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View Full Version : Are the Pacers the 4th best team in the east



Unclebuck
12-10-2007, 08:34 AM
In an effort to get the discussion back to basketball - Today I was looking at the eastern conference standings and noticed the Pacers have the 4th best record in the east and more importantly they have the 4th best road record in the east. I've also heard Jim O'Brien a couple of times in the past week talk about the goal of getting the 4th seed and first round home court advantage.

Looking at the east overall, I'm not ready to say that the Magic are a 55 win team. They've had a recent history of starting the season fast and then struggling. Magic are good, but I wouldn't be surprised if they fail to win 50 games.

The Cavs will clearly start to win games when James gets back into the lineup.

The Celtics I see winning close to 60 games., The Pistons will win around 55 games.

Other than those 3 or 4 teams I see the pacers being better than any of the other teams. And if you look at the pacers next 14 games. If they can continue to play like they have the past two weeks, I can see the Pacers going 10-4 or maybe 11-3 - I really can.

So the 4th seed is within reach. Sure they are a couple of injuries away from falling apart, and who knows if the Saturday night Tinsley incident will have any effect on the team - but right now the pacers look like the 4th best team in the east. 5th best at the worst.

Evan_The_Dude
12-10-2007, 09:22 AM
We've beaten a lot of good teams, and we've lost some against lesser teams. If we can continue to beat the good teams and win the games against the weaker teams, we can pull together a strong season.

rexnom
12-10-2007, 09:37 AM
If you take out the six-game losing streak, we're right there. I think this team really clicked after those losses. Now everyone's getting healthy and the chemistry is back on track. We should be getting Ike and David back soon enough for some low-post help too. That can't hurt us.

Putnam
12-10-2007, 10:12 AM
I think it unlikely the Pacers stay healthy over the next 62 games.

McKeyFan
12-10-2007, 10:13 AM
In an effort to get the discussion back to basketball - Today I was looking at the eastern conference standings and noticed the Pacers have the 4th best record in the east and more importantly they have the 4th best road record in the east. I've also heard Jim O'Brien a couple of times in the past week talk about the goal of getting the 4th seed and first round home court advantage.

Looking at the east overall, I'm not ready to say that the Magic are a 55 win team. They've had a recent history of starting the season fast and then struggling. Magic are good, but I wouldn't be surprised if they fail to win 50 games.

The Cavs will clearly start to win games when James gets back into the lineup.

The Celtics I see winning close to 60 games., The Pistons will win around 55 games.

Other than those 3 or 4 teams I see the pacers being better than any of the other teams. And if you look at the pacers next 14 games. If they can continue to play like they have the past two weeks, I can see the Pacers going 10-4 or maybe 11-3 - I really can.

So the 4th seed is within reach. Sure they are a couple of injuries away from falling apart, and who knows if the Saturday night Tinsley incident will have any effect on the team - but right now the pacers look like the 4th best team in the east. 5th best at the worst.

I like the sentiment.

But I'm not ready to say we can easily be better than Miami, Cleveland, Washington, Toronto, and Chicago.

Some of those teams are sucking now, but now is the time to suck. Good teams make their run in the second half of the year.

I will say this: We CAN be the fourth best team in the East. But everything has to go right. We have to stay focused, we have to continue to improve the motion offense, JO has to find a way to fit into the offense, JT has to keep his wits and sanity about him, injuries must be minimal.

If we can do all that, then I'm a believer.

:sunshine:

Speed
12-10-2007, 10:33 AM
Yes, but its 1, 2, 3 then 4 through 11.

CableKC
12-10-2007, 11:31 AM
On paper, we COULD be a 4th seed....but I think that there are too many "this and that" MUST happen throughout the entire course of the season ( like Tinsley, JONeal, Foster and Marquis remaining healthy; Granger, Dunleavy and Murphy finding consistency; everyone being on the same page when it comes to playing defense; etc. ) for us to realistically attain that goal.

This team ( like any other team ) can be a well-run machine that can take us into the Playoffs....but I think that it isn't a well-built machine that is built to withstand the rigors of the season. Once a key "cog" in the machine fails ( most notably Tinsley getting injured for periods of time ), the whole machine struggles. We maybe good enough to make the Playoffs, but I am not optimistic about our chances of getting to ( much less keeping ) the 4th seed in the East.

