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RoboHicks
11-19-2010, 02:30 AM
Odd Thoughts: Taking the wind out of the Clippers
Written by Peck

Link (http://www.pacersdigest.com/wordpress/?p=246)

Tonight’s game offered us a look at several things but one thing it did not offer was a true glimpse of where our team stands right now as this Clipper team was not whole in general, inexperienced specifically and tired in reality.

We enter the abridged version of Odd Thoughts: Bullet Point style as frankly there just was not much to take away from this game. We won so don’t get me wrong that is great but this is one of those games if you didn’t win we would be wanting to burn someone in effigy, if not in actuality.

• Danny Granger is playing the best defense he has played in years. I mean if you didn’t actually watch him tonight you missed something as he shut Eric Gordon down and was a virtual pain to whoever came to his side of the floor. Nice to have Danny back on track as an overall player and not a chucker.
• Roy Hibbert didn’t start off so swell but eventually picked it up, well after he pulled the Spalding tattoo out of his forehead that Gordon gave him with a nasty in your face jam. But once Roy recovered he had a stretch in the second quarter where he was perfect from the field. He made some bad passes tonight but overall he had a decent game and considering DeAndre Jordan was shooting 78% from the field prior to the game I think Roy did a very good job helping him drop that % some.
• Blake Griffin is huge, athletic, strong and will be a force in this league for years to come and yet he could not budge Tyler Hansbrough. That’s right in their actual head to head matchups (which were limited) Tyler more than held his ground on the defensive end and in fact strength vs. strength Tyler was the immovable object. Does not mean this will be the norm but for tonight Blake had no advantage at all.
• Eric Gordon needs a new basketball home and I have just the place in mind for him. Young, athletic, can shoot, can defend, can pass he just needs a better team to be part of. Eric your Indianapolis roots are calling you. Most teams this would be out of the question but these are the Clippers were talking about here so I am certain that Sterling will want an expiring or two before long. Paging Mr. Bird & Mr. Morway to the white courtesy phone.
• Brandon Rush blocking 5 shots is just unreal in a way. There was a play in the second half that in all honesty I can’t remember which Clipper did this but they got the ball away from the Pacers ran the court but both Paul George & Brandon Rush were back. George caused him to pull up before he wanted to and Rush got the block. I kept thinking during that time how nice it was to actually have athletic long players who cared about defense to be on the floor. I’m not a Rush fanatic by the way and when he scores less than 7 points a game I usually range between forgetting he is on the floor to blood curdling rage, but man when he scores and plays defense he is one heck of a player.
• Foster came in and gave very solid work in 12 minutes of play. Came in and has already hit more jump shots than Josh has all season long as it turned out, who would have thought we would look to Jeff as the scorer between the two. Anyway Solid production, professional demeanor and sadly probably a lot of sore muscles right now. I think they used him tonight and are going to use Solomon Jones vs. the Magic on Saturday. I just don’t think Jeff’s back can take going against Dwight, not that Solomon is going to do any kind of job either but I think it is probably a health issue. Who knows though they will probably go through both by the end of the night.
• A.J. Price is really making it hard to accept him in street cloths. Look I have not been down on T.J. at all this year as he is giving you all he can and at times has provided decent defense. But dang Price just fits our system so well that it is hard to accept that he is in street cloths all the time. His 6-1 turnover ratio is impressive not so much for the few turnovers he got but for the fact that he got 6 assist in a system that is not designed for a point guard to get assist. I really hope the front office is working the phone lines right now because once D.C. comes back there are going to be lots of people on the Pacers Digest that are going to be very upset about A.J. Price getting DNP-CD’s and at this point in time who could blame them.
• I know that Sekou Smith of NBA.com was rooting for a dunk off between Josh McRoberts (or McBob as he has been given permission to call him) & Blake Griffin (BTW does he have a nickname) and he probably had to be a little disappointed that overall neither had anything massive but I guess Josh’s one handed alley oop dunk probably was the best of the two of the night. However hands down Eric Gordon’s dunk on Big Roy was the best.

Ok some quick hits before we get out of here.

