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View Full Version : Pacers are Most Consistent Team? Some proof JOB is doing a good job??



kidneypuncher
03-07-2009, 09:42 AM
I have been thinking that the Pacers are playing inconsistently due to wins against elite teams and losses to non-elite, but a recent article describes them as the most consistent team.



http://basketballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=576

Quote:

My next step, then, was to utilize the differential for each team as well as the location to create a projection of what the outcome would have been if a .500 team had played each game. For example, a completely average team going on the road (-3.5 points) to play the Cleveland Cavaliers (http://www.basketballprospectus.com/team.php?id=CLE) (+9.6 points) would reasonably be expected to lose by 13.1 points. To determine how well the team actually played in this circumstance, we have to add 13.1 points to the actual outcome. So a nine-point loss at Quicken Loans Arena actually indicates a team has played better than average.
Recalculating everything using adjusted differentials, here is the new list of most and least consistent teams.



Inconsistent Dev Consistent Dev
New Jersey 14.6 Indiana 8.8
L (http://www.basketballprospectus.com/glossary.php?search=L).A. Clippers 14.2 Charlotte 10.0
Denver 12.9 Cleveland 10.2
Dallas 12.6 Philadelphia 10.3
Sacramento 12.5 Houston 11.2

</PRE>
In most cases, the changes are not dramatic. The Nets and the Pacers (http://www.basketballprospectus.com/team.php?id=IND) still show up at opposite extremes, and Indiana comes out as positively metronomic once the quality of opposition is taken into account, at least relatively speaking.

Naptown_Seth
03-07-2009, 11:22 AM
Well that's definitely a bump for the pro-JOB side of the debate. Not only do they rank as most consistent, even when adjusted for competition, but they are fairly well up the ladder too. They aren't just barely the top team, they are the only team into single digit deviation by either measure.

Of course I'm not sure how proud we can be of consistency when it means maintaining a losing record. It's like the team is motivated and always brings it's game, but that game isn't a winning method...at least with this roster.

Overall still a positive for JOB I think.

NuffSaid
03-07-2009, 07:40 PM
Hmmmm...

Interesting...

I guess the bottom line to the article is this: Despite their record, the Pacers are playing more to their style as coached and have the best chance of improving next year above other -.500 teams provided mgmt makes smart roster moves over the summer. It would certainly mean retaining JOB, but it also means retaining it's core players: Granger, Quis, Ford, Jack, Murphy, Foster, Hibbert and Dunleavy despite his injury situation.

I'd include BRush as part of the core-mix except he lacked consistency in his overall performance even when given a full green light by his coach. He's starting to come around alittle, but I'm not ready to add him to that mix of players just yet. However, I do think that with a full summer of practising with the big boys he'll improve. Everyone else outside of the nine players mention I'd consider expendable.

Unclebuck
03-07-2009, 07:46 PM
One thing I know is the Pacers are in almost every game they play - much more so than a typical 35 win team. In fact I would compare that aspect favorably with a 48 win team. And that is one huge reason why I think JOB is doing a very good job with this team.

I see teams like the Hawks, Nets get blown out quite often. Even really good teams like the mavs, Jazz, Rockets (teams much better than the Pacers) get blown out more than the Pacers and for that I give a lot of credit to O'Brien,

MyFavMartin
03-07-2009, 07:48 PM
They play hard most every night and even when they lose, they're typically have a chance late in the game.

Have to admire a team that believes in hard work.

Unclebuck
03-07-2009, 08:04 PM
yeah, blowouts occur due to lack of effort.

Los Angeles
03-07-2009, 08:13 PM
Considering the number of terrible bowouts I've witnessed first hand at the staples center, my superstitious side wishes that this talk had waited until after tonight's game.

Unclebuck
03-08-2009, 10:13 PM
I added something to the thread title

rexnom
03-08-2009, 10:25 PM
Considering the number of terrible bowouts I've witnessed first hand at the staples center, my superstitious side wishes that this talk had waited until after tonight's game.
Ha-Ha! Take that!

LA 1
Superstition 0

Looks like you had the last laugh...

Brad8888
03-08-2009, 11:56 PM
At least you left it with room for questioning by ending the title with two question marks.

A statement such as "The Pacers are playing teams close on a much more consistent basis this season, due in part to the coaching of Jim O'Brien." would not get much argument from anyone here.

At times, his strategy is quite valid, especially against the elite teams that are highly trained and used to facing traditional strategies against them. Their effectiveness against us is reduced due to the pace we play and the fact that the faster that play gets, the more both teams are likely to break down defensively, leading to mutually high scoring results.

It is against weaker teams that his strategy is very questionable. We nearly all believe that we are overall more talented this year. With a more structured, disciplined approach to games against weaker opponents, I feel we would benefit more by playing less small ball and an overall slower tempo to keep the opposing teams from getting into an offensive rhythm and increasing our ability to defend due to the slower pace of the game allowing us to get back more effectively on defense.

