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Roy Munson
10-08-2008, 01:11 AM
At your first opportunity this pre-season, try to watch a Blazer game on TV. Rudy Fernandez is UNBELIEVABLE! I haven't seen a player pass the ball and play with that kind of flair since...(I hate to say it, but it's true...) Magic Johnson.

That is the way basketball is supposed to be played. I hope ESPN runs some of his highlights, you'll see what I mean. The Blazers are going to be VERY good. Between Rudy and Oden, I predict that not only will Portland have the Rookie-Of-The-Year, but they'll also have the runner-up.

MyFavMartin
10-08-2008, 01:13 AM
Rush and Roy.

Pacers, baby. ;)

rexnom
10-08-2008, 01:15 AM
Just to remind everyone, Rudy was one of those picks bought by the Blazers from the Suns for "cash considerations."

croz24
10-08-2008, 01:21 AM
the blazers are what the pacers should have been...and the blazers will also be yet another perfect example of why the draft is so important, especially top 5 picks.

MillerTime
10-08-2008, 03:02 AM
the blazers are what the pacers should have been...and the blazers will also be yet another perfect example of why the draft is so important, especially top 5 picks.

I dont think the Blazers are anything the Pacers want to be. Sure they might have a good team right now. They've had such bad past 3 seasons. No wonder they've improved so much, they've had a top 3 pick in the last 3 or 4 drafts. They managed to pick up Aldridge, Roy and Oden

andreialta
10-08-2008, 03:34 AM
i really like his game. He stepped up against the U.S. Compared to the likes of Mckael Pietrus, he is so much better. but compare to Manu he still got ways to go. but dude has incredbile athletic ability!!

Peck
10-08-2008, 04:05 AM
I dont think the Blazers are anything the Pacers want to be. Sure they might have a good team right now. They've had such bad past 3 seasons. No wonder they've improved so much, they've had a top 3 pick in the last 3 or 4 drafts. They managed to pick up Aldridge, Roy and Oden

Actually both Aldridge and Roy were trades that the Blazers worked out. They had a very very very aggressive G.M. who went out made a lot of trades.

They swindled both the Bulls and the Wolves.

However this being the first season of Bird and Morroway I think they have done a fine job as well so no hate from me on this.

GO!!!!!
10-08-2008, 05:39 AM
I agree, he's a quailty player, i just hope he gets enough PT on that team..

Pacemaker
10-08-2008, 06:07 AM
Why does some NBA international players finally get noticed after playing good games versus the USA Team ?

Chewy
10-08-2008, 08:30 AM
Why does some NBA international players finally get noticed after playing good games versus the USA Team ?

Because it's the best players you can face before entering NBA :whoknows:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWqSjBYqZio

some highlights from Oden and Fernandez, Oden looks really big and strong, the crowd is crazy for a preaseason game.

underwave
10-08-2008, 08:48 AM
i saw him in olympic games and today, after watching the highlight it left me in aw. i know it's just a pre-season game but still. the most incredible part is, unlike ordinary athletic freak he has a good understanding of tha game. my teams to watch this season was Hornets/Jazz/Timberwolves
Pacers/76ers/Bobcats
but i guess i should make a change.

BillS
10-08-2008, 09:09 AM
Sounds like the secret is to have a top draft pick that everyone agrees is the next hot stuff get injured and miss his rookie season.

Oh, and the "heal up for the second season part." I think we always end up forgetting that one.

Hicks
10-08-2008, 09:20 AM
Some great highlights, but let's remember they were playing against the Charman Curtain of Sacramento.....

Hicks
10-08-2008, 09:21 AM
Sounds like the secret is to have a top draft pick that everyone agrees is the next hot stuff get injured and miss his rookie season.

Oh, and the "heal up for the second season part." I think we always end up forgetting that one.

I'll go break Brandon's legs.

rexnom
10-08-2008, 09:38 AM
the blazers are what the pacers should have been...and the blazers will also be yet another perfect example of why the draft is so important, especially top 5 picks.Well, it's a lot easier when you've got lots of money behind you from your owner. Also, it's not all about the top 5 pick. The Blazers original pick would have been Tyrus Thomas. It took some astute GMing to trade up to get Aldridge.

Major Cold
10-08-2008, 09:40 AM
So who is going to play SF?

Major Cold
10-08-2008, 09:45 AM
I think that Bird has "shown" that he can be somewhat aggressive. The Zach Randolph trade was ridiculous. That helped them free up cap and roster to aquire guys like Rudy. My guess is that Portland's owner allows the GM to make moves. Having the 1st pick fall into your lap and having McHale swap Roy for Foye helps.

Speaking of McHale. 20 years from now he could be the worst GM in the history of sports.
Garnet, Mayo, and Roy traded.

ilive4sports
10-08-2008, 09:46 AM
Anyone else think Oden looked like a young Shaq out there? Bullied his way around at the hoop and dunked every time her could.

Thats what I noticed from the highlights at least.

Roy Munson
10-08-2008, 12:24 PM
So who is going to play SF?

Martell Webster and Travis Outlaw.

dohman
10-08-2008, 12:27 PM
the blazers are what the pacers should have been...and the blazers will also be yet another perfect example of why the draft is so important, especially top 5 picks.

really. Tell that to the hawks, and clippers.

How many years in a row did they have top 5 picks and how many years have they been horrible?

The draft is a crap shoot. You would never lose a season on a player who may or may not pan out and also may or not stay once his contract is done and is in him prime.

Far to many times does a rookie become really good in his last year only to leave that team for another just for the money. Then you are in the same spot you were in 3 - 4 years ago.

Anthem
10-08-2008, 12:33 PM
I can't see croz, so maybe he's already addressed this.

But the only top-5 pick the Blazers have in their rotation, as far as I can remember, is Greg Oden. And if I remember correctly, the Blazers almost missed the lottery the year they drafted him. They were a #13 seed or something, and just lucked into the right pingpong ball.

So if they'd tanked to get that pick, they'd likely have been in much worse shape afterwards.

BillS
10-08-2008, 12:34 PM
I'll go break Brandon's legs.

Answer to this week's "Spot the Six Differences":

1) The "everybody agrees" part is missing.
2) The "heals up for second season" part is missing.
3) The draft position is different.
4) The target has been moved.
5) The court position is different
6) The team is in the Eastern Conference

:nerd:

Trader Joe
10-08-2008, 12:40 PM
So the obvious question is, what does this mean for Bayless?

Jonathan
10-08-2008, 12:57 PM
Portland plays out West it harder to make the playoffs there giving them a better chance of more lottery balls. If the Pacers were out West we would have missed the playoffs more ensuiring us higher draft picks and hopefully landing Grangers not Haskins. I am done playing what if for the rest of the season. We have a great team, I am 100% behind them and really would love to see the Pacers snag 45 wins this year.

CableKC
10-08-2008, 01:24 PM
I think that Bird has "shown" that he can be somewhat aggressive. The Zach Randolph trade was ridiculous. That helped them free up cap and roster to aquire guys like Rudy. My guess is that Portland's owner allows the GM to make moves. Having the 1st pick fall into your lap and having McHale swap Roy for Foye helps.

