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View Full Version : Do you believe what Jim O'Brien is saying here



Unclebuck
01-04-2008, 08:28 AM
I'm mainly interested in your thoughts about the part I put in bold. I added the part before that to put it in proper context. This is a direct quote from Jim O'Brien in the pacers.com article. Do you believe that it will happen with this team


http://www.nba.com/pacers/news/preview_080104.html

Jim O'Brien knows turnarounds. He's orchestrated them in the first season of each of his four previous head coaching jobs. And he sees no reason to doubt it can be accomplished a fifth time with the Pacers, despite their current slump.

"I coached two colleges and this is my third pro team. All four first years were dramatic turnarounds every year," he said. "Every situation, if you care to go back and grind out the numbers, every situation was very, very similar. We started out 3-9 my first job (at Wheeling Jesuit University in 1982-83) and then won nine out of 10. My second job (at Dayton in 1989-90) we started out 13-13 and won 10 in a row to get into the second round of the NCAAs. With Boston (in 2001-02) we were 33-29 and won 16 of our last 20 games. With Philadelphia (in 2004-05) we won 27 of our last 44 games.


So it's certainly not, 'If they didn't get it by now it's not going to happen.' As a matter of fact, I know full well they're going to get it because that's what we work on. They're an intelligent group that wants to win basketball games. They will get it and when they get it they will be a good basketball team."

D-BONE
01-04-2008, 08:34 AM
Hey, look, anything's POSSIBLE. But the midpoint of the season is sneaking up on us and we appear to be regressing, no thanks to JT's absence, of course.

Yet even with him, what constitutes a good team in JOb's mind? 40 wins and a #8 playoff seed? Maybe good for our collection of players, but debateable as to it being long-term good or just prolonging the status quo.

Not to mention, the guy saying this is part of the propoganda machine that's been cranked up since the preseason with all the promises of playing the right way and a bunch of other happy blather that's yet to really be backed up with actual performance/results.

Lot of hoops to go though. Hope he's right and I'm too negative.

Unclebuck
01-04-2008, 08:44 AM
Don't forget in Larry Brown's first season as our coach the Pacers started 17-24, and ended up winning 48 games and getting to game 7 of the ECF.

Not that this years team is capable of doing that (although if you would have asked me if the 1994 team was capable when they were 17/24, I would have said no way - not possible)

But turnarounds are possible, and we have seen this years team play well at times, even withgin any game they often play well and then terrible from one minute to the next, so if they can "finally get it" they might turn things around

Putnam
01-04-2008, 09:01 AM
I know full well they're going to get it because that's what we work on. They're an intelligent group that wants to win basketball games.


Does anybody know for sure what "it" is?

Are we talking about the detailed game plan for ball movements or defensive coverage? Or is "it" just a consistent, fierce determination to try harder than the opponent?

Unclebuck
01-04-2008, 09:07 AM
Does anybody know for sure what "it" is?

Are we talking about the detailed game plan for ball movements or defensive coverage? Or is "it" just a consistent, fierce determination to try harder than the opponent?

Exactly, I think it is both of those things

BillS
01-04-2008, 11:42 AM
I'm not certain they don't "get it" most of the time. The problem seems to be an ability to execute what they get - when shots aren't falling or when the opponent's offense is spread well enough that the help defense isn't quite clicking, the individual skills just aren't there. That sometimes leads to just hoping someone will put the team on their shoulders and take them through it - Tins has done that a couple of times, and waiting for someone else to do it is what I think caused the recent reversions we've seen.

In 93-94 things were really bad until two things happened - low-rated point guards stepped it up and Byron Scott came in to give us another offensive weapon. Now, we don't have the talent to go to the ECF, but we certainly can get a piece (I'd say a backup PG but a nice 5-minute-per-game shooting monster at 2 would be very helpful as well - and no, Kevin Lee, that's NOT Travis Diener) that will make us more consistent and put us over the .500 mark for the season.

ABADays
01-04-2008, 11:56 AM
I just get tired of story after story relating to "what we have to do", "where we mess up". If you know, just freaking do it.

CableKC
01-04-2008, 12:04 PM
We may have a team that can eventually figure out how JO'B system works.....but if that team isn't healthy enough to execute it on a regular basis....what good is that?

I think that most of us here have realized it....but understanding JO'Bs system isn't the problem...if they are together long enough....they will get it....the problem is that the players that best fit his system can't stay healthy enough to make it work.

