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View Full Version : You should really check out the Jim O'Brien show from yesterday (01/14/10)



Hicks
01-15-2010, 12:07 PM
It was a very good show and he goes into why he does certain things that he does, and frankly IMO the explanations are reasonable. Including the small ball.

http://www.1070thefan.com/pacers/obrien.aspx

Speed
01-15-2010, 12:17 PM
1/2 way through it, this morning on the treadmill. He really does make some good points!

One of the things I liked, was him talking about how Roy and small ball aren't mutually exclusive.

90'sNBARocked
01-15-2010, 01:54 PM
1/2 way through it, this morning on the treadmill. He really does make some good points!

One of the things I liked, was him talking about how Roy and small ball aren't mutually exclusive.

Appreciate the thread

Obie is a smooth talker, and what he says makes sense, but

He contridicts himself constantly and his "plan" is constinently moving in different directions. It is confusing as a fan, can only imagine how it is to play for him

By the way I always thought Obie would make a great assistant coach in charge of the offense

Speed
01-15-2010, 02:11 PM
If I didn't listen to Obie's weekly show, I think I'd want him out, now and vehemently so.

Listening to him, though, I think he is the coach of a losing team who knows what he's doing and has limited resources to win. I'm not saying he's Larry Brown (coach I personally hold in the highest regard), but he is a good coach, I'm convinced.

Is he the right guy to have here and keep through the rebuild? I'm not sure, but in spite of what many think of him, he knows basketball and I do think he's a good coach.

Maybe, I'm drinking the koolaid and I believe what he's saying too much, but he's a no nonsense guy who isn't a crazy control freak (my preferred style) and he knows the game (he has good reasons he's doing the things he does and I've seen him manage situations in games very effectively (Danny back door inbound bucket in Cleveland after Lebrons inbound back door bucket last year, FTW)).

Maybe not the answer here, but he is a good coach and should be coaching somewhere, imo.

I can and do disagree with some things he does/doesn't do as a fan, but I do respect him and appreciate that he knows what he's doing. It's just not always right, but thats the nature of it and that is amplied by losing so much.

Unclebuck
01-15-2010, 02:14 PM
It was a very good show and he goes into why he does certain things that he does, and frankly IMO the explanations are reasonable. Including the small ball.

http://www.1070thefan.com/pacers/obrien.aspx

His explanation are always reasonable - his show is probably the best coaches show I have ever heard on a week in and week out basis

Since86
01-15-2010, 02:18 PM
I can't listen to it now while I'm at work, but I will say this.

Communism when you talk about it sounds like a hell of an idea too. Putting it into practice is when it goes wrong.

JOb can talk all he wants about why he does certain things, but we've seen what happens when they try them on the basketball court. Everything makes sense when you have the ability to talk through it and communicate what your thought process is.

Not everyone has the ability to translate those thoughts into action. That's the problem. He can talk until he's blue in the face about why it's a good idea to do things a certain way. But we've seen the outcomes from it.

Ozwalt72
01-15-2010, 02:19 PM
He sounds like a guy that thinks he's figured it out. Going by what he is saying, it sounds like he's done using Murphy and Hibbert together for longer stretches. He wants to put out a more athletic lineup.

I'm okay with Price playing some SG - he's a combo guard. I'm happy to see Granger play power forward when Hibbert is in. I think defensively they fit together pretty well.

There is still a long way to go through this season. We may see some very good things the rest of the way out.

duke dynamite
01-15-2010, 02:33 PM
Not everyone has the ability to translate those thoughts into action. That's the problem. He can talk until he's blue in the face about why it's a good idea to do things a certain way. But we've seen the outcomes from it.
Have you ever played the game of "Yhatzee!"? I'm sure you do, but some here may not.

What happens is that you get 5 dice. Like poker, you need to find the best combination of numbers on the 5 dice you can to fill a specific need. You get three chances to find that combination you want to work with. After that, you either get what you want, close to that, a chance or nothing at all. You forfeit your turn.

