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View Full Version : Discussing O'Brien's overall philosophy



McKeyFan
01-10-2010, 02:41 PM
I had planned to start a thread discussing again JOB's overall philosophy and how it relates to our current challenges.

But BBall did it for me on the third page of the most recent postgame thread. I think his insightful comments deserve to be repeated.


O'Brien has no ability (or maybe it's desire) to veer from his flawed strategy and go with a more fundamental approach to the game that when forced to, has shown it paid dividends.

I'm thinking he knows this is his last basketball stop in his career (or close to it) and he wants his system played out. He wants to put his stamp on the game of basketball. But the system is just too flawed to continue. It's flawed fundamentally in the first place, and delusional to think there's a group of players anywhere that could fit in and play playoff basketball with this system anyway.

He's not a genius ahead of his time. He's just trying to reinvent the wheel and ignoring the possibility that his invention isn't any better than the wheel that's already rolling the world over.

How many times do you have to go back to your system and see it fail before you realize you need to scrap it? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is insanity.

Even if I'm not the visionary that O'Brien is and can't see how this system would be so wonderful with the right personnel... we don't have the right personnel.! This is the NBA with guaranteed contracts, salary caps, declining ticket sales, and a tough economy. You can't just put together the 'perfect' team for an inflexible system. What you can do is figure out your team's strengths and weaknesses and put together a perfect system for your team.

First, I do think it is fair to recognize that JOB took a team to the ECF. So, I don't know if it's "delusional to think there's a group of players anywhere that could fit in and play playoff basketball with this system anyway."

It can happen. It doesn't seem to happen often. Phoenix never could take it over the goal line with it.

Much more to the point is the fact that our group of players can't seem to pull it off.

What really surprises me is that JOB is still trying to force these round players into his square square system. Even with the evidence of possible winning with a more defensive oriented line up.

He sure is stubborn.

JOS is no Carlisle, who could change systems and philosophies based on personnel. JOS just won't do it. To my way of thinking, it seems that he would change and adjust just to preserve his possibilities of continuing to coach in this league. Maybe you're right: he's going down with the ship with the win or die resolution to prove that Rick Pitino is the game's greatest genius.

I guess I would like to know the following:

- Those of you supporting JOB in general, do you agree with his system, or do you simply acknowledge that his choices make logical sense because of his system?

- Do you believe this group of players can successfully win .500 or better with this system? With any system?

- Do you believe like many of us that he should change his system?

ksuttonjr76
01-10-2010, 04:06 PM
1) We have supporters of JOS?

2) No. Yes

3) H*ll yeah!

gummy
01-10-2010, 04:20 PM
I geared myself up for this several times and found that I just can't do it. It seems like we've done this in small bits over and over and over again already. I'm all JOB'ed and Murph'ed out right now. :banghead:

kester99
01-10-2010, 04:36 PM
Yeah...

1. I really don't think there's anyone that posts with any regularity whatsoever on the board who is an overall JOB philosophy supporter. Could be wrong...maybe they'll speak up. (Obviously not everything he pushes is wrong. I'm talking about anyone who could say, "Yes, JOB is the coach for me, and the Way of JOB is the way for me.") There are folks who try to see it from JOB's POV, and are very committed to keeping the criticism based in reality....but folks that wouldn't rather have a different coach if we could snap our fingers and magically have one??

2. If the system you're referring to is the one that puts the big man out near the 3-pt line...no.

If we see progress from Danny and Dun, (based on believing that they have upside that hasn't been regained since their injuries) and we go to emphasizing more of a inside-outside game with a stronger post presence, then yes...I think this team could play .500 ball.

3. He has made some changes, voluntarily, or at Bird's insistence. We don't know why. He needs to make more.

Hoop
01-10-2010, 06:42 PM
I guess I would like to know the following:

- Those of you supporting JOB in general, do you agree with his system, or do you simply acknowledge that his choices make logical sense because of his system?
This one does not apply to me, I've hated his system and overall coaching decisions since his very first few months here.

- Do you believe this group of players can successfully win .500 or better with this system? With any system?
Not with this system. I honestly think we have the talent to be .500 or very slightly better.

- Do you believe like many of us that he should change his system?
I don't believe he is capable of changing, he has repeated the same patterns over and over the entire time he's been here.

His best coaching is when so many guys are out that he has no real choice what players to use or what the rotations will be.

I hate his coaching so bad, I'm debating with myself whether to give up my season tickets of 24 years if he's back. It's not just the losing, it's how we lose. I really love my team, I just don't think I can take another JOB season.<!-- sig -->

DaveP63
01-10-2010, 07:01 PM
1. Not so much
2. Another system...I think so.
3. He can't/won't change it. Too busy pounding square pegs into round holes, you see...:lol:

vnzla81
01-10-2010, 07:32 PM
so JOB has a philosophy?:confused:

Doug
01-10-2010, 08:19 PM
I generally support the following:

An uncontested jump shot (even a 3 pointer) early in the shot clock is better than a contested jump shot as the clock expires.

Pushing the ball up the floor quickly gives you opportunities to get good shots before the defense is set.

Doug
01-10-2010, 08:22 PM
However, I very much like an inside game, particularly I like a power forward that plays with power instead of hanging that the 3 point line. I also very much like working the ball into the post, even if it is just to pass it back out again.

I would greatly prefer it if we put a greater emphasis on stopping dribble penetration - keeping your man in front of you.

d_c
01-10-2010, 08:30 PM
The NBA is a league that is more (far more) about players and talent than it is about coaches and systems.

Every year. Every single year there are bad team with fans who complain about coaches. And eventually they get their wish and sack the coach and get someone else (without changing the players). And of course, the team ends up getting the same results with the new coach, and the fans start counting the days when that coach gets sacked.

Kurt Rambis is using the coaching philosophy and system that he learned as a longtime assistant from the most successful coach in NBA history. The system that's won 10 NBA championships That system doesn't appear to be helping the T-Wolves do anything other than achieve the 2nd worst record in the league. It's probably because the players the T-Wolves have aren't as good as the ones the Lakers have.

Worry about the roster (which will look vastly different when the Pacers are one day competitive again) before who the coach is. Assemble a good roster that is attractive to a top tier coaching candidate and you'll have a much better chance of getting that coach you desire.

