PDA

View Full Version : Is Jim O'Brien a "system coach"



Unclebuck
07-16-2008, 03:38 PM
I had a nice post all written out but I lost it, so here is a shorter version.

The question was raised at the forum party about O'Brien being a "system coach". Meaning no matter his personnel he will play his system no matter what. I suppose his system is believed to consists of - shooting a ton of threes, running, passing, moving the ball.

Well I think there is a difference between what a coach likes to do and forcing them to play his way - no matter who his players are. When Jim coached the Celtics, they didn't run, they didn't move the ball, they didn't play a passing game type offense. Yhey did shoot the three. In Philly, Jim's team didn't shoot as many threes, nor did they play a passing game. In other words Jim tailored his offense to fit the players.

Here is a quote from JOB from yesterday's press conference that got me to thinking about this

http://www.nba.com/pacers/news/rush_hibbert_introductory_080715.html


“Since the moment Larry decided to bring Roy on board, people started to talk about how he will fit into our system. Well, we don’t have a system. Our system is all about taking advantage of the strengths of our players. We want to run but how we run, we’ve changed depending on the strengths. We want to defend. If we have to tweak things defensively because of the strengths or the weaknesses of our players, we’ll do that. We had a weakness at the point guard spot and we had a weakness at the big spots. Certainly, we had a weakness at being able to guard the perimeter.

[i]The rest of his quote is rather interesting, but doesn't apply to this discussion


Defensively I believe Jim is a little less flexible. But I know he likes his point guards to apply bal;ll pressure, but he couldn't do that last season. And I also believe if we had a bigger, slower guy who couldn't trap the pick and rolls and switch out, like Foster can, I believe Jim would change his defense some too.

So to answer my question - I don't believe Jim is a system coach - especially offensively. There is strong evidence to refute the notion

2minutes twowa
07-16-2008, 03:47 PM
I had a nice post all written out but I lost it, so here is a shorter version.

The question was raised at the forum party about O'Brien being a "system coach". Meaning no matter his personnel he will play his system no matter what. I suppose his system is believed to consists of - shooting a ton of threes, running, passing, moving the ball.

Well I think there is a difference between what a coach likes to do and forcing them to play his way - no matter who his players are. When Jim coached the Celtics, they didn't run, they didn't move the ball, they didn't play a passing game type offense. Yhey did shoot the three. In Philly, Jim's team didn't shoot as many threes, nor did they play a passing game. In other words Jim tailored his offense to fit the players.

Here is a quote from JOB from yesterday's press conference that got me to thinking about this

http://www.nba.com/pacers/news/rush_hibbert_introductory_080715.html


“Since the moment Larry decided to bring Roy on board, people started to talk about how he will fit into our system. Well, we don’t have a system. Our system is all about taking advantage of the strengths of our players. We want to run but how we run, we’ve changed depending on the strengths. We want to defend. If we have to tweak things defensively because of the strengths or the weaknesses of our players, we’ll do that. We had a weakness at the point guard spot and we had a weakness at the big spots. Certainly, we had a weakness at being able to guard the perimeter.

[i]The rest of his quote is rather interesting, but doesn't apply to this discussion


Defensively I believe Jim is a little less flexible. But I know he likes his point guards to apply bal;ll pressure, but he couldn't do that last season. And I also believe if we had a bigger, slower guy who couldn't trap the pick and rolls and switch out, like Foster can, I believe Jim would change his defense some too.

So to answer my question - I don't believe Jim is a system coach - especially offensively. There is strong evidence to refute the notion

I think drafting Hibbert answered this question. I JOB was only about running and chucking threes, Hibbert would be the last player he would take.

croz24
07-16-2008, 03:48 PM
job is a system coach much like carlisle. he might state that he is devoted to changing his style in order to take advantage of the players' strengths. but in the end, he will gravitate back to the jack up 3s at all costs approach.

Noodle
07-16-2008, 06:23 PM
This is a typical statement by a PD member. One year as your coach and you know everything about him. I've been a huge fan of JOb since halfway into last season. I began to realize some of the adjustments he made to maximize players' performances throughout the season. Do you really think Dunleavy would have scored 18 a game under Rick. Towards the end of the season Dun was averaging 20 a game, as well as Granger who was averaging 22. This guy made the right moves to maximize his weapons. I don't know if you guys who think he's a system, oriented, narrow minded coach ever played organized B-ball, but I must say I can't understand how some fans haven't seen great things from Jim. Maybe, just maybe these people don't really understand the real scheme of things. Ten games into last season I was worried. I realized just like many others that we stunk. I was almost positive we were destined for a top five pick. Kudos to Uncle Buck for noticing that he as always been adaptive coach. I'm sorry for the article, but I really love JOb and continue to praise him because so many try to bury him.

maragin
07-16-2008, 06:54 PM
Do you really think Dunleavy would have scored 18 a game under Rick.

Yes.

Dunleavy's ppg average shot up under Rick as well, even after several single point outings when he first arrived. It should be noted that he was getting more minutes here than he was GS. I think the full year under the same coach, whether Rick or JOB, helps tremendously.

