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View Full Version : If he is available, Blair must be the guy (BOB kRAVITZ)



vnzla81
06-16-2009, 08:35 PM
http://www.indystar.com/article/20090616/SPORTS15/906160348/1034/SPORTS15

INDYSTAR.COM
BOB KRAVITZ
JUNE 16 2009
The Pacers need "mean.''

Not taking-candy-from-children mean or shooting-up-a-strip-joint-parking-lot mean, but mean, a guy with a bit of an angry edge and a Machiavellian will to dominate.


Say hello to DeJuan Blair, the University of Pittsburgh forward who joined North Carolina's Ty Lawson, UCLA's Jrue Holiday, Wake Forest's Jeff Teague, Michigan State's Goran Suton and Florida State's Toney Douglas at the Pacers' predraft workout Monday at Conseco Fieldhouse.

If he's still there when the Pacers select at No. 13 nine days from now -- assuming, of course, they remain at No. 13 -- Blair is my pick.

He may not have the prototypical power forward height at 6-61/2, but he's got the wingspan of a pterodactyl (he's as wide as Roy Hibbert is tall at 7-2), he's strong, has good hands, he's an accomplished passer and he can rebound and play defense.

More, though, he's got passion, a motor, an unmistakable don't-mess-with-me attitude.

Weaknesses? Absolutely. Otherwise he'd be a top-five guy instead of someone who acknowledged Monday he expects to go between Nos. 10 and 20. Height is clearly an issue, although he's quick to remind you that Charles Barkley, who was 6-6, wasn't supposed to be big enough to compete at power forward.

Blair will certainly have a tough time in the low post offensively -- hard to see how he's going to find his shot consistently -- but the Pacers are not in the market for a big-time scorer.

They need defense.

They need rebounding.

They need Blair.

Looking for a current comparison? How about Utah's 6-8 rebounding machine Paul Millsap?

"The Pacers are looking for somebody with a mean edge,'' I told him. "Are you a little bit mean?''

"Of course,'' he said softly.

Then he paused and flashed a toothy smile. "I'm a mean person.''

OK, maybe not mean . . .

"Tough,'' he said. "This league is tough and I'm a tough person already. I would bring a low-post presence, rebounding and toughness.''

The only problem will be if Blair isn't there at No. 13, which is entirely possible. The word is that Blair, who dropped 35 pounds since the end of last season, has helped himself immensely in the weeks leading up to the June 25 draft.

Of course, most of these reports begin with words like, "Those in the know say . . .'' and "There's a growing consensus that . . .'' And those words are often written by somebody like me, who knows as much about prospect/project Jrue Holiday as he does vegan cooking and Javanese history.

As we all know, the 10-day countdown to draft day is rife with smoke screens and strategic lies. Nobody is showing their hand, save for the Los Angeles Clippers, who hold the top pick and have unabashedly embraced Blake Griffin. At this point, the only folks who know where the Pacers are leaning are members of Larry Bird's inner circle.

Just for grins, I checked out several mock drafts Monday. Five Web sites had the Pacers taking Duke's Gerald Henderson. Four had them taking Blair. Four had them taking Syracuse point guard Jonny Flynn. Two had point guard Brandon Jennings, who played last season in Italy. There were single votes for North Carolina's Tyler Hansbrough, Louisville's Earl Clark and Gonzaga's Austin Daye.

The only thing I know for sure is, the Pacers have to take the best player available, whether he fills an immediate need or not. A Blair-like interior presence would be my choice, as long as he's available, but if he's not, it doesn't matter if the Pacers choose another point guard or a swingman.

You don't start plugging holes until you've moved past the .500 mark.

So, I asked Blair, if he was so heavy in college, why didn't he lose the weight before his first payday beckoned?

"I have a lot more time to (train) now,'' he said, sounding like a guy who's tired of talking about his height and weight and just about everything else. "In college, you have just a couple of hours with school and everything else. And I'm not around fast food a lot.''

The question a general manager has to ask is, will he maintain that slimmer physique once he cashes that first big paycheck?

Here's the moment when I began thinking that Blair would look perfect in an Indiana Pacers uniform: During a regular-season game between Pitt and UConn last year, Blair outmuscled 7-3 Hasheem Thabeet for a rebound, then locked the big man's arm in his and flung Thabeet to the floor like he was a rag doll.

Somehow, I don't see, say, Brandon Rush trying to rip somebody's arm out of its socket, just for the fun of it.

Indianapolis native Jeff Teague, who was among a marquee group of prospects at the fieldhouse, said Blair made a quick impression on him.

"He's an animal,'' Teague said.

Sounds like a Pacer to me.

BRushWithDeath
06-16-2009, 08:41 PM
It depends on who else is available. I'd take him ahead of the pg's but if Gerald Henderson gets by Charlotte I'd much rather have him.

sweabs
06-16-2009, 08:42 PM
I enjoyed watching Blair in college and generally appreciate players with his work ethic, tenacity, aggressiveness and determination underneath the basket. While I would love for him to become a Pacer, I'd feel more comfortable taking him if O'Brien wasn't our head coach. I could easily see him losing confidence and getting buried on the bench during his rookie year with Jim - but if it seems like a given that we will be making a coaching change after the upcoming season, it may be worthwhile to take Blair (if he's still on the board).

MillerTime
06-16-2009, 08:46 PM
It depends on who else is available. I'd take him ahead of the pg's but if Gerald Henderson gets by Charlotte I'd much rather have him.

Overall, Henderson is the safe pick. But Blair would be nice

vnzla81
06-16-2009, 08:49 PM
I swear I would pull a Shade if they draft Blair, he is an smaller Jason Maxiel, they need to draft either best player avalaible or a PF who can complement Roy Hibbert in the Future and I don't think that Blair can do that.

MillerTime
06-16-2009, 08:52 PM
I swear I would pull a Shade if they draft Blair, he is an smaller Jason Maxiel, they need to draft either best player avalaible or a PF who can complement Roy Hibbert in the Future and I don't think that Blair can do that.

Just out of curiosity, why wouldn't Blair be able to complement Hibbert? Hibbert isn't too great of a rebounder and Blair could pick up the slack in that department.

vnzla81
06-16-2009, 09:17 PM
Just out of curiosity, why wouldn't Blair be able to complement Hibbert? Hibbert isn't too great of a rebounder and Blair could pick up the slack in that department.

Like I said before in the Blair thread, he does not have a jump shot that can open the floor for Roy, also him and Roy are gonna have to use the same floor space making it easier for the other team to double Roy, the other thing about his game is that he is to small to guard almost anybody, he is not a shot blocker and is not quick enough to stay in front of his guy, also the tough game everybody talks about does not translate to the NBA when the game is cleaner and they call fouls almost every time you touch somebody and he is going to foul out almost every game.

BlueNGold
06-16-2009, 09:18 PM
I think Blair has enough wingspan, width and strength to be effective in the paint...particularly on the boards. Certainly he can defend the post better than Murphy. Blair's reach is probably higher than Troy's so I doubt defending the paint will be a huge issue except against the elite big guys.

...and while I love the Pacers, the clean-up job has taken a bit too much of the flavor out of this team. We need some swagger and I think he would bring some of that along with much needed toughness and rebounding. I don't know if he beats out Murphy, but I do think he would make a great addition coming off the bench.

