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Mad-Mad-Mario
09-19-2012, 01:45 PM
GEORGE HILL, PG

Scouting report
+ Long-armed combo guard with the handle of a point guard but a scorer's mindset.
+ Good spot-up shooter. Effective defender with long arms, especially at the 2.
+ Can slash to the basket and draw fouls. Slim build. Fairly athletic.

Analysis

I've always liked Hill better as a 2 than a 1, but as last season progressed he honed his point guard skills enough to do a solid job in that role. Hill had a career high in assist rate and a career low in turnover rate; in fact he had the fourth-lowest turnover rate at his position. While he still didn't create a ton (4.6 assists per 40 minutes), he at least got Indiana into plays, especially compared to Darren Collison.

Hill was considerably more potent as a shooter, ranking 14th at his position in true shooting percentage. He made 36.7 percent of his 3s and 42.2 percent of his long 2s, and despite shooting mostly jumpers got to the line more often than most point guards.

Defensively his length proved helpful in multiple areas, ranking among the leading point guards in rebounds and blocks while using his size advantage to play a half-step off most opponents. He does his best work against big point guards and short wings, but statistically he had solid grades across the board -- most notably, opposing point guards had just a 9.2 player efficiency rating against him according to 82games.com, while shooting guards didn't fare much better at 11.7.

PAUL GEORGE, SG

Scouting report
+ Long, smooth wing with natural scoring instincts. Can shoot and finish.
+ Struggled on D but showed potential. Quick hands and reads passing lanes.
+ Needs to play more aggressively, make better decisions and refine moves.

Analysis

Man, does this guy have an exciting future. Big wings who can handle and shoot never go out of style and are far more rare than this center-obsessed league seems to realize. George is 6-8 with 3-point range and can split pick-and-rolls off the dribble; the main obstacles to his eventual stardom appear to be his own aggressiveness and decision-making.

He made sharp progress in his second season, however, and his athleticism spills out on the stats sheet: Among shooting guards, he ranked second in rebound rate, fourth in steals, eighth in blocks and 10th in PER, and he shot 63.1 percent at the rim with a high foul rate. But his skill is apparent too; he made 38.5 percent of his 3s and 81.5 percent from the line.

Right now his weak points are all the finer stuff. He still turns it over too much (52nd out of 61 small forwards) and struggles with decision-making, and his jumper off the dribble still needs work -- he hit just 32.9 percent of his 2s from 10 to 23 feet.

Defensively it's a similar story: He can be an impact defender with his length and athleticism, but he fouls too much (fourth-highest rate among shooting guards) and that takes him off the floor at times. Additionally, his on-ball defense isn't quite as strong as his disruptive plays off of it, although a move to his more natural small forward spot might help.

Nonetheless, I'll be surprised if he's not in an All-Star Game at some point in the next few years, and he represents Indiana's best opportunity to take another step up in class in the East.

DANNY GRANGER, SF

Scouting report
+ Deep-shooting forward with a quick, accurate trigger. Very big for a wing.
+ Very effective going right but has a weak left hand. Draws fouls, money from the line.
+ Solid defender with good size. Limited court vision -- drives to score.

Analysis

Granger's game isn't always easy on the eyes, iso-ing for 20-footers or pretending he's running a pick-and-roll for something other than his own jump shot, but it is effective. He generated a slew of shots with very few turnovers -- cutting his rate sharply from a season earlier -- and his TS% was well above the norm for a small forward.

Break it down and it was mostly the 3s that did it -- he shot 38.1 percent from distance, but hit only 43.4 percent of his 2s. However, he drew a lot of fouls for a jump shooter and shot 87.3 percent, the best mark of any small forward; between that and the 3s, it offset his subpar shooting inside the arc. In particular, contested long 2s have been a problem for him. He shot only 36.3 percent on 2s beyond 10 feet last season, after hitting 35.0 percent the season before.

As for passing, Granger didn't really do that much -- only 11 small forwards assisted less often -- and that's the biggest limitation on his game. On the flip side, however, he'd also benefit from a more natural point guard running things and getting him cleaner looks at jumpers, rather than forcing him to iso so much.

Defensively, I thought Granger was one of the league's most improved players. His effort was much more consistent than a season earlier, and all his statistical grades were positive. The Pacers gave up 3.6 points per 100 possessions fewer with him on the court and he allowed only a 12.7 PER to opposing small forwards, according to 82games.com. Notably, Indiana also put him in size mismatches less because it hardly ever played small with him at the 4.

DAVID WEST, PF

Scouting report
+ Highly skilled power forward who can shoot and handle. Deadly from midrange.
+ Average athlete but attacks off the dribble for jump hooks. Loves going between his legs.
+ Average at best defensively. Undersized, can't jump, and won't give fouls.

Analysis

West made a solid recovery from a torn ACL the year before, using his pick-and-pop and ballhandling skills to become a focal point of the Pacers' offense. The one key difference was that West couldn't jump. He was never a leaper, but he barely got any elevation at all last season. His rebound and block numbers declined, but it was more apparent when he tried to shoot over long defenders near the basket.

Nonetheless, he was a big positive both on offense and in the locker room. West's pick-and-pop game made the offense flow. He hit a stellar 45.6 percent of his 2s beyond 10 feet while taking nearly five a game, and when defenses closed he could find the open man or dribble drive. West finished in the top quarter of power forwards in both assist and turnover rate, too, so despite a low foul rate and a middling true shooting percentage, he was a major positive offensively.

On defense he showed he can still move a little, though having Roy Hibbert's length behind him really helped. West's primary value will always be at the offensive end, but he didn't hurt Indiana on defense last season, a pleasant surprise given his recovery from the knee injury. With one year more of recovery, he may prove more mobile than a season ago. Although he's 31 and his jump-shooting numbers may regress a bit, his high-skill game should age well.

