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View Full Version : O'Brien's Big Men



OakMoses
06-05-2007, 02:42 PM
Since O'Brien's hiring, I've been wondering how our current bigs would fit into his style of play, particularly Ike Diogu, since he does not fit into the long range shooting PF mode. I thought a study of bigs who played for O'Brien in the past would be worthwhile.

During his Boston days, O'Brien had Antoine Walker as a fixture at PF. At C, however, he relied on Tony Battie and Mark Blount to carry the load. Once Walker left, O'Brien became less successful. With the C's primary starting lineup being Mike James, Vin Baker, Tony Battie, Jiri Welsch, and Paul Pierce, it's easy to see why.

Tony Battie is 6'10", 230 with career highs of 6.5 rebs and 1.5 blks.
Mark Blount is 7'0", 230 with career highs of 7.2 rebs and 1.2 blks.

In Philly, Samuel Dalembert, Mark Jackson, Chris Webber, and Kenny Thomas were the bigs. Webber and Thomas played the Antoine Walker role, where neither was all that successful.

Samuel Dalembert is 6' 11", 250. He was a 3rd year player under O'Brien. He averaged 7.5 rebounds and 1.7 blocks.

Mark Jackson is 6' 10", 270. He averaged 5 rebounds and 0.2 blocks under O'Brien.

If JO is still on the team, he'll likely play center with Murphy, Granger, or Williams playing the Antoine Walker role. We know what JO brings to the table, and it's much, much more than any center O'Brien's ever coached.

If Lamar Odom is the PF, he fits perfectly as the Antoine Walker.

Ike Diogu is 6' 8", 250 pounds. While he is shorter, he weighs just as much or more than Blount, Battie, and Dalembert, and is stronger than all three. Mark Jackson was relatively pathetic at everything but scoring.

My hunch is that Ike Diogu could play C in this system. He would provide more scoring than any of O'Brien's past centers. While being shorter, he's also more of a physical presence and just as good of a rebounder as anybody O'Brien's had. He's not the shot blocker that Dalembert is, but given the minutes, he could average more than one a game.

A typical Dick Harter defense collapses on the paint and does not require great shot-blocking or individual defense from the center. While he is too short for the position, I think that Ike could provide all the physicality, rebounding, and scoring that is necessary from that postion. Especially when you consider that the Pacers are a strong rebounding team across the board.

After looking at the numbers, I'm not too worried about Ike's place on the team.

Hicks
06-05-2007, 03:06 PM
I thought Webber got there during the 04-05 season and O'Brien was there during the 03-04 season?

Unclebuck
06-05-2007, 03:13 PM
WEbber and O'Brien were together for half a season and Webber did not get along with O'Brien and probably vice versa.

I think OB likes athletic defensive long and lanky type big guys. He's never coached a good low post scorer

OakMoses
06-05-2007, 03:15 PM
Webber only averaged about 15 points a game while he played under O'Brien.

CableKC
06-05-2007, 05:23 PM
It may not be pretty....but I can see Murphy fill that "Antoine" Walker role. He's a PF that is somewhat capable of hitting the 3pt shot.

OakMoses
06-05-2007, 05:33 PM
In a worst case scenario, where we have to start Murphy and Ike at PF and C, you could easily envision Walker + Battie's 32 ppg being split up between the two fairly evenly. Also, I think that Murphy and Diogu would be a better rebounding duo than Walker/Battie. The question then become's where do Paul Pierce's 26 points come from?

Sixer#3
06-05-2007, 06:49 PM
As someone who actually observed JOB much closer (while he coached Sixers) I could tell you that some of your conclusions based entirely on stats are not necessarily accurate.
JOB and Webber did not get along for a simple reason that Webber couldn't do on defense what JOB asked him to do (he just didn't have lateral quickness necessary to come to help on defense) and that Webber was very unhappy about the fact that offense was not run through him as he was used to in Sacramento (he was coming to terms of playing with Iverson). I guess Webber learned very soon after JOB was gone that his problems were not necessarily with JOB but rather with new and different role he was supposed to play with Sixers. Don't forget that he was eventually benched by Mo Cheeks and released by Billy King long after JOB was gone.
As for his fallout with other guys on the team and GM quite a few of us believe that it had everything to do with his refusal to favor the guys management perceived as a "future" (Dalembert, Green...) and playing guys that gave him a chance to compete and win (Jackson...). In any case, after he was fired nothing really worked for Cheeks and Billy King so JOB could easily say "I told you so!"

