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blanket
08-24-2004, 11:32 AM
http://www.nba.com/pacers/news/question_040823.html

I think this Q&A is from Monday, but I didn't see it posted here already:

QUESTION OF THE DAY
Conrad Brunner
Q. I recently looked at the current rosters of each team in the NBA. I've noticed that several of the teams with strong player depth last year, such as Sacramento and Detroit, will not have the same kind of support for next season due to free-agency period changes. The only real exceptions appear to be the San Antonio Spurs and the Pacers. Both teams appear to be two-deep at every position. I've always felt that having a strong bench is one of the biggest factors in helping a solid team receive the best record in regular-season play.

Many have picked Miami or Detroit to be the top contenders next year in the Eastern Conference over the Pacers. I feel that Miami and Detroit may be an injury or two away from having a tougher-than-expected season. I can't say the same for the Pacers due to their depth. Should we expect the Pacers depth to be a potential difference-maker this season? I would be shocked to find them not in contention for the best conference record due the number of solid players on their roster. (From Richard in Bridgeport, NY)

A. Of the teams expected to contend for the top spot in the Eastern Conference this season Ė Indiana, Detroit and Miami Ė itís fair to say the Pacers have the best overall roster balance of the bunch. That translates into depth at all five positions, which is something neither the Pistons nor Heat can claim. The Pacersí five primary positional backups are point guard Anthony Johnson, shooting guard Stephen Jackson, small forward Jonathan Bender, power forward Austin Croshere and center Scot Pollard. Of that group, only Bender is unproven, and Jackson is available for small forward duty should he falter (moving Fred Jones into the second-unit rotation at shooting guard).

Detroit is very deep at the power forward and center positions but not so on the perimeter. The backup point guard is Lindsey Hunter, a 33-year-old veteran whose effectiveness is waning. The support behind shooting guard Richard Hamilton and small forward Tayshaun Prince consists of Carlos Delfino, Darvin Ham and Ronald DuPree. Detroitís three top reserves last season were Corliss Williamson, Mehmet Okur and Mike James. All are now elsewhere. The Pistonsí two major offseason acquisitions were Antonio McDyess and Derrick Coleman, players who combined to miss 88 games due to injuries last season.

Miamiís lack of depth is the most severe, but thatís the price the Heat was willing to pay to acquire Shaquille OíNeal. The shooting guard-small forward rotation consists of Eddie Jones, Rasual Butler and Wesley Person. Power forward is presently manned by Udonis Haslem and Malik Allen. Miami has time to add some patches to this leaky roster, but the hope is that the S.S. Shaq will keep everything afloat.

indytoad
08-24-2004, 11:39 AM
Well the Pacers have more balanced depth - in theory - but as far as skill is concerned the Pistons' bench is still better.

IndyToad
That walllpaper

unstandable
08-24-2004, 12:15 PM
I'm glad to see that Pollard is proven and gives the Pacers depth at all five positions! If that counts as depth at center, then the Pistons are also deep at all five positions.

I do think the Pacers might have a better bench than the Pistons - they did last year. But the Pistons bench has the potential to be better if the young players do well and the older guys are healthy.

But as we all know, in the playoffs the bench matters a lot less and it usually comes down to the starting fives plus maybe one or two reserves. And there I think the Pistons definitely have the edge.

Kegboy
08-24-2004, 12:57 PM
Yes, saying Pollard is a proven commodity is a little strange. :disturbed:

As for the Pistons, as they stand now, they're sure counting on Delfino to step right in. From the little I've seen of him, I think that's asking a bit much of him, at least this year.

In my estimation, they need another point guard, and could use another shooter, as well. Or, they could fill both needs and sign Travis. :cool:

Kstat
08-24-2004, 02:13 PM
So let me get this straight...the Pistons are an injury away from lacking depth, but the Pacers, with brittle Bender as their only other big that can score, aren't?

Please tell me Croshere counts as depth......

Frankly, I couldn't be happier about Dupree and Delfino. Both of them can back up at the 2/3. We had NO natural 2/3s on the bench last year, I don't know what Brunner is talking about.

As for Hunter, He was our first backup PG last year, NOT James. Brunner obviously wasn't watching the playoffs if he thinks James was a top reserve.

TheSauceMaster
08-24-2004, 02:22 PM
I think Conrad was slipping alittle whiskey into his morning coffee when he wrote this article :o

Sorry I disagree ..Flame on !!!!

stipo
08-24-2004, 03:11 PM
Bruno works for the franchise. That's who "cuts the check" right?

The Simons are smart. Both times that a beat writer showed some witty criticism, the next thing you know they are working for the team!

