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Speed
09-13-2010, 06:10 AM
Posted by Mike Wells

September 12, 2010

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

THE 'BURBS - Will the Pacers make the playoffs this season?
That's a question I get a lot from people these days.

My line to them is, "Anything can happen in the Eastern Conference."

Will they make the playoffs?

I'm not convinced it'll happen this season despite acquiring point guard Darren Collison.

The Pacers continue to add solid pieces, but a lot, I mean a whole lot, has to happen for them to end their postseason drought.


1. Danny Granger has to use his lack of playing time with Team USA as a wake-up call for what he needs to do to take his game to another level.
Defense, defense, defense.

The Pacers organization (coach Jim O'Brien) also has to put an emphasis on Granger to play defense, too, and not allow him to just focus on offense because he excels in that area.

Granger still deserves props for being part of Team USA and winning a Gold medal.


2. Find a power forward

As one opposing coach said recently, "I don't know how Jim is going to get by without

(Troy) Murphy since he's exactly the type of player he loves in his system."
I like Josh McRoberts. He plays above the rim. McBob energizes the crowd with his hustle.

BUT, he's not ready to start.

Tyler Hansbrough?

Everybody is still waiting for him to start having contact on the court.
He's been dealing with an inner ear infection/concussion/vertigo for nearly nine months. Not nine days or nine weeks, nine months. Larry Bird said last week that he's yet to be cleared to take part in contact drills.

This will basically be another rookie season for Hansbrough.

Veteran Jeff Foster could fit that role because the Pacers need somebody that doesn't want to score on the court.

But Foster is 33 years old and he's coming off back surgery.
Foster likes to throw his body around on the court so you have to hope he can handle the grind of an 82-game season.


3. The young players have to step up.

Getting suspended for five games was the worse thing that could happen to Brandon Rush because he's always on an emotional roller coaster.
You've seen how he gets when he misses an easy shot in the lane or five straight jumpers.

You seriously have to wonder where his head will be when he returns from his suspension and gets over the embarrassment of the public knowing he failed a drug test three times.

It could take some time for him to regain any lost confidence.

The word on Pennsylvania Street is that Paul George is further along now than Granger was at the same time of his rookie season.

The Pacers have to hope George keeps up the pace because Granger averaged 7.5 points, 4.9 rebounds, started 17 games and averaged almost 23 minutes a game on a team that made the playoffs his rookie season.
We've got to see what happens with Stephenson's legal situation before talking about his role on the team.


4. O'Brien needs to make Hibbert a factor

Roy Hibbert has put in the work this summer. He's down to 10 percent body fat.

Now it's time to make him a focal point on the offense.
That means no more yanking him in and out of the starting lineup for match up purposes.

Several people have told me Hibbert is noticeably quicker.
The Pacers showed flashes of being able to play inside-out through Hibbert last season.

The big fella has no problem kicking the ball out to his open teammates on the perimeter or dishing off to the cutters.
Going through Hibbert, especially when he's got it going, should lead to easier shots for other players (and it's better than watching them just jack up bad 3-pointers).

5. Get a backup center
As impressive as Hibbert has been this summer, you still have to wonder if he can stay out of foul trouble (the perimeter players have to help him out by staying in front of their man).

The Pacers were able to use Murphy when Hibbert got into foul trouble last season. They had Murphy, Foster and Rasho Nesterovic two years ago.
Now?

That's anybody's guess.

Read the comments above about Foster.

You don't know what to expect out of Solomon Jones on a game-to-game basis.

The Pacers haven't been able to clear a roster spot for Magnum Rolle yet.
That's just five things. There are other factors the Pacers have to worry about, too.

What are your thoughts about the Pacers and the playoffs?

twitter.com/MikeWellsNBA

D-BONE
09-13-2010, 06:50 AM
I think he's right in not projecting playoffs. It could happen, but there's still major depth/experience/injury concerns at 4/5 spot. Wing would appear to be deep, but there's no guarantee on Dunleavy and Rush's rebound from respective difficulties. George is way young and DJones and Posey don't strike me as big-minute, difference makers.

ASSUMING we get what we expect from the troika of DG, DC, and RH, we still need major, consistent support. And there remain legitimate questions as to whether we can provide it given the status of our current roster makeup. Scoring distribution and rebounding period are major unresolved issues.

MagicRat
09-13-2010, 07:40 AM
The Pacers organization (coach Jim O'Brien) also has to put an emphasis on Granger to play defense, too, and not allow him to just focus on offense because he excels in that area.

This reminds me of one of my favorite Pacers ad campaigns......

http://chaos.able-towers.com/%7Emagicrat/0708ad.jpg

Brad8888
09-13-2010, 08:50 AM
This reminds me of one of my favorite Pacers ad campaigns......

http://chaos.able-towers.com/%7Emagicrat/0708ad.jpg

This one deserves a roflmao.