Right now, no good, well established coach is going to want to coach this roster. And why should they? Fire JOB and leave the roster as is and you'll be sifting through a list of candidates with less impressive resumes than JOB. I wouldn't waste too much time debating about how this coach or that coach is or isn't using a roster correctly when the roster right now really doesn't matter and is going to look dramatically different in a couple of years.

NuffSaid
01-10-2010, 08:45 PM
I think that in order for JOB's uptempo perimeter system he has to have three crucial elements:

1) Pure shooters. The Pacers have atleast six players who are very capable of knocking down 3-pt shots: Granger, Murphy, Dunleavy, BRush, Watson, and Head. (seven if you include Diener). But only Murphy and Granger have shown they can knock down the perimeter shots with any level of consistency. So, suffice it to say, this style isn't working for the Pacers very well because players aren't knocking down shots.

2) Strong offensive rebounding. Currently, the Pacers rank 9th (tied w/the Kings) in offensive rebounding: Off -.234; Def - .734; Total - .479

They're not going to be very effective in JOB's system with offensive rebounding numbers like those.

3) A strong passing game. This is perhaps the #1 reason TJ Ford doesn't fit very well with JOB's system. He may push the tempo hard and he can get inside the defense to score, but you need a pass-first PG in order for such a system to work. Hence, the reason Watson works better for the Pacers than TJ Ford. This is not a slight on TJ; just the reality. He doesn't fit with this team as currently designed.

This is why the Pacers are failing under JOB's system. The pieces just aren't working. What's ironic here is except for the rebounding phase, the Pacers have the tools to put JOB's system into effect. They just aren't executing like most of us think they should and I really don't understand why. I mean, anyone who plays basketball knows that long shots create long rebounds. But every time the Pacers take a perimeter shot how many players do we see underneath the basket? How many "shooters" actually follow their own shot? How many of our Bigs are boxing out? It does, however, deserve mentioning that without Foster and Hansborough on the floor the Pacers' offensive rebounding numbers will be very low since all we have among out Bigs are either Hibbert, Murphy or Solo. And although Hibbert and Murphy have been paired together, they really don't work because Hibbert typically is the only one among them who makes his living playing under the rim while Murphy remains the trailor on offense and general is only available to grab defensive rebounds.

So, what do you do? How do you turn things around for this team?

Answer: Change they way you play the game. Stop relying so heavily on perimeter shooting and instead start attacking the basket more. Play the best Bigs we have (when available) who can space the floor but not in a manner that would benefit the perimeter shooter, but instead gain the spacing and ball movement that would allow your cutters and slashers to get to the rim. Once you do that, you can better utilize TJ's ability to probe the defense and get inside. Same goes for Head, BRush, Watson and even Dunleavy to a degree. Bottom line is until the Pacers can get all of their key players back on the court and start knocking down their perimeter shots JOB's system is doomed to failure.

Unclebuck
01-10-2010, 09:44 PM
The only, and I mean only constant in O'Brien's offensive system is he likes to have his team shoot the three point shot. The system he is running here is very different from what he ran in Boston, and Boston was diferent from what he ran in Philly. He did not run the passing game or anythng close to it in either Boston or Philly. He ran probably close to 90% of the offense through Walker and Pierce, Almost every play was for either of those two players. In Philly, Iverson played point and he had his highest scoring season under O'Brien.

So unless you think shooting threes is an offensive system - I don't have the slightest idea what O'Brien's offensive system really is. He changes it depending on the personnel. The system here I think is a running system IMO because that is what Bird wanted when he was hired. I have no inside info but I believe it was understood when Jim was hired that he would install a running passing game system. Beyond that I think the system is based upon getting the most out of danny and Mike and IMO it does that rather well.

OK, moving to the defense. The system he ran in Boston was very innovative at the time because he was one of the very first to take advantage of the new defensive rules, which allows zone. If Jim or any coach tried to run that defneively system prior to the new rules, there would have been 15-20 illegal defensive calls per game. he was one of the first to pre-rotate on defense in pick and rolls and to pre-rotate onto the strong side - now most coaches do it from time to time.

But the system defensively that Jim is running is quite a bit different from the system he ran two years ago in his first season here. A lot less pre-rotation, a lot more straight man-to-man. A lot less big-man out at the three pt line and a lot more big man underneath. There are a lot less wide-open weakside shots given up because of the change. Jim has talked about it and he called it a complete re-vamp and the primary reason was because of the lack of mobility of our big guys

To wrap this up and trying to be nice, bball I completely disagree with your premise.
It's flawed fundamentally in the first place, and delusional to think there's a group of players anywhere that could fit in and play playoff basketball with this system anyway

I don't think he is married to this system as I explained, it has changed a great deal, and besides that I hardly think this system is anything out of the ordinary. Pacers shoot the 6th most three in the NBA - OK, no big deal. They run a passing game - OK that has been around for as long as baskeball has been around. Defensivly I don't see anything the Pacers do that other teams don't do, it only varies by degree.

I have no problem with the system Jim has employed - it might not be what I would install if I were coach, but the problem isn't nor has it ever been the system, at least not since Jim has been here, the problem is the players to varying degrees have not bought into the coach and if you want to criticize Jim for that fine, but to criticize his system I think is way off base. Of course the huge problem is a lack of talent and where there is talent the players are too young to help a team win.

Bball
01-10-2010, 11:05 PM
Sorry Uncle Buck but teams don't win by seeing how fast they can shoot a 3 and by failing to defend... or by an offense that puts their own defense continually behind the 8 ball. It's ok to be quick but a team/player should never be in a hurry.

Any system that does that is fundamentally flawed in my book... and the flaws go much deeper than that but I think any fan can see that as bad basketball.

Of course the team doesn't buy into the system- I don't blame them. It is bad basketball and it's a losing proposition.

Unclebuck
01-10-2010, 11:17 PM
Sorry Uncle Buck but teams don't win by seeing how fast they can shoot a 3 and by failing to defend... or by an offense that puts their own defense continually behind the 8 ball. It's ok to be quick but a team/player should never be in a hurry.

Any system that does that is fundamentally flawed in my book... and the flaws go much deeper than that but I think any fan can see that as bad basketball.