Speaking of McHale. 20 years from now he could be the worst GM in the history of sports.
Garnet, Mayo, and Roy traded.
It also helps to have an Owner that has ZERO problems buying picks for cash much less spending $$$ to get the job done. We could have the most aggressive GM that is willing to reach out to other GMs....but it wouldn't make a difference if the Owner does not provide him with the resources to make those type of moves.

Of course....some of this is luck ( getting the 1st round pick in Oden and being lucky enough to be a GM when Zeke was a GM ), circumstances ( being in the right place when a GM like Paxson decides to pick Tyrus Thomas over Aldridge and the Suns being a cash-strapped Organization that didn't mind selling their 1st round pick ) and the will to make bold moves. That Randolph trade was the perfect situation....you had Zeke who wanted a talented but troubled child that was not afraid to make a huge move and give up a lot to get him ( seriously....Paxson and KP owe alot to Zeke for half the stupid moves that he decided to make that ultimately benefitted the Blazers and Bulls in the end ) and a GM Owner that had no problem buying out Francis in the end.

IMHO.....KP is a very good GM that recognized what needs to be done and has taken advantage of many opportunities that fell his way. By no means that I am diminishing what he did.....but you have to admit that none of it could have happened if many outside factors didn't benefit them in the end.

CableKC
10-08-2008, 01:26 PM
So the obvious question is, what does this mean for Bayless?
Fernandez won't be running the point....so I'm guessing it will only impact Bayless if there isn't enough minutes for him at the Point.

Roy Munson
10-08-2008, 02:04 PM
Fernandez won't be running the point....so I'm guessing it will only impact Bayless if there isn't enough minutes for him at the Point.

Nate McMillan has said that he wants people playing the "guard" position and not necessarily 1s and 2s. With the exception of Sergio Rodriquez, the Blazers have four guys who can play "guard" effectively as either a 1 or a 2. Roy, Fernandez, Blake, Bayless. As far as impacting Bayless' playing time, yes it will have an impact. The Blazers have a lot of good guards.

Trader Joe
10-08-2008, 02:09 PM
Fernandez won't be running the point....so I'm guessing it will only impact Bayless if there isn't enough minutes for him at the Point.

That is of course under the assumption that Bayless can play the point at this level.

BillS
10-08-2008, 02:19 PM
Portland plays out West it harder to make the playoffs there giving them a better chance of more lottery balls. If the Pacers were out West we would have missed the playoffs more ensuiring us higher draft picks and hopefully landing Grangers not Haskins.

Uhhhh... hwhut?

I thought the theory was that even the bad teams out West were better than the bad teams in the East. Since bad teams in East and West lose to the good teams in their own conference, if the bad West teams uniformly beat the bad East teams, then they will all miss he playoffs but the EAST TEAMS WILL GET MORE LOTTERY BALLS BECAUSE THEY WILL HAVE LOST MORE GAMES.

It isn't based on how many games you missed the playoffs by, but on your final record.

Since86
10-08-2008, 02:33 PM
While he wouldn't of had a chance to match up against them during his AAU days/camps, I'm sure Oden has played against a lot bigger list of big men then what he went against while at OSU.

I know for a fact Oden played with the US national team before he went down with his knee injury, because I've heard him personally talk about playing against Brad Miller and Amare.

Top players train and play against each other at performance institutes and other venues even if they're not organized events. Oden's playing foes list is a lot longer than what he faced while in college.

avoidingtheclowns
10-08-2008, 02:37 PM
I can't see croz, so maybe he's already addressed this.

But the only top-5 pick the Blazers have in their rotation, as far as I can remember, is Greg Oden. And if I remember correctly, the Blazers almost missed the lottery the year they drafted him. They were a #13 seed or something, and just lucked into the right pingpong ball.

So if they'd tanked to get that pick, they'd likely have been in much worse shape afterwards.

lamarcus alderidge was a #2 pick in 2006, and brandon roy is just outside at #7.

croz love for the blazers seems a bit misplaced considering how much pritchard wants to trade for or sign granger.

JayRedd
10-08-2008, 02:43 PM
While he wouldn't of had a chance to match up against them during his AAU days/camps, I'm sure Oden has played against a lot bigger list of big men then what he went against while at OSU.

I know for a fact Oden played with the US national team before he went down with his knee injury, because I've heard him personally talk about playing against Brad Miller and Amare.

Top players train and play against each other at performance institutes and other venues even if they're not organized events. Oden's playing foes list is a lot longer than what he faced while in college.

Well...He clearly wasn't factoring Amare into his list when he said Hibbert was the best so mabye he means "best he played against in an actual referreed game with fans around and wearing a jersey with a number."

Not disagreeing with you that he's likely played against a ton of good big men in some scenario or another...just saying we know he couldn't possibly think Hibbert is better than STAT.

JayRedd
10-08-2008, 02:47 PM
lamarcus alderidge was a #2 pick in 2006, and brandon roy is just outside at #7.

Depending how you feel about Rudy Gay, Pritchard probably got the two best players in the 2006 Draft, something that, to my knowledge, is unprecedented.

And depending on how you feel about KD, Pritchard might have gotten the best player in the 2007 Draft, too.

For some talent evaluaters, thus, the draft is much more than just a crap-shoot (although he admittedly couldn't go wrong on the Durant/Oden bonanza of 2007). Three of the Top 5 in a two-year span is the type of influx of talent that sets a franchise up for a decade of success. It takes the right chips falling in place, which Pritchard did get...but other, lesser talent scouts with poorer vision about how to construct a team (hello Atlanta, Minnesota, Clipshow and Memphis) have had similar opportunities and just pooped all over themselves.

Jonathan
10-08-2008, 03:04 PM
Uhhhh... hwhut?

I thought the theory was that even the bad teams out West were better than the bad teams in the East. Since bad teams in East and West lose to the good teams in their own conference, if the bad West teams uniformly beat the bad East teams, then they will all miss he playoffs but the EAST TEAMS WILL GET MORE LOTTERY BALLS BECAUSE THEY WILL HAVE LOST MORE GAMES.

It isn't based on how many games you missed the playoffs by, but on your final record.

Bill, The Pacers would have never made the playoffs post brawl if they were out West compared to playing in the East. They get a later draft pick for making the playoffs than not making the playoffs.

OakMoses
10-08-2008, 03:16 PM
Nate McMillan has said that he wants people playing the "guard" position and not necessarily 1s and 2s. With the exception of Sergio Rodriquez, the Blazers have four guys who can play "guard" effectively as either a 1 or a 2. Roy, Fernandez, Blake, Bayless. As far as impacting Bayless' playing time, yes it will have an impact. The Blazers have a lot of good guards.

I really don't see Bayless playing a lot this year. If the Blazers want their best two guards on the floor, they're going to have Roy and Fernandez out there. If they want a traditional PG, it's going to be Blake or Rodriguez. Eventually Bayless may pass one or both of the second two guys, but I don't think it happens this season.