CableKC
06-16-2009, 09:23 PM
I voted No.....but really preferred to answer "Depends on who else is available and whether we have any plans to acquire another 1st round pick".

About the article, I'm gonna echo what Seth said about Kravitz. The guy has as much knowledge about this draft as any of us.....by reading draft notes, mock drafts and whatever any other "Draft" Blogger" has posted...cuz that's pretty much what he wrote in the article. The difference is that he had the opportunity to interview the Draftees.

I get more indepth draft coverage from all of you in PD then anything that Kravitz just wrote.

PacerDude
06-16-2009, 09:25 PM
the tough game everybody talks about does not translate to the NBA when the game is cleaner and they call fouls almost every time you touch somebody and he is going to foul out almost every game.As it is with all rookies until they learn the NBA a little and the NBA learns them.

Blair would be fine.

MillerTime
06-16-2009, 09:31 PM
I think Blair has enough wingspan, width and strength to be effective in the paint...particularly on the boards. Certainly he can defend the post better than Murphy. Blair's reach is probably higher than Troy's so I doubt defending the paint will be a huge issue except against the elite big guys.

...and while I love the Pacers, the clean-up job has taken a bit too much of the flavor out of this team. We need some swagger and I think he would bring some of that along with much needed toughness and rebounding. I don't know if he beats out Murphy, but I do think he would make a great addition coming off the bench.

He wont beat out Troy in his first year as a rookie, thats for sure. He would be a great addition to the guys (Foster and McRoberts when resigned) off the bench

vnzla81
06-16-2009, 09:32 PM
As it is with all rookies until they learn the NBA a little and the NBA learns them.

Blair would be fine.

Another thing we need to ask is if all that weight he lost is not going to affect his game, is different to be a 300 pound guy in college and dominate than a 270 pounds guy and try to dominate in the NBA where the players are big and athletic, I really think that Blair is way overrated, he is like the new Kevin Love(from last year).

Aw Heck
06-16-2009, 09:32 PM
I wouldn't be opposed to Blair I guess. But I don't expect him to ever be more than just a decent role player. Better than Ike Diogu, worse than Paul Millsap. More along the lines of Chuck Hayes or Reggie Evans.

He'd bring some things that the Pacers need for sure, but I can see his weaknesses being exposed easily enough that he won't see too much time on the court. I know this is a weak draft, but I think there will be better players available that could bring more positives over the long term than Blair can.

I'd rather see what Ty Lawson could bring to the team (assuming Ford could be moved and Jack re-signed) or even James Johnson.

Kegboy
06-16-2009, 09:32 PM
I voted No.....but really preferred to answer "Depends on who else is available and whether we have any plans to acquire another 1st round pick".

About the article, I'm gonna echo what Seth said about Kravitz. The guy has as much knowledge about this draft as any of us.....by reading draft notes, mock drafts and whatever any other "Draft" Blogger" has posted...cuz that's pretty much what he wrote in the article. The difference is that he had the opportunity to interview the Draftees.

I get more indepth draft coverage from all of you in PD then anything that Kravitz just wrote.

The sad thing is I wonder if Kravitz has ever even seen the kid play.

BlueNGold
06-16-2009, 09:36 PM
Just out of curiosity, why wouldn't Blair be able to complement Hibbert? Hibbert isn't too great of a rebounder and Blair could pick up the slack in that department.

Good point. On offense it works too because Roy does have a very good high post game. Blair would be posting up and rebounding the balls that Roy and the rest of the team shoots IMO.

....but when I think of drafting Blair, I don't expect him to be the PF of the future. I just think he has a low probability of being a bust and would add a nice dimension to this team.

Hicks
06-16-2009, 09:37 PM
Another thing we need to ask is if all that weight he lost is not going to affect his game, is different to be a 300 pound guy in college and dominate than a 270 pounds guy and try to dominate in the NBA where the players are big and athletic, I really think that Blair is way overrated, he is like the new Kevin Love(from last year).

I don't think Kevin Love is overrated. If Blair is Love's quality of a player, I'm fine with drafting him.

vnzla81
06-16-2009, 09:42 PM
I don't think Kevin Love is overrated. If Blair is Love's quality of a player, I'm fine with drafting him.

my bad, I did not said that Kevin Love was overrated I am just saying that he was drafted to high for been overrated(you understand?) he could have been a nice pick later, the same with Blair I think that just because this draft is so low in PF his value is higher that what is supposed to be, he should be drafted around 20th and 31th not 10th and 15th

CableKC
06-16-2009, 09:45 PM
The sad thing is I wonder if Kravitz has ever even seen the kid play.
We know that he has seen the "Blair throws Thabeet to the ground over his shoulder" YouTube clip that everyone and their grandmothers have seen. That's at least once. It's possible that since Kravitz interviewed Blair that he saw him work out....but it's entirely possible that he showed up after the workout and missed the entire show.

But to be fair....even Kravitz admits in the article that he doesn't know many of the prospects that were working out.

MillerTime
06-16-2009, 09:46 PM
I don't think Kevin Love is overrated. If Blair is Love's quality of a player, I'm fine with drafting him.


Another thing we need to ask is if all that weight he lost is not going to affect his game, is different to be a 300 pound guy in college and dominate than a 270 pounds guy and try to dominate in the NBA where the players are big and athletic, I really think that Blair is way overrated, he is like the new Kevin Love(from last year).

I agree with Hicks. Theres no way Love is overrated. He just about averaged a double double in his rookie year (0.9 rebs off). Was 3rd in rebs per 48mins; was 9th in rebs per game, 3rd in offensive rebs, and had 29 double doubles.

Thats not bad for a rookie that spend more than half the season as a backup

Kegboy
06-16-2009, 09:47 PM
I don't think Blair has Love's talent. He's a work horse, not a show horse.

Blair's not gonna be a great player. I don't know if anyone in this draft will be. But he'll be a solid pro. Somebody said Reggie Evans, I'd love to get Reggie Evans out of this draft.

That said, he doesn't fit this team at all, or, I should say, this team doesn't fit him at all, which is a damn shame. Not that it matters, because Milwaukee or NJ or Chicago will take him, and we as Pacer fans will spend the next however many years hating his guts.

MillerTime
06-16-2009, 09:51 PM
I don't think Blair has Love's talent. He's a work horse, not a show horse.

Blair's not gonna be a great player. I don't know if anyone in this draft will be. But he'll be a solid pro. Somebody said Reggie Evans, I'd love to get Reggie Evans out of this draft.

That said, he doesn't fit this team at all, or, I should say, this team doesn't fit him at all, which is a damn shame. Not that it matters, because Milwaukee or NJ or Chicago will take him, and we as Pacer fans will spend the next however many years hating his guts.

Griffin will be, I have no doubt about that

Kegboy
06-16-2009, 09:53 PM
Griffin will be, I have no doubt about that

Meh. If you think Elton Brand's a great player, okay. Otherwise...

Brad8888
06-16-2009, 09:53 PM
This is Kravitz at his usual level of proficiency. If this is how it actually goes, the saying "Even a blind squirrel finds a nut now and then" comes to mind.

BlueNGold
06-16-2009, 10:00 PM
Griffin will be, I have no doubt about that

Blair's reach is an inch and a half higher than Griffin. Are you sure?

..just kidding.

The fact is though, Blair's reach is also higher than Tyler Hansborough and only 1/2 inch short of Jordan Hill.

