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Peck
01-20-2010, 06:15 PM
Ok, last night was game # 41 for the Pacers and as is customary we will hand out mid season report cards. Now since this is all subjective I will try and use my reasoning for giving each grade but as always feel free to disagree and give your own.

The Pacers = F

Sorry there is just no better way of spinning this one for me. I knew coming into the season that we were not going to be real contenders but I had ZERO idea that we were not even going to be contenders for winning 30 games this season.

That's right fans, if we double our first half of the season production our beloved Pacers are on track to win 28 games. For those of you that were saying that the 80's were worse, well yes but not by much.

The most troubling thing for me has simply been the lack of direction for the team. I have no idea what we are doing or even what we are trying to do. I know that we are supposed to be patient and wait for all of the contracts to either be traded away or come off of the books but that process is slow and frankly is not even a guarantee of success. But that is the future, this is now.

Of course coming off of a huge @ss kicking like last night is probably not the best time to evaluate the team but let's be honest here; this wasn't the first game this season we were out of it by mid way through the first quarter. In fact one of the very troubling things this season is that we have had so many games where we are not in it at all. Even last season we were surprisingly close in several games.

Now there are a multitude of excuses that can be employed here. Injuries, illnesses, new players, quirks in the schedule, etc. But at the end of the day they ring hollow and frankly just as more excuses.

I think at the end of the day we do lack overall talent however I think we have talent on hand to be better than we are.

Larry Bird = C

Believe me that is a pretty radical drop for me. Up until about a month or so ago I was going to give him a strong A. However with the team in turmoil and presently floundering with no direction I can look no further than at the top. I would even listen to arguments that his grade should be lower.

I thought he had a brilliant off-season. I thought he brought in the best players that he could with the money that he had on hand. I still think that.

However the talent does not match the current coaching staff and since he has given his seal of approval to the current coach then it now falls on him to get him the type of players that he will use. So from here forward when I see players that I think should be playing but are not I am no longer just mad at the coach but I am now mad at the Director of Basketball Operations for getting contradictory players and coaching staff.

Jim O'Brien = C-

Yea it's a shock to me that I didn't try and give him an F either but here is my argument. He is who he is, his style is known by everybody. I am now of the opinion that Bird either thinks that this style will work or that he is stuck with this.

I won't lie. I don't like it, it's not fun for me to watch some of this stuff and since I have always liked big players you can imagine my disgust at seeing two wings and two point guards in with a 5 who is really a 4 but really plays like a 3.

But it is his style, it has always been his style and he attempts to get the most out of the style he can.

I am now totally on Birds @ss to give this guy players who will play his style or at the very least then trade away all of the players who he relies on to play his preferred style.

Danny Granger - C-

This hurts. This hurts more than I can tell you because I was on here last year arguing that this was the best Pacer I had ever seen play. This year there is something wrong. Now early on his foot was hurting so we all gave him the benefit of the doubt and still do. But just look at that Toronto game and you will see he got p!ssed off and began to care. Once that happened he imposed his will on that game. I carried over to the next night as well. It wasn't that he started hitting shots, although he did, it was that he became physical and dominating on the defensive end. He has now followed that up with two games that makes Brandon Rush shake his head over the inconsistency.

There doesn't seem to be the spark or fire this year. Could all be just the injury but I seem to think it is something else.

Roy Hibbert - B

Why do I have the feeling that if Jeff Foster was not injured that we would not even be seeing half of what Roy is doing on the floor? O'Brien has no one on a shorter leash than Roy. However Roy has done nothing but get better all season long.

He is becoming quite the accomplished passer on offense and has become the type of player that other coach's are now having to adjust to. Defensively he is better than he was as a rookie so you are getting steady improvement there as well.

Still makes dumb mistakes at times but overall I am quite happy with the big fellow. Not to mention this guy truly enjoys life and basketball. Every now and then it doesn't hurt to see someone on the sideline actually rooting on their team mates.

Brandon Rush = C-

Thankfully for him he now has put together a string of about 2 weeks of solid basketball. He had two games where he didn't score a point but he helped out with strong defense and rebounding. We really can't have that happen very often but in those two games other players were getting it on so no harm.

However I will still continue my belief that Brandon really screwed the front office up with his early season play. I am certain they were counting on him to be at least a double figure scorer this season and help Danny by sharing the load. His disappearance on the offensive end at the beginning of the season really put a money wrench in everything. It forced them to try every other guard to help out.

Even O'Brien's biggest critics can't blame him for this as he let Brandon go as long as he could and Rush just threw it all away.

But like I said he has played well for about two weeks so we will see if he can bring this into the second half of the season.

Mike Dunleavy = C

I am going to assume that pain and adjusting to his surgery have taken away from both his conditioning and his shooting ability. I don't think though that it can be accounted for as the trouble for his horrid turnovers lately, but maybe.

Mike is who Mike is. If he is scoring and driving he is a force that causes teams to adjust and if they don't then he can burn them. However if Mike is not scoring then sadly he is pretty useless. He is at best a moderate defender and at worst he is a turn style. His rebounding doesn't seem to be as strong as it has in the past either but I am going to say that this is the leg.

I think he will be better next season overall but still he is who he is.

Troy Murphy = C

I am basing this purely off of his abilities. What he does do well he usually does pretty well and I am convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is doing exactly what his coach is telling him to do. Hard to fault him for that.

His shot doesn't seem to be as sure this year as last and there are times I think he actually struggles to get the shot up to the rim, it's kind of like he doesn't have his legs under him.

His rebounding is where it usually is and his passing seems to be about the same as well.

His defense is what it is.

Now if I were basing this on what I want from a power forward he would get an F- but seeing as how he would get an A + from his coach I'll just split the difference and call it a C.

Earl Watson = C +

Some really great passes and solid defense every now and then followed up with some really stupid passes and poor shooting every now and then.