ROY HIBBERT, C

Scouting report
+ Long big man with 18-foot range, post moves and great short-range touch.
+ Slow-footed defender, but his conditioning has improved. Mediocre rebounder.
+ Good passer and shot-blocker. Makes free throws. Stamina limits minutes.

Analysis

Hibbert took a major step forward offensively and on the boards last season, making his first All-Star team by being consistently good in nearly every category. Hibbert was above the league median for centers in all but two categories, defensive rebound rate and 2-point shooting percentage, and even in those two he was just a whisker south of the mark.

Top Shooters From 3-15 feet, 2011-12
Player Team Pct.
Roy Hibbert Ind 47.9
Carlos Boozer Chi 47.5
Chris Paul LAC 47.5
LaMarcus Aldridge Por 47.1
Jarrett Jack NO 46.5
Min. 150 attempts. Source: Hoopdata.com

But his specialty is short-to-medium range shooting (see chart). With an unblockable jump hook on the block that he can make with either hand, and a soft touch from the free throw area, Hibbert was the league's best shooter last season in the tricky area between 3 and 15 feet, converting 47.9 percent while taking nearly six tries a game from this range. The bulk of them were close-in post-ups that enabled his jump hook, a potent weapon at his 7-2 height. Hibbert complemented that by improving his command of double-teams, drawing more fouls and crashing the offensive boards more.
Hibbert's two other weaknesses were fouls and stamina, but last season he fouled at a rate below the league average for centers -- a massive improvement compared to his first two seasons. As for the stamina thing -- the Pacers may just have to live with that. Hibbert averaged only 29.8 minutes per game last season and 30.9 even in the playoffs, as he requires frequent breathers.

But when he does play, he's been able to sustain his effort defensively and has become much better at protecting the rim while avoiding fouls. Indiana was marginally better with him on the court, but Synergy gave him the best grades on the team and subjectively he seemed to cope with pick-and-rolls much better than in the past.

RESERVES

IAN MAHINMI, C

Scouting report
+ Athletic big man and high-percentage finisher near the basket. Draws lots of fouls.
+ Has a limited perimeter game and very poor ball skills. Lacks strength for a true 5.
+ Mobile defender but uncoordinated. Has sky-high foul rate. Injury-prone.

Analysis

Mahinmi is a free throw machine -- at both ends. Offensively he ranked sixth among centers in free throw attempts per field goal attempt, and while he's not a great foul shooter those freebies still allowed him to post the 10th-best TS% at his position -- even though his mark shattered his career low. It may all look a bit clumsy, but he shot 66.7 percent in the basket area, got to the line and scored at a decent rate.

Defensively, however, he gives as good as he gets. Mahinmi averaged a foul every 6.5 minutes, the sixth-worst rate among centers, as he too often found himself in size mismatches and is a bit uncoordinated. He moves well and his defensive stats were solid in other respects, but his high foul rate makes it difficult for him to be more than a bench player.

As a third big, however, you could do worse. He is 25 and has put up better numbers in his previous seasons, and even last season he was 39th among centers in PER. He's a passable 10-foot shooter and can play 4 in a pinch, he rebounds fairly well, and as noted above his ability to draw fouls and finish makes him a plus offensively, even if he's not much of a creator. A four-year deal is a risk, but he should help Indy.

TYLER HANSBROUGH, PF

Scouting report
+ Short-armed, hustling power forward with good strength and a scorer's mentality.
+ Draws lots of fouls by attacking rim. Selfish offensive player who forces low, line-drive J's.
+ Lacks length, but quick for his size and defends pick-and-roll well. Subpar rebounder.

Analysis

While Hansbrough's attacking, aggressive mindset is impressive and yields some positive results, one can't help wonder how much better he might do if he ever passed. Hansbrough is one of the league's most frustrating players because once he takes a dribble or gets an offensive board, he's never, ever giving it up, no matter how many defenders rotate in his way. Only three power forwards had a lower assist rate last season, even though he usually operated out of the high post -- "assist central" for most big men.

Hansbrough also forces too many jumpers, taking four shots a game from beyond 10 feet and converting only 33.6 percent of them. As a result, he shot just 40.6 percent on 2-pointers -- only six power forwards were worse. The free throws were a saving grace, especially since he hit 81.3 percent from the line, but it's hard to argue his offense was a positive overall.

Defensively, Hansbrough is tough and moves well, but his lack of size seemed more problematic last season playing next to another undersized player at center (Lou Amundson). Hansbrough had the third-worst rate of blocks and, more surprisingly, the seventh-worst defensive rebound rate among power forwards.

Opposing power forwards had a 16.4 PER at his expense, according to 82games.com, and the Pacers gave up 2.6 points per 100 possessions more with him on the court, although Synergy graded him very well. With more length next to him in Miles Plumlee and Ian Mahinmi, I suspect his defense will become a net positive.

D.J. AUGUSTIN, PG

Scouting report
+ Quick, tiny point guard who can penetrate and dish. Needs to add a floater.
+ Struggles defensively due to lack of size, especially when posted up.
+ Improved passer and distributor. Great foul shooter, but mediocre from 3.

Analysis

I really like the progress Augustin has made as a distributor in his four seasons, but if he doesn't start making shots and getting some defensive stops, it's not going to matter. First, the good news: Augustin had a career-high assist rate, with nearly nine dimes per 40 minutes despite not having a bewildering array of options around him, and ranked seventh in the NBA in pure point rating. I think we can stop calling him a "shoot-first" guard.

If anything, he should be shoot-last. Augustin hit only 37.6 percent from the floor, including a pathetic 39.6 percent on 2-point shots. In particular, he was the game's worst finisher last season, converting only 48.3 percent of his shots at the rim (see chart). On a positive note, he narrowly missed leading all Bobcats point guards in this category.