Of course the team doesn't buy into the system- I don't blame them. It is bad basketball and it's a losing proposition.

Are you upset about the number of threes the pacers take or how quick they shoot them.
5 teams shoot more threes pergame than the Pacers. And two teams the magic and Knicks shoot 7 and 6 more threes per game than the pacers do. I have no idea if the pacers take their threes quicker than any other team. My guess is they probably do take them quicker than the Magic (more time left on the shot clock) but I'm sure the Knicks take them quicker than the pacers.

Pacers currently have the 14th best defensive FG% in the NBA. Which is a drop from where it was about three weeks ago. But the pacers defense (not nearly as good as I would like) is not a disaster some think it is

Peck
01-10-2010, 11:40 PM
One thing I will agree on is that I think Bird did tell all of his coaching canidates that he wanted ball movement and a more up tempo game.

One of the problems he was dealing with was that everybody, including Bird and many in the front office as well as the radio voice of the Pacers, were tired of the slow ground it out offense that often had us shooting turn around jumpers from about 15 feet out with 3 seconds left on the clock.

So yes I believe that O'Brien was told to up tempo the game.

cordobes
01-11-2010, 01:13 AM
The NBA is a league that is more (far more) about players and talent than it is about coaches and systems.

Every year. Every single year there are bad team with fans who complain about coaches. And eventually they get their wish and sack the coach and get someone else (without changing the players). And of course, the team ends up getting the same results with the new coach, and the fans start counting the days when that coach gets sacked.

So true.

--------

Personally, I agree with most of what Unclebuck is suggesting.

However, besides the reliance on the outside shooting, O'Brien teams have a knack for the 4out-1in set, often with the post player placed high and dishing from there, the secondary break (3, 4 on 2 after misses and steals) and early offence (all five defenders already in their half court after deadballs) - he basically believes his teams are better scoring early than making the defence work for the whole shot clock and playing a slower game.

However, on the top of that core belief he works with the players he has. For example, many of you complain about him not liking to go inside, but the Celtics go-to play under his tenure was the hi-lo game with Pierce posting on the blocks and Walker outside. Now that Hibbert is starting to figure out things, he's going for him down low more. The 76ers team I can't even remember who was their 2nd offensive option. Weber/Kenny Thomas? Korver? But it's known he wanted Webber to play the low post more (much to CWebb's chagrin). But that team was basically Iverson and 4 guys playing off him - and it's not easy to come up with a better alternative, I think. Keep in mind that O'Brien isn't a coach like Carlisle who makes a lot of play calling from the sideline and has a lot of hit and patterned plays to execute; his players have more freedom to execute, he spends more time working on reads - so, it's not like he'd say "ok, I have here half a dozen of plays that will open things to get the ball to Roy inside that we'll use tomorrow".

In regards to defence, it's curious that O'Brien is (was?) known as a defensive minded coach and now so many allege he doesn't care about getting stops. His record is unquestionable, I think: the Celtics improved leaps and bounds defensively under him and the 76ers were also a solid defensive squad (at least more solid than what they were defensively; maybe not as good as they were under Brown a few years back, but the personnel was different - no Mutombos, Rattlifs, Snows and the likes).

His core philosophy defensively is to not give up middle and that's a fairly popular school of thought. All his teams try to pack the line and play aggressively to deny penetration. Of course, every defensive system has a fallback and in this case you're prone to concede open perimeter shots to teams able to move the ball side-to-side and to foul a lot on teams that attack the rim with aggressiveness. But, once again, it's not like he uses the exact same schemes everywhere. For example, you discussed a lot the pick'n'roll defence in the off-season over here and the Pacers changed their approach: their bigs - and I think this has a lot to do with Hibbert - don't extend on the ballscreen as they did last season (and as O'Brien teams in the past did) and now drop down to zone and deny the drive into the paint. They aren't doubling the post players as frequently as in the past either.

So, even though O'Brien has more of a rigid philosophy than other coaches (Doc Rivers, for example), he certainly isn't unable to tweak his system to fit his personnel. If the current personnel is the ideal, certainly not. But it's not the ideal roster to any system, far from it (and, goes without saying, there's no such thing as an ideal system). I'm not sure what he could do differently. I said that I didn't understand why he wouldn't protect Hibbert more defensively, but I think he's done it. I suppose he could institute a game more friendly to, say, TJ Ford and Rush, but that would probably be less friendly to, say, Dunleavy or Granger. Win .500? I think they'd at least have a chance of getting close with JOB or some other coach, but only with their top players healthy and in form. One problem with the Pacers this season is that they still have to settle a rotation, meaning that players are yet to figure out their roles - something essential to over-perform. This is already off-topic, so I'll stop here.

Infinite MAN_force
01-11-2010, 01:29 AM
Why do we go away from running our offense through Hibbert in the post when it has been proven to work?

When Jim came here the offense he installed gave us the best chance to win, in an offense centered around Murphy, Dunleavy, and Granger, it made a whole lot of sense.

Of course, Murph and Dunleavy are still here, so apparently we still have to tailor the offense around those guys instead of the emerging Hibbert.

Some people have made a reasonable defense to show that Obrien does adjust to his players more than we think. Fair enough. In fact we tried to run the offense through JO a lot on the rare occasions he was healthy that first year, than adjusted to a more jump shot oriented game around the other guys.

I am starting to think most of the problem here is that Obrien is far too loyal to his veteran players... not only in terms of the rotation, but employing the system that takes the best advantage of said players. Despite success going into the post more, when murph returns we go back to the "quick jump shot" offense immediatly. Most of his stubborness centers on the fact that he is totally unwilling to put any trust into his young players...

Despite solid play from Josh he hits the bench in favor of small ball lineups, hmm... We have seen the back and forth with Hibbert over the past year and a half, interestingly Rush seems to be the only exception, which I don't quite understand.

Bball
01-11-2010, 08:44 AM
Are you upset about the number of threes the pacers take or how quick they shoot them.

The quickness of the 3 especially bothers me.The rushed nature and lack of discipline in the offense bothers me.

I'm not a fan of a boatload of 3's but a rushed, bad shot is a rushed bad shot.

