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View Full Version : Some thoughts and comments regarding the Pacers this season...



Kstat
01-10-2009, 01:56 PM
OK, I will admit that I do enjoy watching the Pacers play this year more than the last few years, because they do play an unorthodox style and it results in a more free-lowing game. It makes bad basketball more palatable. t also allows them to sneak up on teams that take them for granted, because it isn't an easy style to play against if you don't have it properly scouted.

All that said....

Bad basketball is still bad basketball. Injuries aside, they are in last place for a reason. They get so caught up in scoring the next basket that they often forget they're still on defense. I'm also convinced Dirk Harter is somewhere in a prison cell and they've repalced him with a cardboard facsimile. Has he been seen or heard from since Obie came in? I have yet to decipher any kind of a defense gameplan from the Pacers this year. Either they have a hot shooting night, or they don't. Thy don't have any intangibles in their favor beyond that.

I still don't understand why anybody can be happy scoring 110 points and losing rather than scoring 80 and winning. While I enjoy watching an occasional Pacers game, I also do not root for them. They are entertaining from 3rd-party perspective, but I wouldn't be able to stomach a week of not knowing when the other team was going to miss another shot. Yeah, that style can help you beat tough opponents, but it will also hurt you against teams that are not easy to get up for, and there are far more of of the latter than the former during an NBA season.

Granger- He's an all-star, that goes without saying. I do need to see him make the players around him better, though. He's a fantastic offensive force, but if he wants to be up there with the elite of the league, he needs to become a better passer and defender. I look at Wade as someone he should look to emulate. Wade is surrounded by very little, but he goes out of his way to do things he isn't asked to do, aside from scoring points. His will to win is remarkable, even when he loses. It's the mark of a truly great player. I see Granger at the top of the 2nd tier of small forwards in the NBA, behind Lebron, Pierce and Melo. It really isn't mentioned enough how far he's come in such a short time.

Marquis- He's actually a very efficient offensive player when he stays inside 18 feet. Problem is, he takes way too many long jumpers. Nice role player, but for this system,he's a bad fit.

TJ- He's made to play in this system, but the problem is he plays at so fast a pace he burns out easily. He's better-suited to come off the bench for shorter bursts.

Jack- Best acquisition the Pacers made this season. He's one of the guys I can see sticking around if the Pacers ever transition to a winning team. He's developed into a better outside shooter, as well as a versatile defender. Probably a backup on a contender, but still a guy you want on your team.

Murphy- Hate on his defense and post play all you want, but he can score and rebound. Not a lot of big men can do that consistently these days. You can probably get away with his drawbacks if you ever get a center that can block shots and score in the post, which brings me to...

Hibbert- Have to say I didn't see him being as good as he is. Best pick the Pacers have made in a long time. He's shown an ability to score in the post, and play adequate defense at the center position. He needs to get himself better conditioned and hit the glass harder, but he can be a serviceable true center in this league for another decade.

Foster- He's wasted here. The things he brings to the table were perfect for Carlisle's teams, but under Obie he's totally listless and undervalued. It seems like he plays only because he's Jeff Foster. Obie never really gives him a role on the floor, which is disappointing.

Rush- He's either JJ Reddick or Devin Harris. I haven't figured out if his jumper has just totally left him since he left Kansas, or he just needs a lot of time to get adjusted to the speed of the pro game. Either way, not quite as polished as he was supposed to be. Looks like he's either thinking too much or not at all, both of which are common rookie issues.

Dunleavy- Another guy that's right at home in an up-tempo motion offense. I think his absence has been very underrated. You need more than one guy capable of scoring 25+ a night if you want to win at that pace, and MDJ is qualified. Granger and MDJ have the potential to be the top-scoring swingman duo in the NBA. The problem is, one of them has to step up defensively for it to matter. I have to say I enjoy watching Dunleavy play. He's a very smart player, and keeps his cool in fast-paced games where its very easy to get lost and chuck up bad shots.

The Pacers to me are still a playoff team if they stay healthy. Their talent level is better than most of the teams between them and the 8th seed. But for them to get to the next level, they either need a lot more talent or a little more and a better coach. Not sure which is more likely at this point.