I put the majority of the credit for Dunleavy's improvement on Dunleavy. He worked hard and stepped his game up.

But that's just what I think.

JayRedd
07-16-2008, 07:06 PM
Why are there such negative connotations associated with a "system" coach? Phil and Red each got nine titles that way.

Mr.ThunderMakeR
07-16-2008, 07:15 PM
No I don't think he is a system coach, I think he is a gimmick coach.

croz24
07-16-2008, 07:42 PM
This is a typical statement by a PD member. One year as your coach and you know everything about him. I've been a huge fan of JOb since halfway into last season. I began to realize some of the adjustments he made to maximize players' performances throughout the season. Do you really think Dunleavy would have scored 18 a game under Rick. Towards the end of the season Dun was averaging 20 a game, as well as Granger who was averaging 22. This guy made the right moves to maximize his weapons. I don't know if you guys who think he's a system, oriented, narrow minded coach ever played organized B-ball, but I must say I can't understand how some fans haven't seen great things from Jim. Maybe, just maybe these people don't really understand the real scheme of things. Ten games into last season I was worried. I realized just like many others that we stunk. I was almost positive we were destined for a top five pick. Kudos to Uncle Buck for noticing that he as always been adaptive coach. I'm sorry for the article, but I really love JOb and continue to praise him because so many try to bury him.

because i make sooo many typical "pd" statements LOL...and dun scored 18ppg under job b/c of job's "system". i never stated he and rick had the "same system". it's the fact that neither are willing to compromise their systems for the sake of the talent on their teams. and pacers fans need to look no further than job's coaching jobs while in boston or philly and his 1st year at indiana to understand what he's all about. this is not job's 1st coaching stint ya know?

Hicks
07-16-2008, 07:50 PM
Why are there such negative connotations associated with a "system" coach? Phil and Red each got nine titles that way.

When so many don't like what they perceive to be O'Brien's "system", it kind of matters in regards to how they feel about him going into next season.

rexnom
07-16-2008, 08:17 PM
Every time I watch or hear Jim speak, I love the fact that he is or coach. Then again, I was the guy who thought Rick should have been a "coach for life" here. But Jim is great and you have to love the fact that he is already getting on the new guys about defense.

Is he a system coach? I don't know. I think the expression "gimmick coach" is better. His offensive and defensive schemes but seem to revolve around some set things but in general, I think Obie can be fairly flexible.

count55
07-16-2008, 08:24 PM
Every time I watch or hear Jim speak, I love the fact that he is or coach. Then again, I was the guy who thought Rick should have been a "coach for life" here. But Jim is great and you have to love the fact that he is already getting on the new guys about defense.

Is he a system coach? I don't know. I think the expression "gimmick coach" is better. His offensive and defensive schemes but seem to revolve around some set things but in general, I think Obie can be fairly flexible.

If you could somehow combine the best characteristics of the two, it would be, well....

wierd...that's just messin' with nature.

Noodle
07-16-2008, 08:59 PM
because i make sooo many typical "pd" statements LOL...and dun scored 18ppg under job b/c of job's "system". i never stated he and rick had the "same system". Pacers fans need to look no further than job's coaching jobs while in boston or philly and his 1st year at indiana to understand what he's all about. this is not job's 1st coaching stint ya know?

Correct comprehension of context will help you understand the point. He's not a system coach was the indication, not that they are the "same". Where did it say "same system" in the post. He's had a different type of team everywhere he's been that is how you'll discover that he's not a system coach.

The truth is that JOb's days are numbered because he is not the answer for a playoff team. System coaches do best with elite level players because everyone knows their job, and that makes for a solid foundation to succeed. JOb is great because we are very young and we don't have elite players. He's a guy that can get misfits to play well, and maximize their skills(Dunleavy).

ChicagoJ
07-16-2008, 11:14 PM
If I understand the discussion correctly, Larry Brown is more of a system coach because he's more rigid about the roster he needs (you know, 3pg, 4 swingmen, and five guys that can defend the post.) He had no use for Detlef because Det wasn't a 2/3 and wasn't a strong post defender, so he vanished in favor of Derrick McKey.

I can't see Heywoode Workman getting significant minutes for anyone other than LB.

Tony Davis thrived in the "big man off the bench role" - especially since he'd been playing overseas and was viewed as an NBA longshot.

I agree with the distinction - JOB has some preferred gimmicks (like shooting the three way too damn much for my taste), but he works with the roster he's got to maximize the effectiveness instead of vice versa (forcing players into the roles he wants to coach.)

So the related question: was Rick a "system coach"? Or was he just infatuated with a couple of things that I couldn't stand? (using Tinsley as a scoring PG, slowing down the pace to a crawl, too many iso's)

I thought (and commented more than once) that Rick showed a lot more flexibility than advertised during his first season with the Pacers, and then even more rigid/ stubborn than advertised during the next three. That's why I tell my buddy that is a Mavericks' fan to enjoy the first year, because it will all be downhill from there.

Arcadian
07-16-2008, 11:23 PM
Is having a philosophy the same as having a system? I think JOB has a defined philosophy as do most coaches. Within that philosophy usually there is room for variation.

