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View Full Version : Wondering about Rush/ Mike Wells



vnzla81
01-19-2010, 01:28 PM
http://www.indystar.com/article/20100118/SPORTS04/1180329/1062/SPORTS04/Wondering-about-Rush

Indiana pacers
Wondering about Rush
Enigmatic 2nd-year player lacks consistency on both ends of court
By Mike Wells
Posted: January 18, 2010


The question is one that everybody in the Indiana Pacers organization has been trying to answer since the 2008-09 season.
That's why Pacers coach Jim O'Brien added some levity to it when he leaned back on the wall and opened his arms wide when asked about pushing the right button with second-year swingman Brandon Rush.




"I . . . don't . . . know," O'Brien slowly said. "I . . . don't . . . know. We tried everything. You just hope that he's going to have a good game."
Rush went scoreless against Toronto and Phoenix early last week. Then he scored 15 points on 5-of-5 shooting against New Jersey on Friday and went 3-of-6 from the field in Saturday's loss to New Orleans.
Was Rush making the first shot against the Nets an indicator that he would have a good game?
"I'd like for the first shot to go in, then we'd go from there," O'Brien said. "I don't know."
Rush "wanders through life and you get what you get" from him, according to O'Brien.
Rush has acknowledged confidence issues in the past.
He often has a good game on both ends of the court if he scores early.
The Pacers don't want that to dictate his performance.
They want him to be able to at least defend, rebound and run the court even if he's struggling offensively.
O'Brien prefers to bring Rush off the bench, but Luther Head's ankle injury prompted him to start Rush against the Hornets. It is unknown how long Head will be out.
Rush, who has started 22 games, is averaging 7.6 points and shooting 38.9 percent from the field this season.
"When he's on, we're happy, and if he's not, then we just go with somebody else or realize he might be defending at a high level and rebounding at a high level and hope there's more than one way to help the team win," O'Brien said. "It's not just shooting the basketball. He can defend and rebound and hopefully run the court. He knows that he has the green light."

Naptown_Seth
01-19-2010, 01:42 PM
"When he's on, we're happy, and if he's not, then we just go with somebody else or realize he might be defending at a high level and rebounding at a high level and hope there's more than one way to help the team win,Yes, that view is in doubt I suppose. I mean you either shoot the ball or you are worthless out there. I mean we hope that's not true, but deep down you know it is.

Freaking Michael Cooper, man was he worthless. 9.2 on 45% shooting. Bum


It's not just shooting the basketball.
:eek:
Now are you sure about that???

Trophy
01-19-2010, 01:50 PM
I think he'll be here for many more years to come. He's still finding his role by battling Dahntay for time. He just needs to become more of a consistent shooter to be a reliable SG. His defense is good in most games.

vnzla81
01-19-2010, 02:01 PM
I think that the problem with Rush is that he is not a guy who is going to create his own shot, he is more like Bowen than DJ, he is not the kind of guy who will drive to the basket everytime he gets the ball, the pacers coaching stuff needs to understand this.

diamonddave00
01-19-2010, 03:09 PM
When your own coach says you just wander thru life you have to question a players desire and dedication.

The 1/2 reason results seem to make it appear that B.Rush has regressed and not improved. He's playing 3 minutes per game more than last season but all his shooting % are lower.

His fg% was 42.3 last season low for a shooting guard this season its 38.9%, 3 pointers fallen from 37.3 to 36.0 and even his poor free throw shooting of last season has fallen from 69.7 to 54%.

If he were a 45.1% shooter as Michael Cooper was it would be a marked improvement. Its beginning to look as if he'll join his 2 brothers Jaron and Kareem as very good college players who just didn't have as much success in the NBA.

Will he have a long NBA career? Probably , but will he become more than an effective bench player ? Unlikely. Sadly you expect a little more from the 13th pick in the draft , than what we have seen so far from Rush.

You can say all you want about he doesn't fit the system , but Rush is now the same inconsistant player he was at Kansas only now he can't even find the basket with his shot.

He is rapidly becoming an total enigma much as Derrick McKey was , the skills are there but they aren't being used to the upmost . Even at his worst tho McKey was a far more effective player than Brandon has been thru his first season and a half.

So far Rush's performance has been that of a 2nd round pick or a free agent not that of a borderline lottery pick. Unlike most I don't expect that to change , even under a new coach , he seems to be missing the inner drive to become more than an average NBA player at best.

docpaul
01-19-2010, 03:10 PM
The guy clearly is a little "soft" psychologically... don't know if it's a maturity thing, or that he just has poor self confidence.

I think he's a bust from that perspective. I personally expected more of the killer instinct from a player of his pedigree.

However, he clearly has natural talent and has shown that he can play at a high level. Very strong defensive wing skills.

He just needs to get out of his own way.