Unclebuck
12-10-2007, 11:45 AM
All of you are making really good points, but I think the larger issue is that at least we are talking about perhaps being the 4th seed/4th best team in the east - before the season most experts thought the Pacers would be the worst or second worst.

Ragnar
12-10-2007, 11:55 AM
I dont know that you can count the Magic out as easily. They do have a new coach and he is providing the same change that we have with Obie.

OakMoses
12-10-2007, 12:09 PM
I dont know that you can count the Magic out as easily. They do have a new coach and he is providing the same change that we have with Obie.

Orlando, Boston, and Detroit are all far better teams than the Pacers (each by at least 5 wins).

Other than these three teams, the Pacers are very close to every other team in the East. That includes Cleveland with LeBron, Miami with Wade, and Washington with Gilbert.

You can talk all you want about everything having to go right, but you can say that much more so for many other teams in the East. Cleveland and Miami are LeBron and DWade injuries away from having top 5 picks.

The Pacers have already had key rotation players (JO, Ike, Marquis) miss multiple games due to injury. We've never seen this team at full strength, and the results so far have been better than most of us expected.

The only thing that could seriously derail us at this point would be a Tinsley injury, and this is mainly because he is the only player that we don't have an adequate back-up for.

Phildog
12-10-2007, 12:10 PM
Every other team is just as susceptible to the injury bug as are we, so I don't put that into the equation. Hell, we played great with our best player out (JO), how many teams can do that?

It's a growing together year for the team. I think if anything, we are built to withstand injuries and the long season. Ike is huge I think, which helps ease some of the JO issues we have had. Rush and Diener have to hit a shot or two at some point during the year. And, if we really are close to being contenders half way through the year, we can always pull a trade at the deadline.

We are the 4th best team and consistency will keep us there in the hunt. No reason we can't beat Detroit in a 7 game series either!!

Phildog
12-10-2007, 12:15 PM
I dont know that you can count the Magic out as easily. They do have a new coach and he is providing the same change that we have with Obie.

The magic definitely depend on DHoward though--which they are another team a la the Heat and Cleveland, who depend on one guy to do everything. It's tough to take teams like that seriously over the course of the year. But once the playoffs roll around and everyones healthy........

Major Cold
12-10-2007, 12:20 PM
How much more screwed are the Magic is Howard, Turkeyglue, Lewis, and Nelson go down? What if they tire? Do they have the experience to play for a whole season consistently?

How much more screwed are the Cavs if they lose LeBron, Z, Gibson, or Gordon?

Don't count out the Wiz or even the Hawks. The Hawks are one vetran away from elite status.

How much more screwed are the Heat if Wade, Shaq, Zo, or Haslem go down? Do they have the depth?

Can the Bulls overcome the disunity? There is a problem with that club that is beyond or is connected to the Kobe rumor?

Are the Pistons a frontcourt injury away from 4th or 5th seed status?

Every team has what ifs. We have some as well. I really think this team is on the up. The big issue is finding someone to spell Tins. I do not think that we are doomed to lottery without him though.

As a gelling team we are the 4th best team in the East.

Kstat
12-10-2007, 12:42 PM
Are the Pistons a frontcourt injury away from 4th or 5th seed status?


....is there a team in the NBA that isn't a frontcourt injury away from dropping in the standings?

As frontcourt depth goes, I would think the Pistons are stronger than most. They've got guys not in the rotation that could easily step up if needed.

McKeyFan
12-10-2007, 12:56 PM
The key factor to whether we have a successful winning year is whether or not JO gets injured for the season.







;)

Major Cold
12-10-2007, 01:28 PM
....is there a team in the NBA that isn't a frontcourt injury away from dropping in the standings?


That was my point. I believe the Pistons are more at risk than years past. They are thinner now than before. Can Hayes produce at the 4? I think Nazr can step up but can he play the same as he did with the Spurs? Don't get me wrong Dyess and Sheed are solid. But if one of them go down I think that they would struggle more so this season than in years past. The postive for Detroit is Maxiel. If he can step up more so than last year. Then I don't see a problem if Dyess goes down.

Kstat
12-10-2007, 01:33 PM
That was my point. I believe the Pistons are more at risk than years past.

I'd say they were a lot more thin last year than this year...

Jason Maxiell this season has elevated himself to an equal with Sheed and Dice, meaning they could lose one of them and still have a tough starting 5.