Suaveness
01-10-2009, 02:04 PM
Can't really disagree much there. I just don't think they're either capable of playing good defense, or the offense is moving so fast that they just don't have the energy for good defense.

pianoman
01-10-2009, 02:04 PM
Very good analysis. I do think however that Danny is much better this year at passing than he ever has been. And his defense is above average.The person I worry about every time he passes the ball is JJ. Don't get me wrong, JJ is very good and i like him a lot, but it makes me cringe when he passes the ball cross court. And I think Murphy has stepped up his aggressiveness this year which has impressed me. His d isn't as bad as it was last year.

Putnam
01-10-2009, 02:58 PM
Thank you, KStat. Good comments from start to finish.


I still don't understand why anybody can be happy scoring 110 points and losing rather than scoring 80 and winning.


I agree with this. My question, and I'm asking it because I don't know the answer and want to know it: How can we know that "scoring 80 and winning" is a possibility for these Pacers? If it were, I'd be as happy as anyone here.

But what I get out of your analysis is a lot of reasonbs why running and going for a volume of shots is probably the best thing for the Pacers.


an unorthodox style . . . allows them to sneak up on teams
it isn't an easy style to play against if you don't have it properly scouted.
Granger (is) a fantastic offensive force, but if he wants to be up there with the elite of the league, he needs to become a better passer and defender.Which would suggest taking advantage of the offensive capability in games now while developing better defense for the future by drilling defense in practices.




TJ's made to play in this system,
Dunleavy- Another guy that's right at home in an up-tempo motion offense. He's a very smart player, and keeps his cool in fast-paced games where its very easy to get lost and chuck up bad shots.Again, KStat here is justifying why the Pacers play a fast-paced game. That's what the players we have are fit for. If the players are fit for a fast-paced game, what is to be gained by slowing the pace?

It would be easy to cut down the average point per game, but would the Pacers have a better chance of winning then?

count55
01-10-2009, 03:32 PM
The only thing I take issue with is the "being happy losing 110...winning 80."

I'm not happy losing at any score...I'm happy winning at any score.

I think this is a bad defensive team, but, while slowing the pace down significantly might make this team a better defensive team, I'm 100% convinced it would make them much, much worse offensively. I think the gains at one end would get washed away at the other.

That being said, they definitely have to improve defensively, but I think it has to do with being more disciplined and perhaps dumbing down the D a little more. I don't think this personnel will do even as well as they are currently doing in a half-court setpiece game.

Edit: On the draft picks...I think they're both overthinking right now, but Rush is really in his head. I'm hopeful that he can turn it around, but if Junior and Daniels are healthy for the rest of the season, his playing time is going to get pinched.

Also, I'm happy with the pick of Roy, but how is that a better pick than Danny?

NashvilleKat
01-10-2009, 03:36 PM
OK, I will admit that I do enjoy watching the Pacers play this year more than the last few years, because they do play an unorthodox style and it results in a more free-lowing game. It makes bad basketball more palatable. t also allows them to sneak up on teams that take them for granted, because it isn't an easy style to play against if you don't have it properly scouted.

All that said....

Bad basketball is still bad basketball. Injuries aside, they are in last place for a reason. They get so caught up in scoring the next basket that they often forget they're still on defense. I'm also convinced Dirk Harter is somewhere in a prison cell and they've repalced him with a cardboard facsimile. Has he been seen or heard from since Obie came in? I have yet to decipher any kind of a defense gameplan from the Pacers this year.

Either they have a hot shooting night, or they don't. Thy don't have any intangibles in their favor beyond that.

I still don't understand why anybody can be happy scoring 110 points and losing rather than scoring 80 and winning. While I enjoy watching an occasional Pacers game, I also do not root for them. They are entertaining from 3rd-party perspective, but I wouldn't be able to stomach a week of not knowing when the other team was going to miss another shot. Yeah, that style can help you beat tough opponents, but it will also hurt you against teams that are not easy to get up for, and there are far more of of the latter than the former during an NBA season.

