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Hicks
01-21-2011, 03:17 AM
IndyStar.com
Mike Wells
http://www.indystar.com/article/20110121/SPORTS04/101210330/1062/SPORTS04/Bird-expects-Pacers-playoffs



PORTLAND, Ore. -- At the rate things are going for the Indiana Pacers, president Larry Bird won't have any fingernails left to chew if the team's season continues in the direction it's heading.

Bird, who has remained steadfast in the team's rebuilding project, knew the Pacers were going to have ups and downs as they try to develop their young players while trying to remain competitive.

Despite their problems, Bird expects the Pacers to make the playoffs because the teams at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings are so weak.

"I'm disappointed we've lost as many games as we have," Bird said. "In the East we should definitely be a playoff team. I'll be very disappointed if we don't make the playoffs. That was my goal the whole time."

The Pacers showed signs of being a solid playoff contender in late November.

Things drastically changed after a West Coast trip in early December. They've gone 7-16 in their past 23 games and lack the focus and intensity that helped them beat the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat.

The Pacers, losers of three straight games, are barely clinging to the eighth and final playoff spot in the East. Only 41/2 games separate teams seven through 13 in the standings.

"Some guys haven't been playing as well as they were earlier in the season," Bird said without naming any players. "We're so young and you have to put up with mistakes. It's a mixed bag. We're trying to make the playoffs, and we want to play our young players."

When a team struggles, the coach is the first to be blamed.

Jim O'Brien has a 120-165 record as coach of the Pacers, and he has yet to lead them to the playoffs.

Bird stopped a question about O'Brien's job status in mid-sentence: "You can't put this all on Jimmy. It's on all of us.

"When I hired Jimmy, I told him how I exactly thought it was going to be. Last year I thought we could have won some more games. But this year, I think we should be in the playoffs."

Bird, general manager David Morway and the coaching staff are in the final year of their contracts. Bird said he hasn't decided if this will be his final year.

The Feb. 24 trade deadline is approaching and the Pacers hope to move one of their players who has an expiring contract.

They want to trade point guard T.J. Ford, whom they have tried to trade before, because they're comfortable using A.J. Price or Lance Stephenson as the backup to starter Darren Collison.

The Pacers are gradually moving toward giving Price more playing time. He was Collison's backup in their 110-108 loss to the Golden State Warriors late Wednesday night.

A concern Bird has about making a trade is the uncertainty of the league's next collective bargaining agreement. The current agreement expires June 30.

The Pacers will have about $28 million in player contracts coming off the books at the end of the season if they don't make a trade.

"Because of a possible lockout and whatever the new deal is they come back with, it could change the look of teams," Bird said. "There could be some teams that have to get off money, and we're in the position to take players back. But if one deal comes that we like, we'll definitely make it."

Hibbert stays behind

Starting center Roy Hibbert, who missed Wednesday's game, remained in San Francisco because the Pacers don't want him spreading his upper respiratory infection to teammates.

The Pacers will practice in Portland today and play the Trail Blazers on Saturday.

spazzxb
01-21-2011, 03:44 AM
Nice to see a nice straight forward state of the Pacers address. In my opinion retaining Bird and Morway should be our top priority. It sounds like its entirely Birds decision to make, which isn't surprising. It is also interesting how Stephenson and AJ are being lumped together as if there isn't a clear pecking order.

Peck
01-21-2011, 03:54 AM
IndyStar.com
Mike Wells
http://www.indystar.com/article/20110121/SPORTS04/101210330/1062/SPORTS04/Bird-expects-Pacers-playoffs

"When I hired Jimmy, I told him how I exactly thought it was going to be. Last year I thought we could have won some more games. But this year, I think we should be in the playoffs."


Perhaps just wishful thinking on my part but this doesn't sound like the ringing endorsement that I figured we would get from Bird. It's not a "this guy is out of here at the end of the season" statement either but I guess I'll take this over the speech last season about players needing to get on board because Jimmy was the coach talk we got last year.

Also this part caught my eye.

"You can't put this all on Jimmy. It's on all of us."

This is a very true statement. But it does aknowledge that some of this goes on O'Brien which a couple of his supporters seem to not be able to do.