You're also forgetting about Amir Johnson, who started in the hole because he missed training camp with an ankle sprain, but he should be back in it in a couple months.

Dece
12-10-2007, 02:24 PM
I love Jamaal, but the dude's going to get tired. He's at just over 35 MPG, and it's only going up. He logged 37, 38, 40 minutes in the last 3 games. We just don't have anyone else capable of giving Jamaal a breather without a tremendous drop in the offense. Later in the season this will start costing us games.

Unclebuck
12-10-2007, 02:27 PM
I dont know that you can count the Magic out as easily. They do have a new coach and he is providing the same change that we have with Obie.

I'm not counting them out. But I'm not convinced they will win 50 games. I would say they are more of a 47-48 win team.

We've seen what the Cavs look like without Lebron and it isn't pretty. In fact I think he's the most valuable player to his own team - his team is terrible without him, I mean 25 win bad, but with him they could win maybe 50 games. IMO that is more valuable than Kobe, Duncan - maybe only Nash is as valuable to his own team

Major Cold
12-10-2007, 02:28 PM
I will be honest I have only seen 3 Piston games. But I can guess that if Sheed went down and Maxiel stepped in they would lose a step. Not much. Not more than like the Heat, Celtics, Cavs, and Magic. But enough to hurt them.

To be honest I think they have a solid core of players. My point was to say that most teams would slip. the question is who has the greater chance of losing that one thing that makes your team good.

Trader Joe
12-10-2007, 02:35 PM
I really don't see the Heat being any better than the 7th or 8th seed this season. Unless Wade just goes absolutely crazy and starts putting up Lebron type numbers.
Same goes for the Bulls. They aren't playing very good basketball right now for one reason or another. Plus they just don't seem to put together that well. They really should have kept Aldridge and not bought into the Tyrus Thomas hype IMO.

JayRedd
12-10-2007, 02:55 PM
Today, yes, I think we are.

Contrary to popular belief, I'm actually not Nostradamus...so any or all of Cleveland, Chicago, Atlanta, Washington (depending on Gil), Toronto, New Jersey, Miami and Milwaukee could conceivably be better than us in April.

But right now, through 6 weeks of NBA basketball, we are the 4th best team in the Eastern Conference. And no matter what happens in the Spring, I'm pretty surprised, impressed and excited to be saying that right now.

TheDon
12-10-2007, 03:45 PM
The teams that worried me the most in the east was boston for obvious reasons. Aside from them Orlando kind of and Detroit not at all. If we force them into our game I honestly think we'd run the pistons off the court.

Kstat
12-10-2007, 06:00 PM
If we force them into our game I honestly think we'd run the pistons off the court.

:laugh:

Hey, I like the confidence....not that I agree, but it's been a while since I've heard someone say that and actually believe it.

Believe it or not, I like it when the Pacers are competitive. It's no fun when everyone here expects the Pistons to just walk all over them.

For the record, we're averaging a little over 100ppg ourselves. Our offense isn't quite as slow-paced as it used to be. Indiana obviously plays at a faster tempo, but not so fat that it's out of our league.

I'd also expect our offense to jump a few points when Rodney Stuckey gets back. The only issues we have offensively are when chauncey sits down and We don't get enough easy baskets. Stuckey doesn't even really have to score, he just has to loosen up the defense a little more for Hayes and Maxiell.

Evan_The_Dude
12-10-2007, 06:02 PM
The teams that worried me the most in the east was boston for obvious reasons. Aside from them Orlando kind of and Detroit not at all. If we force them into our game I honestly think we'd run the pistons off the court.

We'd have to hit our outside shots to take out Detroit. If we have a poor shooting game, they'll run a clinic on us. Don't think Detroit has gone soft, they still bring it on D.

Trader Joe
12-10-2007, 06:11 PM
I'm not ready to bury the Pistons yet. When Stuckey is healthy it will give the Pistons something they haven't had in quite a while and that is a reliable backup guard for when Billups and Rip sit down. I really believe Stuckey is good enough that it will almost make up for Dumars taking Darko over Melo and Wade. Almost.

Kstat
12-10-2007, 06:18 PM
I'm not ready to bury the Pistons yet. When Stuckey is healthy it will give the Pistons something they haven't had in quite a while and that is a reliable backup guard for when Billups and Rip sit down. I really believe Stuckey is good enough that it will almost make up for Dumars taking Darko over Melo and Wade. Almost.

