PDA

View Full Version : One thing does concern me



Unclebuck
02-18-2004, 10:13 AM
One game does not concern me, but I am concerned about something that I consider very important and it has concerned me all season.

Let me lead into this, by saying, having a good and deep bench is great, a bench that can sustain the level of play of the starters is a huge help.

However, at some point in almost every game it becomes winning time, crunch time. In the last 5 or 6 minutes most games are won and lost. Pacers all season have done a good job overall pulling most of those games out at "winning time".

Now that I have set my premise up, let me get to the point by asking a question.

Is a lineup of:

J.O.
Harrington
Artest
Reggie and
Tinsley

Is that lineup good enough at winning time against playoff teams to advance far in the playoffs.

Is that lineup big enough?

Is the defense by the guards good enough?

Those are my biggest concerns about this team. The bench is fine, the coaching is great.

But the recent games against the Knicks and Hornets showed the Pacers to be maybe too small and not good enough defensively in the backcourt.

The question is what can be done about it, do you play Foster or even Pollard more at crunch time and play AL less. Should the Pacers go with their better defensive backcourt of Freddie and AJ sorry Rag. Not sure if that is the answer as teams will double and sag more on Ronnie and J.O even more if Foster and Freddie are in the game and yes the offense does not run as smoothly when Tinsley is out.

Should be interesting to see if the Pacers can overcome these two weaknesses

I do worry about this though.

Ragnar
02-18-2004, 10:20 AM
I know you think AJ is a better defender but the other teams seem to score at will on him and the Pacers stop scoring when he is in. So I am not so sure he is a better defender.

In the ends of games you MUST SCORE and when you must score AJ is a VERY BAD choice. You also must get stops not allow them to go on big runs.

I think AJ needs to play way less minutes than he has been. He is almost always in there way too long. He is never taken out untill the other team has put on a huge run that might have been avoided had he not been in there.

Last night was not a normal game. The Hornets brought it and the Pacers did not simple as that. But look at the Bulls game the only time they had any shot in the game was while AJ was in the game. He pulled it out in the end but he let them go on a run. Other teams trap us in the back court and throw zones at us when AJ is in the game and never when Tins, Siggy or not even much when Kenny is in.

SO PLAY KENNY.

indygeezer
02-18-2004, 10:21 AM
Excellant question, UB.


No.



As we've been saying in numerous other threads, this team is not big enough or tough enough mentally when faced with a physical front line. That's why I'm all over these Cato/Dampier rumors. I also find our PG play suspect of late too. Fast shooting gaurds give us too much trouble. I think the other teams have figured us out and our interchangeable pieces are too similar to be effective at offsetting the oppositions adjustments. Their adjustments work just as well against one Pacer as they do against his replacement.

Ragnar
02-18-2004, 10:34 AM
One other thought

Tins played will in the playoffs last year so he elevates his game.

Kenny played very well for the Celtics in the playoffs so he elevates his game.

Kidd had to play pretty much every second of the playoffs because AJ was not very good in the playoffs.

So to me that says the minutes should go to Tins and Kenny. They have both shown that they are starting caliber point guards why not play them both. When Kenny came into the Chicago game he scored 6 quick points so he can still score and AJ's shooting has fallen off.

And I was oposed to getting Damp earlier in the year but if we can get him by dumping Pollard and AJ then by all means do it. We need another big. And I know you guys hate NVE but he plays great against the Lakers and Damp does also. Wouldnt that be helpfull in the playoffs if we face the Lakers plus he came up big time for Dallas last year.

able
02-18-2004, 10:35 AM
In part I go with Ragnar on this, AJ is a bad choice, KA might be a better choice but Tins is usually the best choice.

His TO's last night all acme if I'm notmistakenin the first half, two at least were on a fumble from Al, where the pass was simply good but Al not ready.

Defensive I think Tins os more disruptive and more likely to get a steal the AJ to so that's another reason.

As far as the line-up is concernecd, I am extremely worried about Al.

Al in a "physical" match is nowhere to be seen, last night was a perfect example of that, he was only taking up space and not enough of it.

