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View Full Version : I was wrong on Dun's return



Naptown_Seth
01-18-2009, 04:52 AM
Just wanted to get it out there that I (and a few others) were feeling pretty certain that we wouldn't see Dun again this year, and definitely not in early January.

On top of that I was worried that his rehab might leave him without his outside shot, or perhaps the endurance for long stints. I've been critical of both he and Troy at times, but now given his play so far this year appearing to match last season and Troy's massively improved play this year, it looks like the Pacers are finally winning that GS trade.

I just wanted to get that out there. I'm thrilled that he has been able to return to roughly what we saw last year and I do think it's having a big impact on the team. I'm not sure how Quis will respond to playing off the bench as his starter's role seems to have helped him define his objectives and improve his overall play quite a bit (as well as being healthy), but hopefully we will find out before too long and actually get the chance to see the ENTIRE Pacers play.


Again, just great to see Dun out there playing, no matter how critical I've been about the financials, timing, etc of that trade. Mostly I just thought Jack was given a raw deal by the locals and scapegoated way too hard.

But clearly Troy and Dun are positive producers for the team right now, even on team defense. Frankly I've been pretty impressed at some of Troy's lateral footwork on defense lately. We might just have something with these guys after all. I know some believed that Dun would get them to make a run but I wasn't convinced.

After seeing it in action I'm starting to think Dun's bump might just be enough, and wouldn't that be something. They are way out of it right now being so far under .500, it's no easy task, but just maybe...

kester99
01-18-2009, 05:03 AM
Three-and-a-half games out of the 8th spot, with 44 games to go. Not such a crazy idea.

Naptown_Seth
01-18-2009, 05:18 AM
42 to go.

The problem is how many other team's are between us and 8th. The Pacers are 10 under and that's the number to focus on. There are so many teams in the range of getting that 8th spot that you figure one of them will be hot enough to capture the spot with a 500 record. I mean MIL could fall apart, but would CHI, NJ and TOR not take advantage of this themselves?

That means the Pacers have to go 26-16 the rest of the way, not just play 500 and let teams fall back to them. Going .619 after playing .375 ball so far is a massive hurdle. Basically you need 4 10 game sets of 7-3 or 6-4.

Hollinger's simulation program shows MIL having it a bit easier the 2nd half, much like the Pacers, and has them holding onto a .500 record. He does still show the Pacers pushing through the rest of the East rabble, just not enough to sniff .500.

If they do this it would be massive, not just a nice turnaround. It would be one of their best runs of all-time.

kester99
01-18-2009, 05:34 AM
So you're saying 40 plus 42 equals 82?

Give me a minute.......

OK. That's correct. Good point.

I do think Milwaukee is the main competition there. Chicago, the Nets, Toronto....I see more downside or more-of-the-same-side there than any promise of greater things to come. The Knicks? They could get inspired, I guess. They're a team in a period of change, so it's hard to rule it out. The Bucks have definitely shown some heat.

And speaking of....I could see Miami melting down to the point of dropping out of the picture. They're one of those single-point-of-failure teams. Wade crashes, and they crash.

Still, I'd much rather see us earn our way in, and let the others do their own thing.

DrFife
01-18-2009, 11:04 AM
Thanks, Seth, for the heads-up on the Hollinger simulation.

Opinions have been shared on whether early-exit playoff experience is preferable -- in terms of team growth and future performance -- to (late) lottery, but I believe that TPTB are sincere & resolute in their expressed convictions on wanting to make the playoffs.

Seth's post frames the needed change in winning percentage. Imagine, then, a sling-shot pulled back, poised for firing: that's how I view the team right now. Moreover, that's how TPTB views the team, IMO. We are finally approaching full strength, the rookies have "gotten their feet wet" with experience and have proven able to contribute in limited quantities, and we have assets to trade.

Amidst the national and global problems, this coming Tuesday (Inauguration Day) can be regarded as "Hope Day." Similarly, amidst the team's shortcomings, injuries, salary challenges and current record, we Pacer fans should allow ourselves to transfer a smidgen of those hopeful energies to a potentially playoff-bound Pacers.

"I was not the best because I killed quickly. I was the best because the crowd loved me. Win the crowd and you will win your freedom."
- Proximo, "Gladiator"

PacerGuy
01-18-2009, 11:20 AM
A few more thoughts:
-Nap, nice acknowledgement on the trade. I agree too it does sem to favor us, & will do so more going forward. Also, I think Troy's improved footwork t/y can be linked to his achlillies injury being healed & another yr removed from the weight gain Nellie had him do to play "C". I think Troy is healthy, at his ideal weight, & in a system that fits him & has been consistant the last 2 yrs.