Now what O'Brien has been doing is trying to find the same thing. But instead of just 3 chances he gets at least 82. That's an awful lot of chances.

So far it looks like he's had to keep rolling the dice from the cup. (By the way, the cup is a metaphor for the roster.)

What he also has to his advantage is that he gets to use his chance. Basically, after 82 games he adds up what production his final throw was, and that is our W-L ratio, compared to the total number on each of the 5 dice.

Looking at it this way, he is in control, because it's still uncertain what all is in the cup. You may need three 5's, but you only were able to roll and get 2. That leaves you short. Still looking at it, developing the young players is trying to get a small or large straight. So far I think he's been given the decent rolls (forcing them to play due to injuries).

I still feel that the coach is doing the best with what we've got. By no means is he going to get a Yhatzee with this group, but thinking by and large this current lineup may be on to something.

Since86
01-15-2010, 02:36 PM
I'll stick with your dice games. Crap. (I could go in multiple directions here!)

No, I'm specifically talking about Craps, the dice game. There are those that are really good at coming up with winning throws. They hold the dice the same way, throw it the same way, put the same speed on the throw, etc. And they win with that combination. They might not throw 7's every time, but they throw them more often than not.

JOb found that throwing technique, for some of us atleast, and used it for a short time. Then when a new girl came up to the table (Murph returning from injury) he decided it would be a good idea to scrap that winning throw, and start tossing them a new way. A new way that wasn't producing the same results.

EDIT: No one will ever convince me playing Troy Murphy 28mins a game is coaching the best way for this ball club. Cut that number down to 20mins or so, and I'll be in agreement. Especially when he plays him heavy mins in the 4th when his production is down.

All summer he complained that he needed better defensive players. And yet DJones got a DNP-CD a few games ago. "Things that make you go huh."

duke dynamite
01-15-2010, 02:38 PM
I'll stick with your dice games. Crap. (I could go in multiple directions here!)

No, I'm specifically talking about Craps, the dice game. There are those that are really good at coming up with winning throws. They hold the dice the same way, throw it the same way, put the same speed on the throw, etc. And they win with that combination. They might not throw 7's every time, but they throw them more often than not.

JOb found that throwing technique, for some of us atleast, and used it for a short time. Then when a new girl came up to the table (Murph returning from injury) he decided it would be a good idea to scrap that winning throw, and start tossing them a new way. A new way that wasn't producing the same results.

You have a point. But I can't blame the losses squarely on Murphy. Yes, I am defending him, but he alone isn't losing us the games.

Since86
01-15-2010, 02:41 PM
I know he's not making them lose games. They aren't that good of a team to begin with.

Murphy is the best example of what's wrong with JOb and his basketball philosophy. Without Murphy, he's cornered into using a lineup that suits my ideals of how the team should be coached. When Troy is available, he has the tools to revert back to the style that makes me want to pull out my hair.

duke dynamite
01-15-2010, 02:43 PM
I know he's not making them lose games. They aren't that good of a team to begin with.

Murphy is the best example of what's wrong with JOb and his basketball philosophy. Without Murphy, he's cornered into using a lineup that suits my ideals of how the team should be coached. When Troy is available, he has the tools to revert back to the style that makes me want to pull out my hair.
Well, benching Murphy isn't going help this team any more than it will hurt.

the jaddler
01-15-2010, 02:47 PM
well....glad i did listen to this show....altough...not sure if im still sold on JOb.....i understand that he is trying differnt line up combos.....but i disagree with him in saying that playing small is our best lineup....

Since86
01-15-2010, 02:54 PM
Well, benching Murphy isn't going help this team any more than it will hurt.

Like I said, I'm not calling for him to benched like TJ. I don't want him playing 28mins a game. He needs to be scaled back to the 20 range.

Having Murphy play the 5 for a couple of minutes isn't a BAD thing. It's when he plays there for extended minutes, or even starts there. Roy can spread the floor effectively by his ability to make good passes, and his ability to score on the block. He requires special attention down there from multiple defenders.

When help defenders lock on to someone other than their assignment it sets up a lot of options for the other offensive players.