Kegboy
08-24-2004, 04:55 PM
As for Hunter, He was our first backup PG last year, NOT James. Brunner obviously wasn't watching the playoffs if he thinks James was a top reserve.

Well, the stats show James played roughly the same minutes but had better stats. But we know there's more to the game than just stats.

So K, are you saying you're comfortable with Billups and Hunter as your point guards next year?

Back to the issue of injuries affecting teams. IMO, if one of our starters got hurt, I think we'd muddle through (yes, even JO.) But if Detroit were to lose Chauncey or Rip, even for just a little bit, I think they'd be in a world of hurt.

beast23
08-24-2004, 06:26 PM
I think Brunner is totally bonkers.

As we sit here today, our frontcourt has 3-man rotation. To enter this season banking on either Pollard or Bender stepping up to become the 4th man in the rotation is very risky at best, and absolute stupidity at worst.

We have shifted from our 6th man being a PF/SF combo to our new 6th man being a SG/SF combo. Nothing wrong with that because our more pressing need was to provide perimeter shooting.

With Freddy eventually entering the mix after rehab, we are safe at the SF and SG positions, as well as PG with three decent players on the roster.

But Brunner has gone totally ape***** if he thinks our bases are covered in the frontcourt.

The quality of our depth is probably better than the Pistions in the backcourt, but does not even come close to matching the Pistons in numbers, quality, size or strength in the frontcourt.

If Pollard doesn't blend in better and Bender doesn't pan out at PF at all, then we are in deep *****. A trade would definitely be made.

I personally don't think we'll see Christmas without a trade.

unstandable
08-24-2004, 06:40 PM
As for Hunter, He was our first backup PG last year, NOT James. Brunner obviously wasn't watching the playoffs if he thinks James was a top reserve.

Well, the stats show James played roughly the same minutes but had better stats. But we know there's more to the game than just stats.

So K, are you saying you're comfortable with Billups and Hunter as your point guards next year?

Back to the issue of injuries affecting teams. IMO, if one of our starters got hurt, I think we'd muddle through (yes, even JO.) But if Detroit were to lose Chauncey or Rip, even for just a little bit, I think they'd be in a world of hurt.


Hunter is a better defender than James. James was better offensively, but in the playoffs Hunter played more and James barely got off the bench against the Lakers. By the playoffs, Hunter was our first backup PG.

I do think backup PG is the weakest position on the team, but Delfino has run the point for Argentina in the Olympics, and Prince can play point too if necessary.

As for Billups or Hamilton getting hurt, it would definitely hurt the team, but a lot less than it would have in the past since we now have more frontcourt scoring thanks to Sheed, Prince, and McDyess (and because last year we didn't even have a backup SG on the roster). And long-term injuries don't occur that often in basketball, so I'm not too worried.

Kstat
08-24-2004, 07:20 PM
Well, the stats show James played roughly the same minutes but had better stats. But we know there's more to the game than just stats.

I'm going by playoff stats. James came in mid-season and was given a trial period, but he never really fit in. I like the guy, but Hunter is one of the top 3 defensive PGs in the NBA, and there are so few PGs nowadays that really get up and pressure the ball anymore. I'll take that. Also, Delfino is very capable of playing emergency minutes at PG, he's got that type of court vision.


So K, are you saying you're comfortable with Billups and Hunter as your point guards next year?

And Delfino, yes. He seems quite capable of playing point-forward while Hunter is on the court, allowing him to play off the ball.

Back to the issue of injuries affecting teams. IMO, if one of our starters got hurt, I think we'd muddle through (yes, even JO.) But if Detroit were to lose Chauncey or Rip, even for just a little bit, I think they'd be in a world of hurt.

If any team in the NBA (including Indiana) lost one of their best players for an extended period of time, they'd be ina world of hurt. We lost Rip Hamilton on a west coast swing and won three impressive blowouts starting LINDSEY HUNTER at SG. For short periods of time, we can do.

Frankly, I'm happy that people seem to be hoping and praying that someone on our team gets injured, because that seems to be our only weakness,judging by most non-pistons fans. If The biggest threat to your team is that someone gets injured, you're in good shape.

SoupIsGood
08-24-2004, 07:59 PM
I think the pistons seem to be expecting an awful lot out of this Delfino character. Him and Dupree. Dupree stinks, I think.

Isn't he the one that hit JO's knee during the season?

Kstat
08-24-2004, 08:09 PM
Expecting? Yes, but I also know what Delfino can do. He's not a big question mark like a lot of Euros. He's a seasoned veteran, and the leader of his pro team, which made the european finals. I know him better than any non-NBA professional, and I'm positive that he will come in and play right away.