-With all the trade talk w/ teams like MIA, MIL, CHI, & others, I think chemistery could play into our favor. Don't get me wrong, I could still see us making a move, but LB would likely require Tin's inclusion to mess with what we have going.

-I think economics of playing into the post-season, & the sign of improvement that would represent to the fan base far exceeds the likely 2-3 draft spots we could "lose" as a result of finishing 8 or 9. We will "Play to Win" every night, & this team has shown they could make things exciting.

Erik
01-18-2009, 11:32 AM
-With all the trade talk w/ teams like MIA, MIL, CHI, & others, I think chemistery could play into our favor.I've thought about this before, this is a good point. As a fan, all of the trade talk can be exciting, but I'm glad we're not going through that right now. And I'm sure it helps chemistry.

NuffSaid
01-18-2009, 12:45 PM
Seth,

You had my respect before, but you get alittle bit more of it by admitting you weren't...quite right.

I've said it since pre-season that fans need to lower their expectations for this team because it's a team in transition. I've also said that based on the way they've played to date that all they needed was to get every player healthy, but especially Dunleavy. IMO, he along with Granger and Quis are the keys to this team's success, but mostly Dunleavy. Why? Because he does alot of fundamental things as a Guard that none of the others do.

He reads the defense extremely well.

He understands the offense.

He has very good court vision.

He has a high basketball IQ.

He adapts very well to the situation on the floor.

He has other parts of his game whereas if one thing's not working for him, i.e., his perimeter game, he has no problem stepping inside the arch to hit jumpers or driving the lanes or going baseline or working off screens. In other words, he was doing these things last year and continues to do them in his brief return to action - things that Danny has just begun to figure out and implement in his game. Now, imagine having two players among your starters who play very similar styles and are very difficult reads to guard? Imagine if one of this players was on the floor for your team at all times?

Dunleavy's presence has done something else for this team: embrace the moment! It's still early for most fans to see it - and having a mere 2-game win streak really doesn't illustrate it that well - but you hear it in every pre/post-game interview that Dunleavy gives. He speaks of his teammates playing "not to lose" vice "playing to win". When you play not to lose you tend to play conservative...cautious. But when you play to win you keep that aggressiveness and those game smarts that help you overcome those brief slides to a point where hopefully you have very few setbacks. Dunleavy's on-court presences helps in that regard tremendously! And that's why I've felt for some time that once he was back things would begin to turn around for this team.

Six games since his return, three wins, three very close "winnable" games, improved team defense, smarter end-game decision making...all because one man returns to the lineup. Yeap, the player AND his presence are having an impact. Kowel :cool:

HC
01-18-2009, 12:52 PM
It really is great to see Dun back out there. Despite the nuber of teams that can slide into the bottom half of the playoffs, you have to like our chances. As Dun gets into the groove hopefully we continue to improve and win games. We currently have a foundation to build on given our trip out west (played solid despite the losses) and our recent victories back here at home.

pwee31
01-18-2009, 02:00 PM
Seth,

You had my respect before, but you get alittle bit more of it by admitting you weren't...quite right.

I've said it since pre-season that fans need to lower their expectations for this team because it's a team in transition. I've also said that based on the way they've played to date that all they needed was to get every player healthy, but especially Dunleavy. IMO, he along with Granger and Quis are the keys to this team's success, but mostly Dunleavy. Why? Because he does alot of fundamental things as a Guard that none of the others do.

He reads the defense extremely well.

He understands the offense.

He has very good court vision.

He has a high basketball IQ.

He adapts very well to the situation on the floor.

He has other parts of his game whereas if one thing's not working for him, i.e., his perimeter game, he has no problem stepping inside the arch to hit jumpers or driving the lanes or going baseline or working off screens. In other words, he was doing these things last year and continues to do them in his brief return to action - things that Danny has just begun to figure out and implement in his game. Now, imagine having two players among your starters who play very similar styles and are very difficult reads to guard? Imagine if one of this players was on the floor for your team at all times?

Dunleavy's presence has done something else for this team: embrace the moment! It's still early for most fans to see it - and having a mere 2-game win streak really doesn't illustrate it that well - but you hear it in every pre/post-game interview that Dunleavy gives. He speaks of his teammates playing "not to lose" vice "playing to win". When you play not to lose you tend to play conservative...cautious. But when you play to win you keep that aggressiveness and those game smarts that help you overcome those brief slides to a point where hopefully you have very few setbacks. Dunleavy's on-court presences helps in that regard tremendously! And that's why I've felt for some time that once he was back things would begin to turn around for this team.

Six games since his return, three wins, three very close "winnable" games, improved team defense, smarter end-game decision making...all because one man returns to the lineup. Yeap, the player AND his presence are having an impact. Kowel :cool:

I agree 100% and I think Dunleavy is the reason we held on to beat the Raptors.

