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Mr. Sobchak
05-31-2008, 03:30 PM
http://www.nba.com/pacers/news/obrien_column_080531.html


OíBrien reveals summer homework assignments for Pacers players


By Jim O'Brien | May 31, 2008
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The greatest words Iíve ever heard anyone say is what Vince Lombardi said about excellence: ďThe quality of a personís life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.Ē
This applies across the board to every phase of a personís life. It certainly applies to the game of basketball and to the athletes who play the game. Everybody has an unlimited ability to improve what he or she has to offer each other.

A great team has synergy where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Thatís why I gave each player a homework assignment for this summer. Hereís a glimpse.

Danny Granger. I want Danny to be our go-to guy and he needs to work on his one-on-one abilities for that to happen. He's an excellent spot-up shooter off of one or two dribbles but to be the go-to guy he's going to have to work on his first step, penetrating the lane and hitting big shots while he's closely defended.

Mike Dunleavy. Michael was asked to carry a tremendous load this year and he may have worn down physically a little as the year went on. The NBA season is a marathon. I'm asking Mike to take the whole concept of conditioning to a different level by training harder and longer than he ever has. In his past years in the NBA he hasn't been called on to be a go-to guy and we need him on the court because he makes our movement on offense very, very effective. After he does, he'll be just as fresh toward the end of the season as he is on opening night.

Travis Diener. After having surgery on his foot, Travis' goal this offseason is to recover and recondition himself so he can effectively explode up the court on fast breaks next season. And heís one of the smaller guys in the NBA and plays with a tremendous amount of energy but youíre always worried about him having a collision with somebody a lot bigger than he is, so anything we can do to protect his body by working on flexibility and strength is great. And he didnít shoot the ball with consistency. He is not used to getting as many shots as weíre giving him and he has to be able to get them off quickly. It was great scoring in college, but he didnít have to play against the athleticism of the NBA. So I think heíll do things that are natural to him, which is work on his ability to shoot off of movement and to shoot with speed.

Stephen Graham. He should continue to do what he always does, work as hard as anybody on planet Earth. When his number's called next year, I want him to be ready to go and that means he needs to be ready mentally to play a big role. He is a man with a lot of pride, knows that he has a great opportunity here at the Pacers, and will play in the summer league along with Shawne Williams. We just feel that Stephen has to be a guy that will compete for minutes next year.

Marquis Daniels. Marquis will work a lot on his stand-still open 3-point shots. He really had a good finish to the year from the standpoint of recognizing that when he has his feet set, he can be a good 3-point shooter. I donít think heís ever going to be a great 3-point shooter, but we want him to be a consistent 34 percent, 35 percent 3-point shooter. So Iím sure heíll work a great deal on shooting. The rest of the game is instinctive to Marquis, but he needs to get up thousands of shots during the summer.

Jeff Foster. I donít tell Jeff to do anything. Jeff loves to be in the weight room and is always ready when the season starts. I think Jeff was pleased with his new role as a passer and thereís not a lot you can do about practicing passing. But he also knows that our staff has a lot of confidence in his ability to knock down a stand-still open shot and so I think that heíll want to prove, not only to us but to the rest of the league, that heís a very effective shooter.

Jermaine O'Neal. Jermaine just needs to rehab. He has a number of exercises that he has been given to rehab and strengthen his legs and his knee in particular. Weíre confident that he can get back to full speed, but itís just going to come down to his diligence and continuing the rehab process that he spent the last half of the season working on.

Troy Murphy. Murph needs to work on learning to take charges. I think itís an important element in his game. He really moves well, has a great basketball IQ, and we would like him to become a guy that can help us protect the basket better than we have as a team. If he can learn to take charges, that would be a step in the right direction. He's a great shooter and has a great deal of pride in his body, so I have no question that heíll follow the conditioning program.

Ike Diogu. He needs to play as much basketball as he can. The more heís on the court, five on five, the better off he is. Ike is a well-conditioned athlete, heís strong, he takes pride in his conditioning, he always stays at the top level from a physical conditioning standpoint. He needs to be in a full-court setting as much as possible, playing five on five, and guys prefer to do that, anyway.

Shawne Williams. Shawne should just be going into his senior year in college next season, so he needs to spend as much time as possible here in Indianapolis working with our coaching staff. Every phase of the game is important to him, every fundamental of the game Ė ball-handling, shooting and moving without the ball in particular. He also needs to strengthen his body, make sure his body is ready to play at a higher level than it has in the past so he might be able to play one of the big spots when called on. His summer program is as important as anybody on the team. He needs to continue to grow as a player.