What will be interesting is seeing if the Blazers are ultimately forced to make a choice between Roy and Fernandez a couple years from now.

JayRedd
10-08-2008, 03:20 PM
What will be interesting is seeing if the Blazers are ultimately forced to make a choice between Roy and Fernandez a couple years from now.

They're choosing Brandon Roy.

Roy Munson
10-08-2008, 03:26 PM
Depending how you feel about Rudy Gay, Pritchard probably got the two best players in the 2006 Draft, something that, to my knowledge, is unprecedented.

And depending on how you feel about KD, Pritchard might have gotten the best player in the 2007 Draft, too.



The 2007 draft had some good players, no question. And don't forget Fernandez who the Blazers stole at No. 24. It's not very often that I watch a player and think to myself, "this guy is REALLY something different, really special", and last night I thought that. I am very interested to see what kind of player he turns into. I think he's going to be at the very very top level.

BillS
10-08-2008, 04:57 PM
Bill, The Pacers would have never made the playoffs post brawl if they were out West compared to playing in the East. They get a later draft pick for making the playoffs than not making the playoffs.

In both 2005 and 2006 we'd have been 9th in the West and would probably have picked at the #15 spot instead of the #17. I would hope to heck our pick wouldn't have changed in 2005 (Granger), and I doubt if either Cedric Simmons or Rodney Carney helps us any more that Shawne Williams in 2006.

I am certain this isn't going down the rathole that a minuscule chance of getting one of the top-3 picks is worth tanking instead of fighting for a playoff spot, even in the West.

In other words, the advantage comes at a much higher draft pick than just the difference between West and East gave in those years.

Roaming Gnome
10-08-2008, 05:07 PM
Croz is still trying to sell us on tanking. :unimpress

I'm sure he and a few others will start this tired song and dance before the pre-season is even over.

rexnom
10-08-2008, 05:14 PM
Depending how you feel about Rudy Gay, Pritchard probably got the two best players in the 2006 Draft, something that, to my knowledge, is unprecedented.

And depending on how you feel about KD, Pritchard might have gotten the best player in the 2007 Draft, too.

For some talent evaluaters, thus, the draft is much more than just a crap-shoot (although he admittedly couldn't go wrong on the Durant/Oden bonanza of 2007). Three of the Top 5 in a two-year span is the type of influx of talent that sets a franchise up for a decade of success. It takes the right chips falling in place, which Pritchard did get...but other, lesser talent scouts with poorer vision about how to construct a team (hello Atlanta, Minnesota, Clipshow and Memphis) have had similar opportunities and just pooped all over themselves.
Well, what's really impressive is that he didn't draft either Roy or Aldridge.
Roy was drafted 6th but KP traded up to get him (from 7 and Foye, which they had gotten from the Celtics for Sebastian Telfair). As I mentioned above, Aldridge was 2nd and KP traded the 4th pick (Tyrus Thomas) and Viktor Khrypya for him.

Like you say, it's not just about drafting correctly or landing in the correct spot - it's about so much more.

ChicagoJ
10-08-2008, 05:51 PM
For some talent evaluaters, thus, the draft is much more than just a crap-shoot (although he admittedly couldn't go wrong on the Durant/Oden bonanza of 2007). Three of the Top 5 in a two-year span is the type of influx of talent that sets a franchise up for a decade of success. It takes the right chips falling in place, which Pritchard did get...but other, lesser talent scouts with poorer vision about how to construct a team (hello Atlanta, Minnesota, Clipshow and Memphis) have had similar opportunities and just pooped all over themselves.

Bingo. For some (not that I'm thinking of Shade specfically), the draft is solely about drafting the 'best player available.' And those that pursue this strategy are often filled with mismatched teams and disappointment. For others, they are drafting to fit players together into a team, understanding the strenghts and weaknesses of both the existing team and the potential draft choices.

BlueNGold
10-08-2008, 10:22 PM
Oden is a beast. Just a monster...and he is far more athletic than Bynum. Kind of Bynum with Aldridge's athleticism. He will be a dominant defensive force in the NBA from day one. Yes, this was SAC...so we need to wait until he faces the Lakers before he is crowned king.

rexnom
10-08-2008, 10:59 PM
Bingo. For some (not that I'm thinking of Shade specfically), the draft is solely about drafting the 'best player available.' And those that pursue this strategy are often filled with mismatched teams and disappointment. For others, they are drafting to fit players together into a team, understanding the strenghts and weaknesses of both the existing team and the potential draft choices.
The thing is that KP probably came into the draft really liking two guys: Aldridge and Roy. A good GM/talent evaluator probably reaches for Roy at 4 and walks out with the rookie of the year and very pleased. KP did something different.

He probably gave up on his chances of LA, initially and explored trading down, figuring that Roy doesn't drop past Boston at 7. He probably talked to Minnesota about trading 4 for 6 and something else but I'm guessing Minnesota saw it as pointless because either Foye (their preference) or Roy or both would drop to 6. So KP talked to Boston, who IIRC had expressed interest in trading their pick. Maybe they weren't interested in 4, but they were interested in Telfair. Now he had 4 and 7. When he realized that his guys weren't going to drop to 4 and 7, he subsequently used a few non-rotational assets to move up to 2 and 6 to get exactly the guys he wanted. Also, somehow, he made Paxson and McHale think they were brilliant for their deals (at the time).

Now that may not be exactly how it went down but clearly KP had a plan and executed it. Despite what people think of Larry Bird, I think he did something similar this year. I thought he went in there with a plan and didn't change it just because Bayless became available. However, he didn't settle for drafting Rush, he got Jarrett Jack out of it as well.

JayRedd
10-08-2008, 11:23 PM
The thing is that KP probably came into the draft really liking two guys: Aldridge and Roy. A good GM/talent evaluator probably reaches for Roy at 4 and walks out with the rookie of the year and very pleased. KP did something different.

He probably gave up on his chances of LA, initially and explored trading down, figuring that Roy doesn't drop past Boston at 7. He probably talked to Minnesota about trading 4 for 6 and something else but I'm guessing Minnesota saw it as pointless because either Foye (their preference) or Roy or both would drop to 6. So KP talked to Boston, who IIRC had expressed interest in trading their pick. Maybe they weren't interested in 4, but they were interested in Telfair. Now he had 4 and 7. When he realized that his guys weren't going to drop to 4 and 7, he subsequently used a few non-rotational assets to move up to 2 and 6 to get exactly the guys he wanted. Also, somehow, he made Paxson and McHale think they were brilliant for their deals (at the time).

Now that may not be exactly how it went down but clearly KP had a plan and executed it. Despite what people think of Larry Bird, I think he did something similar this year. I thought he went in there with a plan and didn't change it just because Bayless became available. However, he didn't settle for drafting Rush, he got Jarrett Jack out of it as well.

