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View Full Version : Odd thoughts: Nation of Domination week of 2/17 - 2/23



Peck
02-26-2013, 02:34 AM
Okay I知 not going to lie to anyone.

I haven稚 done an Odd Thoughts since before the all-star break because there was just no possible way I could have been objective.

I知 telling you I would have sounded like an absolute fool on here if I would have posted after the N.Y. trouncing and had I even attempted to do one after pummeling Detroit I would have sounded like the biggest homer that has ever existed and therefore would have had to turn in all of my memberships to the Debbie Downer Society.

I almost did one after winning the game in Detroit until it struck me that I was going to be complaining that we only won by 20+ instead of the 30+ from the previous games. If that is your problem, you don稚 have a problem.

It痴 several days later & while I知 not nearly as high as I was after last weeks eviscerations I知 still pretty damn high.

At least I知 no longer demanding that we be able to take this team back in time & redo the 2000 Finals again but this time with this group, I値l just settle for beating the Thunder in a sweep in the finals this year.

All joking aside what can be said about those three games other than..well words still escape me. Hell I値l just throw out cowabunga and leave it at that.

Look this is just one of those times where I don稚 even want to take the time to try and analyze any part of the game; I just want to enjoy it. Yes I know in my mind that we aren稚 that good and New York isn稚 that bad but it sure was fun for one night being on the other end of one of those types of games and then for it to happen two more times after that? Good Lord.

New York was a total shocker to me. I knew they had been struggling but what we did to them was akin to what the U.S. Navy did to the Imperial fleet of Japan at Midway.

Detroit is really not a good team but they had been playing better of recent. So while it wasn稚 nearly as surprising at the one sided victory over the Knicks it still was shocking to see our team leading by 43 points at one point in the first game. Pride and honestly some let down by the Pacers made game 2 a little closer but the results were ultimately the same.

How did we have such a week? Like I said I知 not going to even bother to analyze this, I値l just say that we have a combination of great coaching, excellent players and very high character by all involved.

Now here is the part where I was really hesitant to make and for this reason I waited for several days so that a cooler more logical head would take over. Again either this is the way I truly feel or I知 still too high and everybody should disregard what I知 about to type.

This is the most fun Indiana Pacers team I have ever seen. I知 not calling them the best (yet) and I知 not even saying they are my favorite (yet) but by far this group is the most fun to watch when they are on the floor.

Oh don稚 get me wrong the 94 team was fun because it was special and new and they were very physical and great defenders and the 2000 team was just a machine that won with brutal efficiency.

But this team with its combination of skilled players and high flyers and razzle dazzle is unlike either of the other two. At no point in time did we ever see Haywood Workman run the break and toss a no look pass over his head to a cutting Reggie Miller who took off from outside the baseline for a reverse dunk in traffic. Sure Mark Jackson could pass like nobody before or since but either they resulted in Dale Davis two hand dunks or more than likely a Reggie layup or three point attempt.

These guys are slap the floor kind of defenders and patrol the passing lanes like puma痴 looking for prey.

I love the fact that Paul George now has forgone (for the most part) that wimpy finger roll crap he was trying early in the season and now drives in and thunders home the points with a dunk.

I love that Lance Stephenson has panache about himself. Yes I understand that just exactly like Nitro he can be combustible but sometimes the fireworks are worth the risk. That being said I understand why Frank yanked him when he did the between the legs jumping in the air pass the other night.

I love that D.J. Augustine, who I wouldn稚 have given you a broken pencil for earlier in the year, gave us a no look ally oop pass to Gerald Green, who I still wouldn稚 give you a broken pencil for, that thundered through the basket like manna from heaven.

I love David West.

I love Tyler being physical and making other teams crazy.

I love the fact that the Indiana Pacers are not only getting by with 2 second round draft picks manning the shooting guard spot but we are thriving with them. Tell me if there is one person on here right now who can say anything negative about Orlando Johnson? Dude is a second round pick and was expected to start to bring something to the table in the next couple of years, not even next year, and he is an integral part of our team right now.

Roy Hibbert & Ian Mahinmi have both held the fort, even with some B.S. foul calls and even Pendegraph has been useful.

Really other than Green, everybody including Sam Young has been bringing something positive to the table.

Now Danny didn稚 have the best return that you would hope for but there were things that you could see that will work when he gets going again. Right off the bat the first shot he took is something he can get just about any time he wants it against about anybody in the league. That drive in step back jumper, which btw is the shot that beat the Knicks last season, is a real weapon and one that he doesn稚 have to have a lot of knee strength to get off. Sure he missed a defensive assignment and his man got an easy bucket but he also blocked a shot early in the game that we got back. But it was a smart move on Frank痴 part to make his debut on the road in a game where he could just work himself back.

