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Peck
10-30-2012, 01:12 AM
This off season has been a real rollercoaster for me.

Obviously I was thrilled with last season & Iím not even slightly kidding. We far exceeded any expectations that I had and I thought we upped the time table on the rebuild by about 2 years.

But after my euphoria wore off I was slapped in the face with the reality that while I didnít like it, in fact I hated it, but two superstars could beat a team of really good players.

This of course brought me way down, down to the point of wondering why I even bother watching the NBA because it is such a superstar driven league a team like ours just has no real chance.

But by draft night I had kind of gotten over it, a little, and like all draft nights I was anxiously awaiting our newest wonder kid who would solve all of our problems.

My draft night went like this. Anticipation, excitement, bewilderment & disappointment with more bewilderment.

When Hicks read off the name Miles Plumlee (a good 3 min. before it was announced on TV) the first word out of my mouth was ďwhoĒ. This then was followed up by several people trying to go online looking to see who this guy was with only Shade having even the foggiest of ideas because of his time watching Duke and his statement to all of us was ďhe couldnít even get off of the benchĒ.

But understanding that I know nothing about college basketball & I mean nothing, I just hoped for the best with him even though everybody else in the room looked as though we had just watched them put down old yeller.

I knew though that this was our summer, we had cap space & even though I knew we couldnít sign a big name free agent (there werenít really any out there other than Williams & Nash) I thought for sure we could work out a trade with Utah that could send D.C., Tyler & whatever else it took to get one of their abundant front court players (most likely Milsap).

Then all of a sudden I see that we have signed & traded D.C. & Dahntay Jones for Ian Mahinmi a backup center from Dallas & then we signed D.J. Augustin to a one year deal & Gerald Green to a multi year deal.

This of course caused me to stew for the remainder of the summer. They kept saying that the bench was improved but I kept remembering that by games 5 & 6 our starters could not contain the Heat. Sure our bench blew but I wanted an upgrade in our starting 5.

But understanding that we couldnít do that I then decided to look at what we had gotten & gotten rid of. First & foremost I was a Lou fan, I liked his energy & play I have since he was in Phoenix. He is listed at 6í9Ē & Ian is listed at 6í11Ē I just didnít feel like 2Ē was very much of a difference and in truth I wanted them to move Hansbrough & keep Lou.

I then decided that I could not get excited about our new backup point guard who was the starter on the worst team in NBA history and played defense like a cat doing chemistry (in other words not at all) and then there was Mr. YouTube. Yes we all enjoyed his dunks but was I really going to be happy with a player who hadnít been in the NBA for years over a player (Barbosa) who had been a significant contributor to teams during that time. Yes he stunk in the playoffs, in fact he was a net loss whenever he was on the floor, but he did play well at times during the regular season & all Green had done was put up pretty shots & mild stats on a New Jersey team that had nothing to win or lose.

Then came pre-season. It took me all of about 4 min. of watching Ian play before I decided that not only was this a good player but this was one hell of a trade and then to make matters worse (or better depending on your point of view) I saw him play side by side vs. Lou. It wasnít even close. First size wise itís really obvious that either Lou is actually about 6í7Ē (hell maybe even 6í6Ē) & Ian is really closer to 7í. But the offense that he has just came out of nowhere.

Ok, props here to Pacers4ever for calling out Ian early on. I admit this one right up front, I blew it here. This guy is good enough to be a starting center in the NBA & a legit one at that. Not some scrub who can play spot min. I mean a real legit center & now we have two of them.

Then Green started to play & not only was he doing breathtaking dunks (they are out of this world good btw) but he also was playing real serious defense as well. Now itís not outstanding defense but it is more than acceptable.

So in other words throughout the pre-season my Pacers opinion soared. Forget the Heat I was ready for the Lakers for another go round with them.

Then came the news that Danny Grangerís knee was hurting him. My euphoria dropped faster than the Hindenburg.