Great post. Who hacked your account?

croz24
10-08-2008, 11:54 PM
I dont think the Blazers are anything the Pacers want to be. Sure they might have a good team right now. They've had such bad past 3 seasons. No wonder they've improved so much, they've had a top 3 pick in the last 3 or 4 drafts. They managed to pick up Aldridge, Roy and Oden

riiight...the pacers are headed for another 5 years of mediocrity with the strategy they are using. meanwhile, portland has assembled the best young team in the nba stockpiled with future stars in fernandez, roy, oden, aldridge, bayless, webster, etc...the pacers don't want to be anything like portland :rolleyes: the blazers are headed towards deep playoff runs/nba championships while the pacers are maintaining right in the middle.

anybody who wants to disagree with the fact that high draft picks are what make nba title contenders are trying to argue with history. very few teams in nba history have sniffed a title without a franchise, nba star who was drafted in the top five.

rexnom
10-08-2008, 11:59 PM
Great post. Who hacked your account?
I have no idea what just happened. This guy offered me 3 million dollars to walk to the kitchen and make myself a sandwich while leaving the computer on.
http://www.nba.com/media/blazers/Pritchard_Kevin.jpg

dohman
10-09-2008, 12:03 AM
riiight...the pacers are headed for another 5 years of mediocrity with the strategy they are using. meanwhile, portland has assembled the best young team in the nba stockpiled with future stars in fernandez, roy, oden, aldridge, bayless, webster, etc...the pacers don't want to be anything like portland :rolleyes: the blazers are headed towards deep playoff runs/nba championships while the pacers are maintaining right in the middle.

anybody who wants to disagree with the fact that high draft picks are what make nba title contenders are trying to argue with history. very few teams in nba history have sniffed a title without a franchise, nba star who was drafted in the top five.


When was the last time a team won the playoffs with rookies? Yes they have drafted well. But that does not mean they will have deep playoff runs. I really want to see how many of these players stay with this team after their rookie contracts are up.

Naptown_Seth
10-09-2008, 12:09 AM
Actually both Aldridge and Roy were trades that the Blazers worked out. They had a very very very aggressive G.M. who went out made a lot of trades.

They swindled both the Bulls and the Wolves.

However this being the first season of Bird and Morroway I think they have done a fine job as well so no hate from me on this.
Ditto
Just like buying the pick to get Rudy. Heck, Bayless might not be all that involved and it's not like having the Oden pick helped them last year and yet they really improved.

If the Pacers have to get as bad as the Blazers did they might not last. The city doesn't seem to be ready to handle a 25 win season right now, let alone 2 in a row.

Oh by the way, the Hornets didn't have to lose anywhere close to the level the Blazers did, in fact they were "stuck" just below .500 which some claim is "blowing it by not losing enough" and yet here they are well past the Blazers already.

Portland has done a great job of acquiring players, but to me this is just the new Bulls - the franchise that some Pacers fans point to and say "see, they did it right". It's not that long ago that people said the Pacers needed a coach like Skiles instead of Rick and needed to have that great core of young talent plus the cap space to sign a big name free agent. Heck, they even pulled out a big mid-season trade when things got stalled.

Remind me how's that greener grass working out again?


It happens every year in every city where a team is struggling. Someone looks at the team on top and says "that's how you do it", totally ignoring the 2-3 other teams losing their asses off doing it the exact same way. Just see the Mariners and Rays in MLB and talk about spending to win is the only way.


The best formula I've ever seen is establishing a consistency and tone (reduce the turnover levels) and then showing the patience to let a group of players develop in that situation together. Maybe you add a dash of free agency flare, maybe you get lucky with a top pick but neither are sure fire solutions by any stretch.

rexnom
10-09-2008, 12:10 AM
riiight...the pacers are headed for another 5 years of mediocrity with the strategy they are using. meanwhile, portland has assembled the best young team in the nba stockpiled with future stars in fernandez, roy, oden, aldridge, bayless, webster, etc...the pacers don't want to be anything like portland :rolleyes: the blazers are headed towards deep playoff runs/nba championships while the pacers are maintaining right in the middle.

anybody who wants to disagree with the fact that high draft picks are what make nba title contenders are trying to argue with history. very few teams in nba history have sniffed a title without a franchise, nba star who was drafted in the top five.
Well, I don't think anybody is disagreeing that top-five talent wins championships. The thing we're all disagreeing with is whether top-five picks win championships. Chauncey Billups didn't win a championship for Boston, he won one for Detroit. Credit goes to Joe Dumars who signed him, not Rick Pitino who tanked to draft him. There are exceptions to this rule with some no-brainer number one picks, I think: Duncan, LeBron and probably Oden.

The same goes for Portland. As I described above, they've used assets to get their key guys. Of all the guys you mentioned, Portland only really drafted Oden. Everyone else was an acquisition that theoretically could have been made by anyone. The difference is Kevin Pritchard.

CableKC
10-09-2008, 12:17 AM
Not bad for a Rookie debut, Rudy put up 10 pts / 5 reb / 6 ast / 2 stl in 30 minutes so far.

I know....it's against a Warriors preseason squad that was playing scrubs....but it's not bad for a debut in the NBA.

Eindar
10-09-2008, 12:18 AM
Bingo. For some (not that I'm thinking of Shade specfically), the draft is solely about drafting the 'best player available.' And those that pursue this strategy are often filled with mismatched teams and disappointment. For others, they are drafting to fit players together into a team, understanding the strenghts and weaknesses of both the existing team and the potential draft choices.

That's not really fair, to be honest. Look at the Hawks. They went "best player available" in 2005 when they passed on Chris Paul, Deron Williams, and Ramond Felton for Marvin Williams. Then in 2006, there wasn't a PG worthy of that pick, so they filled another need, taking Shelden Williams instead of the "best player available" which was Roy, or maybe Rudy Gaye (at the time). They then stuck with that whole "fill your needs" thing in 2007 you endorse, picking up Acie Law while passing on Thaddeus Young, Julian Wright, and Al Thornton, which were the next three picks.

While I think needs are important, there's a time for that, and there's a time to get the best player available, and knowing when to do each is the most important aspect of being a smart GM in the draft.

Back on topic, Rudy was really impressive, and the Blazers are the most loaded team in the league, in terms of pure talent. Now, to see if they can make it work for them, and to see if Paul Allen is willing to have a payroll exceeding 100 million, which will be necessary if he wants to keep that team together.

dohman
10-09-2008, 12:18 AM
riiight...the pacers are headed for another 5 years of mediocrity with the strategy they are using. meanwhile, portland has assembled the best young team in the nba stockpiled with future stars in fernandez, roy, oden, aldridge, bayless, webster, etc...the pacers don't want to be anything like portland :rolleyes: the blazers are headed towards deep playoff runs/nba championships while the pacers are maintaining right in the middle.

anybody who wants to disagree with the fact that high draft picks are what make nba title contenders are trying to argue with history. very few teams in nba history have sniffed a title without a franchise, nba star who was drafted in the top five.


When was the last time a team won the playoffs with rookies? Yes they have drafted well. But that does not mean they will have deep playoff runs. I really want to see how many of these players stay with this team after their rookie contracts are up.