His play throughout the 4th quarter kept us in the lead, since here appeared to be the only one making shots, and drawing the foul on that 3 was money of course

Sollozzo
01-18-2009, 02:04 PM
Dunleavy is just a true basketball player. He has a high IQ for the game and makes our team so much better. There's no doubt in my mind that we would be a playoff team if we would've had Dunleavy for the first half of the season. We still have a chance, but it's going to be tough.

Reggie43.Yes!
01-18-2009, 03:40 PM
It would be a great turn around for us to go 10 games above 500 to finish 500 and possibly make the playoffs, but at the same time, we are in every game down to the end, if we can just finish these games off then like we were unable to do the 1st half of the year, then we have a very good chance.

Naptown_Seth
01-24-2009, 12:42 PM
A few more thoughts:
-Nap, nice acknowledgement on the trade. I agree too it does sem to favor us, & will do so more going forward. Also, I think Troy's improved footwork t/y can be linked to his achlillies injury being healed & another yr removed from the weight gain Nellie had him do to play "C". I think Troy is healthy, at his ideal weight, & in a system that fits him & has been consistant the last 2 yrs.

-With all the trade talk w/ teams like MIA, MIL, CHI, & others, I think chemistery could play into our favor. Don't get me wrong, I could still see us making a move, but LB would likely require Tin's inclusion to mess with what we have going.

-I think economics of playing into the post-season, & the sign of improvement that would represent to the fan base far exceeds the likely 2-3 draft spots we could "lose" as a result of finishing 8 or 9. We will "Play to Win" every night, & this team has shown they could make things exciting.
Unfortunately having to bump this as a "spoke too soon" on Dun's shot. Drat. He's really lost that touch. Of course it doesn't appear to be injury related on the surface, or he hides it well. I'm guessing/hoping he just hit a conditioning speedbump and will get back on track in a few weeks.

But last night vs Houston was another brutal one. He hit 2 in a row somewhere in the 3rd IIRC and I got my hopes up, but then he went right back to being cold. At one point he clearly passed up an open look so he knows he's been cold too.

When I started the thread on the 18th he was coming off his 2nd poor shooting night, but 3 of his first 4 had been strong so his numbers were still good. Since then he's down to 41% from the field, 34% from 3. :cry: Plus only 2.4 assists per right now.


OTOH - with Quis hurt Troy has been IMO and by far the #2 best player on the court for them. I quoted PacersGuy here because I think he's on to something with the achillies thing. I know Troy is no great defender but honestly he's been pretty nice one on one this year, much better than he previously was.

For example, feed to Yao and Troy moves him off the block as he goes up to get the pass. It was just enough to get him to come up short on the hook. Naturally there were times when Yao literally put his elbow over Troy's shoulder to hold him down and shoot over him, but Yao does that to lots of people.

Mostly Troy is pretty crisp in covering his part of a PnR and laterally isn't too shabby working the defensive post. I really do like this year's Troy far more than Harrington in his return season. He's even starting to look quicker than Jeff, and Jeff has been very solid defensively this year.

duke dynamite
01-24-2009, 12:44 PM
I actually think I got some shots of Troy beating Yao out on defense. It was a great sight to see, but then again I can't be too excited, Yao didn't play well last night.

Anthem
01-24-2009, 03:18 PM
I'm thrilled that Dun doesn't seem to be showing many ill effects from the tendinitis. I was mentally prepared for the worst and glad to be wrong.

Major Cold
01-24-2009, 03:28 PM
Once Dun gets into a rhythm his shot won't be an issue.

Country Boy
01-25-2009, 11:26 AM
Just wanted to get it out there that I (and a few others) were feeling pretty certain that we wouldn't see Dun again this year, and definitely not in early January.

On top of that I was worried that his rehab might leave him without his outside shot, or perhaps the endurance for long stints. I've been critical of both he and Troy at times, but now given his play so far this year appearing to match last season and Troy's massively improved play this year, it looks like the Pacers are finally winning that GS trade.

I just wanted to get that out there. I'm thrilled that he has been able to return to roughly what we saw last year and I do think it's having a big impact on the team. I'm not sure how Quis will respond to playing off the bench as his starter's role seems to have helped him define his objectives and improve his overall play quite a bit (as well as being healthy), but hopefully we will find out before too long and actually get the chance to see the ENTIRE Pacers play.


Again, just great to see Dun out there playing, no matter how critical I've been about the financials, timing, etc of that trade. Mostly I just thought Jack was given a raw deal by the locals and scapegoated way too hard.