Granger- He's an all-star, that goes without saying. I do need to see him make the players around him better, though. He's a fantastic offensive force, but if he wants to be up there with the elite of the league, he needs to become a better passer and defender. I look at Wade as someone he should look to emulate. Wade is surrounded by very little, but he goes out of his way to do things he isn't asked to do, aside from scoring points. His will to win is remarkable, even when he loses. It's the mark of a truly great player. I see Granger at the top of the 2nd tier of small forwards in the NBA, behind Lebron, Pierce and Melo. It really isn't mentioned enough how far he's come in such a short time.

Marquis- He's actually a very efficient offensive player when he stays inside 18 feet. Problem is, he takes way too many long jumpers. Nice role player, but for this system,he's a bad fit.

TJ- He's made to play in this system, but the problem is he plays at so fast a pace he burns out easily. He's better-suited to come off the bench for shorter bursts.

Jack- Best acquisition the Pacers made this season. He's one of the guys I can see sticking around if the Pacers ever transition to a winning team. He's developed into a better outside shooter, as well as a versatile defender. Probably a backup on a contender, but still a guy you want on your team.

Murphy- Hate on his defense and post play all you want, but he can score and rebound. Not a lot of big men can do that consistently these days. You can probably get away with his drawbacks if you ever get a center that can block shots and score in the post, which brings me to...

Hibbert- Have to say I didn't see him being as good as he is. Best pick the Pacers have made in a long time. He's shown an ability to score in the post, and play adequate defense at the center position. He needs to get himself better conditioned and hit the glass harder, but he can be a serviceable true center in this league for another decade.

Foster- He's wasted here. The things he brings to the table were perfect for Carlisle's teams, but under Obie he's totally listless and undervalued. It seems like he plays only because he's Jeff Foster. Obie never really gives him a role on the floor, which is disappointing.

Rush- He's either JJ Reddick or Devin Harris. I haven't figured out if his jumper has just totally left him since he left Kansas, or he just needs a lot of time to get adjusted to the speed of the pro game. Either way, not quite as polished as he was supposed to be. Looks like he's either thinking too much or not at all, both of which are common rookie issues.

Dunleavy- Another guy that's right at home in an up-tempo motion offense. I think his absence has been very underrated. You need more than one guy capable of scoring 25+ a night if you want to win at that pace, and MDJ is qualified. Granger and MDJ have the potential to be the top-scoring swingman duo in the NBA. The problem is, one of them has to step up defensively for it to matter. I have to say I enjoy watching Dunleavy play. He's a very smart player, and keeps his cool in fast-paced games where its very easy to get lost and chuck up bad shots.

The Pacers to me are still a playoff team if they stay healthy. Their talent level is better than most of the teams between them and the 8th seed. But for them to get to the next level, they either need a lot more talent or a little more and a better coach. Not sure which is more likely at this point.


Everytime the players start slowing their pace they lose their momentum and drop like a rock. This happened frequently during the first 20 games, and caused them to lose a lot of those games they should have won. Lately, it seems the players have bought into JOB's strategy for winning and they have been doing much better. Uptempo is how they beat the Celtics, Lakers, Rockets, Pheonix, etc.

I say go, go, go...we're just missing a banger who can clog up the middle. Somewhere there's another young JO sitting at the end of another team's bench just waiting for his chance to play.

By the way, I agree....Dick Harter is proving to be worthless running our defensive schemes. The offense of JOB is working...but please Larry, fire Harter and get us someone who can coach defense and enforce a strong defensive game strategy!!!!

Kstat
01-10-2009, 03:48 PM
I never said this current group should slow the pace. My question was geared towards the people that said they were happier now than they were under Carlisle.

PaceBalls
01-10-2009, 03:49 PM
I agree with alot of what you are saying Kstat. I just have not been able to figure out what this teams problem is. Looking at the team it's hard for me to pinpoint what the problem is. Maybe it is just a lack of talent overall, not at one positioin, but all of them.. I don't know, we have been close in alot of games which makes me think we arent really so bad.

I look at our lineup and I really like these guys.

Murph, who got alot of blame last year and the year before, is having a great year, 4th in rebs this seaons or something like that. I can't really knock his play as he has stepped it up.

Granger is having one of the greatest seasons of any Pacer ever.

Jack is solid and I really like him for a back up.

