View Full Version : Pacers Offensive 'system' Next Season

The Hustler
07-19-2008, 05:36 PM
This is kind of a spin off from UBís thread about JOB being a system coach. I am going to steal a little bit from his thread now. I hope you donít mind UB!<o></o>

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


ďSince the moment Larry decided to bring <st1:city><st1>Roy</st1></st1:city> on board, people started to talk about how he will fit into our system. Well, we donít have a system. Our system is all about taking advantage of the strengths of our players. We want to run but how we run, weíve 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, weíll 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

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.
Read the rest of the thread if you wish, most of it is good stuff.
This then got me thinking about what kind of style we would like to see the Pacers play, to fit the players we have.
Whereas in the past we have had J.O. in the middle as out no. 1 option (assuming not injured) which has usually encouraged throwing the ball into the post and working of him. We certainly do not have that kind of player anymore!
Looking at the sort of players we have now and what systems would suit them,
TJ Ford having played in <st1:city><st1>Toronto </st1></st1:city>in an uptempo, fairly run and gun offence. Looking for the fast breaks, and if the drive isnít on then kick it to a spot up shooter Ö Similarly in college under Rick Barnes at <st1:state><st1>Texas </st1></st1:state>he pushed the ball. Being so fast and seeing as he has always played this way, pushing the ball seems on naturally with TJ.
Jack is a bit different. <st1:city><st1>Portland </st1></st1:city>didnít push the ball nearly as much, and Jack is more strong than he fast.
Travis likes to run and shoot, probably the only style of play he can really have much influence as, other than as a spot up shooter.

Danny isnít (as far as we have seen, in my opinion) a go to wing player. He is the closest we have to, Ďlets give it to him and let him get us a basketí but he isnít a TMac of Kobe player who we can Iso. But his game is very versatile. He can drive to the basket has a solid outside shot. Infact, I think he would fit well into a Phil Jackson System Triangle, good basketball IQ. Heís not the quickest in the world but can play up tempo. Didnít seem to perform so well when we threw the ball into the post regularly.

Mike didnít seem to perform so well in Nellyís run and gun system, or <st1:city><st1>Montgomery</st1></st1:city>'s penertration based offence. Maybe they were for different reason. Flourished for Pacers especially coming off screen and working with movement. Seems to enjoy motion based offence.

Rush at college for <st1:state><st1>Kansas</st1></st1:state> was obviously expected at times to run, and in half court they can a rolling pick and role. Seems a good spot up shooter off a kick out, and is able to play well off motion. Want to know more go Ö
Marquis as a guy who likes penetrate should fit in with and kind of motion as he seemed to at the end of last year, not sure how big a part of the rotation he will be.
Williams and Graham are both fairly athletic guys with outside shots, so they should suit an uptempo style

Foster has very little offence in terms of his own creation as we are all aware, and his shot may have improved but it really is only if he is wide open. He does provide a very good screener and obviously rebounder, so he fits with a motion offence, and he is, contrary to many peopleís beliefs, a fairly good fast break finisher!
Nesto I must admit I donít know much about, he seems fairly strong and has a mid range shot.
Hibbert was used a lot in the high post, but showed he could play down low when needed. Good passer, good screener, if you want to know more go to Ö. http://www.pacersdigest.com/apache2-default/showthread.php?t=39295
Murphy you wouldnít think would fit into an uptempo offence, he is relatively slow, but he shoots the ball well from range for a big and can drag defenders away from the paint. Probably most suited to a dribble penetration offence, will likely be very thankful for TJís signing.
Baston is an athletic Big with a decent shot, from the Euro League enjoying playing a more team based basketball with less Isolations etc.
Ok, Iíve typed on long enough, no way has anyone read all of that Ö<o></o><o></o><o>

What Iím asking is, what kind of offence do you think would suit the players the Pacers have now?

As always, the above is based on my opinion, feel free to agree or disagree or tear it to shreds as you feel necessary :box: or :buddies:

07-19-2008, 07:20 PM
Encourage Ford and Jack (who I think may be quicker than some realize himself, though not at TJ speed) to attack the basket as often as possible, exploit anyone leaving an outside shooter open (assuming you can't just lay it in, of course).

Since we don't have other people who can score 1-on-1 (unless Danny shows something new; he's been working on this over the summer), I think we need to use as many screens as possible, with a healthy amount of pick/roll, pick/pop along with running Rush and any other wing off-ball through multiple screens. I'd mix and match the players involved if they can remotely do it. Such as unorthodox PnR's of the 1 setting for a wing, or a wing for a big, just to mix things up a bit. But primarily of course, it's a big picking for a wing/guard.

Past that, I've heard Morway mention using a motion offense, so I suspect that will still be around. I haven't studied motion yet, so I can't really comment there.

Unless Rush and/or Hibbert prove ready ahead of schedule, they both come off the bench for me. I also believe you're better off with Troy as your bench PF than your starter, but I know Jim likes him there, so we'll see.

I'd start Ford, Dunleavy, Granger, Foster, and Nesterovic, with my main subs as Jack, Rush, Murphy, and Hibbert. Jack can play 1-2, Rush can play 2-3, and of course Murphy is a 4 and Hibbert a 5.

Major Cold
07-19-2008, 10:55 PM
Because Hibbert is now the best screener (is Rasho any good) we have I hope that we use multiple sets. I doubt we run motion solely. I would like to have a flex offense with the players we have.