Itís just a fact of life & we will have to live with it, but if Dannyís knees are an issue all season long my thoughts are that we will still be a good to great team but I doubt how far we can advance if it really truly is an issue. If itís just minor, no big deal but if he has to miss significant amounts of time I just donít know.

Anyway my god that went a lot longer than I wanted it to because I havenít even gotten to the players yet, so to spare us all time Iím going to do an abbreviated player by player summary.

Roy Hibbert: Let me tell you all I need to say about Roy and it comes from the Chicago game. Noah had to have double team help on Roy. This was the first time that I can recall him both asking for and getting double team help with Roy in the paint. Why is this important because in the past he has been able to handle Roy one on one and if this is no longer the case than we now have a free hand on the court. Until I see something to prove to me otherwise I will say this. Roy Hibbert is the best center in the East & IMO itís not even close. This guy has legitimately made himself into a center who deserves floor time. So at one of the most important spots on the floor we start off with an advantage over almost every team that does not have Lakers in their name.

Danny Granger: As I said this one is going to hurt if he canít play, but if he can Iíll say I expect at least as good as if not better than last seasons Danny. I pray that he doesnít get off to the slow start that he normally does but at the very least he canít get off on that God awful slow start he had last year. What scares me the most though is if his lateral movement is affected by his knee. If it is we are really in trouble because of the next person who I am going to go over.

David West: I know this is not popular & I know what he brings to the table with leadership, scoring & strength. But if it is possible in the pre-season he seemed even slower & less athletic than he was last year. This will be particularly bad if Dannyís knee is acting up as neither of them are going to be able to rotate down & help Roy whenever a guard penetrates past Augustin (when heís out there). Look on offense he is perfect next to Roy as he can step out & hit a 15í shot like a layup but his defense is just scary at times and nauseating at others. Also for as big & tough as he is I sure would like to see him grab some more rebounds than he does.

Paul George: He tried God love him. They gave him the ball & he tried to score in myriad of ways. Some nights he did other nights he did not but to his credit he always tried. If Danny is down or slowed then he is going to have to step it up on offense, but if not then all I really care about is that he not disappear on the offensive end & try his best to get to the rim. Look it canít be denied at 6í10Ē being a shooting guard he has a real chance to be something special. But instead of trying to be a superstar scorer I think his calling is in being a dynamic all around player or as special K used to call them ďa stat sheet stufferĒ. Some have said he has to have a breakout year & I just laugh. He has all of the tools & he still has a lot of time before he even reaches his prime.

George Hill: Iím not going to lie. Iím not happy with him taking off the pre-season. I mean injury is one thing but it looks like he could have played those last two games. I really wish he would have played some game time (not practice) so we could have gotten the chemistry worked out in pre-season and not the first game. But Iíll go with the idea that they all played together last year so it may not be a big deal. I just am not comfortable with players who donít mind sitting out games, even pre-season. But weíll call it a wash & I really want him on the floor as much as possible.

Ian Mahinmi: IMO right now the single most significant pickup in the off-season. I said it up above but Iíll say it again differently to emphasize the point. When Roy Hibbert goes to the bench we are replacing him with a player who could easily start & play for a lot of teams in the NBA. Sure we lose some but overall we donít lose anything because Iím going on record right now and say that he is the best backup center in the entire league. Also, I know I shouldnít hope for this but I will, he can play the 4 next to Hibbert. Believe me when weíve seen the plodding cowherd that is Hansbrough & West you will be praying for someone with athletic ability and in the past that has been Danny but now, well now Iím rooting for more Ian. Here you go, you want another bold prediction, if for some reason we actually do advance to where we beat the Heat (no Iím not saying we will) but if we did I will say that Ian will be a major reason why.

D.J. Augustin: He got better as the pre-season went on. He couldnít have gotten worse btw because that fist night Jose Barea looked like Skip to my Lou at Rucker Park. But after he managed to actually not be the sieve on defense that I expected every possession I got to watch his entry passes to the post and yes they are as good as we had hoped for. In fact he could raise Royís scoring avg. by two baskets a game all by himself if given the chance. But oh God his defense is sketchy. Weíll see how he does vs. backups.