Rasho, well I like him in the first half, he just doesnt have much gas in the tank now days. He kinda waddles... but the guy is a good ball player. But with Jeff and Hibbert I don't mind that position either.

The one thing I have noticed that has changed from the beginning of the season is TJ, the guy was everything I hoped he would be the first few weeks of the season. since then he has really toned down his aggresiveness and that is disturbing. He has been hurt of late, but this started before that. I think the coaches told him to calm down and not try to try to create and it has really hurt our team and his game.

That comes down to the coaching, and while I am not so negative as the most people on this forum about our coaches, there are alot of things that bug me. A coach needs to be able to adapt his gameplan to the players skill sets. RickC was really good at that, I think Jim wants players to adapt to him. Not that is a bad way to do things, but you have a guy like TJ who has areas that he particularly excels at and when in others he is very mediocre.

I do like Jim, I think he is a good coach alot of the time, especially with getting these guys to come together as a team, I'd like to see him play the rookies more, but I'm not an expert and I don't get to see the practices, that's just what I see.

count55
01-10-2009, 03:51 PM
I never said this current group should slow the pace. My question was geared towards the people that said they were happier now than they were in 2004.

I'm happier now than I was in 2007. That, however, has only a little to do with style. (Rick's last year, particularly the last half, was miserable to watch, and we were losing.)

It is because of the things you mention. Danny and Dunleavy both appear to be much better than I ever thought. I like Jack, and I'm optimistic about Rush and Hibbert being solid players.

It kills me to lose, and, despite being up at 5 am yesterday to start my trek to Terre Haute for my new job, I was awake until 4 am this morning, primarily because the game wound me up so much.

Jon Theodore
01-10-2009, 04:02 PM
I think with the right players this system could work, but you are so right about Quis and Foster being horrible for this system. I do not miss Marquis Daniels one bit and that is funny because he has been having a great year. Rasho is the perfect center for the system we run, unfortunately he has no gas in the tank.

JayRedd
01-10-2009, 04:04 PM
I think the coaches told [TJ] to calm down and not try to try to create and it has really hurt our team and his game.

I sincerely doubt that.

Jimmy has always loved PGs who can get into the paint and cause the defense to shift. It opens up the whole perimeter for kickouts if defenders sag off and, if not, gives the ballhandler a lane to finish/make something happen in the paint. Kenny Anderson's ability to get into the paint was probably the biggest factor in the Celtics ECF run under JO'B. Jamaal had Jimmy's system running pretty well in the first two months of last season doing the same thing -- and that was at a time during which all 15 guys were trying to learn a new offense.

And since Jarrett has been attacking the rack like a bat out of hell in TJ's absence, it would be odd for O'Brien to tell one PG one thing and the other guy another. Diener never really does it, but he just doesn't have the ability.

But for whatever reason, TJ has just been tentative, hesitant, indecisive and rather herky-jerky with the ball all year even though his quickness with the ball and ability to beat a defender from Point A to Point B off the bounce are his #1 asset as an NBA player.

I have no idea why, but it certainly makes me wanna throw things.

count55
01-10-2009, 04:15 PM
I sincerely doubt that.

Jimmy has always loved PGs who can get into the paint and cause the defense to shift. It opens up the whole perimeter for kickouts if defenders sag off and, if not, gives the ballhandler a lane to finish/make something happen in the paint. Kenny Anderson's ability to get into the paint was probably the biggest factor in the Celtics ECF run under JO'B. Jamaal had Jimmy's system running pretty well in the first two months of last season doing the same thing -- and that was at a time during which all 15 guys were trying to learn a new offense.

And since Jarrett has been attacking the rack like a bat out of hell in TJ's absence, it would be odd for O'Brien to tell one PG one thing and the other guy another. Diener never really does it, but he just doesn't have the ability.

But for whatever reason, TJ has just been tentative, hesitant, indecisive and rather herky-jerky with the ball all year even though his quickness with the ball and beating a defender from Point A to Point B off the bounce is his #1 asset as an NBA player.

I have no idea why, but it certainly makes me wanna throw things.

Damn, you're good.

