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Pacers#1Fan
09-21-2010, 08:35 PM
http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2010/09/nba-season-preview-the-indiana-pacers.php

NBA Season Preview: The Indiana Pacers
Tue Sep 21,2010 12:24 PM ET

By Rob Mahoney
Last season: The Pacers went 32-50, which puts them a step above the downright tragedy of the Nets, Timberwolves, and even the Wizards, but still among some pretty miserable company.

Head Coach: Jim O'Brien will again have the Pacers running (they were the second fastest team in the NBA last season), running, running. This time, however, his system has the benefit of a more gifted point guard.

Key Departures: Troy Murphy, Earl Watson, and Luther Head, though T.J. Ford isn't far behind them.

Key Additions: Darren Collison, Paul George, hopefully a healthier Tyler Hansbrough, Lance Stephenson, Lance Stephenson's rap sheet, and possibly Magnum Rolle (an unsigned second round pick).

Best case scenario: The Pacers improve by leaps and bounds with Darren Collison running point, and mount an improbable surge for the East's final playoff spot that ultimately falls short.

For that to happen: The aforementioned Collison needs to be just as good as (actually, probably better than) advertised. He made the most of an opportunity in New Orleans, but Collison is the lovable backup/injury replacement no more. This is his team to run, and though Collison showed his maturity as both a player and a person last season, that's a lot to hinge on a second-year point guard.

However, the Pacers' best-case outcome relies on factors stretching well beyond Collison. He remains a vital to Indiana's improvement, but the loss of Troy Murphy is exactly the kind of understated move that could end up docking the Pacers a handful of wins. Replacing Murphy will be some combination of Danny Granger (playing out of position), Tyler Hansbrough, and Josh McRoberts. That's troubling.

Murphy was second on the team in three-pointers made, second in three-point shooting percentage, and tops among the Pacers in rebounding by a huge margin. Don't underestimate the impact of the first two (particularly since Indiana was actually a below-average three-point shooting team last season, in spite of their run-and-gun reputation), but it's Murphy's rebounding that could be missed most. Hansbrough showed a knack for grabbing the stray board during his abbreviated rookie year, but it remains to be seen whether he can do so against first-string competition.

That kind of uncertainty is worrisome for a squad that was already 29th in the league in offensive rebounding rate, and 22nd in defensive rebounding rate. Indiana was so worried about pushing the pace last season that they forgot the ball altogether, and I'm not sure that's likely to change given the acquisitions made. If it does, however, it'll be a credit to Hansbrough, McRoberts, a grown-up Roy Hibbert, and probably Jeff Foster.

More likely the Pacers will: Streak up the court while puttering along. Indiana has made some serious moves for the future, but this roster is obviously incomplete.

We already know what to expect from Danny Granger, who will likely see a slight bump in his overall production/efficiency, even if he's more or less the same player he was last year. Guys like Collison just have that effect on people. Or really, maybe it's that guys like T.J. Ford and Earl Watson have that effect on people. Granger will benefit from having a better distributor running the show, even if his game won't be notably more diverse or explosive than before. 'He is who he is,' as they say, and honestly, that's just fine.

However, talented though Granger and Collison both may be, it's Indy's other rotational holes that stand as a bother. Plenty of people are expecting Roy Hibbert to take a great leap forward, but he may just be content to clunk around in his space boots on the launchpad. His per-minute numbers from year one to year two were nearly identical -- fairly strong, mind you, if still not indicating much overall improvement -- but Hibbert continues to work against himself by racking up fouls.

Per 36 minutes, Hibbert averaged 16.7 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks last year. Not too shabby, right? Here's the thing: Hibbert only actually played 36 minutes in a game three times in the entire season, despite starting in 69 games. Hibbert has had his chances, but a push in the post here and a late rotation there have sandbagged him.

Brandon Rush is solid. Paul George is promising. Dahntay Jones is...still pretty surprising, honestly. The Pacers have talent, it's just of the complementary variety and a little on the green side.