One thing to keep in mind is, it doesn't matter much how tall a player is if he has short arms. You don't guard players with your forehead. Hops matter too...but with 30 less pounds Blair is bound to get up more...

vnzla81
06-16-2009, 10:10 PM
I agree with Hicks. Theres no way Love is overrated. He just about averaged a double double in his rookie year (0.9 rebs off). Was 3rd in rebs per 48mins; was 9th in rebs per game, 3rd in offensive rebs, and had 29 double doubles.

Thats not bad for a rookie that spend more than half the season as a backup

I would still take Mayo over Kevin love, Mayo has Kobe Bryan's potential while Kevin Love has Troy Murphy potential, I don't know about you but I take Mayo.

Hicks
06-16-2009, 10:31 PM
my bad, I did not said that Kevin Love was overrated I am just saying that he was drafted to high for been overrated(you understand?) he could have been a nice pick later, the same with Blair I think that just because this draft is so low in PF his value is higher that what is supposed to be, he should be drafted around 20th and 31th not 10th and 15th

I understand what you're saying now.

Hicks
06-16-2009, 10:34 PM
I would still take Mayo over Kevin love, Mayo has Kobe Bryan's potential while Kevin Love has Troy Murphy potential, I don't know about you but I take Mayo.

I don't think those two (Murphy and Love) are all that similar once you get past "white big man". Love plays like a big man, Troy is more of an oversized SF. Love is a great passer and I'm willing to believe significantly stronger than Troy. I don't recall on defense, but I think I recall him being decent at that, too.

vnzla81
06-16-2009, 10:38 PM
I don't think those two (Murphy and Love) are all that similar once you get past "white big man". Love plays like a big man, Troy is more of an oversized SF. Love is a great passer and I'm willing to believe significantly stronger than Troy. I don't recall on defense, but I think I recall him being decent at that, too.

They are pretty good shooters and rebounders but not good in D, that is the reason why I think they are similar and you are right Klove is stronger.

billbradley
06-16-2009, 10:40 PM
I would still take Mayo over Kevin love, Mayo has Kobe Bryan's potential while Kevin Love has Troy Murphy potential, I don't know about you but I take Mayo.

mayo is closer to jamal crawford potential than kobe

ESutt7
06-16-2009, 11:25 PM
Agree, let's not go comparing Mayo to Kobe...

And I voted no. I prefer Johnson's versatility to Blair's "toughness." I also happen to think JJ will be pretty tough, and just gives us more options on both end. It also would depend on which PG is there. If one falls, or if they like Lawson or someone enough to think they'll be better than Ford ever has been, then I'd rather do that and trade for a PF.

I'd love to get 2 1sts though. Seems like enough quality character/players available to me. And some may slip thanks to guys like Daye being taken in the teens.

MillerTime
06-17-2009, 12:08 AM
I would still take Mayo over Kevin love, Mayo has Kobe Bryan's potential while Kevin Love has Troy Murphy potential, I don't know about you but I take Mayo.

they also got Mike Miller who is going to be just under $10 million expirer

MillerTime
06-17-2009, 12:11 AM
I would still take Mayo over Kevin love, Mayo has Kobe Bryan's potential while Kevin Love has Troy Murphy potential, I don't know about you but I take Mayo.

Theres no similarities here. Love has a post game; Murphy doesnt. Love likes to bang inside, Murphy doesnt.

The only similarity is that they both arent that good on defense, but if that were the case you can make say that Murphy and Tinsley are similar (both such at dee)

D-BONE
06-17-2009, 08:15 AM
Agree, let's not go comparing Mayo to Kobe...

And I voted no. I prefer Johnson's versatility to Blair's "toughness." I also happen to think JJ will be pretty tough, and just gives us more options on both end. It also would depend on which PG is there. If one falls, or if they like Lawson or someone enough to think they'll be better than Ford ever has been, then I'd rather do that and trade for a PF.

I'd love to get 2 1sts though. Seems like enough quality character/players available to me. And some may slip thanks to guys like Daye being taken in the teens.

This is pretty much where I stand. Assuming we stay at #13 and both guys are available, I like Johnson's diversity more. I wouldn't be upset with Blair though.

I can't pinpoint it, but there's something about Lawson I'm just not keen on. In fact, I don't have a real sense that any of the PGs likely to be around at 13 will be any better than what we currently have...even long-term.

I guess that puts me squarely in the PF camp barring an unexpected drop or movement by us.

Eindar
06-17-2009, 09:10 AM
I wouldn't mind Blair, but it begs the question: if we're looking for him to bring energy, hustle, and rebounding, and not a serious post game, why not just move down about 10 spots, draft Hansbrough, get something of value for our trouble, and tell Jeff Foster we've drafted his replacement?

The only reason you draft Blair over Hansbrough is for a post game and defense. If Blair doesn't show both of those things and also the exceptional rebounding he's known for, I don't see why you draft him over Hansbrough.

As for James Johnson, I think that becomes a question of playing style. If the plan is to keep JOB or a JOB-esque coach here where we're going to be running a seven seconds or less Suns offense, then Blair and Hibbert are both useless and you draft Johnson to play PF for you. If the long-term plan is to become a half-court team, I think you draft Blair or Hansbrough, and keep developing Hibbert.

Having said all that, if Jennings or Holiday slip, they're the pick, no questions asked. TJ Ford is a good PG, but he's a defensive liability. Also, under the SSOL assumption, Daye would be a nice pickup, but this team can't wait for 2-3 years to see production from a draft pick.

One thing I have noticed is that one way or another, either Jeff Foster or TJ Ford are very likely to be traded this summer, because both the PF and PG rotations are already deep enough, and drafting someone likely means that those positions become too deep for everyone to get playing time. Unless the plan is to play Jeff solely as a backup Center and use Murphy and the rookie as the PF corps, Jeff is, IMO, too valuable to allow him to sit the bench, when you could turn him into a draft pick or a veteran that could contribute.

Unclebuck
06-17-2009, 09:31 AM
One thing about a column such as this, if this guy is available and the pacers don't take him a good percentage of Pacers fans will think the pacers made a mistake. It happens every year if the media whether through mock drafts starts focusing in on a certain guy a team should take and then that team doesn't take him it almost becomes prevailing wisdom that the team must have made a mistake

idioteque
06-17-2009, 09:31 AM
Blair isn't my first choice in this draft, but if we draft him, I'll be relatively satisfied. I may pull a Shade years later, however, if James Johnson turns into a Rashard Lewis type player and Blair is Dale Davis.

ESutt7
06-17-2009, 09:41 AM
Having said all that, if Jennings or Holiday slip, they're the pick, no questions asked. TJ Ford is a good PG, but he's a defensive liability. Also, under the SSOL assumption, Daye would be a nice pickup, but this team can't wait for 2-3 years to see production from a draft pick.


Personally, I don't think we'd take Jennings unless we had a trade lined up for him. I just don't think he's Bird's "type" if you will. Unproven, flashy, cocky, and inconsistent is the exact opposite of what he'd go for IMO. If the PFs are gone or we don't like them, and we are set on a PG I think our brass would prefer Lawson over Jennings. And I think they could be right, depending on if Jennings ever "gets it." Lawson is more of an immediate impact for a playoff contender, Jennings will take a while IMO. Still has a lot of flaws in his game, but I agree that if he reached his ceiling he'd be an excellent player. It's just a question of whether you believe he'll reach that or not. If he is there at 13, there could be a team that wants to trade with us badly all of a sudden, and that can always be a good thing.