My boys up in area55 had the Darnell Hillman fathead out tonight and I loved it.

Tonight’s random comment from a new person behind me was as follows. “When will they put Smits in the game?” To which the person who was with him replied “Rik’s been retired for a few years, he and Reggie retired together”. I just shook my head and could not bring myself to correct them.

Eric Gordon’s dunk on Roy caused Roy to send out this tweet after the game. “Good win but I got dunked on pretty bad. Wow. That’s not a good look. Gonna get clowned by my teammates tomorrow for that one.”
http://www.thisishampshire.net/resources/images/1162497/?type=display

http://www.pacersdigest.com/wordpress/wp-content/plugins/add-to-any/share_save_171_16.png (http://www.addtoany.com/share_save)

ballism
11-19-2010, 08:02 AM
1-11 start will do that to you.
I didn't even feel that we played very well.
They just seem to be a down team right now, and this was a back-to-back after an extremely tense loss.

McKeyFan
11-19-2010, 08:07 AM
I saw that look on Griffin's face after Hans sent him to the floor (by barely glancing him with his shoulder, but that's enough from Hans to send you flying).

If Hans becomes consistent with regular minutes, he will soon be a serious force and presence on the court. And develop a rep.

cdash
11-19-2010, 08:07 AM
1-11 start will do that to you.
I didn't even feel that we played very well.
They just seem to be a down team right now, and this was a back-to-back after an extremely tense loss.

Way too many young guys playing. I mean three rookies started for them tonight. The other two starters are the inexperience DeAndre Jordan and third year pro Eric Gordon. It's really tough to win with that many young guys playing big minutes, no matter how talented they may be. And I really don't think they are a well coached team. They go from crappy Mike Dunleavy to crappy Vinny Del Negro. Hard to get a good read on Del Negro when so many young guys are integral parts of the team.

ballism
11-19-2010, 08:25 AM
I don't know have a strong opinion on Del Negro, the players always seem to support him, which is important for young teams imo. But I agree, with this start, I think they will have to think about coach change soon enough. You just can't let a bunch of rookies to get down on themselves and lose energy for full season.

Wow at their rookies though, Griffin, Bledsoe, Aminu... All can be very good. And DeAndre Jordan, he's no rookie, but they got him in 2nd round just a few years ago, wow! And Gordon of course, although he seemed to be demoralised more than anyone yesterday.

cdash
11-19-2010, 08:31 AM
I don't know have a strong opinion on Del Negro, the players always seem to support him, which is important for young teams imo. But I agree, with this start, I think they will have to think about coach change soon enough. You just can't let a bunch of rookies to get down on themselves and lose energy for full season.

Wow at their rookies though, Griffin, Bledsoe, Aminu... All can be very good. And DeAndre Jordan, he's no rookie, but they got him in 2nd round just a few years ago, wow! And Gordon of course, although he seemed to be demoralised more than anyone yesterday.

Yeah their talent level is really high. If developed correctly, plus whatever young guy they get with their high lottery pick this year, they could be a force in a year or two. Of course we have said the same thing about the Clippers for forever now, so I'm not holding my breath waiting for that to happen. Just think if they got the top pick again this year. Harrison Barnes added to this core...goodness.

Indra
11-19-2010, 09:23 AM
They better have a high talent level. They've been picking top five for the past 30 years...

ballism
11-19-2010, 09:35 AM
They better have a high talent level. They've been picking top five for the past 30 years...

That's not entirely true, as they've spent most of their time at 6-10 pick range, not to mention wasting a number of good picks in trades. But I hear you, they had their share of picks in the past 30 years :)
This however is the first stretch that i remember where they actually stockpiled a bunch of their own talented picks. As opposed to trading most of them away for older players. Good for them if they don't screw it up.

Brad8888
11-19-2010, 09:38 AM
Tonight’s random comment from a new person behind me was as follows. “When will they put Smits in the game?” To which the person who was with him replied “Rik’s been retired for a few years, he and Reggie retired together”. I just shook my head and could not bring myself to correct them.