I see benefits of establishing the game inside-out, and I see benefits of establishing it outside-in. It depends on the situation, lineup, etc. But often times there is no inside game. It just stays outside, and that is way too one dimensional.

Naptown_Seth
01-15-2010, 02:56 PM
Duke, selecting the best roster shouldn't be "random". This isn't his first job as a coach either.

A monkey hitting a random lineup button could coach using the Yahtzee method.

This is exactly what Since86 is on about, JOB does talk a great game. You leave saying "yeah, that does make sense". Cult members leave meetings thinking the same thing.

The issue isn't whether JOB has reasons, it's whether or not he has SMART reasons. Coaches learn which things sound good on paper but don't work, and they quickly learn why they don't work.

I shouldn't be able to see that AJ is the PG with the best ability to pass the ball and run the offense back in July and have JOB still not using him as though that was true.


In fact here is the best example - Troy is getting beat badly on defense but hitting a pretty nice rate of his 3s.

Larry Brown - I had to take him out because he was hurting our defense too much. Reasonable

Jim O'Brien - I had to leave him in because we needed his outside shooting. Reasonable.

They can even both be right if they have different rosters or systems. Assume the same roster though, but the system falls into the same logic, they each use a system that "makes sense" when they explain it.

But not all systems work the same.


If I told you that Phil Jackson watched Pacers games and disagreed with 90% of the moves JOB made, would you say that JOB was always right simply because he has reasons for doing things?

I lost baseball games using what I thought were good reasons. They didn't work. I coached that game poorly and didn't give my team the best chance to win.

duke dynamite
01-15-2010, 02:58 PM
You're right Seth, in my mind I was getting somewhere, but the whole random thing came into play and it didn't fit.

Naptown_Seth
01-15-2010, 02:58 PM
Well, benching Murphy isn't going help this team any more than it will hurt.
Phoenix 4th quarter on line one.

And Troy actually played good defense in that game.



Duke, I get the point and agree. JOB clearly is trying to find something that works.

Let me come at it from my world more. I used to do a lot of computational intelligence work, neural nets, optimizers, genetic algorhythms. In those worlds you must balance computational time/power with results.

No matter what system you use you are searching the solution space for the answer. But not every system searches as "intelligently" as the other.

In this way a great coach might identify key things he needs to investigate quicker, might know what the results are telling him with in a few minutes instead of a few games, might be reading and reacting and searching quicker and smarter.


So JOB is not wrong for trying to find what works best or for having reasons for doing things. It's his search method, questionable reasons and perhaps even a poor definition of "good".

If you think a "good" score in golf is a higher stroke count then you'll get really good at not letting the ball get in the hole. You have a system and it's finely honed, you are the top guy out there at keeping the ball away from the hole. But you aren't winning.

duke dynamite
01-15-2010, 03:01 PM
Phoenix 4th quarter on line one.

And Troy actually played good defense in that game.
He did. I saw it with my own eyes. I was just trying to say (overall this season) if you leave him in, it's not going to hurt the team. If you take him out, it most likely won't hurt the team.

Speed
01-15-2010, 03:02 PM
I can't listen to it now while I'm at work, but I will say this.

Communism when you talk about it sounds like a hell of an idea too. Putting it into practice is when it goes wrong.

JOb can talk all he wants about why he does certain things, but we've seen what happens when they try them on the basketball court. Everything makes sense when you have the ability to talk through it and communicate what your thought process is.

Not everyone has the ability to translate those thoughts into action. That's the problem. He can talk until he's blue in the face about why it's a good idea to do things a certain way. But we've seen the outcomes from it.

Good post.

Whats the old saying... You can't make chicken salad out of chicken sh .. er crap.

What would the maximum number of wins to expect from this group? What is even a reasonable numbers of wins? And what is the reality of what has happened?

Maybe a coaching genius would have them at 15-23 instead of 13-25, maybe not. Maybe if they would have played McBob and other youngsters more it would have meant better development AND more wins, maybe not.