Worst Shooting Percentage At Rim, 2011-12
Player Team FG% at rim
D.J. Augustin Cha 48.3
Kemba Walker Cha 49.4
Wes Matthews Por 49.5
Norris Cole Mia 50.0
Darren Collison Ind 52.6
Min. 150 attempts. Source: Hoopdata.com

Finally, while Augustin is a great foul shooter (87.6 percent) for his career, that hasn't translated to his 3-point shooting, where he submitted another mediocre performance last season. A tiny guard like Augustin has to be able to punish defenses from out there, and he hasn't consistently done it. Augustin could also use a floater, over the past two seasons he's a miserable 27.7 percent from between 3 and 15 feet.

Meanwhile, he got lit defensively. Synergy, 82games.com and the advance regularized adjusted plus-minus all agreed he was terrible, and have been nodding their heads in unison for years now. Opposing point guards had 19.8 PER against him according to 82games.com, the Bobcats gave up 4.6 points per 100 possessions more with him on the court, and Synergy placed him near the bottom of the league's point guard heap. For a speedy little guard he's surprisingly mediocre laterally and has one of the lowest steal rates among point guards every season.

Basically, he's a backup. As much as one might admire his improved distribution, he just doesn't make enough shots to be a viable starter, especially given the defensive shortcomings.

GERALD GREEN, SG

Scouting report
+ Athletic, explosive leaper with ideal size for a small forward. Ridiculous dunker.
+ Strong 3-point shooter. Ball skills only adequate, and prone to turnovers.
+ Lean build. Defense, basketball IQ and decision-making still are question marks.

Analysis

In a panel at the Sloan Sports Conference a couple years ago, Dallas owner Mark Cuban famously opined that Green "had no idea how to play basketball." At the time that was true, but Green has figured some things out since then. He showcased his newfound competence in a late-season call-up with New Jersey last season, after he had absolutely destroyed the D-League.

The biggest difference is his 3-point shot, and how he uses it to set up the rest of his game. Green made 45.8 percent of his 3s in the D-League and 39.1 percent as a Net; he proved it wasn't a fluke by also making 41.9 percent of his long 2s. With his size and leaping ability, he can get his shot off against any defender. Meanwhile, Green shot 70.7 percent in the basket area, including an assortment of highlight-reel dunks (an alley-oop windmill in a late-season game against Houston takes the cake). Finally, Green's forays to the rim also yielded a high free throw rate.

The question marks about Green at this point have nothing to do with his ability. Can he maintain his effort and concentration? Can he fit in as a role player on a winning team in Indiana, as opposed to putting up numbers on a bad team in New Jersey? Can he play defense the way he plays offense?
The good news on that last front is that Green defended pretty darned well for the Nets. New Jersey gave up 6.0 fewer points per 100 possessions with Green on the court, and according to 82games.com opposing small forwards had only a 9.9 PER against him. If those numbers hold up, the Pacers have themselves a steal.

MILES PLUMLEE, PF

Scouting report
+ Athletic, pogo-stick big man who can run the floor and rebound. Good motor.
+ Non-scorer who gets points on dunks. Very old for a rookie. Good strength.

Analysis

Plumlee was an interesting first-round choice, because he has a crazy vertical for a player of his size and a single, elite-level skill: Only two prospects had a higher rebound rate. Nonetheless, he has a lot to argue against him, starting with the lack of production as a collegian against players two and three years younger than him. Plumlee turned 24 in September and didn't rebound at nearly the same rate in his sophomore and junior seasons.

Additionally, he's a non-factor on offense and blocked shockingly few shots for a big man who can jump. Indiana took a flier to fill a hole at backup center, and he'll definitely get his share of rebounds. I'm just not convinced he'll do enough else to justify playing him.

LANCE STEPHENSON, SG

Scouting report
+ Average athlete with good handle, superior strength, solid midrange shot.
+ Character, commitment are major questions. Makes bad decisions with the ball.
+ Needs to improve long-range shot mechanics. Rebounds well. Can post up.

Analysis

The Pacers tried Stephenson as a backup point guard last season, and I'm guessing they won't try it again. Stephenson has some genuine skills as a passer and a decent handle, but he can't shoot and doesn't make the right play consistently enough -- ergo his massive turnover rate.
He's an NBA-caliber athlete and he's only 22, so there's some hope that he might be able to turn things around. But his jumper is broken and one suspects any future he has will be as a wing player, where his decisions will be less destructive.

SUNDIATA GAINES, G

Scouting report
+ Strongly built, scoring-minded point guard who draws fouls.
+ Poor outside shooter and terrible free throw shooter. Bit of a tweener.
+ Excels at ball pressure, amazing knack for steals. Great rebounder for his size.

Analysis

My 10-second scouting report on Gaines: If he could shoot he'd be really good. Gaines is elite in several areas that don't require shooting a basketball. Among point guards he was third in rebound rate, eighth in free throw rate and second in steals. Unfortunately, he was also 65th out of 70 points guards in 2-point shooting, 69th in free throw percentage and 57th in TS%. He's more of a scorer than a point guard, however, and had the second-worst assist quality among point guards.

On the other hand, Gaines' knack for steals was notable. He's excellent at pressuring the ball and the Nets used a lot of pressing tactics with him in the game, resulting in an incredible 2.77 steals per 40 minutes last season, good for second in the NBA.

Gaines' overall defensive impact was more questionable; he lacks size and his gambles took him out of position at times. While the Nets were marginally better with him on the court, it's hard to attach too much meaning to this given how awful they were overall. Synergy had him in the middle of the pack as well.

Nonetheless, he's a useful player despite his shortcomings. He's put up respectable numbers for three straight seasons at the NBA level, and he destroyed the D-League in 2010-11. He's unorthodox and some teams will flinch at that, but you could do a lot worse as a backup point guard.