Eindar
10-09-2008, 12:23 AM
When was the last time a team won the playoffs with rookies? Yes they have drafted well. But that does not mean they will have deep playoff runs. I really want to see how many of these players stay with this team after their rookie contracts are up.

That's the cry of the doubter, for sure, and in most cases, you'd be right. The problem, this time, is that Portland can offer more money than any other team, because they're re-signing their own players, and the owner, Paul Allen, is rich beyond our wildest dreams, and can easily afford to pay all of his players fair market value. Some of them might leave so that they can try to be Batman instead of Robin (see: Joe Johnson, Stephon Marbury), but I don't think they'll be leaving because of an unwillingness or inability to pay them.

Also, FWIW, The Rockets won a title with a rookie PG, and I think the Lakers won a title with Magic Johnson as a rookie (might be wrong there), but in both of those situations, they had veteran HoF'ers on the roster. The Blazers won't win the title this year, but they'll be in the hunt every year for the next decade if the players all decide to stay.

croz24
10-09-2008, 01:36 AM
Well, I don't think anybody is disagreeing that top-five talent wins championships. The thing we're all disagreeing with is whether top-five picks win championships. Chauncey Billups didn't win a championship for Boston, he won one for Detroit. Credit goes to Joe Dumars who signed him, not Rick Pitino who tanked to draft him. There are exceptions to this rule with some no-brainer number one picks, I think: Duncan, LeBron and probably Oden.

The same goes for Portland. As I described above, they've used assets to get their key guys. Of all the guys you mentioned, Portland only really drafted Oden. Everyone else was an acquisition that theoretically could have been made by anyone. The difference is Kevin Pritchard.

kevin pritchard is just one of the few sane gms around.

pretty sure portland traded the #7 pick for the #6 pick to nab roy. and traded the #4 pick for the #2 to land aldridge. those assets were other high draft picks.

good job of naming billups. but again, the guy was a top pick in the draft. the pacers are in a position where no top player will come here via free agency. therefore, the only way the pacers can become great is through trade or the draft. now, i may be wrong here, but last i checked the pacers have NEVER won a championship. do any of you not think it's time to change your perception on how to develop a winner??? the pacers have used this same strategy since the early '90s and it's not won us a damn thing.

high draft picks, whether traded for, used as assets in a trade for an established star, or kept, are historically what wins you championships. of course you need a smart gm to know who to draft otherwise you do end up like the clippers (although most of that was on sterling), but nobody can doubt that the vast majority of franchise/star players who have won it all or at least kept their team(s) in contention, came from the top 5-6 picks in the draft.

*one exception to this historically has been high school players coming out

and naptown, there's a reason the hornets became instant winners...THEY DRAFTED CHRIS PAUL #4 OVERALL. how did orlando instantly become meaningful? dwight howard #1 overall. what about the cavs? lebron james #1 overall. the jazz? deron williams #3 overall. the rockets? yao ming #1 overall. the heat? dwayne wade #5 overall. the raptors? chris bosh #4 overall. the nuggets? carmelo anthony #3 overall.

rexnom
10-09-2008, 01:52 AM
kevin pritchard is just one of the few sane gms around.

pretty sure portland traded the #7 pick for the #6 pick to nab roy. and traded the #4 pick for the #2 to land aldridge. those assets were other high draft picks.
However, they did trade Telfair, a former 13th pick (where the Pacers top pick this year came from, incidentally), to get number 7.


and naptown, there's a reason the hornets became instant winners...THEY DRAFTED CHRIS PAUL #4 OVERALL. how did orlando instantly become meaningful? dwight howard #1 overall. what about the cavs? lebron james #1 overall. the jazz? deron williams #3 overall. the rockets? yao ming #1 overall. the heat? dwayne wade #5 overall. the raptors? chris bosh #4 overall. the nuggets? carmelo anthony #3 overall.Wait. Isn't your point that the Pacers should win champiosnhips and not just be "meaningful"? None of the teams you mentioned has yet won a championship except for the Heat, who did so when they acquired a top-5 talent (Shaq) with their own, non-top 5 drafted assets.

Further, looking at the Celtics of this year, the way they won a championship was by acquiring a top-5 talent (KG), not by drafting one. Actually, you could argue that they won by acquiring and drafting non-top 5 pick players (Gomes, Telfair, Jefferson, Green). The Pacers could easily put together a similar package. That package is the equivalent (more or less) of the Pacers offering McRoberts, Rush, Granger and Williams (with salary filler). If this was last year, we probably could have thrown together a package of picks and expirings using Foster and Daniels to get Ray Allen as well. In fact, I'm sure you could make the argument that a Tinsley/Jack-Ray Allen-Dunleavy-KG-O'Neal team wouldn't be half-bad. That's a crude example, obviously. The point is just that if you don't get lucky with high picks at the right time like Cleveland or New Orleans then you can make up for it with shrewd GMing. I really think we're starting to see this from the Bird-Morway administration, which seems to have the clear plan of attack/direction the Walsh-Bird administration was lacking.

croz24
10-09-2008, 02:04 AM
However, they did trade Telfair, a former 13th pick (where the Pacers top pick this year came from, incidentally), to get number 7.

Wait. Isn't your point that the Pacers should win champiosnhips and not just be "meaningful"? None of the teams you mentioned has yet won a championship except for the Heat, who did so when they acquired a top-5 talent (Shaq) with their own, non-top 5 drafted assets.

Further, looking at the Celtics of this year, the way they won a championship was by acquiring a top-5 talent (KG), not by drafting one. Actually, you could argue that they won by acquiring and drafting non-top 5 pick players (Gomes, Telfair, Jefferson, Green). The Pacers could easily put together a similar package. That package is the equivalent (more or less) of the Pacers offering McRoberts, Rush, Granger and Williams (with salary filler). If this was last year, we probably could have thrown together a package of picks and expirings using Foster and Daniels to get Ray Allen as well. In fact, I'm sure you could make the argument that a Tinsley/Jack-Ray Allen-Dunleavy-KG-O'Neal team wouldn't be half-bad. That's a crude example, obviously. The point is just that if you don't get lucky with high picks at the right time like Cleveland or New Orleans then you can make up for it with shrewd GMing.

of course my point is about championships. however, naptown wanted to mention the how the hornets got good rather quickly after being irrelevant for years. whereas the blazers have struggled to reach contender status while having quite a few top picks recently. high draft picks is not only where you find your title winning hall of famers, but it's also where you find leaders who turn you into legit title contenders...sure you usually need a solid bench/supporting cast to win it all, but the nba is a superstar league. one player can make or break a team's chance of winning it all. the nba is the most individual team sport out there with just about every all time great having won a title.

rexnom
10-09-2008, 02:10 AM
of course my point is about championships. however, naptown wanted to mention the how the hornets got good rather quickly after being irrelevant for years. whereas the blazers have struggled to reach contender status while having quite a few top picks recently. high draft picks is not only where you find your title winning hall of famers, but it's also where you find leaders who turn you into legit title contenders...sure you usually need a solid bench/supporting cast to win it all, but the nba is a superstar league. one player can make or break a team's chance of winning it all. the nba is the most individual team sport out there with just about every all time great having won a title.
Look, a high pick is great. But it's not a sure-fire way to do things (i.e. tanking). The prime example is the Hawks who drafted before the Hornets that year but somehow missed out on Chris Paul.

