnovers, and by causing more missed shots in the first place.

Offensively, we'd have to figure out the best way for us to play in the half court.....what plays to run, who to best post up, what combinations to run screen/rolls with, etc etc. But as we are in the bottom third of the league in scoring anyway, I dont see that being a big risk.

Since I love posting up guards, and since RC can't or won't use Tinsley like that against the starting guards, maybe he'd use him like that with our second unit. Also, Daniels and Jackson can be used more in the low blocks this way id hope.

We are always going to struggle somewhat offensively due to a lack of perimeter shooting, lack of a really good screen setter, and lack of a good creator in the backcourt. Daniels is in my view our best creator of offense with the ball (Im disappointed in Tinsley so far, I thought he'd be better), so therefore I want Daniels in the game more often with the ball in his hands.

I really would envision us running alot of "2 out 3 in" type sets, using this lineup. I can explain further if need be if someone wants to talk about it.

BlueNGold
11-19-2006, 02:38 PM
PG Marquis Daniels
SG Danny Granger
SF Al Harrington
PF Jermaine Oneal
C A 3 headed monster of Harrison, Baston, and Foster.

Love this lineup. In fact, I suggested this in another thread. The things I like about this are better interior toughness, better rebounding, and much, much better perimeter defense. It would be tough to get off a 3pt shot with this crew, and very tough to drive if Baston and JO are waiting in the paint. Great D.

Now, if we face ultra quick guards, we may need to change matchups if it caused us some trouble, but that would be the exception.

wintermute
11-19-2006, 02:41 PM
i would start jackson instead of harrington. harrington-granger at the wings is just not quick enough to match up with most other wing combos. replace harrington with jack, then it's a pretty well-balanced team where everyone is a decent defender, with some outside shooting, and not undersized at all (but not all that jumbo either).

problem is, how do you bench your leading scorer and possibly 2nd best player overall? this has been discussed heavily in ub's starting 5 thread i believe, where foster for harrington came up as an alternative.

marquise for tinsley is possibly the only option right now if pacers want to improve the defense at the pg spot. i wonder when rick is going to try this... maybe if (when) tins goes down with an injury?

harrington and tinsley off the bench could be a huge factor for us, if their egos would allow it. those 2 plus the starters would form a great core rotation.

Pitons
11-19-2006, 02:54 PM
I think we need to give Marquis a chance at PG. That is our biggest weakness on the defensive end. We can't continue to have guys like Mo Williams, Gilbert Arenas, Deron Williams, etc. play career nights against us. On the offensive end, he is very good at penetrating and slashing which could open up opportunities for the rest of our guys. I really think he could thrive in such a role.


Bogut had a very good night yesterday with 12 rebounds (this season high in def and off rebounds), 14 points, 60% shooting and only 1 turnover ;). Our teams rebounding isn't very good. That's not PG problem. You saw yesterday how Gilbert had killed Cavaliers?

But yes, I would give a chance to Daniels at PG. Maybe he would be more productive than Tins and Saras. He doesn't play good at his current position so far.

avoidingtheclowns
11-19-2006, 03:17 PM
i think the proposed lineup is worth a shot, though i am not convinced it is the answer. i think its worth trying.

i think we'd have a more up-tempo offense with quis at PG than with tinsley. we'd get better defensively which could counteract our own turnovers by creating more defensively. i also think that having him play pg would make his shooting issues less of a factor because he'd be creating and getting other people shots and slashing to the hoop and getting on the line. i don't see any harm in trying because i think we know what we're going to be getting with tins.

i think the foster / jo combo is probably the best option. jeff is actually a fairly fast guy (i see harrison as more of a slow-down). jeff would be a slight offensive liability BUT i think his defense, rebounding could make up for that.

the major pain is that we have a team of players who don't really work together. along with a bunch of players that can't be moved. i think regardless of the lineup changes, that we will essentially see more of the same the entire season unless we shake up the roster in a major way.

BlueNGold
11-19-2006, 03:31 PM
i also think that having him play pg would make his shooting issues less of a factor because he'd be creating and getting other people shots and slashing to the hoop and getting on the line.