I take that as a small encouraging sign for the Pacers. People in the building who obviously haven't followed the Pacers for a very long time, for a game against a perennial doormat, and on a weeknight to boot. That indicates that at least some traction is being gained amongst casual fans at this point, even though they probably didn't pay much, if anything, for those tickets. For a while now it has been difficult to even give away tickets to a game like that to people who are not avid followers of the Pacers.

BillS
11-19-2010, 09:43 AM
This game was ugly. There were a number of lineups on the floor where I wondered if anybody wanted to shoot, was able to shoot, or even knew what shooting was. The defense was strong once they settled in, but until things finally managed to break free I thought we were going to play "stand around and look at the pretty red uniforms" on the offensive end all night.

Indra
11-19-2010, 09:47 AM
That's not entirely true, as they've spent most of their time at 6-10 pick range, not to mention wasting a number of good picks in trades. But I hear you, they had their share of picks in the past 30 years :)
This however is the first stretch that i remember where they actually stockpiled a bunch of their own talented picks. As opposed to trading most of them away for older players. Good for them if they don't screw it up.

I was exaggerating slightly, but you know what I mean :p If they play their cards right they can definitely become a very good team.

Part Timer
11-19-2010, 10:29 AM
I was exaggerating slightly, but you know what I mean :p If they play their cards right they can definitely become a very good team.

You'll have to excuse me if I don't hold my breath.

imawhat
11-19-2010, 10:39 AM
By playing their cards right do you mean the owner holding aces and eights?

IndyPacer
11-19-2010, 10:56 AM
I'm ecstatic about Granger's improved defense. Many seem to forget that this is the same guy who trained intensely with Artest while he was here and was the guy who guarded the opponent's best player early in his career. He's been capable of doing more than being just a scorer or a jumpshooter.

It's terrific to see this type of defensive effort coming from the team's top scorer. I think that tends to inspire teammates to try harder on defense. Being able to harass both of the opposing team's wings simultaneously (with Rush and Granger, with George and D. Jones available when they rest) could be vital against certain teams. Remember that lots of scoring in this league comes from the wing positions. It's nice to have the tools to do something about that.

Hicks
11-19-2010, 12:10 PM
The real question is: Can Ben Gordon play defense like that? ;)

Kegboy
11-19-2010, 12:28 PM
Tonight’s random comment from a new person behind me was as follows. “When will they put Smits in the game?” To which the person who was with him replied “Rik’s been retired for a few years, he and Reggie retired together”. I just shook my head and could not bring myself to correct them.

Sorry Peck, but it's been more than 10 years. The rule of thumb is if someone hasn't played in more than a decade, you are obligated to call them an idiot and have them removed from the arena.

In defense of the second person, they may have been lying to head off the person asking where Reggie was.

Mackey_Rose
11-19-2010, 12:53 PM
For me, the frustrating thing is we all have known that Granger had the ability to play the kind of defense that he played both Tuesday night and last night. He just hasn't been willing to do it.

Hopefully, he figures out that he needs to give that effort every single night.

Peck
11-19-2010, 12:58 PM
For me, the frustrating thing is we all have known that Granger had the ability to play the kind of defense that he played both Tuesday night and last night. He just hasn't been willing to do it.

Hopefully, he figures out that he needs to give that effort every single night.

Unwilling or unable? I'm not sure which. Remember in the previous two years he did not have a lot of fire power around him so I think he focused so much more on scoring and being a good team defender that he let his individual defense slide.

Call it victim of the system or if you prefer unwarrented focus on one aspect of the game only.

Remember this is a coach who does not punish you for not being a good one on one defender as long as you get to the spot on the floor he wants (see Murphy, Dunleavy & Jack as examples).

Speed
11-19-2010, 01:11 PM
I'll be a Granger apoligist, I guess.

In past years Danny had to, I mean HAD TO, bear so much of the scoring burden, he really couldn't be a lock down defender too. I guess you could argue he could get in the kind of condition that would permit him to do both, but that is really only a super elite athlete who can do that.

Now I don't think he has that burden as much, so it's allowing him to focus his energy defensively more.

