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View Full Version : Odd thoughts entering the second half of the season



Peck
01-21-2009, 03:49 AM
If there is any positive that we can all look for right now it is that barring some unseen new injury, the Pacers will for the first time all season have a full roster of players. Sure there are some bumps and bruises and sore backs and such but I am sure every team in the NBA can also use the same statement.

So with that in mind the Pacers brass has about 3 weeks to evaluate how the team fits together when healthy and see what needs to be done, if anything, at the trade deadline.

It is very hard to judge the first half of the season because frankly the lineup was never really set and there were some significant injury's.

However there certainly were some trends that you can look at.

Poor defense. You can say it is lack of talent, you can say it is the defensive scheme, you can say that differant players are missing assignments or you can say it is because we have a coach that is to concerned with offense. I can see argument for and against all of these.

However what can not be denied, even by the biggest Pacers homer, is that the Pacers just do not play good defense on a routine basis.

We've seen indications that they can and we've seen indications that the system works but overall for the season the defense has been well below what we expected.

Offensively I'm not sure what to say. We can score on most teams, and even the biggest O'Brien hater has to concede that the Pacers do NOT come down and just jack up a three pointer anymore. In fact most nights we actually win the battle of scoring in the paint.

However we have also seen when teams decide to lock down on defense we tend to lose any and all ball movement and tend to panic and shoot the first shot that comes our way.

Some of this can be attributed to the culture of offense that O'Brien uses. I'm not saying it is a bad thing but from what I understand, not only are players encouraged to take open shots they are punished if they do not take open shots too often. Thus I think some times players tend to not know what a good shot vs. bad shot is. Honestly that is really the quality of the players though, not so much the coaching staff.

Let's look at some good things for the first half.

A. The team is likeable. There are no bad apples that we can tell, there have been no off court issues (that we have heard of) and other than Jeff Foster most of our players do not harp at the referee's after every call.
BTW, this is NOT a minor point. This is a huge HUGE victory for the front office because frankly this time two years ago people in this town hated the Pacers. Right now they are disdainfull of the team because of the W/L issue but at least you don't hear the word Pacers followed immediately by the word Thug.

So I think we need to aknowledge that the entire orginazation has worked on this from the owners to the green coats at the game (notice how even they are more friendly I am sure that is not a coincidence) and say good job.

B. The style of play is more entertaining. Ok this is going to be with a caveat of course, losing is not good but an open style that keeps us in most games is far better to watch then being blown out every night.

Again this is not an accident. I believe Bird knew exactly what he was doing and what he was getting with O'Brien. He knew that one of the reasons that the fans were also down on the club, besides all of the off court and on court antics, was that for years we had been under the oppresive superstar offense. While Uncle Buck and myself would like to see a N.Y. vs Indiana 68 point game frankly most fans do not. Even I do not want to see the isolation one on four offense that we had during those years.

BTW, this is not an endorsement of O'Brien, I am just saying he is what he is and Bird knew this and chose to go in this direction. You can disagree with it but remember for those of you that live in other states, city's and country's the bottom line is they have to entertain the people of central Indiana because that is who buys the tickets.

C. The emergence of Danny Granger. When Danny was a rookie both Will Galen and myself said that he was immediately our favorite player. However I can't speak for Will but I can say for myself I had no idea he would be this good.

I hate that people give Bird no credit for drafting him. He is always given the "it was a no brainer" pick when nothing could be closer to the truth. When he was picked we already had two players who were both young and small forwards both of which could start on most teams (Artest & Jackson) and Danny at best was going to be a third wheel. We had several other needs and there were other players who available that might have helped as well. Not to mention 16 other G.M.'s didn't think he was a no brainer, you think some of them would like a do over? I do.

However not only is Danny a great player so far he has shown to be a Pacers P.R. dream. From being a grounded individual to actually being somewhat of a nerd (the guy wears spiderman and batman shirts, how cool is that).

I will no go on to say something that I am sure will probably be the focus of much debate but I am making it anyway.

I have been a lifelong Pacers fan and while I certainly respect and love the old ABA guys, I frankly was just to young to see them. I never saw Roger or Mel or Freddy play at all and I did see Big Mac play but he was old and washed up. I saw probably 80% or more of the games that Reggie Miller played as a Pacer. There were several when he was young that was not televised and I didn't get to all of the home games.

Here goes.

Danny Granger is the greatest player I have ever seen as a Pacer.

Yes I know many of you think I will smoke a turd in hell for saying that but I will say it again.

I have never seen a player as good as Danny Granger play for the Pacers.

Mickey Johnson had a good year when he was here and certainly Billy Knight would be right up there. But Danny is alone at the top of the pile of great Pacer players.

Yes, Reggie is a legend and until Danny can do in the playoffs what Reggie accomplished he will never equal Reggie in the heart of Pacers fans but I'm telling you this as a person who saw all of Reggie's big games.

Danny Granger is a better all around player. Yes, Reggie could score but that is about where it stops.

Danny is a lock down defender when he focuses on it. He is a good rebounder, something Reggie never was and right now he can score from any position on the floor.

Sure his stats might be inflated from the scoring point of being the best player on a bad team but that is a double edged sword as well. Other teams also know this and pay more attention to you.

I know that this thread will probably turn into an argument over this statement but I don't care. I waited on purpose till Danny had a bad game to say this because I did not want to be accused of being to high after one of his great games.

D. Improved play from Marquis Daniels. Certainly it is valid to question if the fact that he is in a contract year is helping this, but frankly who cares. We needed him in the first half of the season and he came through for the most part.