Prediction: 35 wins. Darren Collison will be this team's clean, well-lighted place. He's the type of player through which to run O'Brien's offense, and Indiana, who has been a bit overrated on that end of the court due to it being a supposed stylistic strength, may actually have a competent attack once again.

Of course, I'm not exactly sure who's going to be playing much defense at the 4, who's going to be grabbing the boards, and where the Pacers' perimeter shooting is going to come from, but hey, these things happen with teams on the mend. Even teams that have been on the mend for the last four seasons.

As long as Indiana is fine with another year of development, a Pacers squad with a bit more order is a proper start.

pacer4ever
09-21-2010, 09:31 PM
TY good read

xBulletproof
09-21-2010, 09:34 PM
There's some comments that really highlight that this person hasn't followed the Pacers closely. Like when he said .... "who's going to play defense at the 4?".

Worst case scenario is that it's the same person as before. Nobody. It's a wash at worst.

pacer4ever
09-21-2010, 09:38 PM
There's some comments that really highlight that this person hasn't followed the Pacers closely. Like when he said .... "who's going to play defense at the 4?".

Worst case scenario is that it's the same person as before. Nobody. It's a wash at worst.

ya he didnt seem to know much about the pacers TROY wasnt much 4 playing D lol, i think troy being gone is good. No more jacking up 3s and playing no D

El Pacero
09-21-2010, 09:38 PM
Sounds positive to me, but this caught my eye: "Brandon Rush is solid."

He probably didn't watch every single game like a lot of us.

Trader Joe
09-21-2010, 09:39 PM
Where's the outside shooting going to come from?

Is that supposed to be a joke?

xBulletproof
09-21-2010, 09:41 PM
Where's the outside shooting going to come from?

Is that supposed to be a joke?

Yeah, it's McRoberts now, duh!

And I'm sure glad Collison is here. Granger doesn't have to worry about creating for others anymore. Whew! He might shoot a couple 3's now even!

Kuq_e_Zi91
09-21-2010, 10:16 PM
Yeah, I got the feeling that he put this article together completely based on stats. It's funny though, I think he missed Murphy's plus/minus.

Pacers#1Fan
09-21-2010, 10:26 PM
I mainly posted this for it's entertainment value.

90'sNBARocked
09-21-2010, 10:51 PM
honestly , I think the writer was spot on

Pacers#1Fan
09-21-2010, 11:11 PM
honestly , I think the writer was spot on

He only has us improving by three wins this season. I'm not trying to be a homer by any means but I do see more than 35 wins coming our way. I honestly think .500 is very attainable.

Mark
09-21-2010, 11:13 PM
I thought this line was funny...

"Jim O'Brien will again have the Pacers running (they were the second fastest team in the NBA last season), running, running."

They must have calculated the "fast rating" based on how far into the shot clock teams took shots. The Pacers weren't fast at all (relative to other teams), but they were willing to heave up a three 6 seconds into the shot clock.

flox
09-22-2010, 03:49 AM
Chalk me up as another person who thinks the writer is spot on minus the rush comments, and honestly, as much as I haterate on Rush, he isn't that bad defensively- Solid defense is probably accurate, with good percentage shots. Probably an average/below average starter. That seems solid. A rich man's Willie Green?

Putnam
09-22-2010, 09:58 AM
There ought to be some mention of James Posey.

MyFavMartin
09-22-2010, 10:15 AM
Seems to sell Roy a little short...

Maybe the big guy will see this as "an opportunity"?

BillS
09-22-2010, 10:30 AM
"Best case" is 9th place in the East?

I certainly don't see that as the best case scenario for this team. Likely, maybe, but not best case.

count55
09-22-2010, 12:12 PM
"Best case" is 9th place in the East?

I certainly don't see that as the best case scenario for this team. Likely, maybe, but not best case.

Depends on where, exactly, you think 8th place will be. The Bulls got the 8th seed last year with 41 wins. They should be considerably better this season with the addition of Boozer, better health for Noah, and an other year of development. My sense of best case scenario for this team is maybe low-to-mid 40's.