Bball
01-21-2011, 04:32 AM
"When I hired Jimmy, I told him how I exactly thought it was going to be. Last year I thought we could have won some more games. But this year, I think we should be in the playoffs."

When I first read this I thought "Finally, something less than a vote of confidence for O'Brien and something to indicate he's failing to meet goals (so it's something besides wishful thinking to think he won't be back next season)"
:woot: :fireworks

Then I realized as bad as the east is we could back right into that 8th playoff spot without making much improvement at all... and would that mean O'Brien reached the goal and will be back? :eek: :sad:

Dr. Awesome
01-21-2011, 05:06 AM
I applaud Bird for taking some of the blame. That is one thing that has always irritated me about O'Brien - he has not taken responsibility for anything and constantly throws people under the bus.

Larry Bird, stepped up like a man and took blame that quote frankly doesn't belong on him(outside of Jim O'Brien). Thats a leader, not the guy who hides behind the players he is suppose to get the best out of.

Foul on Smits
01-21-2011, 05:06 AM
:censored:

spazzxb
01-21-2011, 05:24 AM
"When I hired Jimmy, I told him how I exactly thought it was going to be. Last year I thought we could have won some more games. But this year, I think we should be in the playoffs."


Perhaps just wishful thinking on my part but this doesn't sound like the ringing endorsement that I figured we would get from Bird. It's not a "this guy is out of here at the end of the season" statement either but I guess I'll take this over the speech last season about players needing to get on board because Jimmy was the coach talk we got last year.

Also this part caught my eye.

"You can't put this all on Jimmy. It's on all of us."

This is a very true statement. But it does aknowledge that some of this goes on O'Brien which a couple of his supporters seem to not be able to do.


For the record, I never even pretended to be an Obrien supporter. I simply don't like everything getting blamed on him. I don't like it when generic coach hate posts disrupt intelligent discussions or when blaming the coach has nothing to do with the issue at hand. I can really only think of one true JOB fan, but there may be more. I argue when people are more concerned with how they can blame Jim than what is really happening in a particular game. I don't like when posters do nothing but hate and take potshots at the team and other posters but the end goal of my efforts is to promote intelligent debate about relevant topics. If I am wrong prove it to me, its just how I am. If someone proves me wrong I will thank them for the education.

I attended the 2nd home game this season. While having a conversation with a young fan, he spoke of the coach getting fired and was more optimistic about the season than me. When asked about the coach my simple comment was that after this season Obrien should be gone either way. I still carry this expectation and am ultimately indifferent to the coach. Is he a great coach? No he isn't, however he isn't an imbecile who needs fired before he completely destroys our players either.

I am insure who you are describing, but I want to be certain everyone knows its not me.

BringJackBack
01-21-2011, 07:19 AM
I guess I like this vote of confidence about the post-season, but the thing that deeply concerns me is that all the other sad teams around us are getting better while we are getting worse.

imbtyler
01-21-2011, 08:47 AM
Well, this is slightly redeeming. We can take solace in knowing that, if we don't make playoffs, Bird definitely isn't re-hiring O'Brien. The implication to his words is that, Bird told him the what-for and O'Brien's been warned. Regardless, he probably won't be back. But there's something we can absolutely look forward to if we miss the postseason again this year.

jhondog28
01-21-2011, 08:53 AM
For the record, I never even pretended to be an Obrien supporter. I simply don't like everything getting blamed on him. I don't like it when generic coach hate posts disrupt intelligent discussions or when blaming the coach has nothing to do with the issue at hand. I can really only think of one true JOB fan, but there may be more. I argue when people are more concerned with how they can blame Jim than what is really happening in a particular game. I don't like when posters do nothing but hate and take potshots at the team and other posters but the end goal of my efforts is to promote intelligent debate about relevant topics. If I am wrong prove it to me, its just how I am. If someone proves me wrong I will thank them for the education.

I attended the 2nd home game this season. While having a conversation with a young fan, he spoke of the coach getting fired and was more optimistic about the season than me. When asked about the coach my simple comment was that after this season Obrien should be gone either way. I still carry this expectation and am ultimately indifferent to the coach. Is he a great coach? No he isn't, however he isn't an imbecile who needs fired before he completely destroys our players either.

