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RoboHicks
01-31-2011, 03:10 AM
Odd Thoughts: Jim O?Brien?s departure
Written by Peck

Link (http://www.pacersdigest.com/wordpress/?p=348)

I received a text message today, a message that I thought I would never see.

I was convinced that Jim OíBrienís tenure as coach of the Indiana Pacers would not end at the very earliest until after this current season was over with. In fact I was one of the few who actually believed that it was not out of the realm of possibilities that he would return as the head coach next season (whenever next season begins).

To say that I was stunned by the sudden announcement of Jimís departure as coach would be an understatement.

Look weíve spent several hours, thousands upon thousands of words and enough vitriol to fuel the*fires of mordor for eons discussing amongst ourselves the fate and would be fate of Jim OíBrien. You might consider further discussion on him as wasted energy and you would probably be right.

However logic and reason have never stood in the way of a good Odd Thoughtís piece before so why let it start now.

It was time, it was well past time.

In fact while I wonít complain about the end results I am frankly baffled by the timing and the circumstance regarding the departure. Our record is no worse at this time than it was a season ago. His public criticism of his players is not new. His rotations have not become less erratic over the past three years however he uses the same schemeís and reasons behind them as he did on day one.

So while Iím thrilled the hammer*has finally fallen, I question the true reasons behind it.

Jim will land on his feet somewhere. Will he immediately get another job as a head coach in the NBA? I donít have an answer for that but I donít think it is out of the question. I know some of you guys feel that he will never coach in the NBA again, Iím not sure I believe that.

I think he is a little more respected in the NBA circles than what he is on the Digest, which obviously is little to no respect at all, but I think some G.M.ís would value his tireless work ethic. Only time will tell though.

However I know that Jim OíBrien is not done coaching. He will either be back in the NBA or he will get a college gig. If he had the desire I believe that Jim could be a great coach in Europe.

Either way he wonít be back here next season.

Now however it falls on the players and the remaining coaching staff to prove that the downfall was mostly Jim OíBrien and not them.

That is going to be no minor task.

Right off the bat we do get somewhat of a break in the schedule as the teams we are playing are not the upper echelon of the NBA, but when your team is as bad as ours is at present there are no easy games. In fact teams will look at the calendar facing you and say that the schedule has gotten a little lighter.

I do expect a little bit of a bounce here but how much and for how long is to be determined.

Of course a lot of this will depend on the new coachís rotations and roster usage. I expect very similar offensive and defensive sets.

Side bar: Again this is one of the reasons thought that I am so vexed about the timing of the firing as there is literally zero time to prepare or even get in one single practice before the next game. Why they did not do this after the loss to the Knicks when they had a five day down time is beyond me.

So with all of this in mind letís send some thoughts out to some of the players and what they have to do to help right the ship.

Danny Granger: You have the toughest job because this team is your team, rightfully so as you have earned the honor of being the best player. However for this team to right itself there are several things you have to do. Improve your shot selection, while it is better than last season and better than early this season it still is erratic. I will give you somewhat of a break with this as I do believe one of the greatest coaching failures of OíBrien is that he did not teach good shot selection. But he is gone now, you have to do this. Also you have to defend like you did early in the season. Hopefully you will play the small forward. Hopefully the days of you spending lots of time at the four are coming to an end. But you have to defend and rebound and take good shots every game, not just some. I know that is a lot to ask but since you are the franchise we really need you to do this & I truly believe you can.

Roy Hibbert: Defense, defense, defense. If your shot is not falling, and there are just going to be some nights that it wonít, you have got to be an anchor on the defensive end. I pray to God that we go back to giving you a power forward next to you and not a stretch four because I understand that a lot of your fouls come from having to run from side to side having to defend the basket on both sides of the painted area. Work on a mid range game, learn some post up plays other than a hook shot and rebound. While Danny is the face of the franchise and our best player you are our hope and our most important player. Also while I certainly donít condone Jimís berating of you at times in the press I also want you to grow some thicker skin as well. Donít let comments drag you down and donít let messed plays or missed shots ruin the rest of your game.

Josh McRoberts: Rebound, rebound, rebound. Look you do good work at helping box out usually but for you to take the step and get more time on the floor you have got to start grabbing 7-9 rebounds every game. The rest of your game is really dependant on what the coach does. If you get to play then just make the most of your time and honor the player whose number you wear by being a man in the paint area and take the pressure off of Roy. Starting or coming off of the bench doesnít matter at this point in time, just as long as you get to play.