SAM YOUNG, SF

Scouting report

+ One-on-one scorer who tends to stop the ball. Very strong, overpowers small wings.
+ Awesome shot fake off the catch. No 3s, but good midrange J. Good rebounder.
+ Solid defender. Tough, physical, aggressive. No court vision at all.

Analysis

If you're going to be a ball-stopping one-on-one player, you at least need to make your shots. Young couldn't buy a bucket last season, and as a result found himself strapped to the bench in Memphis and Philadelphia. Shooting 35.4 percent with a low free throw rate will do that, including an abysmal 21-of-81 away from the rim.

Given the small sample, one suspects this was an outlier, especially since Young's other numbers hardly changed. But the decline in free throw attempts was worrisome. He's not a good enough shooter to live off midrange jumpers, so he needs to get to the basket more than he did last season. If so, he can again be a useful second-unit scorer for the right team. If not, he won't be around for long.

JEFF PENDERGRAPH, PF
Scouting report
+ Tough 4 who can rebound. Decent athlete who can score around basket.
+ Needs work on perimeter game and ball skills. Defensive mobility a question.

Analysis

Pendergraph is a dying breed in the NBA -- a power forward who can't space the floor. He's too short to play center so he has to make it work at the 4, and he's put up pretty good numbers in his limited minutes in Portland and Indiana. Last season he made only 5 of his 20 shots away from the basket, but he's a pretty effective garbage man around the basket thanks to a strong motor. He had missed an entire season due to a knee injury before coming back in 2011, and may get a stronger chance at sustained minutes this time around.

ORLANDO JOHNSON, SG
Scouting report
+ Scoring-minded wing with powerful build and 3-point range. Good handle.
+ Questionable shot selection. Not an elite athlete. Very long arms.

Analysis

Johnson shot over 40 percent on 3s his last two years as a collegian, and he'll try to use that as a launching point to a career as a deep-shooting specialist in the pros. He has a strong build and should be able to defend his position adequately, although that wasn't a focus of his in college.
Outside of that, his options seem limited. He scored a lot in college out of necessity and had solid ballhandling numbers, but he shot 46 percent on 2s against bad competition. Plus, he's already 23 years old, which makes him quite long in the tooth for a rookie.

Banta
09-19-2012, 01:58 PM
Ha! He used the phrases "natural scoring instincts" and "can handle" to describe Paul George. These are among the 2 facets of his game that even his biggest supporters say big weaknesses.

Its gotta be hard to do these kind of reviews for a living, because most of what you see on players is just going to be highlight reels. I doubt the guy watched a bunch of Pacers games to research this critique.

Trader Joe
09-19-2012, 02:03 PM
Good Lord, this has to be the clearest evidence yet that Hollinger doesn't actually watch games.

MvPlumlee
09-19-2012, 02:28 PM
I always thought he was a stats geek, but apparently he watches games too. It's not perfect but I have seen much worse breakdowns.

Ace E.Anderson
09-19-2012, 02:57 PM
Ha! He used the phrases "natural scoring instincts" and "can handle" to describe Paul George. These are among the 2 facets of his game that even his biggest supporters say big weaknesses.

Its gotta be hard to do these kind of reviews for a living, because most of what you see on players is just going to be highlight reels. I doubt the guy watched a bunch of Pacers games to research this critique.

I've always said that PG has the ability to do these things, but lacks the aggressiveness and the decision making to do them on a consistent basis. I actually don't think Hollinger is too far off from most of his opinions on our players. I've certainly seen a lot worse, esp from ESPN.

I actually think he's pretty close to the money with George Hill, Roy, DG, and Green.

Trader Joe
09-19-2012, 03:04 PM
I could never describe Paul George as natural scoring instincts.

Nuntius
09-19-2012, 03:04 PM
Am I the only one that expected an analysis about Blake Ahearn as well?

BRushWithDeath
09-19-2012, 03:15 PM
Am I the only one that expected an analysis about Blake Ahearn as well?

Unless his mom has joined PD, probably.

wintermute
09-19-2012, 03:31 PM
I thought the scouting reports were pretty good. I agreed with them far more than I disagreed. And I love the level of detail that Hollinger goes into.

The report on DJ Augustin seems pretty brutal. I knew his defense was bad, but the numbers look horrendous. And if we thought DC was bad finishing at the rim, turns out DJ was even worse.

Hollinger seems surprisingly upbeat on Hansbrough. His numbers were uniformly bad, save for FT rate, yet Hollinger concludes that he could have a turnaround season when paired with bigger, more athletic players like Mahinmi or Plumlee.

Gaines' description makes him sound like a poor man's Kyle Lowry.

Speed
09-19-2012, 03:33 PM
Does David West "Loves going between his legs"? I need to watch closer or maybe that kind of thing doesn't matter to me.

Otherwise, I like this team, good breakdown, he misses some nuances that we see cuz we watch each game like the Zupruder film.

I agree he missed on some of the Paul George stuff, but I do agree he can do about anything and really just needs refinement of several things. I know we had a big thread on that last year with others disagreeing with me about where Paul is in his development. Still nice review.

I think Ahearn isn't included because he won't be included.

ChicagoJ
09-19-2012, 04:22 PM
Somebody must have ghost-written big parts of that for Hollinger. He doesn't understand the "how" or even the "why", just the statistical output.

daschysta
09-19-2012, 05:09 PM
Ha! He used the phrases "natural scoring instincts" and "can handle" to describe Paul George. These are among the 2 facets of his game that even his biggest supporters say big weaknesses.

Its gotta be hard to do these kind of reviews for a living, because most of what you see on players is just going to be highlight reels. I doubt the guy watched a bunch of Pacers games to research this critique.