My point is just that the best way of running a team is to do your best to get the players you need and always try to win. Good players will become available, opportunities will arise. You don't HAVE to get a top-five pick. Detroit is a prime example of this. They won 50 games instead of getting high picks and they went out got their stars in ways that became available. In Detroit's case, they traded away a top-five pick that they had acquired (Stackhouse) and subsequently acquired a new one (Rasheed Wallace) not by drafting but by trading a future good pick (an arguable top-five talent in his draft, Josh Smith). Curiously, they also had a top-five pick the summer before that trade was made and that top-five pick was an absolute non-factor in their championship. For them, the solution was not their own high draft picks but rather someone else's. (Sidenote: the wise Pistons of course had acquired that top-five pick beforehand in 1997, proving once again that it's not about where you pick but rather about what you acquire). Who knows, maybe the Pacers will have the opportunity to do the same one day.

Eindar
10-09-2008, 03:53 AM
Croz, I'm not as dismissive of your views as some, but I would like to point out that we do have a #3 overall draft pick on this team as well as a #8 overall pick, and no less than 4 lottery picks on this team, so according to your own statements, we should already have a great team.

croz24
10-09-2008, 04:06 AM
Croz, I'm not as dismissive of your views as some, but I would like to point out that we do have a #3 overall draft pick on this team as well as a #8 overall pick, and no less than 4 lottery picks on this team, so according to your own statements, we should already have a great team.

of course there are high draft picks on all teams. i've acknowledged this in the past. and i repeat that a high pick does not guarantee a title contender. not having a high pick as your franchise player pretty much guarantees you won't contend though (with the exceptions being high school players). the pacers just aren't going anywhere with these mediocre draft picks. sure a great gm will pull a solid player from anywhere in the draft, but hall of famers are drafted in slots 1-7. we need a franchise player and the draft is the only way this team can realistically do that. unfortunately, last year was the year to tank. i'm not entirely sold on bj mullens and as good as i think demar derozan could be, he's not in the beasley, rose, oden, durant class. most teams in nba history had to be bad before they got good.

croz24
10-09-2008, 04:11 AM
rexnom - and any competent gm wouldn't screw that hawks pick up. good scouting should rarely result in drafting mistakes.

Dece
10-09-2008, 07:39 AM
Got to say I remember personally thinking the Hawks were crazy when they passed on Paul and Deron, as well as much of the media blasting them. Just wanted to point that out so we don't have to hear about the hindsight bias of that decision.

I think a big problem with this debate is many people's perception of tanking. Tanking doesn't have to mean you bench your star players ala the Heat last year. We don't have to sit Granger.

In our case I think something that I've seen ChicagoJ state repeatedly is exactly what we need - we have got to put our future on the floor, which might not be our best team. We have to play Rush, Hibbert, and any other youth we might be keeping heavy minutes. If this means we win 25-30 games instead of 36-42 games because they make some bonehead plays that Foster or some other veteran wouldn't have in those minutes... so be it. Being a 36-42 win team is useless. I think this is the sentiment Croz is pushing, and if you look at it without the vitriol behind it, it really is pretty reasonable.

Anthem
10-09-2008, 08:12 AM
Of all the guys you mentioned, Portland only really drafted Oden.
And Portland should have gotten a worse pick that year than we did this past summer.

It helps to be lucky.

rexnom
10-09-2008, 08:15 AM
Got to say I remember personally thinking the Hawks were crazy when they passed on Paul and Deron, as well as much of the media blasting them. Just wanted to point that out so we don't have to hear about the hindsight bias of that decision.

I think a big problem with this debate is many people's perception of tanking. Tanking doesn't have to mean you bench your star players ala the Heat last year. We don't have to sit Granger.

In our case I think something that I've seen ChicagoJ state repeatedly is exactly what we need - we have got to put our future on the floor, which might not be our best team. We have to play Rush, Hibbert, and any other youth we might be keeping heavy minutes. If this means we win 25-30 games instead of 36-42 games because they make some bonehead plays that Foster or some other veteran wouldn't have in those minutes... so be it. Being a 36-42 win team is useless. I think this is the sentiment Croz is pushing, and if you look at it without the vitriol behind it, it really is pretty reasonable.
I still disagree. It's very important to establish a certain culture with your team. This goes along with your plan. Rush and Hibbert should only play if they beat Dunleavy and Rasho, respectively. You have to earn your spot. Consequently, if Stephen Graham comes in and plays better at 2 than Rush, he should get his spot in the rotation. It has to be a meritocracy - I think that's a problem we had here with Jack and JO for a long time. When Rick benched JT for the first 30 or so games in '03-'04, it was incredibly useful because it forced JT to work on his game and earn a starting spot.

count55
10-09-2008, 09:34 AM
I think a big problem with this debate is many people's perception of tanking. Tanking doesn't have to mean you bench your star players ala the Heat last year. We don't have to sit Granger.

First of all, tanking is tanking. There is no "perception" of what it is. It is intentionally losing games, by hook or by crook, in order to grab a higher draft pick. As a strategy, it is bankrupt, both from a player personnel perspective and from an ethical perspective. It is, in my opinion, corrosive behavior that is a betrayal to both the players and the fanbase.

Tanking is the equivalent of buying lottery tickets in hopes of paying your rent.


In our case I think something that I've seen ChicagoJ state repeatedly is exactly what we need - we have got to put our future on the floor, which might not be our best team. We have to play Rush, Hibbert, and any other youth we might be keeping heavy minutes. If this means we win 25-30 games instead of 36-42 games because they make some bonehead plays that Foster or some other veteran wouldn't have in those minutes... so be it. Being a 36-42 win team is useless.

While I often disagree with ChicagoJ, and generally have a completely different POV, what he proposes is not tanking. What J says is that young players that you expect to be a part of a winning future, like Rush and Hibbert, should be pushed in terms of playing time and opportunity, even if it costs some games in the short term. It doesn't necessarily require losing, though it may be a likely outcome. I agree wholeheartedly with this sentiment.

I would ask ChicagoJ to confirm or deny this, but I believe that he would consider a 36-42 win season this year, with both Rush and Hibbert playing significant minutes (20+) and improving towards the end of the year, a success.

Again, putting words into ChicagoJ's keyboard, I think he'd tell you that there's a significant difference between a 36-win team that relies heavily on a short rotation with Jeff Foster/Troy Murphy/Rasho/Croshere's (or some random Flip Murray type signing) on the roster, and a 36-win team that gets significant (and increasing) contributions from the young core (Ford/Jack/Rush/Hibbert).


I think this is the sentiment Croz is pushing, and if you look at it without the vitriol behind it, it really is pretty reasonable.