Tyler Hansbrough: Work on improving your defensive awareness. If you are going to start for our club then you have got to know how to make a quick defensive adjustment and switch from player to player. Like Josh a lot of what happens here is going to depend on what the coach does with the rotation. But if you are going to start then you have got to make sure that Roy does not have to cover both sides of the paint. Keep up the offensive production though as that is an asset we severely need. As with Josh, starting or coming off of the bench doesnít matter just make the most of the time you get.

Darren Collison: It will be interesting to see what the new coach has in mind for our offense. Jim did make adjustments to allow you to play more to your strengths but that was only after he was drug there kicking and screaming by all of the players saying the offense wasnít working. However to help the new coach, honestly you have got to improve your defense. While ball gawking has been an issue, just keeping your man in front of you would go a long way in helping. You have got to come up with a way to defend the bigger stronger guards in the NBA. Nobody is faster but there certainly often is a height issue, something that you must and can overcome. Weíll probably see the real Collision next season but for the rest of this year it is imperative that you be the on court leader of the club.

Brandon Rush: STOP SLACKING OFF!!!! I thought we were past this; you started out the year so wonderfully. You were drawing fouls; you were invested in driving the lane and shooting the ball to only once again start to fade out. Yes your defense is good but guess what, Paul George isnít that far behind you in that department and he is already a more polished offensive player. I have a feeling you have once again*worked your way into the trade sweetener department. But assuming that you are still here the rest of the year I will say you have got to never EVER have a dead moment on offense when you play. That doesnít mean you have to average 18 points a game or anything but you have got to be involved in the offense and you can never just go hang out in the corner.

Paul George: Just keep on being you. Yea heís getting off light but if you have watched the kid play you know that we are onto something special here. Ok, I guess I better throw out something to do for him as well. Donít settle for the three point shot. There is nothing wrong with using it as a weapon and you have the talent and range to do so, but just be very cautious of falling into the trap of settling for threeís when you can drive as smoothly as anyone we have ever had.

I could go on to each player but really these are the ones I wanted to focus on.

In closing I want to thank Jim OíBrien. No Iím not going to give some cute comment about thanking him for leaving or anything like that. I will just say that when he did come aboard there very much was a ďlunatics were running the asylumĒ type of feel going on here. I believe that he did play a large part in changing that culture as well as making certain that we did not complain to the refereeís every single time down the floor. Again this was prevalent when he arrived. For your part in helping shape the culture in the public view from criminal to good guys I will also thank you.

However I am not going to be hypocritical and pretend that I didnít do a happy dance when I heard about this either.

Onward to a new Pacers season that starts Monday versus the Toronto Raptors. Iíll be there, will you? If you live to far away will you be watching and logging onto Pacers Digest to support the team?

Here comes the sun (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGKPHFrHVVY)


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McKeyFan
01-31-2011, 07:38 AM
Regarding the timing and reasons for the firing that you keep questioning, maybe the Kravitz article is the missing piece: Simon fired him, not Bird.

One other thing: Maybe Bird did wait until after the Chicago game so that the new coach would have four easy games to start with.

Unclebuck
01-31-2011, 08:38 AM
Why now. Because I think unlike in years past Bird and Herb Simon probably figured Jim wasn't going to turn it back around as he had the previous two seasons. Why did they think that and why was it different from previous years. Player fatique, 3.5 years in. Simple as that

Also don't underestimate the recent fan reaction and that as a factor in the timing.

vnzla81
01-31-2011, 08:47 AM
Why now. Because I think unlike in years past Bird and Herb Simon probably figured Jim wasn't going to turn it back around as he had the previous two seasons. Why did they think that and why was it different from previous years. Player fatique, 3.5 years in. Simple as that

Also don't underestimate the recent fan reaction and that as a factor in the timing.

I agree, also remember in the previous Kravitz's article he was talking about how sick and tired Herb looked in the Orlando game, his description was something like "he looked like he was having a hearth attack" or something like that.

aaronb
01-31-2011, 12:14 PM
Why now. Because I think unlike in years past Bird and Herb Simon probably figured Jim wasn't going to turn it back around as he had the previous two seasons. Why did they think that and why was it different from previous years. Player fatique, 3.5 years in. Simple as that

Also don't underestimate the recent fan reaction and that as a factor in the timing.