He is who he is, which is one hell of a back up point guard. Sadly though he is our starting one. That is not a slam at him; it is really an indictment on the state of our back court.

I like Earl and have no problem with him staring the rest of the year but next year I would like a little better.

A.J. Price = B

This came from nowhere. Very surprising that a guy picked so low would turn out to be pretty good so soon. From the first time I saw him step on the floor I thought this guy does not play like a rookie. He shoots and passes like a 5 year vet and is not intimidated by any other player. He looked as good against Chris Paul as he did against Raefer Alston.

Like any rookie he is prone to mistakes on occasion and may be to trigger happy (but who knows if that is him or his coach).

I'm not sure who said it but I think there is a lot of truth in this, at worst he is going to be a heck of a backup point guard.

Tyler Hansbrough = B+

Ok, my physical prejudice is coming out here but I can't help it. We are a soft soft soft marsh mellow team and to have someone come out there and bang people around to where they have to whine about it in the press just makes my heart sing with joy.

No, I am not thrilled with his shot. No, his free throw shooting is not acceptable.

However he is a far better defender and rebounder than I was led to believe.

Myself, I would feel comfortable with him at the 4 right now. But again we have to consider what the coach wants.

Dahntay Jones = B -

I bet he regrets coming here now. I'm sure he likes the money but the lack of direction on this team has got to be killing him. He was the best defender for the money that we could get in the off-season and someone with a little attitude on the floor. Yet a week ago or so he got a DNP-CD because we are convinced that we can only win by out shooting the other team.

Now I know my good friend Chicago J does not like D. Jones and I think he is right if people actually thought he was like some LeBron stopper or something but I think most of us thought he was a good solid piece to an overall puzzle.

But instead he may just be another piece that doesn't fit in with this coaching staff.

S. Jones = C

If Jeff Foster were here we would never see him. I think that would be a mistake and I would really like to see a coach that would run S. Jones and Roy together just for a few min. to even try it.

Solomon is not as strong as you would like from a center, he doesn’t rebound quite as well as you would like either.

However he is pretty decent about defending the rim and he is surprisingly a good offensive player.

Luther Head = C

Would be a great spark off of the bench, however when he went down he was our starter. Not a horrid starter by any means but probably not consistent enough to be a solid starter.

Good offense, good shooter, sometimes a good defender but not often enough. Sometimes downright awful defense which goes into the whole consistency thing.

Hell of a quick shot though, I'm not sure there are a lot of players who can get off a shot faster than Luther.

T.J. Ford = C-

Not what we need. Not what a lot of teams need and clearly his contract is going to prohibit us from moving him.

However much like Dunleavy, Murphy and others he is what he is. You are not going to turn him into a point guard who plays off of the ball anymore than you are going to turn him into a sky hook shooting center. It just ain't going to happen.

Hopefully both the team and he can come up with some solution so the guy does not just sit and drain our bank account and whatever basketball playing time he has left.

Josh McRoberts = C

Hard to really give him a grade as he has had so little time. But I think I did see progression from training camp till when he got a little playing time. To me his offensive recognition had improved and he looked more comfortable playing.

That said this is just not a coach who is going to use him. I don't know if a lot of coach's would or would not but I know this one won't unless he is forced to.

When he is on the floor he gives it his all which is pretty much what you as a of a deep bench player.

I will be honest though his status on the team does confuse the hell out of me because of Bird. Larry has gone above and beyond to praise McRoberts; he has brought his name up when he wasn't even the topic of discussion. You would really think to listen to Bird that Josh was important to the team in some capacity.

So I just don't get it.

Ok, overall I know that the grading was inconsistent myself and I was trying my best to be objective. But please feel free to add your own.

Los Angeles
01-20-2010, 06:19 PM
At first I think you're being a bit harsh with a number of grades. Then I look at the team's record and, well, they seem to match up pretty well.

Naptown_Seth
01-20-2010, 06:25 PM
Peck, you have to let Larry have till the trade deadline. He might be doing "A" work right now by not trading into a bad deal in some hurry. Once they go past the deadline with no adjustment and no improvement on the court, then you reduce his grade.

tadscout
01-20-2010, 06:34 PM
Peck, you have to let Larry have till the trade deadline. He might be doing "A" work right now by not trading into a bad deal in some hurry. Once they go past the deadline with no adjustment and no improvement on the court, then you reduce his grade.

Amen, most trades never happen till the last couple days to even the last day of the deadline... Doing a trade now you lose leverage and most certainly won't get the best deal possible... only reason to rush a trade now now now like so many want, is if you're in a battle for playoff position and it's critical to make a move ASAP...

Obviously we aren't there, and we need the best deal possible for our franchise. Which means being patient and playing the negotiation game...

Peck
01-20-2010, 06:36 PM
Um guys the grade wasn't based really on trades or lack therof.

My problem is the fact that he new he was going to keep O'Brien yet he doesn't give him players that fits his style. Or better yet he gets players that don't fit O'Brien yet he keeps him on.

tadscout
01-20-2010, 06:46 PM
Um guys the grade wasn't based really on trades or lack therof.

My problem is the fact that he new he was going to keep O'Brien yet he doesn't give him players that fits his style. Or better yet he gets players that don't fit O'Brien yet he keeps him on.

Maybe he wants to go another direction with the coach eventually, and Herb is the only one saving JoB's job at the moment...

Also even if they both are open to changing the coach this year, how fair would it be to a new coach saying you have to play player x, y, and z to showcase for trades, I don't care how you want to do your line ups...

In other words, it wouldn't make sense to make a coaching change till after the deadline... at that point the coach would have 100% freedom and everything will be settled...

As well as rather or not if we are playoff or lottery bound... which might make a change choice easier...