That's an important point. He is great breaking down a defense with drives in the lane...and getting fouled. He also has a nice mid range game and as a young player is bound to get better.

rexnom
11-19-2006, 03:40 PM
They seem to have built this team with the intention of Tinsley at PG. I'm sorry, but I really don't see how this could happen.

rexnom
11-19-2006, 03:43 PM
Bogut had a very good night yesterday with 12 rebounds (this season high in def and off rebounds), 14 points, 60% shooting and only 1 turnover ;). Our teams rebounding isn't very good. That's not PG problem. You saw yesterday how Gilbert had killed Cavaliers?

But yes, I would give a chance to Daniels at PG. Maybe he would be more productive than Tins and Saras. He doesn't play good at his current position so far.
The thinking is that Quis at PG will make the lineup bigger because then you have everyone shifting down with either Foster, a good rebounder, or Harrison, a good box-outer in the lineup.

D-BONE
11-19-2006, 04:06 PM
The thinking is that Quis at PG will make the lineup bigger because then you have everyone shifting down with either Foster, a good rebounder, or Harrison, a good box-outer in the lineup.

For me, whether it be in the suggested "jumbo" package lineup change or in any combination, it's not so much Quis being bigger.

While that may be an advantage in some contexts. I think the most important issue is trying to upgrade the very evident defensive deficiencies we have there currently. Our entire defense is severely compromised by constant penetration we are allowing opposing PGs.

JT's offensive and play making strengths may prove more effective matched against opponent second-tier points. Hopefully conversely his defensive struggles would not be as readily exploited.

thunderbird1245
11-19-2006, 04:17 PM
For me, whether it be in the suggested "jumbo" package lineup change or in any combination, it's not so much Quis being bigger.

While that may be an advantage in some contexts. I think the most important issue is trying to upgrade the very evident defensive deficiencies we have there currently. Our entire defense is severely compromised by constant penetration we are allowing opposing PGs.

JT's offensive and play making strengths may prove more effective matched against opponent second-tier points. Hopefully conversely his defensive struggles would not be as readily exploited.

This is part of my thinking, absolutely.

I also believe this helps create mismatches offensively we can exploit in the half court. Either Daniels or Granger would have to be guarded by a much smaller man, giving our starters another mismatch to try and exploit.

Daniels has been one of our more consistent and effective players, putting him at the point increases his minutes at one of our weakest spots without sacrificing the playing time of Granger/Jackson/Harrington much.

Think of it this way: lots of times we have 4 of this group in the game :

JO, Harrington, Granger, Jackson, and Daniels.

Now, add a 5th player to the group....would you rather add a bigger guy or a smaller one? Im saying add a bigger, physical, and tougher player instead of primarily playing someone smaller.

JMO

indyman37
11-19-2006, 04:39 PM
I really like the jumbo lineup idea. but i would change harrison out for foster so, one, we don't get into early foul trouble. two, we would probably grab more rebounds. and three, instead of having a really slow half-court offense with this lineup...we could maybe just maybe start to get into an uptempo style of play with some fast break points off of the much needed rebounds we would be getting. Just a thought though.

Israfan
11-19-2006, 04:51 PM
Nice idea, but it will work only against slow and big lineups.
Now when most team are switching to 3-4 guards and fast play this lineup will be beaten on the steal and fast breaks too much. Also the PG is necessary to create some ball movement or you will go to ISO sets.

IMO this team lives and dies with one position - PG. When anybody of Tins, Saras and Armstrong troika has a good game we are winning. They are the key. When team moves the ball we are winning. I would go to other extrema: I would put Saras/Armstrong together on the court for 20 minutes per game. It was the best thing that happened to Pacers so far in this season (agree?) and we have to explore this direction.

Alpolloloco
11-19-2006, 04:54 PM
agree

BlueNGold
11-19-2006, 05:03 PM
This is part of my thinking, absolutely.

I also believe this helps create mismatches offensively we can exploit in the half court. Either Daniels or Granger would have to be guarded by a much smaller man, giving our starters another mismatch to try and exploit.