Gerald Green: I tweeted early on that I suspected that he had hollow bones like a bird or a dinosaur so that he could fly. If nothing else this will give me reason to get to the games early and watch the dunk lines. But I think he is going to be much more than just dunks and threeís. He seems to have something to prove and I like the fact that he has a donít back down attitude and salutes people after he dunks on them. Sometimes you have to have some flash. But mostly I just hope that he can be a consistent scorer from the bench when we need it. Time will tell but I liked what I saw in pre-season.

Tyler Hansbrough: Yea, I got nothing. First game I ever saw him play in the NBA looked like the last game I saw him play in pre-season. I will hope for improvement but have just accepted that either the league has him figured out & at best every now and then he will have a game where he gets everything going for him or he is incapable of growing as a player.

Sam Young: Iím a sucker for hard nosed defenders who play physical. Sadly these players also tend to have no offense & once again this appears to be the case. If Granger goes down though or is limited this may be one of the more under rated pick ups in the off season as he could easily step into the primary backup role and allow either Green or even George to play the starters role.

Jeff Pendegraph: Better smile every time he cashes that paycheck cause there are probably about 10-20 other players in the D-league & Europe who could easily take his spot. Sorry gang but after watching him closely all pre-season he is what he is. Which means I think he has hit the top of his ladder. Hey every team needs an energy guy and as long as he is content in his role then more power to him, he does do a mean pre-game warm up scream.

Lance Stephenson: No this isnít his last chance in the NBA. Yes it would be nice if he did somehow show that he deserved time on the floor but heís too young and talented to say if he doesnít somehow break out this year he is out of the league for good. Now having said that I will say he was disappointing in the pre-season and frankly right now I think they have him over thinking the game and slowing it down way to much because right now he looks like he is going in slow motion when he is on the floor. I realize that this is a conscious effort by the club to get him to stop rushing but it looks like they are going to have to tweak that some as he now appears to have shifted to far the other way.

Miles Plumlee, Orlando Johnson & Ben Hansbrough. I look forward to reading about their mad antís adventures & look forward to the day they come to us ready to contribute. I am truly excited that the club is using the D-league this year & I hope each player benefits from it.

Now here is the tricky part. This is the year we really get to see how good Frank Vogel is as a coach. We know he is a master motivator but how good is he going to be at drawing up plays and adjusting to an entire season. Heís had a training camp and now a full pre-season, so how good is he going to be. One could watch that Bulls game and see early on that the Bulls even without Rose & Heinrich were running plays that got them shots at the rim while we struggled to get into our offense early on. But as the game progressed the tide turned a little bit on that. The Bulls had some of their shots that were dropping stop going in while the Pacers started to run off plays to get to the rim.

I believe in Frank so once again I think he is the most important person on the team and we go as far as Frankís ability to adjust gets us.

Overall I am very optimistic going into the season and Iím not even talking about my normal ďI hope everything goes well this yearĒ optimism I have every year to start the year (yes even under Satan). But this year I actually donít look for them to just have a good year. This year I think they contend.

Contending means E.C. finals and frankly anything less is a disappointment. A first round exit barring significant injury would be devastating & not making the playoffs is just not something I can even comprehend right now.

My how we have come a long way in just two short years.

cgg
10-30-2012, 01:35 AM
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/9-Lk1wtS-YQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

xtacy
10-30-2012, 03:13 AM
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/9-Lk1wtS-YQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

what the hell is that?

cgg
10-30-2012, 03:15 AM
what the hell is that?