90'sNBARocked
01-20-2010, 06:51 PM
Very well thought out post. The only thing I would change is

O'Brien gets a D-, based on his pechulance for saying one thing in the media and then doing the opposite or not at all. Mostly though I give him that for all his tired "injury excuses" when many teams have key injuries but have managed to play well together

Tyler C- , love his hustle and energy and toughness

hate his lack of vertical and poor shot selction/percentage , and also the fact that Blair has looked dominant

Other than that I agree wholeheartedly

Hoop
01-20-2010, 07:12 PM
removed for length
Nice job, I'd give JOB a much lower grade though, probably a D-. The only reason for not giving a F, is Danny's injury.

It's the coaches job to get what he can out of what he's got. All JOB has done is complained about lack of D, changed line ups, complained etc, etc, etc. while hardly ever doing what he says. He's blamed everything but his own system. When he has been forced to play out of his system due to injuries we have looked much better, IMO.

I'll not be happy til he's gone, yes I'm a broken record.

Brad8888
01-20-2010, 07:25 PM
So, as a team we are an F, but our players are between C- and B+, with an average of roughly C.

A directionless bunch of C players (whether due to injuries or just because they are what they are) does seem pretty close to right, but how can a bunch of C players consistently play F ball?

To me, that leads straight to chemistry and coaching, and primarily to coaching with player chemistry problems due to player frustration with the coaching staff, which has been addressed in the media by Bird giving support to his coach and warning players that they will be traded if they won't play for O'B.

Therefore, I would reduce O'B to an F for a myriad of reasons, and not just those listed here. He is minimizing the results of our players, and it is difficult to understand how either no one in the FO seems to be giving him that message (beyond benching TJ), or if they ARE giving him that message, why he continues to be bullheaded and insists on using virtually the same game plan he has used since we hired him 2 1/2 years ago despite having players ill equipped to execute it in the way he must envision it (whatever way that is).

CableKC
01-20-2010, 07:29 PM
Josh McRoberts = C

Hard to really give him a grade as he has had so little time. But I think I did see progression from training camp till when he got a little playing time. To me his offensive recognition had improved and he looked more comfortable playing.

That said this is just not a coach who is going to use him. I don't know if a lot of coach's would or would not but I know this one won't unless he is forced to.

When he is on the floor he gives it his all which is pretty much what you as a of a deep bench player.

I will be honest though his status on the team does confuse the hell out of me because of Bird. Larry has gone above and beyond to praise McRoberts; he has brought his name up when he wasn't even the topic of discussion. You would really think to listen to Bird that Josh was important to the team in some capacity.

So I just don't get it.
This one is easy......JO'B prefers to play Players with more experience over ones that have less. I don't see enough of a difference ( on a level that really matters ) where I could say that I'd play Solo over McRoberts....yet Solo gets the chance to be the 1st Backup Big Man to hit the floor....whereas McRoberts gets to play when JO'B decides to wave the white flag of surrender.

NapTonius Monk
01-20-2010, 08:08 PM
I knew coming into the season that we were not going to be real contenders but I had ZERO idea that we were not even going to be COMPETITORS.

:p

Hicks
01-20-2010, 08:18 PM
Peck,

The team gets an F while everyone who makes up the team gets C, C-, C-, B, C-, C, C, C+, B, B+, B-, C, C, C-, and C ?

Yeah, you're right; that was inconsistent. :D

cdash
01-20-2010, 08:22 PM
I have trouble with Hansbrough (a lottery pick) getting a higher grade than Price (a low second round pick). For the most part though, I agree with your grades and assessments. My personal prejudice would give TJ Ford and his $8 million contract an F for getting himself deactivated, but that's just me.

NapTonius Monk
01-20-2010, 08:24 PM
I am by no means a Murphy apologist, but I think a C is low for him. If anything, I'd give him an A, simply because he maximizes his talent. A C for Danny, I agree with. Mainly because I believe he can give us more than he's giving us (aka camping out at the 3point arc, and launching low percentage shots). Troy is a rebounding, 3-shooting big man. He's rebounding well, and shooting the 3 well. You said it in your original post, "He is what he is." So I feel he needs to be graded with that in mind. Grading him on not being what we wish he was isn't the best way to view him. He isn't a gritty, grind it out, low post player. But he gives us what he has. I give him an A. Not so much because I think he's an A level talent, but he maximizes the talent he has.

d_c
01-20-2010, 08:26 PM
How the heck do the Pacers get an F when no single individual got lower than a C-?

Also, Bird's offseason was a lot more economical than it was brilliant.

NapTonius Monk
01-20-2010, 08:30 PM
How the heck do the Pacers get an F when no single individual got lower than a C-?

Because the grade of the whole is indicative of how the parts fit together. Doesn't mean that the players aren't trying. They just don't seem to mesh well. We've gone the route of sacrificing talent, to ensure we have character instead of characters.

d_c
01-20-2010, 08:32 PM
Because the grade of the whole is indicative of how the parts fit together. Doesn't mean that the players aren't trying. They just don't seem to mesh well. We've gone the route of sacrificing talent, to ensure we have character instead of characters.

Fair enough, but then Bird is the guy who put this outfit together, so his grade should be the biggest reflection of the overall Pacer grade. His grade should be closely tied to the team grade, but they're not close on this report card.

D-BONE
01-20-2010, 09:58 PM
It's all dependent on what type of curve you're grading on.

Price could be above average as a second round pick. But as to contributing to the team's overall success/record, he could be no more than a C.

Personally, I'd give Granger a D+, Dunleavey a D (obviously no injury comback sympahty here, I'm grading on how it impacts the overall record), TJ and F.

Those were supposed to be three of our top players. With those grades based on how they've impacted team performance-regardless of their circumstances-it's no wonder the record is so poor and not looking to moderate.

Using this scale I'd probably give Murphy, Price, Roy, and Head Cs.