Removing JOB from the equation is really in essence removing the human shield from out in front of the Front Office. JOB was always the guy who the fans directed the anger towards.

If Vogel doesn't provide better on court results. Where will the fan finger begin to point? I'm honestly curious what that answer will be?

McKeyFan
01-31-2011, 12:41 PM
Also don't underestimate the recent fan reaction and that as a factor in the timing.
Didn't you say TPTB don't listen to the fans? Or shouldn't?

Sookie
01-31-2011, 12:53 PM
I think the timing honestly had a lot to do with the upcoming schedule. If the Pacers want to make the playoffs, they have to do well. And with the way things were going, they most likely weren't going to do well. So the change was made.

As for O'brien. I think he might actually work out decently well coaching the women's college game. The women's game is more perimeter oriented, and it doesn't hurt the team nearly as much to go small like O'brien likes. And obviously, in college..playing your seniors tends to be okay with everyone..and in the women's game, seniors actually exist so..that would help.

d_c
01-31-2011, 12:55 PM
The women's game is more perimeter oriented, and it doesn't hurt the team nearly as much to go small like O'brien likes. And obviously, in college..playing your seniors tends to be okay with everyone..and in the women's game, seniors actually exist so..that would help.

Same could be said of the men's college game, except you just won't have blue chip NBA prospects sticking around as seniors.

Speed
01-31-2011, 12:56 PM
I think the timing honestly had a lot to do with the upcoming schedule. If the Pacers want to make the playoffs, they have to do well. And with the way things were going, they most likely weren't going to do well. So the change was made.



I think the timing was exactly this.

I want to add, I think Collison will look like a new player from all of this. I think we'll see improvement in Roy, but I think the biggest difference will be in DC. I think, Obie and his system is just awful for Point Guards, period. Even moreso for someone with Collisons skillset.

I'm thinking triple double for DC tonight, I'm so confident in this.

Sookie
01-31-2011, 12:57 PM
Same could be said of the men's college game, except you just won't have blue chip NBA prospects sticking around as seniors.

Well, for me it's more about being so perimeter oriented. Quite a few teams I've seen will actually play 4 guards and a post. I think JOB would like that aspect of it.

d_c
01-31-2011, 12:59 PM
Well, for me it's more about being so perimeter oriented. Quite a few teams I've seen will actually play 4 guards and a post. I think JOB would like that aspect of it.

College game employs lots of 6'6" PFs and 6'8" centers and has been now for quite a while. That shorter 3 point line has also been a big cause of parity. So much so that they had to move it back.

Sookie
01-31-2011, 12:59 PM
I think the timing was exactly this.

I want to add, I think Collison will look like a new player from all of this. I think we'll see improvement in Roy, but I think the biggest difference will be in DC. I think, Obie and his system is just awful for Point Guards, period. Even moreso for someone with Collisons skillset.

I'm thinking triple double for DC tonight, I'm so confident in this.

Well, I don't know that Vogel is going to change the system completely. And I've always said it depended on the point guard (Fisher or Curry would run it well, for example) but DC's specific skillset just isn't a good match.

However, I think on a personal level, DC disliked JOB and his coaching as much as anyone. Which might make DC a little more motivated tonight.

Unclebuck
01-31-2011, 01:25 PM
Jim O'Brien has a birthday 2/11, they probably didn't want to fire him on his birthday or within a day or two

Pacerfan
01-31-2011, 04:02 PM
So did Jim know he was about to be fired before the Chicago game if Larry (or Simon) had decided so after the Orlando game? That would explain the ejection....?

Drewtone
01-31-2011, 04:11 PM
Can I just pose the question:

has anyone here noticed, in reading what must've been Peck's most anticipated Odd Thoughts (perhaps second only to the announcement of a local reality show, where Peck, DD00 and Dale Davis share a downtown condo, with all sorts of ensuing hillarity) that there is a conspicuous abscence of the one Odd Thoughts standard that would certainly be expected in this, over all previous Odd Thoughts???

No Dancing Fruits!!!

BillS
01-31-2011, 04:13 PM
there is a conspicuous abscence of the one Odd Thoughts standard that would certainly be expected in this, over all previous Odd Thoughts???

No Dancing Fruits!!!

He threw them all.