View Full Version : Question on Bender

Jose Slaughter
09-04-2004, 07:05 AM
Should or could Bender slide over & play most of his minutes at the 4?

Here is my thinking on this one.

You have Foster, O'Neal & currently Artest starting up front with Miller & Tinsley in the backcourt.

Just for the sake of this example lets say Artest is playing about 36 mpg & Miller is around 24.

That would leave 12 minutes for a backup SF & 24 for a backup SG. That leaves 36 minutes which I'm sure Jackson will get the vast majority of, but on occassion, Jones will get some time too.

That covers all the available minutes at the 2/3.

Lets say Foster again plays about 24 mpg at center & O'Neal splits time between the 4 & 5. JO plays roughly 36 mpg with 24 of those as a backup center & the other 12 as the starting PF.

That leaves 36 minutes to fill at the 4.

Can Bender take most of those minutes?

If yes then what woud be the best group to put out there with him?

Foster or O'Neal at 5?

Artest or Jackson at 3?

Miller, Jackson or Jones at 2?

Tinsley or Johnson at 1?

09-04-2004, 07:35 AM
Yeah, I can see JB playing the 4 with JO in the middle. Give us an outside shot in the corner to help open the middle for JO.
The question, as always, remains whether Bender can stay healthy long enough to keep his game together.

But yeah, that could be a very fun combination to watch. Especially with Jackson adding shooting from further out on the floor.


09-04-2004, 08:54 AM
First of all, I don't think Reggie will start and I don't think Reggie will see more than 20 minutes a night. That's just my not so humble opinion.

Second, of course JB is going to see some time at the 4. And I would not be surprised, on rare occasions with match-ups permitting, seeing JB at the 5 a little. IF JB stays healthy (I know that is still a big if) and plays with a little bit of a chip on his shoulder, he is going to flat out dominate. As with KG....Bender is a freak. If he stays healthy he is going to put up HUGE numbers this year. All-Star numbers.

As far as who to put him on the floor with....it is just not that simple of a question. A whole lot of that is going to break down to matchups from game to game.

I think the Pacers best line-up will be:

Offensively, defensively, running, half-court, rebounding.....that group can do it all and do it all very well.

09-04-2004, 10:38 AM
So you're saying that with the loss of Al Harrington, Austin Croshere's minutes will go down?

I don't see Jermaine spending half the night at center.

I think we'll push Austin to center, Rodney Rogers-style. I think Foster's good for 24 minutes a night, and Austin could take another 18 or so at center. That leaves 6 minutes for Jermaine, meaning he'd take 30 at PF. That leaves 18 minutes at PF, which Bender can make a play for, along with some of the backup 3 minutes.

It would be really nice if Freddy could take some time at backup PG.

09-04-2004, 10:48 AM
Well if we're getting into th BEST lineup thing, and assuming players break out at awkward positions, this would be our best lineup--


If Freddie were to become decent at running an offense, and bender effective at the 4, that team would shut people down defensivly, and not be too bad on the other side of the floor.

I can dream....

09-04-2004, 10:53 AM
JO spent more than half the night at center last season. Foster and Al split the PF minutes pretty evenly.

09-04-2004, 10:54 AM
I would be OK with trying Bender just at the 4, but I really feel he's truly a SF. But, Al really ended up playing mostly at PF last year, and I think Bender can too.

09-04-2004, 11:00 AM
JO spent around exactly 1/3 of his time at C, I can't remember the official percentage.

09-04-2004, 12:02 PM
JO spent around exactly 1/3 of his time at C, I can't remember the official percentage.


Around exactly? :devil:

09-04-2004, 12:49 PM
Yeah, as in not exactly 33.3333%, but damned close. Ah, you know what I mean.

He spent more time at PF last year, should be regarded as one.

09-04-2004, 12:50 PM
Other than a handful of times, when Foster was not in, JO was at center....so you can basically look at Fosters minutes and get a rough idea at how many minutes JO played at center a night last year. around 20 on most nights. And unless Harrison or Pollard really step up I think we can expect the same thing this year.

Think about it folks....most nights the Pacers are only going to play 9 or 10 guys.