I'm not going to sit here and defend every more he's made, but I do appreciate that he has played the young guys (some) and has (obviously) been willing to try things differently (TJ benching, 15 different starting line ups).

I just think when you're winning it's lolipops, flowers, and dolphins. When you're losing, it's the coach that gets the blame, almost everytime.

I think we can all agree, the Pacers aren't sitting on an abundance of talent here. It's not like they should be killing it and they aren't.

Lastly, I thought for awhile, during a long losing streak they were tuning him out. Now, I don't think so. I think some of that bad body language I was seeing was frustration and losing, not checking out.

I think Bird made the right move to support Obie a couple of weeks ago, it sent the message that if the players were heading down the road of tuning Obie out, it wasn't going to work. It also saved the Simons the money of paying Obie to not coach AND someone else to.

If there is a better option out there next year, I'd fully support it. If Jeff Van Gundy wants to come back, I think you have to try to get him. If not, I think Obie is good for now. Because, honestly, there isn't a coach out there that's going to make this team a really good team, right now.

It's all good and fine to say fire the coach, but you'd like to have an upgrade in mind. It's all fine and good to critique what the coach does, it's part of the fun of it. You can never know what the alternate reality is, though. But to act like Obie is a bum is incorrect, imho.

Speed
01-15-2010, 03:04 PM
I know he's not making them lose games. They aren't that good of a team to begin with.

Murphy is the best example of what's wrong with JOb and his basketball philosophy. Without Murphy, he's cornered into using a lineup that suits my ideals of how the team should be coached. When Troy is available, he has the tools to revert back to the style that makes me want to pull out my hair.

I agree here, completely.

Unclebuck
01-15-2010, 03:13 PM
I can't listen to it now while I'm at work, but I will say this.

Communism when you talk about it sounds like a hell of an idea too. Putting it into practice is when it goes wrong.

JOb can talk all he wants about why he does certain things, but we've seen what happens when they try them on the basketball court. Everything makes sense when you have the ability to talk through it and communicate what your thought process is.

Not everyone has the ability to translate those thoughts into action. That's the problem. He can talk until he's blue in the face about why it's a good idea to do things a certain way. But we've seen the outcomes from it.

I disagree with your premise. I have not heard last nights show yet. But I assume he probably said about small ball that going small makes the Pacers more difficult to guard, gives them better shooters on the floor, allows the Pacers to run more and forces the Pacers to be more aggressive - as long as the Pacers don't get killed on the boards, or get killed on post-ups - small ball works for them.

Using that as an example and applying your idea that sure it sounds good in theory and yet it does not work. It seems to me it does work. OK, I'm breaking my vow but the 5 game winning streak took place while the pacers played small ball - Danny played center - the last two second halves the pacers used a lot of small ball to speed the tempo and get back into the game.

My goal here is not to get off on a tangent of small ball or God help us the 5 game streak in November - but only to use that explanation in favor of small ball to refute your theory that Jim only sounds good in theory. I think you are wrong, but what I know you are wrong about is that the explanation only works in theory, no the explanation is true - it does speed the Pacers up, it does give the Pacers better shooters, more quickness......so then when O'Brien says that it does those things that is true. Jim is not guarenteeing wins here - he is just explaining why it works at times and why he uses the lineup.

Since86
01-15-2010, 03:19 PM
It's all good and fine to say fire the coach, but you'd like to have an upgrade in mind. It's all fine and good to critique what the coach does, it's part of the fun of it. You can never know what the alternate reality is, though. But to act like Obie is a bum is incorrect, imho.

Well my low opinion of JOb is important. He was hired through telephone interviews, and was a quick hire after SVG turned us down, IIRC.

He was a quick fix bandaid IMHO, and one that doesn't shout "confidence" from the front office. I think Bird isn't too hip on JOb's ideal offense, because he keeps drafting and signing players that don't fit that philosophy. There were other players out there in last years draft that fit better than Tyler, and there were other players out there the year before that fit better than Roy and Brandon.

I look at JOb as a simple solution to getting through the 3year plan. He's a low risk guy that's easily shown the door when the time comes.