E. Suprise wins vs. big name teams. Beating the Celtics at the home opener was huge and set a good tone for the common fan for the season. Beating the Lakers was also good. The fact that we have been in almost every game is a big plus for our team. BillS had a great point in another thread (I forget which one) but he said that losing the close heartbreakers is better for the general fan because it does not make us look like punching bags (I'm paraphrasing, he said it much more eloquent than I)

F. The team fights hard every game. This is a tribute the the coaching, the quality of players and to the management. This has been a very hard season record wise and it would be easy to bow thier heads and give up, but we haven't seen that. Again a positive p.r. piece to work with.

Notice a theme here kids? Positive P.R., would we like more wins? Of course, who wouldn't? But barring that the team had to make some positive moves in the p.r. front and I have to say so far so good.

Ok, it's not all been positive and by no means am I a p.r. person for the Pacers so let's look at what has been bad.

1. Defense, yes I covered this already in the buildup but it is that bad it needs to be said again. Tbird is putting together a seriers of defensive threads and he will cover this far better than I ever could. I will just say that from what I can tell it is a combination of quality defenders and frankly the defensive scheme itself. But I still can't put my finger on the actual problem yet.

2. Point guard dissapointment. Well at least they aren't Tinsely is pretty much the motto we have to go with. That's about it. I have never in my life seen two quality p.g.'s who routinely make such boneheaded decisions. Both of them routinely leave thier feet with the ball before they have a clue as to what they are doing with it. Both also seem to have trouble holding on to the ball, not a great trate for a point guard btw.

I'm not sure if I want to say this here or somewhere else but I guess here is where I will put it. Another problem I have is O'Briens over use of Jarret Jack.

Look the guy is not a bad player, unlike several of you I actually don't mind Jack at all. However he should not be on the floor as often as he is. He should back up T.J. and he should play some spot min. at the shooting guard, however JOB has him in the game all of the time and frankly there are other players who could bring something to the floor. Like I said I am not a Jack hater but I hate the way O'Brien uses him.

3. To many nights when I look on the floor and see Troy Murphy as the center. This is a real problem for me and it will be even worse in the second half because of his aboslute insistance of using Jack at the two. We started the season out with Rasho and Troy up front and Jeff and Roy backing them up. Jeff was back to playing the 4 spot and Rasho was giving us something in at the 5. But now we have Roy who is going to have more DNP's than not probably or what might as well be DNP's when he plays 5 min. or less. and Jeff is now once again back to the center spot.

Controversial statement number 2 coming right up. I am sure this may cause as much of a stir as my Granger statement but here goes.

The Indiana Pacers will never truely get better until Jeff Foster is off of this team. Yes, that's right I said it. Now again I will add a caveat to this, if we would get a coach who would use him correctly he would be an asset (like he was when we started the year)

Jeff is not a bad player, far from it. However there is a saying in the field I work in that IMO applies to Jeff in it's own way. You have just enough knowledge to be dangerous.

Well with Jeff it is this, he does just enough of the right things to get by that the Pacers never improve at the position and always end up settling for what Jeff brings them.

As U.B. likes to point out Jeff ends up getting his starting position back every year. There are two sides to that in that this is a true statement but also why does he lose the job every year?

Like I said, he is not a bad player and yes every team in the NBA would love to have a Jeff Foster. I am not denying any of that. I am just saying that for one thing he is a power forward, not a center and until we can get an interior defender who has size and can alter shots we will never improve overall as a team.

Again, I know that this is not going to be popular but it is just how I feel. Jeff is overused and frankly I think over rated. Coach's love him because he does all of the small things and plays the right way. However that is what makes you a great rotational player, not the starting center.

4. The absolute madness that is our rotation. We have players who can do no wrong in our coaching staffs mind (Jack, Foster) and we have player who can do nothing right (McRoberts, Hibbert). Again I blame this on O'Briens absolute fasination with small ball. Has the guy ever coached a big lineup that he used in a regular rotation? I can't think of any. Hibbert is just unbelievable to be honest with you. By no means did he deserve to be the starter but by no means does he deserve to be getting DNP'd either. He wold have gotten a DNP vs. the Spurs but we got blown out so JOB emptied the bench in the 4th. McBob's is just about as aggrivating. He had a series of great games and then goes away. The reason we are given is because he hurts our offense??? Are you kidding me? Did you see complaint number one? Hurting our offense is the last thing that he should worry about.

5. Short rotation. It is a long long season and we are running a motion offense that requires constant movement from the players. Having an 8 man rotation just does not make sense to me. However it gives him more of an excuse to play Jack for 40 plus min. a game.

6. Lack of any real devlopment by our rookies. Rush has been very frustrating in his play. I have no idea what happened there. I thought he was on his way to a solid season and then for whatever reason he fell of the face of the earth. I can't beleive it was the rookie wall because I didn't think he played enough, but maybe. Hibbert is what Hibbert is. He will never be the hard nosed rebounding animal that we need but he is already an offensive threat and has shown the ability and willingness to set screens and picks. Again I implore the Pacers to hire a big man coach to work with Roy. Jeff Foster is not the type of player that Roy is going to be and he is the one working with him. Now don't get me wrong Jeff can help with the fundementals but for God's sake do not let him show him how to set a pick.

You can blame the quality of player here if you want and it would be hard to argue against it. However you also have to look at the coaching staff as well. Why are these guys not getting better? How much time do they spend working with them? Is there one coach who is designated as thier mentor, etc.?

Ok, that is six good and six bad so I'll stop there.

Certainly the schedule was very tough to begin with and it looks like after Friday it will ease up a bit on us. However we actually have to beat these bad teams for the schedule to work in our favor.

