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naptownmenace
11-16-2007, 03:21 PM
http://www.nba.com/pacers/news/preview_071116.html


By Conrad Brunner | Nov. 16, 2007


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PACERS at TORONTO
Tonight
7 p.m., Road
TV: FSN-Indiana
Radio: WIBC 1070-AM
The coach wants them to run. The players want to run. The system rewards those who run.
Why, then, aren’t the Pacers running?

Therein lies the mystery to Indiana’s slump. In winning the first three games of the season, they averaged 109 points. In losing the last five, they’ve averaged 91.6 points while shooting .399 from the field.

“The guys are really so on board with what we're doing,” said Coach Jim O’Brien. “We get together after a tough loss and sit down and look at the difference between one quarter and another quarter. I think our guys are actually surprised. There's no reluctance on their part to want to do it. It takes great conditioning. I think our guys are well-conditioned.

“It's a matter of, I think, building constantly mental toughness to be able to run through fatigue, run through any aches or pains. We play one way, this is the way we play, and we're going to play this way for 48 minutes. I did not anticipate this was going to be worked out in the first two weeks. It takes some time, especially when you're going from a slowdown team to an up-tempo team. We're fighting the battle.”

It could be the simple matter of good shooters shooting badly.

Jermaine O’Neal (.384), Jamaal Tinsley (.337), Kareem Rush (.379), Travis Diener (.286), Marquis Daniels (.400) and Troy Murphy (.389) are all struggling to make shots. Assuming the law of averages is properly enforced, those numbers are all due for an upturn.

The first priority could be to develop a comfort level both for O’Neal and his teammates in the new system. When the team struggles, the tendency has been to revert from run-and-gun to dump-and-stand – dump the ball into O’Neal in the post and stand around and watch. Neither O’Brien nor O’Neal believes that approach can succeed as the franchise forward’s role is re-defined.

“He's an anchor to our defense, he's an anchor to our offense,” O’Brien said. “If anything, on offense he's playing a bigger role because I'm utilizing him as a passer because he's a tremendous passer not only in the low post but under the elbow. That's absolutely different but people forget he's always anchored the defense here because he's a heck of a defensive player. He still needs to anchor the defense. We're trying to utilize a different set of skills to benefit the team offensively.”

Toronto (4-4) is 1-3 at home and has struggled with inconsistency. The Raptors have won twice by at least 30 points (106-68 at New Jersey and 101-71 at Chicago), while also losing by 27 (112-85 to Milwaukee).


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TRENDS
After missing two of the previous three games with a sore left knee, Daniels played 32 minutes and scored a season-high 19 points on 8-of-13 shooting in Washington Wednesday. … In three victories, Mike Dunleavy averaged 22.3 points and 17 field-goal attempts; in five losses, he has averaged 12.2 points and 10.4 field goal attempts. … Danny Granger has averaged 15.8 points on .411 shooting in losses, compared to 22.7 points on 50 percent shooting in victories. … After scoring 13 points in the season opener, David Harrison has totaled 15 points in seven appearances. … O’Neal is averaging 13.7 points on .384 shooting overall. In the last three he has shot 16-of-48 (.333). … Rush is 4-of-16 from the field in the last three. … Shawne Williams has averaged 10.3 points in the last four. … Indiana has been outscored by 62 points from the free-throw line (143-81) and starters have been outscored by 95 (401-306) in the last five.
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SERIES
The Raptors won two of three last season but the Pacers lead 30-15 overall and are 12-10 in Toronto.
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INJURIES
Pacers - G-F Marquis Daniels (sore left knee) and F-C Troy Murphy (sore left Achilles tendon) are day-to-day; F Ike Diogu (left calf strain) is out.
Raptors - G-F Joey Graham (strained left thigh) is day-to-day.


Check out the line in bold. Yeah I laughed too.

Ragnar
11-16-2007, 03:35 PM
Like I said in an earlier thread what Obie needs to do is to get these guys to shoot a couple hundred shots a day to get the % up.

ajbry
11-16-2007, 03:35 PM
How are the "good shooters" going to magically improve their numbers? If they continue to play offense this way, their shot selection will remain the same and nothing will change.

Good shooters always have decent FG%. If you don't, then either you really aren't a good shooter or your game (in other aspects) restricts you from taking adequate shots in order for you to display said "good shooting."

Plus, I don't think anyone actually expects Murphy, Diener, and Rush to be anything more than they currently are. If their shot ain't falling, nail them to the damn bench until they show something else.

Hicks
11-16-2007, 03:39 PM
Like I said in an earlier thread what Obie needs to do is to get these guys to shoot a couple hundred shots a day to get the % up.