Scoring instincts isn't the same thing as Aggressiveness. George knows how to put the ball in the hoop, we just wish that he'd do it more often. Also he's evaluating George as a Small forward, and his ball handling isn't terrible for that position, it gets exacerbated when he's being guarded by smaller players, but at the 3 it wouldn't be nearly the problem it is. Hollinger also watches more basketball than you're implying.

He made some good observations about some players that clearly imply he's watched them play last year. For instance, someone only paying attention to stats would harp on Hill's low assist percentage, instead of realizing that even though he recorded fewer assists he actually did a better job of getting us into sets than Collison.

Most of his analysis, even aside from stats, which are, obviously accurate, is better than alot of other ESPN people.

cdash
09-19-2012, 05:14 PM
Damn. I'm pissed I didn't get to this thread quick enough to make the obligatory, "It's Hollinger, so people will ***** no matter what he says" comment.

pacergod2
09-19-2012, 05:50 PM
Damn. I'm pissed I didn't get to this thread quick enough to make the obligatory, "It's Hollinger, so people will ***** no matter what he says" comment.

My first thought before I read anything was, "Oh great, a Hollinger piece". Littered with green font.

I actually came away pretty surprised. I think Hollinger has gotten better every year with his evaluations, because he is beginning to add more insights than just what his advanced stats show. I think this might be the most accurate thing I have read from him, IMO, but there were several points of contention still.

His breakdown of Gaines was nice for me, since I have seen very little of him. Gaines makes more sense now. I think he is really good at the things Augustin is not, and vice versa. I think the two of them could really push each other to be better and help round out one anothers' games.

I really like his "Scouting Report" portion of each player prior to describing them. Really nice touch to kind of familiarize people with players they don't necessarily know.

I think my biggest issue with Hollinger's piece is how high he is on Hansborough versus how little he thinks of Mahinmi. I think these are two players headed in the opposite directions. Last year, I thought Mahinmi made big strides throughout the season in Dallas, getting more comfortable as the year on with his defense. I thought Mahimni was a much better player than he got credit for here. I'm not saying he is some world beater by any means, but I think his defense will be what he eventually hangs his hat on as a pro. He really improved that 10-12 foot jumper. I think this is where watching the games, I see Mahinmi being the better long-term player than Hansborough regardless of what stats he is reading. Hansborough's shot is UGLY. If he put some arc on it, he could be lethal. He desperately needs to pass more to add versatility to his game and force people to fully defend him. He can't space the floor when he can't make that shot and no one will guard him then. He hurts us more than he helps us offensively, and on the other side, he gets shot over like Tia Carrera on an all-night-shoot in Miami. The guy is an ox, but doesn't think enough about the game to help himself and more importantly, his teammates out.

clownskull
09-19-2012, 06:52 PM
he calls hibbert a mediocre rebounder? 9 boards in 30 minutes is not mediocre.
roy wasn't particularly good at it when he came in the league. however, he has gotten much better since.
last season, he was pretty damn good. and i think all the strength training really paid off and it showed up everywhere, especially in the boards.
i suspect roy will be getting about 9-10 this year.
no reason another off-season of strength and conditioning couldn't make that happen.

daschysta
09-19-2012, 08:13 PM
he calls hibbert a mediocre rebounder? 9 boards in 30 minutes is not mediocre.
roy wasn't particularly good at it when he came in the league. however, he has gotten much better since.
last season, he was pretty damn good. and i think all the strength training really paid off and it showed up everywhere, especially in the boards.
i suspect roy will be getting about 9-10 this year.
no reason another off-season of strength and conditioning couldn't make that happen.

Yeah, 10.6 per 36 isn't bad at all, he's not a good defensive rebounder, but he's a very good offensive rebounder, which is arguably more useful anyhow. I wouldn't be suprised to see Hibbert average a double double next season. 1 more step up in his game and a bit more usage and he's golden and will be right back in the ASG.

Hicks
09-19-2012, 09:42 PM
It's weird how he doesn't even acknowledge West's post skills/game.

Brad8888
09-19-2012, 10:24 PM
If Hollinger is right, which seems to be approximately 60% of the time, Augustin will be the focus of lots of angst for us here. If he can't shoot or defend, and with our overall offensive scheme not designed to flow from the point guard initiating the offense, what can Augustin possibly do for us that will be of any value? He appears to be an even smaller version of TJ Ford according to this description for the most part.

Plainly, Hollinger has mostly seen Paul George in highlight reels and little more. To judge Paul as anything less than excellent as an on the ball defender is uninformed, at best. Paul may need some work within the team defensive concept due to his over reliance on his athleticism which allows him to take chances and then quickly cover for his mistakes, but overall he is a driven and very competent defender who will soon be elite, especially if the team continues to focus on defense as a high priority.

The last time that Hollinger watched Hansborough must have been against the Bulls in the 2011 playoffs.

PGisthefuture
09-19-2012, 10:30 PM
Yeah his analysis on Paul George isn't the greatest.

cdash
09-19-2012, 10:45 PM
Yeah his analysis on Paul George isn't the greatest.

Yeah, he has a couple of misses here, for sure. But he provides a different perspective and the guy cannot watch/study/critique all 30 NBA teams the way us fans do with our favorite teams. He watches more basketball than most people on PD give him credit for, but he will make mistakes, as will everyone. His statistician background leads people to believe he just crunches numbers all day, but he definitely watches the games. His cerebral approach to analyzing it is what is so off-putting to most people here. We see something and run with what we saw and what our gut tells us. Hollinger sees something and looks at statistics to either confirm or deny what he saw. More often than not, he will rely on the numbers above subjective viewing, which is why I am always interested in his perspective, whether I agree with it or not.

PR07
09-20-2012, 12:38 AM
I actually thought it was a pretty good analysis. He probably doesn't see the Pacers as much as a lot of the die hard fans that post here, but there's definitely some truth to every one of his assessments.