On the whole I think having a team play within one system for many years is beneficial.

ChicagoJ
07-16-2008, 11:47 PM
Is having a philosophy the same as having a system? I think JOB has a defined philosophy as do most coaches. Within that philosophy usually there is room for variation.

On the whole I think having a team play within one system for many years is beneficial.

It certainly works well in football.

For a five-man team, I'm not sure it matters as much.

Kid Minneapolis
07-17-2008, 12:14 AM
I've honestly always believed that coaches don't make it to the NBA without 1) having a *general* "system" that works for them, and 2) adjusting to their players strengths. It's always a hybrid of those two things.

It's silly to think that coaches don't actually play to strengths, they'd be stupid not to. Of course coaches are going to have preferences for how things should be done, but in *most* situations, most coaches probly lack all the necessary "parts" to do *exactly* what they'd like to do, and so they make due by adjusting things where they need to.

I personally think J'Ob is probly a pretty damn good coach who suffers from a rather non-interesting demeanor. I mean, let's face it, he's definitely no Larry Brown running up and down the sideline looking like he's just ate 20 TUMS to calm his 15 ulcers.

J'Ob looks more like the manager down at the local grocer, your local barbershop guy, or maybe even the IBM server dude:

https://oncourse.iu.edu/access/content/user/bmweidma/docs/same_guy.jpg

Putnam
07-17-2008, 09:08 AM
Hey, kids! Wanna know the difference between a good post and a not good one? Look at these:


job is a system coach much like carlisle. he might state that he is devoted to changing his style in order to take advantage of the players' strengths. but in the end, he will gravitate back to the jack up 3s at all costs approach.



JOB has some preferred gimmicks (like shooting the three way too damn much for my taste)


See the difference? The first post makes an exaggerated (and thus incorrect and indefensible) statement. The second expresses an opinion.

The facts are, kids, that only 28.9% of the Pacers field goal attempts last season were from behind the 3-pt line. Not ALL their attempts, or even MOST of them. The "jack up 3s at all costs" statement is simply wrong and takes credibility away from what might otherwise have been a useful comment.

Were the Pacers the top team in terms of 3PA/FGA last season? No they were not. the Magic were even more 3-happy than the Pacers.

Did the outcomes of the season suggest that shooting lots of 3s is a bad strategy? No! Of the top five 3-happy teams in the East, four went to the playoffs.

Did the Pacers shoot too many 3s last year? Probably. But only marginally too many. They were good at shooting 3s. Their 3P% was 37.4% -- 4th best in the East. And there weren't many other things where the Pacers ranked 4th best in the East.

There is a lot you can legitimately say about the Pacers' shot selection last season that is true and constructive.

DON'T BEE a STAT STRETCHER!

DO BEE a TRUTH TELLER!

BillS
07-17-2008, 09:50 AM
DON'T BEE a STAT STRETCHER!

DO BEE a TRUTH TELLER!

:lolchair:

I think I found my new sig.

Since86
07-17-2008, 01:58 PM
Rick was a system coach? He routinely changed things up when injuries occured, or when suspensions happened, or when new players arrived.

I know Peck won't want to read this but......during the 61 win season of course he ran a different style than the rest of his 3 years here. He had a different team. Harrington was here, Ron played more than 7 games, JO wasn't suspended then injured etc.

Everything completely changed in year two.

The style the team played was different when JO was in the lineup and when he wasn't. RC's last year, he tried to get JO to do something different and that resulted in JO blowing up and returning back to the previous style.

From how he coached the offense under Bird to the adjustments he made when the roster fluxuated, it really makes me wonder how he can be considered a system coach.

Just because the "star" player cries and moans, and has the backing of the FO, you're kind of forced to play a certain style. Unfortunately that style was dump it into JO.

As far as JOB, I think gimmick is exactly what he is. He's not a take you home kind of guy, he's a coach that can produce results with a limited roster. He's just a coach to get you through the rebuilding process and hopefully get wins in the process.

Naptown_Seth
07-17-2008, 06:00 PM
Yes.

Dunleavy's ppg average shot up under Rick as well, even after several single point outings when he first arrived. It should be noted that he was getting more minutes here than he was GS. I think the full year under the same coach, whether Rick or JOB, helps tremendously.

I put the majority of the credit for Dunleavy's improvement on Dunleavy. He worked hard and stepped his game up.

But that's just what I think.
Not only that, but as a Rick defender I have consistantly noted that Rick adjusted how he used Mike as he got used to him. Look at Dun's 3pt attempts, they drop from month to month with Rick. Why? He stunk from 3, so Rick stopped having him do that.

Meanwhile Dun's 2pt shot was outstanding, so Rick started running him off a lot of high post curls for the catch and shoot, with option to drive lane if it's there.

What Dun did for JOB that hadn't yet happened with Rick was flat out shoot the 3 MUCH MUCH better. Why? I assume because JOB just made that a practice focus and Dun shot the hell out of it coming into the season. Maybe he was Mr. Feel Good with him and gave him confidence but that's a really hard thing to verify.