Jeff is usually wasted at that time of the game so you either choose to let Pollie play more earlier on so Jeff can close out OR you make sure Pollie is ready to close out, his physical play answer better to those challenges.

Best solution would be an upgrade at C, but there are other threads for that :D

I think personally that Al in closing minutes and very likely in playoffs as well will be a bitter dissapointment, another reason I would not mind for him if he was traded, a bad performance towards the end of the season from him like last year and his tradevalue will diminish as well.

:stupid:

Unclebuck
02-18-2004, 10:40 AM
AJ played well in the NBA Finals last season.

I did not want nor expect this thread to get into a Tinsley vs. AJ discussion or KA vs AJ.

Tinsley is our best bet at point guard and it is up to him to perform.

indygeezer
02-18-2004, 10:55 AM
Not to pick on you UB just a question you prompt.


I have seen it posted at various times that Jamaal played well during the PO's, and that JO played well, I've even seen it said that Al played some good ball and Reggie was so hurt he can't be blamed. SO HTH did we get so thoroughly kick around the schoolard if key players were playing well?

Ragnar
02-18-2004, 11:04 AM
I have seen it posted at various times that Jamaal played well during the PO's, and that JO played well, I've even seen it said that Al played some good ball and Reggie was so hurt he can't be blamed. SO HTH did we get so thoroughly kick around the schoolard if key players were playing well?

We did not get swept but I see your point.

Jamaal and Oneal played very well the coaching was horrible and pretty much no one else played well or together.

Unclebuck
02-18-2004, 11:28 AM
Pacers only had two played play with a darn in the playoffs. J.O. was oustanding and Artest was very good.

No one else did anything.

The best point guard play the Pacers got the whole series was from Timmy Hardaway in the 4th quarter and OT of game 5.

Tinsley had to be taken out because Delk was tearing him up.


Now we are really getting of topic

waxman
02-18-2004, 12:12 PM
If we're leading in a late game situation i would like to see

Foster Foster
JO JO
Harrington or Artest
Artest FJ
Tinsley Tinsley

Depending on matchups at SG and SF.


If we're behind late I think we should go with what is currently our starting lineup.

One thing is I don't think our offense is very creative...especially in late game situations whether ahead or behind...we just dump the ball in to JO, AL, or Ron and everyone stands around and watches. It really isn't too difficult to defend... especially since JO in particular doesn't get the Tim Duncan treatment from the officials.

beast23
02-18-2004, 01:35 PM
Buck, your topic really boils down to exactly what is wrong with this team. We don't rebound well against big physical teams, and we lack perimeter shooting consistency. Defensively, I think we encounter problems against a taller, more physical lineup.

Some of our defensive problems could be overcome if our guards were better at stopping dribble penetration. I suppose that would directly result in better rebounding position by our interior guys, who often have to give up their position to pick up the guards.

But no matter how you cut it, the team as it is currently configured would be an underdog in the finals against the top 4 or 5 WC teams. So no, as we are right now, we are not likely to win a championship.

The consensus opinion is that we are the favorite to emerge from the East. But, I think other teams are beginning to put it together and are making progress. With the new personnel the Knicks have acquired, they could give us problems. New Orleans is coming to life with Mashburn back. And Detroit would be very tough to handle in the playoffs, especially if they managed to pick up Rasheed.

What these teams have in common are perimeter players that are capable of penetrating against our guards. And they have some capable rebounders.

If we want to come out of the East this year, we have a team that is capable of doing it. And emerging from the East would certainly show substantial progress over the last three years.

But I also think that a couple of changes that I've seen mentioned in the last couple of weeks could help secure making it to the finals, and might evern be able to put us over the hump.

Although discussed in other threads, and I'm not encouraging comment, the moves I'm talking about are:

Croshere for Cato (not Taylor).
Harrington, Pollard for Dampier, Claxton

By sacrificing Al's talents, there are obvious risks to making these trades. But this trade does resolve any and all problems with interior toughness and rebounding. And I think the addition of Claxton puts more quickness on the perimeter that can help defensively and in penetrating.

