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View Full Version : The Last Three Days: Are the Pacers Better (or Better off?)



count55
06-27-2008, 09:33 AM
Note to Admins: I'm sorry if this is duplicate of another discussion. I posted it on RealGM, but wanted to see how it flew here. I will not be in the least bit offended if you need to lock or move it. Thanks...count

There has been a lot of activity over the last three days. The big JO-to-Toronto Trade and the drafting, then trading of Bayless have been the biggest impacts.

One of the things that happened last night was many, if not all of us felt some degree of disappointment (if not outright anger) over the fact that we had Bayless, then traded him away. There have been calls for Bird's firing. While I don't agree with them, I certainly understand the sentiment. The time since Bird was hired has been one of great early promise followed by some of the most bitter disappointment in franchise history. To borrow Bird's phrase, I think it's absolutely appropriate for him to be on "thin ice", with every move measured and weighed to determine whether he moves one step closer or one step away from termination.

I freely admit it...I'm a Pacer homer. I reconciled myself a long time ago to the idea of sticking with the team through thick and thin. That doesn't mean that I don't get angry or frustrated. It just means that I have yet to experience or contemplate a thing that they would do that would cause me to stop being a fan. That doesn't make me a better fan than anyone, and, in some ways, one could argue it makes me a worse fan, but that's really not what I'm trying to say. (I think questioning other people's fanhood is bull****.) I'm just trying to be honest about where I come from when I start looking for the good (or rationalizing, as the pshrinks among us might claim).

But, I asked myself this this morning: How would I have reacted to being told on Monday, June 24th the following things would be true (though not official) on Friday, June 27th:

- We would have a new starting point guard in TJ Ford and a solid backup who can defend in Jarrett Jack.
- We would have reduced our 2008-2009 payroll by $2 million, giving us 15 players under contract, whereas we previously were staring at being over the luxury tax with only 12 players under contract. We would've done it without having to fill the last three spots with league min guys.
- We would have come out of draft night with Brandon Rush, Roy Hibbert, and Jarrett Jack.
- Instead of having 5 players (JO, T-Murda, Junior, Droopy, Travis) with $55mm in committed salaries in 2009-2010, we have six players (T-Murda, Junior, Droopy, Travis, Brandon, Hibbert) with $43mm in committed salaries.
- To get this, I'd have to give up JO, Ike, and #11 & #41 (keeping in mind what I am actually getting out of the draft)

What would I think?

Personally, I would've been thrilled with that. For that reason, I was able to get over the initial disappointment (for the most part) in relatively short order. It's also why I'm not pickin' up my pitchfork and heading to Larry's office. I think the team has come farther than I probably hoped they would this summer. All that's left for them to do now, in my opinion, it to move Tinsley (for anything), and I will consider this summer a sparkling success.

Before we leave the Bayless issue, I want to acknowledge that I don't necessarily disagree with the point of view that we should have kept Bayless. He is the more exciting player/pick, and I think, probably does have more "star" potential. However, my belief is that Bird has actually improved the team, both on the floor and on the books, significantly so far this summer. The argument that he could've/should've improved it more by keeping Bayless is sound, but I don't believe the difference is a firing offense. I'd call it the difference between a very good job and an outstanding job. (Yes, I recognize that difference could eventually cost us a title, but right now, I'm pleased to see a clear direction and some positive moves.)

Anyway, why do I think we're better? I've outlined the finances. We "moved" JO's money around. It does put $8.3mm into 2010-2011 that wasn't there before, but we were never going to be LeBron players, and the pieces are smaller and easier to move. While the overall spending is only about $4 to $6 mil less than previously committed, it's structured in a much more manageable way.

However, I think we've gotten better on the court, and here's why:

