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Speed
10-05-2008, 07:20 PM
http://my.nba.com/thread.jspa?threadID=5700022086


Two prized rookies a rare commodity for Pacers (http://my.nba.com/thread.jspa?threadID=5700022086)


Brandon Rush couldn't stand still. On the day before his first NBA training camp was to open, it was pointless to try to mask his obvious emotions.

"This is as nervous as I've ever been in my life right now – other than draft night," he said. "I'm new to the team, there's a lot of new players. Who knows what's going to happen?"

He could've been speaking for just about everyone involved with the Pacers. There is so much newness that brings so much uncertainty. And so much of the team's ultimate success, for the first time in decades, depends on the two prized rookies: Rush and Roy Hibbert.

The last time the Pacers had two first-round rookies in camp was 1999, when Jonathan Bender (No. 5) and Jeff Foster (No. 21) were the fresh faces. Like Rush and Hibbert, both had been acquired in trades (Bender from Toronto for Antonio Davis, Foster from Golden State for Vonteego Cummings). But the similarities end there. Foster and Bender joined a deep, experienced team that would reach the NBA Finals that season and neither was needed to play much of a role.

The current Pacers team is in a much different stance. They have some depth. They have some experience, particularly at the rookies' respective positions. But their target is just to make the playoffs, not win a title. The achievement of that goal doesn't exactly depend on the rookies producing immediately – but it would certainly help.

"Rookies are rookies and the NBA is a tough league to get acclimated in," said Coach Jim O'Brien. "It certainly helps that both Roy and Brandon stayed in college for four years, so they're coming out with more maturity. They certainly played on teams that were two of the best in the NCAA and they also have the advantage of being with veterans that have great experience (at their positions) . … Brandon can learn from these guys, Roy can learn from these guys as these rookies are trying to take time away from these guys. That's a good combination to have."

Rush already has demonstrated the physical gifts that led the Pacers to make the trade with Portland that sent No. 11 pick Jerryd Bayless to the Trail Blazers, along with Ike Diogu, for the No. 13 pick (Rush), Jarrett Jack and Josh McRoberts. At 6-6, 210 pounds he has the size, strength and quickness to play either wing position. He has a remarkably smooth shooting stroke and a fluid, efficient playing style.

"We drafted Brandon for the same reason we believe Danny (Granger) is a heck of a player," said O'Brien. "They're going to be able to put points on the board and they have the capability to play defense at a high level."

For the moment, he's behind Granger, Dunleavy and veteran Marquis Daniels in the wing rotation and has realistic expectations for his rookie season. Rush said his success would be measured by "how the team performs – at the end of the year, if we're in the playoffs."

Not individual statistics? Not playing time? Not Rookie of the Year votes?

"It's my rookie year," he said. "I'm playing behind some great guys, Danny and Mike, so I'm going to have my hands full in practice every single day."

Hibbert grabbed the Pacers' attention when he dominated a pre-draft workout with highly touted center prospects JaVale McGee and DeAndre Jordan. Both McGee and Jordan, raw but athletic talents, had been mentioned as possible lottery picks but the 7-2 Hibbert controlled the court and helped quell concerns he lacked the athleticism to compete with NBA big men.

"I'm really high on Roy in a number of ways," said O'Brien. "First, I would say his mobility, or (perceived) lack of mobility, I don't find to be accurate. He moves every bit as fast and as quickly has he needs to move to get the job done. His big problem right now is he wants to block every shot. That's kind of a good-news, bad-news joke. It's good for him to want to block every shot but he's easily faked off his feet which means he'll be on the bench with foul trouble if he doesn't learn to just use that unbelievable arm span of his."

Having already picked up the nickname "broomstick" because of his desire to sweep every shot off the glass, Hibbert has to reign in his youthful enthusiasm and adapt to the NBA game.

"I'm just trying to take baby steps, learning as much as I can," Hibbert said. "I'm looking at Jeff Foster as a mentor. He's been teaching me a lot and I talk to him and text him a lot. He's been trying to help me progress. He gets on me a lot, and I appreciate it."

With veterans Foster and Rasho Nesterovic on hand, Hibbert will have both the time and the teachers to maximize his learning curve. Of course, both Foster and Nesterovic will be free agents next summer, so his opportunity certainly is coming.

Because of the youthful roster, because of the presence of two high-profile rookies, it's natural to presume the Pacers are in a rebuilding mode. That would be an erroneous presumption.

"The word 'rebuilding' is not even in my vocabulary," O'Brien said. "We're building every day towards becoming a championship contender. Drafting people like Brandon and Roy, if they work hard and are mentally tough in their ability to improve, then they're certainly going to be very, very important pieces as we build towards a championship contender."
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The video is good too, rehash of some things I've already heard, but some new quotes too. Roy says something like..Jeff gets on me alot and I really appreciate that. He means it genuinely too because he knows that's how you get better. Where did they find 2 guys without big egos, its pretty awesome!

Hicks
10-05-2008, 07:44 PM
:laugh: I like that.

croz24
10-05-2008, 08:01 PM
if coached properly, hibbert can become a top 5-10 center in this league...with rush, i'm just hoping he can become a solid role player. don't have high expectations for rush.

owl
10-05-2008, 08:13 PM
His big problem right now is he wants to block every shot. That's kind of a good-news, bad-news joke. It's good for him to want to block every shot but he's easily faked off his feet which means he'll be on the bench with foul trouble if he doesn't learn to just use that unbelievable arm span of his."


Just what is his wingspan?

BlueNGold
10-05-2008, 08:19 PM
I found it incredible that he could get his shot OVER Greg Oden...so he most definitely has length, because he certainly does not have great hops.

I think we will all be pleased with Mr. Hibbert and what he brings to the paint.