D+ Rush, Watson, Jones, Jones, McRoberts, Hansbrough

Am I forgetting anybody? So the that better matches the team achievement/recored 1/2 way point overall rating of D/D+

I can't give us an F just because with the overall talent and player combo we have, you couldn't expect us to be too all too good.

Ozwalt72
01-20-2010, 11:00 PM
Granger: D Injury noted....but he hasn't shot well, has been chucking and has horrible defensive fundamentals.

Dunleavy: D+ Dunleavy coming off of 1 and a half years of barely playing has looked VERY rusty, but still is showing glimpses of why we would actually want him around

Murphy: C He is simply too horrible defensively. I'm not talking about anything but low post man backing him in and him falling away. Talk about pulling the chair. He does it unintentionally every single time.

Dahntay: B Looking at production vs Pay leaves me happy.

Rush: C+ He has been more involved the last couple of games. I think they are starting to try to make sure he touches the ball just about every time its down that way.

Hibbert: B- Inconsistency is his biggest enemy right now. He has shown a great back to the basket game at times along with a solid stroke from mid-range.

Head: C+ He is what he is. A spark off the bench at most.

Hansbrough: C- That shooting percentage. Stop making excuses. It simply needs to get better.

McRoberts: C When I've seen him in he has looked like a solid 4th big.

Solo: C He does what we brought him for at a level that correlates with his price tag. Better mid range shot than I thought but I wish he were stronger around the rim.

Ford: F I like the guy. I like the player. I don't like him on this team, and neither does anyone else.

Watson: B He's been a solid backup PG. Too bad he's the starter.

Price: B Based on the fact that he is a second round pick. I like his game. Wish he'd shoot more consistently.

Foster, Diener: Hasnt played enough to warrant a grade

JOB: C I don't think anyone could consistently win with this mix of talent.

Larry Bird: I He gets an incomplete. Right now it appears that letting Jack go was the wrong move. A PG duo of Jack and Price would be nice, and I could actually stand seeing them both out there occasionally. You can't grade the GM IMO in half a season.

And this first season as a team? F. When your 4 highest paid players have a combined GPA of about 1.2 thats a pretty major FAIL

Bball
01-20-2010, 11:56 PM
I'm giving O'Brien an "F". I cannot give him Popeye points because he is what he is. He's the coach... at some point you have to look at reality and reality in my world is this team doesn't need to be taking quick shots, 3's by the bundle, and consistently putting their defense behind the 8 ball.

The only reason Bird doesn't rate an "F" is because he's getting an 'incomplete' waiting on some late homework to be turned in. If the day after the season ends he doesn't fire O'Brien he's getting an "F" without question. The in-season vote of confidence for O'Brien didn't do much to help his grade. The O'Brien extension didn't do much to help either.

O'Brien's inflexibility and constant desire to run this bad, gimmick, losing offense does not rate a vote of confidence OR a total player overhaul. The offense just gift wraps points... for the other team!

I can't even grade the players... I'm sure they've been well-coached enough in their lives to recognize a losing brand of basketball. How can you expect them to get up for game after game playing this style of ball with the talent they have?

And IMHO it would take an almost impossible infusion of talent to upgrade this team to what O'Brien wants to do. Which puts the microscope squarely on Bird. Does he really think he can upgrade this team to be a contender playing O'Brien's version of gimmick ball with it's low priority on defense and over importance on a quick offense... the rest of the game be da--ed?

Does he even think O'Brien can keep this team together long enough without just poisoning the environment and losing them to amass that collection of talent?

I don't think he can...

Worse for Bird is I don't think there's many of us left wanting to see O'Brien's brand of bad basketball anyway.

O'Brien's getting an F for not being able to play the hand he's been dealt. Bird is only kept from an F because he has a trading deadline, a coach firing, and a coach hiring that we need to see. I'm not sure there's a point to firing O'Brien midseason other than to throw red meat to the fans. ...Especially with O'Brien being the perfect loser to point the team toward a high draft pick now that he's lost the team. If Bird doesn't fire O'Brien immediately after the season then and "F" is too high. ...Although I certainly wouldn't be against an O'Brien firing right now... Just let an interim coach the team with a wink and nod telling him to develop players and not worry about wins in this lost season anyway.

Is that harsh?

AlexAustin
01-21-2010, 12:10 AM
Giving Hansbrough a bad grade is dumb to me, he hasn't been at 100% or played without a time restriction all season so we have no idea what he can or can't do.

Brad8888
01-21-2010, 12:33 AM
I'm giving O'Brien an "F". I cannot give him Popeye points because he is what he is. He's the coach... at some point you have to look at reality and reality in my world is this team doesn't need to be taking quick shots, 3's by the bundle, and consistently putting their defense behind the 8 ball.

The only reason Bird doesn't rate an "F" is because he's getting an 'incomplete' waiting on some late homework to be turned in. If the day after the season ends he doesn't fire O'Brien he's getting an "F" without question. The in-season vote of confidence for O'Brien didn't do much to help his grade. The O'Brien extension didn't do much to help either.

O'Brien's inflexibility and constant desire to run this bad, gimmick, losing offense does not rate a vote of confidence OR a total player overhaul. The offense just gift wraps points... for the other team!

I can't even grade the players... I'm sure they've been well-coached enough in their lives to recognize a losing brand of basketball. How can you expect them to get up for game after game playing this style of ball with the talent they have?

And IMHO it would take an almost impossible infusion of talent to upgrade this team to what O'Brien wants to do. Which puts the microscope squarely on Bird. Does he really think he can upgrade this team to be a contender playing O'Brien's version of gimmick ball with it's low priority on defense and over importance on a quick offense... the rest of the game be da--ed?

Does he even think O'Brien can keep this team together long enough without just poisoning the environment and losing them to amass that collection of talent?

I don't think he can...

Worse for Bird is I don't think there's many of us left wanting to see O'Brien's brand of bad basketball anyway.