- PG improvement - I think TJ Ford is at least as good as the "Good Droopy". He's not a good shooter, and Tinsley was a better passer, but Ford makes up for it with speed, better defense, better (but not perfect) attitude, and better reliability. I was going to say durability, but I'll go with reliability. In other words, Ford may risk career ending injury every time he takes a foul, but that risk (IMO) is far less than the JT knee/elbow/butt bruise day-to-day crap we've dealt with for years now. Add to that Jarrett Jack as a backup, who brings us a big, physical guard who leaves you wanting as a playmaker but can upgrade our perimeter D. Finally, Diener has shown he can be a good player in short minutes...he'll be a nice change of pace.
- Perimeter Defense Improvement - I want to first say that nobody we've gotten is a Ron-Artest-Lockdown defender. When I say improvement, I mean that we've added size, strength, and speed to our arsenal, and I don't think we've hurt ourselves offensively in the process. Both Jack and Rush have excellent physical characteristics for guarding the wings. Ford has great speed and can pressure the ball, though he will be susceptible to post ups. However, if Ford can slow down the advance of the ball and cut down penetration, Jack, Rush, and Granger can prevent easy passes to the wing and the post, then the opposing team can't get into its offense as quickly. Therefore, fewer easy shots, fewer opportunities to post up a small Ford, less pressure on the interior defense.
- Stability up front - No, it's not exciting, and somewhat lacking in talent, but a big man rotation of Murphy/Foster/Rasho/Hibbert will give us relatively reliable, predictable production from the front. Rasho's main value is as an expiring, but he will be a serviceable big man. Hibbert is interesting. He doesn't have the speed and anticipation to be a great shot blocker, but he's huge, and by all accounts, very smart from a basketball perspective. He's a good passer and a fantastic screener. No, he won't get up and down the court like a Gazelle, but I think he'll help immensely in the half court, as a passer, screener, and formidable post presence.
- Just plain stability - I think, for the first time in a long time, we will see our top 10 players all play over 65 games. The team will learn to play together better. The roles established by Dunleavy and, more importantly, Danny Granger as quality scoring options will be solidified. We won't be guessing all the time.

Now, for the silly prediction that everyone will make fun of me for:

I think the Pacers could win 45 games next year and be dangerous in the playoffs. Yes, the talent that the Pacers gave away in JO was potentially greater than the talent received in Ford, Rasho, & Hibbert. However, that talent didn't play for us last year. Our two key players coming into last year (JO & JT) missed a combined 83 games. The team went 36-46.

Yeah, but how many games did they win without those guys? you ask. Well, the team was 16-23 (.410) in games where Jamaal played (20-23, .465 w/o), 19-23 (.452) in games where JO played (17-23, .425 w/o), so those guys didn't have a huge impact last year. More to the point, the team was only 10-16 (.385) when both played, vs. 26-30 without (.464).

Assume Danny and Mike have years comparable to last year, substitute TJ & Jack for Diener/Owens/Murray, and substitute Brandon Rush for Kareem Rush, and that's where my optimism comes from.

And this is done with a team whose core players are between 25-29.

Yes, we'll need to figure out how to improve to become contenders again, but I'm excited about some good basketball being played next year.

Of course, I could be incredibly wrong, but...isn't that what the summer is all about?

I guess this makes me a Sunshiner...gotta change my mood.:dance:

count55
06-27-2008, 09:37 AM
Admins...can you correct the thread title please? I didn't realize I added the http in the copy and paste.

Please & Thanks.

Raskolnikov
06-27-2008, 09:42 AM
You can correct it yourself by double clicking on the bottom right of the title :)

2minutes twowa
06-27-2008, 09:53 AM
Absolutely better off. The biggest move was gaining flexibility by moving JO's contract. We have an improved defensive team already and flexibility to make future improvements. A nice mix of vets and young players. I look at Foster and Granger as the solid leaders of this young and finally rebuilding Pacers franchise!

D-BONE
06-27-2008, 09:58 AM
In answer to the thread title question, regardless of one's thoughts on shipping Bayliss, I still think the answer is yes. And you've shown the rationale.

Only mystery at this point is are the moves done for this offseason? I'm holding out hope we get something in return for JT other than a buyout. Cupboard looks rather bare at the PF. If Shawne is still around I have to think he'll get a look there. Although he, Rasho, and Quis seem like the most likely pieces should there be any more moves.

I'd throw Foster in there as a possible chip except he's rumored to be a JOB fave and I'm sure the front office likes him, too.

Tom White
06-27-2008, 10:20 AM
I like what has transpired in the last couple of days.

I remember all the years of people complaining about "Donnie-do-nothing", and in comparison this is a whirlwind.

I really think some are missing the boat on B. Rush and Hibbert. In Rush we get a guy who shot, what was it, 44% from 3pt. range in college? Something near that. If we can get get Foster & Hibbert (maybe Rasho) setting the screens and picks for him like the Davis guys used to for Reggie, we may see some fireworks at the fieldhouse.

I am not that familiar with J. Jack, but people have commented on his defense as being solid (as is Rush's), and we certainly need that. With TJ's quickness, the team had better be running a lot of sprints this summer, or he will leave them in his dust.

All in all, I'm looking forward to next season more than I was before, and that is what you want. Right?

Justin Tyme
06-27-2008, 10:57 AM
I like what has transpired in the last couple of days.