That's our backup center.

http://f.cl.ly/items/1m2u1h0A2O291q3A2X0p/Screen%20Shot%202012-10-30%20at%204.29.11%20AM.png

rexnom
10-30-2012, 03:21 AM
DO YOU LOVE BLUE ROBE, PACERS FANS?!!

graphic-er
10-30-2012, 08:54 AM
I think plumlee was a safe pick. But will be pisses if he gets sent to the DLeague. He is a first round pick. What a waste, especially when pj3 was available. He is already looking great for the thunder. Im not sure what the pacers were thinking seeing how Dwest will be looking another big contract...will we afford to keep him. Would have been nice to have a dynamic 4 who slide over and play the 3 like PJ3

Cubs231721
10-30-2012, 09:05 AM
I think plumlee was a safe pick. But will be pisses if he gets sent to the DLeague. He is a first round pick. What a waste, especially when pj3 was available. He is already looking great for the thunder. Im not sure what the pacers were thinking seeing how Dwest will be looking another big contract...will we afford to keep him. Would have been nice to have a dynamic 4 who slide over and play the 3 like PJ3

Complete speculation here, but it could be that the Pacers were one of the several teams who had pulled Jones completely off their boards. The reports during and after the draft suggested that the doctors for some teams felt like he could only hold up so long before inevitably breaking down. Even if he plays well this year, that doesn't invalidate those concerns yet. The question could become though if he was valuable enough to this squad to risk him only playing 2-3 years.

Trader Joe
10-30-2012, 09:18 AM
It's a little weird to me that if Vogel and the Pacers have a less than stellar season the guy I'd like to see replace him is already on our bench...

Sparhawk
10-30-2012, 09:28 AM
Nice write-up Peck.

I agree with most of it.

I have hope that Lance will be the player that most of us know that he can become. I even have my doubts that it'll happen. Even still, I think he'll be back next year. And why not, his contract is cheap. But after that he may end up floating around China or the DLeague working on this game much like Green before he has a come back. I really hope that doesn't happen, cause I want him to put it together in a Pacer uni.

McKeyFan
10-30-2012, 09:31 AM
Great post, Peck.

One thought: given our depth at wing and obtaining Young and Green, continuing to prop up Lance, and generously paying Hill . . . I wonder if TPTB have known about Granger's knee concerns for a while now.

McKeyFan
10-30-2012, 09:33 AM
I think plumlee was a safe pick. But will be pisses if he gets sent to the DLeague. He is a first round pick. What a waste, especially when pj3 was available. He is already looking great for the thunder. Im not sure what the pacers were thinking seeing how Dwest will be looking another big contract...will we afford to keep him. Would have been nice to have a dynamic 4 who slide over and play the 3 like PJ3
If Ian ends up being as good as we hope and is a legitimate answer at the 4, he may end up replacing West instead of us resigning West.

xIndyFan
10-30-2012, 09:34 AM
Complete speculation here, but it could be that the Pacers were one of the several teams who had pulled Jones completely off their boards. The reports during and after the draft suggested that the doctors for some teams felt like he could only hold up so long before inevitably breaking down. Even if he plays well this year, that doesn't invalidate those concerns yet. The question could become though if he was valuable enough to this squad to risk him only playing 2-3 years.

There was rumor that many of the scouts used the words 'Tim Thomas' to describe Jones in their write-ups of him. Add that to his knee issues, and it's not surprising that some teams down graded him. Also, isn't the Thunder using him as a SF? That means either he is big and skilled or unable to play the 4. If Jones is a tweener, then he got picked about where he deserved to be picked.

I liked him coming out of high school. Be interesting to see how he works out in OKC.

vnzla81
10-30-2012, 09:48 AM
Great post, Peck.

One thought: given our depth at wing and obtaining Young and Green, continuing to prop up Lance, and generously paying Hill . . . I wonder if TPTB have known about Granger's knee concerns for a while now.

They know about Danny's knee issues since draft day, Danny has been having issues with that knee forever, remember the time he wasn't able to practice with team USA because his knee was bothering him like 3 years ago? remember the time his knee was bothering him and the clown of JOB decided to play him at the end of the season so they could move out of the lottery?