Daniels has been one of our more consistent and effective players, putting him at the point increases his minutes at one of our weakest spots without sacrificing the playing time of Granger/Jackson/Harrington much.

Think of it this way: lots of times we have 4 of this group in the game :

JO, Harrington, Granger, Jackson, and Daniels.

Now, add a 5th player to the group....would you rather add a bigger guy or a smaller one? Im saying add a bigger, physical, and tougher player instead of primarily playing someone smaller.

JMO

I agree. Otherwise we lose on boards big time and have little chance of winning. This is particularly true since Granger is emerging as one of our more important perimeter threats. This should start getting obvious to everyone soon.

Naptown_Seth
11-19-2006, 05:21 PM
Baston is no center. He is a lean, athletic PF.
He's the smallest big on the team in fact and frankly no more talented than Powell. I like him as a player, seems like a good guy, but anyone putting stock in him being this big bump for the team is in for a letdown I think.


We are missing a clear second star player
T-bird, Al and JO both still play for the Pacers, right? Right now Al has been having the better year perhaps, and JO just missed a triple-double last night and is an NBA leader in shots blocked. They've got 2 stars and both can score from inside to medium. Heck, Al can even knock down the 3.


They only lack clearly in 2 ways as a team IMO. PG play, huge issue. Outside shooting, mild issue.

The main problem away from that has been more of construction of the team, how guys interact on the court. And that still looks a lot more like "but I thought you were..." than a lack of talent outright.

Rick and the players are still figuring out how to make this massively different roster function and how to take advantage of newly acquired talents.

People want Daniels to play PG, and I have said before that he can play it well enough to cover if they get in trouble. BUT I've watched him in several different games get crossed over pretty hard and it wasn't a PG doing it. He's a backup that you can swing to PG IF NEEDED, but he's not a PG starting answer. Greene is more that than Daniels is.


The team has had many slow starts and to me that looks like that part of the game most planned out (naturally). I think the problem is that RC hasn't found the playbook makeup that works with this group, nor the rotation he's comfortable with.

He's tried to repeat the "Sarunas magic" from the first game, brought him in the exact same way and asked him to repeat his output, and then it doesn't happen. He watched 2 games where Al looked worthless and then suddenly has a scoring machine. JO was hot, then cold, and appears to be finding his shot again.

So you have new faces, player games that are jumping all over the place, and just a lot of dust still settling. I really think looking at the season so far and thinking it's a matter of a big overhaul is wrong.

That will not fix the PG play, it won't make Jack a better shooter (he chucked MORE from the bench last night than he had total in several games in a row as a starter), and it sure won't find the on-court chemistry.


After all, wasn't last night with no Al, Jeff and Daniels starting, and Jack on the bench what might be considered a major change? And they were still down 17 very early after the subs had rotated in for many minutes (Tins was the first to leave and it was only a 9 point hole, so it continued to get worse with the bench players too).

The team adjusted the defense a little, went to JO more in the post, and honestly guys started hitting shots and making some better plays. The lineup overhaul didn't get them the win anymore than it got them way behind early on.



B. If you can't get a defensive rebound and outlet the ball.
If you saw the game then you know the Pacers were much better on the glass than they have been, yet were struggling most of the night to match MIL in transition scoring. I think at one point they were down 14-2 on transition scores.

The running game has been iffy because it's new to several guys, they force it at times, and honestly the last 2 years I had been saying they weren't very good in transition offense. They have struggled to space their breaks. Last night they had another where they got the score after a ball fumbling awkward toss back bounced to Tinsley who hit a standing still baby hook...not a layup coming off the run. ie, ugly.

Too much PG penetration has led to more inside attempts from other teams, so fewer long rebounds and definitely fewer turnovers on the outside. Add that to them not really being good at running (yet, hopefully it gets better) and it's just going to be a hard road no matter what the lineup.

