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View Full Version : O'Brien said. "The only way they're going to learn is by getting a lot of game experience."



Peck
01-28-2011, 12:27 PM
Ok, so over the years the defenders of Jim have made the case that players learn by practice, sitting on the bench, working with trainers, reading play charts, doing calligraphy with the assistant coaches, etc.

Of course they have said these things when someone either rationally or not has made the case that the young guys sitting and doing nothing but watching will not help the cause.

Now in Jim O'Brien's own words, which is going to be a real conundrum for them, he is not only stating that they need to play learn but that only way for them to learn is by getting lot's of game experience.

So I await to see the answer to this one.

Was Jim wrong in the past for not playing the young players (I'm talking about the previous three seasons as well) or is he wrong now?

Or will they rationalize it out so that he was right both times? My guess is the latter but it will be amusing to read.

Let's hear it fellas
.:dance:

Speed
01-28-2011, 12:30 PM
I don't know the answer, but it's not the first time he's said something completely contradictory to what he does.

I guess, it just reminds of when Duke cornered him.

'Its a measure, not the measure' type comment from him.

Sookie
01-28-2011, 12:34 PM
OH OH OH OH ..lemme try lemme try..

Okay, this is just "coach's speak" we shouldn't pay attention to it. What he says doesn't matter, it's what he does.

Actually, to be fair. I don't think JOB ever once said that he's trying to develope the younger guys from having them watch. It's completely possible, that he just didn't care about developing them. So that, his opinion is that they need to play in order to develope, but he just doesn't want to do that.

judicata
01-28-2011, 12:42 PM
Well, I've never made the above statements, but why in the world would you cite the person you think has no idea what he's doing as support for your position? Haven't you spent the last few years ripping apart everything that comes out of this guy's mouth?

Peck
01-28-2011, 12:46 PM
Well, I've never made the above statements, but why in the world would you cite the person you think has no idea what he's doing as support for your position? Haven't you spent the last few years ripping apart everything that comes out of this guy's mouth?

Actually no I haven't.

In fact I've made the statment several times that you can walk away from listening to him speak shaking your head in agreement going "yea, that makes sense".

Now if you ask me if I've ripped him for what he does vs. what he say's then yes, you got me.

Note: Also I won't pretend that I haven't every ripped him for something he has said, I certainly have. Josh McRoberts game being irrelevant immediately comes to mind.

Since86
01-28-2011, 12:47 PM
Well, I've never made the above statements, but why in the world would you cite the person you think has no idea what he's doing as support for your position? Haven't you spent the last few years ripping apart everything that comes out of this guy's mouth?

Even a broken clock is right twice a day....

BillS
01-28-2011, 12:51 PM
:headache:

I saw what Jim said, but it doesn't change what I believe. You give guys floor time based on how they contribute now, not just based on how they will contribute in the future if they get experience. They don't "only" learn on the floor, they learn through the right combination of being on the floor and on the bench. I advocated more time for many of the young guys, just not major time. Therefore, I think JOB is being as hyperbolic in the "only way to learn" direction as he previously was in the "deserves no playing time at all" direction.

The answer is in the middle ground :meditate:

The Required Rationalization, though, is that if a coach believes the young guys are the better players overall, he has to give them minutes to get the experience. Whether JOB believes because his heart grew three sizes or the Ghost of Coaches Yet To Come got to him or because the FO told him to believe it doesn't matter, the line is now that these guys have to be on the floor so of course the reason to leave them there is that it is the only way they will learn.

Hicks
01-28-2011, 12:57 PM
This isn't high school or college basketball. The NBA typically has a larger cycle than that.

When you're not one of the better teams, you draft guys not because you think they're going to be better immediately than what you have (unless you're drafting a Carmelo Anthony), but because you think they're going to eventually be better than what you have. No one can argue that playing time isn't the best way to expedite the process.

Combine that fact with another fact: We have been a bad team for years. Our future should be our priority over a mediocre-at-best present. Therefore, logically, the focus ought to be on expediting the development of the players you see as your brighter tomorrow. Tomorrow is eventually going to be 'now', so the question is: How soon do you want 'now' to get here?

Personally, I want it (and have wanted it, for years now) ASAP.

BillS
01-28-2011, 01:09 PM
Therefore, logically, the focus ought to be on expediting the development of the players you see as your brighter tomorrow. Tomorrow is eventually going to be 'now', so the question is: How soon do you want 'now' to get here?

That's where the balance comes in.

You can't put all your eggs in one basket. If you have older players who are better than the young guys, they have to play, if nothing else to give the young guys something to shoot for.

We can disagree with a coach on whether the guys really playing ARE better, but that's different from playing certain guys due to criteria having nothing to do with how good they are. In some ways, making playing decisions solely on who is young is as bad as making decisions solely on who is a veteran.