Someone commented about a bad shot early in the shot clock versus a bad shot as the clock is running out. I will take the bad shot as the clock is running out everytime.

A well-coached team (something we don't have) with a real offense (something else we don't have) will generally find a good shot within the shot clock, plus be more balanced, force the opposing defense to work each possession, and the offense will be prepared to rebound or defend after the shot. We get NONE of that with what O'Brien is preaching and I'm not buying it.

I also don't buy anyone telling me with a lack of talent... or a lack of athleticism... the answer is to spray and pray fast and often. That's a recipe for burying yourself into deep holes. Especially with what it does to your defense and especially with a coach who doesn't care about Pacer defense more than offense... or even equally.

While I think some of the the Murphy hate is overboard and misplaced (he's doing what O'Brien wants and Murphy doesn't call his own minutes), Murphy does present the perfect evidence of O'Brien's lack of concern about defense when you see Murphy in the lineup as soon as he's available and for big minutes. No coach believing in the importance of defense would be able to play Troy that many minutes, and use him like we do, under any circumstances.

And if you don't believe in defense any more than that, then I don't have any qualms wanting to see him shown the door.

That's absolute stupid basketball he's preaching as far as I'm concerned.

I'm sick of it. I'm totally apathetic to the team now with absolutely no desire to purchase tickets this season even if they are 5.00 courtside tix.

Losing is one thing... But repeatedly doing it while preaching bad basketball... That's another thing entirely.

He's looking more and more like Isiah Thomas to me every day. One of the worst coaches the Pacers have ever had has some competition for that title.

EDIT: It's not like we haven't seen injuries force his hand to play a more traditional lineup and go to a more fundamentally sound approach... with success...
There's now plenty of evidence as far as I'm concerned that we absolutely are not putting our best team for now or the future on the floor when O'Brien has all his pieces available to him. That is Isiah Thomas level incompetence right there IMHO.



Pacers currently have the 14th best defensive FG% in the NBA. Which is a drop from where it was about three wek ago. But the pacers defense (not nearly as good as I would like) is not a disaster some think it is

When it comes to getting stops, at least with O'Brien's preferred lineup, it's a disaster. ...And he doesn't care...

"You can't score if you don't shoot...."

Unclebuck
01-11-2010, 09:00 AM
One thing I will agree on is that I think Bird did tell all of his coaching canidates that he wanted ball movement and a more up tempo game.

One of the problems he was dealing with was that everybody, including Bird and many in the front office as well as the radio voice of the Pacers, were tired of the slow ground it out offense that often had us shooting turn around jumpers from about 15 feet out with 3 seconds left on the clock.

So yes I believe that O'Brien was told to up tempo the game.

I still remember a radio interview with David Morway on the afternoon before the home opener this season and while I must admit I wasn't paying as close attention as I should have been he said something that grabbed my attention after the fact, this is not a direct quote, because I forget exactly what he said. He said more or less that O'Brien was brought in to install an up-tempo game and now he is trying to get the team to play better defense. What Morway said added to what seems right has led me to believe that one of the conditions of Jim being hired was that an uptempo offense would be installed.

Bball
01-11-2010, 09:23 AM
I still remember a radio interview with David Morway on the afternoon before the home opener this season and while I must admit I wasn't paying as close attention as I should have been he said something that grabbed my attention after the fact, this is not a direct quote, because I forget exactly what he said. He said more or less that O'Brien was brought in to install an up-tempo game and now he is trying to get the team to play better defense. What Morway said added to what seems right has led me to believe that one of the conditions of Jim being hired was that an uptempo offense would be installed.

The team will play better defense when there is a coach here that demands it...

Anthem
01-11-2010, 09:28 AM
UB, isn't Mike Fratello one of your all-time favorite coaches? You said that he coached the Cavs to a very slow offense because their talent level was so low, the only way they could win was to grind out games.

Why wouldn't his philosophy work here?

Unclebuck
01-11-2010, 09:51 AM
UB, isn't Mike Fratello one of your all-time favorite coaches? You said that he coached the Cavs to a very slow offense because their talent level was so low, the only way they could win was to grind out games.

Why wouldn't his philosophy work here?

Yeah, the general theory is if you have limited talent, you should try to slow the game down and decrease the total number of possessions per game. A less talented team at least in theory would have a better chance of winning a 60 possession game than a 90 possession game. The job Mike Fratello did in I think it was 1998 in getting that Cav team to win 47 games was and still is IMO one of the very best coaching jobs ever. He slowed it way down and made things really simple for the 5 rookies who got major minutes.

Here was the top 7 guys - the only 7 who played more than 1000 minutes that season.
1) Kemp - his last good season - he really did have a nice season.
2) Wesley Person - his 3rd season
3) Big Z - a rookie
4) Brevin Knight - Rookie
5) Cedric Henderson - Rookie
6) Derek Anderson - Rookie
7) Potapenko - rookie


However, as we have discussed in this thread, I think O'Brien was hired with the understadning he was to run a fast offense. I have no idea if Jim would run a slow down, but I don't think he has a choice to.

Yes, I think if an approach like Mike Fratello's was used this current Pacers team would win more games. For 1 maybe 2 seasons and then I think the players get a little sick of that tyoe of season. But If Mike Fratello were brought in and had training camp (and because he is a new coach he would have the players attention) I think he could squeeze a .500 record out of this team, I really do, and the pacers fans would be complaining all the way through the season

Brad8888
01-11-2010, 11:27 AM
The main pieces of his teams from an offensive standpoint have significant similarities both in how they were used and likely why as well.

O'Brien coaches our team as if he has Iverson at the point, with Jamaal and TJ and other point guards all doing the penetration into traffic and hoisting up low percentage shots at an alarming rate. Odd how Jamaal and TJ have been banished just for being Iversonesque in their selfish play. I still think TJ will be back, and fairly soon.

He is also frequently utilizing Granger as if he were Paul Pierce, from his three bombs to his drives to the hoop from beyond the arc, to frequently using him as a PF who posts up and creates mismatches. Not necessarily a bad plan for Granger, but he is not going to last long going against stronger and beefier 4's and his career will probably be shortened.