I am insure who you are describing, but I want to be certain everyone knows its not me.

Bravo Spazz Bravo. I applaud your honesty whether it is going to be a popular stance I cannot be quite sure but I like where you are headed. I believe there in some instances are those posts who are anti JOB and for the most part they come out as intelligent. I truly believe the constant complaint most posters have is JOB's rotations. I think even some of the Pacers' media talk about that also because a lot og what they write about is taken from blogs such as these.

My stance is some what of a mixed bag. I think JOB is a good coach because he is a disciplinarian (sp?). He wants a motion offense and wants open shooters to take the open shots which tend to be three pointers. However he is terrible at adjusting to what the opposition is giving him. Maybe it is he does not have the talent to adjust, but even so he does not attempt. His adjustment mainly comes at the SG position. When we are playing a team with a dynamic scorer at the 2 he will start Rush. When they don't have one he will start Dun. That is his adjustment right now. I truly believe that he is one of those hard headed coaches who believe in his philosophy and will go down until it works. I will give the man credit for that.

Unclebuck
01-21-2011, 09:13 AM
The most interesting thing that Bird said


"Because of a possible lockout and whatever the new deal is they come back with, it could change the look of teams," Bird said. "There could be some teams that have to get off money, and we're in the position to take players back. But if one deal comes that we like, we'll definitely make it."



Is Bird saying that he thinks the new CBA might be such that teams have to dump players so for teams under the salary cap they will be in position to have their pick of players. Is that a real possibility? That is really significant if it does happen. if there is a decent chance of that happening - then the pacers should let their expirings expire and wait to see what is available.

of course if the new CBA doesn't force teams to just dump salary then it leaves in really bad shape.

What should they do

Roaming Gnome
01-21-2011, 09:22 AM
Larry, Let's not get too far ahead of ourselves here. Take it from Jim!
<iframe title="YouTube video player" class="youtube-player" type="text/html" width="480" height="390" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/U7fjDS0jKiE" frameborder="0" allowFullScreen></iframe>

The most important thing... "I just hope that we can win a game!"

vnzla81
01-21-2011, 09:37 AM
Oh well, I was really hoping to hear something else because this is pretty much what he is been telling us for years now, I'm getting into a point were I wouldn't mind seeing another face as the Pacers GM.

Aw Heck
01-21-2011, 10:06 AM
The fact that the playoffs are attainable in the East and is TPTB's goal was nothing surprising. Nor is lack of signs that JOB will back next season, though that is encouraging.

Out of everything in this article, the part that intrigued me the most was when Larry mentioned the offseason and perhaps using the cap space to take back more salary in trades.

If the free agent market doesn't work out well for the Pacers (very likely), this is a good alternative. No team is going to trade an All-Star to the Pacers to shed salaries, but I think this would be an excellent opportunity to acquire some great young talent. The Pacers will probably have to swallow an awful contract to do so, but I think it would be worth it.

So even though I hope the Pacers can find a good deal before the trade deadline, I won't be discouraged if they don't.

clownskull
01-21-2011, 10:13 AM
unless roy can get back to his november performances, i do not see the playoffs happening. i don't see them winning any of the remaining games on this trip. they look like they are headed for about 29 wins right now.
even if we did make the playoffs, i have seen enough and want to head in a new direction with a fresh coach. i cannot get excited about another season of getting a 10-17 range pick and hoping that we get lucky.
as far as roy's issues go, i have seen the benefits of all the weight he has lost (better quickness etc) but he is pretty weak physically. after this season, he needs to get stronger and build muscle (especially in his lower body because he is getting pushed around pretty easily.he is probably going to need to get at least up to a solid 265 with his frame before that stops happening all the time.

owl
01-21-2011, 10:44 AM
Now I have the top 6 threads as last post. :-)

Justin Tyme
01-21-2011, 10:57 AM
I commend Bird on taking part of the blame, then he's the one in charge. If he's staying with Jimmy it's pretty well obvious where some of the blame lies besides Jimmy. I'll give him his due credit for saying it publicly!