I also give the credit mostly to Mike. I didn't expect that from him and he was one of the few unexpected items to really prove me wrong.




Rick was nowhere near a system coach, that's just ludicrous. He couldn't even afford to be. Look at the Pacers 3pt attempts when Rick couldn't go to the post. It was Rick who had the team putting up 25 threes a night by the end of the season when he had to run Reggie, James Jones, Jack, Gill and/or Fred out there together half the time. One thing under Bird that Rick did great was constantly adjust the playbook to attack at counterpoints by the other team.

Rick might not be a people person but he's a damn good playbook guy and goes with whatever he's got.




OTOH I think JOB has been more consistant with the "up quickly, couple of passes, maybe 1 PnR and into a shot" type of offense. However when JO came back he quickly went to a low post attack as the primary option. Of course since the ball was first brought into the front court quickly most people ignored that and suggested he wasn't doing that. But half court at 22 seconds and then into JO at 18 is still in to JO on the low block.

Personally I think that had a bit to do with how some people viewed JO and wanted to justify not going to him by saying "see, JOB doesn't". I'd say JOB was less willing to plant JO in the high post than Rick had tried to do the previous year even.

Now I did notice that 4-5 times a game JOB would have the team run a full, detailed play and it was typically effective. It's just that his normal approach seemed to be one ball screen and go. Thus the up-tempo and score-off-defense image he has.

You can't say he doesn't promote a reliance on the 3pt shot, not when Danny nearly matched Reggie's most prolific season ever if you discount 2 of the shorter-arc seasons. When Danny and Dun both make your top 10 attempts list in the same season, you were relying on that as your main weapon.

Hey, they knocked it down so great. But they also struggled to offensively rebound and draw fouls, 2 items JOB has also brought with him from previous teams.

Naptown_Seth
07-17-2008, 06:28 PM
Or was he just infatuated with a couple of things that I couldn't stand? (using Tinsley as a scoring PG, slowing down the pace to a crawl, too many iso's)
Now on the Tinsley thing I call Phoenix game. ;) I don't think that was simply a Rick thing, I think that was part of Rick trying to live with what he had and not being able to clamp down on him. Let's face it, he had to work with half a roster half the time which made it really tough to say "just sit", although in year 1 he sure did do just that with JT.


I agree that he started going to a lot of ISOs with the squad. Fred, Jackson, even Reggie. Everyone blamed JO as the slog part but that wasn't it, it was the ISOs from the wing. Pass, pass, pass, defense catching up and then the ball hits Jackson and he holds it for 6-7 seconds of jab steps and looking for space.

Was that Rick's plan? Was that his "what else can I do?" I don't know. Most people here know I loved the Jack-JO give and go on the baseline, but that was a play.

Frankly you have to wonder if these guys just didn't work well together and were crap at screening for each other. I mean let's be fair here, JOB isn't working with anything close to what Rick struggled with the last few years. Heck, you sit JO and Tins for a bunch of games and who's the same from prior to the "were going uptempo" summer (when they got Quis)?

Dun, Ike and Troy were new for Rick and he was asked to adjust to them midseason.

I think Rick got what even JOB got - caught in a bad situation that wasn't nearly as much his fault as a strategy coach as was implied. Both guys can get it done better than being fired suggests.

You think Rick couldn't do better with this new group than the one he had post-brawl or even post Peja for Al? But C'est la vie.


Frankly I'm warming to JOB and hopeful of a modest improvement this year perhaps, though still no playoffs unless #8 plays down to them.

ChicagoJ
07-17-2008, 10:47 PM
Let's not forget, my problem with Rick wasn't really x's and o's. I didn't like the iso's and slow pace, but I understood the percentages and why he was doing it. I thought Rick had a reasonably good handle on the gameplan and could make adjustments.

My problem with Rick was his utter lack of a relationship with his players and apparently an total lack of understanding how poorly they thought of him.

Imagine what Ron is thinking when he hears Rick wants to coach him again. He probably doesn't know whether to laugh or cry. That ain't gonna work. Period.

A pretty reliable source once told us that by November or December of 2003, Rick had gone to the current NY Knicks management and said, "get rid of this guy, I can't coach him no matter how talented he is." And the answer was, "you coach the other 11, and I'll deal with him."

How does that work in a team environment?? (A: Very badly, it appears.) I agree Rick didn't have the authority to deal sufficiently with disruptions. To reiterate, my issue was always the obvious lack of communication other than telling the team to slow down during the games.

I don't care for JO'B's game plan much, but I like the way he communicates with the players. JO'B and Rick are two halves of one coach. Rick's x's and o's will allow him a better W/L% for his career, and perhaps deeper playoff runs. But I doubt strongly that either will ever sniff an NBA championship as head coach.

As I've said for a number of years, Rick will make a very, very, very good #1 assistant in a few years. Just like Del Harris, as one example.

Bball
07-18-2008, 12:20 AM
If I just focus on OBrien's time as a Pacer then my answer is "the jury is still out" on whether OBrien is a system coach or not. I think all coaches to a degree are 'system' coaches but I understand the term here to mean (roughly) "inflexible" about his system.