Whether he steps up in the two years or not is the million dollar question.

gummy
01-19-2010, 03:25 PM
Not only is the game of basketball not all about shooting, OFFENSE isn't even all about shooting. Rush sees the court, understands spacing and passing lanes well and so forth. Seth has talked a lot about the other, often overlooked offensive positives Rush can bring to the game.

That said, clearly Brandon has struggled shooting the ball. It's been bad. More than just streaky. I do think the system doesn't fit him and he's having a hard time finding his role on the team. I strongly suspect JOB's tendency to talk out of both sides of his mouth doesn't help with things. It does appear that Brandon may be too relaxed/not focused enough though and that is on him.

I do wonder about the headline - seems to me that Rush has been our most consistent defensive presence, more so than DJones who is supposed to be our "stopper." I've seen Rush have games where his shooting is bad or non-existent but he is playing tough D and hauling in rebounds. JOB sort of acknowledges that, so maybe it's just Wells who is saying his is inconsistent on D. I can't honestly tell.

McKeyFan
01-19-2010, 03:28 PM
It's Rush's free throw percentage that really bothers me.

This is something he could work on very intensely if he had the kind of work ethic that makes for great shooters.

This is something that is not affected by outside forces. It has nothing to do with adjusting to the NBA.

He doesn't take his time on free throws. He doesn't focus. He communicates a laissez faire attitude on his part, telling me he will never have the killer instinct to focus in at the end of games when it really counts.

Nice guy. Good team player. But not a gamer, in my opinion. And I don't care if you are only a role player on a team, you need to be a gamer who can make that critical basket at the end, if you are the one left open. At this point, I don't see Rush becoming that guy. (It was Chalmers that hit the big bucket in the NCAA finals).

For all these reasons, I would be in favor of trading him. I'd love for my predictions to be proven wrong.

Ozwalt72
01-19-2010, 03:28 PM
It's just too early. This may be all Brandon ever will be, or maybe a different coach would get more out of him. Who knows?

LG33
01-19-2010, 03:34 PM
I believe a historical analysis of 13th picks (which we just happen to have) would show Brandon in the middle of the pack, or close to. Therefore, I say no bust!

90'sNBARocked
01-19-2010, 03:39 PM
Rush = No Heart

He will always be what he is and if you can see him as the "Next Derrick McKey" then you can live with it better

He will always be off and on . Great game followed by disappearing act. If you look back at his time at Kansas a lot of the local writers noticed the same thing

I dont think it matters to Brandon whether the team wins or loses. (obvious speculation, but that is the impression I get from him on the court)

nerveghost
01-19-2010, 03:55 PM
rush's ceiling is a good role player on a good team. if he doesn't have "it" by now, he won't get "it"

Hicks
01-19-2010, 04:13 PM
Since Rush appears, dare I say, "robotic" to a point, it seems to me the more structured the offense, the better he's going to look.

chrisjacobs7
01-19-2010, 04:31 PM
Up to this point I would consider him a bust, but we really need to see him with a new coach to know for sure...

90'sNBARocked
01-19-2010, 04:39 PM
Since Rush appears, dare I say, "robotic" to a point, it seems to me the more structured the offense, the better he's going to look.

I think that is a very valid point.

Ironically I think he would have done much better under someone like Rick Carslyle or maybe we could trade him the Bobcats, as I think LArry Brown would love him

sportfireman
01-19-2010, 04:43 PM
i posted this about rush before and i believe that some are expecting him to be something he's not physicologically built to be. when we have a much more structured offense (half court style... similar to SA Spurs) rush will flourish in that style.


i think and hope rush can and will turn into a bruce bowen type player........ a smart good defensive minded player that can hit the open shot.... and a key part of our championship team.


EDIT: if u look at their style its kind of similiar..........bowen isn't and attacker on offense, neither is rush but bowen will hit the open jumper when given to him...... not the in transition jumper, the half court offense im in the corner open jumper. thats what i think rush can develop into.

but on defense bowen is aggressive thats what i see in rush he likes playing defensive......he and all the rest of our players are just too tired from running up and down the floor with obriens offensive style that he can't play defense as effective as he can.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

BobbyMac
01-19-2010, 05:03 PM
Not only is the game of basketball not all about shooting, OFFENSE isn't even all about shooting. Rush sees the court, understands spacing and passing lanes well and so forth. Seth has talked a lot about the other, often overlooked offensive positives Rush can bring to the game.

That said, clearly Brandon has struggled shooting the ball. It's been bad. More than just streaky. I do think the system doesn't fit him and he's having a hard time finding his role on the team. I strongly suspect JOB's tendency to talk out of both sides of his mouth doesn't help with things. It does appear that Brandon may be too relaxed/not focused enough though and that is on him.