But if anyone had any doubts that the team missed him, wished him gone or any ill will all you had to do was watch the bench reaction when he came out after his first made basket of the season. That wasn稚 fake people, David West was even smiling for that one.

Let痴 see how he does against the Warriors.

Our defense is just so good that it is hard to describe and while I credit the players for their talent and buying into the system IMO this all goes to the coaching staff who not only talks about defense but they actually demand it and design a system that works for the players who we have.

Neither West nor Hansbrough are rim protectors, yet have you noticed as the year goes on that neither of these two are getting lit up in the post? They both are strong and Tyler is deceptively fast. Frank has it so that they are getting double team help when they need it but the biggest thing is that they are not allowing their man to get post position until late in the clock and by that time you either get a rushed shot or in some cases a foul but it痴 never easy.

Okay I知 going against my no analyze rule again.

I値l just end it with this, I really am truly excited by this team. Not just for this year but IMO barring injury or the inability to keep players due to contracts for the next few years.

Are we championship contenders? If you would have asked me after the N.Y. game I would have given you the old Steve Austin 滴ell Yea! If you would have asked me that after the first Detroit game I would have replied with 鄭re the Heat contenders to taking us down?

But since a little time has passed I値l just say that my thoughts about our advancing in the playoffs are much higher than they have been at any time in the past 13 years.

I love this team.

:boomer:

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mattie
02-26-2013, 02:50 AM
I actually expected something or nothing from OJ this year. I mean he's 22 years old, has reached his physical peak. So when he wasn't playing early on I was worried he never would produce anything.

Wrong again on my part.

Will Galen
02-26-2013, 02:56 AM
I’ll just end it with this, I really am truly excited by this team. Not just for this year but IMO barring injury or the inability to keep players due to contracts for the next few years.

I would feel much better about that if Bird would come back.

mattie
02-26-2013, 03:14 AM
This kind of reminds me of the 00 season in someways though.

I mean, for the Pacers to make the finals, they have to solve their issues on offense. It certainly looks like they absolutely will. I mean Granger looked spry out there. He's probably going to be scoring come playoff time. The rest of the bench is looking better.. By playoff teams Indiana is probably going to be great on offense. I don't exactly believe in Miami because they haven't been playing the best defense. Late in the playoffs when they have to stop an effective Indiana, they'll probably get beat. (Remember the 97-98 ECF?? The Bulls two stars beat Indiana?? Yeah well they had the best defense all season, and they still barely beat Indiana, That's different than this years Miami team if we were to compare the two)

I could see them beating Miami and getting beat handily by either OKC or SAS. Both teams have great defenses and great offenses. Kind of like LA in 2000. I mean those teams are better than the best in the east, Indiana and Miami. This years OKC or SAS' team is better than a lot of Championship teams in the last five years I think. Truly great. But, Indiana still has years to grow, so it wouldn't be a disappointment by any means.

Hoop
02-26-2013, 03:32 AM
I'm REALLY LOVING THIS TEAM. I haven't been this engaged and "really" believing in a long time. This team could really win the whole damn thing. :champions

bellisimo
02-26-2013, 06:33 AM
I'm actually having fun watching these past few games we've been playing. Its so nice to enjoy a victory without having to worry about moments which are going to give you a heart attack like the first few close calls during the start of the season. The team is definitely on another level right now - I wasn't sure if they had another gear but the way they've made their recent foes just fold like newly washed laundry, I'd say we are indeed on the right track. The March 10th game against the Heat is going to be a big measuring stick. It will definitely be one that neither team will play it off as just a regular season match anymore.

dohman
02-26-2013, 06:33 AM
The next two games will tell me a lot about this team. Two fast paced volume shooting west coast teams coming to blc. If they can continue thier current path this week they should be considered a elite.

BlueNGold
02-26-2013, 07:13 AM
Wow Peck. What do you do for a living? You're writing is dominate too.

McKeyFan
02-26-2013, 07:46 AM
My favorite part of Danny's return was his reaction when Tyler got punched. He immediately saw it, immediately appealed to the refs, and immediately demanded something be done. And something WAS done.

We need his leadership in those kinds of situations.

Sollozzo
02-26-2013, 09:10 AM
I would feel much better about that if Bird would come back.


That's the one thing I wish was different about our organization right now. I wish The Legend was still running the show. I'll be forever grateful to him for the fantastic position he put us in.

Mackey_Rose
02-26-2013, 09:47 AM
I actually expected something or nothing from OJ this year.

ANALYSIS!!