By the way Vogel was interviewed yesterday and he pretty much said that Danny's knee is going to hurt for the rest of his career, he said that they are going to try to minimize his minutes so his knee doesn't hurt that much, it looks like they are going to monitor his minutes.

Unclebuck
10-30-2012, 09:55 AM
It's a little weird to me that if Vogel and the Pacers have a less than stellar season the guy I'd like to see replace him is already on our bench...

so after all these years with the franchise you think Dan Burke is ready?

Trader Joe
10-30-2012, 09:56 AM
so after all these years with the franchise you think Dan Burke is ready?

It's always hard for me to tell if you're joking UB.

Peck
10-30-2012, 09:58 AM
They know about Danny's knee issues since draft day, Danny has been having issues with that knee forever, remember the time he wasn't able to practice with team USA because his knee was bothering him like 3 years ago? remember the time his knee was bothering him and the clown of JOB decided to play him at the end of the season so they could move out of the lottery?

By the way Vogel was interviewed yesterday and he pretty much said that Danny's knee is going to hurt for the rest of his career, he said that they are going to try to minimize his minutes so his knee doesn't hurt that much, it looks like they are going to monitor his minutes.

Was this a radio interview or online? I have a feeling that Danny has had knee pain for a good while and frankly it just makes me that much more proud of him.

We have had so many players who would sit out with the slightest of discomfort & he is soldiering on through legit knee pain.

I know he isn't a superstar but he sure is a player who wants to be on the floor and I think wants to wind down his career as part of a winning system.

Peck
10-30-2012, 10:08 AM
Well this certainly sucks.

Indiana Pacers ‏@Pacers
Forward @dgranger33 has continued soreness in his left knee and will be out indefinitely.

vnzla81
10-30-2012, 10:11 AM
Was this a radio interview or online? I have a feeling that Danny has had knee pain for a good while and frankly it just makes me that much more proud of him.

We have had so many players who would sit out with the slightest of discomfort & he is soldiering on through legit knee pain.

I know he isn't a superstar but he sure is a player who wants to be on the floor and I think wants to wind down his career as part of a winning system.

Radio interview with JMV yesterday, I can't remember the question but JMV asked him about Danny's knee and the pain never going away and Vogel answered the question by telling him that the Pacers and the doctors are going to monitor Danny's minutes so they don't over work him so his knee pain is not that bad.

Regarding your comments, I understand what you are saying but I disagree, he is too important for the team for him to be pushing it and probably get injured worse and maybe be out for the year, remember when JO did the same thing? how that worked out?

Unclebuck
10-30-2012, 10:13 AM
It's always hard for me to tell if you're joking UB.

Joking.

Peck
10-30-2012, 10:13 AM
Radio interview with JMV yesterday, I can't remember the question but JMV asked him about Danny's knee and the pain never going away and Vogel answered the question by telling him that the Pacers and the doctors are going to monitor Danny's minutes so they don't over work him so his knee pain is not that bad.

Regarding your comments, I understand what you are saying but I disagree, he is too important for the team for him to be pushing it and probably get injured worse and maybe be out for the year, remember when JO did the same thing? how that worked out?

Looks like the team decided to shut him down, which I agree with you on. Let's just hope we don't fold because he is missing.

rexnom
10-30-2012, 10:17 AM
Well, this is what all those analysts were counting on when they said we'd win less than 50 games.

Peck
10-30-2012, 10:27 AM
Scott Agness ‏@ScottAgness
In the offseason, the Pacers were stressing continuity. Now, everything changes. Gerald Green running with the starters in practice.

Trader Joe
10-30-2012, 10:39 AM
Anyone else feel the disagreement might be between the Pacers and Danny himself? Danny seems very concerned about this, Pacers up until all of a sudden this morning were saying Danny would play and be fine. I wonder if Danny is the one demanding the second opinion.

Ace E.Anderson
10-30-2012, 11:18 AM
Anyone else feel the disagreement might be between the Pacers and Danny himself? Danny seems very concerned about this, Pacers up until all of a sudden this morning were saying Danny would play and be fine. I wonder if Danny is the one demanding the second opinion.