On paper we have a team that is WAY more balanced than last year. We should have more durability and our chemistry should be better. Our backcourt should be improved and our front court more stable than it's been in a few years. How much Hibbert comes along is a wildcard.

IOW... OBrien is going to have stability to work with and he should have a players he can plug in more effectively to their natural positions....

Largely, I think last year could've been a transition year just to get some players like Dunleavy and Granger some confidence in their outside games and away from thinking they need to dump it into JO at all costs and thinking less of their own offense.

With a traditional (and stable) lineup, and some decent options for the rotation, I'm curious to see if OBrien reins things in a bit, solidifies some things, and takes advantage of this newfound ability to field a team of something other than tweeners.

It's one of the things I'll be looking closely for and one of the things I'm most curious about for the season.

Our existing players should have their confidence and be more where OBrien wants them mentally. The newly drafted players should be sponges. TPTB should have a good handle on the players we brought in thru trades. The opportunity to begin to mold a more cohesive team plan should be there.

...I'm willing to wait to see what OBrien does with them before kicking him to the curb. I do think if it's more of the same as last season, then he's simply the transition coach that here to get the team ready for the next coach. But it could be last season was just his own transition period getting the players to where he wanted them for the next phase.

The fact we have a more balanced roster means I have some confidence in that next phase having a chance.

NuffSaid
07-18-2008, 12:09 PM
I don't think JOB's a system coach. I think he's shown to be rather adaptive. Probably not as flexible as I'd like, but will switch gears midstream if he has to.

Now, to be clear, let's not confuse preferring a certain style of play to sticking with said style no matter what and plugging each player that comes into the scheme to fit that style. The perfect example of a system coach would be the Zen Master himself, Phil Jackson, who instills the Triangle Offense into every player who comes his way. And if they don't fit (adapt or embrace it), they're gone. One could also argue that RC is even a system coach because he prefers to work with half-court sets, but even in that RC has shown he can be very adaptive, too.

Bottom line is IMO a system coach sticks with one method of play that for him is tried and true and plugs everyone into it, whereas an adaptive coach takes the players he has and works a system around them. That's where both RC and JOB get the benefit of the dought from me. I've seen RC go from a half-court offense to more of an uptempo offense, but if asked what he prefers and what he stresses on the offensive end it's likely to be strong post-up play w/the kick-out along the perimeter...working the ball from the inside out. JOB, on the other hand, prefers to push the ball beyond half-court and then kick it out in transition or go in for the quick, easy transition basket in the paint. Basically, it's the Quick with alot more emphasis on team defense.


On paper we have a team that is WAY more balanced than last year. We should have more durability and our chemistry should be better. Our backcourt should be improved and our front court more stable than it's been in a few years. How much Hibbert comes along is a wildcard.

With a traditional (and stable) lineup, and some decent options for the rotation, I'm curious to see if OBrien reins things in a bit, solidifies some things, and takes advantage of this newfound ability to field a team of something other than tweeners.
Two very good points that we all need to remember when taking JOB's coaching abilities into consideration.

He's had marginal success with both the Celtics and 76ers, but IMO his efforts were stiffled in both cases. Now, exactly why he was given the boot obviously had nothing to do with his ability to coach the game because both teams had successful seasons under his leadership. One could, therefore, argue that had he made some adjustments and/or hardline decisions earlier last year, i.e., bringing JO off the bench, switching to small ball sooner, or using with Granger and Dunleavy as his 1-2 offensive punch sooner, maybe the Pacers would have actually made the playoffs instead of missing their short-target by a game.

Still, I conceded that it's still too early to pigeon hole JOB as a good coach/bad coach just yet. My vote is to give him another 2-3 years with the same players putting his "system" into place - whatever it is - and then judge if he's worthy.

I liked what he did last year for the most part and believe that had circumstances not been what they were (i.e., injuries, key players in and out of the lineup, players not grasping defensive schemes, players not "owning" their roles or the team concept as a whole), things might have been much different...for the better.

Since86
07-18-2008, 02:20 PM
Let's not forget, my problem with Rick wasn't really x's and o's. I didn't like the iso's and slow pace, but I understood the percentages and why he was doing it. I thought Rick had a reasonably good handle on the gameplan and could make adjustments.

My problem with Rick was his utter lack of a relationship with his players and apparently an total lack of understanding how poorly they thought of him.

Imagine what Ron is thinking when he hears Rick wants to coach him again. He probably doesn't know whether to laugh or cry. That ain't gonna work. Period.

A pretty reliable source once told us that by November or December of 2003, Rick had gone to the current NY Knicks management and said, "get rid of this guy, I can't coach him no matter how talented he is." And the answer was, "you coach the other 11, and I'll deal with him."

How does that work in a team environment?? (A: Very badly, it appears.) I agree Rick didn't have the authority to deal sufficiently with disruptions. To reiterate, my issue was always the obvious lack of communication other than telling the team to slow down during the games.

I don't care for JO'B's game plan much, but I like the way he communicates with the players. JO'B and Rick are two halves of one coach. Rick's x's and o's will allow him a better W/L% for his career, and perhaps deeper playoff runs. But I doubt strongly that either will ever sniff an NBA championship as head coach.

