View Full Version : Pacers Losing the Hustle Wars; Not Playing "Their" Game

11-16-2007, 12:25 AM
Like most Pacers fans, I'm concerned about this 5-game losing streak. So, like most fans I started looking for answers, and I think I may have found a clue to why this team is losing.

I wanted to see how the team has been scoring the ball. So, I looked at "attempts" per game in every scoring category, i.e., FGA, FTA and 3PA. On the surface, nothing really jumped out at me until I considered how JOB wants the team to play, i.e., uptempo, open 3PAs, attacking the basket more. Here's what I discovered...

FGAs (/per game)
Pacers: 92 / 83 / 89 / 83 / 80 / 96 / 73 / 84
Op Tm: 99 / 96 / 66 / 83 / 71 / 82 / 83 / 74

FTAs (/per game)
Pacers: 36 / 21 / 27 / 24 / 20 / 24 / 26 / 19
Op Tm: 45 / 13 / 51 / 35 / 44 / 34 / 44 / 30

3PAs (/per game)
Pacers: 29 / 15 / 27 / 19 / 14 / 30 / 25 / 22
Op Tm: 20 / 16 / 18 / 15 / 20 / 31 / 21 / 18
Result: +9 / +8 / +9 / +4 / +9 /+14/ +4 /+10
....Cat: 3P / FT / 3P / 3P / FG / FG / 3P / FG
..........W. /.W. /. W. /. L. /. L . /. L / .L ./ L

If we assume that the Pacers did play their style of basketball in their first 3 wins as JOB wants which is to: 1) push the ball and control the tempo, 2) get back on defense and make defensive stops, 3) be more aggressive in order to get to the free throw line, and 4) take open 3-point shots, what these figures may very well indicate is that the Pacers definitely have NOT being playing their style of basketball over these last five games, all loses. Kinda goes w/o saying, I know, but take a closer look at the numbers...

The hustle category, of course, is FTAs, but the defense and tempo category is 3PAs. It's clear from the above figures that the Pacers haven't been defending (nor rebounding) well nor have they been aggressive enough. My findings are, of course, preliminary and highly subjective, but if they hold true through the next 12 games where the Pacers fail to net +8 or more in either or both of the aforementioned categories resulting in a loss, I'd say my findings are very much on point. I'll track the numbers over the next 12 games and see just where they pan out. Might prove rather interesting...

11-16-2007, 03:19 AM
Good post.....I like them stats. But what's missing is how many FG/FT/3PA are made. As everyone has mentioned......we're just not hitting our shots. Also....since you mentioned rebounding....that's probabably a likely factor to our losses. There were many games where I kept on hearing "The Pacers shoots.....but the other team rebounds and the ball is pushed up court again". If we don't grab an offensive rebound after the many missed shots that we make...then our offense breaks down.

Will Galen
11-16-2007, 04:08 AM
On rebounding;

Pacers are the 5th best rebounding team in the NBA at 45.25. The trouble is they are giving up 47.87 which is 3ed worst in the NBA.

Means there are a lot of missed shots in Pacer games.

11-16-2007, 07:06 AM
Will, the Pacers are actually 19th in OFF and DEF rebounding if you go by PCT of chances of available rebounds which eliminates pace and high miss rates.

They aren't horrid, but they're rather poor.

IMO the problem is the lack of movement toward the rim after the first quarter/half. JO gets chances to dump to guys early, but later in the game that's gone. Not just with him either, they play catch around the rim a lot more as the game wears on.

I think they look worn down in a lot of these games, even the wins. Can we also keep in mind that they almost lost the Wiz game and barely beat Miami on the back of 2 Rush 3pt makes late in the 4th.

So it's not like those wins were "classic examples" of good ball.

11-16-2007, 09:16 AM
Good post.....I like them stats. But what's missing is how many FG/FT/3PA are made.
Actually, I left those figures out on purpose. I wanted the raw numbers to show two things above all else: 1) that this team IS getting a good share of shot attempts in pretty much all facets of the game except FTA which IS a direct correlation between the team NOT attacking the basket enough and them NOT defending the perimeter, and 2) they're just not running the floor hard whether they get defensive stops or not.

This last game was an very good example of subparagraph 2 above. Did anyone notice that on offense Tinsley was often times all alone down court with no trailer? Nobody to pass the ball to??? I counted atleast five times when that happened. On the flipside, how often did we see the Wizards get back on defensive? We're just not running the floor like we were doing those first 3-4 games.