You try to win every game, but you find ways to do that while giving your young guys as much experience as you can.

I'm not saying JOB is good at that in any way, because of his veteran blind spot and his consistency issues. I am saying, though, that while there are things you can learn best from being on the floor you can learn them from being schooled 5 minutes a game just as easily as you can learn by being schooled for 20 minutes a game. What value is that extra 15 minutes of embarrassment and bad habits going to do?

90'sNBARocked
01-28-2011, 01:11 PM
LOL

Oh that Jim, always stiring the pot.

He is probably being asked to play the youngins by somebody higher up

I will say this, not being funny, I think JOB would make a great radio host

He could bring up all the statistics, and would be very knowledgeable as a commentator as well

Unclebuck
01-28-2011, 01:26 PM
Pretty simple to explain this one guys. I don't even have to strain at all.

There are so many things young players need to learn about the NBA. Travel, lifestyle, new language of basketball from college to the NBA..........(I could list 100's of things, but you get my point)

So the basic answer is some thing you learn in practice, some things you learn film sessions, something you learn in shoot arounds, somethings you learn just by being around the team and yes it is true there are some things you can only learn by playing in an actual NBA game.

Now, if you go back to Jim's quote and put it into context you will see he was talking about.

http://www.indystar.com/article/20110128/SPORTS04/101280335/1062/SPORTS04/First-Pacers-offense-vanishes-now-s-defense

Anytime you go from a guy that has been in the league for a little bit to a (second-year player), rotations and the understanding of the defense is not there," O'Brien said. "The only way they're going to learn is by getting a lot of game experience."

it is obvious Jim was talking about defensive rotations and understanding defense and while practice can introduce those things to a young player, a game is where you get the experience in dealing with different rotations.

No one has ever suggested that practice is as good of a learning tool as a game. I've never suggested that, Bill has never suggested that nor has even the man himself Jim O'Brien. On the other hand a player does learn from practice also, practice is where a young player learns to crawl before he is able to walk. (get my analogy there learn to crawl in practice and then walk in a game)

see that isn't so difficult

Anthem
01-28-2011, 01:42 PM
O'Brien is correct here. He was wrong before.

I think this fits well with the whole "being given new marching orders" thing.

Hicks
01-28-2011, 02:27 PM
That's where the balance comes in.

You can't put all your eggs in one basket. If you have older players who are better than the young guys, they have to play, if nothing else to give the young guys something to shoot for.

They're better by technicality. The young guys are more talented, but they aren't mature/experienced enough yet. If the older players were contending, I would agree with you, but this isn't Al Harrington sitting on the bench in 1999-2000. This is, as of December, Paul George sitting on the bench in 2010-2011. There is a MASSIVE difference in the quality of THOSE veterans and our CURRENT veterans.

I completely disagree with your philosophy when we're discussing our current veterans. Again, I WOULD agree with you if we were talking about one of those really good teams, but we are not, and it's not even close.


In some ways, making playing decisions solely on who is young is as bad as making decisions solely on who is a veteran.

You try to win every game, but you find ways to do that while giving your young guys as much experience as you can.

If by "some ways" you mean "trying to win tonight's game at all cost," sure, that's quite possibly and often is the case. Once again, this would make sense if we were discussing a high-quality team, like the 2000 Pacers. This isn't even close to the 2000 Pacers. When your veterans aren't very good, winning each game at all costs is the wrong mentality. You have to shift your mindset 'try to win with your future talent at all costs'.



I'm not saying JOB is good at that in any way, because of his veteran blind spot and his consistency issues. I am saying, though, that while there are things you can learn best from being on the floor you can learn them from being schooled 5 minutes a game just as easily as you can learn by being schooled for 20 minutes a game. What value is that extra 15 minutes of embarrassment and bad habits going to do?

Not necessarily. There is something to be said, for young and old players, for having enough time on the floor to get 'into the flow of the game' for lack of a better expression. I think the vast majority of players are NOT 'microwave' players that can come in and give you a lot in short amounts of time. Most need to be out there for a while to really get their feet wet and to truly get going.

Once again, when dealing with veterans who can't take you very far, if anywhere at all, it's best to go ahead and give your youth a heavy dose of minutes because no matter how badly you may want to win each and every game, you simply will not be doing so that often no matter what you do, and therefore giving your youth a heavy amount of burn is the best way to get the most out of what you have (in the long run, and possibly in the short run depending on the player).

vnzla81
01-28-2011, 02:34 PM
I have a feeling that O'brien is going to pull an O'brien tonight and play the old guys until the end.