Hicks
01-10-2009, 04:27 PM
I think TJ is just struggling to learn this team and this offense fully. I'm not saying he can't or won't, just that I think it's the reason he's looked up and down so much thus far. If it weren't for his surprisinly bad handles, I'd be 100% convinced it was just a matter of time before he puts it all together. Since he DOES have surprisingly bad handles, I'm at about 50% confidence.

YoSoyIndy
01-10-2009, 05:34 PM
Rush- He's either JJ Reddick or Devin Harris. I haven't figured out if his jumper has just totally left him since he left Kansas, or he just needs a lot of time to get adjusted to the speed of the pro game. Either way, not quite as polished as he was supposed to be. Looks like he's either thinking too much or not at all, both of which are common rookie issues.

I just think Brandon is over-thinking because he's nervous. He's timid by nature (see post-draft interviews), but I think he's taking a little longer to adjust than most shooters. I still think he's a very talented team player who will contribute in this league.

Thanks for the analysis. And, no, no Pacers fan would prefer this style of play over slower-paced styles that have won. I just don't think this team would win any more games w/ a slower-paced offense.

YoSoyIndy
01-10-2009, 05:37 PM
I sincerely doubt that.

Jimmy has always loved PGs who can get into the paint and cause the defense to shift.

I agree w/ the previous comment about Coach getting in TJ's head. I think it's obvious when you see them talk on the sidelines and it bleeds through Coach's interviews. JOB has always said how much he dislikes a lot of dribbling, and TJ's game is using his handles (I disagree w/ Hick -- TJ is a grea ball handler) to break down defenses.

Anthem
01-10-2009, 05:51 PM
Ok, I say again. Brandon's shooting percentage from 3 isn't bad. It's his finishing around the rim that's killing his 2fg%.

Justin Tyme
01-10-2009, 06:08 PM
to start my trek to Terre Haute for my new job,

Oh, I'm soooo sorry for you. What did you do to deserve this punishment?

Justin Tyme
01-10-2009, 06:17 PM
Bad basketball is still bad basketball. Injuries aside, they are in last place for a reason. They get so caught up in scoring the next basket that they often forget they're still on defense. I'm also convinced Dirk Harter is somewhere in a prison cell and they've repalced him with a cardboard facsimile. Has he been seen or heard from since Obie came in? I have yet to decipher any kind of a defense gameplan from the Pacers this year.


But for them to get to the next level, they either need a lot more talent or a little more and a better coach.


Thank you about the comments about "defense" or should I say lack of. Hopefully, those in denial will come to the grips of reality about having to play "D" to win.

It will take the latter, the combo, to get to the next level.

The one thing I disagree with is Hibbert. I'm not impressed with him and he's not for JO'B's style of play.

tate
01-10-2009, 06:34 PM
I dont think there is any way around it, we are not gonna be that good of a team for a few years while we rebuild. If we can be fun to watch while that is going on its cool with me. I dont think we are really even at the point where we can judge the style of play when it comes to wins. Sure, lack of talent/tough schedule/injuries/illnesses have taken their toll, but I think one thing that gets overlooked a bit is the lack of chemistry with all the new players. We have lost a ton of close games this year. During crunch time, if you dont have a Kobe type of talent that you can just give the ball to and say win the game, then you have to rely on very good team chemistry and coaching. I think the Pacers have been better as of late in this area, it takes time.

Kemo
01-10-2009, 08:58 PM
I just think Brandon is over-thinking because he's nervous. He's timid by nature (see post-draft interviews), but I think he's taking a little longer to adjust than most shooters. I still think he's a very talented team player who will contribute in this league.

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I agree 100%
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Here is my analysis of Brandon ..


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I feel that Brandon himself, set expectations for himself way too high before even stepping foot on the floor at Conseco Fieldhouse..

Remember after we drafted him, and in an interview, when he said he wanted to be the next Reggie Miller for us ?
Don't get me wrong I think it is admirable, that he aspires to raise his game to Reggie level.. I don't fault him whatsoever for it... But I think by saying that, in a way , he psyched himself out, and put enormous expectations on his shoulders... I think THIS is one of the factors in why it is taking him longer to adjust to the NBA game , and the reason why he over-thinks things ...