The one thing I think I can feel comfortable though about is that with the new management I don't feel like we will have to wait till this summer for them to look to improve the team or make a move to help the future. If there is something out there I feel like they will make a move and I can't say I have ever been able to feel that way for years with this club.

Overall I am thrilled with the owners and managment as I think they have taken the right steps to get where they need to be.

I am holding judgement on the head coach because he has now declared a win now mentality, so if he wins now then great. If not and we don't develop our young players then I think he needs to be held accountable.

I think all of the players are doing what they can and I don't really dislike any of them. I will admit I am just not thrilled with Foster but it is in the way the team uses him.

On a side note as I watched the Spurs game I set and laughed to myself at Kurt Thomas. In my wildest dreams back in the 90's would I ever think to myself that we need a player like Kurt Thomas because our bigs would routinely punk him out. However since the 90's have left us I long for a player like Kurt Thomas.

Not to end on a down note though.

I think Granger will be an all-star.

Will Galen
01-21-2009, 05:23 AM
[quote=Peck;838491]. . . the Pacers brass has about 3 weeks to evaluate how the team fits together when healthy and see what needs to be done, if anything, at the trade deadline.

I think they will do something.


We've seen indications that they can and we've seen indications that the system works but overall for the season the defense has been well below what we expected.

I think it's getting better.

The style of play is more entertaining. Ok this is going to be with a caveat of course, losing is not good but an open style that keeps us in most games is far better to watch then being blown out every night.

I'll say, I turned the game off against the Spurs last night in the 3rd quarter, the first time I've did that in a long time.

While Uncle Buck and myself would like to see a N.Y. vs Indiana 68 point game frankly most fans do not.

Not me, I like to see a high scoring great passing team.

The emergence of Danny Granger. When Danny was a rookie both Will Galen and myself said that he was immediately our favorite player. However I can't speak for Will but I can say for myself I had no idea he would be this good.

Some might have thought he had the tools to be this good, but nobody knew he would be this good. Certainly not me, I though George McCloud would be another Magic Johnson. As for why I jumped on the Granger bandwagon from the get-go. I really dislike an attitude, and I thought from what I read he would be good but wouldn't have one.

I hate that people give Bird no credit for drafting him. He is always given the "it was a no brainer" pick when nothing could be closer to the truth. When he was picked we already had two players who were both young and small forwards both of which could start on most teams (Artest & Jackson) and Danny at best was going to be a third wheel. We had several other needs and there were other players who available that might have helped as well. Not to mention 16 other G.M.'s didn't think he was a no brainer, you think some of them would like a do over? I do.

I agree whole heartedly with this. Gerald Green was still available at the time too, and there were some that thought he would be great.

Danny Granger is the greatest player I have ever seen as a Pacer. I have never seen a player as good as Danny Granger play for the Pacers.

It's been a long time but I thought George McGinnis was the best Pacer ever. I would put Granger on a par with him as of right this moment.

I'm telling you this as a person who saw all of Reggie's big games. Danny Granger is a better all around player.

I don't think that's even debatable.

Defense, yes I covered this already in the buildup but it is that bad it needs to be said again. Tbird is putting together a seriers of defensive threads and he will cover this far better than I ever could. I will just say that from what I can tell it is a combination of quality defenders and frankly the defensive scheme itself. But I still can't put my finger on the actual problem yet.

They proved they can play defense at the start of the year. I think whats missing is everyone being on the same page with bulldog desire.

What I'm talking about here is teams get up collectively for the Celtics and Lakers of the league. They get up collectively when they go on a long win streak. They get up collectively for the playoffs.

They simplly don't have the same desire when playing regular season games against lessor competition, and it's not something most coachs can instill in a team. My hat's off to O'B because they usuall play hard every night.

Overall I am thrilled with the owners and managment as I think they have taken the right steps to get where they need to be.

Agree.

I think Granger will be an all-star.

A lot of people agree, even this year.

indygeezer
01-21-2009, 06:18 AM
Mr. Peck....as one who DID see all of the old Pacer greats, I'll give you a "pass". Most others I'd rip into but since you (and Will) state it, I am going to defer until I have really payed attention to Danny. I was a fan early too, but it was becasue of the attitude issue...but I quit paying attention to him. So until I've been to a couple of games where I focused on him I will not make that judgement. As for DG being an All-Star...NOT, he's not glamorous enough to showcase,yet. Maybe someday, but not yet. Gone are the days when the NBA cared about showcasing the best, now it's about shoe contracts and glitz and glamour. DG comes from the Pacers and makes no waves...he'll not be there.

skyfire
01-21-2009, 08:04 AM
Good post Peck.

Just a few comments based on what you've written.

I absolutely agree that Bird knew what he was getting when he hired O'Brien. He is a coach that can get players to play hard and might be able to take a somewhat flawed team to an overacheiving finish. Bird knew that the players that he had didn't fit together perfectly but there were some players there to work with. I think O'Brien will get to coach out his current contract while Bird tries to get more complementery pieces around Danny and then he will try to get a new coach to sculpt a contender.

Alot of people have been suprised at how good Danny has become. Very few on this board thought he had the talent to be a first option on a good team. I was always impressed at his steady improvement as a player. The way he methodically added more to his game throughout the offseason and even during the seasons as he learnt. That is the mark of a great player who continually strives to improve. If there was any silver lining of the brawl it was that the suspensions meant we were bad enough to be in a position to draft Danny. Its a testement to Danny's desire that he could end up being the 2nd best player in a draft that included players like Deron Williams, Bynum, Bogut.