MagicRat
10-05-2008, 09:20 PM
His big problem right now is he wants to block every shot. That's kind of a good-news, bad-news joke. It's good for him to want to block every shot but he's easily faked off his feet which means he'll be on the bench with foul trouble if he doesn't learn to just use that unbelievable arm span of his."


Just what is his wingspan?

7'4"

http://www.asapsports.com/show_interview.php?id=42070

RandyWrinkles
10-05-2008, 11:01 PM
I like it. I was expecting a Tinsley/Brawl related article, but wasn't that a dustpan he was swinging around. I really hope he's gone tomorrow.

Naptown_Seth
10-06-2008, 12:16 AM
Without a doubt the effort to focus on personality, intelligence and overall quality people skills has paid off this summer. Right down the line it's impressively consistent and successful. I hope it translates into winning basketball in the next 2-3 years, but even if it doesn't at least it's a product you can get behind.

duke dynamite
10-06-2008, 01:25 AM
I like it. I was expecting a Tinsley/Brawl related article, but wasn't that a dustpan he was swinging around. I really hope he's gone tomorrow.

That was a dustpan, bud. :P

That was a heck of a good read. The amount of positive press that I've seen in the past weeks has been quite refreshing I might add.

dal9
10-06-2008, 10:49 AM
From the thread title, I thought this was about rubbing in the Cubs demise here, too.

KennerLeaguer
10-06-2008, 03:13 PM
I found it incredible that he could get his shot OVER Greg Oden...so he most definitely has length, because he certainly does not have great hops.

I think we will all be pleased with Mr. Hibbert and what he brings to the paint.

In college when Hibbert posted up on Oden, Joakim Noah and Thabeet without any defensive help coming over to stop him he was able to get his shot off good shots. Thabeet gave him the most trouble but he still abused Thabeet in both matchups and unlike other big men was able to score on Thabeet in the paint. Noah could only block Hibbert's shot if he was playing help defense and came over to swat a shot away when Hibbert was posting up Hortford. When Hibbs posted up Noah he was unable to stop Roy from shooting over him. As for Oden Hibbert got off any shot he wanted all game. That makes me scratch my head when people suggest he would have trouble scoring against NBA big men because you are not going to get NBA big men any taller and athletic than Oden, Noah and Thabeet. Now what current NBA big man can do is push Roy out of the paint, especially early in his career. But when you are as tall as Roy (and the suspicion was that he may be a closer to 7'3 than 7'2) and you have hands like his you can get your shot off practically against anyone.

Since86
10-06-2008, 03:25 PM
As for Oden Hibbert got off any shot he wanted all game. That makes me scratch my head when people suggest he would have trouble scoring against NBA big men because you are not going to get NBA big men any taller and athletic than Oden, Noah and Thabeet. Now what current NBA big man can do is push Roy out of the paint, especially early in his career. But when you are as tall as Roy (and the suspicion was that he may be a closer to 7'3 than 7'2) and you have hands like his you can get your shot off practically against anyone.

I thought Oden did a decent job at getting Roy off the block, and Roy really did some unexpected things. Maybe not unexpected to Hoya fans, but him stepping out and hitting that 17-18fter from the top made my jaw drop at the time. It was something I didn't expect from him. He also put the ball on the floor a few times and got to the rim.

The system that Thompson has in place definately didn't help the notion that Roy is a stiff, but everyonce in a while he would give those flashes of being able to do something different than just sitting down on the post.

I also see he went 3-3 his sr. year from 3pt range. Obviously I don't expect him to step out and shoot 17-20ft routinely, but him being able to hit it, is definately an added bonus.

KennerLeaguer
10-06-2008, 04:32 PM
I thought Oden did a decent job at getting Roy off the block, and Roy really did some unexpected things. Maybe not unexpected to Hoya fans, but him stepping out and hitting that 17-18fter from the top made my jaw drop at the time. It was something I didn't expect from him. He also put the ball on the floor a few times and got to the rim.

The system that Thompson has in place definately didn't help the notion that Roy is a stiff, but everyonce in a while he would give those flashes of being able to do something different than just sitting down on the post.

I also see he went 3-3 his sr. year from 3pt range. Obviously I don't expect him to step out and shoot 17-20ft routinely, but him being able to hit it, is definately an added bonus.


Actually Oden surprised me because he was not able to push Hibbert out of the paint like some smaller centers have. Perhaps that was because of Oden's foul trouble but Roy got off a lot of close shots against Greg. Of course when smaller players push Hibbs out its because he allows it. That passivity at times has been a weakness in his gme but the GTown system does require that its big men stay away from the paint for much of the game.

Hibbert's always had a good jumpshot and a soft touch. In warmups during summer league games its not surprising to see him a dozen outside shots in a row. I know I sound like a broken record but as I've been telling folks here repeatedly that his ability to shoot pass and put the ball on the floor is pretty amazing for a guy his height.

CableKC
10-06-2008, 04:43 PM
Actually Oden surprised me because he was not able to push Hibbert out of the paint like some smaller centers have. Perhaps that was because of Oden's foul trouble but Roy got off a lot of close shots against Greg. Of course when smaller players push Hibbs out its because he allows it. That passivity at times has been a weakness in his gme but the GTown system does require that its big men stay away from the paint for much of the game.

Hibbert's always had a good jumpshot and a soft touch. In warmups during summer league games its not surprising to see him a dozen outside shots in a row. I know I sound like a broken record but as I've been telling folks here repeatedly that his ability to shoot pass and put the ball on the floor is pretty amazing for a guy his height.
With JO'Bs emphasis on passing from the PF/C spot....I really hope that we see Hibbert play some decent minutes on Wednesday.