He's certainly getting enough hype for a mid-1st round pick. It's almost to Granger's level.

Of course, you can never just assume anything with a rookie, especially one that's 2 months behind everyone else. I'm just happy he got his whole training camp in, so at least he knows the offense.

I will say Afflalo's been above and beyond expectations this year. He doesn't put up the numbers that wow you, but he almost always makes an impact on the game defensively. He's instant hustle.

bellisimo
12-10-2007, 06:22 PM
Today, yes, I think we are.

Contrary to popular belief, I'm actually not Nostradamus...so any or all of Cleveland, Chicago, Atlanta, Washington (depending on Gil), Toronto, New Jersey, Miami and Milwaukee could conceivably be better than us in April.

But right now, through 6 weeks of NBA basketball, we are the 4th best team in the Eastern Conference. And no matter what happens in the Spring, I'm pretty surprised, impressed and excited to be saying that right now.

its like you read my mind and posted this before I had the chance to do so ;)

indytoad
12-10-2007, 07:54 PM
The East this year looks like it has the parity the NFL is always looking for (or was it mediocrity?). I could see the Pacers getting the number 4 seed as easily as I could see them falling out of the playoffs altogether. Same for all the other teams outside of Detroit and Boston. All the teams are within a couple games of each other and the season will probably end that way.

Shade
12-10-2007, 08:49 PM
We're better than the Raptors. I've been saying that since the preseason, and I still believe it.

Btw, according to Stein's latest Power Rankings, we are indeed #4 in the East (#12 overall):

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/powerranking?season=2008&week=6


The Pacers follow up a heartbreaking home defeat to Phoenix with a stirring victory in Orlando. More justification that Indy, at the season's quarter pole, is a clear-cut No. 1 in the Showing Us Up rankings.

Naptown_Seth
12-11-2007, 01:17 PM
Like Redd I also think the Pacers standing is accurate. Early on they won some games on pure shooting. They also had a tough slide, though a few of those games were also winnable.

At one point the Utah passing game seemed like a one shot thing, but in the last 4-5 games at least that's returned. JOB has shortened rotations, started to get a feel of who works with what, and several players (Dun, Foster, Tins primarily) have really started to click as a unit.

Honestly I expect them to win games now, and I was one of the biggest doubters out there. I also hate to jump too quickly on things, but their effort and style seems to be legit at this point.

Granger is still playing sub-par overall and Shawne is still figuring some things out, both have shown brilliant flashes that I think are signs to come. Harrison is doing the same. Then you bring back Ike too.

That's a lot of room to improve.

I have 2 concerns only. First, Dun had a red-hot NOV for the Warriors last year, then faded badly. That would hurt badly if it happened this year. Second, if Tins goes down this team would probably be in a world of pain.


From NBA.com, Schuhman's power rankings

With Friday's impressive win in Orlando, the Pacers have now beaten five of the teams in our top 10

Naptown_Seth
12-11-2007, 01:41 PM
Following that up, Schuhman's top 12 list is as follows:

SA
BOS
PHX
ORL
DET
NO
LAL
DEN
DAL
UTH
GS
TOR

Vs that 12 the Pacers are 5-5 with 20 games to go. 9 home, 11 road. They are 2-4 at home, 3-1 on the road.

Bear in mind this includes letting PHX slip by at the very end of the game and giving back a 15 pt 1st quarter lead to Denver.

And to go schedule thread a bit more, the Pacers face only 3 of these teams (well 2, they play DET twice) in the 14 games ending just before the other big West trip.

They've had plenty of early success against very good teams, and now they get a break from that for a bit. Not that I'm dismissing Atlanta or Cleveland or even a few of the other teams coming in, but clearly those teams aren't Boston, Phoenix or Dallas even.

D-BONE
12-11-2007, 09:44 PM
After tonight's fiasco against the Cavs, I don't know where we are. Do I think we're a playoff team? Probably.

Do I think we're the 4? Can't say. I do not think we are as good as Boston, Detroit, or, most likely, Cleveland based on the fact we don't have any perimeter defender good enough to even marginally slow down James.

Beyond that, it's a crapshoot right now. I still have no idea how good the Raps are or are not. Orlando is the same way. They've had good starts before, but they haven't proven anything yet. Looks like we're in the same boat with most of the East. Wide open.