I watch games besides the Pacers, Rose/Dallas last night, and daily keep tabs on other teams and the standings. Last night Charlotte won and jumped from 9th place to 7th place with Philly dropping to 9th. I don't ever want to hear some on this forum ever say coaches don't make a difference. Paul Silas HAS made a hugh difference!!!!!!! He inherited Larry Brown's team and now has them in 7th place with Kwame Brown as his starting center. How long they stay there is unknown now with Tyrus Thomas out 8 weeks with an injury.

Philly is a 1/2 game behind the Pacers with the Bucks only a game behind the Pacers. You can't fault Bird's aspirations for wanting to get into the playoffs, but the likelyhood doesn't look promising with the way the Pacers are currently playing. What I can fault is the FO and ownership for allowing the Pacers to be in the situation they are in. This staying the status quo is their fault, and no one elses. A fish smells from the head down gentlemen.

Justin Tyme
01-21-2011, 11:08 AM
The most interesting thing that Bird said

Is Bird saying that he thinks the new CBA might be such that teams have to dump players so for teams under the salary cap they will be in position to have their pick of players. Is that a real possibility?


That really complicates the thought process of teams. Do they trade expirings or keep them in hopes this truly happens. A GM making the right decision can look like an Allstar and another making the wrong decision can end up looking like a real dud. Kinda a darned if you do and darned if you don't situation. In the Pacers case, maybe the answer is do a little of both. Trade an expiring to upgrade the team now, and let the rest of the expirings just expire. It does make it intersting!

beast23
01-21-2011, 11:29 AM
.. I'm getting into a point were I wouldn't mind .seeing another face as the Pacers GM.I can understand why some could take that stance.

For me, I'm not there at all. What I look at is what Bird said a couple of years ago. Namely, that they will try to make deals to improve the team along the way, but that their best opportunity for genuine improvement was to take advantage of their expiring contracts and the resulting cap space.

We haven't had a lot of improvement along the way, we drafted a couple of promising players and attempted to hit a long-term home run by drafting Stephenson.

Obviously the best improvement we've made is the deal that just fell into Bird's lap, i.e. somehow miraculously turning Murphy into Collison.

Bird attempted to buy out Ford to create a roster spot to enable us to retain Rolle. But, other than that attempt, he has been willing to keep his expiring contracts unless a deal that returns a very good player is on the table. He has taken this tact because he knows how important those expiring contracts are.

For the most part, I like this tact and what it eventually may accomplish for the team. The hardest part for me and many others is that this tact has required a great deal of patience... and that simply does not play into our emotions very well. As much as we want a team that we can enjoy watching, we want a winner... and we are impatient in our desire to see that winner.

I personally would like to see us acquire one very good player by the trade deadline simply because it doesn't leave all the work for the summer (or whenever the new CBA is available) and it will build excitement among us for great forum discussion as the summer approaches.

Just think how elated we would all be going into the summer if we knew we had one more excellent player in hand, still had ample cap space to use in the summer, and all of this combined for example, with knowledge that O'Brien would not be here next season. I think most of us would be more excited about our team and its future than we have been for quite some time. From that point forward, it would be finding a way of adding one more player in free agency to be solidly in the playoffs and compete for home court advantage.

With the way that Bird has handled affairs the last couple of years, I think he has made all of this a possiblity. In other words, we have in front of us the means to break the status quo. As a Pacer fan, I can't ask for more than that... finally a chance to get us much, much closer to where we once were.

PacerGuy
01-21-2011, 11:42 AM
The most interesting thing that Bird said

Is Bird saying that he thinks the new CBA might be such that teams have to dump players so for teams under the salary cap they will be in position to have their pick of players. Is that a real possibility? That is really significant if it does happen. if there is a decent chance of that happening - then the pacers should let their expirings expire and wait to see what is available.

of course if the new CBA doesn't force teams to just dump salary then it leaves in really bad shape.