Hicks
01-04-2008, 12:21 PM
Given his past, I'll say Jim's probably right, but I will say it depends on the people involved. That's why this might not work. Jim is proven to do it from his position, but these players?

avoidingtheclowns
01-04-2008, 12:56 PM
Given his past, I'll say Jim's probably right, but I will say it depends on the people involved. That's why this might not work. Jim is proven to do it from his position, but these players?

yup.

but to be fair, i don't know what tony delk & co. proved outside of jimmy's system either.

"& co" does not include the truth (or if you wanna include him, joe johnson)

Shade
01-04-2008, 01:12 PM
I believe we'll turn it around somewhat before season's end.

Problem is, I think we'll be 10+ games below .500 before the turnaround.

Putnam
01-04-2008, 01:15 PM
The problem seems to be an ability to execute what they get - when shots aren't falling or when the opponent's offense is spread well enough that the help defense isn't quite clicking, the individual skills just aren't there.

Bill, I would hope that "it" would be more than a game plan that falls apart when one or two players' are off target. There has to be an answer for when the shots aren't falling.

I understand the details of basketball less well than most people around here. But all the history and business literature that I read shows that winners are always determined and flexible. They turn weaknesses into strengths. Charles Martel had less cavalry than the Muslims at the Battle of Tours, so he dismounted and gave every man a pike which stopped the cavalry in its tracks. Hendricks County's economy is growing now, and a big part of the reason is the airport flight paths running right over Avon and Plainfield. They can't put houses there, so they've made Plainfield a magnet for warehousing and light manufacturing. While the other counties have to go through zoning board hearing for every new development, Hendricks is saying "Yes" to huge new operations.

Anyway, the Pacers can't build an excuse around the shots not falling. The Pacers FG% is one tenth of a percent less than their opponents. The Pacers have made .500 or more of their field goal attempts only 5 times so far this season (They're 5-0 in those games). They've made less than .400 six times (1-5). Most of the time (22 games out of 33) they are shooting in the middle range, between .400 and .500.

They are 12-1 when they shoot a higher FG% than their opponent, and 3-17 when they shoot a lower FG%. But the point has to be winning due to volume of shots (and good defense) even when they shoot a lower average than their opponent. They shot only 39.8 against Miami and still won. They shot 47.1 against Phoenix and lost.

"It" has to involve a team discipline that gets more good shots, and recognizing a "must make" opportunity.



That sometimes leads to just hoping someone will put the team on their shoulders


Yep. And I sure hope "it" does away with that.

Young
01-04-2008, 01:17 PM
I think the key will be the health of Jermaine and Jamaal. We need both of those guys to stay healthy. I would say they are the two most important players on this team. So we need them on the court.

I think we have good players. We have the talent to win enough ball games and make the playoffs. Even though our team isn't perfect for Jim O'Brien's style he wants us to play we have enough to get into the playoffs.

OakMoses
01-04-2008, 01:26 PM
I've been thinking a fair bit about this and I've even gone out and done a bit of reading about the motion offense.

Everything I've read, and I'm sure some of the better-trained coaching minds could speak to this better than I can, says that the motion offense takes a considerable amount of time to learn. They also say that it does a good job of getting good shots for players who are unable to create their own shots.

Taking these things into account, it sounds like a turn-around could be possible. Also, we have a fairly complex team defensive system which will get better with practice.

I don't think most of the players "get" the offense right now. The reason I say this is because there are really only two guys who seem to play within the scheme of the offense most of the time. I'm referring to Dunleavy and Foster. Dunleavy, while he is inconsistent and dissappears occasionally, is the only one of our guys who moves without the ball on a consistent basis. Foster is our best cutting big. His lack of a post game also benefits him in this offense as he never thinks, "I'll stand here with my back to the basket and wait for someone to pass it to me."

What I don't quite understand is how we seem to "get it" for a while, and then it goes away. Granger and Daniels make some dynamite cuts and get easy layups as a result. They also do a good bit of standing around and waiting for the ball to come to them. Murphy is the same way. My best guess is that it's all tied to effort. We run a system that requires almost constant effort on both ends of the floor. When the effort is not there, we look like crap.

I have side question about the motion offense. Since my two favorite basketball teams now both run this offense, I've noticed that it seems to be a terrible offense at the end of games. Once the other team steps up the defensive pressure, the good shots seem to go away unless an individual player "breaks" the offense and creates their own shot. Is this a common characteristic of this offense? If so, what can be done about it?

NuffSaid
01-04-2008, 01:37 PM
Jim O'Brien reminds me of Phil Jackson from the perspective of a coach who knows exactly what he wants, how he wants to accomplish his objective and will do what's necessary to pull the very best from his players so that they see the big picture just as he does.