The two trades could either give us a chance in the finals, or if they blow up in our faces, could prevent us from even reaching the finals. But they appear to help address our immediate needs.

bulletproof
02-18-2004, 02:27 PM
There are a couple of things to consider here regarding making any moves right now:

1.) We do have the 2nd best record in the league. It's tempting to want to make a trade to remedy what ills us, but how do we know that our current mix of players isn't up to the task of winning it all? We don't. The only way we'll find out is if we sit tight and see what happens. If we ship out Harrington right now, we'll always look back and wonder "what if" if we don't at least make the finals.

2.) We all know that we have glaring weaknesses, but every team does. It's up to opponents to exploit those weaknesses as NO did last night. It's up to us/Rick to make adjustments after a team does. It's the ebb and flow of the game.

Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing a trade involving Al. Never have been a big fan of his. But that doesn't mean anything. Hindsight is a glorious thing, so come playoff time I'm sure we'll all have a lot to say about this one way or another.

beast23
02-18-2004, 03:00 PM
But bullet, I think there is more involved than just sitting and waiting to see what happens.

A GM sizes up his teams strengths and weaknesses. He knows what vulnerabilities his team has. And as such, a GM should pretty much know what his team's chances are if they stand pat.

But a GM also knows who the players at each position are in the league that are likely to be able to help his team. And if one of those players becomes available, you may have to complete the trade immediately, because if you don't, it may never be available to you again.

One month ago, I would have agreed that we might be just as well off if we were to stand pat. I really felt at that time that there was no one in the East that stood much of a chance of preventing us from reaching the finals.

I no longer feel that way. I acknowledge that the Pacers are still the favorite, but the odds of our getting to the finals seem to decrease with each trade pulled off by one of our opponents.

I would not propose trading 5 of our players; I think that's to big an impact on our rotation and depth. But let's look at the trade from a different perspective.

Al = 6th man
Austin = 8th or 9th man
Pollard = 11th or 12th man

Dampier = starter or 6th man
Cato = 6th man or starter
Claxton = 7th or 8th man (1st guard off bench)

The trade does not help perimeter shooting consistency, but does provide a very quick perimeter player capable of either penetrating or creating his own shot. That may lessen the problem of perimeter shooting consistency. And, it totally resolves the problem of rebounding and interior toughness / defense.

Is it just me, or do these trades not make this team much stronger?

fwpacerfan
02-18-2004, 03:57 PM
IMHO the playoffs are all about matchups and those matchups constantly change with each game and each series. Teams need to be able to make changes to counter the other team and for that I really like this team. Some games will require AJ to be the PG while other matchups will require KA or Tinsley to be in during crunch time. 2 people I personally feel could be critical in the playoffs (barring any trades) are Pollard and KA. Pollard will be valuable against classic 'back to the basket' centers like Mutumbo and Shaq while KA's experience will be key during the close games. Croshere presents some matchup problems for other teams sometimes and other times he will be exploited.

As for the trades, could Bender's lack of PT be an indication that he is on the block? Maybe they don't want him to hurt himself again so they aren't playing him? I would love to see Dampier on our team (again) but I wouldn't want to see Al going in a trade for him though.

Roy Munson
02-18-2004, 04:04 PM
As for the trades, could Bender's lack of PT be an indication that he is on the block?

I think it is the opposite. The fact that he isn't playing much probably means that they aren't shopping him. If they were shopping him they'd be trying to boost his visibility and trade value.

Ragnar
02-18-2004, 04:23 PM
As for the trades, could Bender's lack of PT be an indication that he is on the block? Maybe they don't want him to hurt himself again so they aren't playing him? I would love to see Dampier on our team (again) but I wouldn't want to see Al going in a trade for him though.

He played in the last two Pacer games so I dont know what you mean by no playing time. He is certainly not playing when it matters but he has played in both of the last two.

fwpacerfan
02-18-2004, 04:28 PM
As for the trades, could Bender's lack of PT be an indication that he is on the block?

I think it is the opposite. The fact that he isn't playing much probably means that they aren't shopping him. If they were shopping him they'd be trying to boost his visibility and trade value.

I thought that at first, but with the way this guy gets hurt everytime he steps on the floor I thought maybe something was up. It sure seemed to me like he should have gotten a chance last night, after all no one else played worth a crap.