I agree about Jeff Foster. He is good enough to be a rotational player on a contender, but his weaknesses severely limit how a team can play if he is to be a starter or play major minutes.

count55
01-21-2009, 08:53 AM
I agree with pretty much everything here, couple of caveats:

1. I don't consider Danny better than Reggie, Big Mac, Mel Daniels, or Rajah at this point, but I'm open to the possibility down the road. That is both high praise and high expectations.

2. I agree that Jack and Foster are overused, but I generally like having both. However, I would be open to seeing Foster moved in a trade. Jack, OTOH, I very much would like to re-sign. I am very disappointed in Ford, because he's much more hit and miss than I would have liked.

On other tangents, I think:

-Rasho and Daniels days are numbered for this franchise. They'll either go (separately) in a deadline deal, or they'll be allowed to go at the end of the season. Rasho, while a nice, smart player, is the oldest 32-year old I've seen in a long, long time. Back in the '70's and '80's, 32 was old, but it's since become more middle-age, by NBA standards. However, I haven't seen a player labor this much physically since Smits' last year.

Daniels was always on the bubble because of the size of his option, but I have to wonder if this last injury has sealed his fate. It's not that it's career threatening, but it had to bring home harsh reminders of his nagging health issues during his tenure here.

- Unless Daniels suddenly becomes healthy and effective, I think we're about to see Rush grab his rotation spot back from Stephen Graham. There were long periods of time last night where Stephen was dueling TJ to see which was San Antonio's best player.

- The last two losses suck, but I'm still ok with taking the next couple of weeks to play the vets. If we don't enter February at 20-28, then I think Hibbert should go back to getting the 12-18 min starting job, and Rush should move ahead of both Graham and Daniels in the rotation for the balance of the season.

- As to Obie and, tangentially, Bird: I've supported Obie, but have noted that there are things that he could do to make me conclude he should be replaced. That being said, everyone should prepare, barring something unforeseen (including a resignation), for the fact that he will be our coach through the end of next season. Again, I'm not saying whether that's right, or it's wrong. I just simply don't see Bird making a coaching change unless something ugly happens in the locker room, and there's been absolutely no indication of that.

Which brings me to Bird. It is my opinion that, unless he decides to leave, that Bird will be here as long as the Simons own the Pacers. Both Mel and Herb are of advanced age, and there are some valid questions as to how much longer they will own the franchise, and who will be the next owners. Given that uncertainty, along with the Simons' history with Walsh, I find it extremely unlikely that they will go fishing around for a new direction.

It is my opinion that they've made the decision to go with Bird, and they will stick with it. Also, despite the record, the moves made by Bird this past year have materially altered the Pacers position for the better by getting them out of cap hell and giving them much greater flexibility in terms of players, picks, and contracts. Also, it appears more and more every day that the Halloween Treat of Danny's extension was a wise move that likely saved the team millions of dollars.

Justin Tyme
01-21-2009, 08:55 AM
One thing that has been in numerous posts is that they didn't see Granger being this good. What's ironical is that when Danny came to the Pacers, the one person who said Danny was going to be good was Ron Artest. After practicing and playing with Danny, Artest was quite impressed with Danny.

Slick Pinkham
01-21-2009, 09:32 AM
McGinnis was actually a league MVP so i can't quite go there with Danny being better, but for the most part I'd agree, especially with the comments about disappointing PG play and lack of development by rookies. I can't see why any coach would not be able to find a way to effectively use Jeff Foster, a guy whose main objective is to make all the hustle plays he can, but you are right in that his best role on any playoff team is first big off the bench, mostly at PF. I can't blame the coach for his minutes though, since I don't see the other bigs outplaying him, and they do occasionally get their chances.

Major Cold
01-21-2009, 10:07 AM
Until Danny can do what he does in the playoff setting, he has no mention of being on par with Reggie or George. Now I am not saying he never will, but until I see him hit jumpers late in a playoff setting I cannot completely evaluate Danny in such regards.

Unclebuck
01-21-2009, 10:26 AM
Where do I begin - how do I begin. Peck you have enough meat there for about 10 threads.

Suppose I'll start with Danny - I understand where you are coming from - but I wouldn't put him above JO or Artest right now. I realize there are a lot of issues with those two - but just at first thought.

Let me move to Foster. I think you throw something about Foster in your threads just to get me going - and it usually works. But your statement that the pacers will never be any good until Foster is gone is nonsensical. Sort of like blaming the weatherman for the cold temperatures. And Jeff is one of those players that most fans won't miss until he is gone


There is so much I want to respond to and yet my head is spinning

BillS
01-21-2009, 10:39 AM
I don't think the issue of Danny's rank among other Pacer greats is an argument at this point simply because he is still very early in his career. It is too early to say he is the best, but it is not too early to say he is on his way to being the best. It doesn't hurt that he picked a jersey number in the 30's.

I am beginning to change my opinion of the defense a little bit. Now, don't jump all over me, but for the last few games the Pacers have defended very well on most possessions. Yes, "most" isn't good enough, but with any sort of reasonable ability to finish at the basket or make open jumpers the defense as played is very possibly "good enough".

Let's look at the offensive end. IF we hit a few more shots and IF we manage to actually pull down an offensive rebound or two, we give up a lot fewer quick response opportunities for the opponent. Not only that but we actually put some points on the scoreboard ourselves.

In the first half against the Spurs we had flashes of great defense, with a number of steals and forced turnovers. We completely and utterly failed to capitalize on any of them, leading to long stretches with no scoring until the Spurs managed to make an extra pass and get one in the basket. This inched them forward until the expected run put them further ahead than we were able to recover from. My question here is whether we fall apart defensively in the third quarter if the game is closer after 2 because we shot better than 20+ percent?