As I've said for a number of years, Rick will make a very, very, very good #1 assistant in a few years. Just like Del Harris, as one example.


If you look at the players he had troubles with, is it really a surprise?

Ron is completely nuts.
JO is self absorbed and had to get his touches
Tinsley went down the drain when Kenny Anderson started over him and decided he would rather just collect a check than earn it.
Jax temper is what it is. He either needs let loose or a strong leader on the floor to keep him in check, a la Tim Duncan.


When your 4 "best" players are the biggest headaches a coach can have, then obviously there's gonna be trouble. I don't think Ghandi could have gotten a harmony message through to those knuckleheads.

Rick could have done way better, no doubt about it. BUT your asking him to make a diamond out of a big pile of poop.

ChicagoJ
07-18-2008, 03:15 PM
I'll give you that Artest and SJax were uncoachable by any mortal human being.

But the rest of that is unfair. Tinsley and JO were not "lost causes" until after Rick ruined them and each of them performed as team players much better (consistently, team focus, etc.) for a coach that we all agreed was a flake (Thomas) but at that time actually DID have the respect of his players. Unlike Rick, who never had the respect of his players.

You can't put JO and Tinsley in the "not Rick's fault" category when they didn't have any apparent problems prior to being coached by Rick.

I'm not asking Rick to make a diamond out of poop. I'm asking him to do just as good of a job as the admittedly terrible coach that preceeded him did but had a similar roster on pace to win 59 games at Valentine's Day, right before the off-court insanity and on-court flagrant foul parade began.

Is that asking too much?

Since86
07-18-2008, 03:23 PM
The problem with JO and Rick, is due to JO not wanting RC here in the first place.

JO wanted Isiah, was told he was gonna have Isiah, and then RC replaces him? That's one hell of a way to start off a relationship.

JO didn't have 'attitude' problems, I wasn't trying to say that. I don't think he really liked Rick from the beginning due to the moves from the front office, but that's just my opinion.

My position on JO is that he thought he was the man and he should have the ball. We heard all summer, two summers ago, about how the team was going to go uptempo and they were gonna push the ball. 7 games(?) into the season there's a report of JO going off about whatever and the style completely goes out the window. How do you communicate with someone that has to be in charge like that?

Rick's hand was forced way before Rick was even the head coach. They gave JO the keys to the car when he arrived. He was the STAR, and what he want he got (outside of Isiah).

And if you can't put Tinsley in the not Rick's fault category, then JOB is just as guilty. Tinsley does what he wants, and when he's told no he takes his ball and goes home, regardless of who it is telling him no.

Again, his top 4 players were completely uncoachable. JO by himself can be handled, along with Jax. But combine those 4 together and you might as well beat your head against the wall, it would hurt less.

Arcadian
07-18-2008, 03:53 PM
It was a tough team to coach. Rick is still poor in the player relations department. By all accounts he plays favorites, has double standards and an aloof personality. If you want to be an NBA job dealing with people is bigger than X's and O's.

Bball
07-18-2008, 04:05 PM
It was a tough team to coach. Rick is still poor in the player relations department. By all accounts he plays favorites, has double standards and an aloof personality. If you want to be an NBA job dealing with people is bigger than X's and O's.


How does Rick's playoff coaching record (as a HC (including Piston tenure)) stand up to scrutiny as compared to other coaches of a similar tenure?

-Bball

Arcadian
07-18-2008, 04:09 PM
No idea what you just asked there bball.

ChicagoJ
07-18-2008, 04:56 PM
-snip-
My position on JO is that he thought he was the man and he should have the ball. We heard all summer, two summers ago, about how the team was going to go uptempo and they were gonna push the ball. 7 games(?) into the season there's a report of JO going off about whatever and the style completely goes out the window. How do you communicate with someone that has to be in charge like that?


But he was the man. He should have the ball. If he doesn't want the ball in his hands, can you imagine the outcry over his salary??

:yikes:

There is another version of the story, I know its not as popular in the virtual reality called internetmessageboardland where we grasp onto extreme controversies and then take them as factual. In that other version, the heated discussion isn't over the "number" of touches but the "geography" of touches. I think Seth has beaten us over the head with stats that show JO's touches did not increase or decrease because of that meeting. Rather, we stopped using him as a 6'11", 250 pound shooting guard and put him back in the paint where he belonged.

In fact, I'd argue that Rick responded flexibly. He put together an ill-conceived plan during the offseason to have Al in the paint and JO on the wing. It didn't work, and that surprised about 0% of the people that have ever watched a basektball game before. So when JO said, "its not working for me to get the ball 22 feet out and facing the basket", Rick made the appropriate switch to get JO back into the post.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Did JO want to play for Rick? No, of course not. (Hard to blame him for that.)

What did Rick do to make the coach-star player relationship better? The top coaches in the NBA "get" this. For that matter, I can list a bunch of mid-tier coaches that also "get" this. But Rick ain't one of them.