That said, as I have stated elsewhere, ultimately the bottom line is "Just win, baby" and we have magically done so more lately despite our two best players being out and more play for Rush, especially, which has helped our defense more than it has hurt our offense. Hibbert is growing, as well, and hopefully his personal loss of his grandfather won't totally crush his spirit during the entire remainder of the season.

rexnom
03-09-2009, 12:26 AM
I've said it before and I'll say it again: I can't imagine a much better coach for what we currently need than Jim O'Brien. He's a great leader and I think the guys genuinely like playing for him.

Naptown_Seth
03-09-2009, 02:43 AM
One thing I know is the Pacers are in almost every game they play - much more so than a typical 35 win team. In fact I would compare that aspect favorably with a 48 win team. And that is one huge reason why I think JOB is doing a very good job with this team.

I see teams like the Hawks, Nets get blown out quite often. Even really good teams like the mavs, Jazz, Rockets (teams much better than the Pacers) get blown out more than the Pacers and for that I give a lot of credit to O'Brien,
So are they a good 35 win team or a terrible 48 win team?

The reason I made the Isiah drop in another thread, and let me add Bob Hill too since it was the same thing, is because both coaches had teams that did enough to keep you hopeful and to give you a sense that it was just a matter of time only to find out you were being strung along.


I don't hate him Buck, but you've got to understand my point a little too. The guy has just had 2 clearly losing seasons. Not 40-42, but seasons where they definitely were under .500 most or all of the way. To counter it we get "quality losses", but that's so dangerous because that's how you get strung along.

I think they made a massive mistake to give up on Rick so quickly, and I would apply that attitude toward JOB too. Things have been rough and it's not so easy to blame the coach. But at the same time you fired a guy and hired a new one for a reason - and the only good reason is because the team would play better.

At some point you can't keep measuring better in non-tangible terms and have to see it associated with W-L.

I'll agree (as I did in my first post) that consistency is a tangible measure that does suggest a positive situation. But then let me counter that with this - TIM FLOYD WAS A VERY CONSISTENT COACH. His teams always lost a ton, no surprises there. ;) The point is that you must question how good it is to consistently be on the short end of the stick, doesn't that say something about the coaching too?



Sorry, I'm just worried that we might be on a ride to nowhere. If we have a 3rd 35 win season, but with yet another consistent effort all season, do you still keep him as coach? And add to the mix some of the limited youth development to boot and it makes it tough to see exactly where this is all heading beyond where it is right now.

It's very hard for me to see how this team becomes a 42-45 win team next year.

rexnom
03-09-2009, 03:20 AM
So are they a good 35 win team or a terrible 48 win team?

The reason I made the Isiah drop in another thread, and let me add Bob Hill too since it was the same thing, is because both coaches had teams that did enough to keep you hopeful and to give you a sense that it was just a matter of time only to find out you were being strung along.


I don't hate him Buck, but you've got to understand my point a little too. The guy has just had 2 clearly losing seasons. Not 40-42, but seasons where they definitely were under .500 most or all of the way. To counter it we get "quality losses", but that's so dangerous because that's how you get strung along.

I think they made a massive mistake to give up on Rick so quickly, and I would apply that attitude toward JOB too. Things have been rough and it's not so easy to blame the coach. But at the same time you fired a guy and hired a new one for a reason - and the only good reason is because the team would play better.

At some point you can't keep measuring better in non-tangible terms and have to see it associated with W-L.

I'll agree (as I did in my first post) that consistency is a tangible measure that does suggest a positive situation. But then let me counter that with this - TIM FLOYD WAS A VERY CONSISTENT COACH. His teams always lost a ton, no surprises there. ;) The point is that you must question how good it is to consistently be on the short end of the stick, doesn't that say something about the coaching too?



Sorry, I'm just worried that we might be on a ride to nowhere. If we have a 3rd 35 win season, but with yet another consistent effort all season, do you still keep him as coach? And add to the mix some of the limited youth development to boot and it makes it tough to see exactly where this is all heading beyond where it is right now.

It's very hard for me to see how this team becomes a 42-45 win team next year.
What?! It's very easy to blame the coach! Everyone does it! It's not so easy not to blame the coach. I don't get your argument, however. What do you think Rick or any non-Obie coach could get out of this team that Obie isn't getting?

To me, Rick is like a very, very harsh horse jockey. He whips his horses really hard and gets great performance out of them. However, I think it's the type of coaching that you only want to give to veteran horses and for a limited time period - neither of which we have now. I like Rick as a coach but I think Obie is great as well, particularly for our situation

Roy is starting, Brandon is playing significant minutes, often late. Neither have hit their walls and they've clearly improved over the season. And the same goes for Jack and Murphy, for that matter. Also, Obie hates losing. And I think it's important to have a coach that can get that mentality into his players like Obie does without being overbearing and harsh like Bob Knight. Frankly, I think he's rubbed off on Granger a bit as well.