O'Brien's getting an F for not being able to play the hand he's been dealt. Bird is only kept from an F because he has a trading deadline, a coach firing, and a coach hiring that we need to see. I'm not sure there's a point to firing O'Brien midseason other than to throw red meat to the fans. ...Especially with O'Brien being the perfect loser to point the team toward a high draft pick now that he's lost the team. If Bird doesn't fire O'Brien immediately after the season then and "F" is too high. ...Although I certainly wouldn't be against an O'Brien firing right now... Just let an interim coach the team with a wink and nod telling him to develop players and not worry about wins in this lost season anyway.

Is that harsh?

Preach it. Can I get an Amen?

PaceBalls
01-21-2010, 01:25 AM
No BBall, that wasn't harsh, that was spot on.

d_c
01-21-2010, 01:30 AM
LOL at putting it all on the coach. Seriously. Every year it happens.

Every. Single. Year.

Fans of bad teams with bad rosters blame it on the coach. According to them, he's the worst coach who ever lived. Then the fans eventually get their wish and he gets fired, but the players don't change. They come back. The next year, the stink just the same. It's happening to multiple teams in the league right now (Bulls, Wiz, 76ers, T-Wolves).

Not very many coaches out there would get anything appreciably better than what JOB is getting from this group. Are there some that would? Sure there are. But the coaches who are good enough to do that will look at this roster, pass on it and wait for a better opportunity with a better roster. I doubt any high level coach out there right now is just dying to take the Pacers job for the express purpose of showing how much better of a coach he is than JOB.

JOB isn't my ideal coach, and when the Pacers are once again competitive, he probably won't be here. And neither will 75% of the current roster.

PaceBalls
01-21-2010, 01:36 AM
LOL at putting it all on the coach. Seriously. Every year it happens.

Every. Single. Year.

Fans of bad teams with bad rosters blame it on the coach. According to them, he's the worst coach who ever lived. Then the fans eventually get their wish and he gets fired, but the players don't change. They come back. The next year, the stink just the same. It's happening to multiple teams in the league right now (Bulls, Wiz, 76ers, T-Wolves).

No coach out there would get anything appreciably better than what JOB is getting. Are there some that would? Sure there are. But the coaches who are good enough to do that will look at this roster, pass on it and wait for a better opportunity with a better roster. I doubt any high level coach out there right now is just dying to take the Pacers job for the express purpose of showing how much better of a coach he is than JOB.

JOB isn't my ideal coach, and when the Pacers are once again competitive, he probably won't be here. And neither will 75% of the current roster.

In this case though, there is damn good evidence that our coach really is terrible and deserves an F-. The discussions and conclusions on this horrible coaching that Jim exemplifies, except for rare cases when "the system" works (they make more than 45% of their 3pt attempts), can be read and perused at your leisure over the last 50+ pages of Pacers Digest.

d_c
01-21-2010, 01:42 AM
In this case though, there is damn good evidence that our coach really is terrible and deserves an F-. The discussions and conclusions on this horrible coaching that Jim exemplifies, except for rare cases when "the system" works (they make more than 45% of their 3pt attempts), can be read and perused at your leisure over the last 50+ pages of Pacers Digest.

Some of the substitutions are definitely questionable, but note that JOB is hardly the only coach in the league who limits minutes to a young bigman. There are plenty of other examples. And to the constant lineup changes? As an example, when Head played decently early on, people said "Head needs more minutes". So JOB started him and he stunk it up and naturally people said "they need to get Head off the floor".

I'm not a fan of the chucking, but given this team's personnel, they don't have a heck of a lot of other options offensively. Besides Hibbert getting on an offensive roll every now and then, they are a VERY EASY team to defend in the half court if they want to play a conventional style.

PaceBalls
01-21-2010, 01:56 AM
My biggest problem, among others, is his failure to adapt to the chemistry and skills of the right players to win games. He seems to ignore the potential and sticks with what he feels safe with. Now that is fine if you are winning 50 games. But when his team is losing so many games going with what is safe. Well, that is just bad coaching.

I haven't even addressed the gimmick fast break jumpshooting offense we have. Nor the desire to play offensive minded players at the cost of any type of decent defense. There are many other posts that go into detail on this better than I can.

d_c
01-21-2010, 02:05 AM
He seems to ignore the potential and sticks with what he feels safe with. Now that is fine if you are winning 50 games. But when his team is losing so many games going with what is safe. Well, that is just bad coaching.

I haven't even addressed the gimmick fast break jumpshooting offense we have. Nor the desire to play offensive minded players at the cost of any type of decent defense. There are many other posts that go into detail on this better than I can.

There is potential for Hibbert to be a long term starting center in this league, and right now he is just averaging a couple less minutes on the floor in the pros than he did as a junior/senior in college. He's getting the minutes that he should be, IMO.

Price hopefully continues looking like a rotation player at PG. Granger should probably be somewhere around what he played at last year, maybe a little bit better. That's about the only legit potential right now.

Other than that, you're looking at support guys in Hansbrough and Rush. The rest of the roster is fodder or guys who you would only bring back at drastically reduced salaries.

The "defensive minded" players on this squad are scrubs. Jones barely played for a Hawks team with no real center. Watson was waived by a team that won 23 games the previous years. Sorry, not much potential in those guys.

PaceBalls
01-21-2010, 02:16 AM
They aren't going to be voted to the All NBA Defensive squad, but they could do alot better than sticking Murph out there with Hibbert and/or Dun. I think Hibbert can be an ok defender, even great at times around the basket. But he is doomed to fail with that lineup. I would love to see the statistics of fouls per minute when Hibbert is on the floor with Murph and Dunleavy. or combinations of the 2.