I've never said I want him fired midseason. I don't see the point in it, it won't fix the problem. It just doesn't bring any positives other than just getting him out.

My beef is him getting the extension. And I imagine that's the problem those team members saw as well. When you know a guy is a quick fix solution you can grit your teeth and move forward. When he starts becoming a future piece, or atleast a perceived future piece, that's when trouble comes up.

To get back to the original point. I see the next coach already as an upgrade. He will either be an established next step guy, or it will be a young guy that's high reward. I don't want to see Mark Jackson but any others I would fully be ready to see what they can do.

Bball
01-15-2010, 03:20 PM
I disagree with your premise. I have not heard last nights show yet. But I assume he probably said about small ball that going small makes the Pacers more difficult to guard, gives them better shooters on the floor, allows the Pacers to run more and forces the Pacers to be more aggressive - as long as the Pacers don't get killed on the boards, or get killed on post-ups - small ball works for them.

Using that as an example and applying your idea that sure it sounds good in theory and yet it does not work. It seems to me it does work. OK, I'm breaking my vow but the 5 game winning streak took place while the pacers played small ball - Danny played center - the last two second halves the pacers used a lot of small ball to speed the tempo and get back into the game.

My goal here is not to get off on a tangent of small ball or God help us the 5 game streak in November - but only to use that explanation in favor of small ball to refute your theory that Jim only sounds good in theory. I think you are wrong, but what I know you are wrong about is that the explanation only works in theory, no the explanation is true - it does speed the Pacers up, it does give the Pacers better shooters, more quickness......so then when O'Brien says that it does those things that is true. .

...and hurts the defense...

-Bball

Since86
01-15-2010, 03:21 PM
I disagree with your premise. I have not heard last nights show yet. But I assume he probably said about small ball that going small makes the Pacers more difficult to guard, gives them better shooters on the floor, allows the Pacers to run more and forces the Pacers to be more aggressive - as long as the Pacers don't get killed on the boards, or get killed on post-ups - small ball works for them.

Using that as an example and applying your idea that sure it sounds good in theory and yet it does not work. It seems to me it does work. OK, I'm breaking my vow but the 5 game winning streak took place while the pacers played small ball - Danny played center - the last two second halves the pacers used a lot of small ball to speed the tempo and get back into the game.

My goal here is not to get off on a tangent of small ball or God help us the 5 game streak in November - but only to use that explanation in favor of small ball to refute your theory that Jim only sounds good in theory. I think you are wrong, but what I know you are wrong about is that the explanation only works in theory, no the explanation is true - it does speed the Pacers up, it does give the Pacers better shooters, more quickness......so then when O'Brien says that it does those things that is true. Jim is not guarenteeing wins here - he is just explaining why it works at times and why he uses the lineup.


I reject any argument that his lineups with Murphy in them works. The teams record with and without him speak plenty.

Just like last game. He gets pulled for the majority of the 4th and they win. This team isn't good to begin with, and they're worse with Murphy playing 28mins.

Hicks
01-15-2010, 03:37 PM
...and hurts the defense...

-Bball

Except not so much. Listen to the show.

BillS
01-15-2010, 03:44 PM
What I'm getting from this week's show (which backs up what we saw on the court) is that he had expectations for how certain players would fare against certain opponents, but when those proved wrong he changed his direction.

That absolutely happened in the Phoenix game, so it isn't just useless talk from Jim O'Stubborn.

Unclebuck
01-15-2010, 03:53 PM
What I'm getting from this week's show (which backs up what we saw on the court) is that he had expectations for how certain players would fare against certain opponents, but when those proved wrong he changed his direction.

That absolutely happened in the Phoenix game, so it isn't just useless talk from Jim O'Stubborn.

It goes back to my point about O'Brien. For a lot of Pacers fans they have already given up on him - he could say something like if we score more than the Nets tonight we will win and half the people on here will argue against it just because JOS said it. (what is the color to use for hyperbole?)

Trophy
01-15-2010, 03:54 PM
He's not a bad coach. He's a very imvolved head coach and never sits down. He's a coach that likes to experiment.