He is even using Murphy much like he used Antoine Walker, another notoriously slow shooter who somehow got rebounds and who shot lights out from three (they may well have even been trailing threes, but I don't remember that detail) and was ineffective at best defensively due to being unable to execute the defensive rotation required by O'Brien's preferred system.

The more Jim changes, the more he seems to stay exactly the same, regardless of what he says, in my opinion.

Attention Jim O'Brien. You are now coaching the Indiana Pacers. Please adjust your coaching style to the available players in an effort to develop them and actually maximize their individual talents and enhance the performance of the Indiana Pacers, as opposed to molding them in the craven images of teams past in some misguided attempt to prove to Danny Ainge and the rest of the world that you were and are right about your system, when Ainge knew better and had already begun switching away from your thought processes prior to your departure for philosophical differences.

Bball
01-11-2010, 12:02 PM
However, as we have discussed in this thread, I think O'Brien was hired with the understadning he was to run a fast offense. I have no idea if Jim would run a slow down, but I don't think he has a choice to.

Yes, I think if an approach like Mike Fratello's was used this current Pacers team would win more games. For 1 maybe 2 seasons and then I think the players get a little sick of that tyoe of season. But If Mike Fratello were brought in and had training camp (and because he is a new coach he would have the players attention) I think he could squeeze a .500 record out of this team, I really do, and the pacers fans would be compaining all the way through the season

So you support losing because he's doing what the FO wants even if it makes no sense with the personnel we have?

You support losing because the fans would be complaining if he slowed things down to try and grind out more wins? (And they are not complaining now?)

I could not be anymore confused or lost trying to understand what you just said or what your position is at this point.

Hicks
01-11-2010, 01:10 PM
Bball, would you be upset if we returned to something more like Carlisle's dump it down to JO offense? Weren't you upset the first time?

Unclebuck
01-11-2010, 01:16 PM
So you support losing because he's doing what the FO wants even if it makes no sense with the personnel we have?

You support losing because the fans would be complaining if he slowed things down to try and grind out more wins? (And they are not complaining now?)

I could not be anymore confused or lost trying to understand what you just said or what your position is at this point.

I'm not really taking a position, I'm just stating what I think is going on. I never support losing

I'm serious about this next comment - no one ever understands my posts anymore - not sure what is going on there

Peck
01-11-2010, 01:22 PM
I understand your posts.;)

Speed
01-11-2010, 01:29 PM
I'm not really taking a position, I'm just stating what I think is going on. I never support losing

I'm serious about this next comment - no one ever understands my posts anymore - not sure what is going on there

:dunno:

Since86
01-11-2010, 01:30 PM
I'm not really taking a position, I'm just stating what I think is going on. I never support losing

I'm serious about this next comment - no one ever understands my posts anymore - not sure what is going on there

We don't understand because you're trying to rationalize and a position that's not rational.

****DISCLAIMER*** I am NOT comparing JOb to a white supremacist. In no way are they connected.****END OF DISCLAIMER****

It would be like trying to listen to someone try and rationalize skinhead groups, and their thinking. Then when you ask them if they believe in the same philosophies, them saying no.

(Obviously there is a better example out there, but I can't think of one off the top of my head that illustrates just how backwards JOb's thinking is, to me atleast. I think it's 180degrees opposite of how basketball should be played.)

You're trying to defend a position that makes zero sense with arguments all over the spectrum, that even you don't believe in, so it gets confusing. I get a good chuckle when you say you defend JOb, because everyone else is against him. I just don't understand why you would do it, just to do it.

You're seriously contradicting yourself. We know your thoughts on the game of basketball, and what you are currently arguing doesn't fall in line with it.

That's my take on the situation anyways.

Unclebuck
01-11-2010, 01:52 PM
We don't understand because you're trying to rationalize and a position that's not rational.

You're trying to defend a position that makes zero sense with arguments all over the spectrum, that even you don't believe in, so it gets confusing. I get a good chuckle when you say you defend JOb, because everyone else is against him. I just don't understand why you would do it, just to do it.

You're seriously contradicting yourself. We know your thoughts on the game of basketball, and what you are currently arguing doesn't fall in line with it.



I defend O'Brien against points that I think are wrong. Points like "he has a system that he won't change or bend" - I think that is just wrong, so I ventured into this thread to try and make my thoughts known on that issue. I believe in what I am saying on this issue, 100%.

In the postgame threads when people ask questions like why in the world didn't JOB play Josh, or why did we shoot 30 threes - I try to offer what I think are reasonable explanations, or when they say that they can't figure out what in the heck JOB is doing, I try to offer an explanation. I've never claimed that I agree with shooting 30 threes in a game. I might say as I did over this past weekend, that it seemed to me that the 30 threes kept the Pacers in the game, without the threes they likely would have lost by 20 - doesn't mean I like 30 threes taken in a game.

Bball
01-11-2010, 02:41 PM
Bball, would you be upset if we returned to something more like Carlisle's dump it down to JO offense? Weren't you upset the first time?

I was upset with the "Dump it in to JO offense" because JO made terrible decisions, couldn't pass the ball back out quickly, and shot an unacceptable percentage for a player that had the offense entirely focused around him with a touch nearly every possession.

Had he been able to make better decisions and shoot a better percentage.... or had we shown some variety... then I'd feel differently.

But when we didn't have JO during our stretch run the brawl year we played better basketball with better ball movement. So, just as now, I don't believe we were seeing the best basketball the team could play with the bread and butter system. I don't care whether it's placating a prima donna on the court, making nice with a FO calling for uptempo (circumstances be d--ned), or a coach who wants to preach bad basketball to the team and talk out of both sides of his mouth to the public.... none of those are good reasons for bad basketball.

A lot of Carlisle's problems could've been fixed by making a few players someone else's problem before the entire thing imploded.

PaceBalls
01-11-2010, 03:16 PM
I admire your contrarian ways UB. There should always be some voice for different viewpoints, even if reason would seem to be on the side of the majority. But, when we are talking about basketball strategy, coaching philosophy and subsititions, there is alot of room for argument. There isn't always a clear cut rational and logical "truth".