The coach could be playing a rotation of Earl/AJ Brandon/Dahntay/Hans/Granger/Hibbert/Solo, and they would be a much improved defensive squad. But our coach won't even try it... even after they win 5 games in a row.... (had to go there)

You mention Hibbert is getting his minutes, but that is only half of it. Putting him out there with such horrible defenders is setting him up to fail on defense, and on offense you have him being used at the high post when we have all seen how he can score at will from the low post. Yet another indication of bad coaching and Jim continually going with what he feels is safe instead of utitilizing the skills and chemistry of his players.

Unclebuck
01-21-2010, 08:51 AM
Danny Granger - C-

This hurts. This hurts more than I can tell you because I was on here last year arguing that this was the best Pacer I had ever seen play. This year there is something wrong. Now early on his foot was hurting so we all gave him the benefit of the doubt and still do. But just look at that Toronto game and you will see he got p!ssed off and began to care. Once that happened he imposed his will on that game. I carried over to the next night as well. It wasn't that he started hitting shots, although he did, it was that he became physical and dominating on the defensive end. He has now followed that up with two games that makes Brandon Rush shake his head over the inconsistency.

There doesn't seem to be the spark or fire this year. Could all be just the injury but I seem to think it is something else.




Peck of all your coments in your post these about Granger are by far the most significant. The fact is most of the other players on the roster will be gone within two years.

Your comments about the Raptors game and Danny willing this team to victory reminds me once again the power of the best player. In the NBA the best player on any team is the most important person in the franchise, more important than the coach, the GM, the owner, the mascot, anyone. The team feeds off the best player in every regard possible.

I always say a team is only as good as its best player. I rarely explain what I mean by that, but I will here. I don't mean simply that the most talented players in the NBA will be on the best teams. It often works out that way - Kobe, Lebron......
But it is a lot more than talent, the best player has to be the leader of the team - there is no other way around that - he must be the leader. Doesn't mean you can't have other players who are leaders in some ways, but the best player must be the leader, otherwise the team suffers.

The best player must play harder than anyone on the team, he must practice harder than anyone on the team, he must have the best relationship with the coach, he must motivate his teammates, he must be the face of the franchise.

By far the most important person in a franchise is the teams best player. Have the correct best player and you can win a championship, have the wrong best player and your team will be doomed for as long as that player is on the team. You can't hide the best player, you can make excuses for the best player. When the team is going good, the best player deservedly so gets the credit, when the team is going bad the best player gets the blame.

How is Granger doing in this role? Does he have the talent to be the best player on a championship caliber team?

These are important things this forum should be discussing, the time we spend discussing the 10th and 11th player on the roster is disturbing to me. The time we spend dissecting the coach (when he won't be here either next season or for sure the season after that) is disturbing. Two years from now, we might have 2 or 3 current players still on this roster and Granger is one of those that might be here and yet we get bogged down discussing so many unimportant things.

So when you analyze this current team and the current situation, Granger needs to be thoroughly analyzed. Is he getting the job done. Is he capable of getting the job done. Can he be the best player on a championship team?

PaceBalls
01-21-2010, 09:08 AM
I agree with you Mr. Buck. Danny is beyond scrutiny it seems sometimes. I certainly haven't liked much of what I have seen from him this year except for those two recent games.

I think maybe he isn't made to be the Jordan/Kobe/Lebron type leader, he is more of a Joe Johnson type fellow, who is just an excellent player alongside other good players.

The leadership level and skillsets of Kobe and Lebron are once in a lifetime talents. I think Danny is a teir below that and it is almost unfair to expect him to get to their level.

Unclebuck
01-21-2010, 09:14 AM
I agree with you Mr. Buck. Danny is beyond scrutiny it seems sometimes. I certainly haven't liked much of what I have seen from him this year except for those two recent games.

I think maybe he isn't made to be the Jordan/Kobe/Lebron type leader, he is more of a Joe Johnson type fellow, who is just an excellent player alongside other good players.

The leadership level and skillsets of Kobe and Lebron are once in a lifetime talents. I think Danny is a teir below that and it is almost unfair to expect him to get to their level.

Yeah, he might not be what we need. Or maybe he just isn't capable (and once again I'm not talking about just basketball talent) of being the best player on a championship caliber team. Granger is a seasoned veteran now, it is not too early to make these decisions and judgments about him. Don't take my comments the wrong way, I like Danny he is an excellent player, but maybe not who we need, or maybe he just needs to be clearly the second best player on the team

BillS
01-21-2010, 10:19 AM
Danny may very well be mentally exhausted. You can only will things so far, and spending time willing yourself to play injured, then willing yourself to heal faster, then willing a team forward that isn't cooperating for whatever reason ... tiring.

tadscout
01-21-2010, 10:39 AM
Danny may very well be mentally exhausted. You can only will things so far, and spending time willing yourself to play injured, then willing yourself to heal faster, then willing a team forward that isn't cooperating for whatever reason ... tiring.

Agreed... if Kobe thought he was in hell the 5 years between his championships (despite always staying competitive in the playoffs)... How do you think the competitive Danny feels?

Brad8888
01-21-2010, 12:29 PM
Peck of all your coments in your post these about Granger are by far the most significant. The fact is most of the other players on the roster will be gone within two years.

Your comments about the Raptors game and Danny willing this team to victory reminds me once again the power of the best player. In the NBA the best player on any team is the most important person in the franchise, more important than the coach, the GM, the owner, the mascot, anyone. The team feeds off the best player in every regard possible.

I always say a team is only as good as its best player. I rarely explain what I mean by that, but I will here. I don't mean simply that the most talented players in the NBA will be on the best teams. It often works out that way - Kobe, Lebron......
But it is a lot more than talent, the best player has to be the leader of the team - there is no other way around that - he must be the leader. Doesn't mean you can't have other players who are leaders in some ways, but the best player must be the leader, otherwise the team suffers.