As for Dupree, I saw him play as a Piston last year for 6 preseason games, and I raved to everyone back then about the athletic ability this kid had. He was cut due to a numbers game, but I haven't forgotten him, and neither has any other pistons fan. He's explosive as hell going to the hoop. Neither Joe nor larry have forgotten him either, which is why we signed to a multi-year deal ASAP after the season.

Hicks
08-24-2004, 08:36 PM
How do you praise Dupree for being a veteran and a leader on his Euro-team, but on Olympic threads talk-down the international game? Don't the Euros play a style more similar to the international game? If so, then why is Delfine the exception to what you've said earlier about the international players, which was something like they only shine in that system, but wouldn't in the NBA?

SoupIsGood
08-24-2004, 08:40 PM
I have one question.

Why has Delfino been playing in Europe for so long, if he's so good?

Don't take this the wrong way, I'm not trying to prove a point or something. I'm just wanting to know what he's doing there. Is it a contract issue?

Kstat
08-24-2004, 08:41 PM
How do you praise Dupree for being a veteran and a leader on his Euro-team, but on Olympic threads talk-down the international game? Don't the Euros play a style more similar to the international game? If so, then why is Delfine the exception to what you've said earlier about the international players, which was something like they only shine in that system, but wouldn't in the NBA?

First fo all, Delfino played in Europe, not Dupree.

Secondly, Delfino plays an NBA-style game, much like his contryman Ginoboli, who also played well right away. Delfino isn't a typical soft Euro 3-point shooter, he's a strong slasher, ballhandler, and a pestering defender. Most of the European stars are stars because they can shoot the three. Delfino, much like Pau Gasol, have games that are MORE suited for the NBA than Europe.

Kstat
08-24-2004, 08:45 PM
I have one question.

Why has Delfino been playing in Europe for so long, if he's so good?

Don't take this the wrong way, I'm not trying to prove a point or something. I'm just wanting to know what he's doing there. Is it a contract issue?

We drafted Delfino two years ago with the intention of bringing him over right away, but much like Mehmet Okur, his european team wouldn't let him go, which was a big reason why he went late first round, when his talent warrented a top-10 selection.

Delfino agreed to play last season in Europe, in exchange his pro team agreed to lower its buyout offer. After the fact, I think he'll be a little more ready than last year.

Sollozzo
08-24-2004, 08:47 PM
I will consider the Pistons a deeper, better team than us until we beat them in a playoff series.

Hicks
08-24-2004, 08:49 PM
Kstat, I said Dupree by mistake. I was totally focused on Delfino; just said the wrong name.

SoupIsGood
08-24-2004, 08:49 PM
I won't. (COnsider them deeper)

Hicks
08-24-2004, 08:51 PM
I'm (finally!!) getting NBA League Pass this season, and I will try to see for myself just how deep they are or are not, and whether or not Delfino is what he's cracked up to be.

SoupIsGood
08-24-2004, 08:56 PM
Our good friend GoogleBot was online this morning, I noticed. I wonder was his opinion on this would be.:p

Kstat
08-24-2004, 08:59 PM
I'm not saying Delfino will be a star, but will he be more than capable of spelling Prince. I think he's as NBA-ready as any rookie this season. Much like Manu, I think he will make his mark as a rookie, but as a 7th man.

Kegboy
08-24-2004, 10:08 PM
I'm not saying Delfino will be a star, but will he be more than capable of spelling Prince. I think he's as NBA-ready as any rookie this season. Much like Manu, I think he will make his mark as a rookie, but as a 7th man.

Yeah, I see what your saying, but I saw alot more from Manu in the WC's before his rookie year, than I've seen from Delfino in these Olympics so far. I'm afraid you're setting yourself up for disappointment if you expect too much from him too early.

Kstat
08-24-2004, 10:18 PM
I'm not saying Delfino will be a star, but will he be more than capable of spelling Prince. I think he's as NBA-ready as any rookie this season. Much like Manu, I think he will make his mark as a rookie, but as a 7th man.

Yeah, I see what your saying, but I saw alot more from Manu in the WC's before his rookie year, than I've seen from Delfino in these Olympics so far. I'm afraid you're setting yourself up for disappointment if you expect too much from him too early.


Delfino doesn't get much PT on the argentina team because he and Manu play the same position. They're both slashers, so they don't really play off of each other very well in the international game.

unstandable
08-24-2004, 10:29 PM
I'm not saying Delfino will be a star, but will he be more than capable of spelling Prince. I think he's as NBA-ready as any rookie this season. Much like Manu, I think he will make his mark as a rookie, but as a 7th man.

Yeah, I see what your saying, but I saw alot more from Manu in the WC's before his rookie year, than I've seen from Delfino in these Olympics so far. I'm afraid you're setting yourself up for disappointment if you expect too much from him too early.