IMO they might have to find their way back to a more comfortable style of play, one that isn't as up-tempo as they had hoped. They have several players who drive the ball well in the half court (Jack, Daniels, Armstrong, Tinsley) and some bigs that have enough range to space the HC sets. I strongly suspect that this will be where they finally settle in.

skyfire
11-19-2006, 07:37 PM
I like the idea of the jumbo lineup.

Jax's game is well suited to coming off the bench, where he will have a more prominent role.

Danny will have to work on his ball handling more if he is to play SG more often.

I think we need to find some minutes for Powell. His skill set compliments JO nicely.

You dont need to be a particularly athletic team to get fast break points. The Spurs are a good example of being an effective fast break team when the opportunities present themselves, without having an overly athletic lineup. I want to see a team that is efficient in both disrupting the opponents offense enough to cause some turnovers which lead to fast breaks and being able to run half court sets well enough when the break isn't there.

thunderbird1245
11-19-2006, 08:33 PM
Seth:

While I agree with some of your points in general, I still think in a perfect world we still arent good enough playing the style and the personnel we are currently. I dont think my proposed solution will lead to a championship level either, but I do think it maximizes our personnel better.

On the comment I made about the Pacers not having a second star player, while I think Harrington is a nice player and good addition, I doubt very seriously that anyone considers him an elite star player, even you. As a player who is a classic "tweener" both in size and in style of play, you have to make a decision on where to primarily play him at, either as a bigger slower "power 3" or as a slightly undersized and finesse type "4 man". Ive watched him play previously and in this season, and I just think overall we are better playing bigger personnel around him.

No matter how we play our roster, we are not an elite championship quality team, but its all about maximizing what we do have until we can add some pieces to the puzzle. A better more dynamic perimeter player, a shooter or 2, and a big guy with a combination of the skill set of Dale davis and Brad Miller would be the ideal additions, but those guys arent exactly on the market or available. Until then, I think the players and style im recommending now fit our pieces together better than playing smaller and quicker lineups.

Reasonable minds can disagree of course.

BlueNGold
11-19-2006, 08:57 PM
...while I think Harrington is a nice player and good addition, I doubt very seriously that anyone considers him an elite star player, even you.

Yes, amazingly he was never clearly the best player on the lowly Hawks over the last several years. Fatoine was just as good. Joe Johnson is clearly better.

BruceLeeroy
11-19-2006, 10:08 PM
Good post T-bird. I've thought about the "jumbo" lineup for the last week or so and I agree with everything you wrote.

Our biggest weaknesses right now IMO is being unable to stop dribble penetration and rebounding. Despite being drove on a few times Marquis seems to be our best on the ball defender. I thought he played well against Gilbert and Kidd in the short time he gaurded them. Danny has struggled some in this area of his game but is still very good. They both rebound the ball better than our current gaurd rotation so I think this lineup will help with both of my biggest concerns.

Our current starters arn't getting it done defensivly to start off games. We are consistantly getting torched in the first quarter letting the other teams gaurds penetrate the lane getting etiher layups or passing it out for wide open 3's. This has also led to our bigs getting in to some foul trouble. IMO I think Marquis and Danny are our to best options to stop this problem.

Offensivly our shooting should be improved with the emergence of Al and Danny's 3 point shooting and the usual high percentage shooting of Marquis.
Our bench should also be improved. Not many back-up gaurds could handle Jack on the low block and if Tinsleys playing he should have his way as well. Like you said we're in the bottom third of the league right now anyway in scoring so I'm not convinced it'll hurt our new "up-tempo" offense.

All in all I see no reason why we shouldn't try this. We're going nowhere with our current starters at the gaurd positions and never will IMO. Why not throw the young guys out there and see what they've got.

Just
11-19-2006, 10:25 PM
(I've just skimmed the thread for now)

I like the idea of playing Quis, Danny, JO, and Al together, whether we're doing it in a small lineup or a jumbo one. The only problem is, either way, we're lacking a key player. If Quis is at SG and JO is at C, we lack the sharp-shooting, play-making PG needed to make it work. If Quis is at PG and JO at PF, then we lack the real bruiser, quality C needed to make a jumbo lineup worthwhile.