I still don't get why you like Jim so much though. Nothing he is doing is working, his love affair with Murphy drives everyone (almost) on the board crazy, and even when he finds a group of guys that play well together, or an offensive strategy that works, (low post basketball) at least part of the time, he reverts back to Murph ball as soon as possible. It is enough to make me :banghead:

Unclebuck
01-11-2010, 03:45 PM
I still don't get why you like Jim so much though.

Not sure I like him all that much. I will say what I have said for a few years now. Getting the Pacers to win 36 games last season and 36 games the previous season was maximizing the Pacers talent. I'd give the coaching staff a solid B+ for each of those seasons. Overall they did an excellent job with this team. They generally played hard, played together and the attitude especially last season was excellent, and the coaches deserve a lot of credit for that. (getting the Celtics to the ECF back when O'Brien did was a great job by any measure - that team wasn't that good)

This year it has been different, I have said from I think the second game of the season something isn't right. Either the chemistry between the players is bad or the rerlationship between the coaches and the players has broken down - probably a combination of both. But where as the intangibles were great last season, this year they have not been good. That is the primary reason why so many close games last season and so few close games this season.


Those are my very general thoughts on the team and the coaching.

Do I like everything that O'Brien does - of course not. is Carlisle more my type of coach - yes of course. Is JOB nearly as bad as so many in this forum think, no. I have a knee-jerk reaction whenever anyone criticizes the current coach especially with the typical, why didn't so and so play, or the coach cost us this game, or what was OB doing having his team shoot 45 threes. Every coach in any sport who is on the college or pro level gets ripped by the local fans - and I generally think that is the easy way out to blame the coach blame the coach, so I often argue against it

McKeyFan
01-11-2010, 04:16 PM
Not sure I like him all that much. I will say what I have said for a few years now. Getting the Pacers to win 36 games last season and 36 games the previous season was maximizing the Pacers talent. I'd give the coaching staff a solid B+ for each of those seasons. Overall they did an excellent job with this team. They generally played hard, played together and the attitude especially last season was excellent, and the coaches deserve a lot of credit for that. (getting the Celtics to the ECF back when O'Brien did was a great job by any measure - that team wasn't that good)

This year it has been different, I have said from I think the second game of the season something isn't right. Either the chemistry between the players is bad or the rerlationship between the coaches and the players has broken down - probably a combination of both. But where as the intangibles were great last season, this year they have not been good. That is the primary reason why so many close games last season and so few close games this season.



I think that is a fair assessment.

Here's what gets my goat: O'Brien made it clear that he had maximized his talent last year and said the only way to get better was to add defensive talent.

We did that. But he has chosen not to play that talent in large doses, despite the fact that the majority of games we have won showcased that talent.

That's what I don't get.

Hicks
01-11-2010, 04:43 PM
I think that is a fair assessment.

Here's what gets my goat: O'Brien made it clear that he had maximized his talent last year and said the only way to get better was to add defensive talent.

We did that. But he has chosen not to play that talent in large doses, despite the fact that the majority of games we have won showcased that talent.

That's what I don't get.

Well, maybe the truth is our offensive players are better than our defensive players, and so he's going with the better talent.

McKeyFan
01-11-2010, 04:51 PM
Well, maybe the truth is our offensive players are better than our defensive players, and so he's going with the better talent.

Well, I did a whole thread on that entire idea. If defense counts as half the game, then O'Brien is not playing the better talent. Nowhere near it.

Hicks
01-11-2010, 05:14 PM
Well, I did a whole thread on that entire idea. If defense counts as half the game, then O'Brien is not playing the better talent. Nowhere near it.

But if I recall that was a thread with highly subjective declarations.

McKeyFan
01-11-2010, 10:12 PM
But if I recall that was a thread with highly subjective declarations.

The premise isn't subjective. Defense is half the game.

I would think if you or any other member gave your own numbers to the offense and defense of each player, very similar conclusions would be reached.

Unclebuck
01-12-2010, 08:10 AM
Here is a good example of what I am talking about when it comes to Jim O'Brien.

Many, myself included do not agree with D. Jones not playing. IMO he should be playing instead of Rush and Head. But that is a subjective thing, I understand that. I could make a post ripping O/Brien, I could probably find some stats that could bolster my point, I could suggest how terrible of a coach O'Brien is because he isn't playing Jones.

Why in the heck isn't he playing Jones, how stupid can he be.

I don't do that because there surely is a logical explanation. And sure enough here it is -

http://www.indystar.com/article/20100112/SPORTS04/1120344/1088/SPORTS04/O-Brien-Granger-chat-about-3s

Jones out of rotation
Dahntay Jones has gone from being a key rotation player to out of it.

Jones got his first DNP-CD of the season Monday.

"Dahntay is a great guy to have on the team. What I try to do, and it's nothing against Dahntay right now, I try to put guys on the court that can space the court," O'Brien said. "This basketball team needs to be a real threat on the perimeter in order to open the inside.

"Dahntay is a very tenacious player, but we struggle to space the court when he's out there. It doesn't mean the coaches decision not to play him is permanent."

Jones is more of a driver than a shooter. He is 13 percent (3-of-23) on 3-point attempts this season.

__________________________________________________ ___________

O'Brien has decided he wants to emphasize spacing the court - fair enough, Head and Rush will do that better than Jones, also both Head and Rush are almost as good of defenders as Jones. So not playing Jones while maybe I still don't agree with, but it is logical based upon on O'Brien's reasoning. I can accept it. I just wish more of you could accept what O'Brien does because a lot of it makes sense - or at the very least it is within the realm of reasonableness

able
01-12-2010, 08:42 AM
http://www.indystar.com/article/20100112/SPORTS04/1120344/1088/SPORTS04/O-Brien-Granger-chat-about-3s

Jones out of rotation
Dahntay Jones has gone from being a key rotation player to out of it.

Jones got his first DNP-CD of the season Monday.

"Dahntay is a great guy to have on the team. What I try to do, and it's nothing against Dahntay right now, I try to put guys on the court that can space the court," O'Brien said. "This basketball team needs to be a real threat on the perimeter in order to open the inside.

"Dahntay is a very tenacious player, but we struggle to space the court when he's out there. It doesn't mean the coaches decision not to play him is permanent."

Jones is more of a driver than a shooter. He is 13 percent (3-of-23) on 3-point attempts this season.