Bball
01-15-2010, 03:57 PM
It goes back to my point about O'Brien. For a lot of Pacers fans they have already given up on him - he could say something like if we score more than the Nets tonight we will win and half the people on here will argue against it just because JOS said it. (what is the color to use for hyperbole?)

Purple...

Bball
01-15-2010, 04:00 PM
BTW, why wouldn't they give up on him at this point? It's not like it's the middle of his first season.

I've not given up on him. He's a GREAT GREAT coach with a spectacular brand of basketball he believes in.
:devil:

Speed
01-15-2010, 04:18 PM
BTW, why wouldn't they give up on him at this point? It's not like it's the middle of his first season.

I've not given up on him. He's a GREAT GREAT coach with a spectacular brand of basketball he believes in.
:devil:

Who will replace him? Lester Connor?

Why pay two coaches, one not to coach, when you're hemmoraging money?

Since86
01-15-2010, 04:22 PM
I thought I answered that question?

90'sNBARocked
01-15-2010, 04:25 PM
I thought I answered that question?

Is Obie beyond criticism, or are people just tired of him being criticized?

Since86
01-15-2010, 04:30 PM
I think just tired.

Bball
01-15-2010, 04:31 PM
Who will replace him? Lester Connor?

Why pay two coaches, one not to coach, when you're hemmoraging money?


I thought Dukie and Naptown were vying to replace him as co-head coaches and they were going to coach making decisions using dice on a system they were developing... But I might've misread that.

duke dynamite
01-15-2010, 04:31 PM
I thought Dukie and Naptown were vying to replace him as co-head coaches and they were going to coach making decisions using dice on a system they were developing... But I might've misread that.
:lol: I was just going to have players draw straws every night.

McKeyFan
01-15-2010, 05:32 PM
Might want to go back to just black or this is gonna get real confusing.

:crazy:

NuffSaid
01-15-2010, 07:01 PM
I haven't listened to the show and may be speaking prematurely, but I can understand JOB's dilemma with this team. I've stated before that the roster is full of rookies, sophomores and new veteran acquisitions. This team has been a team in flux since the Brawl. While I hate bringing up that subject again, it's very relevant to where this team stands currently.

Now, add to this (marginal) lack of veteran experience on top of the unfamiliar several new players have with JOB's offense let alone the NBA game plus the fact that the Pacers have had to deal with injuries to several key players - Granger, Dunleavy, Murphy, Foster and Hansborough - and you can start seeing why the Pacers have struggled so much this year.

Whenever I get disappointed with this team's performance, I try very hard to remember the above facts. Hard to do, but I do try. And like others, while I have disagreed with some of JOB's coaching decisions, I can understand why he does what he does for the most part. Would I have done some things differently? Of course! But, for what it's worth I think JOB is a good coach. However, as I've also stated in the Coach Obrien coaching philosopy thread (http://www.pacersdigest.com/showthread.php?t=49815), "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," only because the key elements that make it work rely heavily on ball movement, player movement and pure perimeter shooting. As long as those elements are working, the Pacers will win more ball games than they lose. But if any one element falters especially perimeter shooting, all is lost.

"Win by the 3, die by the 3!"

DaveP63
01-15-2010, 08:25 PM
He did. I saw it with my own eyes. I was just trying to say (overall this season) if you leave him in, it's not going to hurt the team. If you take him out, it most likely won't hurt the team.

Then he's expendable?

avoidingtheclowns
01-15-2010, 09:38 PM
Whats the old saying... You can't make chicken salad out of chicken sh .. er crap.

I bet Mario Batali could.

Sookie
01-15-2010, 10:14 PM
Obie's coaching problems, seem to me, to be mostly in game adjustments, which I think are being understated.

Deciding which guys to play and what plays to run, is more important than a lot of other things coach's do.

JOB, is very much by the numbers, and I swear doesn't notice who plays well together, very well.

That being said. He's improving, or seems to have improved, a lot, since, well since he's started playing Price.