View Full Version : Pacers Hit Rough Patch Before Schedule Turns

02-14-2012, 06:08 PM
http://basketball.realgm.com/article/21898Pacers_Hit_Rough_Patch_Before_Schedule_Turns# ixzz1mOcZh2DP

As losers of three-straight games, the youthful Indiana Pacers have hit a rough patch for the first time this season. They went 26 games before losing back-to-back contests and their skid worsened on Saturday night when the Denver Nuggets came into Bankers Life Fieldhouse and extended their losing streak to three games.

Things wonít get easier for the Pacers as the Miami Heat come to Indianapolis on Tuesday night, but after that the schedule will get easier for the remainder of the month.

Brutal Schedule To Turn Favorable

Indiana is in the midst brutal stretch of seven games against teams with winning records that can be extended out to 12 of 14 Ė only the New Jersey Nets and Minnesota Timberwolves (both wins) were below .500

Starting with their Feb. 3 game at Dallas and ending Tuesday against the Heat, the Pacers will have played seven teams with a combined record of 113-75 and a winning percentage of more than 60%.

Over the 14-game stretch that ends against the Heat, Indianaís opponents have a winning percent of more than 57%. So far, the Pacers are 7-6 in those games.

While they canít let up, they will get a bit of a break beginning on Wednesday at Cleveland. After dealing with the Heat, theyíll face seven-straight opponents that appear headed for the draft lottery. From Feb. 15 to Mar. 3, their opponents have a combined winning percentage of just 22% -- including the two worst teams in the NBA (Charlotte and New Orleans) twice each.

The Starting Five Effect

When Jeff Foster and George Hill are healthy, Frank Vogel has no problem playing 10 players. Louis Amundson gets more time when Foster is out (chronic back issues), while Lance Stephenson and A.J. Price are seeing more minutes with Hill (chip fracture in ankle) sidelined.

A relatively large rotation would lead you to believe that the Pacers have a strong bench, but that hasnít necessarily been the case this season.

Tyler Hansbrough (9.4 points) is their leading scorer off the bench, which ranks him 43rd among reserves. Hill flirted with double-figures at one point, but he is out indefinitely and was often either hot or not before his injury against the Nets last month.

Not surprisingly, Indianaís starting five of Darren Collison, Paul George, Danny Granger, David West and Roy Hibbert is their most effective group. According to 82games.com, the group is +99 this season. The next best group is just +22 with Hill in place of George.

The Pacers have been blessed with good health this season, as their projected starting five has begun 26 of their 27 games (Granger missed a single contest). Of the 240 minutes available per game, Collison, George, Granger, West and Hibbert play roughly 67% of the time (160 total minutes). The reliance on the starting five isnít too great in terms of minutes. The Bulls, for example, have one of the NBAís deepest rosters but their ĎFave Fiveí has played 66.3% of the time when Derrick Rose is healthy.

The issue for the Pacers is offensive effectiveness. The starters score 67.8 points per game, which represents 72% of the teamís total. There is a significant enough breakdown in offensive efficiency that the starting five are scoring a disproportionate number of points in relation to their minutes.

One would expect that a starting five, presumably the teamís five best players, would be better offensively than the second unit, but the contrast has been rather stark.

Mr. Jones And The Second Unit

The bench is averaging 26.4 points per game on 40.3% shooting over a five-game stretch in which the Pacers have lost four games. The percentage is poor, but the scoring itself is not. The real indicator is the plus-minus numbers this season.

The starting five are all in the positive, while bench contributors like Amundson, Hill, Tyler Hansbrough and Dahntay Jones are all under water. Jones, who gets some run with a variety of starters but plays mainly on the second unit, is a horrendous -75.

At this point, his ineffectiveness canít be an aberration. He has essentially been the teamís eighth-man and has moved up to seventh with Hill injured. Jones has the lowest PER (9.9) among the teamís rotation players and only Hansbrough has a lower TS% and eFG%. His offense has never been his area of strength, but his defense hasnít been consistently good enough to offset that.