I'll make a deal with you: I'll give half the blame for JO and Rick not getting along to JO if you give half the blame to Rick.

(I'm offering similar deals on the JO-Ron relationship as well. And the Ron-Rick relationship. And the Rick-Jamaal relationship. Damn, its like my wife's family reunions ... were there even two key people that got along with each other if their mutual love of guns and strip clubs weren't involved. What a team.)

:soundoff:

Bball
07-18-2008, 05:42 PM
Did JO want to play for Rick? No, of course not.



If that is true you aren't making a very good argument for JO IMO. IMO, Carlisle bent over backwards for JO.... creating rifts and chemistry problems along the way (thanks to JO's utter failure to live up to his own hype and bravado yet getting chance after chance to be "the man").

If we want to talk about Carlisle playing favorites, JO was one of the top ones on the list. That JO couldn't come thru on the court, and ultimately torpedoed Carlisle's authority with his 8th game hissy fit, wasn't Carlisle's fault (except for continually bending over for him rather than just saying: "STFU"). Talk about the exact opposite of a 'team' player and you'll find JO.

I still say JO should've been suspended after the hissy fit and that any changes, planned or not, should've been put off just to show JO who is/was boss and running the team. We spent way too much time waiting on JO to grow up and figure out his contract had nothing to do with his pecking order and talent output in the NBA.

Man... all this JO/Carlisle rehash is making me feel so much better that JO is gone. :dance::dance::dance:

ChicagoJ
07-18-2008, 05:49 PM
If that is true you aren't making a very good argument for JO IMO.

Read my last paragraph. He's gone. He's not our team's best player anymore. Doesn't matter.

We need the Pacers to find another The Man, and it needs to be one that delivers better than JO did, clearly.

We also need fans to understand that The Man on championship teams gets to that level because they are demanding. Was Jordan a good teammate (especially during the Doug Collins years?) No. Kid-obe? No. Get over it.

The next time the Pacers get a star player that can carry them to deep playoff runs, we don't need all of the fans reacting like "OMG the star player wants to shoot more, what a ballhog!! He should share it more with the other players that aren't the #1 option!! OMGWTFBBQ!?!" This isn't the IHSAA or NCAA. You only go as far as your stars carry you in the NBA. I like Danny, but I can't yet envision him trying to pick up the team and carry them. JO didn't succeed but at least he tried.

Bball
07-18-2008, 05:59 PM
"OMGWTFBBQ!?!"

I don't even know what that means but it looks cool! ;)

It sounds like someone really happy to find there's some BBQ on his plate! Mmmmmm

...Or I guess it could be someone pissed to find BBQ on his plate. Hmmmmm

-Bball

Will Galen
07-18-2008, 07:24 PM
But I doubt strongly that either will ever sniff an NBA championship as head coach.

Give either guy a Duncan or Shaq in his prime and see how much better they suddenly get as a coach. It's my belief that a coach only has to be adequate, it's the players that decide if a team is a championship team or not.

Bball
07-18-2008, 07:46 PM
Give either guy a Duncan or Shaq in his prime and see how much better they suddenly get as a coach. It's my belief that a coach only has to be adequate, it's the players that decide if a team is a championship team or not.

I believe a coach can make a difference in the pretenders and contenders... It's that final step to hoisting the trophy where I think the real debate rests.

-Bball

Hoop
07-18-2008, 09:25 PM
I had a nice post all written out but I lost it, so here is a shorter version.

The question was raised at the forum party about O'Brien being a "system coach". Meaning no matter his personnel he will play his system no matter what. I suppose his system is believed to consists of - shooting a ton of threes, running, passing, moving the ball.

Well I think there is a difference between what a coach likes to do and forcing them to play his way - no matter who his players are. When Jim coached the Celtics, they didn't run, they didn't move the ball, they didn't play a passing game type offense. Yhey did shoot the three. In Philly, Jim's team didn't shoot as many threes, nor did they play a passing game. In other words Jim tailored his offense to fit the players.

Here is a quote from JOB from yesterday's press conference that got me to thinking about this

http://www.nba.com/pacers/news/rush_hibbert_introductory_080715.html


“Since the moment Larry decided to bring Roy on board, people started to talk about how he will fit into our system. Well, we don’t have a system. Our system is all about taking advantage of the strengths of our players. We want to run but how we run, we’ve changed depending on the strengths. We want to defend. If we have to tweak things defensively because of the strengths or the weaknesses of our players, we’ll do that. We had a weakness at the point guard spot and we had a weakness at the big spots. Certainly, we had a weakness at being able to guard the perimeter.

[I]The rest of his quote is rather interesting, but doesn't apply to this discussion


Defensively I believe Jim is a little less flexible. But I know he likes his point guards to apply bal;ll pressure, but he couldn't do that last season. And I also believe if we had a bigger, slower guy who couldn't trap the pick and rolls and switch out, like Foster can, I believe Jim would change his defense some too.