I think thats 90% of it.

I think the other 10% is he feels like playing that kind of defense now, actually can make a difference in winning and losing. Before he could kill himself playing defense and it still not matter. It's human nature at some point to stop banging your head against the wall.

Just my opinion, of course.

Mackey_Rose
11-19-2010, 01:17 PM
Unwilling or unable? I'm not sure which. Remember in the previous two years he did not have a lot of fire power around him so I think he focused so much more on scoring and being a good team defender that he let his individual defense slide.

Call it victim of the system or if you prefer unwarrented focus on one aspect of the game only.

Remember this is a coach who does not punish you for not being a good one on one defender as long as you get to the spot on the floor he wants (see Murphy, Dunleavy & Jack as examples).

I'm not sure, but it seems to have been more of an effort problem than anything. I don't think saving himself on the defensive end so that he can focus on scoring is an acceptable excuse.

I do think that the coach is to blame for it almost as much as the player. As you point out, he lets players with poor defense slide as long as they are able to do the certain things that he values.

Granger's consistency is this team's biggest problem in my opinion. He is the best player, and I think in the NBA, you only go as far as your best player takes you. He needs to bring it every night.

BillS
11-19-2010, 01:31 PM
Remember this is a coach who does not punish you for not being a good one on one defender as long as you get to the spot on the floor he wants (see Murphy, Dunleavy & Jack as examples).

*** sound of worm can opening ***

First, I think he IS having them focus more on defense, especially given the defensive adjustments made in the game last night to contain EJ.

Second, there always has to be balance between offense and defense. If you only have one-dimensional players you can't just put your defense in and celebrate getting beat 40-10. At some point you may have to put in guys who are weaker defensively because they give you something on offense.

There's a huge jump between "Matador" Murphy and "Drive-by" Mike. The argument is whether Mike gives you enough on offense to make up for his weaknesses, not whether he gives offense that makes up for a complete lack of defending.

QuickRelease
11-19-2010, 07:11 PM
I think we're seeing him do more with better talent.

cordobes
11-19-2010, 07:43 PM
The Clippers need to get Kaman healthy and back on court quickly, because the only thing they're developing now is bad basketball, not talent.

BlueNGold
11-19-2010, 08:17 PM
I think we're seeing him do more with better talent.

That's true to some extent. It has basically been

a) a hugely improved Hibbert,
b) better defense from the PF position and
c) more talent at the PG position
d) a healthier team

I suppose a, b and c are talent related...or simply development of young players.

Anthem
11-19-2010, 08:19 PM
For me, the frustrating thing is we all have known that Granger had the ability to play the kind of defense that he played both Tuesday night and last night. He just hasn't been willing to do it.

Hopefully, he figures out that he needs to give that effort every single night.
"Willing" might not be the right word. Granger quit playing defense (and driving to the basket) when Jim got his extension.

I don't know that the last year would have been any different if he'd been defending well and playing a great all-around offensive game.

IndyPacer
11-19-2010, 09:27 PM
"Willing" might not be the right word. Granger quit playing defense (and driving to the basket) when Jim got his extension.

I don't know that the last year would have been any different if he'd been defending well and playing a great all-around offensive game.

You get a "Get Out of Playing D" pass from O'Brien if you hit some 3-pointers. Danny, Dun, Murphy, ect. almost always got away from slacking off defensively because the shoot 3s. Hell, McRoberts was criticized openly by JOB for his defense concerns so of course he corrects this liability during the offseason by....having McRoberts shoot loads of 3s??? :laugh:

Rush is out top defender but luckily for him he also is our best long range shooter or his butt might be bolted to the bench.