These aren't usually challenged shots, nor are they difficult angles. They are just either short or long or off the backboard at the wrong spot or - as more shots are missed - shots not even taken as the open look is passed up in favor of getting the ball to someone else.

Our offensive confidence is eroding daily, and I am now of the opinion that it is the main reason for recent situations.

Let me be very clear - the plays drawn up or the style encouraged by Jim O'Brien is doing what it is supposed to do. Players are getting open, or getting to the rim, or coming off a screen and getting the ball. It is happening too early in games after many days off to be a rest issue. Coaching cannot substitute for the ability to put the ball in the basket.

duke dynamite
01-21-2009, 10:55 AM
Alright kids. The moment you've all been waiting for...

THROW DUKE DYNAMITE UNDER THE BUS!

Peck, I agree with you. I actually was able to witness all of Reggie's big games (I'm only 23 in a month.) and I can honestly say that Danny Granger has surpassed Uncle Reg' in the category you mentioned.

Now, BillS is right, it is very early in Danny's career still, but, that still doesn't mean I will back down from my statement.

Speed
01-21-2009, 11:24 AM
However we have also seen when teams decide to lock down on defense we tend to lose any and all ball movement and tend to panic and shoot the first shot that comes our way.


I'm still reading through this, but this is sooooo true and sooooo troublesome.

Nice read so far, I always print these out and read through them thoroughly because I really in enjoy some meat and potatoes content. Thank you for these posts!!

Dr. Goldfoot
01-21-2009, 11:31 AM
The Indiana Pacers will never truely get better until Jeff Foster is off of this team.

I don't completely disagree. The Pacers are running too many role/bench players out as starters or big minute guys. Jeff is victim of this. It's not his fault. I imagine some tough trades are the only way to fix this and some solid well liked players may have to be moved to do this. Foster may be one of them.

Major Cold
01-21-2009, 11:51 AM
TJ Ford
<table class="tablehead" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tbody><tr class="colhead"><td align="left">By Result</td><td align="right">G</td><td align="right">MIN</td><td align="right"><nobr>FGM-FGA</nobr></td><td align="right">FG%</td><td align="right"><nobr>3PM-3PA</nobr></td><td align="right">3P%</td><td align="right"><nobr>FTM-FTA</nobr></td><td align="right">FT%</td><td align="right">STL</td><td align="right">BLK</td><td align="right">TO</td><td align="right">PF</td><td align="right">OFF</td><td align="right">DEF</td><td align="right">TOT</td><td align="right">AST</td><td align="right">PTS</td></tr><tr class="oddrow" align="right"><td align="left"><nobr> In wins</nobr></td> <td align="right"> 13</td> <td align="right"> 31.5</td> <td align="right"> 5.8-12.4</td> <td align="right"> 47.205</td> <td align="right"> 0.5-1.3</td> <td align="right"> .353</td> <td align="right"> 3.6-4.1</td> <td align="right"> 88.679</td> <td align="right"> 1.69</td> <td align="right"> 0.31</td> <td align="right"> 1.9</td> <td align="right"> 1.9</td> <td align="right"> 0.6</td> <td align="right"> 3.8</td> <td align="right"> 4.5</td> <td align="right"> 5.2</td> <td align="right"> 15.8</td> </tr> <tr class="evenrow" align="right"><td align="left"><nobr> In losses</nobr></td> <td align="right"> 22</td> <td align="right"> 29.7</td> <td align="right"> 4.5-11.1</td> <td align="right"> 40.164</td> <td align="right"> 0.6-1.6</td> <td align="right"> .371</td> <td align="right"> 3.1-3.4</td> <td align="right"> 91.892</td> <td align="right"> 0.68</td> <td align="right"> 0.09</td> <td align="right"> 2.5</td> <td align="right"> 2.7</td> <td align="right"> 0.8</td> <td align="right"> 2.8</td> <td align="right"> 3.6</td> <td align="right"> 4.8</td> <td align="right"> 12.6</td></tr></tbody></table>

Jarrett Jack

<table class="tablehead" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tbody><tr class="colhead"><td align="left">By Result</td><td align="right">G</td><td align="right">MIN</td><td align="right"><nobr>FGM-FGA</nobr></td><td align="right">FG%</td><td align="right"><nobr>3PM-3PA</nobr></td><td align="right">3P%</td><td align="right"><nobr>FTM-FTA</nobr></td><td align="right">FT%</td><td align="right">STL</td><td align="right">BLK</td><td align="right">TO</td><td align="right">PF</td><td align="right">OFF</td><td align="right">DEF</td><td align="right">TOT</td><td align="right">AST</td><td align="right">PTS</td></tr><tr class="oddrow" align="right"><td align="left"><nobr> In wins</nobr></td> <td align="right"> 15</td> <td align="right"> 30.7</td> <td align="right"> 4.6-9.1</td> <td align="right"> 50.365</td> <td align="right"> 1.2-2.3</td> <td align="right"> .529</td> <td align="right"> 3.1-3.5</td> <td align="right"> 88.679</td> <td align="right"> 1.00</td> <td align="right"> 0.20</td> <td align="right"> 2.2</td> <td align="right"> 2.2</td> <td align="right"> 0.4</td> <td align="right"> 3.5</td> <td align="right"> 3.9</td> <td align="right"> 3.5</td> <td align="right"> 13.5</td> </tr> <tr class="evenrow" align="right"><td align="left"><nobr> In losses</nobr></td> <td align="right"> 27</td> <td align="right"> 29.9</td> <td align="right"> 3.3-8.4</td> <td align="right"> 38.767</td> <td align="right"> 0.5-2.0</td> <td align="right"> .264</td> <td align="right"> 2.3-2.9</td> <td align="right"> 79.487</td> <td align="right"> 0.89</td> <td align="right"> 0.11</td> <td align="right"> 2.2</td> <td align="right"> 2.2</td> <td align="right"> 0.3</td> <td align="right"> 2.5</td> <td align="right"> 2.9</td> <td align="right"> 4.3</td> <td align="right"> 9.3</td></tr></tbody></table>