There's a good chance that would be good enough for the playoffs in the East, where the 8th seed has won 37, 39, and 41 the last three years, respectively. However, Rob is out of Dallas, and I wouldn't be surprised if he was reflexively thinking that a team with a best case of .500 or a little better (which is probably where he thinks it is) wouldn't be good enough to make the playoffs. In the West, it's taken 50, 48, and 50 wins, respectively.

Also, this team had 32-wins, but it was a weak 32 wins. That is to say that through early March, they were not only losing games, but they were regularly uncompetitive (http://www.eightpointsnineseconds.com/2010/02/the-lamp-post-is-this-the-worst-pacer-team-ever/). They were 20-39 at the end of February, and they could have made a decent amount of improvement in how they played those first 59 games without adding any wins to their record.

Ultimately, I think he has the call right. They're going to be much better, and they've got some really bright prospects, but...they're asking two extremely unproven players (Collison and Hibbert) to be play foundational roles that they may not quite be ready to fill - at least not from Opening Night.

I'm excited about the season, but I think Rob's assessment here is fair and pretty accurate. He doesn't watch every game, but he watches a lot of basketball, he's a smart guy, and he has seen this team play. He gave us (8p9s) this assessment of Roy (http://www.eightpointsnineseconds.com/2010/01/nba-experts-discuss-roy-hibbert/) back in January:


Rob Mahoney, The Two Man Game & Hardwood Paroxysm

Roy Hibbert’s game is tasteful. Understated. He’s the rug that really brings the room together. He’s the type of guy that you could walk all over every day without giving him a second’s notice, but if that guy/rug were to be, say, stolen? Well, that’s a whole ‘nother story.

I get the vibe that Hibbert will end up living out the rest of his career in more or less the same way: he’ll continue to contribute as a dying breed of dinosaur center, and said contributions will be perennially undervalued. Roy’s weaknesses are so well-defined (rebounding, fouling, lateral movement) that they often obscure his strengths. I don’t know if he’s mobile enough to be a game-changer on the defensive end, but how many centers in this league can hit that drop-step hook on a regular basis? It’s well into the single digits, and puts Hibbert in some good company (Yao, Bogut, Gasol & Gasol, Kaman, Jefferson).

Roy’s no star, but he’s certainly a starting caliber center if he can keep his fouls down. And he’s just 23! I worry about how low his ceiling may be, but look at the per minute comparison between Hibbert, Pau and Marc Gasol, and Chris Kaman at age 23 (or 24 for Marc, because of his late arrival in the NBA). Roy is killing it with the blocks, and is essentially on pace in every other significant statistical category. This guy is going to be good (maybe not Pau Gasol good, but good enough), if the Pacers are willing to be patient.

The 35-win range is probably going to be in line with what a lot of the national folks will see. I hope for better, and expect for better, but this team will only push up into the mid-40's if they (especially Danny) stay healthy, if Hibbert makes the leap, if Collison can be as productive as he was as a start in NO, but win more games (only 14-23 in NO), and if somebody can step up at the 4.

I think those things can happen, but Jayne Cobb would certainly be telling me that he's smelling a lot of "if" comin' off this plan.

nerveghost
09-22-2010, 12:16 PM
If we finish one game over .500, I will very happy with the progress this season.

Speed
09-22-2010, 02:55 PM
This year I'm more concerned how they look and how grow than W/Ls. Look it's always about winning and losing, but for me its about next year, again. Next year, with the caveat that we see some real potential and growth this year.

I'm buying off on the 3 year plan now, jumping in with both feet.

So if DC2 and Roy look like the answer at two of the most important positions, imo. I'm pretty happy with whatever this year brings on top of that, honestly.

They aren't ready to compete for a championship, but it sure would be nice to get those two and some others some meaningful playoff reps. Not a must for me, but a huge, fat, juicy cherry on top.