I remember all the years of people complaining about "Donnie-do-nothing", and in comparison this is a whirlwind.

I really think some are missing the boat on B. Rush and Hibbert. In Rush we get a guy who shot, what was it, 44% from 3pt. range in college? Something near that. If we can get get Foster & Hibbert (maybe Rasho) setting the screens and picks for him like the Davis guys used to for Reggie, we may see some fireworks at the fieldhouse.

I am not that familiar with J. Jack, but people have commented on his defense as being solid (as is Rush's), and we certainly need that. With TJ's quickness, the team had better be running a lot of sprints this summer, or he will leave them in his dust.

All in all, I'm looking forward to next season more than I was before, and that is what you want. Right?


I'm still not quite reconciled to the trading of what I thought was a gift dropped in our lap in Bayless, BUT I do like the thought we have gotten better on the perimeter in terms of "D". I have voiced my opinion and concern about this for over 2 years. What I don't like in the Bayless/Rush trade is we got no other compensation in the form of the #27 pick or either of the 2 second round picks(33 & 36). I think Bird got "fleeced", that's putting it as politely as I can! I'd like to see this trade expanded to include Williams and Frye. The salaries of Jack & Frye will match with Ike and Williams. The Pacers are short up front and gave away a big in Ike, so Frye would offset this loss. I know we got McRoberts, yeah right. He's D-League material again this year, and NO help to the Pacers now or in the future. Bird needs to "retool" this trade, and make it more equitable for both sides. He's got until July 9th to do it, or otherwise Bird got "fleeced"! JMOAA

FinPacers
06-27-2008, 11:29 AM
As I see it, the answer for this question at this point perhaps mainly depends on what kind of impact O'Neal will present next season playing in Toronto.

If JO plays there on the same level than here this season, we are better team off now without him, but in case he will improve close onto the level he used to be when he was near his best, we are probably worse off without him.

I'd say optimistically that we might be slightly better to this point. Not necessarily because of JO (who presumably won't be near his top form?), but because of other moves we did make, or at least are going to make, this offseason.

Now, was this recent agreement of passing Bayless for B. Rush and Jack (essentially) right thing to do? Based purely on obvious talent, I'm little worried about that. On the other hand, since we already got Ford as a new starting PG, it wasn't a very dumb move after all.

Let's also remember that our front office most likely is not at all done making deals this summer in order to better our team. Hopefully so!

It is true that there are still some difficult work to do. But we shouldn't judge this team very hard as of now. Right time for doing that will be at the beginning of the upcoming season, if not even a little later than that.

Pig Nash
06-27-2008, 01:39 PM
JO would have not had the same production next year here as I predict he will in Toronto. He needed a change in scenery and I think that Bosh will take a lot of the pressure off him up there so that he can focus on defense.

NuffSaid
06-27-2008, 05:24 PM
Without reading the initial post and going strictly off the acquisitions over the last 48 hours, I'd say the Pacers are "better off" than they were at this time last year from a financial and practical standpoint. They won't be "better" until they can find someone to shore up the PF position. The Pacers may have strengthened their back-court, but they have a soft front-court even with Nesterovic, Harrison (if retained), Foster, Murphy, Baston, McRoberts and Hibbert. Ironically, only Harrison stands out to me as a legit shot blocker.

NuffSaid
06-27-2008, 05:28 PM
JO would have not had the same production next year here as I predict he will in Toronto. He needed a change in scenery and I think that Bosh will take a lot of the pressure off him up there so that he can focus on defense.
I see it more in reverse...JO will take more pressure of Bosh!

JO will most likely play Center - a position he bit the bullet and played while here. He still sees himself as a PF which is correct, but there's no way Bosh will play Center and you're not going to get JO to come off the bench too easily. JO will anchor the middle much as he did here relieving Bosh from most of his former defensive responsibilities.

robocop's cousin
06-27-2008, 06:29 PM
I have an inside source that says Tinsley's careers over due to his bum knee...
look for a buyout

maragin
06-27-2008, 06:42 PM
I know this: I'm definitely more interested than I was this time last year.

Last summer's stagnation led to very low intrigue in the Pacers, at least for me. That combined with a coach who's philosophies I don't really like made me question if we could win 30 games.

By preseason, we'll have had a hell of a facelift. I like our potential, and our direction. I hope JOB can make it work.

Anthem
06-27-2008, 06:49 PM
I have an inside source that says Tinsley's careers over due to his bum knee... look for a buyout
Oh man, that would actually be great for the Pacers (bad for Tinsley, of course). A career-ending injury would mean that the Pacers wouldn't have to buy him out... insurance would take over his contract and he wouldn't count against the cap.