What should they do

-If it happens Post Season (new CBA), it would likely be like the "Alan Houston Rule" (dump 1 player, pay himwbut he dosn't count vs the cap). If I remember right, these were a bunch of so-so players w/ bad deals. No real "difference makers", but a few were interesting. I'm not sure I'd put too many eggs in that basket though.
(*Fun Fact, the rule was named for Houston, but actually NY kept him)

-If he is referring to This Season, & teams preparing for a new CBA, then yes, there may be -ome bigger names available, with the thinking that if they (other team) can move a big contract now, they will be better off, or not have to make the tuff decisions later. This could be the thinking going on out there, & if so we must decide what we are willing to take on. This is why, IF we moved Danny (for Favors is the only deal that comes to mind), I would want to move Posey (& hopefully D.Jones) in the deal as well, as long as we were getting cap space back (or a piece like D.Harris we can move elsewhere for youth/pick).

cdash
01-21-2011, 12:50 PM
Perhaps just wishful thinking on my part but this doesn't sound like the ringing endorsement that I figured we would get from Bird.

You didn't really think that Bird would give O'Brien a ringing endorsement, did you? Bird is well aware that most of the fanbase has completely turned on O'Brien. He is well aware that O'Brien isn't a great coach. He obviously isn't going to throw him under the bus though, that's just not Bird's management style. I didn't think there was anything telling about his comments, pretty much the standard way of handling such things.

imawhat
01-21-2011, 12:54 PM
We're not making the playoffs unless we make some serious, fundamental changes in our playing style (or a serious upgrade in talent via trade). We have three teams behind us that are playing much better than we are. I wouldn't be surprised if we finished with a worse record than last season.

pacergod2
01-21-2011, 12:59 PM
Look at it this way for a second.

What if they adopt a hard cap? Most likely it won't be a "hard cap", but it will most likely be harder than the current cap through various means. I just want to use a hard cap for this example.

What would teams have to give up (or release in a Houston Rule situation) that could be signed for any team under the cap or the exceptions necessary to sign them? Would a situation arise where teams are hurt for being over a certain threshold? If Carmelo hits free agency and a team is desperate to get under the cap enough to sign him outright, would they pay us to take their salary on?

There are a lot of scenarios that could play out that we can't predict. If we are in a position to take advantage of the situation, we could be major players to obtain assets. Those assets could then be turned into a massive upgrade at one position or another.

ksuttonjr76
01-21-2011, 02:40 PM
Honestly, Bird's expectations is the Playoffs for this season. He's already gave the subtle hint that he thought that the team should have won more games last season. My opinion of Bird is that he's a pretty straight shooter when he speaks. IMHO, if JOB doesn't make the playoffs, he won't be here next season.

Hmmmm....I won't root for our team to lose, but I will root for other teams to win a lot of games.

Mr_Smith
01-21-2011, 03:43 PM
Jim O'briens record is 120-165 with the pacers. wow:-o

Hicks
01-21-2011, 04:07 PM
Jim O'briens record is 120-165 with the pacers. wow:-o

I know; it feels worse than that.

Justin Tyme
01-21-2011, 04:34 PM
Jim O'briens record is 120-165 with the pacers. wow:-o


That a 41% for 285 games. That almost a 60% in losses. Under Jimmy as the coach, the Pacers lose 3 games out of every 5 games. Now there is a record for Jimmy and Bird to hang their hats on!

If their salaries were only paid for wins, Simon would have saved himself millions!

BringJackBack
01-22-2011, 02:49 AM
The most interesting thing that Bird said


"Because of a possible lockout and whatever the new deal is they come back with, it could change the look of teams," Bird said. "There could be some teams that have to get off money, and we're in the position to take players back. But if one deal comes that we like, we'll definitely make it."

Is Bird saying that he thinks the new CBA might be such that teams have to dump players so for teams under the salary cap they will be in position to have their pick of players. Is that a real possibility? That is really significant if it does happen. if there is a decent chance of that happening - then the pacers should let their expirings expire and wait to see what is available.

of course if the new CBA doesn't force teams to just dump salary then it leaves in really bad shape.