So I guess I have low expectations this year from a tangible record perspective, but I have very high expectations on this being a stepping stone year for the franchise moving forward.

Mourning
09-22-2010, 03:45 PM
This year I'm more concerned how they look and how grow than W/Ls. Look it's always about winning and losing, but for me its about next year, again. Next year, with the caveat that we see some real potential and growth this year.

I'm buying off on the 3 year plan now, jumping in with both feet.

So if DC2 and Roy look like the answer at two of the most important positions, imo. I'm pretty happy with whatever this year brings on top of that, honestly.

They aren't ready to compete for a championship, but it sure would be nice to get those two and some others some meaningful playoff reps. Not a must for me, but a huge, fat, juicy cherry on top.

So I guess I have low expectations this year from a tangible record perspective, but I have very high expectations on this being a stepping stone year for the franchise moving forward.


That's pretty much where I'm at aswell. I also want to add that I think the writer makes a couple of mistakes here and there, but overall I think his expectations are pretty realistic. I'm expecting between 35 and 40 wins this season.

In the winter we could try to pulloff a trade when the trade deadline starts to near or we could let it pass. Lots of flexibility to do what "we" (meaning management) think is the right thing to do.

Then for the next summer we COULD add a FA of importance, but that would be an uphill battle IMHO given the relatively shallow quality of FA in the 2011 summer, and/or make one or more trades for players we value. Add a nice draft pick and this team with a year of development behind it could be a lot further on the road to success.

beast23
09-22-2010, 05:45 PM
Yeah, it's McRoberts now, duh!

And I'm sure glad Collison is here. Granger doesn't have to worry about creating for others anymore. Whew! He might shoot a couple 3's now even!:laugh:

QuickRelease
09-22-2010, 06:23 PM
Seems to sell Roy a little short...

Maybe the big guy will see this as "an opportunity"?Agreed. I get sick of these national guys treating Roy like he's this walking nightmare, who's hanging on by a thread. This guy seems to be our hardest worker, and self-motivated to get better and better. And these guys always slight him as barely a player just because he isn't the sexiest name at the 5.

BillS
09-22-2010, 06:36 PM
The 35-win range is probably going to be in line with what a lot of the national folks will see. I hope for better, and expect for better, but this team will only push up into the mid-40's if they (especially Danny) stay healthy, if Hibbert makes the leap, if Collison can be as productive as he was as a start in NO, but win more games (only 14-23 in NO), and if somebody can step up at the 4.

I think those things can happen, but Jayne Cobb would certainly be telling me that he's smelling a lot of "if" comin' off this plan.

That would make the mid-40's your best case scenario, then, and I suspect the East will have to have improved a whole bunch for mid-40's not to be 8th seed.

I don't disagree that fighting for 8th spot and missing it is a likely scenario, perhaps more likely than making the playoffs, but I don't think it is the best case scenario. Like you said, if everyone stays healthy and if everything gels early - which isn't probable but isn't impossible - we can do very well.

My interpretation of "best case" is best of all scenarios that fall within the realm of reasonable probability. The definition here seems to be the best of the most likely scenarios.

BlueNGold
09-22-2010, 06:58 PM
http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2010/09/nba-season-preview-the-indiana-pacers.php

....

However, talented though Granger and Collison both may be, it's Indy's other rotational holes that stand as a bother. Plenty of people are expecting Roy Hibbert to take a great leap forward, but he may just be content to clunk around in his space boots on the launchpad. His per-minute numbers from year one to year two were nearly identical -- fairly strong, mind you, if still not indicating much overall improvement -- but Hibbert continues to work against himself by racking up fouls.

Per 36 minutes, Hibbert averaged 16.7 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks last year. Not too shabby, right? Here's the thing: Hibbert only actually played 36 minutes in a game three times in the entire season, despite starting in 69 games. Hibbert has had his chances, but a push in the post here and a late rotation there have sandbagged him.

Brandon Rush is solid. Paul George is promising. Dahntay Jones is...still pretty surprising, honestly. The Pacers have talent, it's just of the complementary variety and a little on the green side.