Unclebuck
01-28-2011, 02:36 PM
Hicks you suggested this in another thread

I hope anyone who previously argued that a young guy sitting, watching, and practicing was as good as a young guy playing in games is reading this.

as you know i am someone who has often argued that young players should learn through practice, but I have never ever ever suiggested that "sitting, watching, and practicing was as good as a young guy playing in games" Never said it was as good.

But typically I was arguing against those suggesting just because a young player got very little time that the whole season was a waste. Look at Tyler - he actually practiced very little last season at all, but I think he is better this season just because he was around the team last season.

Discaimer: it is always better for a young players development that they actually get playing time in an actual game.

BillS
01-28-2011, 02:42 PM
I completely disagree with your philosophy when we're discussing our current veterans. Again, I WOULD agree with you if we were talking about one of those really good teams, but we are not, and it's not even close.

Except I think we are agreeing in principle but disagreeing about that gray area where you determine if your "future" talent is better than your "current" talent.

Factors that go into that gray area are things like:

- who is going to be here vs. who is likely not to be here
- valuation of potential vs. shown skills
- valuation of consistency vs. inconsistent flashes of brilliance
- value of the experience on the floor vs. value of not ingraining bad habits by trying to "play through" mistakes

and so forth.

As I said, the argument should be whether your young guys are as good or better than the veterans who are getting minutes. If the coach believes they are, they should get minutes. If the coach believes they are not, they will not. The outcome is on the ability of the coach to do the evaluation, not on the philosophy of who plays.

Essentially, in my mind I can think of no circumstances where I would not put the best current team on the floor. I also, though, do not think there are many games in an 82-game season where time can't be carved out to give your future some floor space.

Hicks
01-28-2011, 03:52 PM
Except I think we are agreeing in principle but disagreeing about that gray area where you determine if your "future" talent is better than your "current" talent.

Factors that go into that gray area are things like:

- who is going to be here vs. who is likely not to be here
- valuation of potential vs. shown skills
- valuation of consistency vs. inconsistent flashes of brilliance
- value of the experience on the floor vs. value of not ingraining bad habits by trying to "play through" mistakes

and so forth.

As I said, the argument should be whether your young guys are as good or better than the veterans who are getting minutes. If the coach believes they are, they should get minutes. If the coach believes they are not, they will not. The outcome is on the ability of the coach to do the evaluation, not on the philosophy of who plays.

Essentially, in my mind I can think of no circumstances where I would not put the best current team on the floor. I also, though, do not think there are many games in an 82-game season where time can't be carved out to give your future some floor space.

Bill, I think we will just have to agree to disagree, because the following is how I feel, and I don't think you will feel this way.

When you are not dealing with a winning veteran team, your youth must be developed as quickly as possible. You do this for one of two reasons:

1) You will benefit from their talent as quickly as possible.

or

2) You will learn that they were not as good as you had hoped, as quickly as possible. You would then move on from them and try something else.

When you are in a scenario such as ours, I don't have a problem surrounding the youth with a supporting cast of veterans.

But any time you have two players sharing the same position, one of which is a young piece, and the other is a veteran whom you know will never play such a role on a winning team, you must move the veteran out of the way.

If that means making them a backup when they were starting, you do it. If that means making them 3rd string when they were the backup, you do it. If that means putting them in street clothes, you do it. If you can do them a favor and send them on their way to greener pastures, you do it. However it happens, they must get out of the way.

Bill, it appears to me, and feel free to disagree, but I'm telling what it looks like to me, that you (and there are others; it's not just you) want wins however and whenever you can get them, regardless of the greater circumstances, and I think you're letting that desire allow you to tolerate a methodology that slows true progress towards being a winning team.

Shade
01-28-2011, 04:10 PM
I hate Jim O'Brien. I mean, really, really, really ****ing hate him. Everytime he opens his mouth he makes it clear that he has no ****ing clue what he's doing.

Listening to him constantly contradict himself would be hysterical if it wasn't so pathetic.

BillS
01-28-2011, 04:22 PM
But any time you have two players sharing the same position, one of which is a young piece, and the other is a veteran whom you know will never play such a role on a winning team, you must move the veteran out of the way.

If that means making them a backup when they were starting, you do it. If that means making them 3rd string when they were the backup, you do it. If that means putting them in street clothes, you do it. If you can do them a favor and send them on their way to greener pastures, you do it. However it happens, they must get out of the way.

Bill, it appears to me, and feel free to disagree, but I'm telling what it looks like to me, that you (and there are others; it's not just you) want wins however and whenever you can get them, regardless of the greater circumstances, and I think you're letting that desire allow you to tolerate a methodology that slows true progress towards being a winning team.

First, let me say once again that I in no way believe that JOB does the things or looks at the situation the way I describe below. This is also not meant to say that our current veterans are better than our young guys - I think in some cases they are not and that there is room for our young guys to get into the rotation.