Sparhawk
09-20-2012, 10:39 AM
I think Hollinger's analysis is pretty accurate. Some good stuff in there.

pacergod2
09-20-2012, 11:56 AM
My biggest thing with Hibbert's rebounding is that he was the best at rebounding during the playoffs. The kid stepped his game up big time in the playoffs and was winning rebounds he let others normally have. Love seeing that.

ChicagoJ
09-20-2012, 12:36 PM
I think Hollinger's analysis is pretty accurate. Some good stuff in there.

Or his ghostwriter. I think he got "help". This was an outlier in the statistical babble and crap that usually gets Hollinger's byline. For once, I'm glad I ignored the "HOLLINGER!! READ AT OWN RISK" warning.

xBulletproof
09-20-2012, 01:37 PM
I didn't know where to put this, but on the Dan Dakich show Paul George just said his main focus was ball handling this offseason and that he's hired a ball handling coach this summer that's even here on Indy with him.

So people can stop freaking out that he's tweeting pictures. :laugh:

Eleazar
09-20-2012, 01:44 PM
I think overall this was a mostly accurate take on our players. There are a few head scratcher moments, but you can't expect a national writer to know you team as well as you do. They probably don't even watch half as many of the teams games as we do, and that is probably true for every team, fan base, and national sports reporter.

BillS
09-20-2012, 01:44 PM
I didn't know where to put this, but on the Dan Dakich show Paul George just said his main focus was ball handling this offseason and that he's hired a ball handling coach this summer that's even here on Indy with him.

So people can stop freaking out that he's tweeting pictures. :laugh:

I just wish Paul George would stop appearing on talk shows and work on his handles. :lol:

Mad-Mad-Mario
09-20-2012, 02:20 PM
I didn't know where to put this, but on the Dan Dakich show Paul George just said his main focus was ball handling this offseason and that he's hired a ball handling coach this summer that's even here on Indy with him.

So people can stop freaking out that he's tweeting pictures. :laugh:

Amazing news

Naptown_Seth
09-20-2012, 03:38 PM
First of all, that's the best set of Pacers analysis I can remember ever seeing, just brilliant work by Hollinger that puts it in the face of people that think he only does data. He watches and then backs up opinion with data that verifies it.


And for Sam Young I've been saying the following since he was at Pitt

Awesome shot fake off the catch. No 3s, but good midrange J.
That's his game. His fake is about the longest extension I can recall seeing, like Globetrotter ball-on-string kinda up-fake, and it works.

If something isn't wrong with him behind the scenes he's going to be a great addition for super cheap.

Naptown_Seth
09-20-2012, 03:46 PM
Does David West "Loves going between his legs"? I need to watch closer or maybe that kind of thing doesn't matter to me.
At the Houston game last year, where some of you may recall I was upset watching Lance brag to some fan on the baseline about what final regulation play we were about to run and how it was going to be money, Lance was showing the guy the between leg crossover to fade jumper. He was telling the guy "here it comes, West is about to do this".

West then did just that and missed, making Lance look silly for talking pre-play trash to a fan on the road.

But it struck me that I normally don't think of that being West's game, but there it was.



Also I'm certain that Hollinger uses Synergy to watch play after play of a player before doing his assessment. Seeing every single fade or post or whatever that a guy did all year rattled off one after the other can really bring some trends to light that otherwise get lost.


And as for "He missed on Paul" I guess my question is "how?" Do we not think Paul reads potential steals great but gets out of position on defense overall? I read it here all the time. I felt like every pro and con for PG was something I'd seen discussed at Digest.

IMO Paul has CONCENTRATION issues which is what hurts his team defense and his handles. When he gets dialed in due to emotion or whatever he can go on tears, but sometimes things will get rolling and he'll get cocky and less attentive and that's when disaster strikes.


Ha! He used the phrases "natural scoring instincts" and "can handle" to describe Paul George
A 6'8" wing/big with handles is what he meant. Paul is trying to get the handles of a 6'4" guard since the Pacers have him at SG. His actual moves while paying full attention are better than Danny, and he 100% has natural scoring instincts. Almost all his offense comes from broken or one on one situations where he goes into instinctive scoring mode. He spaces transition with good instinct and has natural moves into shots.

What he lacks is protecting the ball while doing these things (again, staying focused on his man and where the ball is at risk) and the instincts to use his teammates to improve his scoring opportunities. He doesn't show a good sense for the 2-3 man game on offense, he's not a PnR master or great at using picks/screens.

Hicks
09-20-2012, 03:58 PM
I didn't know where to put this, but on the Dan Dakich show Paul George just said his main focus was ball handling this offseason and that he's hired a ball handling coach this summer that's even here on Indy with him.

So people can stop freaking out that he's tweeting pictures. :laugh:

I'll believe it when I see a picture of his coach. #sothere

imawhat
09-20-2012, 04:17 PM
Can Paul's dribbling coach dribble?

Naptown_Seth
09-20-2012, 04:51 PM
I think my biggest issue with Hollinger's piece is how high he is on Hansborough versus how little he thinks of Mahinmi.
Maybe this is the problem (interpretation) because I didn't get that at all. Here is what I read from Hollinger on these two...

Mahinmi - gives you a couple of big advantage points, but his fouling is a huge issue that prevents him from being a big minutes guy

Tyler - has major problems but maybe that was because he was paired with an undersized guy? Also he's a terrible ball hog regardless, one of the worst black holes in the game.


Not what I'd call a glowing endorsement for Tyler, more of a "well maybe he can turn it around"

Pacergeek
09-20-2012, 05:43 PM
I hope he is wrong about DJ's defense. Maybe Augustin just mailed it in on a bad team

Sandman21
09-20-2012, 06:26 PM
I didn't know where to put this, but on the Dan Dakich show Paul George just said his main focus was ball handling this offseason and that he's hired a ball handling coach this summer that's even here on Indy with him.