One or two of those guys are only going to see 6 to 8 minutes a game. And I think that will be determined on a nightly basis based on match ups and who is playing well.

I kinda see it roughly like this:

Foster 28 minutes (all at center)
JO 36 (18 minutes a night at center)
Artest 36 (mostly at SF maybe a little at SG)
Jax 32 (mostly at SG a little at SF)
Tins 34 (all at PG)
Bender 30 (SF and PF)
AJ 12 (all at PG)
Reggie 14 (all at SG)
Cro and Freds minutes will fill the gaps. They will vary from night to night based on match ups, foul trouble, and who is playing well. Some nights either one of those 2 may never leave the bench. Sad but true. It must really suck for Rick to have that much depth. :laugh:

Bender is the key though....if he stays healthy he will be far better than Al and takes the Pacers to a higher level. Probably the best team in the NBA. Because if he does stay healthy the production WILL follow.

09-04-2004, 12:51 PM
Soup, the word you're looking for is approximately. :)

09-04-2004, 12:55 PM
Yeah... I know... I typed that in a hurry.

So sorry.


09-04-2004, 01:40 PM
Bender really should be a PF, but his game is much more suited for SF. He doesn't have any real post-up game, primarily he's a perimeter player.

Playing JO out of position at C, and Bender out of position at PF would mean death against bigger, more physical teams that hit the glass.

I also question Bender's mental and physical toughness. The kid has a world of talent, but every time it seems he's about to make a real contribution he shoots himself in the foot with a turnover, a foul, or an injury.

09-04-2004, 01:49 PM
Our size at center worries me. I hope David "The Big Lackadaisical" Harrison turns into a good center in a few years.

09-05-2004, 12:57 AM
Based on the comments I see above, I think most would agree with one thing.

We've got a lot of unknowns in our frontcourt. And they sure as hell would be alleviated if Bender proves capable of playing several minutes a game at PF.

If he doesn't prove capable of playing PF, then it is imperative that a combination of Pollard and Harrison can give us some minutes at C.

And if at least one of those two guys can't hold their own in the middle, then I think we're screwed. Big time. Because a 3-man rotation of JO-Foster-Croshere is not going to cut it at C/PF.

The only other thing to try would be to give Ron some minutes at PF.

Based on last season, I really don't believe Pollard will give us much at C. Harrison is a rookie and won't give us much either. That means Bender absolutely has to come through.

And..... I really think some sort of trade has to be made. We're a 61 win team for Pete's sakes. We've got to get rid of some of the question marks and have better bench support in the frontcourt.

09-05-2004, 01:05 AM
You've all missed the point.

When JO and Foster are in the game together, JO is playing C and Foster is playing PF.

It's JO that's playing in the pivot offensively, and its JO that is guarding the other team's primary post player.

Don't get tripped up just because JO is on the all-star ballot at PF, and gets introducted to the crowd as a F. That's just a silly game we play because Detroit is listing Ben as a C.

JO played about - approximately - exactly - whatever you want to call it - all his minutes at C last season - except when he and Pollard were on the court together. And after game #2, that didn't happen very often.

09-05-2004, 03:16 AM
I don't think it's really important how you classify O'Neal, nor do I think it's important where he is playing.

I think that the only important point is that we have only three frontcourt players (O'Neal, Foster, Croshere) on our roster that can be considered viable contributors based on their previous performances.

We survived in the frontcourt last year with 4 rotational players (O'Neal, Foster, Harrington, Croshere). IMO, we have no shot at anything near 61 wins with only 3 rotational frontcourt players.

Either somebody steps up and becomes that 4th rotational player, we make a trade to acquire a 4th rotational player, we get tremendously lucky with just 3 rotational players, or we are dead.

09-05-2004, 04:33 AM
Thanks Jay for stating what I was going to.

O'Neal is the center on this team & hell yes it matters. It matters to him & it should matter to us as well.

He is being forced to put on more & more muscle mass to hold his own because we keep making him guard the big post players on the other team.

We desperately need another big player, somebody anybody who can give J.O. a break.

09-05-2004, 08:43 AM
I think Bender's game is limited to the SF spot only on defense. He showed some nice post moves in patches last season, he's never going to be a power player but i thought his finesse in the post was pretty decent.