Prediction: 35 wins. Darren Collison will be this team's clean, well-lighted place. He's the type of player through which to run O'Brien's offense, and Indiana, who has been a bit overrated on that end of the court due to it being a supposed stylistic strength, may actually have a competent attack once again.



This is one of the more uninformed posts I've seen in awhile. He wonders who will be playing defense at the 4. I would say that area will...without question...be a major improvement regardless of who JOb puts in the game...and that includes Dahntay Jones.

Where will the Pacer's perimeter shooting come from? How about Rush, Granger, Dunleavy, Collison and Price? You can expect anywhere from 33% to 40% from Posey...so he's not bad either. Shooting has never been this team's problem.

Oh, and he gives next to no credit to Roy and ignores the fact he is in better shape and apparently had asthma that has now been medicated properly. Also, Roy did A LOT better about fouling in just his second year....a huge improvement.

But the worst part is his belief that Troy Murphy will help you win games. Whether you want to look at plus/minus or W/L...that just ain't true. People will be surprised at how much more competitive this team is going to be. I predict .500.

d_c
09-22-2010, 07:20 PM
But the worst part is his belief that Troy Murphy will help you win games. Whether you want to look at plus/minus or W/L...that just ain't true. People will be surprised at how much more competitive this team is going to be. I predict .500.

Agreed. I hardly think Murphy is any kind of debilitating loss, which is what really makes the Collison trade a huge win. In my mind, the Pacers got Collison for basically free. They didn't give up anything. Their only cost is paying Posey's $7M contract the following year. And that will be a moot point in itself if there's a lockout.

People always talk about Murphy's rebounding, but the point of rebounding is to help your team gain possession of the ball, not to pile up fantasy stats. The Pacers as a team weren't any worse a rebounding team with Murphy on the court last year. In fact, they were actually better when he was OFF the floor. In my mind, Murphy has always been a guy who puts up individual rebounding stats but doesn't necessarily help his team control the boards.

At worst, the Pacers lose some frontcourt depth next year w/o Murphy. But the kind of depth he offers you is easily replaceable. I don't think the Pacers will notice much from the absence of Murphy next year.

BlueNGold
09-22-2010, 09:12 PM
Agreed. I hardly think Murphy is any kind of debilitating loss, which is what really makes the Collison trade a huge win. In my mind, the Pacers got Collison for basically free. They didn't give up anything. Their only cost is paying Posey's $7M contract the following year. And that will be a moot point in itself if there's a lockout.

People always talk about Murphy's rebounding, but the point of rebounding is to help your team gain possession of the ball, not to pile up fantasy stats. The Pacers as a team weren't any worse a rebounding team with Murphy on the court last year. In fact, they were actually better when he was OFF the floor. In my mind, Murphy has always been a guy who puts up individual rebounding stats but doesn't necessarily help his team control the boards.

At worst, the Pacers lose some frontcourt depth next year w/o Murphy. But the kind of depth he offers you is easily replaceable. I don't think the Pacers will notice much from the absence of Murphy next year.

There's a reason the Pacers moved Murphy even in the face of health concerns with Foster and Hans. It's not hard to see what the team is doing...and improving the roster is happening.

Typically losing your starting PF who shoots 40% or so from 3 and grabs double digit boards would be suicide. The good news is, this ain't typical.

In any event, Troy is a great guy. Nice tan he has. He can drain the 3 and grab boards. Time to move on and enjoy watching this iteration of the Pacers and see how it all plays out.

pacer4ever
09-22-2010, 09:37 PM
Yeah, it's McRoberts now, duh!

And I'm sure glad Collison is here. Granger doesn't have to worry about creating for others anymore. Whew! He might shoot a couple 3's now even!

if mcbob shoots like he did in summer league dear god i hope he doesnt shoot as much this year. In summerleague one cgame he went like 1-11 from 3pt range. Then the commentators at half time ask if they wanted him taking that many 3s, JOB replied "we insist it"