One other observation:
I am not entirely sure JOB likes 3 point shot as much as it is perceived here. He does not discourage it but I never thought he was asking guys to camp at the 3 point line and just shoot threes. Iverson played almost the same game he played before or after JOB. He drove the lane and dished out to his teammates when he was triple teamed. It's just that JOB put ball in his hands more than any coach before or after him so AI had his best statistical year with him. Guys like Marc Jackson, Corliss Williamson or Kenny Thomas got plenty of good looks inside. Come to think of it it's pretty amazing actually that Sixers made the playoffs with such a marginal talent.
So Unclebuck I am not really sure I could agree with your statement that:

..." I think OB likes athletic defensive long and lanky type big guys. He's never coached a good low post scorer"...

While Corliss or Kenny Thomas are not "good" they are definitely low post players. And Marc Jackson is anything but athletic and long.
On the other hand Dalembert would be your prototypical athletic long guy but he saw very little time on the floor due to his lack of solid bball fundamentals.

pwee31
06-05-2007, 08:03 PM
As someone who actually observed JOB much closer (while he coached Sixers) I could tell you that some of your conclusions based entirely on stats are not necessarily accurate.
JOB and Webber did not get along for a simple reason that Webber couldn't do on defense what JOB asked him to do (he just didn't have lateral quickness necessary to come to help on defense) and that Webber was very unhappy about the fact that offense was not run through him as he was used to in Sacramento (he was coming to terms of playing with Iverson). I guess Webber learned very soon after JOB was gone that his problems were not necessarily with JOB but rather with new and different role he was supposed to play with Sixers. Don't forget that he was eventually benched by Mo Cheeks and released by Billy King long after JOB was gone.
As for his fallout with other guys on the team and GM quite a few of us believe that it had everything to do with his refusal to favor the guys management perceived as a "future" (Dalembert, Green...) and playing guys that gave him a chance to compete and win (Jackson...). In any case, after he was fired nothing really worked for Cheeks and Billy King so JOB could easily say "I told you so!"

One other observation:
I am not entirely sure JOB likes 3 point shot as much as it is perceived here. He does not discourage it but I never thought he was asking guys to camp at the 3 point line and just shoot threes. Iverson played almost the same game he played before or after JOB. He drove the lane and dished out to his teammates when he was triple teamed. It's just that JOB put ball in his hands more than any coach before or after him so AI had his best statistical year with him. Guys like Marc Jackson, Corliss Williamson or Kenny Thomas got plenty of good looks inside. Come to think of it it's pretty amazing actually that Sixers made the playoffs with such a marginal talent.
So Unclebuck I am not really sure I could agree with your statement that:

..." I think OB likes athletic defensive long and lanky type big guys. He's never coached a good low post scorer"...

While Corliss or Kenny Thomas are not "good" they are definitely low post players. And Marc Jackson is anything but athletic and long.
On the other hand Dalembert would be your prototypical athletic long guy but he saw very little time on the floor due to his lack of solid bball fundamentals.

Thanks for the post. Very informal. Always glad to here the side from those who witness 1st hand what happened while on THEIR team.

It's nice for us to see and make assumptions by what we see from the outside, but you get a much better feel from the guys who rooted for the teams while the coach was there, then from those who simply watched with an unbias opinion on the situations

Young
06-06-2007, 12:14 AM
I think that it should be very interesting to see how OB coaches our bigs. It might be Jermaine, it might be Andrew Bynum, it might be neither. My guess is that it will be Bynum or Jermaine.

I think that one thing is for sure, OB has never had the chance to coach bigs like Jermaine or Bynum. He's had low post scorers but nothing like Jermaine is and nothing like Bynum could become. Should be interesting to see what he does with them.