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View Full Version : Freddie Jones making his mark, article out of Oregon



Unclebuck
02-14-2004, 11:49 AM
Decent article below. But the point I really want to make is how Rick using the bench correctly has allowed Freddie to turn into a consistant performer.

For three years most of us were disgusted by Isiah's player substitutions. Isiah admitted he substituted based on performance, sounds good in theory, but the way Isiah did it was horrible for the bench players.

Back to this season. There were a few games this year when I am sure Carlisle had to fight himself to stay with his bench players, stay with the regular substitutions, even if it costs the pacers a game early in the season, because it will pay off later. Stay with Freddie even while he is struggling, because Rick knows it will pay off in the long run in a much more productive bench and fresher starters.

If Freddie or other bench players struggle during their first half rotation, OK fine, but Rick always brings them back for their normal second half rotation. Isiah never did that. If a bench player really struggled in the first half, you would not see them in the second.

Another thing Rick does is even if the Pacers are trailing, he uses the bench. Rick acts like he trusts the bench and has confidence in them, and you know what that gives the bench players confidence in themselves. That was absent for three years.




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Pacers' Jones is on the move

The former Barlow and Oregon standout takes time out from his defense specialty to concentrate on his dunking prowess today

02/14/04

GEOFFREY C. ARNOLD

LOS ANGELES -- Fred Jones doesn't know what types of dunks he'll try tonight.


From Our Advertiser




Sitting at an empty table, Jones was too busy soaking up the fanfare, activity and energy surrounding Friday's media day for All-Star weekend. Jones will compete in the slam-dunk contest, but deciding which ones he'll try was the last subject on his mind.

But he knows that his participation in the event continues a solid season for him.

"I'm getting my name out there and I'm trying to solidify my spot in this league," Jones said. "I want to show people that not only am I an exciting player, I'm a good all-around player. That's what I'm trying to prove."

The former Barlow High School and Oregon star already is proving he belongs in the Indiana Pacers' rotation in his second season. The 6-foot-4, 210-pound guard didn't play much during his rookie season, but he has burst onto the scene with an athletic ability that is a valuable commodity in the league.

"Fred is a guy that people didn't expect much from this year," Indiana coach Rick Carlisle said. "He didn't get a lot of minutes last year, but he took advantage of his opportunity this season."

Jones, 24, was caught in a playing time crunch last season, when the Pacers had Jones, Reggie Miller, Ron Mercer and Jamison Brewer at the shooting guard position. Jones appeared in 19 games, averaging 1.2 points and 6.1 minutes. The Pacers traded Mercer last summer and Brewer also is gone. Jones got his chance and he hasn't looked back.

"The difference is I'm getting minutes and I have a consistent role on our team," Jones said. "Ron Mercer moved on and they thought I was ready to take over that role. They felt comfortable making that move."

The decision has proved to be a wise one. Jones has doubled his production in every major statistical category. He has appeared in 52 of the Pacers' 53 games, averaging 4.0 points and 17.3 minutes. However, his increased playing time is not a result of higher scoring; it is his defense that has caught the attention of Carlisle, a defensive-minded coach.

"He is a top-level defensive player at the 'one,' 'two' and 'three' positions ," Carlisle said. "We've had him guard Vince Carter, Tracy McGrady and even Allen Iverson."

Jones said he doesn't mind being seen as a defensive specialist. If playing tough defense is what it takes to get on the court, so be it. And since the Pacers are a reflection of their coach, Jones' defensive attitude fits in well with this group.

"Right now I'm a defensive guy. I don't mind it at all," he said. "That's what I'm focused on and that's what I enjoy."

Jones knows his offensive game needs work. His perimeter shot is mediocre at best, but Carlisle said Jones has worked hard on his jump shot and that the work eventually will pay off with better offensive statistics. And he's learning from Miller, one of game's great shooters.

"My offensive game is coming day to day," Jones said. "I'm sure within the next year or at the end of this year my offensive game -- my confidence is sky high right now -- is only going to get better."

Miller, 38, is in his 17th season with the Pacers. Eventually he's going to retire and Jones looks to be his heir apparent. Jones knows that Miller isn't going to be around much longer. So he's trying to pick up everything he can from the veteran -- a master at running defenders through screens, causing fouls and, of course, making clutch jumpers -- particularly three-pointers.

Tonight, however, Jones wants to establish a different legacy as the slam-dunk champion.

Jones will oppose two-time defending champion Jason Richardson of Golden State, Chris Anderson of Denver and Ricky Davis of Boston.

Jones initially turned down the invitation to compete in the contest, saying he's more of a power dunker, not a creative one. However, after conferring with his friends -- who wanted to enjoy the weekend in Los Angeles -- he changed his mind. The soft-spoken Jones said dunking simply for the sake of impressing so-called judges isn't normally his thing.

"A dunk contest is more showmanship and playing to the crowd. That's not really my style," Jones said. "Usually, I dunk the ball and run back down the floor and try to play defense.

"Playing to the crowd is really not in my repertoire. I'm a game dunker. I get more creative in the game."

Jones said Indiana teammates -- and All-Stars -- Jermaine O'Neal and Ron Artest have already offered some suggestions for his dunks.