So to answer my question - I don't believe Jim is a system coach - especially offensively. There is strong evidence to refute the notion

I thought he was a system coach, but after reading that in the paper I'm thinking maybe he's not. The statement in bold makes me feel a ton better about JOB. I've not been a fan of his from the beginning, but maybe I was wrong.

imawhat
07-18-2008, 09:53 PM
I've seen RC go from a half-court offense to more of an uptempo offense, but if asked what he prefers and what he stresses on the offensive end it's likely to be strong post-up play w/the kick-out along the perimeter...working the ball from the inside out.

You would think, but believe it or not, Rick has been quoted as saying his #1 preference (paraphrased) would be to run and gun. He used to say it on his radio show all the time. Anyone else remember?

imawhat
07-18-2008, 11:26 PM
First off, I love this thread.


The facts are, kids, that only 28.9% of the Pacers field goal attempts last season were from behind the 3-pt line. Not ALL their attempts, or even MOST of them. The "jack up 3s at all costs" statement is simply wrong and takes credibility away from what might otherwise have been a useful comment.

Were the Pacers the top team in terms of 3PA/FGA last season? No they were not. the Magic were even more 3-happy than the Pacers.

Did the outcomes of the season suggest that shooting lots of 3s is a bad strategy? No! Of the top five 3-happy teams in the East, four went to the playoffs.


I wouldn't argue on whether or not the Pacers should shoot threes; I'd rather criticize the process which created these threes, and argue that there is a major reason as to why the other top 3-happy East teams were more successful, offensively.


In my opinion, a team should always should look at attacking the paint first, even if the objective is to shoot the three. This opens up many options, 4 of which I think are key:

1. Draws defenders and allows shooters to get set. A shooter will have just as open of a shot, but will be shooting from a standing position, rather than on the move.

2. Defenders get out of position while our offensive players are in the lane. This creates a better opportunity to grab an offensive rebound, should a three point shot (or two point shot) be missed.

3. Draws fouls. Free points, if your penetrator is a good free throw shooter. More free throws creates a much higher offensive efficiency, unless your team 3ptFG% is above 40%.

4. In the off chance that a defensive assignment is missed, free points.


With Putnam's comparison of the top 5 teams from the East in 3PT/FGA %, there is an important stat that I believe should be added to the equation: free throw attempts. A team shooting a high percentage of threes but is still getting to the free throw line tells me that threes are coming off of penetration, rather than fast breaks or early in the shot clock. It means they are being more aggressive, and may be looking for the best chance to score, which is easier as you get closer to the basket. Here are the stats:

3ptA/FGA (Top 5 teams in the East)
.322-Orlando Magic
.289-Indiana Pacers
.249-Boston Celtics
.241-Washington Wizards
.231-Cleveland Cavaliers

Now, same teams, Free Throw attempts per Field Goal Attempts
.267-Boston Celtics
.256-Orlando Magic
.233-Washington Wizards
.224-Indiana Pacers
.221-Cleveland Cavaliers.

Teams like Boston are getting over 4 more FTA per game per 100 shots. For a team that shoots 75% FT, that's 3 more points per game. Only the Cavaliers had a lower ratio, but they shot a much lower rate of threes. Even Orlando, who shot a much higher ratio of threes, was able to get to the line more efficiently.

What does this mean? I think it shows the difference between taking a lot of threes and attempting to take the best shot. I think Jim came up with a stat that went something like this: "A team shooting 34% from three scores 102 points on 100 shots while scoring 100 points on 100 shots while shooting 50% from two, so shooting the three is better". And I think Jim completely ignored free throw attempts, which rarely come during a three point shot. And I think it showed in the way we played.

I'm not sure whether to criticize Jim O'Brien and his philosophies, the players, or both. First of all, Jim stated 3 main goals when he arrived: attack the paint, protect the paint, and go after loose balls.

My major problem with Jim's offense was not that we were taking threes, but that we were taking threes without attacking the paint. There were way too many possessions last year where we'd shoot a three before any of our players even made it to the post. As tied to above, this is why our offensive rebounding/free throw numbers were lower than they should have been.

I don't necessarily think O'Brien has a system, but he certainly has a style and philosophy, and I think this year's team fits O'Brien's style more than it did last year. Hopefully, Jim can stick to his original goals, and hopefully the players will follow.

imawhat
07-19-2008, 01:17 PM
What Dun did for JOB that hadn't yet happened with Rick was flat out shoot the 3 MUCH MUCH better. Why? I assume because JOB just made that a practice focus and Dun shot the hell out of it coming into the season. Maybe he was Mr. Feel Good with him and gave him confidence but that's a really hard thing to verify.

I said this in a couple of other threads, but I think it's very easy to see why Dun shot so much better. He made a major correction in his form.

I thought Dunleavy's form always looked great, but he continued missing shots because he drifted to the side (both left and right) during release. I'm not sure if it was O'Brien who got him to straighten out, but he stopped drifting this year and only shot it set or stepping into his shot ala Jax. Hence the jump from 31% to 42%.

I'm sure O'Brien's confidence in his players didn't hurt, either.

If it was O'Brien, and he could get TJ Ford could bump his % up to 40, we will be looking at some really great stats. Though I'm not sure it was O'Brien because I nearly pulled my hair out watching Diener do the same thing Dun did in 06-07.