So people can stop freaking out that he's tweeting pictures. :laugh:

As much as he discussed his ballhandling work, I'd almost think he's been surfing here. Time to own up, which one of you is PG? :D

daschysta
09-20-2012, 07:18 PM
Man, if Paul George actually did shore up his ball handling to the point where he's decent to above average for a shooting guard... What would he not be able to do on the court? Pretty much nothing, he's already a great rebounder, good shooter, disruptive defender and hyper athletic.

If anything being forced to work on his dribble to the point where he's effective putting the ball on the floor is only going to help him when he takes over at shooting guard. Some people don't realize how difficult protecting the ball is at 6'8 trying to break guys down on the perimeter that are much smaller than you are.

Dribbling is first priority, then developing a post-up game. If he becomes very good at either one of those things he'll be a devastating player.

Hicks
09-20-2012, 10:55 PM
I'm definitely curious to see if there is immediately noticeable improvement when I get to see him play next month.

sportfireman
09-23-2012, 06:24 PM
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/Yt2BmIrMYNo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

mattie
09-24-2012, 02:46 AM
Completely agreed with his analysis on Paul George. It is as if Hollinger took Paul George's entire game into account and many here don't.

The idea that Paul George can't dribble: Paul George has great skills with the ball in his hands, the problem is, he's very LOOSE. Doesn't mean he doesn't have a lot of skills with it. A lot of times on fast breaks he stands up and dribbles to high. It doesn't mean he doesn't have skill, it's just a dumb move. The dude knows how to dribble the ball, and all I have to do is pull up a few highlights showing him burning people off the dribble. (he did it rarely because he isn't aggressive, and also, he turned the ball over a lot while dribbling because he's so LOOSE, but again, he has skils)

Paul George's defense: I know this is a losing, battle and I lost it a long time ago. I think it would be accurate to say the majority of boarders here believe Paul George is a great defender. This probably almost entirely because of his ungodly defense on Rose over a year ago. The truth about Paul George's defense is he is an absurdly talented defender that makes tons of mistakes all game that overall make him an average defender. That's just the truth. It sucks that a few high profile performances make everyone forget some of his brutal performances. Not too mention, very few players play good defense out of the gate. Generally a few years in the league is what is required before a player maximizes his potential on defense. Paul will get there. Very soon, Obviously. Just wait until he performs before calling him a great defender.. is that too much to ask??

Paul's scoring instincts: This one absolutely floors me. I don't know how anyone can say he doesn't have natural scoring instincts. I don't care if he NEVER turns into a scorer. That is a real possibility. Regardless, he's a natural scorer. The few times he attempts to get himself a shot it is almost ridiculous how effortless it is for him.

By the way when people say Hollinger just has stats and doesn't watch the games.. The fact that he doesn't think too highly of Paul George's defense is proof enough even if you don't agree with him. Paul already has a reputation for being a defender because of his extremely high profile D on Rose. People who don't watch assume he's great. Those who watched every game have seen his poor performances...

pacergod2
09-24-2012, 09:47 AM
Completely agreed with his analysis on Paul George. It is as if Hollinger took Paul George's entire game into account and many here don't.

The idea that Paul George can't dribble: Paul George has great skills with the ball in his hands, the problem is, he's very LOOSE. Doesn't mean he doesn't have a lot of skills with it. A lot of times on fast breaks he stands up and dribbles to high. It doesn't mean he doesn't have skill, it's just a dumb move. The dude knows how to dribble the ball, and all I have to do is pull up a few highlights showing him burning people off the dribble. (he did it rarely because he isn't aggressive, and also, he turned the ball over a lot while dribbling because he's so LOOSE, but again, he has skils)

Paul George's defense: I know this is a losing, battle and I lost it a long time ago. I think it would be accurate to say the majority of boarders here believe Paul George is a great defender. This probably almost entirely because of his ungodly defense on Rose over a year ago. The truth about Paul George's defense is he is an absurdly talented defender that makes tons of mistakes all game that overall make him an average defender. That's just the truth. It sucks that a few high profile performances make everyone forget some of his brutal performances. Not too mention, very few players play good defense out of the gate. Generally a few years in the league is what is required before a player maximizes his potential on defense. Paul will get there. Very soon, Obviously. Just wait until he performs before calling him a great defender.. is that too much to ask??

Paul's scoring instincts: This one absolutely floors me. I don't know how anyone can say he doesn't have natural scoring instincts. I don't care if he NEVER turns into a scorer. That is a real possibility. Regardless, he's a natural scorer. The few times he attempts to get himself a shot it is almost ridiculous how effortless it is for him.

By the way when people say Hollinger just has stats and doesn't watch the games.. The fact that he doesn't think too highly of Paul George's defense is proof enough even if you don't agree with him. Paul already has a reputation for being a defender because of his extremely high profile D on Rose. People who don't watch assume he's great. Those who watched every game have seen his poor performances...

Here is the thing... I think when we discuss Paul George, half of the people will talk candidly about his potential with a lot of these areas. Not necessarily what he does. A lot of people will overlook the mistakes he makes because of his youth. He makes a ton of small mistakes that more mature players capitalize on. He will get there with more work and more teaching. He is the most capable defender on this team, it doesn't mean he is the best defender however. If I am Vogel and I need to make a stop, I am putting George on their best perimeter player. I called for George to move over to Lebron and Granger to Wade after Game 1 of the Heat series. That was the better defensive assignment for us, because of George's ability. Does George make too many mistakes defensively, VERY much so. Is he still our most athletic defender who has always made up for those lapses with his huge athleticism, yes. He will be an elite defender when he cuts down on his mistakes. That's what makes it tough to say, he is OK, or he is elite, because in reality what he does and what he is capable of are vastly different at this point.