I

Robertmto
11-19-2006, 10:38 PM
Marquis can't play the point for a long period of time.

Start Armstrong.

speakout4
11-19-2006, 10:38 PM
I like the following starting lineup. PG, MD; SG, Jax and then Harrington , JO and foster. MD gives the team a more active up tempo player than Tinsley and Jax can also give us assists that Granger doesn't. Several teams do not play a true PG but get assists by committee. That can be done by having Jax and MD on the court at the same time. what's to lose. If that lineup can't work put tinsley back in and fall behnd as usual.

pizza guy
11-20-2006, 01:40 AM
Good in theory.

But, I think I just heard a sniffle from Indy...I hear sinupoutitis is going around...

The two biggest problems are PG-play and outside shooting. Our PGs are inconsistent, and only pretend to play defense. They also compound the second problem of outside shooting. Our usual starting SG, Jackson, has plenty of well-documented issues. Our best 3-pt shooter is a guy that Larry Bird said shouldn't focus so much on 3-pt shooting. The next best is 93 years old, and about to retire.

A third, milder problem, is rebounding. We've had problems in this area, but I seem to remember a couple games where we didn't. No Peck, not just the games when Dale Davis was here, games this year. We have the players to do it, so it must be in either effort or scheme, and thus can be fixed.

I do like that jumbo lineup, but I tend to agree with Israfan in wanting Sarunas and Red Bull on the court together. And while I'm not a Tinsley fan, I don't think moving him to the bench is the right move. As poorly as he has played, Danny Granger has been nearly as bad. Send Danny back down with Jack moving to the 3. The lineup would look like this:

PG-Tinsley
SG-'Quis
SF-Jack
PF-JO
C-Al

I'm not in for big changes quite yet, but I would welcome this one. DG hasn't adjusted to starting, and I think playing with JO and Al hinders him more than coming off the bench behind them. Jackson is a much better SF than SG, IMO. His biggest strength is taking the ball to the hoop, because he's got good size and strength, and if he gets fouled is a decent free-throw shooter. Playing 'Quis with Tins is a defensive fix, but certainly doesn't address our shooting problem. JO and Al is tricky. JO is having a very good defensive season, while Al is having a good offensive season. Is that good or bad, though?

The bench would include Sarunas/Red Bull at the guard spots, Danny playing a more comfortable, defined role. Harrison plays his best with Sarunas, but Foster has been playing like a man possessed off the bench.

There is no quick fix, not on the roster. In my mind, our biggest problem is shooting. We can't consistently hit outside shots, and opposing teams know that. So they play zone, forcing us to take those shots, and it works well. When I see someone throw up a 3-pt shot, I have no confidence that it's going in, and that same feeling has to be hanging on the players as well, because it's how the opposition feels. There has to be something done more than roster changes, because the real solution is not currently on this roster.

CableKC
11-20-2006, 02:46 AM
I wouldn't mind trying out Marquis at the starting PG spot just to see how he does ( as a playmaking PG instead of the first Guard off the bench ) and making Tinsley one of the better backup PGs in the league.

By minimizing (if not eliminating) the minutes that Sarunas plays, it would give us some minutes to play players like Powell and Baston ( the garbage men of the team ). Given our lineup and lack of shooters ( which is different then the # of scorers )....maybe it would be better to figure out a way to get more minutes to the rebounding/defending/garbage-men role-players like Foster (1st), Powell (2nd) and Baston (3rd) that can play alongside scorers like JONeal, Harrington, SJax and (to a lesser degree) Granger.

PG - Marquis ( 16 mpg ) / Tinsley ( 22 mpg ) / DA ( 10 mpg )
SG - SJax ( 32 mpg ) / Marquis ( 16 mpg )
SF - Granger ( 32 mpg ) / Harrington ( 16 mpg )
PF - Harrington ( 16 mpg ) / JONeal ( 18 mpg ) / Powell or Baston ( 14 mpg )
C - JONeal ( 14 mpg ) / Foster ( 22 mpg ) / Harrison ( 12 mpg )

Maybe it will balence out the roster more so that we don't have too many scorers on the floor? With a 5-5 record.....I'm willing to try it out now...rather then later when its too late to make anymore moves.