I've said it before, we fans expect alot from this team - perhaps too much in such a short period of time. We look at teams like the Pistons, Spurs, Suns and Mavs and asks, "Why can't our team be just as successful or consistently competitive?", and quickly forget that we did have such a franchise up until 3 yrs ago. But it took them a long time to get to that point. It's going to take a while - perhaps a year or two - before these players "get it", too. They'll first have to unlearn what they've learned from their former coach (bad habits) and begin to accept a new way of playing the game. They'll also have to come to trust their teammates and understand their skills, where they prefer to get the ball in order to be effective, etc., etc., all the nuances of the game that come with having a new coach, new teammates and performing in a new system.

Believe it or not, but they're getting there. They've shown they can put points up on the board by virtue of those 35+ point quarters/70+ point halves. They just need to learn how to execute better down the stretch and NOT panic. It's crucial that they learn how to play smarter, not harder in end-game situations, i.e., when one key player of the opposing team plays with five fouls throughout the 4Q and you haven't found a way to park his butt on the bench :mad:, or when NOT to take jump shots when you're in the bonus knowing that every foul earned is a free trip to the charity stripe :mad:. It's those types of things that rattle my brain and test my loyalties with this team. But I'm still here...

jmoney2584
01-04-2008, 01:43 PM
I think the key will be the health of Jermaine and Jamaal. We need both of those guys to stay healthy. I would say they are the two most important players on this team. So we need them on the court.

I think we have good players. We have the talent to win enough ball games and make the playoffs. Even though our team isn't perfect for Jim O'Brien's style he wants us to play we have enough to get into the playoffs.

So we have enough talent to get into the playoffs...then what? does anyone think we will do anything with that with this current group of players? Isn't the point of making the playoffs to win a championship? I know it's hard to not for most to except this idea but when we beat solid teams only to turn around and get waxed by teams like Minnesota and Memphis and trade wins and losses until you hit 5+ game loss streaks...this isn't a team i want to watch disappoint me in the playoffs. If you have a young rebuilt team with a bright future then yea getting to the playoffs is great because you give them invaluable experience. Our squad isn't particularly young at all nor is their future that bright or certain for that matter, who even knows how long half these players will be with us after this season.

Young
01-04-2008, 02:50 PM
So we have enough talent to get into the playoffs...then what? does anyone think we will do anything with that with this current group of players? Isn't the point of making the playoffs to win a championship? I know it's hard to not for most to except this idea but when we beat solid teams only to turn around and get waxed by teams like Minnesota and Memphis and trade wins and losses until you hit 5+ game loss streaks...this isn't a team i want to watch disappoint me in the playoffs. If you have a young rebuilt team with a bright future then yea getting to the playoffs is great because you give them invaluable experience. Our squad isn't particularly young at all nor is their future that bright or certain for that matter, who even knows how long half these players will be with us after this season.

I take it you want to tear things down and re build. If so i'm right with you. If we clear salary, load up on picks and prospects I could care less what our record is.

But that's not what Bird is going to do it seems. And with this current group we can and should make the playoffs, maybe even make it to the second round simply because the East is nothing to be afraid of, but that's about it.

I think maybe this summer, i'm hoping, TPTB realizes that we need to continue to tear this team down and continue to make changes.

I have been impressed with Tinsley and Dunleavy this year. Both have stepped up. A part of me feels you can't really justify dealing either of them because of that. However another part feels it would be best.

In a way I don't even care if our current team gets it together. I don't see this ever shaping into a championship contender. So in the end our record doesn't even matter, IMO.

kester99
01-04-2008, 03:55 PM
I added that same quote to my signature a couple of days ago. Do I believe it?

I WANT to believe it. It's more like a reassuring little paragraph I can see every time I post...there there, everything will be alright.

Naptown_Seth
01-04-2008, 04:19 PM
Given his past, I'll say Jim's probably right, but I will say it depends on the people involved. That's why this might not work. Jim is proven to do it from his position, but these players?
Exactly. It's not like Rick had this monster history of huge flops prior to this group of players (swapping Army for Owens).

I don't recall for certain, but I strongly doubt that just prior to the total collapse that Rick was saying "this group is in trouble", and he had no prior history of anything close to that.

As a former coach myself (just kids, but still) I can certainly say that I've seen myself and others over evaluate the talent on the team. I think practice fuels this in fact because teams typically look better in that controlled/directed environment.


More than anything I guess I'd like to go back and look at the Boston and Philly finishes. How many home games, what caliber of teams did they see, and what were they doing in the 10 games just prior to that.

I mean a few weeks ago you could say "the Indy team started 3-6 and then got it together to end up 15-13". I think most of us are far more worried about the style of play, the talent level and the trends than just some overall slower start.