If we buy him out, then he's still able to play.

Roaming Gnome
06-27-2008, 06:49 PM
I have an inside source that says Tinsley's careers over due to his bum knee...
look for a buyout

Yeah, Mike Wells discussed this pretty much in depth on JMV just a couple days ago about his knees being gone and JT gaining 25 lbs since April.

Tom White
06-27-2008, 07:36 PM
Yeah, Mike Wells discussed this pretty much in depth on JMV just a couple days ago about his knees being gone and JT gaining 25 lbs since April.

This is news to me.

Can you tell us a bit more about exactly what Wells said?
Is this something the doctors have told the team, or Tinsley?

CableKC
06-27-2008, 08:20 PM
This is news to me.

Can you tell us a bit more about exactly what Wells said?
Is this something the doctors have told the team, or Tinsley?
Based off of what we already heard...I'm not surprised that he hasn't worked out and has gain weight....but I had no clue about the knee injury possibly being a career-ending injury.

I know that we are talking about a possible career ending injury for Tinsley....which does suck ( even for Tinsley )....but assuming that insurance does cover it....how does that affect our SalaryCap situation in the coming season?

I heard that if ( heaven forbid ) Ford had a career ending injury...that his salary would come off the books in the next season ( correct me if I am wrong ).

aero
06-27-2008, 08:21 PM
we are better off, we will become a better team once they players get used to each other on the court...only then can we truly tell if we are better as a team.

BoomBaby31
06-27-2008, 08:54 PM
We are ALOT better off, anyone calling for the firing of Bird is being irrational. Bird fixed our back court in 3 days and got a potentially great 2 guard. The best part is they are all young and play their natural positions! I think we were going to draft Rush in the beginning but bayless dropped, then bird realize I can draft Bayless, still get Rush and a back up PG. It was a no brainer, If we kept bayless we'd have another problem with two good PG's then forced with the decision either to move bayless to the two or let him come off the bench. Our draft night was better then I imagined. Honestly, I thought we'd end up with a Euro player and 2nd rate big man. Now lets trade some baggage get a decent PF and make a real run at the playoffs next year.

Another thing... everyone needs to give McRoberts a chance and quit doing so much hating. He is very young and needs minutes.

Tom White
06-27-2008, 09:11 PM
Another thing... everyone needs to give McRoberts a chance and quit doing so much hating. He is very young and needs minutes.

I'm afraid it may take more than minutes for McRoberts. From what I've been able to gather, he isn't getting very good reviews in the D-league.

Anthem
06-27-2008, 09:16 PM
I have a hard time believing Tinsley's knee injury is career-ending. We kept hearing that he was going to play during the season, and during the off-season Bird has talked about trying to trade him.

If there was this massive knee injury, why wouldn't we have heard about it?

grace
06-27-2008, 09:22 PM
If there was this massive knee injury, why wouldn't we have heard about it?

Because the Pacers have rarely ever been honest about what's been ailing Jamaal.

Anthem
06-27-2008, 09:46 PM
Because the Pacers have rarely ever been honest about what's been ailing Jamaal.
But usually the other way, right?

Is there any benefit to keeping a career-ending injury a secret?

Young
06-27-2008, 11:15 PM
We are better off but not better.

If we really were serious about winning we would have kept Jermaine. We are now hurting for a post presence. Murphy, Foster, Rasho, maybe Hibbert one day can all be solid but nothing to take us to another level.

Now with TJ Ford and Jarrett Jack here we have the most versatile point guard rotations in the league. We have 3 point guards who can all play in this league but all give us something very different. I love that. The point guard position went from being our biggest weakness to our deepest position.

The more I think about it the more I like the Bayless for Rush swap. Not even considering Jack who is a nice addition for us. Not thinking about where Bayless could have or should have been picked and just comparing him to Rush really doesn't make it seem so bad. It sounds bad to think that Bayless dropped to us and then we traded him for Rush and a backup but really this should work out alright for us.

I think that the Toronto trade was a much worse deal for us than the Portland trade. Rasho is expiring and can be solid. I like TJ Ford but he is not an elite point guard. Hibbert isn't really worth much to me. I like him he won't give us problems but I just don't think he is real appealing. I mean all we got for Jermaine was Ford, Rasho, and a pick in a bad draft. This trade can help us re build but it will not help us win which Larry says he wants to do now.