ABADays
06-17-2009, 09:55 AM
The sad thing is I wonder if Kravitz has ever even seen the kid play.

That's a prerequisite for any of the 100,000 columnists?

Jonathan
06-17-2009, 10:53 AM
I voted no. I am not knocking Blair's game. Saw him beat WVU in 2008 on ESPN Classic he was 3-13. Bad Shooting Night, but seemed to have a High Basketball IQ.

I just believe that Ty Lawson has it and will be a great addition to the future core:

Ty Lawson

B Rush

D Granger

???????????

Hibbert

Naptown_Seth
06-17-2009, 11:33 AM
also him and Roy are gonna have to use the same floor space making it easier for the other team to double Roy
I disagree here. One of Blair's main strengths is setting picks and screens. He's good at it, Dale Davis good. Sure that isn't a good PnR situation so he's out of the two man game - he can't make good on his half of it - but as part of a post-feed setup pick he's great.

My concern there is one others have mentioned: will JOB go with this when typically he lets them run quick 2 man PnR on the outside looking for 2 step jumpers coming over the pick. Troy's no gazelle but he was at least capable of driving to the rim when they switched too tight on him, and when they didn't he's got the range. Even Foster made good on slightly shorter jumpers in this system.

That's where I worry about Blair's usage.



As for Kravitz, let's put it this way. He never heard of Blair till after he tossed Thabeet to the floor and made Sportscenter, and maybe not even then. Meanwhile those of us who take interest in recruiting were already following that game simply because it was a great showdown between 2 top prospects.

We went into that game with some idea of what those 2 players were like and what kind of stuff we wanted to see them show or prove. I would bet Bob's never even seen that game in full, just that one highlight.


FOULS - this was Blair's number one achilles heel in college, and that means it must remain a concern at the next level where guys find themselves in a lot more foul trouble early on. On the flipside he's at least had experience having to play with fouls in mind, but his solution was usually to get way too passive.



Love v Mayo - oddly this is a case of two guys I had to stick up for and I feel vindicated in both, but I don't see Mayo as the next Kobe and Love as the next Troy. Love is more like the next McHale which is how I scouted him last year. He's crafty inside and that showed in his first year results.

I was always impressed with Mayo's desire on the defensive end. His issue is he went with a crap coach and a crap program, but he and/or his handlers were in it for the money. Ultimately it didn't hurt him one bit really, but a different situation might have got him to the #1 draft spot.

His key is learning enough offensive discipline to be more Lebron and less AI. That's still up in the air.

Eindar
06-17-2009, 11:51 AM
Is Lawson, right this second, better than TJ Ford was when he was drafted? If not, do we not have a veteran version of Ty Lawson on this team right now? If so, why draft the rookie version?

I'm not one who thinks that small point guards can't suceed in the NBA, but they have to be good shooters, great passers, and not be a huge defensive liability. I'm not sure if Lawson will ever be all three.

Given, Blair doesn't fit the prototype of what an NBA PF should be in terms of height, but with big men the standing reach, no step vertical, and motor are more important than shooting and passing. He passes those tests, so I'd be more willing to gamble on Blair than to gamble on Lawson, especially given that TJ Ford provides us most of what Lawson would, whereas we don't have anyone who can get us tough rebounds, since Foster is getting older and can't do it for 35 mpg every game.

Gamble1
06-17-2009, 11:57 AM
As for James Johnson, I think that becomes a question of playing style. If the plan is to keep JOB or a JOB-esque coach here where we're going to be running a seven seconds or less Suns offense, then Blair and Hibbert are both useless and you draft Johnson to play PF for you. If the long-term plan is to become a half-court team, I think you draft Blair or Hansbrough, and keep developing Hibbert.

.

That is the million dollar question. Blair would be more valueable in half court setting but who knows what Larry is thinking as far as the future direction of the team.

Jonathan
06-17-2009, 11:57 AM
Lawson distributes the ball / Ford looks to score.

beast23
06-17-2009, 12:00 PM
I am totally mixed about this one.

The Pacers need a junkyard dog in the worst way. But even more so, they need to be certain to hit a home run with this draft. Does this particular dog carry too much risk? Would taking a pass on Blair and making a safer selection be the way to go?

I believe that taking Blair would be considered somewhat as "taking a chance". And if the selection didn't pan out during the season, I think Bird and the Pacers would be in trouble.

ESutt7
06-17-2009, 12:05 PM
Is Lawson, right this second, better than TJ Ford was when he was drafted? If not, do we not have a veteran version of Ty Lawson on this team right now? If so, why draft the rookie version?

I'm not one who thinks that small point guards can't suceed in the NBA, but they have to be good shooters, great passers, and not be a huge defensive liability. I'm not sure if Lawson will ever be all three.

I definitely get that and I can see that comparison. But as a matter of fact, Lawson IS better in college than Ford was, at least IMO. Ford had awful shooting percentages (40% FG, 27% 3P). Ford's A/TO has always been about 2:1, from college to pros.

Lawson on the other hand got his team farther (there's a number of reasons, one could be his leadership. The other could be UNC flat out had more talent. And the third would be Roy Williams is a better coach than Rick Barnes. I really think Barnes underutilizes the kind of talent he gets there, but that's JMO. I've never thought he did a good job in big games with his roster. He out-talents people a lot, but I'm not sure he's a great teacher. Then again he has a ton of wins.)

Anyway, back to Lawson. He is the same height with a slightly better wingspan and reach. But the key to me is that he has 33 lbs on Ford, but is every bit as quick! Lawson is 195, Ford is 162. To me that's a big deal in terms of durability and ability to attack the basket. That with the fact that Lawson shot 53% FG and 47% 3P, as well as having a 3.5:1 A/TO means that Lawson could definitely be a better PG than TJ. And one that isn't as concerned with his own shot, but is better able to knock it down and finish at the basket than TJ.

OakMoses
06-17-2009, 12:08 PM
I'd just like to point out that Johnson is a 6'8", 250+ on former kickboxing champion. I'm not sure his toughness is the area I'd choose to question.

Also, James Johnson is a lot more like Ron Artest, at least in body type, than he is like Rashard Lewis.

Speed
06-17-2009, 12:10 PM
I said, no, of course it really depends on who is there.

No because he's not very versatile. So when someone is a niche type player he needs to be crazy good at the one or two things he does. In today's NBA, I think he can rebound, but will he be a top 10 rebounder in the league, doubtful. I'm not saying you should expect a top 10 rebounder in the league at 13 in a weak draft. What I am saying is that I don't think he'll be able to work in the low post effectively at his height and ability, offensively. I don't think he can guard Rashard Lewis or even a Rasheed Wallace, or even even a Troy Murphy at all. I think he'll be a foul machine at first. I think he could have trouble keeping at playing weight potentially. I think he's knees and the ACLs torn in highschool is very alarming for someone who may carry extra weight by nature. I think ya he's been "fine" playing 30 games a year at Pitt, but 82 is out of the question, likely. Also, He can only play the 4 spot. I'd bet Obie wouldn't play him, ever. He doesn't fit his history of players he appreciates.