Nearly every problem so far is one we've seen before. Dun has started hot and faded (last year), Troy has gone through mega hot-cold streaks (last year), JO has been struggling with a nagging injury (can't remember when this wasn't true), Tins has sat for weeks at a time with injuries and shot poorly when he did play (see JO), and so on.

So what if the best play was when most of the bad things we've seen before had yet to happen. Then Tins is out, Dun is fading, Danny struggles, Quis gets hurt, Troy goes cold again (he's been red hot lately)...I think that's how they lost games the last few years, not from some lack of system awareness.

NuffSaid
01-04-2008, 11:24 PM
Many fans think it's a mistake to have limited this year's goal to just making the playoffs. They feel that the bar has been set too low. Jmoney makes a good point when he asks, "Then what?". Still, part of me agrees with TPTB to make this year's mission to get back to the post-season. When you've gone through as much controversy as this franchise has over the last 3-yrs and in particular their failure to get to the post-season last year, I can understand why they'd place such a limit on themselves.

Besides all that, anyone who's ever see post-season action knows that anything - and I do mean ANYTHING - can happen in the playoffs. Granted, you probably won't see an 8th seeded team knock off a #1 seed (I think it's happened twice in NBA history), but higher seeded teams have fell to lower seeded teams before. Obviously, the Pacers aren't going to take the top three seeds from the likes of the Celtics, Pistons and probably not even the Magic, but 4th on down are definitely attainable.

Young
01-04-2008, 11:50 PM
Obviously, the Pacers aren't going to take the top three seeds from the likes of the Celtics, Pistons and probably not even the Magic, but 4th on down are definitely attainable.

No doubt about that.

Outside of those 3 teams you mentioned here is the rest of the playoff teams and the Pacers.

4. Washington 16-15
5. Toronto 17-16
6. New Jersey 16-16
7. Atlanta 15-15
8. Cleveland 16-17
9. Indiana 16-18

This isn't anything like the West where the Jazz are currently 18-16 and are currently the 9th seed.

The Pacers are defiantly in ok shape right now. We aren't in a hole so deep that we can't get out. I think things get better from here on out.

Bball
01-05-2008, 02:08 AM
Many fans think it's a mistake to have limited this year's goal to just making the playoffs.

That is always the team's goal: Make the playoffs.

There are no other performance goals in play that would risk that goal.

As for what O Brien is saying... The question I have is whether he believes what he is saying.

-Bball

BillS
01-05-2008, 10:52 AM
Bill, I would hope that "it" would be more than a game plan that falls apart when one or two players' are off target. There has to be an answer for when the shots aren't falling.

I understand what you are saying, but the problem here isn't working around one or two players having an off night, it's working around the entire team being unable to hit the broad side of a barn.

You can play amazing defense but if you can't manage to score you are still going to lose. If the opposing team knows you aren't scoring, their ways of stopping you are much more numerous than your ways of creating easy shots.


"It" has to involve a team discipline that gets more good shots, and recognizing a "must make" opportunity.

I think I'd like to see the emphasis change to "easy" shots rather than just "good' ones. At what point do you stop saying it's OK for your shooters to throw up a shot that is open even though they continue missing, rather than working for the easier shot?

mcampbellarch
01-05-2008, 05:34 PM
I think the biggest part of getting it, offensively, is working with, or inspite of, JO. If he is holding on to the ball for too long everything slows down. And slow begets slow. Repetitive dump, hold, then forced shot, if he wants to pass out of the post the next time down is anyone prepared at this point or have they been conditioned into sluggishness? Similarly, quick begets quick, and it keeps the defense guessing. It will be interesting to see how the team does the next time that JO is out with an injury.

I have had the same thoughts regarding the 'then what' question and am glad to read other's opinions. They may be good enough to get into the playoffs, which would technically be a relative success for coach and management. After that however, it does seem that roster changes are necessary to see beyond the first round. In the mean time there just have to be enough games where it comes together to get me through the games where it totally falls apart.

Naptown_Seth
01-06-2008, 04:22 PM
In JOB/Bird's defense, as much as we dismiss the playoffs as a goal, and I understand some of those points, I also think we are undervaluing the impact of a feel-good run to get in.

The Artest-trade year just seemed to stagger to an end, and even then if Peja had played in every game and they had upset the Nets you'd have a lot of fans excited.

The previous year Conseco was rocking for those home Pistons games. Of course Reggie was a huge factor there, but Foster also got a huge reception after his great game #2.

0-4 to Boston or Detroit, yeah that would be no better than missing the playoffs with a late lottery pick, ie meh for all fans, no great pick, nothing exciting about the team.

