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View Full Version : Summer School 2011: Josh McRoberts edition



Strummer
03-29-2011, 12:56 AM
Last year Larry brought in Bill Walton to tutor Roy Hibbert. Based on Roy's improved play this year, I assume it was beneficial.

So let's pretend that the Pacers decide to do the same with Josh McRoberts.

And yes, assume that Josh will be re-signed and that the CBA situation allows for the Pacers to work with him over the summer.

Two questions:
1) What skills does Josh most need to improve?
2) What former PF/C had a style of play that would make him an ideal tutor for Josh?

Two skills that I'd like to see Josh improve on are:
1) Mid range shooting to match Tyler. It would be nice to have that skill available when either of them is on the court. It would make the offense more consistent.
2) Post up game. When Josh subs Roy, it would be nice to not lose the post up game. I'm talking scoring, not passing.

One obvious candidate (to me anyway) would be Kevin McHale. He and Larry are friends which helps. And McHale was a great scorer near the basket. But I'm not sure he and Josh are the same kind of athlete. McHale had long arms and average hops. Josh is probably more strength than finesse (scoring, not passing) and can jump out of the building.

So who should tutor Josh?

Constellations
03-29-2011, 12:58 AM
Anybody notice Josh's good 3P%?

presto123
03-29-2011, 01:04 AM
I don't know but if he develops a good mid-range jumper and improves his D I still put his ceiling higher than Tyler. And I really like Tyler. Josh needs to get to work this summer and he could be a really good player. I know Tyler will work. That goes without saying.

Strummer
03-29-2011, 01:30 AM
I don't know but if he develops a good mid-range jumper and improves his D I still put his ceiling higher than Tyler. And I really like Tyler. Josh needs to get to work this summer and he could be a really good player. I know Tyler will work. That goes without saying.

Yeah, I think Josh has a high ceiling too. His passing ability is already very advanced. So is his ball handling and athleticism. That's why I suspect he has the aptitude to learn more skills. His confidence level seems to have soared with his playing time. Maybe he just needs the right teacher to round out his game.

One other thing I've wondered about is his strength. Maybe he could spend some time lifting with Tyler.

panthro_1
03-29-2011, 01:36 AM
Wouldnt it be so nice if the highest "Ceiling" meant the the highest level of dedication and work ethic? I like McRoberts as one of my own, but tyler seems to "try" and bring it every night! *Contradiction* McRoberts is one of my favorite Pacer Players, and think he is under utilized!!!

Strummer
03-29-2011, 01:53 AM
Wouldnt it be so nice if the highest "Ceiling" meant the the highest level of dedication and work ethic? I like McRoberts as one of my own, but tyler seems to "try" and bring it every night! *Contradiction* McRoberts is one of my favorite Pacer Players, and think he is under utilized!!!

I think ceiling means you're still young and under developed. Tyler went to school and put in the time there. That's admirable. I think he improved his game a lot over the years but he's probably closer to his ceiling than Josh. He's also older than Josh.

And I suspect that Josh does have dedication and work ethic. The way he brings the ball up the floor shows that he's put some time in practicing. Most big men can't dribble the length of the court. He's also developed his passing skills. And yes, even his 3 point shooting skills, though most of us aren't real comfortable with that.

There are phases of Tyler's game that need improvement too. Like passing. Hopefully he'll work on that this summer.

Eleazar
03-29-2011, 01:56 AM
By his improvement on his 3 point shot I really expect that if whoever the coach is tells him to work on his mid-range shot he will have a decent mid-range shot by next season. Adding some strength to his frame would immediately help him with defense, but you don't want him to add too much too quickly otherwise he might turn into the next Bender.

Strummer
03-29-2011, 02:16 AM
By his improvement on his 3 point shot I really expect that if whoever the coach is tells him to work on his mid-range shot he will have a decent mid-range shot by next season. Adding some strength to his frame would immediately help him with defense, but you don't want him to add too much too quickly otherwise he might turn into the next Bender.

I completely agree on him being able to improve his mid-range game on his own. Hopefully he'll be asked to do that.

I wonder if there's a way to teach him to be a more physical rebounder. Would working with an ex-player like Dale Davis help? Is it technique he needs to learn? Or is it instinct/desire. Or does he just need to add core strength? I don't know.

DrFife
03-29-2011, 09:00 AM
So who should tutor Josh?