But clearly Troy and Dun are positive producers for the team right now, even on team defense. Frankly I've been pretty impressed at some of Troy's lateral footwork on defense lately. We might just have something with these guys after all. I know some believed that Dun would get them to make a run but I wasn't convinced.

After seeing it in action I'm starting to think Dun's bump might just be enough, and wouldn't that be something. They are way out of it right now being so far under .500, it's no easy task, but just maybe...

Hell has officially frozen over.:)

Naptown_Seth
01-27-2009, 03:31 AM
Once Dun gets into a rhythm his shot won't be an issue.
I hope that's it, but I gotta tell ya that his first year here his issue seemed to be strength. His makes were way up when he could step into a shot ala transition kick-backs to him. He was dramatically better just a few steps inside the arc, thus his killer 2P% under Rick and why Rick ran him off so many high post curls for catch and shoots.

Last year it seemed like he'd conditioned his way into the 3, like he'd added those few extra feet to his max range.

It's a long time to go without hard training and I have to wonder if his legs aren't feeling a bit ragged now. He doesn't even start hot and cool off. I mean he's not laboring like Rasho, but for shooters it doesn't take much.

And what I was saying when people were talking up Dun as salvation (not all, but plenty were) was that it was going to critically depend on his 3 ball. Right now it ain't there and frankly I think he's been hurting them more than helping them the last 2 weeks.

They clearly need him to get into that 38-40% stroke if they want to beat teams other than bad ones or ones that are badly understaffed.

imawhat
01-27-2009, 03:45 AM
I hope that's it, but I gotta tell ya that his first year here his issue seemed to be strength. His makes were way up when he could step into a shot ala transition kick-backs to him. He was dramatically better just a few steps inside the arc, thus his killer 2P% under Rick and why Rick ran him off so many high post curls for catch and shoots.

Last year it seemed like he'd conditioned his way into the 3, like he'd added those few extra feet to his max range.

It's a long time to go without hard training and I have to wonder if his legs aren't feeling a bit ragged now. He doesn't even start hot and cool off. I mean he's not laboring like Rasho, but for shooters it doesn't take much.

And what I was saying when people were talking up Dun as salvation (not all, but plenty were) was that it was going to critically depend on his 3 ball. Right now it ain't there and frankly I think he's been hurting them more than helping them the last 2 weeks.

They clearly need him to get into that 38-40% stroke if they want to beat teams other than bad ones or ones that are badly understaffed.

I don't think it was that at all. The only significant difference I saw between year 1 and year 2 is that Mike had a tendency to drift left or right during his release in year 1, either causing his shot to be off left or right; that's it. Once he corrected that in year 2, his percentages jumped up.

I think it's valid that Dunleavy struggles with his strength, but he had those issues last year too. I think it will be a gamely issue with him until he actually bulks up, but I don't think it's affecting his shot.

This year, his shot looks to be affected by several things, mostly his leg strength. His misses are flat, and it also looks like he's having trouble with his release (which is a completely new issue since he's been a Pacer). I'm willing to bet that his shot will correct once he's in better condition (or feels more confident on his leg).

Major Cold
01-27-2009, 01:52 PM
You may be right Seth.

Naptown_Seth
01-27-2009, 04:48 PM
Imawhat - I'd say that often your drifting left/right issues come from leg strength problems. Less leg means more arms and the harder you force it with your arms the more you get out of balance shots (L/R drift).

Like I said, I think when he would come down into a shot he's have momentum to carry up into it which allowed him a lighter touch (arm-wise) on his shot. Plus his momentum would be carrying his body forward which would also help avoid the general shift L/R in total.

I don't think we are really disagreeing then. I'm talking about leg strength in large part, though some arm strength could be part of it. And I'm saying I think he got a bit ragged after a few days of serious playing as it caught up to him.


But as much as I hate to say it, I do continue to worry about how badly his shot fell off in Golden State. Was it just confidence or is there something else to his shooting that allows him to have the massive range over his career, from strong to awful for entire seasons at a time (ie, not hot/cold streaks).


The good news is the AS break is on it's way. He and Rasho probably need that most of all.

Anthem
01-27-2009, 05:00 PM
I'd love to see Mike get more of the long 2s that he was getting under Carlisle. The dude is just devastating from midrange; I don't see why we don't use that part of his arsenal more.

Naptown_Seth
01-27-2009, 05:03 PM
Seriously you don't?

There are things I like about JOB, really there are, but I would like his system so much more if he would expand into areas just like this. The team has a lot of ways to hurt you but so many of them are left aside in favor of "free flowing offense". I know guys like to have freedom, but plans aren't about control, they're about being on the same page and maximizing your situation.

Anthem
01-27-2009, 05:19 PM
Seriously you don't?
Hyperbole.