11-16-2007, 10:03 AM
Nuffsaid, thanks for posting this. Please keep it up through 20 games as you indicate.

This sentence: "The hustle category, of course, is FTAs, but the defense and tempo category is 3PAs." is not at all clear to me. But I'm eager to see what you can show over a longer span of games.

11-16-2007, 05:01 PM
Nuffsaid, thanks for posting this. Please keep it up through 20 games as you indicate.

This sentence: "The hustle category, of course, is FTAs, but the defense and tempo category is 3PAs." is not at all clear to me. But I'm eager to see what you can show over a longer span of games.

Think of it this way:

I categorize "hustle" plays as anything that results in shot attempts for your team that gets you to the foul line. Therefore, hustle plays could cover everything from offensive (or defensive) rebounds, going after loose balls, or steals ...anything that typically results in your team getting fouled to prevent them from scoring. When teams are being aggressive, they usually get more fouls called their way. So, if you're out there "hustling" to score the ball, be it being fouled on a putback from an offensive rebound or from attempting to score underneath the basket off a fastbreak, it only bods well for your team because such plays help to put your team more in control of the action.

The "defense and tempo" part that results in 3PAs stem from players properly defending their man, getting defensive rebounds and pushing the tempo as JOB wants in order to take those open 3PAs. The harder the team works on defense, the more open 3PAs they'll get. The more they push the tempo on every possession where they're in control of the flow of the game, the more 3PAs they'll also get. What we've seen of late is the Pacers being dictated to rather than the Pacers setting the tone. They CAN do it! You don't lead in scoring over the course of your first 14 quarters of the season by NOT setting the tempo and controlling the tone of the game. So, they can do it. They just haven't in at least 4 of their 5 loses.

11-16-2007, 11:20 PM
Update: Pacers/Raptors (11/16/07) FGA/FTA/3PA stats:

Pacers: 82
Op Tm: 81

Pacers: 23
Op Tm: 25

Pacers: 29
Op Tm: 23
Result: +6
....Cat: 3P

11-17-2007, 10:37 PM
Update: Game 10 - Pacers/Jazz (11/17/07) FGA/FTA/3PA stats:

Pacers: 76
Op Tm: 83

Pacers: 23
Op Tm: 9

Pacers: 28
Op Tm: 22
Result: +14
....Cat: FT

11-22-2007, 11:14 AM
Update: Game 11 - Pacers/Lakers (11/20/07) FGA/FTA/3PA stats:

Pacers: 42-103
Op Tm: 42-72

Pacers: 24-32
Op Tm: 37-46

Pacers: 6-25
Op Tm: 13-37
Result: +31
....Cat: FG

Alright, my theory was blown here, but I dare say this was an anomaly game, folks! Clearly, the Pacers had plenty of opportunities to put the ball in the basket, but they just couldn't find the bottom of the net. And it didn't help that they got out played in both the hustle and D&T categories either by -14 and -12 respectively. This was one of those games where they started off defending the perimeter poorly and the opposing team got hot from downtown and road the coat tail of their super star and just couldn't miss. No matter how bad the shot looked going up, the Lakers continued to somehow find ways to score especially from downtown. We got out played this game, but for what it's worth I still liked that my boyz never gave up.

Update: Game 12 - Pacers/Hornet (11/21/07) FGA/FTA/3PA stats:

Pacers: 41-89
Op Tm: 34-87

Pacers: 14-20
Op Tm: 17-20

Pacers: 9-25
Op Tm: 8-30

Pacers: 51
Op Tm: 45
Result: +13
....Cat: FG/Rbs

As you can see this was one of those games where both teams were very evenly matched. I had to stretch the statistical categories a bit as before w/the Lakers game and include rebounds just to show how the Pacers performed better than the Hornets overall. It came down to which team would execute and defend better to come up with the "W". On this night, that team was the Pacers.
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11-24-2007, 10:57 AM
Update: Game 13 - Pacers/Mavericks (11/23/07) FGA/FTA/3PA/Rbs stats:

Pacers: 39-87
Op Tm: 35-83

Pacers: 26-35
Op Tm: 34-38

Pacers: 5-14
Op Tm: 3-19

Pacers: 44
Op Tm: 46
Result: +4
....Cat: FG

Nice win by the Pacers, but their killing my statistical analysis with these close games. :p