The Pacers are committed to excellence. I know the guys will continue to work hard on their homework assignments and be ready for next season.

blanket
05-31-2008, 03:41 PM
Tinsley's omission makes it clear that he's not in the Pacers' plans for next season. One way or another, he'll be gone.

Harrison, too.

CableKC
05-31-2008, 03:49 PM
Tinsley's omission makes it clear that he's not in the Pacers' plans for next season. One way or another, he'll be gone.

Harrison, too.
Not resigning Harrison was a given once TPTB decided not to extend him. I would like to believe that Tinsley would be moved....but until I see him in another uniform...I'm inclined to expect him to be on the roster next season. I have zero problem with swapping Tinsley for some equal contract at a position of need that makes sense for us ( like getting Jared Jeffries or even Gadzuric )....but I just think that it is near impossible to move him without doing something that we don't want to do ( give up some trading asset that we don't want to ...as in Foster, Shawne or some future consideration ie Draft picks ).

rexnom
05-31-2008, 04:55 PM
"I don’t tell Jeff to do anything."

Why would he need to? You gotta love Jeff.

Pig Nash
05-31-2008, 04:56 PM
That was an interesting read. Thanks!

Trader Joe
05-31-2008, 05:15 PM
Wow. So Tins is definetely gone. I wouldn't be surprised to see a buyout.

Naptown_Seth
05-31-2008, 05:17 PM
Ike Diogu. He needs to play as much basketball as he can. The more he’s on the court, five on five, the better off he is.
Oh the irony.

JOB homework - read his own comments
;)

Now personally I get why Ike wasn't playing and I think his HW should be severe double-team practice. Have 2 coaches/assistants run at him, maybe with brooms too and make him find a 3rd person either standing or moving for the pass. Show him every look and every type of target you can think of (spot up wing, skip pass, lane cuts, coming off high screen, etc).

BlueNGold
05-31-2008, 05:52 PM
I'm pretty pleased with Tinsley's HW assignment. No HW should please him too, so he can spend more time clubbin'.

...or maybe he's transferring to a new school....or maybe he just flunked out.

Who really cares as long as he's not on the floor...

Hicks
05-31-2008, 05:55 PM
Schoooooooool's out. For. Tinsley!

;)

imawhat
05-31-2008, 05:56 PM
Agree with some, strongly disagree on others.


Travis Diener has one thing he needs to work on offensively, and that's getting comfortable shooting 3s WITHOUT moving. The only reason he's a poor shooter is because he drifts during the release. Dunleavy had the same problem two years ago, straightened up, and now his % is much higher. Why O'Brien doesn't emphasize that is beyond me.


Totally agree with Murphy. It's about the only he can do defensively to be productive. Maybe he can focus on boxing out too. Murphy'd get 15 rb/game if he knew how to box out.


Marquis needs to work on his decision-making.


Ike just needs playing time...and a lot of film time.


Jermaine needs to share some of his ego with Dunleavy.


I have mixed feelings on his comments for Mike. Dunleavy was the most durable player on the team last year, but at the same time, his second half numbers, especially 4th quarter, were horrible compared to his first half numbers (i.e. McGrady). Still, it's not his #1 area for improvement. If I were him, I'd spend my entire summer improving my lateral movement and getting lower in his defensive stance. He's smart, and I think he's quick enough..he just doesn't do it.

imawhat
05-31-2008, 05:58 PM
And I have to wonder if this is some kind of reverse psychology on Tinsley. 99% chance it's not, but I have to wonder if this is some kind of last ditch effort to challenge him. Maybe the "chip on the shoulder" approach would work for Tinsley.

Putnam
05-31-2008, 06:11 PM
A great team has synergy where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.


I'm glad he said this. So many fans shout for a "1A" option, a superstar, a go-to-guy, somebody who can carry the team on his back, etc.

Jim O'Brien understands that the Pacers aren't going to have that guy, if he even exists. So O'Brien's going to coach the players to work as a team, to work within a system. O'Brien didn't waver from his defensive scheme last season because the scheme is the thing. He's the best coach this mediocre team could have at this stage in the process of rebuilding.