Excellent thread, Strummer. Hiring McHale would make me giggle because it would seem to extend old rivalries (e.g., Celtics-Lakers) into the front office. Another play-like-I-did (early in my career, anyway) candidate from the Pacers family--one with head coaching experience--is Herb Williams. Not much of a 3-pt shooter (career 8/84 = 9.5%) ... but we don't want to emphasize that in our PF anyway, do we?

beast23
03-29-2011, 09:24 AM
If McRoberts is retained, I think the Pacers would be looking at him to be a utility front court player... playing both positions off the bench.

For a big man, Josh already has a "little of everything" in his game, although there is nothing tht he does exceptionally well. He is a very decent athlete for a big man with very good hops and overall quickness.

If I were in charge I would encourage Josh to do three things this summer:

1. Develop a consistent 15-18 foot mid-range shot (an absolute must).

2. Develop one or two good "go-to" post moves.

3. Develop efficient PnR capabilities. With his quickness/hops and a much-improved mid-range shot, Josh would be a perfect candidate to use in PnR situations. That is an ability that must be improved in the starting unit and in the second unit.

We don't really need a coach to teach mid-range shooting... that is something Josh can do on his own. And, I would not be looking at a former center for being a developmental mentor, I would be looking for a former PF that can provide tips for getting shots off near the basket and who worked well in the PnR / PnP.

Mackey_Rose
03-29-2011, 09:27 AM
I completely agree on him being able to improve his mid-range game on his own. Hopefully he'll be asked to do that.

I wonder if there's a way to teach him to be a more physical rebounder. Would working with an ex-player like Dale Davis help? Is it technique he needs to learn? Or is it instinct/desire. Or does he just need to add core strength? I don't know.

The desire is there. He isn't getting outworked, he's getting outsmarted. I believe it is instinct. He doesn't have a problem keeping position, so I don't think it's a strength issue.

He has a problem being late to get position. I would recommended that he watch a lot of film of the great rebounders. Guys like Rodman, Barkley, and Millsap. The best ever was Russell, but I doubt Josh has a reel-to-reel. Those guys are natural rebounders. Those kind of guys typically are already in position before the shot even goes up. They don't have to fight for position, because they already have it before their opponents.

I don't think Josh is ever going to be the kind of rebounder that those guys are, or that Dale Davis was. But he doesn't have to be. He is skilled enough that he contributes in so many other ways. Lots of people have tried to pigeon hole him into some sort of athletic, defensive energy specialist like Birdman, or Amundson. That isn't his game. Sure, he is extremely athletic and plays with a lot of energy, but he's much more skilled than guys of that ilk. He can be an above average rebounder, but he doesn't have to be a great rebounder to be effective.

Sparhawk
03-29-2011, 10:04 AM
I think Josh is already developing a long range shot, so he just needs to continue with that.

Josh needs to work on:
1. A post game
2. Defense and boxing his guy out
3. Rebounding

I think Josh can be a very good player, even if it's just off the bench. He's so versatile. I do hope the Pacers re-sign him.

Lou Bega
03-29-2011, 10:15 AM
Josh needs to develop a solid mid range jumper.

yoadknux
03-29-2011, 10:25 AM
Firstly I want him to be a better rebounder, box out better. He's tall and can leap well, but he's not quite the rebounder I want him to be.
Secondly I'd like him to develop either his offense game or defense. If we're talking about offense than I want him to get a post game. I don't want him to be Tyler V2, and Roy is really the only good player we have in terms of post offense. On defense I want him to be a tougher one on one defender, and overall better awareness.

Maybe we can get Jeff to tutor Josh :p

Hicks
03-29-2011, 10:38 AM
Keep working on his jumper, but I'd really like to see him add a reliable back to the basket game.

ksuttonjr76
03-29-2011, 11:03 AM
Hedo Turkgulu...

Developing Josh McRoberts into a Point Power Foward would be the best thing to do. His ball-handling is above average for PF. His court awareness is above average for PF. He has some 3PT range.

Strummer
03-29-2011, 11:12 AM
Excellent thread, Strummer. Hiring McHale would make me giggle because it would seem to extend old rivalries (e.g., Celtics-Lakers) into the front office. Another play-like-I-did (early in my career, anyway) candidate from the Pacers family--one with head coaching experience--is Herb Williams. Not much of a 3-pt shooter (career 8/84 = 9.5%) ... but we don't want to emphasize that in our PF anyway, do we?