Israfan
11-21-2006, 07:21 AM
I want to prove my previous point.

THE BEST THING THAT HAPPENED TO THIS TEAM IS AMSTRONG-SARAS DUET.

I took stats of first six scoreres: AL, JO, Jack, Granger, Tins, Marcus in wins and loses and summed them. Here is the result:

First six scorers averages MPG FG% 3P% FT% OFF DEF REB APG SPG BPG PPG
In Games Won 35.8 0.4832 0.314 0.8696 2.08 4.44 6.52 3.48 1.28 1.04 15.14
In Games Lost 36.36 0.5218 0.3628 0.9434 1.26 4.06 5.32 3.28 1.12 1.18 14.7

First six scorers totals MPG FG% 3P% FT% OFF DEF REB APG SPG BPG PPG
In Games Won 179 0.4832 0.314 0.8696 10.4 22.2 32.6 17.4 6.4 5.2 75.7
In Games Lost 181.8 0.5218 0.3628 0.9434 6.3 20.3 26.6 16.4 5.6 5.9 73.5
differential -2.8 -0.0386 -0.0488 -0.0738 4.1 1.9 6 1 0.8 -0.7 2.2

The only positive thing that you can see here is that they take 6 more rebounds in wins.

On the other hand, if you take Armstrong Saras win-loss stats and summarize them:

Saras-DA averages MPG FG% 3P% FT% OFF DEF REB APG SPG BPG PPG
In Games Won 16.9 0.548 0.607 0.7025 0.4 1.15 1.55 2.8 0.45 0 10.1
In Games Lost 11.6 0.3145 0.289 0.875 0.3 0.8 1.1 1.6 0.4 0.1 4.1

Saras-DA totals MPG FG% 3P% FT% OFF DEF REB APG SPG BPG PPG
In Games Won 33.8 0.548 0.607 0.7025 0.8 2.3 3.1 5.6 0.9 0 20.2
In Games Lost 23.2 0.3145 0.289 0.875 0.6 1.6 2.2 3.2 0.8 0.2 8.2
differential 10.6 0.2335 0.318 -0.1725 0.2 0.7 0.9 2.4 0.1 -0.2 12

You'll see that in wins S-DA get 50% increase in playing time (from 20 to 30), shoot better and score 12 more points which is 150% increase.

This means that S-DA contribution is crucial for winning, compared to the rest of the team. It doesn't mean that they are best player, just crucial piece of the winning puzzle.

So I think the numbers speak for themselfs, Saras and Armstrong duet is the best thing that happened to Pacers in this year and in order to improve the win Rick has to give them more PT.

Pitons
11-21-2006, 08:57 AM
So I think the numbers speak for themselfs, Saras and Armstrong duet is the best thing that happened to Pacers in this year and in order to improve the win Rick has to give them more PT.

No way. Saras can't play at NBA level at all. His defence is worthless and he made BACKBOARD turnover and shoots WIDE OPEN threes. The only man who made this duet to be successfull was Armstrong. It's no difference with Saras or alone he would have played.

tdubb03
11-21-2006, 09:00 AM
Israfan, despite the well-researched statistics, I disagree.

I don't think you can bench Tinsley, Daniels could handle the 1 in a stretch but he's not a stater. And a few others have said it, but Danny needs benched. And Jax. I'd go Tins, Quis, Al, JO, Foster. Forget all this uptempo offense nonsense. Sure try and get out and run, but don't force it. We do need to take advantage of a lot of the mismatches we could create though.

Dr. Goldfoot
11-21-2006, 10:37 AM
In Games won

Fg% .548
3pt% .607

In Games lost
fg% .315
3pt% .289

Those numbers speak for themselves. I'm not trying to be sarcastic but if you're shooting three's at that clip you stay in the game.