Well, to use croz' own words, this is the sentiment that croz is pushing:


basically, my belief is to tank until you finally find yourselves a "franchise player". once you have that, your team ought to be in contention most years and you build around that player with solid late picks, free agents, and key trades. i just want that franchise player and doubt very much that we'll ever find him drafting between 11-30 every year. just look at the colts. all it takes is one player to turn a franchise around, and you will almost never find a peyton manning as a late round draft pick.

This has nothing to do with "getting your future on the floor". In fact, this POV tends to be resentful towards the successes of players like Danny Granger and Mike Dunleavy, because they consider them threats to the ability to get the "Golden Goose". This is about getting top 5 picks and throwing them away until you find "The One". Problem with that, besides basically spitting on your fanbase, is that it prepares neither your players nor your front office to build upon "The One".

I actually think the vitriol is pretty well deserved, but it's a complete waste of everybody's time, hence the ignore. However, people insist on quoting the guy.

BillS
10-09-2008, 09:57 AM
My point is just that the best way of running a team is to do your best to get the players you need and always try to win. Good players will become available, opportunities will arise.

I have my new sig now. :king:

rexnom
10-09-2008, 10:17 AM
While I often disagree with ChicagoJ, and generally have a completely different POV, what he proposes is not tanking. What J says is that young players that you expect to be a part of a winning future, like Rush and Hibbert, should be pushed in terms of playing time and opportunity, even if it costs some games in the short term. It doesn't necessarily require losing, though it may be a likely outcome. I agree wholeheartedly with this sentiment.

But who are these guys? How do you determine this? Arguably, the skill to determine who is a building block and who isn't separates the good franchises from the bad. How do we know the difference between a career backup and a career starter. Let's say Rush performs admirably at backup SG over the next year. So we make him a starter next year. What if his potential ceiling is career backup? Then he we're fitting a square peg (Rush) into a round hole (starting SG). Meanwhile, our proven starter (Dunleavy) is sitting on the bench and we're presumably not even drafting a SG for that spot. At what point do we pull Rush? Is he even the same player going back to the bench? Some people have argued that what "ruined" Freddy Jones was starting the few dozen games during the brawl season. Even if Rush is the same and he's a good backup, the Pacers effectively lost a good deal of time developing a guy and getting him to develop chemistry with guys that he won't be playing with at the end of ballgames. At that point, we'd probably want Dunleavy (or whoever else) getting that time in games.

Btw, Detroit, again, is the best team at doing these things. They probably thought Darko would figure heavily in their plans. When they saw that it wasn't working out, they didn't hesitate to pull the trigger for a pick that became a guy that now looks like will figure heavily into their plans (Rodney Stuckey). Also, I'm amazed at how they've developed Jason Maxiell and Amir Johnson without necessarily throwing huge amounts of time their way. Obviously, both of those guys are key to their future. In Maxiell's case, he's probably a backup/energy guy, which the Pistons recognized. Many teams would have started him and given him too much burn.

count55
10-09-2008, 11:29 AM
But who are these guys? How do you determine this? Arguably, the skill to determine who is a building block and who isn't separates the good franchises from the bad. How do we know the difference between a career backup and a career starter. Let's say Rush performs admirably at backup SG over the next year. So we make him a starter next year. What if his potential ceiling is career backup? Then he we're fitting a square peg (Rush) into a round hole (starting SG). Meanwhile, our proven starter (Dunleavy) is sitting on the bench and we're presumably not even drafting a SG for that spot. At what point do we pull Rush? Is he even the same player going back to the bench? Some people have argued that what "ruined" Freddy Jones was starting the few dozen games during the brawl season. Even if Rush is the same and he's a good backup, the Pacers effectively lost a good deal of time developing a guy and getting him to develop chemistry with guys that he won't be playing with at the end of ballgames. At that point, we'd probably want Dunleavy (or whoever else) getting that time in games.

Btw, Detroit, again, is the best team at doing these things. They probably thought Darko would figure heavily in their plans. When they saw that it wasn't working out, they didn't hesitate to pull the trigger for a pick that became a guy that now looks like will figure heavily into their plans (Rodney Stuckey). Also, I'm amazed at how they've developed Jason Maxiell and Amir Johnson without necessarily throwing huge amounts of time their way. Obviously, both of those guys are key to their future. In Maxiell's case, he's probably a backup/energy guy, which the Pistons recognized. Many teams would have started him and given him too much burn.

I probably oversimplified my position, and, perhaps, J's. I agree with meritocracy, but not necessarily a pure meritocracy. In other words, you have to have some "vision", for lack of a better word, when making these judgments. You can't judge purely on what's happening in the camp or the practices today, but on what you (the coach) sees in the player, as far as what he could be.

I'm not guaranteeing that Rush or Hibbert will be part of that foundation. I am simply saying that I'm fine with the idea of giving them a chance to prove that they aren't, rather than waiting for them to prove that they are before giving them a chance to play.

In other words, I'm pretty sure that Marquis Daniels is ahead of Brandon Rush right now. However, I would be comfortable with Rush getting a disproportionate share of minutes, relative to Marquis, until that he either (a) proves that he deserves them, or (b) proves that he doesn't. The same would be true with Roy Hibbert.

If they prove that they don't deserve them, then it would be a troubling sign for the Pacers' future, but then at least we know. I don't have an objection to Danny, Mike, or Jarrett Jack getting the nod ahead of Rush, as they can reasonably considered a part of the long term plan. I also think Murphy and Foster should get their deserved playing time. However, I don't have a problem with a slightly skewed meritocracy when it comes to guys like Rasho, Daniels, Croshere, Baston, and arguably Graham and McBob, because I don't think they'll be here years down the road (or even next year).

Again, I don't think it's a blank check. I want to win every game we play. If we're close to the playoffs, I think we should try to make it, rather than try to avoid it. However, in our current situation, I would have the preference to see if Rush/Hibbert could help us first, rather than giving heavy burn to Marquis/Rasho, etal, or doing a Flip Murray-type rental. (Though, the Flip Murray thing is a little different. There was no long term answer at the point to interfere with, so I had less heartburn over that move as an attempt to grab a playoff spot than I would otherwise.)

Regarding Detroit, I believe that this is a poor parallel for the situation the Pacers currently find themselves. Detroit has been contending for a title for the past half-dozen years. Their future is, in effect, now. They are looking for people to fill in around Rip, Billups, and Wallace, not necessarily for the foundation of the future. Also, they've been significantly more stable over the past few years than we have. (And, it's probably true that they're just flat doing a better job than we have/are doing.)

The problem I run into in this argument is that I hover somewhere in between. I believe that you should instill a "winning environment" and have a "meritocracy", but not to the extent that you become too short-sighted. I believe that you should develop players for the future, but not to the extent that you're playing people who repeatedly show that they don't deserve to play. It's not an easy thing to do, (and it'll take a better man than I, Gunga Din) but you have to balance the two things.