Starter/ Bench by the numbers

TJ Ford
<table class="tablehead" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tbody><tr class="colhead"><td align="left">
</td><td align="right">G</td><td align="right">MIN</td><td align="right"><nobr>FGM-FGA</nobr></td><td align="right">FG%</td><td align="right"><nobr>3PM-3PA</nobr></td><td align="right">3P%</td><td align="right"><nobr>FTM-FTA</nobr></td><td align="right">FT%</td><td align="right">STL</td><td align="right">BLK</td><td align="right">TO</td><td align="right">PF</td><td align="right">OFF</td><td align="right">DEF</td><td align="right">TOT</td><td align="right">AST</td><td align="right">PTS</td></tr><tr class="oddrow" align="right"><td align="left"><nobr> As Starter</nobr></td> <td align="right"> 26</td> <td align="right"> 32.0</td> <td align="right"> 5.1-12.0</td> <td align="right"> 42.765</td> <td align="right"> 0.6-1.7</td> <td align="right"> .372</td> <td align="right"> 3.5-3.8</td> <td align="right"> 92.929</td> <td align="right"> 1.12</td> <td align="right"> 0.12</td> <td align="right"> 2.2</td> <td align="right"> 2.3</td> <td align="right"> 0.9</td> <td align="right"> 3.6</td> <td align="right"> 4.5</td> <td align="right"> 5.3</td> <td align="right"> 14.4</td> </tr> <tr class="evenrow" align="right"><td align="left"><nobr> Off Bench</nobr></td> <td align="right"> 8</td> <td align="right"> 25.4</td> <td align="right"> 4.6-10.0</td> <td align="right"> 46.250</td> <td align="right"> 0.3-0.8</td> <td align="right"> .333</td> <td align="right"> 2.8-3.4</td> <td align="right"> 81.481</td> <td align="right"> 0.75</td> <td align="right"> 0.38</td> <td align="right"> 2.6</td> <td align="right"> 2.9</td> <td align="right"> 0.3</td> <td align="right"> 1.9</td> <td align="right"> 2.1</td> <td align="right"> 4.1</td> <td align="right"> 12.3</td></tr></tbody></table>
Jarrett Jack
<table class="tablehead" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tbody><tr class="colhead"><td align="right">G</td><td align="right">MIN</td><td align="right"><nobr>FGM-FGA</nobr></td><td align="right">FG%</td><td align="right"><nobr>3PM-3PA</nobr></td><td align="right">3P%</td><td align="right"><nobr>FTM-FTA</nobr></td><td align="right">FT%</td><td align="right">STL</td><td align="right">BLK</td><td align="right">TO</td><td align="right">PF</td><td align="right">OFF</td><td align="right">DEF</td><td align="right">TOT</td><td align="right">AST</td><td align="right">PTS</td></tr><tr class="oddrow" align="right"><td align="left"><nobr> As Starter</nobr></td> <td align="right"> 15</td> <td align="right"> 37.7</td> <td align="right"> 5.5-11.5</td> <td align="right"> 48.256</td> <td align="right"> 1.0-2.6</td> <td align="right"> .385</td> <td align="right"> 3.0-3.4</td> <td align="right"> 88.235</td> <td align="right"> 1.13</td> <td align="right"> 0.13</td> <td align="right"> 2.6</td> <td align="right"> 2.4</td> <td align="right"> 0.8</td> <td align="right"> 2.8</td> <td align="right"> 3.6</td> <td align="right"> 5.1</td> <td align="right"> 15.1</td> </tr> <tr class="evenrow" align="right"><td align="left"><nobr> Off Bench</nobr></td> <td align="right"> 26</td> <td align="right"> 26.5</td> <td align="right"> 2.8-7.3</td> <td align="right"> 38.095</td> <td align="right"> 0.7-1.8</td> <td align="right"> .354</td> <td align="right"> 2.5-3.1</td> <td align="right"> 80.000</td> <td align="right"> 0.85</td> <td align="right"> 0.15</td> <td align="right"> 2.0</td> <td align="right"> 2.0</td> <td align="right"> 0.1</td> <td align="right"> 3.0</td> <td align="right"> 3.1</td> <td align="right"> 3.5</td> <td align="right"> 8.7</td></tr></tbody></table>


I think the problem remains. We need better point guard play. When our PGs play well we win.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/splits?playerId=2768 for Jack
http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/splits?playerId=1979 for TJ

BRushWithDeath
01-21-2009, 12:02 PM
I don't completely disagree. The Pacers are running too many role/bench players out as starters or big minute guys. Jeff is victim of this. It's not his fault. I imagine some tough trades are the only way to fix this and some solid well liked players may have to be moved to do this. Foster may be one of them.

At this time the best thing for the team and for Jeff is to move him. He'd be far better served on a better team. He's just far too limited a player to be anything other than a rotational guy. He can't be a 30+ minute player.

Speed
01-21-2009, 12:12 PM
So much here I agree with, watching last nights game in the 4th and watching Hibbert flop around at time, but then sink a Hakeem/Ewing step back baseline jumper, I asked myself the same thing. Why don't they have a big man coach.