That's true. I don't expect Delfino to play as well as Ginobili did his rookie season. Ginobili was 25 when he entered the league, but Delfino will only be 22.

Kstat
08-25-2004, 02:14 AM
I will consider the Pistons a deeper, better team than us until we beat them in a playoff series.

I won't until they beat us with a healthy Jermaine and Tinsley AND Freddie.



I wont consider any team in the same LEAGUE with us unless they beat us with a healthy Rasheed Wallace....:rolleyes:

Yeah, two can play the excuses game....;)

Fool
08-25-2004, 08:57 AM
I've followed the reports on Delfino (never seen a game he has played) but the thing I like most about him is that he is the exact opposite of Prince. Prince's worst quality is his timidness in the offense. One thing that is unquestioned (by all accounts so far anyway) is that Delfino is bold in attacking the other team's basket. This is much needed for those long scoreless spells the Pistons fell into and were often criticized for last year (and ESPECIALLY the year before that). If Delfino is a compitant scorer with that aggressiveness I will be happy.

DisplacedKnick
08-25-2004, 09:23 AM
Brunner's been nipping at the bottle.

Miami's woefully thin which is why they won't do anything in the playoffs this year without a major trade - or a surprise break-out season from one or more of the youngsters.

Indy and Detroit are both plenty deep and they each have players they can't afford to lose. Indy can less afford to lose JO than in the past because Harrington's gone.

The biggest key to the EC (other than injuries which nobody can predict) is Rasheed's brain. He sure was a good soldier for half a season - we'll see if it lasts.

unstandable
08-25-2004, 09:32 AM
The biggest key to the EC (other than injuries which nobody can predict) is Rasheed's brain. He sure was a good soldier for half a season - we'll see if it lasts.

I think Artest's brain is just as important - it certainly played a big role last time.

DisplacedKnick
08-25-2004, 10:25 AM
Artest didn't hurt you - not that much.

Game 5 hurt you - and that was a total team effort - or non-effort.

If it wasn't for that game I could look at that series and talk about Artest's dumbassedness, Tinsley's or JO's injuries and play the "what-if" game.

But teams that tank a game 5 when you have a chance to establish control of the ECF don't get that kind of consideration from me.

Anthem
03-26-2005, 01:50 AM
Given Kstat's rant at Delfino on the other board, I thought this was worth a :bump:.

Given the amount of slavering Kstat did in this thread and this one (http://www.pacersdigest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=5458&page=4&pp=25&highlight=delfino), I was expecting Dupree to have a bigger game.

Kstat
03-26-2005, 01:54 AM
Given Kstat's rant at Delfino on the other board, I thought this was worth a :bump:.

Given the amount of slavering Kstat did in this thread and this one (http://www.pacersdigest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=5458&page=4&pp=25&highlight=delfino), I was expecting Dupree to have a bigger game.

I love delfino. He's awesome in the open floor. Gar just has no freakign clue where or how to use him.

Playing him against STEPHEN JACKSON was beyond idiotic. Billups would have been a better choice.

shags
03-26-2005, 01:56 AM
Given Kstat's rant at Delfino on the other board, I thought this was worth a :bump:.

Given the amount of slavering Kstat did in this thread and this one (http://www.pacersdigest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=5458&page=4&pp=25&highlight=delfino), I was expecting Dupree to have a bigger game.

Just for fun, every time you're discussing the Pistons' bench, you need to say Carlos Delfino in the Stephen A. Smith voice he uses for "Rasho Nesterovic" and "Slava Medvedenko". Makes it much more interesting.

Anthem
03-26-2005, 02:02 AM
Playing him against STEPHEN JACKSON was beyond idiotic. Billups would have been a better choice.

Help me here. You raved about his defense at the 2 and the 3. Why is it "beyond idiotic" to play him against our starting 2/3?

I'd love to allow you to blame world hunger on your assistant coach, but I'm not sure it's going to fly.

Kstat
03-26-2005, 02:05 AM
Help me here. You raved about his defense at the 2 and the 3. Why is it "beyond idiotic" to play him against our starting 2/3?

I'd love to allow you to blame world hunger on your assistant coach, but I'm not sure it's going to fly.

God, I WISH he was the assistant coach.

I rave about delfino's scoring punch. If I ever called him a great man-to-man defender, point it out, and i'll admit I was wrong. Carlos loves to play passing lanes, but he isnt a lockdown defender by any means.

3Ball
03-26-2005, 05:00 PM
Oh, and I guess the "S.S. Shaq" has somehow just managed to keep that thin team afloat. Wouldn't you love to be a fly on the wall in Jerry Buss' office when the Heat win the championship after the Lakers fail to even qualify for the playoffs? Whew.