So again, I think he may lack in every area or be below average, but has rebounding and toughness. However, I don't see that being enough of dominant ability to outweigh the shortcomings.

Look I want the next DD as much as the next guy, but I find myself wishing it in Blair instead of actually seeing it.

As for who is there, if it's down to Blair, Flynn, and G Henderson, which to me is possible. I'd probably take Blair with the team as it's currently constructed. It depends on what I think Henderson projects to long term and he scares me that he'll be nothing more than a cross between Marquis Daniels and Stephen Grahm, at the best. I'd take Blair because the Pacers lack what he does more than any team I can think of right now. That magnified need would make me take Blair.

Lastly, if this was the early/mid 90s, I'd take Blair at the 5th pick. He'd be awesome in that NBA, not in this era though.

Eindar
06-17-2009, 12:13 PM
Lawson distributes the ball / Ford looks to score.

That seems to be the common misperception. TJ looks to score more NOW, his college play was decidedly different, with inferior teammates. TJ, in two years of college, averaged nearly 8 assists per game. Meanwhile, Ty Lawson averaged around 6 assists per game over the course of three years. Also, Lawson averaged more PPG than TJ.

So, when comparing to them at the relevant stages of their career, your statement is actually backwards.

Speed
06-17-2009, 12:16 PM
I'd just like to point out that Johnson is a 6'8", 250+ on former kickboxing champion. I'm not sure his toughness is the area I'd choose to question.

Also, James Johnson is a lot more like Ron Artest, at least in body type, than he is like Rashard Lewis.

Certainly not to his face.

Eindar
06-17-2009, 12:17 PM
I definitely get that and I can see that comparison. But as a matter of fact, Lawson IS better in college than Ford was, at least IMO. Ford had awful shooting percentages (40% FG, 27% 3P). Ford's A/TO has always been about 2:1, from college to pros.

Lawson on the other hand got his team farther (there's a number of reasons, one could be his leadership. The other could be UNC flat out had more talent. And the third would be Roy Williams is a better coach than Rick Barnes. I really think Barnes underutilizes the kind of talent he gets there, but that's JMO. I've never thought he did a good job in big games with his roster. He out-talents people a lot, but I'm not sure he's a great teacher. Then again he has a ton of wins.)

Anyway, back to Lawson. He is the same height with a slightly better wingspan and reach. But the key to me is that he has 33 lbs on Ford, but is every bit as quick! Lawson is 195, Ford is 162. To me that's a big deal in terms of durability and ability to attack the basket. That with the fact that Lawson shot 53% FG and 47% 3P, as well as having a 3.5:1 A/TO means that Lawson could definitely be a better PG than TJ. And one that isn't as concerned with his own shot, but is better able to knock it down and finish at the basket than TJ.

This, I can understand. If you feel like Lawson will be a better shooter, take better care of the ball, and not be a defensive liability, then I have no problem with taking him, assuming you immediately move TJ for a veteran PF, even if he's a bench guy like Evans, Hayes, or even Chris Anderson.

ESutt7
06-17-2009, 12:18 PM
Ford averaged 12 FGA, Lawson 10 FGA. So not really. He scores more because he shoots 13% better from the field overall and 20% better from 3. He also makes better decisions with the ball than TJ did. TJ averaged more assists, yes, but by about 1 and he played slightly more minutes.

ESutt7
06-17-2009, 12:21 PM
This, I can understand. If you feel like Lawson will be a better shooter, take better care of the ball, and not be a defensive liability, then I have no problem with taking him, assuming you immediately move TJ for a veteran PF, even if he's a bench guy like Evans, Hayes, or even Chris Anderson.

Absolutely. If we draft Lawson, or Flynn, or whomever we MUST trade TJ IMO. Jack is big enough to offer us an answer to bigger guards if Lawson struggled. I think Lawson would do better than TJ does simply from strength.

But Lawson and TJ would replicate each other too much if we just let JJ go. I hope we resign JJ and trade TJ if we get a PG.

avoidingtheclowns
06-17-2009, 12:23 PM
Certainly not to his face.

Well played, sir.

count55
06-17-2009, 12:25 PM
I disagree here. One of Blair's main strengths is setting picks and screens. He's good at it, Dale Davis good. Sure that isn't a good PnR situation so he's out of the two man game - he can't make good on his half of it - but as part of a post-feed setup pick he's great.

My concern there is one others have mentioned: will JOB go with this when typically he lets them run quick 2 man PnR on the outside looking for 2 step jumpers coming over the pick. Troy's no gazelle but he was at least capable of driving to the rim when they switched too tight on him, and when they didn't he's got the range. Even Foster made good on slightly shorter jumpers in this system.

That's where I worry about Blair's usage.



As for Kravitz, let's put it this way. He never heard of Blair till after he tossed Thabeet to the floor and made Sportscenter, and maybe not even then. Meanwhile those of us who take interest in recruiting were already following that game simply because it was a great showdown between 2 top prospects.

We went into that game with some idea of what those 2 players were like and what kind of stuff we wanted to see them show or prove. I would bet Bob's never even seen that game in full, just that one highlight.


FOULS - this was Blair's number one achilles heel in college, and that means it must remain a concern at the next level where guys find themselves in a lot more foul trouble early on. On the flipside he's at least had experience having to play with fouls in mind, but his solution was usually to get way too passive.

So, Yes or No?

Lance George
06-17-2009, 12:33 PM
A definitive yes to drafting Wes Unseld 2.0. The most tenacious rebounder I've ever seen at any level. A bully in the paint on offense. Danny Fortson with a work ethic (that's a good thing). A+ personality. Fills a major team need.

Jonathan
06-17-2009, 12:41 PM
I just feel Lawson is the player in this draft that gets our team into the playoffs next season. Ford has injury history, Jarret Jack has decision issues. Lawson will push the ball, find the open man, and be able to hit Troy Murphy for the open 3 while he is trailing.

I just feel Blair is more Mike Sweetney than Lawson is Mateen Cleaves.

ChicagoJ
06-17-2009, 12:55 PM
I'd like both Lawson and Blair, I think. I continue to hope that we can find a way to move some of our roster filler for another first-rounder. At least you could point to a Lawson - Rush - Granger - Blair - Hibbert lineup and say, "are they showing signs of being good enough in a couple of years?" And if not, at least you know what you are tweaking.

Our eight-man rotation is still too close to TBD, TBD, Rush, Granger, TBD, TBD, Hibbert and TBD for my liking.

ESutt7
06-17-2009, 01:06 PM
I just feel Blair is more Mike Sweetney than Lawson is Mateen Cleaves.

Well put.

count55
06-17-2009, 01:07 PM
Our eight-man rotation is still too close to TBD, TBD, Rush, Granger, TBD, TBD, Hibbert and TBD for my liking.

I agree with this, but I'm not particularly sanguine about Blair and Hibbert being a very good long-term pairing.

Gamble1
06-17-2009, 01:45 PM
Absolutely. If we draft Lawson, or Flynn, or whomever we MUST trade TJ IMO. Jack is big enough to offer us an answer to bigger guards if Lawson struggled. I think Lawson would do better than TJ does simply from strength.

But Lawson and TJ would replicate each other too much if we just let JJ go. I hope we resign JJ and trade TJ if we get a PG.
Trading Ford makes sense if we draft a pg but come on who will want him. A over paid injury proned average pg. Thats the only issue I have with drafting a pg.