I agree Jack and Foster are played way too much. They are the security blanket for a coach, but what they don't do wrong they don't do positive. I know that doesn't make sense, but because they do all of the little things right, neither does anything that is impactfully positive or at least not regularly. I'd rather have BRush get some of Jacks minutes and make mistakes, but then come up with a big block or big 3. I would not play Jeff at the 5 often and live with Hibbert scoring 15 a game, but tripping on his own feet 3 times a half.

I would say DG might be the best Pacers ever, but it's too early in his career.

I do think BRush hit a wall and they need to get him back in the rotation.

More on Jeff and Roy. Jeff is mentoring him, but some of the things that he and the staff are teaching Roy is good for Jeff, but not good for Roy. For example, Roy isn't fast and they keep having him try to get in position to draw a charge. Why not teach Roy to back up and try to alter the shot routinely, instead. It's just that Roy is long and not fast so his best bet in help defense is to guard the paint by altering/blocking shots, not trying to get that big lanky frame in front of guys penetrating. It's a gift to the defense to see big Roy trying to take a charge, it's terrifying to see him waiting to block your shot.

Shade
01-21-2009, 12:19 PM
Alright kids. The moment you've all been waiting for...

THROW DUKE DYNAMITE UNDER THE BUS!

Peck, I agree with you. I actually was able to witness all of Reggie's big games (I'm only 23 in a month.) and I can honestly say that Danny Granger has surpassed Uncle Reg' in the category you mentioned.

Now, BillS is right, it is very early in Danny's career still, but, that still doesn't mean I will back down from my statement.

Wouldn't that be the Williams Wagon? :-p

count55
01-21-2009, 12:24 PM
I agree Jack and Foster are played way too much. They are the security blanket for a coach, but what they don't do wrong they don't do positive. I know that doesn't make sense, but because they do all of the little things right, neither does anything that is impactfully positive or at least not regularly.

While I again agree that these two are asked to do too much, I am going to disagree very strongly that they aren't positive contributors. I have absolutely no doubt that we would be even worse without these two players.

There is a difference between players being sub-optimized and players not being positive contributors. For the sake of illustration, let's say these guys each get 5 too many minutes. My basic view is that up to that extra five minutes are making very positive contributions, but in those extra minutes, they have a law of diminishing returns. However, the detriment in the extra minutes does not negate or outweigh the contributions they make for the rest of their playing time.

duke dynamite
01-21-2009, 12:25 PM
Wouldn't that be the Williams Wagon? :-p
You were a part of the Williams Wagon just as much as I was...lol

Shade
01-21-2009, 12:40 PM
You were a part of the Williams Wagon just as much as I was...lol

And I ran that puppy right off a bridge.

duke dynamite
01-21-2009, 12:44 PM
And I ran that puppy right off a bridge.
http://www.wusa9.com/news/columnist/blogs/uploaded_images/Dallas-tanker-741719.jpg

Shade
01-21-2009, 12:45 PM
:laugh:

:kickcan:

Speed
01-21-2009, 12:54 PM
While I again agree that these two are asked to do too much, I am going to disagree very strongly that they aren't positive contributors. I have absolutely no doubt that we would be even worse without these two players.

There is a difference between players being sub-optimized and players not being positive contributors. For the sake of illustration, let's say these guys each get 5 too many minutes. My basic view is that up to that extra five minutes are making very positive contributions, but in those extra minutes, they have a law of diminishing returns. However, the detriment in the extra minutes does not negate or outweigh the contributions they make for the rest of their playing time.

Ya, I read back over that and I'm not sure I meant to come off that strong.

I mean Jack and Foster will be perfect 22 minute a night back ups. I want more than 4 assists from my starting point guard just to put a number on it.

But Jack is playing 38 minutes some nights at the 2 spot.

I'd rather have BRush get those extra 16 minutes and give you a couple of home runs in there and not 16 more minutes of singles and foul balls.....

Look I like Jack and Foster, alot, but they are what they are.

I think my #1 disappoint though is the PG position. I really really believed Jack was more of a shut down defender and the TJ was more of a facillitating true point guard.

Instead I found myself thinking last night that I would trade both of them for the kid from IUPUI because he can D it up. Sure that's me pouting while they are getting there heads pounded by a contending team, but still.

I just was really hoping the PG situation was answered and I kinda feel like ya it's improved, but I'd trade all three of the current point guards for a young Andre Miller. Or someone who can run a team and make the others around him better.

It's my own fault, I overestimated those two.

Anyway, just a little catharsis, back to the thread.

duke dynamite
01-21-2009, 12:56 PM
:laugh:

:kickcan:
I knew you'd like that...

count55
01-21-2009, 01:09 PM
I believe that Jack is performing as well, perhaps a little better than I expected, despite being stretched too far.

I'm very disappointed in Ford on two fronts: First, the nagging injuries are not what I expected. I accepted the increased chance of a catastrophic injury, but I was looking forward to being done with "Will he or won't he play?" drama that Tins brought. He's missed 7 games, and played less than 12 minutes in two others. Second, (and this could be a function of the first) he's just maddeningly inconsistent...his decision making is iffy, and I'm pretty sure that I'm going to stroke out one of the times that he misses a bunny.

Shade
01-21-2009, 01:13 PM
I believe that Jack is performing as well, perhaps a little better than I expected, despite being stretched too far.

I'm very disappointed in Ford on two fronts: First, the nagging injuries are not what I expected. I accepted the increased chance of a catastrophic injury, but I was looking forward to being done with "Will he or won't he play?" drama that Tins brought. He's missed 7 games, and played less than 12 minutes in two others. Second, (and this could be a function of the first) he's just maddeningly inconsistent...his decision making is iffy, and I'm pretty sure that I'm going to stroke out one of the times that he misses a bunny.