I'm not sure why O'Brien seems to have increased his focus on defense this year. Maybe one of those select few who know there are actually 2 sides of full court basketball (like anyone who has watched a game of basketball in his life) told him defense wins games and championships? Or maybe stats freak Jimmy Walnuts finally got around to analyzing his own records and statistics as a coach?

vnzla81
11-19-2010, 09:51 PM
You get a "Get Out of Playing D" pass from O'Brien if you hit some 3-pointers. Danny, Dun, Murphy, ect. almost always got away from slacking off defensively because the shoot 3s. Hell, McRoberts was criticized openly by JOB for his defense concerns so of course he corrects this liability during the offseason by....having McRoberts shoot loads of 3s??? :laugh:

Rush is out top defender but luckily for him he also is our best long range shooter or his butt might be bolted to the bench.

I'm not sure why O'Brien seems to have increased his focus on defense this year. Maybe one of those select few who know there are actually 2 sides of full court basketball (like anyone who has watched a game of basketball in his life) told him defense wins games and championships? Or maybe stats freak Jimmy Walnuts finally got around to analyzing his own records and statistics as a coach?

Getting a new contract could be the answer.

BillS
11-20-2010, 11:52 AM
I'm not sure why O'Brien seems to have increased his focus on defense this year. Maybe one of those select few who know there are actually 2 sides of full court basketball (like anyone who has watched a game of basketball in his life) told him defense wins games and championships? Or maybe stats freak Jimmy Walnuts finally got around to analyzing his own records and statistics as a coach?

Or maybe your concept that JOB didn't ever care about defense is wrong and this is the year the players are finally getting it?

Oh, sorry, that's impossible. :rolleyes:

Shade
11-20-2010, 12:14 PM
EJ would be a perfect fit here. I would probably give up anyone outside of Granger, Hibbert, or Collison for him.

ilive4sports
11-20-2010, 12:15 PM
I think JOB and our lack of defense in the past doesn't all fall on him. It falls on the players. Danny is clearly putting more effort of the defensive end. Remember he is healthy this year unlike the last two. Also there is no Troy Murphy this year. I think that's a huge reason why we are better defensively. Josh and Tyler arent the best of defenders but they are certainly more effective than Murphy. Roy is better too. He's more of a presence down low and isn't fouling as much. Also I believe our offense going through Roy benefits our defense greatly.

The bad defense in the past is a two way street and both sides have done a much better job this year. And saying Jim is only doing this because its a contract year is ludacris. He can be fired any day. Just because he has one year left now doesn't mean he is suddenly going to try and be a better coach. Just cause You disagree with his style and decisions doesn't mean he doesn't put the effort in. I'm not a JOB apologist but I have seen him do more good things than bad this year. Him and Larry have the team in a good position and maybe we can get a better coach this off season. But if options agent there I would rather see Jim stay then switch to a new coach just to do it.

Eleazar
11-20-2010, 12:17 PM
Honestly I don't think JOB has put more focus on D this year, and I don't think the players are finally getting it as far as what JOB is teaching. I just think that the younger players are starting to get it because of their natural growth, and Danny for some reason just decided to start playing the kind of D we have always known he can for some reason, maybe George and/or Rush are challenging him in practice. To me as long as Dunleavy is getting the majority of minutes, and Posey is getting a lot of minutes at the PF position I have a hard time believing that JOB has put any more of an emphasis.

cdash
11-20-2010, 12:23 PM
EJ would be a perfect fit here. I would probably give up anyone outside of Granger, Hibbert, or Collison for him.

Yeah same. I would give them any combination of George, Rush, Price, Dunleavy, Ford, Hansbrough, 1st round pick (with only minimal protection, top 5 maybe) they wanted.

ballism
11-22-2010, 12:53 PM
Who's EJ? Eric Gordon?

Since86
11-22-2010, 12:56 PM
Who's EJ? Eric Gordon?

Yes.

Mackey_Rose
11-22-2010, 01:01 PM
EJ would be a perfect fit here. I would probably give up anyone outside of Granger, Hibbert, or Collison for him.

I would trade Granger for Gordon straight up, but I doubt the Clippers would have any interest in that at all.

ballism
11-22-2010, 01:05 PM
Then I think it's safe to say we aren't getting him for any combination of a lottery pick + Hansbrough, George, and expirings. He's one of their two main core players. They also have Bledsoe, so Ill go out on a limb and guess even Collison wouldn't be very interesting for them.