Kegboy
09-13-2010, 09:10 AM
http://jimmoraplayoffs.com/

bphil
09-13-2010, 10:19 AM
Cripes. They'd better clear a spot for Rolle since he's probably our best option at PF right now. And the scary thing is, I'm being serious...

90'sNBARocked
09-13-2010, 10:21 AM
The word on Pennsylvania Street is that Paul George is further along now than Granger was at the same time of his rookie season.

The Pacers have to hope George keeps up the pace because Granger averaged 7.5 points, 4.9 rebounds, started 17 games and averaged almost 23 minutes a game on a team that made the playoffs his rookie season.
We've got to see what happens with Stephenson's legal situation before talking about his role on the team.

thats what I would have highlighted too bro. I bet George starts from day 1

I dont expect miracles from this team, and I will be plesently suprised if they make the playoffs this year, BUT

This is the first time I have actually been excited since 05

NapTonius Monk
09-13-2010, 10:33 AM
thats what I would have highlighted too bro. I bet George starts from day 1

I dont expect miracles from this team, and I will be plesently suprised if they make the playoffs this year, BUT

This is the first time I have actually been excited since 05Doubt it. I'm thinking Dunleavy gets the starting nod. And he'll probably stay there when Brandon gets back, unless he plays like absolute garbage.

90'sNBARocked
09-13-2010, 10:35 AM
Doubt it. I'm thinking Dunleavy gets the starting nod. And he'll probably stay there when Brandon gets back, unless he plays like absolute garbage.

I forgot about Duns, you might be right on that

however he might start George until Rush comes back so he can go back to the bench and it wont be a veteran gioing through that

graphic-er
09-13-2010, 10:37 AM
Doubt it. I'm thinking Dunleavy gets the starting nod. And he'll probably stay there when Brandon gets back, unless he plays like absolute garbage.

I agree, George is going to be fighting with Rush for back up minutes. Maybe George starts a few games due to injury.

graphic-er
09-13-2010, 10:39 AM
So at what point do you cut S Jones or Josh McRoberts to clear the way for Magnum? I'd hope its before training camp starts.

BornReady
09-13-2010, 10:43 AM
So at what point do you cut S Jones or Josh McRoberts to clear the way for Magnum? I'd hope its before training camp starts.

I think we hope Bird can swing another miracle trade before moving to that. Hopefully a team needs some bigman depth and wants S Jones. Otherwise I'd cut S Jones- he hasn't really been very impressive by any means. Even though Magnum hasn't played in an NBA game, I think he's looked like S Jones 2.0

BRushWithDeath
09-13-2010, 03:02 PM
I hope people aren't going to severely overreact if Magnum doesn't make the team. Because any reaction to that happening, besides a simple "Oh well.", will be a severe overreaction.

graphic-er
09-13-2010, 03:22 PM
I hope people aren't going to severely overreact if Magnum doesn't make the team. Because any reaction to that happening, besides a simple "Oh well.", will be a severe overreaction.

Well I think it we all just expect it to happen after JOB said that he dominated in the rookie training camp.

I mean you can't honestly say that you would keep S. Jones over Magnum. Even if it cost the team a couple million to cut S. Jones. I'd think you would want Magnum Rolle on the team.

Kegboy
09-13-2010, 03:40 PM
I hope people aren't going to severely overreact if Magnum doesn't make the team. Because any reaction to that happening, besides a simple "Oh well.", will be a severe overreaction.

A little more than "Oh well" considering we paid OKC to get him.

BRushWithDeath
09-13-2010, 04:16 PM
A little more than "Oh well" considering we paid OKC to get him.

The amount paid to OKC was well under a million. Not worth worrying about.

MagicRat
09-13-2010, 04:17 PM
A little more than "Oh well" considering we paid OKC to get him.

How much did you chip in?

BRushWithDeath
09-13-2010, 04:22 PM
Well I think it we all just expect it to happen after JOB said that he dominated in the rookie training camp.

I mean you can't honestly say that you would keep S. Jones over Magnum. Even if it cost the team a couple million to cut S. Jones. I'd think you would want Magnum Rolle on the team.

I saw some of the rookie training camp and heard reports about the rest of it. He didn't dominate. He was fine. Not great. Not terrible. But dominate is pure hyperbole.

And I absolutely would keep S. Jones over Magnum if it cost the team a couple million. Right now, S. Jones is a better player. There's a small chance that Magnum could eventually be slightly better than him. But it is not worth a couple million to find out.