I have no doubt , that Brandon will "one day" be a very good player..
But I really think that he initially set the bar so high on himself, that he didn't realize the time it will take him, and the speed and adjustments he is gonna have to make in the NBA setting.. In turn , he overanalyzes his game on the floor, and thinks too much , instead of just playing the game like he KNOWS how, and using his instincts....

I have all the faith in the world he WILL learn and surpass all our expectations of him...
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colts19
01-10-2009, 10:17 PM
I'm happier now than I was in 2007. That, however, has only a little to do with style. (Rick's last year, particularly the last half, was miserable to watch, and we were losing.)

It is because of the things you mention. Danny and Dunleavy both appear to be much better than I ever thought. I like Jack, and I'm optimistic about Rush and Hibbert being solid players.

It kills me to lose, and, despite being up at 5 am yesterday to start my trek to Terre Haute for my new job, I was awake until 4 am this morning, primarily because the game wound me up so much.


Just wanted to say welcome to terre haute. I live here.

count55
01-10-2009, 10:33 PM
Just wanted to say welcome to terre haute. I live here.

Thanks.

Well, by February, I'll be a daily visitor. My company was just bought out, and my job got transferred there. Excited about the company and the job, not about the 200-mile daily round trip.

Brad8888
01-10-2009, 11:01 PM
I always have found it amazing how accurate your observations are with respect to our franchise.

I believe Harter was hired to give the appearance to our fans that the franchise would be defensive minded going forward. However, Harter's defensive philosophies are not possible to consistently implement with the current crop of players being expected to play at the pace that O'Brien demands on offense, coupled with his short AND shortsighted rotations. It is not realistic to expect players to be fresh at both ends of the court physically and mentally for 48 minutes at the pace that he expects them to play, especially when leaving moderately skilled young energy players on the bench for most, if not all, of the game in many cases. As happened to the Pacers last season (assuming that the financially strapped franchise really needed playoff revenue and was not tanking to get a higher draft position), expect that our shooting percentage begins to taper off toward the end of February / beginning of March due to our legs starting to succumb to the grind of the season coupled with the type of play we are being coached into. So far, the games are close, but after that, without realistic adjustment by the coaching staff, the games will likely not be close due to poor shooting and even worse defense and less rebounding due to fatigue.

Please note that I want nothing more than to be wrong about this because I am a fan of the Pacers and fear for the financial viability of the franchise if we collapse down the stretch this season.

count55
01-11-2009, 12:21 AM
I always have found it amazing how accurate your observations are with respect to our franchise.

I believe Harter was hired to give the appearance to our fans that the franchise would be defensive minded going forward. However, Harter's defensive philosophies are not possible to consistently implement with the current crop of players being expected to play at the pace that O'Brien demands on offense, coupled with his short AND shortsighted rotations. It is not realistic to expect players to be fresh at both ends of the court physically and mentally for 48 minutes at the pace that he expects them to play, especially when leaving moderately skilled young energy players on the bench for most, if not all, of the game in many cases. As happened to the Pacers last season (assuming that the financially strapped franchise really needed playoff revenue and was not tanking to get a higher draft position), expect that our shooting percentage begins to taper off toward the end of February / beginning of March due to our legs starting to succumb to the grind of the season coupled with the type of play we are being coached into. So far, the games are close, but after that, without realistic adjustment by the coaching staff, the games will likely not be close due to poor shooting and even worse defense and less rebounding due to fatigue.

Please note that I want nothing more than to be wrong about this because I am a fan of the Pacers and fear for the financial viability of the franchise if we collapse down the stretch this season.

Harter has been with O'Brien in Boston and Philly prior to here. Harter was hired, because he's been a core member of Obie's staff for Obie's entire head coaching career.

I don't know where the tanking talk came from, but your comment about "as happened last year" didn't ring true to me, so I researched it. Here are the trended shooting percentages, first YTD:

http://img65.imageshack.us/img65/5387/ytdshootingxh0.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

Here are the monthly percentages:

http://img134.imageshack.us/img134/6140/monthlyshootingpctwy2.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

Shooting in April does dip from March, but March was the best shooting month of the year, and April was third best in both categories (throwing out the one-game month of October).