07-19-2008, 10:59 PM
Rasho sets some decent screens.

07-20-2008, 09:17 AM
I'm still needing to research motion, but from what little I've seen, motion seemed like a more complex flex. Is that remotely accurate?

The Hustler
07-20-2008, 10:24 AM
I've always considered the flex offence as a simple version of a motion offence. It's basicly motion but in a more structured way.

If you're refering to the sort of motion offence we were trying to play last year, then yes, that would be more complex than the flex, in that it has far more variables and possible options.

07-20-2008, 10:54 AM
I'm still needing to research motion, but from what little I've seen, motion seemed like a more complex flex. Is that remotely accurate?

Not at all.

"Flex" is a where in theory all 5 players would be involved in running a complete revolution of a planned design. This type of repeating patterned offense is often known as "continuity".

In a motion scheme, your players read the defense and the situation in order to make the correct play. In an offense like flex or others, the players run the design regardless of how the defense plays against it.

Both of these explanations are way too basic and involve alot more than what I just typed, but thats the basics of it.

After the Golden State trade, Coach Carlisle implemented some flex in his basic scheme, I think because it is relatively easy and simple to run, and made the game plan offensively simpler for all the new players to run. The Pacers under Carlisle ran it more as a "quick hitter" instead of a play they would run each time down.

There are many different ways and formations to run a "flex" style offense, and it is predominantly ran in the high school level, although there are a few colleges who run a derivitive of it. University of Tennessee, University of Maryland, and Drake University last year (there coach has moved on now) are some of the teams who run a "flex" based scheme.

Without getting too complicated on a message board, the main principles of the "flex" are:

1. Multiple players can begin and end up in multiple spots.
2. You can start it in many different formations.
3. At its core, it creates a repeating pattern of movement. Depending on where you start in the pattern, it goes in this order:

A. Back screen on low block.
B. Recieve a down screen and cut to elbow.
C. Set a down screen and pop out to wing/corner.
D. Become a "flex cutter" and cut to opposite low block to post.


Get me a marker board, and I'll draw some stuff at the next party.


07-20-2008, 12:35 PM
I actually do have a marker board now. If I can be reminded, I'll do that.

Are there a couple books you might recommend to allow me to learn these things in more detail? I've stuck my nose in somethings already, but I still feel like a beginner at this point, so keep that in mind in case you had a book in mind that would currently be over my head. Thanks.

The Hustler
07-20-2008, 12:58 PM
I guess this shows the difference between an answer by a player and an answer by a Coach!

Although i still maintain what i said is essentially correct. I consider the Flex to be a restricted motion offence.

07-20-2008, 01:28 PM
The one thing that drove me crazy last year was our fast break jump shooting strategy. That can work sometimes, but most of the time you are much better off taking it to the basket and creating contact. I am all for running fast breaks as often as possible, I just want to see the pacers get to the line more and capitalize on fast break oppurtunities instead of pulling up for a 3pt or mid range jumper on the fast break.

07-20-2008, 03:29 PM
The one thing that drove me crazy last year was our fast break jump shooting strategy.

The Pacers were never, or almost never, faster than their opponent last year, so they rarely had an advantage from one end of the floor to the other. That all changes with TJ Ford. So we just might do a lot more of what Burtrem Redneck asks for.

I want the Pacers to get better at creating and taking open shots, and high percentage shots. I love jump shots, but they need to be taken by an open man.

07-21-2008, 11:39 AM
I actually do have a marker board now. If I can be reminded, I'll do that.

Are there a couple books you might recommend to allow me to learn these things in more detail? I've stuck my nose in somethings already, but I still feel like a beginner at this point, so keep that in mind in case you had a book in mind that would currently be over my head. Thanks.

HoopTactics.com (http://www.hooptactics.com) has excellent basic resources on a plethora of offenses. It's helpful, to a degree. They have the basic continuity of the Flex offense (http://www.cybersportsusa.com/hooptactics/motiondefault.asp) here. They have it in the "motion" section, I'm guessing because like most motion offenses (and there are several different varieties of motion offense, including 3-out/2-in, 4-out/1-in, open post, Reverse Action, Wahlberg Motion aka AASAA aka Dribble Drive Motion, and Kansas has a flavour known as Hi-Lo motion, etc. etc.), the positions are interchangeable in the continuity. I think that explains why they link Flex with Motion on that website.

I think the Flex offense could be a good look for Indiana, the screen-for-screener action in the flex is a royal biatch to defend, and when you have bigs like Foster, Nesterovic and Murphy who can (in at least two of those cases) set reliable screens and all of them can hit a mid range jump shot consistently.

Ultimately, however, Indiana should continue to do what it has done: look to push the ball every possession, and have solid and consistent transition rules akin to North Carolina's: if there are two defenders or fewer back, a shot must be taken in two passes or less; if there are more than 2 defenders back, the offense must go into secondary break options. Those secondary break looks are obviously going to feature your wing players and shooters most.

As for reading on specific offenses, that's long and involved. Every meaningful offense could easily take 250 pages or so of detailed treatment, but for a general overview of a lot of things, I'd recommend Dean Smith's Multiple Offense and Defense (should be available on amazon.com). That's fairly low-key and general, and provides a lot of broad knowledge. He covers only UNC-specific things (Shuffle, Passing Game, 1-4, T-Game, 4 corners, a little zone offense and full-court offense), but it's generally helpful.