Rajah Brown
05-31-2008, 06:48 PM
I guess it's good that Danny is working to make his 'first step' better.
But that's something your pretty much either born with or you aren't.
You can refine the mechanics and utilize deception better. But you're
either explosive or you aren't.

Anthem
05-31-2008, 07:09 PM
I guess it's good that Danny is working to make his 'first step' better.
But that's something your pretty much either born with or you aren't.
You can refine the mechanics and utilize deception better. But you're
either explosive or you aren't.
That's true to a degree, but only to a degree. He'll never have Wade's first step, but he can improve his own. Even a small amount of quickness can be the difference between taking your guy off the dribble or not. He should be able to get that edge with a good trainer.

I'm with Nap on Ike's homework. Holy cow, you really think he needs more 5-on-5 time? Then get him some! I think the same is true of Shawne Williams. Speaking of which, Shawne and Graham are going to summer league, but what about Ike?

I'm shocked that Tinsley didn't get a mention. Do they plan on moving him? Sure. But they plan on moving JO, too, and he still had homework. That's just a big F-U to Tinsley.

ABADays
05-31-2008, 07:34 PM
Wow - can you even imagine the FU's that came out of Tinsley's mouth if he read this. If he wasn't pouting before he sure as H will be now.

Major Cold
05-31-2008, 07:45 PM
I completely agree with his assignment on Troy. If he works on charges he has to work on defensive footwork. If Troy comes back half the defensive force of Foster, then this team might be slightly better.

Kemo
05-31-2008, 08:51 PM
................From what I remember reading... Ike will be going to Las Vegas , staying with JO for some kind of training camp...as I recall

NuffSaid
05-31-2008, 08:56 PM
Tinsley's omission makes it clear that he's not in the Pacers' plans for next season. One way or another, he'll be gone.

Harrison, too.
I was going to make a similar comment, i.e., notice who's names are missing from that list?

Tinsley
Harrison
Rush
Murray
Owens

Means the Pacers will need to stick with their pre-draft game plan and select a PG and Center/PF in the draft. Gotta say I'm very impressed not only w/coach O'Brien sharing his ideas on what the returning players should be doing over the summer, but also by the insight from Morway's pre-draft blogs. Looks like the Pacers are really doing their homework to find the best players possible and taking steps towards turning this franchise around.

NuffSaid
05-31-2008, 09:08 PM
I'm glad he said this. So many fans shout for a "1A" option, a superstar, a go-to-guy, somebody who can carry the team on his back, etc.

Jim O'Brien understands that the Pacers aren't going to have that guy, if he even exists. So O'Brien's going to coach the players to work as a team, to work within a system. O'Brien didn't waver from his defensive scheme last season because the scheme is the thing. He's the best coach this mediocre team could have at this stage in the process of rebuilding.
Excuse me, but isn't that how the game is suppose to be played...as a team and not relying solely on any one player? Sure, every team needs that one singularity (ala, All-Star caliber player) who can step up and become more than the sum of the collective parts, but overall it still takes teamwork to win games. No one player can do it all by himself no matter how good he is.

Anthem
05-31-2008, 09:58 PM
Excuse me, but isn't that how the game is suppose to be played...as a team and not relying solely on any one player. Sure, every team needs that one singularity (ala, All-Star caliber player) who can step up and become more than the sum of the collective parts, but overall it still takes teamwork to win games. No one player can do it all by himself no matter how good he is.
That's kind of his point.

YoSoyIndy
05-31-2008, 10:38 PM
The difference between Tinsley and the others is that Tinsley is still under contract.

Harrison is obviously gone.

Rush will sign elsewhere for way too much money.

Owens is destined for the NBDL. Besides decent perimeter defense, I don't understand why he was even on the training camp roster.

I don't know about Murray.


I was going to make a similar comment, i.e., notice who's names are missing from that list?

Tinsley
Harrison
Rush
Murray
Owens

Means the Pacers will need to stick with their pre-draft game plan and select a PG and Center/PF in the draft. Gotta say I'm very impressed not only w/coach O'Brien sharing his ideas on what the returning players should be doing over the summer, but also by the insight from Morway's pre-draft blogs. Looks like the Pacers are really doing their homework to find the best players possible and taking steps towards turning this franchise around.

Kegboy
06-01-2008, 08:34 AM
This just reinforces my thinking that, while Jimmy may like Ike (pun unintended), he would prefer he wasn't on his team.