At what point do we start looking hard at the conditioning staff?

This is a regularly occurring issue, regardless of the players we have.

OakMoses
01-21-2009, 01:31 PM
At what point do we start looking hard at the conditioning staff?

This is a regularly occurring issue, regardless of the players we have.

I think this is an issue for every NBA team, we just don't notice it because we don't follow other teams as closely.

David West was hurt on Monday when we played New Orleans. Though I'm a pretty close follower of the NBA, I had no idea he was going to miss the game until I started watching. Every team has rotation players that miss a fair amount of games. I don't think the Pacers are really any different.

Bball
01-21-2009, 01:36 PM
At what point do we start looking hard at the conditioning staff?

This is a regularly occurring issue, regardless of the players we have.

I think our conditioning staff must be doing a wonderful job considering the pace we play and the shortening rotation.

I'm not sure what could've been done for Dunleavy to begin with and the rest of them have all been relatively short-lived in the MASH unit. I kind of assumed Daniels got some extended healing time due to Dunleavy's return and could've returned sooner if needed. Dunno about that tho...

TJ Ford has a history so it is what it is. At least he's trying to play thru it. You can ask yourself if this pace is really suited for him 100% of the time or if his minutes should've been rationed more from the start I guess.

IMO...
Tinsley and JO weren't always out because they couldn't play. They were out because they wouldn't play (or 'other' sometimes in Tinsley's case) regardless of what the official report says.

Since86
01-21-2009, 02:00 PM
At what point do we start looking hard at the conditioning staff?

This is a regularly occurring issue, regardless of the players we have.

At what point? Are you kidding me?

Some around here have been saying it's their problem from the get go. Surprisingly, the SAME players are always hurt. Maybe it's because the PLAYERS either have something wrong mechanically, or because they just have bad luck.

Quis injury days go back to Dallas. JO is still fighting them, and he's even seen the best specialists in the country. I've never considered Jamaal "injured." TJ will always have back problems. I think we can chalk Bender up to just being bad luck/bad body. Who else in the recent past/present am I forgetting.

It's not just something that the Ps deal with. There are players on every team that are always fighting some kind of injury. Some people's bodies can't recover and take the hardship of an 82game season and hold up.

Dr. Goldfoot
01-21-2009, 02:45 PM
This is a problem I have with whoever is compiling the players on the team. One of the biggest problems over the last few seasons has been injuries to key players. When did it become a good idea to replace them with other guys who have their own injury history?

beast23
01-21-2009, 03:25 PM
Since I've seen a lot of games through the years, I'll way in on the Granger best ever conversation, although I find it very difficult to compare players from different eras.

George and Mel were very, very good all-around players.

Many on here have knocked BigMac's defensive abilities or his willingness to play defense, but I think that is pure B.S. McGinnis was the first true "power forward" and was an all-around excellent athlete with both speed and quickness to go along with his tremendous strength. With his strength and quickness, along with playing in an era where the hands and body could be used much more than now days, being an offensive player against George could be brutal.

Until his knees got bad, Daniels was also a very mobile, athletic defensive player patrolling the paint for us. Back in the day when "professional fouls" were parcelled out when players attempted to drive through the lane, Daniels collected used his share of fouls making his presence known when he was not able to block the shot.

So, I believe Danny has a ways to go to be found in the company of these two former players.

I do believe that Granger is well on his way to being evenly compared with Reggie. Reggie was merely a decent defender (from Larry Brown on anyway) who could get motivated to do an excellent job defensively from time-to-time, depending on who he was playing an how much energy he wanted to expend on that end of the floor. Danny has a ways to go to prove himself in hitting the closing shot the way Reggie did so many times. But he obviously has the same willingness to have the ball in his hands in such moments, and that is a first step.

Roger Brown was never known for his defense, probably because he had a very strong defensive front court behind him, so he knew he didn't have to put out a lot of effort defensively because that front court could take care of any mistake he might make. But Roger was a much better all-around offensive player than Danny, at least where Danny is today. Roger could dribble, pass, slash, pull-up and shoot, hit the spot up jumper and find ways of scoring off a variety of junk shots and floaters in the lane. If our roster hadn't been so strong, Roger could have been a top 3 scorer in each of his earlier years. But Brown was not only a very good offensive player, he was also a very unselfish one.

As for modern day players, I would have to agree with Buck that Artest was probably a much better all around player than Danny. I think Danny is a better perimeter shooter than Artest was. But I believe that Danny doesn't come close to comparing with Artest in the paint or around the boards. While with us, I believe that Artest was the best defender ever in a Pacer uniform, especially off the ball. Artest was a better rebounder and passer.

As for comments about Foster, I'll choose to agree with you, but only from a philosophical perspective.

I believe major weaknesses that our team has are that our PGs still are not good enough defensively and that we do not have 2 frontcourt players that mesh well enough to tandemly put forth a decent defensive effort. I believe Foster is adequate as a defensive PF, but that we just don't have anyone to go along with him.

So, philosophically, if we are not better until Foster is no longer a member of the team, then that surely must indicate that our post and frontcourt defensive problems will have been addressed by acquiring better talent. And I can accept that.

WInslow22
01-21-2009, 04:34 PM
Like I said, he is not a bad player and yes every team in the NBA would love to have a Jeff Foster. I am not denying any of that. I am just saying that for one thing he is a power forward, not a center and until we can get an interior defender who has size and can alter shots we will never improve overall as a team.

I think this about sums up the state of things......................

Peck
01-21-2009, 07:36 PM
I think this about sums up the state of things......................

The double edged sword of that is that until Foster is not here as was so eloquently put above ad the coach's security blanket the team will not make this the top priority.