I am talking about a general philosophy, and whether or not that philosophy is being executed properly (I don't think it is) has no bearing on the philosophy itself. This is not to defend a particular coach, nor is it to argue the merits of a particular veteran over a particular young player.

I think this whole "we can look at veteran <X> and know he'll never be a backup on a winning team" evaluation is much more iffy than people would like it to be. The idea that just because someone is a role player they aren't as good as a young guy because the young guy is the future is also overrated.

I think you never moves a better player back for someone else just because that new guy is younger or may be around longer, keeping in mind that there may be different interpretations of "better". People talk about consistency, what are you teaching your young guys if you essentially say "if the team isn't doing well playing time will be determined by age, not skill"?

I think there are two specific things we may at least be close on:

- if team management thinks a veteran isn't part of the future or needs to be set aside to give a (currently) less talented young player time, they should move the veteran, for picks or pieces if they have to. That is the Front Office's job. A coach's job is to use the current assets in the best way possible right now, and not using the better player is an abrogation of his responsibility to the people that paid for today's ticket.

- except in very close games, there is always time to put your younger players on the floor. You might run a 9-man-plus rotation where, depending on the game, an additional 2 players see floor time and those two players will change from game to game. You use this time to evaluate them, to pull them and point out their mistakes if they make them but leave them in and reinforce their good moves if they make them instead. A rookie does not need 8th man (or certainly starter) minutes to develop. He needs consistent treatment and minutes, yes.

brewpopps
01-29-2011, 01:25 AM
Anybody who doesn't believe that there is a PR guy working with O'Brien is fooling himself. I saw this quote (in context, I might add) and combined with Wells' story about OB saying he expects the Pacers' to make the playoffs and it is confirmed: The front office has their PR machine in place with O'Brien.
Two common sense quotes coming from O'Brien in less than a week is too much!

spazzxb
01-29-2011, 01:38 AM
Even a broken clock is right twice a day....

What if just the second hand broke? Or if its just running fast or slow? don't get me started on digital clocks? b jk

beast23
01-29-2011, 02:21 AM
Wow. There are some strange thoughts in this thread regarding the responsibilities of a coach in using his young versus his veteran players.

I don't think a coach has any responsibility whatsoever in who to play and when to play them other than to utilize his players in such a way that it maximizes his opportunity to win each game as it is played.

Now, I would say that most of us have a different perspective than the present coach in how to accomplish that goal of winning. And, many of us would use different players or combinations of players and certainly would distribute the minutes differently than the present coach. But again, that is because we have a different perspective regarding how a win can be achieved.

I don't doubt that O'Brien attempts to win games, but I do oftentimes disagree on who is playing and how O'Brien is going about trying to achieve that win. That's not to say that he is wrong, that's just a statement that from my perspective, using different players or lineups than what he is using could provide a better chance of winning.

But to say that there should be set guidelines of when he should use a younger player over a veteran does not necessarily coincide with the goal of winning. And, the same could be said for playing a veteran over a youngster. Instead, I simply believe you play whomever gives you a greater chance of winning.

brewpopps
01-29-2011, 10:14 AM
But when you've been getting the same results from OB as we have from the previous three and a half years, everyone begins to question the man making the decisions. And, after all this time he makes a statement (in context, of course) that goes against his actions from the previous years, I can only say that someone is working with O'Brien to give Mike Wells the story.
I don't believe for a second that O'Brien believes this statement based on his actions from his body of work (coaching). He is simply attempting to influence the fanbase. Of course we all recall his statements last year re: McRoberts' breakout game ("It's irrelevant"). Or his statement re: A.J. ("I need to find him some playing time") and then A.J. sits for weeks. Or his jacking of Hibbert's PT last season.
O'Brien may well have been playing the guys he thinks give him the best chance to win. It's simply a case of the results proving that this coach's judgment has been flawed, based, of course, on those results (his record since he's been here).
The only guidelines are the won-loss record.

BlueNGold
01-29-2011, 10:21 AM
Bill, it appears to me, and feel free to disagree, but I'm telling what it looks like to me, that you (and there are others; it's not just you) want wins however and whenever you can get them, regardless of the greater circumstances, and I think you're letting that desire allow you to tolerate a methodology that slows true progress towards being a winning team.

Winning a few more games while missing the playoffs...at the expense of developing players is not a good trade-off...so I agree. But that assumes that playing Posey, for example, actually helps you...which I don't believe is true.

Even if it were true, how many games are we talking about...and at what cost? The cost might be a lot less effective team next year due to not enough court time this year.

IMO, giving the young ones a huge dose of minutes this year is key because our contracts are dropping off and we need those young guys to contribute next year.