If a trade happens that opens up a roster spot, great. I'll be happy to have Magnum sit behind the bench as the team's 5th or 6th big but if I'm in charge, I wouldn't pay for that to occur. And from everything that I've heard, the people in charge feel the same way.

vnzla81
09-13-2010, 06:26 PM
This reminds me of one of my favorite Pacers ad campaigns......

http://chaos.able-towers.com/%7Emagicrat/0708ad.jpg


This is better

<object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/_3GR3M5LDjo?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/_3GR3M5LDjo?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>

Kegboy
09-13-2010, 06:43 PM
How much did you chip in?

I'll figure up my share when the State has to bailout the CIB again.

MyFavMartin
09-13-2010, 08:07 PM
The Pacers traded up for Rolle. They'd look like they didn't learn from the James White incident if they gave up assets for a guy they couldn't/didn't want to keep that bad.

I think he was getting lots of love and respect from the summer league and the fact that he wants to be here (through his words and work this summer) is more than what could be said of Solo Jones, who got disciplined because he didn't want to hit the weight room.

Personally, I was excited when the Pacers signed Solo because of the potential he showed with spot minutes in Atlanta in a FC rotation where he wasn't going to get minutes( behind Josh Smith, Al Horford, and Zaza)... He hasn't done anything since but disappoint/not step up... I mean, Jeff Foster and Tyler had health issues and Granger was getting spot minutes at PF last year with Josh... Would have been a perfect time for Solo to man up.

MyFavMartin
09-13-2010, 08:16 PM
The word on Pennsylvania Street is that Paul George is further along now than Granger was at the same time of his rookie season.


If this is the case, all PG needs is some PT and we can expect him to be starting next year alongside Collison and Roy...

Is PG a SG or a SF? It'll be a question to keep in mind this year when you watch him play...

Might be answered with a trade of BRush or Granger, the former being unlikely (stock is low and he's still a good player... you won't get value and he is still on a rookie contract)... and the latter being unlikely due to Granger's a proven franchise player... Maybe I see it if the PF issue is addressed by a Horford-type player, but I just don't see Atlanta needing another SF...

This news on PG is exciting as nothing was expected of him (for the most part) this season.

Sookie
09-13-2010, 08:21 PM
I saw some of the rookie training camp and heard reports about the rest of it. He didn't dominate. He was fine. Not great. Not terrible. But dominate is pure hyperbole.

And I absolutely would keep S. Jones over Magnum if it cost the team a couple million. Right now, S. Jones is a better player. There's a small chance that Magnum could eventually be slightly better than him. But it is not worth a couple million to find out.

If a trade happens that opens up a roster spot, great. I'll be happy to have Magnum sit behind the bench as the team's 5th or 6th big but if I'm in charge, I wouldn't pay for that to occur. And from everything that I've heard, the people in charge feel the same way.

This is new toy syndrom at it's best.

Magnum has a lot of possibilities of open spots.

I'd say there's at least a 75% chance Lance isn't on the roster. If he is, we can always buy out TJ, because he's not wanted. And then of course we could cut Solo.

I wouldn't mind cutting solo honestly. I really don't know if Magnum is better than Solo, but we know Solo isn't a part of the team's future, so we might as well see what Magnum's got.

MLB007
09-13-2010, 09:15 PM
I hope people aren't going to severely overreact if Magnum doesn't make the team. Because any reaction to that happening, besides a simple "Oh well.", will be a severe overreaction.

Disagree. I think the kid will have a career.
May or may not be a rotation player.
But end of the bench is his downside.

MLB007
09-13-2010, 09:18 PM
I saw some of the rookie training camp and heard reports about the rest of it. He didn't dominate. He was fine. Not great. Not terrible. But dominate is pure hyperbole.

And I absolutely would keep S. Jones over Magnum if it cost the team a couple million. Right now, S. Jones is a better player. There's a small chance that Magnum could eventually be slightly better than him. But it is not worth a couple million to find out.

If a trade happens that opens up a roster spot, great. I'll be happy to have Magnum sit behind the bench as the team's 5th or 6th big but if I'm in charge, I wouldn't pay for that to occur. And from everything that I've heard, the people in charge feel the same way.

He was pretty good for an unknown.
What is your opinon of Stephenson from summer league?
He's 6'11" with a nice outside jumper and an aggressive rebounding presence.
Who else on this team matches that?

Kemo
09-13-2010, 09:18 PM
If this is the case, all PG needs is some PT and we can expect him to be starting next year alongside Collison and Roy...

Is PG a SG or a SF? It'll be a question to keep in mind this year when you watch him play...



Straight from the horse's mouth ....


Well, on ustream when there was about 11 or 12 of us in the chat panel with Paul the other night, someone had asked him what his primary position he plays and he said "shooting guard" ...

BornReady
09-13-2010, 09:20 PM
He was pretty good for an unknown.
What is your opinon of Stephenson from summer league?
He's 6'11" with a nice outside jumper and an aggressive rebounding presence.
Who else on this team matches that?

you're asking a guy who thinks summer league is completely useless