Herb Williams? Oh, he's an interesting candidate. You're right, he had a physical build like Josh. He was thick and could block shots and intimidate in the middle. I'm trying to remember what kind of an offensive game he had. It's been a long time since I saw him play.

It's interesting, Jeff Foster is a great rebounder but not a shock blocker. That makes me think he and Josh are different kinds of athletes.

Dale Davis had the rebounding and shot blocking but no offensive game. He wasn't a skill player like Josh.

I feel like Josh has many more dimensions to his game than Jeff or Dale. And therefore a lot more potential. Herb Williams earned his money inside and was definitely more well rounded than Jeff or Dale. Yeah, he might be an interesting tutor for Josh.

HickeyS2000
03-29-2011, 11:14 AM
Maybe we can get Jeff to tutor Josh

Exactly what I was thinking. Everyone agrees rebounding and post defense are high priorities. Foster seems like the right candidate to me.

Strummer
03-29-2011, 11:20 AM
If McRoberts is retained, I think the Pacers would be looking at him to be a utility front court player... playing both positions off the bench.

For a big man, Josh already has a "little of everything" in his game, although there is nothing tht he does exceptionally well. He is a very decent athlete for a big man with very good hops and overall quickness.

If I were in charge I would encourage Josh to do three things this summer:

1. Develop a consistent 15-18 foot mid-range shot (an absolute must).

2. Develop one or two good "go-to" post moves.

3. Develop efficient PnR capabilities. With his quickness/hops and a much-improved mid-range shot, Josh would be a perfect candidate to use in PnR situations. That is an ability that must be improved in the starting unit and in the second unit.

We don't really need a coach to teach mid-range shooting... that is something Josh can do on his own. And, I would not be looking at a former center for being a developmental mentor, I would be looking for a former PF that can provide tips for getting shots off near the basket and who worked well in the PnR / PnP.

I agree with your developmental goals. But I disagree that he doesn't do anything exceptionally well. I think his passing and ball handling skills are exceptional for a big man. It's those skills that make me think he has the potential to develop and improve his other skills.

I wonder if Karl Malone is busy this summer. I bet Josh could learn a thing or two from him.

Strummer
03-29-2011, 11:34 AM
Hedo Turkgulu...

Developing Josh McRoberts into a Point Power Foward would be the best thing to do. His ball-handling is above average for PF. His court awareness is above average for PF. He has some 3PT range.

Oh that's interesting. You're accentuating his positives. But I was thinking more of elevating his lesser skills. I'm always a little scared of "special" players, guys who are outside the box for their position. If you rely heavily on a guy like that and he gets injured then you rarely have another on the bench that can step in and fill his shoes. Everything has to change while the player is out and that can be disruptive.

Even though Josh does have offensive talents similar to Hedo, he strikes me as a different kind of player. He's got the size to go inside, block shots and intimidate. And I think we have a greater need inside.

graphic-er
03-29-2011, 11:45 AM
Regardless if we keep Jmac or not I hope that he leaves Indianapolis for his summer workouts. Since he lives here and is from here, I think it might be too easy to slack off in the summer time. Friends calling you up and such. He needs to take a month and travel to some other NBA city and train there exclusively.

vnzla81
03-29-2011, 11:45 AM
Mcbob should stop trying to be a conventional PF, I think he needs to work on his jumper and dribble, he is more like an SF than a PF and he should try to be that, who knows maybe he can play the 3 sometimes.

Peck
03-29-2011, 12:18 PM
In all honesty the person who should probably tutor Josh is already here but he probably does not know how to teach the ability that he had.

Bird.

In some way's Josh is a destitute man's Larry Bird. In other words he has multi dimensions to his game, is not a traditional three or four and has an above average court awareness/vision.

I would be all for bringing in Dale, but not for Josh. They should make Roy do the drills he does now with Vitaley with Dale. Could you imagine having to dunk the ball every time on Dale, even as an old man? Roy would either come back as an MVP contender or wouldn't come back at all.

But that is not Josh's game, nor should it be. In a way that would be short changing Josh because his skill set is not the same. Josh is closer to Mark Jackson than Dale Davis, which is going to lead me to another post with a question.

Sookie
03-29-2011, 12:58 PM
1. I want Josh to get stronger, and I want him to work on his mid-range shot. I find that, defensively, he struggles when he can get overpowered, some strength (I'm not sure where) would help him.