Mackey_Rose
02-26-2013, 09:52 AM
The next two games will tell me a lot about this team. Two fast paced volume shooting west coast teams coming to blc. If they can continue thier current path this week they should be considered a elite.

Exactly this.

Golden State and the Clippers should be fairly decent match-ups for us, just based on the style of play. Theoretically we should be able to take them out of what they are trying to do, and make them play at our pace. They are two very good teams, but if we can hold serve at home against teams like this, there is no reason we shouldn't be considered on equal footing as the other "contenders."

I have seen no reason to change what I said after we beat Miami the 2nd time. I'd still pick them to beat us (and everyone else) in seven games. But there is no reason why we shouldn't be considered the primary threat to keep them out of the Finals.

Unclebuck
02-26-2013, 10:05 AM
But if anyone had any doubts that the team missed him, wished him gone or any ill will all you had to do was watch the bench reaction when he came out after his first made basket of the season. That wasn’t fake people, David West was even smiling for that one.


I thought maybe this was one of the most significant events of the whole season. There are a lot of NBA teams where the players if their "best" player comes back they would not be all that excited, at least not to the extent the players showed after Danny's first make. That shows me as we all suspected the chemistry is perfect on this team right now



Our defense is just so good that it is hard to describe and while I credit the players for their talent and buying into the system IMO this all goes to the coaching staff who not only talks about defense but they actually demand it and design a system that works for the players who we have.

I started a thread maybe 6 weeks ago asking if this was the Pacers best NBA defensive team ever. At the time I said no, right now I think it probably is. I think it is starting to get to the 2004 Detroit Pistons level. And I would put that one season defense after they acquired Sheed as the best defensive team I have ever seen. Rules have been changed and that level and style is likely not possible today. But as far as being equally effective in todays NBA, we are approaching that level.

One thing I've noticed over the past week or so is the defense is more aggressive. Almost like they know they will make the offense take a bad shot, but now they are saying, OK lets take this to the next level. They are swarming the ball and yet still staying to the rock solid principles. Their defensive confidence is extremely high, but more than that and more importantly, the players are trusting each other so much they know if they go for a steal their teammate will help. The team system right now almost has no weaknesses and when the bench comes in the defense is still solid.

I have been thinking that Dan Burke has been primarily in charge of the defense, but the head coach is also the primary figure in all this as well.

Regardless I would give this coaching staff an A+ to this point in the season. Only other year I might give a Pacers coaching an A+ was 1994, Brown's first season. And I've always said that was the best coahcing job I have ever seen.

Trader Joe
02-26-2013, 10:08 AM
I had the recording on my DVR of game 3 from the ECSF last year. It was when they did the shortened series on NBA TV all 6 games in a row. Condensed into about an hour. I was going through my DVR and decided to give this one watch.

Two things stuck out.

1.) Man, if we can get that Roy Hibbert back.....

and

2.) Danny totally dominates the first 4 minutes of the game. At the 8 minute mark, we are up 9-2, Miami is forced to call a timeout, and as far as I can count Danny has hit a 3, drawn a foul on a fast break after he and Paul combine to force a turnover in the open court, and he forces Lebron into a couple bad shots. Yes, we lost that early advantage when Barbosa and Lou came in and promptly got their *** handed to them by the Lebron and Wade in pick and roll situations (mainly Lebron in this game, Chalmers kind of steps in for Wade, but still the get abused.) I don't see Lance and Ian being exposed in the same way (or Danny and Ian if that came to pass).

Cousy47
02-26-2013, 10:47 AM
My favorite part of Danny's return was his reaction when Tyler got punched. He immediately saw it, immediately appealed to the refs, and immediately demanded something be done. And something WAS done.

We need his leadership in those kinds of situations.
My exact thoughts, which I commented on in an earlier post. None of our players except Tyler have gotten involved when their teammates get hammered. That was always Danny's job and he always stepped up. Good to see him back in form. Fake tough, my A$$, Danny is and always has been the real deal and a leader.

Unclebuck
02-26-2013, 11:38 AM
One very important reason why they have played so well the past three games. Team has been home for sevberal weeks - no road trips (more than 1 game on road) plus the AS break. This team is well rested. But March is coming so we'll see

Slick Pinkham
02-26-2013, 11:58 AM
I think of all the obstacles we had to overcome 10-15 years ago and often did,

needing a good defensive system to cover up major individual defensive weaknesses at 2 or more positions at all times,
needing to shoot FGs 5 to 10 percentage points higher than the opponent just to make up for fewer possessions and attempts due to poor rebounding,
needing to not get crushed on points after turnovers, since we lacked the ability to ourselves turn steals into transition baskets or dunks as well as our more athletic opponents

We have a team that is on the opposite side of most of those issues now. We rely on defense instead of jump shots. Sure we have weaknesses, but our greatest strengths are now more slump-proof.