What should they do

I have been thinking about this.. And Josh Smith popped into my head. Some guys will be available.

xIndyFan
01-22-2011, 10:49 AM
I have been thinking about this.. And Josh Smith popped into my head. Some guys will be available.

this is the first time i've heard a team TPTB type say something like this. think about a hard cap at about $60M. look at the teams over that number already

Atlanta - 9 guys under contract $65M - they need to cut about $8M
Boston - 11 guys - $78M - need to cut almost $20M
Chicago - 11 guys - $62M - cut $4M
LA Lakers - 12 guys - $93M - cut $33M
Miami - 12 guys - $68M - cut $8M
Orlando - 11 guys - $78M - cut almost $20M
San Antonio - 11 guys - $78M - cut almost $20M

even the allen houston rule will put more guys on the market. but teams will want to trade rather than have to cut guys. if the owners can bargain a hard cap, the pacers will be in a good place.

Eleazar
01-22-2011, 11:22 AM
this is the first time i've heard a team TPTB type say something like this. think about a hard cap at about $60M. look at the teams over that number already

Atlanta - 9 guys under contract $65M - they need to cut about $8M
Boston - 11 guys - $78M - need to cut almost $20M
Chicago - 11 guys - $62M - cut $4M
LA Lakers - 12 guys - $93M - cut $33M
Miami - 12 guys - $68M - cut $8M
Orlando - 11 guys - $78M - cut almost $20M
San Antonio - 11 guys - $78M - cut almost $20M

even the allen houston rule will put more guys on the market. but teams will want to trade rather than have to cut guys. if the owners can bargain a hard cap, the pacers will be in a good place.

If they made a hard cap they would have to put in some kind of exception for teams that would be over it to begin with. Either current contracts would cost less against the cap than before, or they start with a higher cap that lowers at a very predictable rate from year to year, or something else that I haven't thought about.

pwee31
01-23-2011, 02:08 AM
Don't look now Larry, but the Pacers are in 9th place in the East..... again!

pacer4ever
01-23-2011, 02:11 AM
THEN FIRE JOB BIRD

PacerGuy
01-23-2011, 02:12 AM
Don't look now Larry, but the Pacers are in 9th place in the East..... again!

No Larry, LOOK REAL HARD!!! 9TH PLACE!!! LOOK LARRY, LOOK!!!

(And before you ask, NO, thats tot that character from the Saprano's stuffing a guy in a trunk, thats JO'B stuffing McRoberts behind the bench again!)

LA_Confidential
01-23-2011, 02:13 AM
This is exactly why I expect us to at least try to make a major move before the deadline.

graphic-er
01-23-2011, 02:19 AM
this is the first time i've heard a team TPTB type say something like this. think about a hard cap at about $60M. look at the teams over that number already

Atlanta - 9 guys under contract $65M - they need to cut about $8M
Boston - 11 guys - $78M - need to cut almost $20M
Chicago - 11 guys - $62M - cut $4M
LA Lakers - 12 guys - $93M - cut $33M
Miami - 12 guys - $68M - cut $8M
Orlando - 11 guys - $78M - cut almost $20M
San Antonio - 11 guys - $78M - cut almost $20M

even the allen houston rule will put more guys on the market. but teams will want to trade rather than have to cut guys. if the owners can bargain a hard cap, the pacers will be in a good place.

Boy, does it take money to win a championship. Its ridiculous.

graphic-er
01-23-2011, 02:26 AM
Bird might not come down and coach, but at this point he needs to put in place some parameters that JOB needs to follow in terms of rotations and PT. He has nothing to lose here.

BringJackBack
01-23-2011, 02:30 AM
Bird might not come down and coach, but at this point he needs to put in place some parameters that JOB needs to follow in terms of rotations and PT. He has nothing to lose here.

I know you have me on ignore, but to make an overall point, I think he has already forced Tyler, Price, and George on Jim.

ilive4sports
01-23-2011, 02:31 AM
I know you have me on ignore, but to make an overall point, I think he has already forced Tyler, Price, and George on Jim.

I agree with that. Now he needs to enforce how many minutes they need to play.

brewpopps
01-23-2011, 06:49 AM
I agree with that. Now he needs to enforce how many minutes they need to play.

And when. I mean, with games on the line he consistently drifts from his youngsters to go with the vets. What good has that done for the youngsters' confidence and experience?
And, isn't the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results?