Unless you package him with something more appealing I think more teams would want Jack over Ford and if thats the case you have Ford and Lawson as your 1-2 punch.

ESutt7
06-17-2009, 01:57 PM
Yeah I've been looking at rosters and I can only come up with a handful that might want TJ. But you never know...draft nights can be crazy. I've mentioned Miami possibly because I believe they had offered Marion for him last year. So maybe we could get Haslem. Beats me!

ChicagoJ
06-17-2009, 02:02 PM
I agree with this, but I'm not particularly sanguine about Blair and Hibbert being a very good long-term pairing.

Understood. To me the question is, do you want to give them a season or two and see how it works?

Bizarely, I still wonder if Ike and Hibbert might have been a good combination. But clearly Ike was showing management signs of peaking way too low.

Naptown_Seth
06-17-2009, 02:21 PM
I actually think Love is a pretty good defender too, or a smart defender for the tools he has. I've never seen a post guy so good about staying on his feet. This was Dale's worst habit his first year, he would bite on every pump fake looking for the big play. When he learned that he could chase up after the shooter actually committed and still get the block he got much better.

Love isn't a shot block and makes no attempts to be. But in college he had deceptive success with simply getting his arms vertical, not reaching, and not giving ground. Often you'd see a player come at him, make 10 moves and then finally shoot while the whole time Love is just standing there almost like "ya done yet". It threw guys off who were counting on going into their shots off the fake or move, they weren't as comfortable having to go back to set and just go straight up.

Love doesn't put the fear into you like Howard does, that I'll agree upon totally. And like most true bigs he's not that quick on the lateral shuffle.

But this is a guy that flat out took the ball out of a guy's hands (forget now which top big prospect that was, but I wrote about it last year) simply by letting him turn, face up, go through a bunch of crap till he exposed the bball and then it was "I'll take that, thanks".

You don't draft him for defense, but you don't avoid him because of it. Just like you don't draft Blair for offense but you don't avoid him either. He'll set picks and get O-boards and those things can help. Plus he should be good about not clogging the space of other players thanks to a decent IQ.

Gamble1
06-17-2009, 02:59 PM
I just feel Lawson is the player in this draft that gets our team into the playoffs next season. Ford has injury history, Jarret Jack has decision issues. Lawson will push the ball, find the open man, and be able to hit Troy Murphy for the open 3 while he is trailing.

I just feel Blair is more Mike Sweetney than Lawson is Mateen Cleaves.

Three things I think are important to remember. The first is that the Pacers ranked very high in points per game (5th in the league I believe). The second is that Ford played in 74 games last year to all of our relief after trading for him. The third is that I think its unrealistic to expect a rookie pg to make better decision with the ball than the 2 vets. Defensively Lawson doesn't make us any better especially in our saggy defensive scheme.

Will Hibbert and Blair pair well together? I have no clue but I do know 2 offensive low post players are better than one. Maybe Blair and Hibbert don't play a large amount of minutes together but you are still assured one post player on the floor which gives you an inside outside option the majority of the game.

Speed
06-17-2009, 03:07 PM
I know this sounds ridiculous, but do you think that Blair can play any minutes at the Center position?

Naptown_Seth
06-17-2009, 03:18 PM
One thing about a column such as this, if this guy is available and the pacers don't take him a good percentage of Pacers fans will think the pacers made a mistake. It happens every year if the media whether through mock drafts starts focusing in on a certain guy a team should take and then that team doesn't take him it almost becomes prevailing wisdom that the team must have made a mistake
I agree, and this is why it's bad for the author(s) to be so grossly uninformed on the topic. It's one thing to say "hey, I think this Blair kid seems interesting and quite another to say "they MUST take this player".

Commentary comes in many forms and good writers can generate interest without taking some outrageous or definitive stand. Bob makes his "fame" with absolute statements and little regard for understanding or researching the topic. To me that can poison the fanbase waterhole because he's supposed to be the informed point of contact on these sports topics.

ESutt7
06-17-2009, 03:19 PM
I don't see Blair as a low post option offensively, period. He doesn't really have post moves or a jumper. He's 20, maybe that'll come, but you can't just get it to him on the block. So he's not a guy that defenses will need to double to stop, therefore leaving open a shooter. In fact, on drives they'll be able to help off unless he's right by the basket.

He can get some hustle points, score on offensive boards etc. But I think he'll be foul prone because of his physicality. He'd struggle to guard centers because they'll shoot right over him, and he'd struggle to guard perimeter 4s. And if those things are all true, he's basically not on the floor for you. That's why I think Johnson would be a much better fit.

Johnson is big enough to hold his own in the post defensively. He is quick enough to at least reasonably guard perimeter 4s, and in time could become pretty good, especially if he drops weight. He is much more skilled on the low block both as a scorer and passer, and he can attack from the outside or high post, allowing Hibbert to stay on the low block.

ESutt7
06-17-2009, 03:21 PM
I agree, and this is why it's bad for the author(s) to be so grossly uninformed on the topic. It's one thing to say "hey, I think this Blair kid seems interesting and quite another to say "they MUST take this player".

Commentary comes in many forms and good writers can generate interest without taking some outrageous or definitive stand. Bob makes his "fame" with absolute statements and little regard for understanding or researching the topic. To me that can poison the fanbase waterhole because he's supposed to be the informed point of contact on these sports topics.

Great post. So many writers are so bad about making absolute statements, thinking that's the only thing we'll read. I like a well formed, balanced opinion. Writing absolutes is taking a strong stand in an argument without anyone there to balance out your opinion. Unfortunately the casual or uninformed fan will just assume that opinion is right.

Roaming Gnome
06-17-2009, 03:37 PM
Trading Ford makes sense if we draft a pg but come on who will want him. A over paid injury proned average pg. Thats the only issue I have with drafting a pg.

Unless you package him with something more appealing I think more teams would want Jack over Ford and if thats the case you have Ford and Lawson as your 1-2 punch.

Gamble, you nailed my concern about drafting a point guard. A lot on the board have this notion that trading TJ Ford will get done with the snap of Bird's fingers. I think there is more to be said about having a willing trade partner that has something that you want. I just see the drafting of a point guard meaning the end of Jarret Jack's time in Pacer gear due to TJ being difficult to trade and Jack being a FA. As much as I'd want Jack around and Ford traded, I just don't think its going to magically all come together on draft night.

As for who to draft... I think we have a lot of decent choices. I think I'll only be disappointed if we make a hard "reach" either at 13, or moving up to make a "reach". Last year's draft gives me some faith in the organizations judgement.

OakMoses
06-17-2009, 03:54 PM
I know this sounds ridiculous, but do you think that Blair can play any minutes at the Center position?

Chuck Hayes does for the Rockets.

idioteque
06-17-2009, 03:59 PM
I'll go ahead and say I would most likely take Blair over any PG in this draft that will be available at 13. No PG's in this draft seem to be capable of playing in the half court in the NBA with the exception of Rubio and possibly Jennings or Holliday if they develops.

Blair is limited, but I'd rather have a limited big than a limited PG.

Gamble1
06-17-2009, 04:01 PM
I don't see Blair as a low post option offensively, period. He doesn't really have post moves or a jumper. He's 20, maybe that'll come, but you can't just get it to him on the block. So he's not a guy that defenses will need to double to stop, therefore leaving open a shooter. In fact, on drives they'll be able to help off unless he's right by the basket.