Sigh

What can i say, everyone goes "inside-out" "it" wants to go "outside-in"

Now why has no one else ever thought of that?

All i know by now is i paid $169 to watch basketball games and I am not using it to watch MY team, the Pacers.

I can not find another incentive to fly to Indy then meeting up with friends

And it's not the players on our team, well ok i take exception to troy and tj, but it is purely the way they are made to struggle.

Please get this poor excuse for a coach out of my life.

Bball
01-12-2010, 09:05 AM
UB,
RE: Dahntay DNP-CD
So the reason is O'Brien needs more shooters on the court and less defenders?

I won't tear that thinking apart every time on the coach's part... But I will point out that it is the pattern that everyone is complaining about. It seems it's always about shooting...shooting...shooting....

He might complain or pretend to agree with a point about the team lacking defense or lacking post play, but when it comes time for the rubber to hit the road it's shooting... shooting... shooting... he runs to and tries to address.

Unclebuck
01-12-2010, 09:08 AM
UB,
RE: Dahntay DNP-CD
So the reason is O'Brien needs more shooters on the court and less defenders?

I won't tear that thinking apart every time on the coach's part... But I will point out that it is the pattern that everyone is complaining about. It seems it's always about shooting...shooting...shooting....

He might complain or pretend to agree with a point about the team lacking defense or lacking post play, but when it comes time for the rubber to hit the road it's shooting... shooting... shooting... he runs to and tries to address.

Rush and Jones are pretty equal as defenders, and Head isn't too far behind those two guys, so I don't think we are losing that much there. Pacers shooting has been horrible this season, so yes they need to shoot better and I think it is logical for the coach to focus on trying to get his team to shoot better.

Bball
01-12-2010, 09:13 AM
Rush and Jones are pretty equal as defenders, and Head isn't too far behind those two guys, so I don't think we are losing that much there. Pacers shooting has been horrible this season, so yes they need to shoot better and I think it is logical for the coach to focus on trying to get his team to shoot better.

The shooting is horrible because they are taking bad shots (in an offense that encourages (or doesn't discourage) hurried, bad shots) but I don't disagree necessarily with your point on the 3 players. I just want on record to say that what O'Brien always tries to go to is more people to take quick shots... not post offense and not defense.

Alabama-Redneck
01-12-2010, 10:49 AM
I have not jumped into the JOB thing and will not jump now. My +/- on JOB is 0.

I really don't understand all of his moves but I'm sure he doesn't understand all of my posts ( or care).

The one thing he preaches is spreading the court and all that has done is get more contested 3 point shots. The players are not driving to the bucket more and there does not seem to be much effort to feed the ball to the middle.

If he really wants to spread the court and work the middle or drive to the rim, it should happen before we are 25-30 points down and then use that as an excuse to really need to hoist the 3.

I really don't know but I am old so what the heck.

:cool:

NuffSaid
01-12-2010, 11:00 AM
I'm serious about this next comment - no one ever understands my posts anymore - not sure what is going on there
"I can read writing when it's wrote, but I can't understand writing when it's writ."
- Popeye the Sailor

:D

Just teasing ya', big guy. :)

NuffSaid
01-12-2010, 11:29 AM
I'm going to quote myself here from two seperate threads because I think my commentary speaks directly to the overall theme of this thread:

I've always been a fan of "traditional" basketball, i.e., PG's run the offense and distribute the ball more than they score, Centers and PFs do most of their dirty work around the basket, SGs as your primary deep ball threat and SFs as your primary defensive stopper and mid-range jump shooter. Where are the traditionalist among the available starters on this Pacers team?

Hibbert is a proto-typical Center who still needs time to develop. He's a keeper.

Murphy does not play underneath the basket whether at PF or Center. As consistent as he's been [Edit: as a perimeter threat], he's not a shoot blocker and is rather ineffective in defending the paint. So, from a traditionalist point of view, I'd look to trade him.

TJ Ford would rather score the ball than pass it. His only real asset is his ability to push the tempo and take his man off the dribble. You need those traits in a PG, but you need him to setup the offense more. To that, Ford doesn't fit my view of a traditionalist either.

Dunleavy...bless his heart. He's trying, but he's no defensive stopper. Furthermore, his offense sucks big time right now and there's nothing I can point my finger at as to why he's struggling other than maybe it's taking him alot longer to adjust to playing on his "reconstructed" knee after playing one a bad one for so long. But for what it's worth, I'd still take a healthy Dunleavy from a year or two ago than the one we're left with now. Get it together, man!

BRush...what can I say? He's still green, but he has been playing much better of late. He has finally settled down and isn't trying to do too much out there. Still, a pure shooter he is not. But for the sake of future growth and development, I'd hold onto him until something better came along.

So, what would I do in an attempt to turn things around? Identify the more traditional players at their relative positions and play them!

PG - TJ Ford and AJ Price. You want to push the tempo? Then do it! Go all out with it from now on. This isn't a demotion to Watson, but rather finally committing to remaining true to the style of play you want for the team. So, if it's uptempo, make it so!!! Earl Watson's a fine PG. In fact, he plays more of the traditional PG role that I like. However, he's more of a half-court PG. It's for this reason I'd sit him out and use him only when you really want/need to slow the game down. (BTW, I wonder when Diener's due to return? I like his play as well, but I'm beginning to wonder if he'll ever get out of street clothes.)

Center - Hibbert is our man, but he doesn't have a legitimate backup. By playing Solo or Murphy at Center, you're really forcing the issue and playing both out of position. But what choice does JOB have with Foster constantly in and out of the lineup with back problems?

PF - I'd start Hansborough. Yes, he's a rookie, but he's shown he will not back down from anyone. He's tough, scrappy and goes all-out on every possession. Take advantage of it from the first tic off the game clock. Start him! And bring Murphy off the bench.

SG - Until Granger returns, I'd stick with BRush at starting SG. As I stated above, he's finally starting to settle down and let the game come to him. He's not trying to do too much and his decision making has gotten better. Tough it out with him at SG for alittle while longer.