The best player must play harder than anyone on the team, he must practice harder than anyone on the team, he must have the best relationship with the coach, he must motivate his teammates, he must be the face of the franchise.

By far the most important person in a franchise is the teams best player. Have the correct best player and you can win a championship, have the wrong best player and your team will be doomed for as long as that player is on the team. You can't hide the best player, you can make excuses for the best player. When the team is going good, the best player deservedly so gets the credit, when the team is going bad the best player gets the blame.

How is Granger doing in this role? Does he have the talent to be the best player on a championship caliber team?

These are important things this forum should be discussing, the time we spend discussing the 10th and 11th player on the roster is disturbing to me. The time we spend dissecting the coach (when he won't be here either next season or for sure the season after that) is disturbing. Two years from now, we might have 2 or 3 current players still on this roster and Granger is one of those that might be here and yet we get bogged down discussing so many unimportant things.

So when you analyze this current team and the current situation, Granger needs to be thoroughly analyzed. Is he getting the job done. Is he capable of getting the job done. Can he be the best player on a championship team?

So how's this? Are we doing as well as our best player, Danny, would rank us?

So, where does Danny rank in the league in terms of being the team's best player? How many players rank above him in the league (going strictly with one player as the best individual player for any given team)? Are there really 25 teams with a better player than Danny currently is, with his injuries factored in, as their best player? Or is it 28 or 29?

East

1. Cleveland -- Lebron -- 'nuff said, despite Danny showing well last year
2. Boston -- Take your pick of at least three players better
3. Atlanta -- Johnson / Smith possibly as good or better, though Danny would be close
4. Orlando -- Dwight at the very least is better
5. Charlotte -- Gerald Wallace or Stack Jack ? Please.
6. Miami -- Wade always way better
7. Toronto -- Bosh, at this point, yes
8. Chicago -- Rose ? When his head is on straight, maybe
9. Milwaukee -- Bogut / Jennings / Ridnour not really better
10. New York -- Baby Al? Lee? Anyone, anyone, Buehler, Buehler...? NOT
11. Detroit -- Hamilton / Gordon ? both about Granger level IMO
12. Washington -- the now unpardonable Arenas / Jamison probably both better
14. Philadelphia -- Igoudala / Brand both better
15. New Jersey -- Harris ? I don't think he is better

West

1. Lakers -- Kobe (and others) much better
2. Dallas -- Dirk easily better
3. Denver -- Melo / Billups both much better
4. San Antonio -- Duncan much better
5. Portland -- Brandon Roy better
6. Phoenix -- Nash / Stoudemire both much better
7. OKC -- Durant much better right now
8. Utah -- Boozer / Williams both better
9. Houston -- ? any of their four main uninjured guys? No, none better
10. NO Hornets -- CP3 obviously better
11. Memphis -- Rudy Gay / Zach Randolph both better
12. Clippers -- Kaman / B. Davis, Kaman ?, Baron only when his head is right
13. Sacramento -- Martin (when recovers), Evans (pre law issues), not better so far this season
14. Golden State -- Ellis ? maybe better
15. Minnesota -- Al Jefferson ? not better

That makes about 15 or so teams clearly better at the star level, with about another 10 or so with players at roughly the same talent level, and the last 5 or so with no one who has performed as well as Danny this year.

Of those in the bottom tier, Charlotte way outperforms, and so does Houston. Pretty clear evidence of the influence of Brown and Adelman and their ability to teach the game and get player buy-in.

If we assume Danny to be in the middle of the secondary tier of roughly 10 teams, that would leave him, and the Pacers, about 20th. We are 26th and likely to fall another couple of spots if things don't change with Philly being better, and Martin returning to health in Sacramento.

So, 28th vs. 20th. Why is that? Without addressing anything like rotations or inept coaching, what is there to possibly discuss? Why don't we simply shut the board down until we either A. Have another 5 game winning streak, or B. Actually make trades, or C. Fire the coach?

Putnam
01-21-2010, 02:08 PM
This is a pretty good discussion. I have no quibble with the grade Peck awards. But as I've been thinking about this half season, I see it like this:
http://i971.photobucket.com/albums/ae193/Putnam7777/image001-1.gif

This is a plot of 41 Pacers game results paired with a measure of hustle and non-shooting prowess. It is just Pacers' rebounds plus free throw attempts minus turnovers, compared to the same figures for the other team. Averages don't mean anything, and you can still win a game as long as you do better than your opponent on that night.

The vertical axis in the chart is point differential. Nearer the top means the Pacers won. The horizontal axis is the measure of TReb+FTA-TO. Nearer the top means the Pacers got to the line and/or took more rebounds and/or made fewer turnovers than the opponent.

The red dots represent eight games when the Pacers played well enough to win -- when they competed in the non-shooting factors and also scored. The six purple dots are the games they won despite playing badly. These are games when shooting, and in several cases shooting 3s, kept them in a game they didn't deserve to won. You can all say "Live by the 3, die by the 3" all you want. But for these Pacers, the 3 is about all they've got. Without those 6 undeserved "Spray and Pray" (or "Heave and Hope") wins, the Pacers would be 8-33.

Orange are the games when they hustled, but couldn't buy a basket.

And the blue -- that massive, dominating field of blue -- are the games they deserved to lose. A few of them were close losses, but in many they shot badly and played badly in the non-shooting categories, too. Here are some of the lowlights:



14 fewer FTA and 20 fewer rebounds in the stinker against the Knicks on 1/3
20 fewer FTA against Miami in October
25 fewer FTA against Orlando in mid-December
-20 rebounds and -28 FTA in a 7 point loss to Minnesota a couple of weeks ago
15 more turnovers than the Hawks on opening night


This isn't ground breaking at all. The Pacers just don't play well enough to win on most nights.


.