Israfan
11-21-2006, 11:49 AM
I don't think you can bench Tinsley, Daniels could handle the 1 in a stretch but he's not a stater.
I'm not saying who should be benched and who's not.
All I'm saying is that S-DA should be given 10-15 more minutes then they recieve right now.


In Games won

Fg% .548
3pt% .607

In Games lost
fg% .315
3pt% .289

Those numbers speak for themselves. I'm not trying to be sarcastic but if you're shooting three's at that clip you stay in the game.

Yeah, but you know when this is consistent (as far as it can be consistent in 9 games population) it's worth to try it. May be real numbers will be somewhat lower, but still somehow this two were the difference bewteen loss and win.

imawhat
11-21-2006, 07:29 PM
I think your statistics are absolutely correct, but here's the thing: Saras and Darrell would be averaging 33.8 minutes per game if they played well every night.

In other words, there's a reason they're averaging 23 minutes/game on some nights, and that's because one/both of them aren't playing well.

tdubb03
11-21-2006, 09:55 PM
Israfan, only the first line of my post was directed to you, the rest was for tbird. Sorry, should've been more clear.

Anthem
11-29-2006, 03:45 PM
I'm not saying who should be benched and who's not.
All I'm saying is that S-DA should be given 10-15 more minutes then they recieve right now.
DA can't handle more minutes.

And Sarunas isn't very effective without him.

Israfan
11-29-2006, 05:30 PM
DA can't handle more minutes.

And Sarunas isn't very effective without him.

I think DA can handle 20 mpg.
Sarunas is also effective with Tinlsle sometimes.

Naptown_Seth
11-30-2006, 08:33 PM
DA can't handle more minutes.

And Sarunas isn't very effective without him.
I think Saras is very effective with Tinsley actually. They run the double PG better than he and DA do in fact.

DA AT TIMES can handle more minutes.

But the point made that they would get more if they earned it is true. Much more of it has to do with matchups at the time, game flow, etc. It seems like some fans are only going by the box score as well as not looking at what is coming the other way at them.

Vs GS the second that Rick went to DA and Sarunas Nellie moved Pietrus from SF to SG (put Dunleavy in for Ellis). Right away you saw a trouble spot as GS attacked DA and Sarunas, especially when Saras tried to front the post early on and they went over top of him easily.

I actually like what Saras can be when he's playing well, and the last few days I've been praising his improvement. I don't hate the defensive issue with him at all, as long as the total package is a positive on the night. Sometimes matchups make that very difficult.

So his minutes, like thousands of players before him, remain in the control of matchups, situations, foul trouble, how well his own teammates are doing and a bunch of other items beyond just a coach liking him or his shooting touch on the night.



BTW T-Bird, we both have gotten what we wanted since a few weeks ago I think. They went bigger, but it was to move Danny out (a good choice IMO). Tinsley and Sarunas both have shown some improved offense which is all I ask from them.


On the comment I made about the Pacers not having a second star player, while I think Harrington is a nice player and good addition, I doubt very seriously that anyone considers him an elite star player, even you. As a player who is a classic "tweener" both in size and in style of play, you have to make a decision on where to primarily play him at, either as a bigger slower "power 3" or as a slightly undersized and finesse type "4 man". Ive watched him play previously and in this season, and I just think overall we are better playing bigger personnel around him.

I still think Al is a #2 guy, as shown last night for example. I think you are thinking too much of Jordan/Pippen and not enough about Duncan-Ginobili (or Parker) or Dirk-Terry. Terry is a strong player, so is Ginobili, but I wouldn't put either as "elite" in the sense that Dirk or Tim are. Al can put the ball in the hoop when JO isn't, that's what you want from a #2 guy more than anything I think.


I know neither of these wins is especially impressive in terms of opponents, despite the Warriors decent start I don't see them on par with the top 6-7 West teams, but I do think that we've seen a more sound overall offense with the latest adjustment.

Al has been used to go big on SFs and to bring other bigs out to the arc to defend him, Granger gives the team a more versitile player off the bench than Jeff is, as well as shifting some of the 3pt shooting around. And I think they are really finding out that running with this group just doesn't pay off.