He can get some hustle points, score on offensive boards etc. But I think he'll be foul prone because of his physicality. He'd struggle to guard centers because they'll shoot right over him, and he'd struggle to guard perimeter 4s. And if those things are all true, he's basically not on the floor for you. That's why I think Johnson would be a much better fit.

Johnson is big enough to hold his own in the post defensively. He is quick enough to at least reasonably guard perimeter 4s, and in time could become pretty good, especially if he drops weight. He is much more skilled on the low block both as a scorer and passer, and he can attack from the outside or high post, allowing Hibbert to stay on the low block.

I agree Johnson makes more sense but if hes gone I would be hard pressed to pass up Blair for say Lawson or even Clark. Offensively Blair to me will develop because he has the ability to obtain deep postion. He won't score alot but he could develop into a guy that gives us a option on the low block after Hibbert leaves the game.

Quoting T-Bird,
When you can't jump, you have to develop good footwork to get position and leverage, and Blair does have nimble feet inside while posting. He lacks moves once he actually gets the ball of course, but in college he had such deep position it made no difference.

Gamble1
06-17-2009, 04:03 PM
Last year's draft gives me some faith in the organizations judgement.

A lot can change in a year I guess. ;)

pwee31
06-17-2009, 06:20 PM
I might be missing something, but Blair isn't a guy I want. This might be a statement I regret making years down the road, but I don't see a Barkley or Millsap. I mean how many times are undersized PF's really that successful. I mean for every Barkley, there's a Sweetney or Diogu. I could understand if Blair had a solid mid range game as well on the offensive end, and I understand the long wingspan, the NBA has much bigger and athletic guys then college players.

I think Blair could be productive on the right team, but with the up and down tempo we have, I don't see him succeeding, and I don't think he would do much to help our defensive roles.

If we draft him (and sadly I think we will) I hope he proves me wrong, b/c I'll being pulling for him to be the guy a lot of others expect him to be.

PR07
06-17-2009, 06:27 PM
I don't quite get the misconception that Hibbert and Blair can't operate together on the court. Hibbert is very good in the high post. He played a lot there at Georgetown and really showed off his passing ability and a decent mid-range jumper.

OakMoses
06-17-2009, 06:49 PM
I don't quite get the misconception that Hibbert and Blair can't operate together on the court. Hibbert is very good in the high post. He played a lot there at Georgetown and really showed off his passing ability and a decent mid-range jumper.

Hibbert can play in the high post, I just don't want him to have to do it all the time. I think he's better in a situation where he can float between the two, like he could if we had a guy like Johnson at the 4. If you put Roy in the low post with Blair on the court, you've basically got a guy who can do absolutely nothing but screen until it's time to fight for an offensive rebound.

One thing on the DeJuan Blair Paul Millsap comparisons that no one mentions is how much Millsap has developed his game since entering the NBA. He was drafted as an energizer bunny off the bench. He was more of a 1 trick pony than Blair with his rebounding and lack of offense. His entire offensive game has been developed since he came into the NBA. I'm not a huge Blair fan, but if you know he's got the work ethic to continually add to his game, then he could be a nice pick-up. Basically if I'm Larry Bird and I draft Blair, I'm saying to him, "You must be able to reliably hit a 15 foot jumper by the end of your 2nd year." If I have any sort of question at all about Blair's work ethic, then I can't draft him.

count55
06-17-2009, 08:38 PM
I don't quite get the misconception that Hibbert and Blair can't operate together on the court. Hibbert is very good in the high post. He played a lot there at Georgetown and really showed off his passing ability and a decent mid-range jumper.

Two ends to the court.

Moving Hibbert, who's our best shot at a offensive threat in the post, out to the high post will certainly sub-optimize his contribution. He probably can be effective in the high post, but I'm not convinced moving our best option away from the basket in favor of someone who most likely going to be a garbage-point scorer. However, that's probably workable in small stretches.

My biggest concern is that I see two relatively immobile big guys trying to defend the paint. We talk a lot about needing post defense, but let me ask you this:

How many times do you remember teams loading up, pounding the ball into the post, and cramming it down our throats?

Now, compare that to the number of times you recall our perimeter D got beat on dribble penetration, leading to a bucket at the rim, a foul , or everyone's personal favorite...a wide open three from the weakside corner?

When I say that I don't see Blair and Hibbert as a good pairing, it's because I have visions of the two of them nailed to the floor at the defensive end, unable to effectively protect the rim or defend the pick and roll.

For all of the things to like about Blair, I simply can't shake the dreadful feeling that a Blair-Hibbert combo would be worse, defensively, than any of the combos that played last year...including Hibbert-Murphy.

Maybe Seth or tbird could allay that fear, but they haven't yet.

ESutt7
06-17-2009, 08:46 PM
Now, compare that to the number of times you recall our perimeter D got beat on dribble penetration, leading to a bucket at the rim, a foul , or everyone's personal favorite...a wide open three from the weakside corner?

This statement makes me wonder if the Pacers would take Henderson if he fell. The posts are iffy, the PGs may be small or projects...so would they take a "defensive minded" athletic swing that can guard the 1 or 2, and possibly the 3 spot. It makes some sense considering our needs. Now, if he's not there, and for the most part he's not projected to be, then I don't think there's another "defensive" player you take.

Naptown_Seth
06-17-2009, 08:54 PM
My biggest concern is that I see two relatively immobile big guys trying to defend the paint. We talk a lot about needing post defense, but let me ask you this:

How many times do you remember teams loading up, pounding the ball into the post, and cramming it down our throats?True.

This is why back at the PD party last winter I said that Thabeet would work with Hibbert as our PF despite his utter lack of offense. Of course back then it seemed possible that the Pacers might end up with a pick that high.

The point remains though that a quick big who closes out for penetration shot blocks and does squat on offense would work fairly well with Hibbert. Neither being the full answer but rather complimenting each other.

To me Hibbert was already an above average post defender but not a great help defender at the rim, thus his foul issues. Then again Blair's big issue was foul trouble, and I mean a HUGE factor on his season. He often had to hit the bench early and this issue was widely discussed, it was basically the first thing guys talked about after mentioning Blair during any type of PITT discussions or games.

I don't hate Hibbert or Blair in low PnR, and frankly I don't think Blair is all that shabby in high PnR.

Of course Blair's REBOUNDING is a factor that neither Hibbert nor Thabeet bring to the table right now. And Blair sets picks like a pro, something Foster has never come close to bringing to games.


I think Blair could work, but JOB would have to adjust to having he and Hibbert as key players. He already drug his feet on Hibbert last year which was often frustrating.




Sutt - while I like Henderson, though less than TWill, I also think he's a bit redundant with Rush. Brandon is a smart, devoted defender and once his scoring picked up the swings seemed fine. Of course Quis will need to be replaced which is how I justify a TWill pick. :)

It's just nuts trying to get a vibe on 13 this year. I'm almost in the Clark camp even. I have a few guys on my "please no" list (ahem, Mullens) but mostly it's just guys that all seem okay but not really ideal.

BlueNGold
06-17-2009, 09:12 PM
How many times do you remember teams loading up, pounding the ball into the post, and cramming it down our throats?

Now, compare that to the number of times you recall our perimeter D got beat on dribble penetration, leading to a bucket at the rim, a foul , or everyone's personal favorite...a wide open three from the weakside corner?