90'sNBARocked
01-21-2010, 02:17 PM
Danny may very well be mentally exhausted. You can only will things so far, and spending time willing yourself to play injured, then willing yourself to heal faster, then willing a team forward that isn't cooperating for whatever reason ... tiring.


Great point , and I agree wholeheartedly

I think sometimes us fans can be a little unrealistic

If we all had a boss we didnt like, a work enviornment with no stability and bad chemistry, and no real plan going forward...

I think each one of us would be frustrated as heck. Only difference is if we dont like our work enviornment, we can leave

Danny has no such right, so what I am saying yes he is a good soldier but it is probably draining him

Back when Peter Vessey broke the story of Mel Daniels and how some players were upset Obie was extended, it appears he was spot on.

BillS
01-21-2010, 02:43 PM
Great point , and I agree wholeheartedly

I think sometimes us fans can be a little unrealistic

If we all had a boss we didnt like, a work enviornment with no stability and bad chemistry, and no real plan going forward...

I think each one of us would be frustrated as heck. Only difference is if we dont like our work enviornment, we can leave

Danny has no such right, so what I am saying yes he is a good soldier but it is probably draining him

Back when Peter Vessey broke the story of Mel Daniels and how some players were upset Obie was extended, it appears he was spot on.

Why jump so far to that conclusion? I like my boss, the people I work with, and what I do, but I can be completely brain dead after fighting a problem that seems to have no solution of for which the solution is out of my hands.

Being tired from willing things that cannot be willed doesn't necessarily mean he is upset with things around him. It just means the problems can't be overcome by one person but because of who the person is he keeps trying.

Naptown_Seth
01-21-2010, 03:06 PM
Great work Putty.

But "don't play well enough" is a bit too simple a conclusion perhaps. Not that it can't be that simple, ie just don't execute, but I think many of us suspect that the chosen playing style and willingness to play more for offense than defense at times has put the team in a position of weakness in the categories you are using.

The rebounding will be low because there is usually not much offensive grind, the kind that leads to OReb chances especially. The defense often features a big coming to help, taking himself out of DReb position. Lots of jump shooting always means low FTAs. And the defense also features a philosophy that you should foul a lot because they can't call them all, dangerously paired with a bunch of guys who see that as a method to cover for poor defense.

I don't think TOs are as big a factor normally, but a lack of offensive flow or controlling playbook has guys confused on what to do next on most nights and typically features guys getting in trouble with no one to help them.


Or maybe JOB just doesn't inspire these guys much. The only problem with JOB "losing them" is did he ever really have them given his W-L record. There has been ZERO improvement, and they technically got better unless you think they were better off with JO and Tinsley.

Unclebuck
01-21-2010, 03:09 PM
Danny may very well be mentally exhausted. You can only will things so far, and spending time willing yourself to play injured, then willing yourself to heal faster, then willing a team forward that isn't cooperating for whatever reason ... tiring.

Really though isn't that the job of an allstar player. You don't think players like Howard, lebron, Wade (especially Wade) and Kobe have to go through even more than Granger. Are you implying that Danny just isn't up to the job.

Hicks
01-21-2010, 04:23 PM
Really though isn't that the job of an allstar player. You don't think players like Howard, lebron, Wade (especially Wade) and Kobe have to go through even more than Granger. Are you implying that Danny just isn't up to the job.

When did they have the combination of injuries and sucky teams to play on at the same time that Danny has, and keep in mind Danny has less talent than they do.

BillS
01-21-2010, 04:52 PM
Really though isn't that the job of an allstar player. You don't think players like Howard, lebron, Wade (especially Wade) and Kobe have to go through even more than Granger. Are you implying that Danny just isn't up to the job.

Like Hicks said, name me the year one of those superstars was banged up AND on a team with as little potential and yet still never got frustrated or exhausted.

I seem to remember Wade looking pretty wrung out at times in 2007-2008 when Miami was out of it.

Brad8888
01-21-2010, 06:27 PM
Good analysis and simple illustative representation graphically. Great job.

Are these results set in stone with this roster?

There are those here who vehemently believe that they are, and others who question whether or not they are set in stone to the extent that they have been given the talent available despite injuries, and there are those here who vehemently believe that strategic change would alter these results (despite the talent level and injuries) enough to make the season palatable and are frustrated that nothing appears to be happening.

Therein lies the basis for discussion amongst those of us who choose to participate.

Putnam
01-21-2010, 06:29 PM
Lots of jump shooting always means low FTAs.

Yep. Al...(as you say) ...ways.

A few weeks ago, I challenged everybody to prove that taking 3s means fewer FTAs. There were several sound explanations about why that ought to be the case, but no evidence. Well, the evidence exists.

In games this season when more than 25% of Pacers field goal attempts are from 3, they always have double digit deficits in FTAs.




EDIT: And when I say always, I mean usually. There are exceptions such as the win against Phoenix, when the Pacers launched lots of 3s, still got to the line oftener than their opponent, and won.

Brad8888
01-21-2010, 06:41 PM
Thanks for doing the work to confirm our perceptions of reality. You are a credit to "casual fans" everywhere. :happydanc:dance:

jhondog28
01-21-2010, 06:52 PM
I know you guys hate plus/minus stats but I dont see how DJones could be any higher than a D. he has the seocnd worst +/- stats on the team and he is suppose to be the defensive stopper.

Ford---F+
Dunleavy--C-
Murphy--C-
Granger---C
Head---C
Watson---C+
McRoberts---Incomplete cause the teacher put him timeout for a season
Rush---D+
Hibbert---B
Diener---Incomplete
Solomon Jones---D-
Foster---Incomplete
Hans---C
Front Office---D-
Coaching---D-

Overall---D

It is hard to give the team a F based on the talent level the team currently has. Because the team is strapped for money there was not a lot the front office could of done trade wise or signing free agents in the off season. Since rumor has it that Walsh was the one responsible for trading for the big contracts it is hard for me to put that on Bird.