These are about to be the real glory days.

DGPR
02-26-2013, 12:37 PM
The problem we had with Miami last year was Lebron and Wade getting penetration when the bench came in and taking away our lead or putting us further behind. This time around we have Lance playing defense like we didn't think would ever be possible, and Ian guarding the rim instead of Lou. Paul George has become a much improved player as well, and David West is playing like New Orleans David West.

Miami on the other hand has improved in what area? They now have a washed up Birdman, and a passed washed up Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis. Chris Bosh will be playing this time, but David West really negates him with his production and defense. Miami doesn't have anything new to throw at us, and I think Frank has this team geared up to play Miami specifically, and obviously the team has bought into it. I got laughed off of the ESPN boards for saying this team has been built to beat Miami this year, but I think we know different from some bandwagon fans.

Edit: Also, remember last year when we had trouble guarding the pick and roll with Roy Hibbert when they drew his man out to the three point line and faster wing players would run to the basket and score or draw fouls? Miami absolutely abused us using that to really win the series, but our help defense is MUCH improved this year.

15th parallel
02-26-2013, 01:02 PM
It's still too early to say that the Pacers has a sure way to beat the Heat in a 7-game series if they face off. I will dare say that of all the teams in playoff contention right now, from East to West, the Pacers have one of the two teams who have best chance to beat the Heat in a playoff series (the other one is the Spurs). If ever the Heat reach again in the finals and the West opponent is any team beside the Spurs, I will bet that it will be the Heat taking another championship.

But I make conservative predictions when it comes to the Heat. Remember when many thought Chicago with MVP Rose would dominate the Heat after they destroyed them in the regular season? The opposite happened in the playoffs and it looked like the Bulls just didn't put up a good fight against them. Remember when many thought Durant+Westbrook+Ibaka+Harden core will be too much against the Heat because of their loaded firepower? Well, it ended in a disappointing fashion for the Thunder. So when it comes to the Heat, and similarly the Celtics and the Spurs, I always think of them as the most dangerous squad in the playoffs. So I won't take them too lightly even if the current Pacers have most of the advantages right now. It will be fun to see this match-up and I hope they'll cross paths, especially in the ECF where the tension and emotions are at the highest level (other than the finals of course). It can be another Pacers vs Bulls 98 classic, but I hope the series win will be at the side the Pacers.

DJVendetta
02-26-2013, 01:15 PM
It's still too early to say that the Pacers has a sure way to beat the Heat in a 7-game series if they face off. I will dare say that of all the teams in playoff contention right now, from East to West, the Pacers have one of the two teams who have best chance to beat the Heat in a playoff series (the other one is the Spurs). If ever the Heat reach again in the finals and the West opponent is any team beside the Spurs, I will bet that it will be the Heat taking another championship.

But I make conservative predictions when it comes to the Heat. Remember when many thought Chicago with MVP Rose would dominate the Heat after they destroyed them in the regular season? The opposite happened in the playoffs and it looked like the Bulls just didn't put up a good fight against them. Remember when many thought Durant+Westbrook+Ibaka+Harden core will be too much against the Heat because of their loaded firepower? Well, it ended in a disappointing fashion for the Thunder. So when it comes to the Heat, and similarly the Celtics and the Spurs, I always think of them as the most dangerous squad in the playoffs. So I won't take them too lightly even if the current Pacers have most of the advantages right now. It will be fun to see this match-up and I hope they'll cross paths, especially in the ECF where the tension and emotions are at the highest level (other than the finals of course). It can be another Pacers vs Bulls 98 classic, but I hope the series win will be at the side the Pacers.

My thoughts EXACTLY.

MTM
02-26-2013, 02:04 PM
Great post. Thank you. Nothing will ever reach the love affair I felt with the 97-98 team, which in my opinion was the greatest NBA-assembled Pacers team ever. My next favorite team was the 94-95 team. Last year's team was up there with the teams of the pre-Brawl early 200s... I didn't love the 2000 team nearly as much as those others.

That all being said, I would agree that this is one of probably the top 5 most fun teams we have ever had. There is some caution to the newness of Paul George's star (like Reggie's star was early on and you didn't know what you were going to get from him yet in big moments). There is real concern for me over how Danny is involved in the mix and how he will be able to match Lance's defensive qualities with the first unit. Hibbert has become unreliable from game to game. I keep waiting for DJ to return to the way he played the first month of the season. The team still has flaws. But it has been a fun fun year so far. For me, I have to withhold final judgment until the playoffs.