I think DG is a little frightened by the pain he is experiencing after playing only 20 mins within the first two pre season games, and wants to make sure everything is okay in there.

All in all, this may come as a bit of a blessing in disguise. But ONLY if PG and GG can come in with the mentality that they have to be our main scoring threats from the perimeter (especially PG)

If there were ever a time for PG to showcase his talent, now would be it

Hicks
10-30-2012, 12:50 PM
George Hill: I’m not going to lie. I’m not happy with him taking off the pre-season. I mean injury is one thing but it looks like he could have played those last two games.

What makes you say that? If anything, it seemed to me like he was behind schedule (there was initially talk of him playing in CLE) and only felt good enough to play sometime this weekend (when he did play in the scrimmage at the Fan Jam on Sunday). I believe I read he was still saying it was sore around that time as well.

Peck
10-31-2012, 12:29 AM
What makes you say that? If anything, it seemed to me like he was behind schedule (there was initially talk of him playing in CLE) and only felt good enough to play sometime this weekend (when he did play in the scrimmage at the Fan Jam on Sunday). I believe I read he was still saying it was sore around that time as well.

Honestly it's probably from so many years of watching Tinsley & Bender that has me so jaded when it comes to players who sit out more than what they are originally stated to be out.

Let's hope my thoughts are totally wrong here because I really like Hill, but then again I really liked Tinsley initially as well.

I'll just chalk it up to being that they were together all last season so they didn't feel the need play in the pre-season & we'll go forward from there.

Hicks
10-31-2012, 09:03 AM
Recall too that he initially sat for a thumb injury during the first couple of games where it's bench-heavy and we were sitting healthy starters as well, and then he got a worse different injury to his hip from a hard screen by Plumlee in a practice, which gave him a bone bruise I believe.

Eleazar
10-31-2012, 09:26 AM
Recall too that he initially sat for a thumb injury during the first couple of games where it's bench-heavy and we were sitting healthy starters as well, and then he got a worse different injury to his hip from a hard screen by Plumlee in a practice, which gave him a bone bruise I believe.

At least we know we have someone now who can set a hard screen.

Naptown_Seth
10-31-2012, 11:31 AM
My guess is that Danny is freaked out that the pain might be a sign of a real problem. I doubt he minds playing with the pain as long as he knows it's not destroying his knee.


This hurts the bench, but Green can easily replace Danny with a similar all-around impact. Young filling in for Green cuts into some of the bench scoring, but if Hill is playing then DJ runs the bench and can help offset that.

I think this team is in the position that they can win a lot of games even if they average losing EVERY STARTER for 5-6 games this year, including Roy.

Naptown_Seth
10-31-2012, 11:35 AM
Ian - the French James Bond? He looks like he could crush a couple of dudes, leap out a window, and then hit that robe for a martini and hot tube with a couple of models back at the hotel.

:D

Seriously, if he meets the pre-season hype people like Peck and myself are putting out he's going to be one of the team's stars.

vnzla81
10-31-2012, 11:36 AM
My guess is that Danny is freaked out that the pain might be a sign of a real problem. I doubt he minds playing with the pain as long as he knows it's not destroying his knee.


This hurts the bench, but Green can easily replace Danny with a similar all-around impact. Young filling in for Green cuts into some of the bench scoring, but if Hill is playing then DJ runs the bench and can help offset that.

I think this team is in the position that they can win a lot of games even if they average losing EVERY STARTER for 5-6 games this year, including Roy.

What? so all this time I was told Danny was this amazing player I was getting punked? :headache:

Sandman21
10-31-2012, 11:45 AM
My guess is that Danny is freaked out that the pain might be a sign of a real problem. I doubt he minds playing with the pain as long as he knows it's not destroying his knee.
Absolutely. He's a new father as of this offseason. He wants to be able to walk when he's 45. Can't blame him for wanting to get it checked out.