But, the more compelling chart is this:

http://img134.imageshack.us/img134/5093/monthlywinningpctfn3.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

While I agree that the Pacers need to improve their defense, I believe that the return to health or relative health of both Dunleavy and Diener will result in the expansion to a 10-man rotation. I also see no evidence of this year end fade from last year that you are citing.

While I'd like to see more steady minutes from McBob, I can't generally get behind any of your conclusions, and I really reject with the somewhat dark motivations to which you seem to attribute them.

Anthem
01-11-2009, 01:25 AM
I don't know where the tanking talk came from, but your comment about "as happened last year" didn't ring true to me, so I researched it. Here are the trended shooting percentages, first YTD:
You are a man among men.

MrSparko
01-11-2009, 01:31 AM
or at least an analyst among men.

Brad8888
01-11-2009, 01:08 PM
Source and link for this information, please? I don't doubt that it is legitimate, I just am curious as to the source, and what ability to filter the data is provided by that source, and what methods you actually used, if any. I bow to your vastly superior knowledge (as Ben Stein would have said).

Is there any adjustment available for relative strength of schedule, as well? The Pacers played one of the weakest schedules in the league during the last third of the season, leading to a better overall finish than they might have otherwise. Obviously, they also suffered from the difficulty of that same schedule earlier in the season, though not to the extent they have this season.

Also, how about breaking down when the bulk of the statistics occurred within the games (i.e. after the starters were benched due to the opponents benching their starters, etc.).

Also, how are these same stats if broken down per quarter in general? Does it show the late game fades in overall FG% and 3PFG% and even FT% that I believe occured when our games were both meaningful and close enough to warrant both team's top players being on the floor at the same time? If so, how do we compare to league averages?

Also, regarding a return to a 10 man rotation, what are the statistics for O'Brien in his past coaching career? It seems to me, without sourcing or data to back me up, that I have either heard or read that O'Brien favors short rotations due to the continuity it brings to the court offensively. How deep, on average, does he go into his available bench?

Regarding Harter, I feel that the franchise approved Harter as an assistant to O'Brien due to his two previous stints with the franchise and his reputation for being defensive minded throughout his coaching career. If the franchise had not liked Harter to begin with, O'Brien would have needed to hire an assistant after doing a search as newly hired head coaches often do. I did not sit in on the conversation with TPTB to know for sure, but I, like you, have a right to make assumptions to base an opinion on, especially when there are no opportunities to provide documented or statistical proof to the contrary.

I have a BS in economics, which is quite ironic because economics is the study of the most inexact science on the planet due to the main variable in any discussion being the interpretation of human perception and the prediction of human behavior based on those perceptions, which also happens to be the base subject of nearly all lengthy discussions on this board in one way or another. The irony is that many would argue that economics, in and of itself, is a bunch of BS, and at times I would agree. It is quite possible that my perceptions of the basis for this particular discussion are flawed, and you definitelyhave driven that point home with aplomb.

That said, I also had a professor in college who told me, personally, that if there was any one thing that he would have any college student anywhere retain from their college education is an old saying (that he did not source) that "When looking at data to substantiate any position in any discussion, there are lies, d**ned lies, and statistics. In that order!", which he meant to be a caution about reliance strictly on the presentation of statistics as being the entire story, just stated far more colorfully for emphasis.

avoidingtheclowns
01-11-2009, 01:18 PM
Source and link for this information, please?

source: Count55 (via spreadsheets & Basketball Reference)
link (http://www.pacersdigest.com/apache2-default/member.php?u=10025)

Justin Tyme
01-11-2009, 02:51 PM
Thanks.

Well, by February, I'll be a daily visitor. My company was just bought out, and my job got transferred there. Excited about the company and the job, not about the 200-mile daily round trip.


Been there done that, you have my sympathy. As my grandmother called it, Terry HutTay, isn't one of the places I brag about having lived there. Later I commuted from Central Indiana to TH for awhile, but gas was 30 cents a gallon back then:) and the infamous Ralph Tucker was mayor. Traveling I-70 is far better than driving US 40 thru those little towns.

Will Galen
01-11-2009, 05:06 PM
The Pacers played one of the weakest schedules in the league during the last third of the season, leading to a better overall finish than they might have otherwise.