I believe Jim said in the latest coach radio show that that's actually something they do. Not sure if he said "hundreds", but I'd imagine it has to be.

Hicks
11-16-2007, 03:41 PM
Good shooters always have decent FG%. If you don't, then either you really aren't a good shooter or your game (in other aspects) restricts you from taking adequate shots in order for you to display said "good shooting."

I distinctly remember Reggie Miller having multiple stretches during the regular season where he couldn't buy a bucket.

Since86
11-16-2007, 03:58 PM
JO and Tinsley are "good" shooters, who are just shooting badly right now? Riiiiiiiiight.

I'm sure that mid 40% career shooting average for JO is just torching the rest of his competition.

Hicks
11-16-2007, 04:00 PM
It's true though that Rush and Diener should be doing better than this.

Naptown_Seth
11-16-2007, 04:00 PM
But ajbry is talking about long term FG%. His point that is, I think, that these guys aren't really shooting way below their recent season averages. If you do something for 24 months then is it really surprising when you continue to do it?

Reggie 30% from 3 would be the oddity, not the norm.


Diener I will give you, though a case should be made that he hadn't really played huge minutes or a giant role that proved out his numbers prior to coming here (if he had they wouldn't have been able to get him). Rush is actually shooting the 3 on par with his history, maybe better.

avoidingtheclowns
11-16-2007, 04:08 PM
It's true though that Rush and Diener should be doing better than this.

without question... diener has looked terrible really. the only reason he was signed was to shoot because he could at least in theory run an offense (he hadn't had a ton of time to demonstrate that in orlando). diener absolutely has to improve.

i know this tends to get tossed around by us about players (mainly because so many do seem to get injuries) but i wonder if there is something physically wrong with him. his shot was solid in the preseason but the final preseason game and the regular season have been a totally different story. the final preseason game i seem to remember mark and slick mentioning a back thing diener had. anyway, diener has got to break out of whatever is causing the funk.

Hicks
11-16-2007, 04:12 PM
Yeah I remember the back thing, and I suppose it's possible, but I think he's looked (phsyically) fine lately. I think it's just a horrible slump.

Unclebuck
11-16-2007, 04:14 PM
I wish JO would concentrate on defense, rebounding, and passing - his offense will come or maybe it won't, but that is OK.

if I were the coach, I would try to get JO to be a lot more concerned about his shooting % than his pts per game

naptownmenace
11-16-2007, 04:40 PM
Jamal has never been a "good" shooter. He had that one season after the brawl where he shot decently from behind the arch but overall he misses a ton of shots. I thought it was hilarious that his name was even mentioned right after that.

Anyway, I agree that the major problem is that this team has just stopped running. That first half of the Denver game was the last time they have actually pushed the tempo for more than 2 minutes at a time. If they have any chance at turning this around, they'll need to push and attack the basket more early in the offense.

Midwest Hoops
11-16-2007, 04:46 PM
Every shooter goes through streaks when they can not throw the ball into the ocean. JO will shoot better. Murphy will shoot better. I have watched Diener for many years. Watched at Marquete and watched in high school (I have ties to Wisconsin) this kid is a very good shooter. While I agree that he does not look good now I believe that he will have a couple of hot games and he will be back to where he should be. What stinks is that it has become contagious and everyone is poor at the same time. Lets hope the breakout comes soon.

naptownmenace
11-16-2007, 05:08 PM
Every shooter goes through streaks when they can not throw the ball into the ocean. JO will shoot better. Murphy will shoot better. I have watched Diener for many years. Watched at Marquete and watched in high school (I have ties to Wisconsin) this kid is a very good shooter. While I agree that he does not look good now I believe that he will have a couple of hot games and he will be back to where he should be. What stinks is that it has become contagious and everyone is poor at the same time. Lets hope the breakout comes soon.

If they can just hit their wide open shots they'd be okay. Even in the losses, they have had a lot of wide open 3's rim out.

Shade
11-16-2007, 05:19 PM
This is what I call "Mike Davis Syndrome," and was something I told y'all at the last forum party I was worried about with Obie.

Simply put, he's trying to put unathletic, decent-to-mediocre shooters into a system that rewards players for running and hitting shots. It simply won't work with any consistency with this roster.

I had high hopes that Murphleavy and Diener would find their shots again, as all of them could shoot in college, but it hasn't been the case so far, and we'll be losing many, many games if they don't find it soon. Because none of those three are strong enough in other areas (particularly the other side of the ball) to justify playing time if they're not hitting shots.