"I'm going to go out there waving towels and getting the crowd going for him. He better not make us look like fools," O'Neal said.

Hicks
02-14-2004, 12:09 PM
People need to get their facts straight. First of all, Brewer isn't a shooting guard (ha), and second HE'S STILL HERE MORONS. :laugh:

Ragnar
02-14-2004, 12:12 PM
Couple of things caught my eye there. First I didnt know Jamison was a backup 2. And second I thought he was still with the team?

Anyway I will be watching the dunk contest I am as anxious to see Jermaine out there waiving a towel for him as I am to see his Dunks. Bender did sooooooo bad last time that I would love to see Freddie do well.

Alabama-Redneck
02-14-2004, 12:15 PM
[quote="Unclebuck"]Decent article below. But the point I really want to make is how Rick using the bench correctly has allowed Freddie to turn into a consistant performer.

For three years most of us were disgusted by Isiah's player substitutions. Isiah admitted he substituted based on performance, sounds good in theory, but the way Isiah did it was horrible for the bench players.

Back to this season. There were a few games this year when I am sure Carlisle had to fight himself to stay with his bench players, stay with the regular substitutions, even if it costs the pacers a game early in the season, because it will pay off later. Stay with Freddie even while he is struggling, because Rick knows it will pay off in the long run in a much more productive bench and fresher starters.

If Freddie or other bench players struggle during their first half rotation, OK fine, but Rick always brings them back for their normal second half rotation. Isiah never did that. If a bench player really struggled in the first half, you would not see them in the second.


Another thing Rick does is even if the Pacers are trailing, he uses the bench. Rick acts like he trusts the bench and has confidence in them, and you know what that gives the bench players confidence in themselves. That was absent for three years.


Unclebuck, I am going to be a little critical of you and I hope you don't take it too personal.

You need to let go of the Isiah Thomas thing. It was fine when the season started but the season is more than half over and you still insist on running down IT. Why??

I think everyone is aware that Isiah was not a great coach and that Rick is doing a great job. Praise Rick all you want but quit the negative comparisons.

There has been much spectulation that the Pacers would be better today if Rick had been hired 3 years ago. I can only guess but I think several of the key players would NOT be here if Rick had been hired. I think different trades would have been made. Who knows, maybe for the better.

Since I am very happy with the results of this team, I think everything has worked out well.

Please, just let Isiah leave in peace.

:cool:

Hicks
02-14-2004, 12:16 PM
Yeah, JB's was a bit painful in two ways:

First, he screwed up his first attempt and didn't make it look impressive.

Then, he does a difficult dunk off an Al Harrington lob, and dumbass Kenny Smith is the judge saying "That's a bit too low" (where he caught it). His co-judge immediately chimed in with "That's what made it hard, Kenny" but dumbass didn't think so, and JB got a lower score. Dumb.

And then he does something no one else has, the FT line dunk with is OFF hand, but apparently no one judging understood that he's NOT left handed, and didn't take notice. He didn't even get a 50 for THAT.

Bad times.

I think Freddy will do better, even if he doesn't win.

Anthem
02-14-2004, 12:19 PM
Actually, when Jamison was drafted Walsh said he could play either guard position. We just have even less need of shooting guards than point guards.

Also, Buck, I have to disagree about Thomas. I hate how I always end up being the Thomas supporter, since I disliked a lot of the stuff he did. But revisionist history kills me.
For three years most of us were disgusted by Isiah's player substitutions. Isiah admitted he substituted based on performance, sounds good in theory, but the way Isiah did it was horrible for the bench players.

Thomas' problem with rotation came directly from the players. He was told to try to find minutes for everybody, and he had too many people deserving minutes on the team. Yes, minutes are better distributed this year. But we got rid of two rotation players (Brad and Mercer) and didn't add any. Makes rotations a bit easier, no?

Anthem
02-14-2004, 12:22 PM
There has been much spectulation that the Pacers would be better today if Rick had been hired 3 years ago. I can only guess but I think several of the key players would NOT be here if Rick had been hired. I think different trades would have been made. Who knows, maybe for the better.

Since I am very happy with the results of this team, I think everything has worked out well.

Please, just let Isiah leave in peace.

Good post, bama. Sorry to double it, it wasn't up when I started mine.

Also, Buck, he's right. Your "anti-Thomasness" has definately progressed as the season has gone along. I would have expected it to decrease.

Hicks
02-14-2004, 01:01 PM
Thomas' problem with rotation came directly from the players. He was told to try to find minutes for everybody, and he had too many people deserving minutes on the team. Yes, minutes are better distributed this year. But we got rid of two rotation players (Brad and Mercer) and didn't add any. Makes rotations a bit easier, no?

Not true. Pollard is last year's Jeff and Jeff starts. Two C's. And when it's not Pollard it's Cro playing there. Jones didn't play last year, now he has Mercer's roll. Same difference.

Rick simply made up his mind and Isiah didn't. UB is spot on about Isiah yanking players if they screwed up for a half. Rick sticks with it and it works out in the big picture.