Now anyways Brandon Rush will hopefully make Mike Dunleavy expandable one day. But that day is not today. We need Dunleavy for his scoring. Like it or not Danny and Mike will lead us again in scoring next year. Now I wouldn't be opposed to moving Mike for a big if we can but I just don't see that happening. Atleast not for anyone worth trading for.

We are better off after the proposed trades but right now we are not better. We can make the playoffs next year with this team because the East sucks but we are far from being able to win a playoff series.

Pig Nash
06-28-2008, 12:38 AM
I see it more in reverse...JO will take more pressure of Bosh!

JO will most likely play Center - a position he bit the bullet and played while here. He still sees himself as a PF which is correct, but there's no way Bosh will play Center and you're not going to get JO to come off the bench too easily. JO will anchor the middle much as he did here relieving Bosh from most of his former defensive responsibilities.

I guess I said it backwards but we agree exactly.

LAPacer
06-28-2008, 12:48 AM
We are better.

Better character (No Harrison, I will miss Tinsley's between defender leg dribbles and supreme ball handling)
Better at every position except Power Forward compared to last year.

Granger and Dun can both get better too.

Bball
06-28-2008, 12:56 AM
But usually the other way, right?

Is there any benefit to keeping a career-ending injury a secret?

Maybe they are calling his bluff...

"You don't wanna play... again... because your knee hurts? ...Then let's file the papers"

"What, you were just making it up and could've played? Well, let's file some different papers!"

Are we sure there's insurance anyway?

-Bball

jjbjjbjjb
06-28-2008, 02:07 AM
Well, the comparison is this, basically:

Bayless / Diener
Dunleavy
Granger / Daniels
Murphy / Diogu / S. Williams
J. O'Neal / Foster

or

Ford / Jack
Dunleavy / B. Rush
Granger / Daniels
Murphy / S. Williams
Foster / Hibbert / Nesterovic

I don't know, I have a hard time seeing how the first team isn't better, frankly. Maybe it isn't if Bayless isn't ready to start from Day One. But team two (i.e., the team we have) pretty much can't score from inside 15 feet.

OpenWheel
06-28-2008, 05:40 AM
I don't know, I have a hard time seeing how the first team isn't better, frankly. Maybe it isn't if Bayless isn't ready to start from Day One. But team two (i.e., the team we have) pretty much can't score from inside 15 feet.

I see the second team listed and think "wow, some depth!"

If McRoberts finds game he's in there too. Depth that can run the court. Important since if you want to both run, and play good team defense, you have to use more guys.

The second team has more of that word (sometimes dreaded...) potential, to my eyes. And I'm happy to see a Pacer team with potential. Because I really decreased my viewing the last couple years because I didn't see much potential.

If you want to pencil in Bayless as a great starter, (is he better than solid NBA guy Ford on team two?) and Rush only as a backup. Then you've sort of made up your mind on which team is better, so you'd say the first team. But unless they miss on Rush, then the second team.

I love the blowup/rebuild track they are on.

Ron who?
06-28-2008, 06:17 AM
I think if we can somehow get Portland to add Darrell Arthur in that trade I am very happy with the trades and drafting... I hate Roy Hibbert, he never displayed any real skill while in Georgetown and was one of the slowest players to ever play... He put up something like 14 points and 6 rebounds in college as a 7'1 center.. 6 rebounds?!?! 7 feet in college guarantees you at least 8 rebounds if you have no skill...

coming into the draft if you told me we would leave with Darrell and Brandon i would be very happy, but Brandon and Roy? really Roy Hibbert? the most over-hyped player EVER...

Anthem
06-28-2008, 07:41 AM
Are we sure there's insurance anyway?
Pretty sure it's standard...

hoopsforlife
06-28-2008, 09:16 AM
I really like Roy Hibbert. I believe he is going to Bird's version of Robert Parrish without the pot. This team Bird is putting together is going to surprise everybody in the near future. I am really anticipating the season now.

Mr. Sobchak
06-28-2008, 09:56 AM
I think if we can somehow get Portland to add Darrell Arthur in that trade I am very happy with the trades and drafting... I hate Roy Hibbert, he never displayed any real skill while in Georgetown and was one of the slowest players to ever play... He put up something like 14 points and 6 rebounds in college as a 7'1 center.. 6 rebounds?!?! 7 feet in college guarantees you at least 8 rebounds if you have no skill...

coming into the draft if you told me we would leave with Darrell and Brandon i would be very happy, but Brandon and Roy? really Roy Hibbert? the most over-hyped player EVER...


It's hard to average a lot of rebounds posted at the high post in the princeton offense..