Your conclusion makes no real sense to me. The schedule is 82 games long. They had to play the weaker teams sometime. so how could a weaker schedule at the end lead to a better record than otherwise.

I could argue that if they played the weaker teams first they would have had more confidence in themselves and played better later against the better teams in the league and thus had a better record than what it ended up.

count55
01-11-2009, 06:14 PM
http://www.basketball-reference.com/

I was responding to two statements. Second one first:


As happened to the Pacers last season ..., expect that our shooting percentage begins to taper off toward the end of February / beginning of March due to our legs starting to succumb to the grind of the season coupled with the type of play we are being coached into.

I'm well aware of the "lies, damned lies, and statistics" statement. Look through my posts here, and you will see it more than once. However, these statistics address the specific statement. The proposition was that our shooting percentage would begin to taper off towards the end of February beginning of March, and that the reason was because tired legs. You stated that this is what happened last year.

While it seems logical and intuitive that heavy minutes would negatively impact their stamina and legs, and thereby their shooting, and it is certainly a prediction that many would agree with for this year, it is not correct to support it by saying "as happened last year." The statistics were not designed to support or refute the idea of short rotations, they were addressing the specific question as to whether the shooting dropped off last year. It did not.

The second is more subjective:

Regarding Harter, you've since modified your statement to say:


Regarding Harter, I feel that the franchise approved Harter as an assistant to O'Brien due to his two previous stints with the franchise and his reputation for being defensive minded throughout his coaching career. If the franchise had not liked Harter to begin with, O'Brien would have needed to hire an assistant after doing a search as newly hired head coaches often do. I did not sit in on the conversation with TPTB to know for sure, but I, like you, have a right to make assumptions to base an opinion on, especially when there are no opportunities to provide documented or statistical proof to the contrary.

This basically says that the Pacers allowed O'Brien to hire Harter because he had been a good employee previously and because he had a well-earned reputation as a successful defensive mind. I agree with this and would not have commented otherwise had you not actually posted this in the first place:


I believe Harter was hired to give the appearance to our fans that the franchise would be defensive minded going forward.

Now that, to me, has the clear implication that the Pacers had planned all along to be this run-and-gun, no defense team, and that Harter was a beard to fool the fans. While I, like you, was not privy to the internal machinations in the hiring process of these gentlemen, this seems like a particularly serious charge to make.

Absent perfect information, we can only look at what we know (knew):

- O'Brien and Harter have coached together extensively in the past.
- Their teams (as illustrated in other threads) ranked in the top third of the league in key defensive categories, despite O'Brien's offensive tendencies.
- The roster was in a state of flux. The current roster has 9 players that were not on it, or even under consideration when Obie and Harter were hired. One of the six who were on the team then is Jamaal Tinsley, who is now persona non grata.

While it's clear from O'Brien's history and comments at the time and since that Bird and the Pacers were looking to increase the tempo (which they were also trying to do under Carlisle), there seems to be precious little to support the charge that they were hoping to eschew defense entirely and hired Harter to obscure that intent and mislead the fans.

Brad8888
01-12-2009, 01:34 AM
The results posted by count55 as a means of refuting my post regarding this subject may have been skewed upwards during the last part of the season due to the Pacers either playing teams that had given up on their season because of their weak records and thereby playing against the opponents second string lineups on a more consistent basis. On most teams, I believe that the second string tends to play less effectively than the starters both offensively and defensively in general. Because our team still had a realistic chance of making the playoffs, the more effective starters for the Pacers may have played more against an overall lower level of competition than they did earlier in the season last year, possibly leading to a much better result than typical competition would have.

However, I don't have the statistics to back up this assertion. I, like most fans, just have my own observations and perceptions based on my own set of experiences, however flawed that statistics may show them to be, to base my opinions on.

I would really like the opportunity to see the source and link for the statistics utilized by count55 though. It would be fun to parse through them some time and see what filters and charting options are available. I do enjoy analysis of data, I just am skeptical of the results unless I either have an opportunity to look at them myself at their source or that I know the person or entity who compiles them and what their tendencies are in comparison to my own observations, and I'm sorry but neither really applies in this case so far.