He is our most athletic scorer by a long shot, but he doesn't utilize it. He is still our fifth option offensively. To be honest, when our ball movement improves, it will include a lot more opportunities for George to drive the lane, which is the one thing we really lack offensively. Our offense NEEDS that from him. That doesn't put as much pressure on Granger and Hill to drive, which is not their strengths. This will force the defense to collapse more and leave Granger and Hill open outside more often, which is what we want. George really needs to be more aggressive this year taking it to the hole. That is one reason I like the Gerald Green signing a lot, as he is good at attacking the lane from the perimeter. Our team offense is really going to be improved this year based on much better ball movement, IMO.

Hollinger is not necessarily wrong on most of what he said about all of our players, but it is the interpretation of what these guys are versus what they are capable of that is the big difference.

CJ Jones
09-24-2012, 11:10 PM
Hmmm, I thought the prevailing theme around here was that Paul is nails on the ball but struggles off the ball chasing players around screens and occasionally falling asleep on his man. Seems like Hollinger is saying the exact opposite to me.

And yes mattie, you're asking too much when a nearly a quarter of NBA coaches agree that George was great defensively last year. When what I see (I have synergy too ;)) falls in line with what NBA coaches are seeing, I feel pretty confident in my opinion.

Scary part is he's only going to get better...

Coopdog23
09-25-2012, 09:02 AM
Wouldn't say Hibbert is a mediocre rebounder.

Eleazar
09-25-2012, 10:15 AM
Paul defiantly isn't an all-around great defender yet. Screens are kryptonite to him, and he tends to get lost off the ball. On the ball though, he is as good as they come. Until the Heat figured out to set picks for Wade he dominated Wade. He just has huge glaring holes at the other aspects of defense that keep him from being a great defender. A guy like Kyle Korver would eat him alive running around screens all-day, but guys like Wade who rely on their one v one skills and speed don't stand a chance.

Naptown_Seth
09-25-2012, 12:34 PM
Does George make too many mistakes defensively, VERY much so. Is he still our most athletic defender who has always made up for those lapses with his huge athleticism, yes. He will be an elite defender when he cuts down on his mistakes.
Good points by Mattie and Pacergod2.

I think of Paul as a great defender and as the guy to fetch onto someone that is rolling, but this is because of his natural talent as a defender. Sometimes in that primary defender role he gets lit up, and clearly he does make mistakes, but as PG2 says I will overlook it due to experience. Behind it is the expectation that he's learning how to remove those errors and that when he does he's going to be a terror. This is the same for K Leonard btw, a very similar defender.



One other caveat is that the BRAIN and EMOTIONS are attributes just like physical build and quickness. Maybe Paul has a mindset that is just prone to wander and even if he works on it this will just continue to be a problem. It won't be laziness or lack of desire or low intelligence, it would be due to the physical construction of his brain and how it likes to process and cope with things.

Training for a certain mindset and/or a natural inclination to process situations and information a certain way is definitely a factor with athletes just as much as it is with anyone else.

It's possible that "concentration" with Paul remains an issue despite training, just as Roy might continue to roller coaster on emotions more than other players. At some point a person just is who he is, and the bad comes with the good. It's wrong to just assume that every player will just automatically "mature" or develop his mental game, just like it's wrong to assume that Roy will suddenly become much quicker or Tyler will suddenly get huge hops.

That assumption is how you get "well he has these skills so in a few years he'll be an all-star...what happened".


Having said that, Paul George will be an all-star. :-p ;)

daschysta
09-25-2012, 01:22 PM
Good points by Mattie and Pacergod2.

I think of Paul as a great defender and as the guy to fetch onto someone that is rolling, but this is because of his natural talent as a defender. Sometimes in that primary defender role he gets lit up, and clearly he does make mistakes, but as PG2 says I will overlook it due to experience. Behind it is the expectation that he's learning how to remove those errors and that when he does he's going to be a terror. This is the same for K Leonard btw, a very similar defender.



One other caveat is that the BRAIN and EMOTIONS are attributes just like physical build and quickness. Maybe Paul has a mindset that is just prone to wander and even if he works on it this will just continue to be a problem. It won't be laziness or lack of desire or low intelligence, it would be due to the physical construction of his brain and how it likes to process and cope with things.

Training for a certain mindset and/or a natural inclination to process situations and information a certain way is definitely a factor with athletes just as much as it is with anyone else.

It's possible that "concentration" with Paul remains an issue despite training, just as Roy might continue to roller coaster on emotions more than other players. At some point a person just is who he is, and the bad comes with the good. It's wrong to just assume that every player will just automatically "mature" or develop his mental game, just like it's wrong to assume that Roy will suddenly become much quicker or Tyler will suddenly get huge hops.

That assumption is how you get "well he has these skills so in a few years he'll be an all-star...what happened".


Having said that, Paul George will be an all-star. :-p ;)

Agreed with pretty much everything, however I am less worried about George's problems than many others simply because lack of focus and mental lapses tend to be a common hurdle that young players must overcome regardless, now, George may additionally have problems with that, but I think that will be determined over the next few seasons. I think that he could be an All-Star as soon as the 2013-2014 season. Hearing that George has been taking initiative and being proactive with other players indicates to me that he's started to look at himself in more of a leadership role, which perhaps will lead to him asserting himself more often as opposed to deferring to the Veteran players more than he should. I'm very, very interested to see if his work on ball handling has payed off, he isn't a bad ball handler, a bit lose perhaps, but playing shooting guard means that he'll need to be a good ball handler to take smaller guys off the dribble. If he indeed has shown a measurable improvement in that area then he's really going to start reaching the point where there isn't much that he is incapable of doing on a basketball court.