That was just the symptom, not the cause.

Teams found the open three tempting because our perimeter players were never guarding the perimeter. Pretty simple explanation, right? Well, it's not really quite that simple. While they were supposed to be guarding the perimeter, they were attempting to help out our weak core (i.e. our terrible PF and C defenders). ...you see, that "team defense" thing we all know and love...:rolleyes:...translated into players scrambling around the court and watching the other team drain perimeter shots. It's been this way awhile and for someone who enjoys watching good defense, it's seemed like an eternity. I just hope I don't forget how it's supposed to look.

cdash
06-17-2009, 09:14 PM
Wow, this is 50/50 right now. I don't know if I've ever seen such an even split of opinion on a particular player.

MyFavMartin
06-17-2009, 09:37 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9OIrpCveA2c

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7Nmq2aJeZQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjZfqgz-SrM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhPKD9Tg5pk

The guy hits the boards hard on both ends of the court.

Appears to finish well around the basket, very strong, would look good setting picks for Danny and BRush. Also seems to have the ability to hit the 15 footer from the high post and has some low post moves.

The guy is a beast. Vocal, leader, charismatic, strong character, loves kids and puppies.

pwee31
06-17-2009, 09:58 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9OIrpCveA2c

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7Nmq2aJeZQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjZfqgz-SrM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhPKD9Tg5pk

The guy hits the boards hard on both ends of the court.

Appears to finish well around the basket, very strong, would look good setting picks for Danny and BRush. Also seems to have the ability to hit the 15 footer from the high post and has some low post moves.

The guy is a beast. Vocal, leader, charismatic, strong character, loves kids and puppies.

If he can consistently hit that 15 footer, then my opinion of him would change quite a bit

Ballerzfan
06-17-2009, 10:05 PM
anyone else notice in those youtube clips that he seems to extend much better when shooting farther out? Seems to me like he shoots "small" when closer in possibly causing more of his shots to become blocked? Or have I had one too many adult beverages? :buddies:

owl
06-17-2009, 10:09 PM
[url]The guy hits the boards hard on both ends of the court.Appears to finish well around the basket, very strong, would look good setting picks for Danny and BRush. Also seems to have the ability to hit the 15 footer from the high post and has some low post moves.The guy is a beast. Vocal, leader, charismatic, strong character, loves kids and puppies.But are his knees going to hold up?

imawhat
06-17-2009, 10:12 PM
To me Hibbert was already an above average post defender but not a great help defender at the rim, thus his foul issues. Then again Blair's big issue was foul trouble, and I mean a HUGE factor on his season. He often had to hit the bench early and this issue was widely discussed, it was basically the first thing guys talked about after mentioning Blair during any type of PITT discussions or games.


Just to back up Seth's point, Blair's fouls/min are nearly identical to Hibbert's numbers at Georgetown.

I'm cringing about the idea of Blair and Hibbert together on defense, but I'm really trying hard to like Blair. Why? Because I believe we'll have a new #45 in about 8 days. We'll certainly have the coolest frontcourt in the NBA.

DrFife
06-17-2009, 10:25 PM
Even though I've leaned back toward Clark recently, I do love Blair's physicality and charismatic personality. So maybe we can all join hands and celebrate our selection of him if we can find common ground on the following question:

"Given that Hibbert and Blair will become part of the new face of the franchise, and assuming that semi-reasonable offers are being made for Murphy (and Ford and maybe even Foster), what veteran player should the team pursue to provide an ideal "glue" for this new front-court mix?"

PR07
06-17-2009, 10:37 PM
Two ends to the court.

Moving Hibbert, who's our best shot at a offensive threat in the post, out to the high post will certainly sub-optimize his contribution. He probably can be effective in the high post, but I'm not convinced moving our best option away from the basket in favor of someone who most likely going to be a garbage-point scorer. However, that's probably workable in small stretches.

My biggest concern is that I see two relatively immobile big guys trying to defend the paint. We talk a lot about needing post defense, but let me ask you this:

For all of the things to like about Blair, I simply can't shake the dreadful feeling that a Blair-Hibbert combo would be worse, defensively, than any of the combos that played last year...including Hibbert-Murphy.


That's probably the biggest issue I have with Blair, that I don't know how a frontcourt of Hibbert and himself will work together. I think it's easy to say that they'll be slow and unathletic (one may be right). I don't really have an answer for it, and frankly, probably won't until I see how Blair matches up with NBA defenders.

The one thing I know is that two of Blair's biggest strengths happen to be Hibbert's bigger weaknesses: rebounding and physicality. The other thing I know is that Blair is far from a finished product. He might not have much of an offensive game at 20 years old, but he's far from a finished product. He might have a more limited upside than some players, but he's going to get better. I'll also say that even with his physical limitations, if Blair has the desire and drive to outwork players in this league, he'll be a good player. Jeff Foster is a testament to that. He's made a living in this league by outhustling and outworking people to the basketball. I'm by no means saying Blair is Jeff Foster, but a lot of NBA players won't care as much as he does.

I would not take Blair under any circumstance, but unless a Jrue Holiday, Brandon Jennings, or maybe Jordan Hill falls; I'd take him.

ESutt7
06-17-2009, 10:56 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9OIrpCveA2c

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7Nmq2aJeZQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjZfqgz-SrM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhPKD9Tg5pk

The guy hits the boards hard on both ends of the court.

Appears to finish well around the basket, very strong, would look good setting picks for Danny and BRush. Also seems to have the ability to hit the 15 footer from the high post and has some low post moves.

The guy is a beast. Vocal, leader, charismatic, strong character, loves kids and puppies.

Well now, I didn't know he liked puppies!!! Count me in! ;)

Anthem
06-18-2009, 03:41 AM
I mean for every Barkley, there's ten Sweetneys or Diogus.
I don't know if that's fixed or not, but it's closer to being accurate. Maybe twenty instead?

BillS
06-18-2009, 09:19 AM
But are his knees going to hold up?

Don't you think it is about time that the Knee Fairy was good to us?

ESutt7
06-18-2009, 09:22 AM
Don't you think it is about time that the Knee Fairy was good to us?

Knee fairy was good to us with DG. Let's not push our luck. :)

count55
06-18-2009, 09:26 AM
Don't you think it is about time that the Knee Fairy was good to us?

I think we may have used that marker up on Danny.

Infinite MAN_force
06-18-2009, 11:31 AM
I think people are falling in love with the "idea" of blair. Tough, Blue Collar, Enforcer, Harkening back to a bygone era when Dale Davis ruled the paint with an iron fist, etc...

I think the reality is this. Love Blair for his style of play all you want, the fact is he lacks athleticism, and will most likely be a bigger defensive liability than Troy Murphy at the NBA level. Factor in his relative lack of an offensive game, and one is left scratching their head how this guy could ever be in lottery discussions.. He does one thing very well, rebound. I think his ceiling is something like "rebounding bigman off the bench".

Oh, did I mention bad knees?

If the pacers are smart they want no part of Blair. He will not solve any of our problems.

Anthem
06-18-2009, 11:35 AM
I think people are falling in love with the "idea" of blair.
Well said.

I don't know about whether he'll be able to do more in the pros, maybe your prediction is too harsh. But I think it's definitely more about the idea than the player at this point, for Bob at the very least.