SF - This probably the 2nd most screwed up position for the Pacers right now. Dahntay's not the defensive stopper we were led to believe. (Kinda like Kareem Rush was suppose to be the "shooter" the team needed a few years ago. How's that working out for us, Bird? Oh! That's right...we got rid of the big brother in favor of his little brother. What an upgrade? :rolleyes: Yeah, I'm still 50/50 on BRush despite giving him props herein. But I'll openly admit that defensively, BRush is much better than his older brother in that regard. Neither are pure shooters, though.) Dunleavy is okay as long as he's not defending someone quicker or taller than he, but he's no real defensive stopper either. I hate to say it, but I really do miss Ron-Ron in that regard...not the nutcase, but the great defender he was here. I know alot of folks believe Granger should be at this position and maybe you're right, but based on the makeup of this team, I think Granger fits better at SG than SF ONLY because this team still has problems stopping the opposing team's best scorers at the point of attack - the Guards. Plus, Granger's the best 3-pt threat we have.

Starters/Reserves:

C - Hibbert/Foster/Solo
PF - Hansborough/Murphy/McRoberts
PG - TJ Ford/AJ Price/Watson/Diener*
SG - Granger/BRush/Head
SF - Dahntay/Dunleavy

*I'd actually play Diener behind TJ is he were healthy.

I'd said it before and I'll say it again: Put your best players forward at their relative positions whether veterans or rookies. That's a winning forumula more often than not. I do understand JOB has his work cut out for him. He has a roster full of rookies and newbies, he's dealing with constant injuries, and he has yet to have his ideal starters together once this year. But at this point, I think he has to see the reality of the situation. Certain players (starters) aren't getting the job done out there. (Once Granger returns and assuming no one else gets injured...) It's time to put the best players forward at their relative positions and just see what happens. It can't get much worse!!!


Can't argue with this much. Not sure I'd have TJ at the top, I think he plays better off the bench and I think Watson distributes better which is good for Roy and Hans, but it seems a solid rotation that moves Murphy out of the starting lineup.
The idea is to play to the team's one true strength - pushing the tempo - while also capitalizing on two things this team either needs to do a much better job at or maintain a level consistency in performance:

1. Interior defense.

2. Maintain scoring among the reserves.

It's very clear to me that JOB has all of our energy players slanted to the 2nd Unit. Earlier immediately following the 5-game winning streak, we needed that among the reserves because it was the 2nd Unit that was faltering. But now, all the energy, movement and aggressiveness seems to be with the reserves. JOB still hasn't found that balance this team desperately needs. But that's due more to injuries; depth is no longer at a premium.

As to the PG situation, I'd like Watson to run the Point, too, but he doesn't push the tempo the way TJ, Diener or even AJ does. What he does bring to that position better than all others except maybe Diener is his ability to keep is turnovers low and is a pass-first PG. That's why I'm personally disappointed that it's taking so long (purposely, is my guess) for Diener to get back on the court.

I think that in order for JOB's uptempo perimeter system he has to have three crucial elements:

1) Pure shooters. The Pacers have atleast six players who are very capable of knocking down 3-pt shots: Granger, Murphy, Dunleavy, BRush, Watson, and Head. (seven if you include Diener). But only Murphy and Granger have shown they can knock down the perimeter shots with any level of consistency. So, suffice it to say, this style isn't working for the Pacers very well because players aren't knocking down shots.

2) Strong offensive rebounding. Currently, the Pacers rank 9th (tied w/the Kings) in offensive rebounding: Off -.234; Def - .734; Total - .479

They're not going to be very effective in JOB's system with offensive rebounding numbers like those.

3) A strong passing game. This is perhaps the #1 reason TJ Ford doesn't fit very well with JOB's system. He may push the tempo hard and he can get inside the defense to score, but you need a pass-first PG in order for such a system to work. Hence, the reason Watson works better for the Pacers than TJ Ford. This is not a slight on TJ; just the reality. He doesn't fit with this team as currently designed.

This is why the Pacers are failing under JOB's system. The pieces just aren't working. What's ironic here is except for the rebounding phase, the Pacers have the tools to put JOB's system into effect. They just aren't executing like most of us think they should and I really don't understand why. I mean, anyone who plays basketball knows that long shots create long rebounds. But every time the Pacers take a perimeter shot how many players do we see underneath the basket? How many "shooters" actually follow their own shot? How many of our Bigs are boxing out? It does, however, deserve mentioning that without Foster and Hansborough on the floor the Pacers' offensive rebounding numbers will be very low since all we have among out Bigs are either Hibbert, Murphy or Solo. And although Hibbert and Murphy have been paired together, they really don't work because Hibbert typically is the only one among them who makes his living playing under the rim while Murphy remains the trailor on offense and general is only available to grab defensive rebounds.

So, what do you do? How do you turn things around for this team?

Answer: Change they way you play the game. Stop relying so heavily on perimeter shooting and instead start attacking the basket more. Play the best Bigs we have (when available) who can space the floor but not in a manner that would benefit the perimeter shooter, but instead gain the spacing and ball movement that would allow your cutters and slashers to get to the rim. Once you do that, you can better utilize TJ's ability to probe the defense and get inside. Same goes for Head, BRush, Watson and even Dunleavy to a degree. Bottom line is until the Pacers can get all of their key players back on the court and start knocking down their perimeter shots JOB's system is doomed to failure.
Last night's come from behind victory over the Raptors was exactly the way I've been preaching this team should play; lay off the 3-ball and start attacking the basket alot more. The Pacers have so many slashers out there (Granger, Dunleavy, TJ, AJ, Watson, BRush and even Murphy and Hansborough) it has boggled my mind why they haven't gone to this brand of basketball back in early December.

Perimeter shots are great!...when they are falling...because they really do upon up the defense. But if you're not making them, you leave yourself vulnerable to the very thing you didn't want: to have your opponent beat you in the very same transition game you were attempting to beat them at. You have to change the way you approach the game, and I'm not sure if it's the coach or the players who refuse to recognize what's happening out there and made the adjustments. Granger hinted that he even has to fight against taking so many 3-pters. So, maybe it is the players falling into some bad habits, but IMO it's the coach's responsibility to remind his players - forcefully if you have to - when they have to adjust their game to take advantage of weaknesses. Last night, the message must have gotten through (to Granger, if not the entire team) because they didn't take as many perimeter shots in the 2nd-half as they did the first.