And, just to make it clear, under no circumstances do I support/condone/believe in "tanking". I am not trying to advance that argument in any way, shape, or form. I am simply saying that I am hopeful that Rush and Hibbert will (a) get to chance to prove they belong and (b) actually prove it. It may be somewhat unfair to a Rasho or Marquis, but it's a pragmatic approach.

croz24
10-09-2008, 12:19 PM
spitting on the fanbase? WHAT fanbase? nobody shows up to pacers games as is and keeping this team mediocre will do nothing to change that. i guarantee that if the pacers had greg oden, derrick rose, michael beasley, kevin durant, or mike conley on this team, you'd begin to see fan support rise. the fans not showing up has to do with the fact that we have no superstar and thus not much potential. fans are not dumb. they realize danny granger is NOT a franchise player. yet that is who the pacers are trying to pass that baton to.

Dece
10-09-2008, 12:50 PM
Count I think you proved what I'm stating very well inadvertently. I'm not pro tanking, and I'm relatively sure J isn't either. But whenever someone suggests not putting the "best" team on the floor in favor of the young team on the floor people cry TANK JOB. That was almost exactly my point, it's not tanking, it's planning for the future.

I guess to make myself as clear as I can :
benching Granger in order to lose - tanking
playing Rush 25 minutes a game - preparing for the future

The problem is people see that second one as tanking. If you happen to win 40 games with Rush playing heavy minutes, that's great, I'm not encouraging losing, I'm encouraging planning ahead, instead of being mired in mediocrity. Foster most likely will not be an integral part of a deep playoff run with the Pacers... Hibbert might be, we should find out even at the risk of dropping a few games (but we might actually be better playing Hibbert).

BillS
10-09-2008, 01:19 PM
I guess to make myself as clear as I can :
benching Granger in order to lose - tanking
playing Rush 25 minutes a game - preparing for the future

The problem is people see that second one as tanking.

Depends on who you are taking those minutes away from. If you are combining all your low-end-of-the-bench minutes and giving them to your future guys while not reducing your current best players' minutes, sure, I agree, that's what you want to do. On the other hand, if you are sitting your current top players when their presence might push you into a win, I consider that tanking.

Now, the time of the year makes a difference in this as well. Pre-season and even into the first couple of weeks of the season, maybe that's OK because it is prepping for the year ahead. However, winning at the beginning of the season sets the tone for the rest of the year.

Same is when you are eliminated from contention for a playoff spot. Again, though, wins in front of the crowds you <i>do</i> have prevent alienating those folks - unless the guys you are giving the chance to are playing their guts out.

rexnom
10-09-2008, 02:12 PM
I probably oversimplified my position, and, perhaps, J's. I agree with meritocracy, but not necessarily a pure meritocracy. In other words, you have to have some "vision", for lack of a better word, when making these judgments. You can't judge purely on what's happening in the camp or the practices today, but on what you (the coach) sees in the player, as far as what he could be.

I'm not guaranteeing that Rush or Hibbert will be part of that foundation. I am simply saying that I'm fine with the idea of giving them a chance to prove that they aren't, rather than waiting for them to prove that they are before giving them a chance to play.

In other words, I'm pretty sure that Marquis Daniels is ahead of Brandon Rush right now. However, I would be comfortable with Rush getting a disproportionate share of minutes, relative to Marquis, until that he either (a) proves that he deserves them, or (b) proves that he doesn't. The same would be true with Roy Hibbert.

If they prove that they don't deserve them, then it would be a troubling sign for the Pacers' future, but then at least we know. I don't have an objection to Danny, Mike, or Jarrett Jack getting the nod ahead of Rush, as they can reasonably considered a part of the long term plan. I also think Murphy and Foster should get their deserved playing time. However, I don't have a problem with a slightly skewed meritocracy when it comes to guys like Rasho, Daniels, Croshere, Baston, and arguably Graham and McBob, because I don't think they'll be here years down the road (or even next year).

Again, I don't think it's a blank check. I want to win every game we play. If we're close to the playoffs, I think we should try to make it, rather than try to avoid it. However, in our current situation, I would have the preference to see if Rush/Hibbert could help us first, rather than giving heavy burn to Marquis/Rasho, etal, or doing a Flip Murray-type rental. (Though, the Flip Murray thing is a little different. There was no long term answer at the point to interfere with, so I had less heartburn over that move as an attempt to grab a playoff spot than I would otherwise.)

Regarding Detroit, I believe that this is a poor parallel for the situation the Pacers currently find themselves. Detroit has been contending for a title for the past half-dozen years. Their future is, in effect, now. They are looking for people to fill in around Rip, Billups, and Wallace, not necessarily for the foundation of the future. Also, they've been significantly more stable over the past few years than we have. (And, it's probably true that they're just flat doing a better job than we have/are doing.)

The problem I run into in this argument is that I hover somewhere in between. I believe that you should instill a "winning environment" and have a "meritocracy", but not to the extent that you become too short-sighted. I believe that you should develop players for the future, but not to the extent that you're playing people who repeatedly show that they don't deserve to play. It's not an easy thing to do, (and it'll take a better man than I, Gunga Din) but you have to balance the two things.

And, just to make it clear, under no circumstances do I support/condone/believe in "tanking". I am not trying to advance that argument in any way, shape, or form. I am simply saying that I am hopeful that Rush and Hibbert will (a) get to chance to prove they belong and (b) actually prove it. It may be somewhat unfair to a Rasho or Marquis, but it's a pragmatic approach.
I think we can agree to a consensus here. Detroit is an example - obviously they're in a different position. I think the Dunleavy-Quis-Rush rotation will be interesting to see. I, too, would prefer to see Rush get a disproportionate amount of those backup minutes.

count55
10-09-2008, 02:37 PM
Count I think you proved what I'm stating very well inadvertently. I'm not pro tanking, and I'm relatively sure J isn't either. But whenever someone suggests not putting the "best" team on the floor in favor of the young team on the floor people cry TANK JOB. That was almost exactly my point, it's not tanking, it's planning for the future.

I guess to make myself as clear as I can :
benching Granger in order to lose - tanking
playing Rush 25 minutes a game - preparing for the future

The problem is people see that second one as tanking. If you happen to win 40 games with Rush playing heavy minutes, that's great, I'm not encouraging losing, I'm encouraging planning ahead, instead of being mired in mediocrity. Foster most likely will not be an integral part of a deep playoff run with the Pacers... Hibbert might be, we should find out even at the risk of dropping a few games (but we might actually be better playing Hibbert).

Cool...I'm not 100% on board with you and J, but the differences are primarily tactical (and who/what merit's those "preparing for the future" minutes), rather than strategic.

Rex...I figured we'd get more or less in the same place. I was just struggling to clearly explain my position.

rexnom
10-09-2008, 02:51 PM
Cool...I'm not 100% on board with you and J, but the differences are primarily tactical (and who/what merit's those "preparing for the future" minutes), rather than strategic.

Rex...I figured we'd get more or less in the same place. I was just struggling to clearly explain my position.
Btw, if I could, I would nominate your last post for the "Best Rudyard Kipling Mention in a Pacers-related Discussion."