Hicks
02-14-2004, 01:03 PM
Also, Buck, he's right. Your "anti-Thomasness" has definately progressed as the season has gone along. I would have expected it to decrease.

I don't get this either, Unclebuck is pointing out problems with Isiah that most would agree on, and I think you guys are interpreting that as slamming him, when he's just saying it. This isn't like writerman's anti-Artest stuff. He's just bringing it up. And it's reasonable to do so when we talk about Rick because he was the last coach here before Carlisle. I see no bashing going on, just honest criticism and comparison.

kerosene
02-14-2004, 01:14 PM
Jones is the wildcard in the dunk contest because he's the smallest guy. He can go off one foot good as well so if he puts together a couple of spiffy dunks it's going to look more impressive than a bigger guy doing 'em. I'm hoping he makes it out of the first round at least.

Unclebuck
02-14-2004, 01:22 PM
I hardly think I am bashing Isiah.

More than anything I was simply trying to make the point that if a coach, any coach uses the bench players correctly it pays off in the long run. I admit when I am watching the games there are times when I am like no don't take J.O out, or bring J.O back in right now, get the bench out of there, but Rick sticks to his substitution pattern and often times the bench gets a lead or increaes a lead.

The classic example was the Heat game last Sunday.


On the point that last years team was more difficult to have a set rotation. I don't buy that theory at all. Isiah said for three years that he does not believe in doing that. I disagree with Isiah approach I don't think it works on the long run, and it caused the bench players to be selfish and very inconsistant.

If Rick had the exact same players as IT did last season, I guarantee you Rick would still have a set rotation.

it is just different coaching philosophies.

I don't consider any of this Isiah bashing.

bulletproof
02-14-2004, 03:01 PM
UB, I enjoyed reading your preface and thought you set up the article well. Oftentimes it's necessary to make comparisons to illustrate a point one is trying to make. So keep doing your thing, man. It didn't come off as Isiah-bashing at all to me.



Thomas' problem with rotation came directly from the players. He was told to try to find minutes for everybody, and he had too many people deserving minutes on the team. Yes, minutes are better distributed this year. But we got rid of two rotation players (Brad and Mercer) and didn't add any. Makes rotations a bit easier, no?

Who told Isiah to find minutes for everyone? Isiah, for the most part, was left alone to do his own thing.

indytoad
02-14-2004, 05:17 PM
A small article on Freddy at ESPN. Doesn't say a whole lot, but it's cool to see him getting some attention.

LOS ANGELES -- Fred Jones figures he has seen every slam dunk contest since the NBA revived the event in 1984. The Indiana guard is a dunking aficionado, and yet he wavered when asked to take on two-time champion Jason Richardson on Saturday.

"I said no at first," said Jones, who will participate in his first dunk contest during All-Star weekend. "I didn't know if I was ready to do it justice. I'm a basketball junkie. I know a lot about all the great champions in this event. I wanted to make sure I could measure up."

Jones also was looking forward to a weekend vacation from the NBA grind. His friends and family were looking for a break of their own, however: They persuaded Jones to enter the contest so they could get a free trip to Los Angeles.

Jones will join Golden State's Richardson, Boston's Ricky Davis and Denver's Chris Andersen in a slimmed-down version of the event. LeBron James declined an invitation to participate.

Though Michael Jordan will always be Jones' favorite dunker, he ranks Richardson among the best in the event's history. Jones is particularly enamored with Richardson's signature dunk: leaping to catch a high bounce from the floor, then passing the ball between his legs for a one-handed slam.

"People don't understand how tough that is," Jones said. "I could maybe (make that dunk) in college, but I was lighter then. I've been lifting weights too much."

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/allstar2004/news/story?id=1734663

IndyToad
Dying here

tseramid
02-15-2004, 12:10 AM
Since the door was opened, I would like to add my 2 cents in. Let me preface this by saying that I am not an IT basher, but I will be the first to admit that he was not the greatest coach we have ever had. I believe he was able to do some nice things with the teams that we had and we saw improvement on the floor by several key players, notably Jermaine and Al.

Many point to bad rotations as being his downfall. I cannot argue with this, but it was clear that one of his top priorities had always been trying to bring the young players closer to their potential. That's why Harrington, Foster, Tinsley and Bender played minutes probably before they deserved them. It is also part of what has made them the players that they are today. Excluding Bender, who has not had the opportunity to show anything this year due to injury, these young players have carved a niche for themselves in the current rotation. Consider that Harrington, Foster and Tinsley were all drafted extremely late in the first round. Now they are key players on this team.

The bad rap on IT is that he was unpredictable with his player rotations and that is what led to his downfall. Croshere seems to be a player that most bring up. While I have always argued that Croshere played himself out of the rotation, there is no doubt that his minute to minute substitution patterns created unusual minute totals.

I will always believe that it was his handling of Ron Artest that caused the Pacers to make the move to bring in Rick Carlisle. They could not take the chance of another lost season due to internal strife, which it appeared was overwhelming.

IT's tenure was not a disaster as some believe. I believe he may turn out to have been the right person for the job at that time as far as player development was concerned, but there should be no doubt left that Rick Carlisle is the right person for the job today.