I do wonder about the headline - seems to me that Rush has been our most consistent defensive presence, more so than DJones who is supposed to be our "stopper." I've seen Rush have games where his shooting is bad or non-existent but he is playing tough D and hauling in rebounds. JOB sort of acknowledges that, so maybe it's just Wells who is saying his is inconsistent on D. I can't honestly tell.

I disagree, he has very seldom played well when he wasn't shooting well. There are games where he just kinda stands out there, both on offense and defense. Kind of like Herb Williams used to do.

maragin
01-19-2010, 05:41 PM
Anyone who labels a 13th pick as a bust has unrealistic expectations. I could maybe see supporting that in the case of losing them to injury, drugs or strip clubs.

90'sNBARocked
01-19-2010, 06:03 PM
Anyone who labels a 13th pick as a bust has unrealistic expectations. I could maybe see supporting that in the case of losing them to injury, drugs or strip clubs.

I think you can be a bust wheteher your the number 1 pick or the 30th

ThA HoyA
01-19-2010, 06:18 PM
To say that rush just stands out there on both offense and defense is soo incorrect. Offensively sure most games when his shot doesn't fall he is rarely involved in the offense but my favorite part is watching him off the ball on defense. Where he fights the picks and offensive player for position and is consistently aware on defense. Especially help defense he on numerous occasions blocks or alters shots of players he isn't even guarding. As well as sprints back on fastbreaks to protect the basket.

I would like to see who exactly plays better defense than him that was picked around him or even before him. I am not saying he is the DPOY in the league... But of he was in a more structured offense he would flurish better because defense would be just as important as offense.

Look at granger the reason he got playing time under Carlisle wasn't because of his scoring but because of his will, aggression, and defensive skills.

cinotimz
01-19-2010, 06:36 PM
I dont think there is another player on the roster that will benefit from a new coach more than Rush.

gummy
01-19-2010, 08:31 PM
I disagree, he has very seldom played well when he wasn't shooting well. There are games where he just kinda stands out there, both on offense and defense. Kind of like Herb Williams used to do.

He almost never shoots well or in volume (though he has been better in the last month or so than he was in the first month). He almost always plays good defense. I guess we're watching something different....? :shrug:

Naptown_Seth
01-19-2010, 08:46 PM
8 minute mark of the first, fast break, Rush throws brilliant bounce pass on the run that leads Roy right into a dunk. Still waiting for Rush to find a way to impact games without scoring.

Naptown_Seth
01-19-2010, 08:51 PM
Rush = No Heart
Yeah, nothing says "no heart" like playing hard defense every game and rebounding in traffic 4-5 times per game from the SG position. It's like he doesn't even care to be out there.

See the problem is the same here as it was for McKey. They star on the defensive end, which is just as important as offense, yet are disliked for it. No one minds when Rik or Reggie or Granger sometimes put in a good defensive play but mostly just play offense.

It's not about accepting him as a guy that sometimes shows up, it about getting the definition of "show up" straightened out. Guys playing the rest of the game hard are clearly showing up. I'd rather Rush pass on some shots than force awkward layups like DJones sometimes does.

Naptown_Seth
01-19-2010, 09:24 PM
When your own coach says you just wander thru life you have to question a players desire and dedication.

The 1/2 reason results seem to make it appear that B.Rush has regressed and not improved. He's playing 3 minutes per game more than last season but all his shooting % are lower.

His fg% was 42.3 last season low for a shooting guard this season its 38.9%, 3 pointers fallen from 37.3 to 36.0 and even his poor free throw shooting of last season has fallen from 69.7 to 54%.

If he were a 45.1% shooter as Michael Cooper was it would be a marked improvement. Its beginning to look as if he'll join his 2 brothers Jaron and Kareem as very good college players who just didn't have as much success in the NBA.

Will he have a long NBA career? Probably , but will he become more than an effective bench player ? Unlikely. Sadly you expect a little more from the 13th pick in the draft , than what we have seen so far from Rush.

You can say all you want about he doesn't fit the system , but Rush is now the same inconsistant player he was at Kansas only now he can't even find the basket with his shot.

He is rapidly becoming an total enigma much as Derrick McKey was , the skills are there but they aren't being used to the upmost . Even at his worst tho McKey was a far more effective player than Brandon has been thru his first season and a half.

So far Rush's performance has been that of a 2nd round pick or a free agent not that of a borderline lottery pick. Unlike most I don't expect that to change , even under a new coach , he seems to be missing the inner drive to become more than an average NBA player at best.
Seriously, you're going with "slow first 2 months = career is over".

NOV
33% FG
31% 3P
40% eFG
53% FT (10 of 19)

DEC
43% FG
38% 3P
51% eFG (5th on team behind Troy, Luther, McBob, Solo)
41% FT (5 of 12)

JAN
41% FG
43% 3P
52% eFG (3rd on team behind McBob, Troy)
83% FT (5 of 6)

Rush is shooting well, even last month due to his high 3P to FG ratio.