Again, criticize his defense or his offense but the fact of the matter is this: the team has made huge strides in both areas, they play hard and they're fun to watch (most times).

To answer your initial question, there is no such thing as a "good 35 win" or a "terrible 48 win team." This is a 35-38 win team. They probably overachieved to get there but that's besides the point. This is where they deserved to go, based on their effort, which has been consistently high (as opposed to Tim Floyd NBA teams), and we can thank Obie for that, I think. This is a good type of consistency - don't compare it Tim Floyd because that's fallacious in more than one way.

I must betray my age and ignorance by claiming that I don't recall the Bob Hill era. However, as an eye-witness for the Isiah age, how can you even draw any kind of comparison? The same Isiah who had one of the most talented Pacer teams of all time completely fall of the map in 2003 after a strong start pre-all-star game? Isiah was anything but consistent. Jesus.

I don't think Phil Jackson could have gotten 40 wins these past two years. Kudos to Obie for doing a great job with the guys. Yeah, we'll stop measuring things in intangibles after the rebuilding stops. Until then, we're gonna be happy as long as Obie turns out a consistent effort from his team.

naptownmenace
03-09-2009, 09:21 AM
For those that like to point at O'Brien as the reason for the Pacers record the past 2 seasons... How much do injuries factor into the performance and record of the team?

Honestly, each season they entered training camp with a certain expectation of who the personnel would be. Obie builds his team's schemes based on these players giving them major roles.

Season 1 two of his top players go down with injuries - his leading scorer/defender and assist man. Prior to the injuries the Pacers are 3 games over .500. The team has to make adjustments the entire second half of the season with young players and castoffs taking the lead. They play hard down the stretch and miss the playoffs by one game.

Season 2 is more of the same but add in the fact that the team's best defender was traded in the offseason and there are 7 new players added to the mix. Still they start of the season well, even without a key player (Dunleavy), and have a 5-5 record through the first 10 games. Yet again, the young guys step up their game, several players have career best year, and the team is right in the playoff hunt again.

Teams that lose their best players to injury for more than 40 games are supposed to suck. This team continues to compete and pull out tough wins. Even when they lose they play to the horn and give themselves a chance to win.

Obie has definitely earned at least one more year as coach.

Dr. Goldfoot
03-09-2009, 12:56 PM
Injuries and roster turnover are always part of the job. It's up to the coach to deal with it.

Isiah, Rick and JOB have all been in the same boat. Zeke and Rick dealt with massive mid-season trades, youth, crazy off seasons, non-basketball related upheavals & certainly missed games to projected starters etc...O'Brien has been the least effective in the W/L column.

Infinite MAN_force
03-09-2009, 01:09 PM
I almost lost it for Obrien during that whole "We are sitting the rooks to make the playoffs experiment". Now however the team's best player is hurt, the rookies are playing key roles, and the team is playing better defense and winning more consistently. I think Obrien really deserves some credit for this because I figured this team would fall apart when they lost Granger.

Obrien is a good coach, his main problem is being to stuck in his ways sometimes, never wanting to deviate from his system, being stubborn about certain player rotations. However, he has this team playing together and playing good fundamental offensive basketball, by god they may finally be getting his defense too. I think this team will look a lot better next year with a full year together and a full year in Obie's system.

count55
03-09-2009, 01:14 PM
Injuries and roster turnover are always part of the job. It's up to the coach to deal with it.

Isiah, Rick and JOB have all been in the same boat. Zeke and Rick dealt with massive mid-season trades, youth, crazy off seasons, non-basketball related upheavals & certainly missed games to projected starters etc...O'Brien has been the least effective in the W/L column.

He's also had the least overall talent, with the possible exception of the last half of Rick's last year.

naptownmenace
03-09-2009, 01:16 PM
Injuries and roster turnover are always part of the job. It's up to the coach to deal with it.

Isiah, Rick and JOB have all been in the same boat. Zeke and Rick dealt with massive mid-season trades, youth, crazy off seasons, non-basketball related upheavals & certainly missed games to projected starters etc...O'Brien has been the least effective in the W/L column.

I think you were trying to disagree with me but really In a way, you've made the same point I did.

Zeke's and Rick's teams underacheived due to injuries, suspensions, non-basketball related issues, ect and you can't expect a team to be that good under those circumstances.

During the 61 win season, Rick didn't have to deal with those issues which contributed to that great season. Even when everything hit the fan, I was never one who thought he should be fired. Just like I don't think O'Brien should be fired.

Roy Munson
03-09-2009, 01:28 PM
Consistent = A good thing.

Consistently crumby = Not so much.

ABADays
03-09-2009, 05:17 PM
Consistent = A good thing.

Consistently crumby = Not so much.

Mm - hm