And a mid-range shot. This would help the PGs in a PnP, it would force opposing PFs to come out and guard him so he could use his handle to get around them as well. I think it's a staple he needs to have.

and speaking of, I'd also like him to work on his handle. It's really good for a PF, but if he wants to dribble as much as he does, it'll need to get better. I think that'll help him in the post too, because he'll have an even easier time making a move to the basket.

2. Lamar Odom is the obvious player that Josh is like, although Josh brings more energy. He's not so conventional though, that he needs a PF or C to tutor him. Maybe a rugged guy in the post (like Bill L...yea right..) to help with defense, but a point guard to help his his shot and handle wouldn't be a bad idea.

Since86
03-29-2011, 01:17 PM
and speaking of, I'd also like him to work on his handle. It's really good for a PF, but if he wants to dribble as much as he does, it'll need to get better. I think that'll help him in the post too, because he'll have an even easier time making a move to the basket.

I think they're good enough, I just think how he dribbles isn't.

He dribbles way too high, and I realize a big part of that is because he's 6'11, but he's got to get lower when he attacks off the dribble.

Dribbling with your body raised is okay when your dribbling to get the ball to another spot, but not for when you attack.

He stands up and it causes him to be slower and easier to knock off balance. He gets to the spot where he wants to go, but just a little bit of a forearm gets him off balance, so he picks up the ball and does that little half spin lay-up looking thing.

Get low Josh!! Get low and explode towards the basket with your first two steps.


Obviously he still needs to work on his jumpshot, but if he is able to take PFs off the dribble then that shot becomes easier. Most PFs will have to take away the drive which gives him more room and time for his jumpshot.

Strummer
03-29-2011, 02:33 PM
In all honesty the person who should probably tutor Josh is already here but he probably does not know how to teach the ability that he had.

Bird.

In some way's Josh is a destitute man's Larry Bird. In other words he has multi dimensions to his game, is not a traditional three or four and has an above average court awareness/vision.

I would be all for bringing in Dale, but not for Josh. They should make Roy do the drills he does now with Vitaley with Dale. Could you imagine having to dunk the ball every time on Dale, even as an old man? Roy would either come back as an MVP contender or wouldn't come back at all.

But that is not Josh's game, nor should it be. In a way that would be short changing Josh because his skill set is not the same. Josh is closer to Mark Jackson than Dale Davis, which is going to lead me to another post with a question.

It's interesting that you consider Josh more of a SF/PF than a PF/C. I think in today's NBA Josh has the size and hops necessary to be an excellent backup C. I'm not sure he has the quickness to guard the SF position.

When I look at Josh's game I see someone who grew up learning small man basketball skills. He wanted to be a wing but out grew the position. That's certainly not his fault. I think he just needs to realize this and work harder on big man skills now that he's under the basket more.

mattie
03-30-2011, 03:30 AM
Last year Larry brought in Bill Walton to tutor Roy Hibbert. Based on Roy's improved play this year, I assume it was beneficial.

So let's pretend that the Pacers decide to do the same with Josh McRoberts.

And yes, assume that Josh will be re-signed and that the CBA situation allows for the Pacers to work with him over the summer.

Two questions:
1) What skills does Josh most need to improve?
2) What former PF/C had a style of play that would make him an ideal tutor for Josh?

Two skills that I'd like to see Josh improve on are:
1) Mid range shooting to match Tyler. It would be nice to have that skill available when either of them is on the court. It would make the offense more consistent.
2) Post up game. When Josh subs Roy, it would be nice to not lose the post up game. I'm talking scoring, not passing.

One obvious candidate (to me anyway) would be Kevin McHale. He and Larry are friends which helps. And McHale was a great scorer near the basket. But I'm not sure he and Josh are the same kind of athlete. McHale had long arms and average hops. Josh is probably more strength than finesse (scoring, not passing) and can jump out of the building.

So who should tutor Josh?

I haven't read any of the responses yet, but without a doubt, Josh needs to go to the Davis Boys Academy. In fact we might need to bring both of them back, have foster shoot jump shots, put jost in between them, and allow one of the Davis boys to punch Josh in the face everytime he misses a rebound.

This would probably end with Josh being dead. But if anything possibly ever could teach him to rebound or play with an ounce of toughness, that would be it.

McKeyFan
03-30-2011, 04:09 PM
Let Magic tutor him. A 6'10" point guard would be fun.