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McKeyFan
01-09-2010, 02:18 PM
Seth has been badmouthing his blog as bad timing with the sudden return of Murphy and Granger as starters.

Are you kidding? I can't think of a better time for his points to be made.

http://blogs.indystar.com/pacersinsider/

January 9, 2010
Naptown Seth guest blogs
Posted by Mike Wells
Read Comments (1)

Editor's note: Naptown Seth is the guest blogger tonight. He was the first one to say that the Pacers would end their losing streak against Minnesota last week. --Wells



Finally.

That was the thought that went through my mind as I enjoyed one of the most entertaining NBA games Conseco has hosted in years. It wasn't as simple as an all-too-rare victory or that it came against a legit title contender. It wasn't the noticeably boisterous crowd amped up by many season ticket holders being upgraded to the lower level for a good appearance on NBA TV.

What I was finally seeing was a direction that I thought was all but set in stone way back during summer league games, ironically played in Orlando. Back then Coach O'Brien made the rare appearance by a head coach when he ran the summer team. He was hands on and down in the dirt working with the youth. The message of rebuild and development seemed clear.

Josh McRoberts got plenty of early run before being injured and impressed everyone. Tyler showed tons of promise with a hustle game that caught summer leaguers off-guard.
Best of all was the play of Price and Hibbert. Not just how well they played, but how O'Brien used them. Some of the nicest play came off pick-and-rolls between the two former rivals.

Hibbert absolutely destroyed the inferior competition. He couldn't be stopped. The more he was double teamed the more he made teams pay with passes to cutters. He was so impressive that Dante and Galante named him "Hungry Hungry Hibbert" as the Pacers continued to feed the big fella.

It appeared we were on to something. Along with defensive acquisitions it looked like the coach was headed for a radical change in his approach. He would pound teams with Roy in the post, run cutters off that and let Danny hunt for some dagger threes when teams dug too deep in the paint. The offensive grind would amplify the ability of defensive minded players like Rush and Jones as they spent more time setting up and less time chasing down breakaway plays.

Unfortunately that's not how it went. Instead we saw a return the style and system we knew. Josh and AJ hit the deep bench, Roy struggled to get regular minutes and more than 2-3 serious low post plays. Apart from the now mythic "5 game winning streak" things appeared to not just be the same as always, but somehow worse.

Dun was hurt, Troy's defense was iffy and it was hard to see just what Ford was trying to accomplish on many plays. The offense looked muddled and lost at best.

Then with a stunning, somewhat sudden change of philosophy the team took a new direction against Orlando. In fairness it's been growing. The Magic game wasn't the first with TJ in his "reduced" role or with Troy out with injury. The dreadful New York blowout featured plenty of the youth as well.

But this game was different. This was a game long commitment to real low-post based offense and complete trust in the younger players to make plays. The team looked inspired by the sense of an offensive plan, "let it fly" threes were rarely seen, and there was defensive coordination that frustrated Howard and left red hot Vince Carter starting at an "O fer" for much of the game.

And to that I and the rowdy Orlando game crowd said "finally".

Naptown Seth

vnzla81
01-09-2010, 02:54 PM
I was expecting this post to be like ten pages long.....;)

PaceBalls
01-09-2010, 03:27 PM
I thought it was very well done Seth. You were concise and to the point and didn't go off on a tirade about McBob not playing or Murphy playing, which would have been hard for me not to do.

You covered most of my frustrations with our coach. You showed you believe this team isn't total crap and pure awful, but actually has potential when finally used the right way, and the right players are playing.

:cheers:

pacergod2
01-09-2010, 06:08 PM
Clapping... more clapping... and more clapping.

Wonderfully done Seth. Also, has anybody sent a copy of this to Kravitz? He could learn a few things, like class and basketball.