[edit] Also, I fear this is just one more step in the further erosion of Danny's defensive skills. "Come on Danny, you're the man, you've got to focus on being a scorer!" Same thing happened to JO, if you think about it. Even when he's healthy, he's not half the defender he was his first couple years here.

Anthem
06-01-2008, 04:14 PM
[edit] Also, I fear this is just one more step in the further erosion of Danny's defensive skills. "Come on Danny, you're the man, you've got to focus on being a scorer!" Same thing happened to JO, if you think about it. Even when he's healthy, he's not half the defender he was his first couple years here.
Really? Talk me through that. A healthy JO seems like a much better defender than the old one. He doesn't bite on fakes, is great on help defense, and defends his own man in the post quite well. He doesn't block quite as many shots, but makes up for it by taking far more charges.

In theory, I agree with you re: Danny though.

Kegboy
06-01-2008, 05:20 PM
Really? Talk me through that. A healthy JO seems like a much better defender than the old one. He doesn't bite on fakes, is great on help defense, and defends his own man in the post quite well. He doesn't block quite as many shots, but makes up for it by taking far more charges.

In theory, I agree with you re: Danny though.

True, he got better against guys like Brian Grant who knew him in Portland and used to always abuse him. But overall I don't see him taking pride in his defense like he used to. And I certainly don't think his help defense is what it used to be.

Anthem
06-01-2008, 05:36 PM
True, he got better against guys like Brian Grant who knew him in Portland and used to always abuse him. But overall I don't see him taking pride in his defense like he used to. And I certainly don't think his help defense is what it used to be.
Define "help defense." Coming over to save Jeff when he's getting posted up? Or stopping the guy who blows past our backcourt?

I'll admit I haven't seen the former as much recently, but then I haven't seen Jeff needing as much help. But "leading the team in charges taken" has to be factored in somewhere in this discussion. And would you agree that his man-to-man defense is far better?

Dikken_Tony
06-02-2008, 06:24 AM
Tins not in it is a surprise to me

he is still under contract and nobody is going to trade for him...so why not give him a chance...ok probably i am being to naive here...
but to draft a PG that will have an immediate impact is quite difficult..Deron's Paul's aren't that common

and Tins is still very known for his handling and ability to set the pace...use his contract to the max

pacergod2
06-02-2008, 10:23 AM
I think it is interesting that O'Brien didn't say much about Jermaine. It almost sounds like a concession that he wouldn't be here and Jim would like to see him get healthy for his own welfare. Maybe I am reading into it. But it also sounds like he is already part of a trade to be consummated July 1.

It is too hilarious what OB says about Murphy. He is such a gross defender the only hope we have for him is he needs to take charges. Thats like straight up calling Murphy a B****. OUCH.

Unfortunately he talked about Deiner almost immediately which frightens me, because Deiner is not talented enough to be a starting point guard in this league. I like him and what a great character guy and hard worker, but that is perfect for a second or third stringer to push your starters in practice and be a capable third guy off the bench.

OakMoses
06-02-2008, 10:41 AM
It is too hilarious what OB says about Murphy. He is such a gross defender the only hope we have for him is he needs to take charges. Thats like straight up calling Murphy a B****. OUCH.

Unfortunately he talked about Deiner almost immediately which frightens me, because Deiner is not talented enough to be a starting point guard in this league. I like him and what a great character guy and hard worker, but that is perfect for a second or third stringer to push your starters in practice and be a capable third guy off the bench.

I disagree with your read on the Murphy comments. O'Brien knows that Murphy is going to get minutes. He knows that our bigs need to be able to do something to stop the opponent's perimeter players once they blow by Diener, Dunleavy, etc. He knows that Murphy can't block shots, he just doesn't have the athletic ability to do so. He also knows that there's no reason that Troy can't take just as many charges as JO. Drawing a foul is just as effective as blocking a shot.

I love that Tinsley is not on this list. It gives me more hope that I'll never have to watch him play another game in a Pacers uniform.

I have to defend his Ike comments a bit. I think that what he's saying is that Ike's "skills" are excellent. Offensively, Ike may very well be our best 1 on 1 player. If you had to pick one guy to score one bucket against one defender, Ike may well be the guy. The reason Ike isn't getting minutes is that he doesn't understand the team concept, either offensively or defensively. I like the idea of assistants running at him with brooms and simulating a double team. That would help.