But 3-4 to Boston, or a 1st round win over anyone, that would spark a lot of interest in a city no longer focused on the Colts.

And of course if the Colts have a bad ending then fans will be looking for something to get that taste out of their mouth.

JayRedd
01-06-2008, 04:27 PM
And of course if the Colts have a bad ending then fans will be looking for something to get that taste out of their mouth.

Soon enough.

Naptown_Seth
01-08-2008, 03:59 AM
Soon enough.
I will kill you.



(humorous overreaction intended)


(edit)
Wait, F***!!!, I just blew that. I meant to say:

"I will go Pacers on you."

GD'it I need to step up my life game.

Eindar
01-08-2008, 04:08 AM
http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080108/SPORTS04/801080381/1088/SPORTS04

Has O'Brien changed his position that quickly? In the article, it says JO might not be practicing so that he can play with his bum knee. Wasn't it the beginning of the season where JOB was saying that if you don't practice, you don't play? At the time, I felt it made a good statement about accountability and effort.

I'm a little disappointed that JO will once again be allowed to do whatever he wants. I'd almost rather he went ahead and practiced and didn't play. We'd probably win more games that way.

able
01-08-2008, 05:23 AM
http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080108/SPORTS04/801080381/1088/SPORTS04

Has O'Brien changed his position that quickly? In the article, it says JO might not be practicing so that he can play with his bum knee. Wasn't it the beginning of the season where JOB was saying that if you don't practice, you don't play? At the time, I felt it made a good statement about accountability and effort.

I'm a little disappointed that JO will once again be allowed to do whatever he wants. I'd almost rather he went ahead and practiced and didn't play. We'd probably win more games that way.

Is it really SO hard to READ what is WRITTEN?

Statements like this (without people checking up on them) are creating an atmosphere, nothing else; it says nowhere that "JO will be allowed to do as he wants, or can miss practises as much as he wants" in fact it literally states: ""He's having some issues, so right now he can't practice and play (in games on consecutive days)," O'Brien said."

Is it really that hard to understand with the knowledge that JOB runs a full hard practise on gamedays, that he can not do that 2 days in a row whilst also playing without some damage?

I have no problems with that, and I am sure JOB knows what he is doing.

BTW the good news is that it is more likely that Tinsley will play, IF the med staff allows him to :D

Eindar
01-08-2008, 06:47 AM
Is it really SO hard to READ what is WRITTEN?

Statements like this (without people checking up on them) are creating an atmosphere, nothing else; it says nowhere that "JO will be allowed to do as he wants, or can miss practises as much as he wants" in fact it literally states: ""He's having some issues, so right now he can't practice and play (in games on consecutive days)," O'Brien said."

Is it really that hard to understand with the knowledge that JOB runs a full hard practise on gamedays, that he can not do that 2 days in a row whilst also playing without some damage?

I have no problems with that, and I am sure JOB knows what he is doing.

BTW the good news is that it is more likely that Tinsley will play, IF the med staff allows him to :D

Yeah, Able, I can read just fine. How's your comprehension skills these days?

Beginning of the season: You don't practice, you don't play.

Today: You are too gimpy to practice, that's ok, you can play tonight.

Both of these statements are made By JOB, regarding JO. There has been a change in stance here, and anyone can see it. Everyone else will be required to do the full practice, why not JO? And if you're going to use the "he's injured" excuse, again, this was covered by JOB at the beginning of the season when he was talking about how JO didn't practice at all the last couple months of the season due to that knee, and he explicitly stated that that wouldn't be happening this year, and that if you can't practice, you don't need to play.


And yes, I'm ecstatic that Tinsley might be back tonight.

able
01-08-2008, 08:22 AM
Yeah, Able, I can read just fine. How's your comprehension skills these days?

Beginning of the season: You don't practice, you don't play.

Today: You are too gimpy to practice, that's ok, you can play tonight.

Both of these statements are made By JOB, regarding JO. There has been a change in stance here, and anyone can see it. Everyone else will be required to do the full practice, why not JO? And if you're going to use the "he's injured" excuse, again, this was covered by JOB at the beginning of the season when he was talking about how JO didn't practice at all the last couple months of the season due to that knee, and he explicitly stated that that wouldn't be happening this year, and that if you can't practice, you don't need to play.


And yes, I'm ecstatic that Tinsley might be back tonight.

Sorry, didn't mean to bite at you, but you are drawing conclusions that are just partially correct and leave out information that sheds a different light on the matter.

I am happy for JO to miss 1 out of 3 practises, if that allows him to go full blow in the games, obviously JOB and the med staff think the same.

It shows a good coach to adept to the circumstances, to strict a formula more often then not bites you in the butt.