His FT% is a non-issue because frankly he has an actual game issue which is that he simply does not draw FTAs at all. That I'll listen to and it seems like a pretty legit trend.

So the issue to me is clearly one of fan expectations. People are ripping on his non improved FT% when he's 5 of 6 this month.

Also in JAN he's got more steals per minute than DJones and Watson combined. He's got more rebounds per minute than Danny. More blocks per minute than everyone but Roy, Solo, McBob and DJones.

IndyPacer
01-19-2010, 10:05 PM
Yeah, nothing says "no heart" like playing hard defense every game and rebounding in traffic 4-5 times per game from the SG position. It's like he doesn't even care to be out there.

See the problem is the same here as it was for McKey. They star on the defensive end, which is just as important as offense, yet are disliked for it. No one minds when Rik or Reggie or Granger sometimes put in a good defensive play but mostly just play offense.

It's not about accepting him as a guy that sometimes shows up, it about getting the definition of "show up" straightened out. Guys playing the rest of the game hard are clearly showing up. I'd rather Rush pass on some shots than force awkward layups like DJones sometimes does.

Think how nice it would be to have B. Rush on the team if they had more talent. It would be terrific to have complimentary players who don't demand everything be run through them yet play strong, consistent defense and may actually be as skilled as the guys in the spotlight. I certainly haven't lost hope in B. Rush becoming a strong player in this league. I'd also add I'd LOVE to have more players like McKey. I can't think of any team that would not benefit from having McKey in his prime.

Bball
01-19-2010, 10:54 PM
It's Rush's free throw percentage that really bothers me.

This is something he could work on very intensely if he had the kind of work ethic that makes for great shooters.

This is something that is not affected by outside forces. It has nothing to do with adjusting to the NBA.

He doesn't take his time on free throws. He doesn't focus. He communicates a laissez faire attitude on his part, telling me he will never have the killer instinct to focus in at the end of games when it really counts.

Nice guy. Good team player. But not a gamer, in my opinion. And I don't care if you are only a role player on a team, you need to be a gamer who can make that critical basket at the end, if you are the one left open. At this point, I don't see Rush becoming that guy. (It was Chalmers that hit the big bucket in the NCAA finals).

For all these reasons, I would be in favor of trading him. I'd love for my predictions to be proven wrong.


Actually... confidence is a factor in FT shooting. So if Brandon's problems overall are all about confidence, it could affect his FT shooting no matter how much he practices it.

Naptown_Seth
01-19-2010, 11:07 PM
Actually as I pointed out, Rush has barely taken ANY FTs this year, so it's not like he's slumped. We are talking about a guy taking ONE per night maybe.

For JAN he just went from 83% (5 of 6) to 88.5% (7 of 8).

And he's up to 56% eFG on the month as well. The timing of Wells article and JOB's comments couldn't be worse.

Danny's eFG this month is 46%. Danny has 5 blocks this month. Rush got 5 blocks in a single game vs PHX.

Maybe Danny is just wandering through life, who knows.




I always scouted Rush as about 6th-7th man talent, so for me he's actually a bit of a surprise. But I've NEVER said he was a big time scorer and in fact I warned everyone at the draft party that night that he was going to be a McKey and was unselfish with the ball to a fault.

It's not that he's unwilling to score, it's that he prefers to involve others and make smart plays. He is reluctant to chuck like DJones or even Danny. It hurts at times, but sometimes (see tonight) it's actually nice when a guy knows to stop shooting.

lil lebowsky
01-20-2010, 02:37 AM
To say that rush just stands out there on both offense and defense is soo incorrect. Offensively sure most games when his shot doesn't fall he is rarely involved in the offense but my favorite part is watching him off the ball on defense. Where he fights the picks and offensive player for position and is consistently aware on defense. Especially help defense he on numerous occasions blocks or alters shots of players he isn't even guarding. As well as sprints back on fastbreaks to protect the basket.

I would like to see who exactly plays better defense than him that was picked around him or even before him. I am not saying he is the DPOY in the league... But of he was in a more structured offense he would flurish better because defense would be just as important as offense.

Look at granger the reason he got playing time under Carlisle wasn't because of his scoring but because of his will, aggression, and defensive skills.

True that, Brandon does play good solid defense. You can tell he was coached it well at Kansas. Offensively he's not nearly as aggressive, but he shows signs of improvement. He has a nice shot, it just does not go in consistently. I don't think i've ever once seen Brandon Rush get hot. At Kansas he was known for shooting slumps as well. Perhaps the Pacers have a good solid defensive 2 that will be a valuable player but not a big scorer. Perhaps like a Calbert Cheaney.