Jones was a very good signing for the Pacers in July of 2009 when he left the Nuggets for a four-year, $11 million contract, but at this point he is hurting them more than he is helping them

I was going to post the schedule. After the HEAT, our next games are

@ Cleveland
vs New Jersey
vs Charlotte
vs New Orleans
@ Charlotte
vs Golden State
@ New Orleans

Acording to the "schedule" we should really go 7-0. Of course being expected to win and wining , can be different things at times

After this run, schedule gets much tougher, so we REALLY REALLY need to take care of business!!!

NapTonius Monk
02-14-2012, 06:14 PM
Yuck! Back to Back to Back.

02-14-2012, 06:31 PM
Yuck! Back to Back to Back.
The only thing that I have to look forward in a B2B2B schedule is that I get to see 3 Pacer games in a row.

One more thing....it's expected that Kyrie Irving will return from a concussion against the Pacers on Wednesday.

02-14-2012, 06:34 PM

Eric P

So “sources” say regarding JR Smith, Pacers are going “another direction” Any clue what “direction” they are going?

Eric Pincus

The direction of not-J.R.


People are saying JR is a good fit for the Clippers, but I’m skeptical. Not the most stable player, on or off the court, and can hog the ball sometimes. Also, despite his size and athleticism, I don’t think he fills our biggest need as a strong wing defender. He isn’t exactly known to play great defense. What do you think? Is he a good fit?

Eric Pincus

JR would help in areas. He isn’t a bad defender when motivated.

Eric P

Greetings Eric, So is Eric Gordon Jonathon Bender , part 2? Or are these injuries a result of bad luck , timing etc.? Will this effect his net worth or do you see a “max like” contract next year?

Eric Pincus

I expect Gordon will be fine eventually. Remember, the Hornets want that number one pick more than they want to win any games this season.

Eric P

How are the two ex Pacers fiting in so far? (McBob and Murphy)?

Eric Pincus

Good in spurts – ineffective in others.

Eric P

Alright so my Pacers have lost 3 in a row. My question is , is this a bump in the road that all teams will have during the course of a season, or is this a result of teams starting to fugure them out and adjust?

Eric Pincus

The Pacers will adjust. I do think they played a little over their heads so far but this is a playoff team.

Eric P

Pacers have a lot of cap room, does Bird make a move or do we sit on the cap space until next year?

Eric Pincus

If someone viable comes available, the Pacers will act. I could see Chris Kaman as a possibility to bolster front-court depth.

CJ Jones
02-14-2012, 07:18 PM
Dahntay hasn't been as bad as this articles says, but I haven't been impressed with his defense this year. I'm about over him trying to pull the chair every other game. It works occasionally, but more often than not it's an easy lay up.

I still think we'd be better, especially offensively, if we benched Dahntay and used Paul at the backup SF when Hill comes back. That would free up more minutes for Hill and Lance/AJ to be on the floor which should help the offensive flow.

Haywoode Workman
02-14-2012, 07:34 PM
that's interesting about dahntay. i've always hated him, but this season he's been growing on me. maybe I'm just trying too hard to like him, idk.

02-14-2012, 08:12 PM
that's interesting about dahntay. i've always hated him, but this season he's been growing on me. maybe I'm just trying too hard to like him, idk.

Suprising to me as well, but its why I hate the +/- stats so much

Dhanty has been the only one in the second unit to consistently drive to the basket and make a play(Ty too, but talking guards here)

I felt like he has been one of the brighter spots on the team so far this year

02-14-2012, 09:28 PM
I hope that we bounce back from this rough patch going 7-0. If we do this, then we'll regain our confidence and be in a great spot once again. If we don't, I'm afraid of what is gonna happen.

02-14-2012, 10:19 PM
I liked that article a long time ago when it was called "here comes the hammer", but whatever.

02-15-2012, 01:11 PM
I liked that article a long time ago when it was called "here comes the hammer", but whatever.

This was the remix :)

but point taken

02-15-2012, 02:44 PM
I think that 6-1 over the next 7 games gets us where we need to be for the tough part of the schedule coming up after that.

02-15-2012, 03:46 PM
I think that 6-1 over the next 7 games gets us where we need to be for the tough part of the schedule coming up after that.

Theoritically we should go 7-0

Anything less than 5-2 and I will be very disappointed