Also, I read the Diener comments to mean that he'd like to see Travis getting better at playing off the ball. If Diener could learn to shoot coming off of screens like Reggie used to or Rip does now, he'd be much more effective.

JayRedd
06-02-2008, 12:02 PM
Now personally I get why Ike wasn't playing and I think his HW should be severe double-team practice. Have 2 coaches/assistants run at him, maybe with brooms too and make him find a 3rd person either standing or moving for the pass.

Dust pans? Maybe that's Tinsley's assignment.


I'm glad he said this.

You're glad our head coach uses word's like "synergy"? For shame.


A healthy JO seems like a much better defender than the old one. He doesn't bite on fakes, is great on help defense, and defends his own man in the post quite well. He doesn't block quite as many shots, but makes up for it by taking far more charges.

I thought the first half of 2006-2007 before he injured his knee was the best defense I've ever seen him play. He was blocking everything (five 5 block games in November including one with 8) and really rotating and hedging at a level I couldn't remember ever seeing before. I was very impressed.

Naptown_Seth
06-02-2008, 12:58 PM
True, he got better against guys like Brian Grant who knew him in Portland and used to always abuse him. But overall I don't see him taking pride in his defense like he used to. And I certainly don't think his help defense is what it used to be.
Who says what?

Are you kidding us? It's not even close. Yes JO was more explosive and quick off the floor going up after stuff, but his mental defense and desire to impact that end from a team view jumped through the roof. In fact I thought it was general accepted that he was realizing a drop in offense and was trying to man up and make up for it on the other end.

You don't see a massive jump in the charges you take (the last 2 years) without a change in desire to impact the defensive end. And despite his injuries he's kept a really high shot block rate too.

I'm with Anthem, JO's turned into a great defender from one who used to simply use athletic ability to impact a few plays in hopes of getting back onto the offensive end sooner.


Dust pans? Maybe that's Tinsley's assignment.

God I hate you. What a freaking humor hog. Hey, maybe save some for the rest of us already.*










* Most Offensive way of saying "hey, that's pretty funny"

TheSauceMaster
06-02-2008, 10:51 PM
I liked it better when one of the news channels at 6pm said both J.O. and Tinsley weren't on that list.:censored: In my mind I doubt if J.O will every be healthy enough to contribute the way he did before.

Kegboy
06-02-2008, 11:07 PM
I'm with Anthem, JO's turned into a great defender from one who used to simply use athletic ability to impact a few plays in hopes of getting back onto the offensive end sooner.

Great defender? Great defender?!

I don't know, maybe my memory has been colored by him never being healthy, and I'm sure our horrific defensive backcourt has more than a little to do with it, but he's never become the dominant defender I thought he could be. And that's exactly my fear with Danny. If he starts *****ing at refs instead of getting back on D, I'll really be worried.

Anthem
06-02-2008, 11:08 PM
I don't know, maybe my memory. . .
The memory's the first to go, Kegboy.

:devil:

imawhat
06-03-2008, 12:17 AM
Great defender? Great defender?

Yes, he's a great defender. He should've won dpoy when Camby won it, imo. Everyone can say what they want about O'Neal, but he's a great defender.

Major Cold
06-03-2008, 07:48 AM
JO is a great in rotational defense. But one on one he has a hard time against strength base players. Against Brand he is awash. Against Haslem he is better. But even great quick players like Bosh and West have their way with him one on one.

JO would do extremely well in Cleveland, where a center is a quick decent (once great) one on one defender.

Unclebuck
06-03-2008, 11:18 AM
Garnett is a great defender because he is good at both playing his man one-on-one and playing team defense, blocking shots, leading the defense from the backline. he is great stepping out on pick and rolls.

JO isn't very good at guarding his man one-on-one, he's decent stepping out on pick and rolls, but he excels at helping when a teammate gets beat.

The interesting thing is the Celtics defensive system is almost a carbon copy of the Pacers - but wow is it different in commitment, energy, effort....

But for all those who think the pacers defensive system stinks - I say look at the Celtics to see how it is supposed to be done

Jonathan
06-03-2008, 05:00 PM
Speaking on the Celtics and Defense; Tony Allen is a very good defender with a history of being often injured. Do you see any chance of them picking up Tinsley for him and some additional pieces ie Eddie House etc...

Doddage
06-03-2008, 06:37 PM
Nope.