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View Full Version : A different kind of THX/5.1/Thinder thread...



Anthem
02-21-2004, 03:49 AM
What will it take for Bender to prove himself?

I ask the hardcore Bender fanboys, the wait-and-see-ers, and the he'll-never-be-anything-ers.

Presumably, he's got to be an impact player or some such. So what the heck does that mean? Can it be quantified? Is there any kind of objective standard that we could point to and say "If he does THIS, then he's ok."?

Well?

indygeezer
02-21-2004, 07:39 AM
Bring what he did the first half of last night's game to every game and he'll be fine.



ALong that line. <and not to steal a thread> if he did blossum, then what do you do with him? Suddelnly you have JO,JB, RA,and AH for the front line and JO doesn't wanna play the 5 all the time. So in order to add a 5 and keep the rest happy...how you do that?????

Oh I might add, I ain't convinced that RA is our 2 gaurd of the future...I think they are trying to buttonhole Freddie into that.

Will Galen
02-21-2004, 07:41 AM
If he does as well as Al Harrington he'll be an impact player.

beast23
02-21-2004, 11:42 AM
ALong that line. <and not to steal a thread> if he did blossum, then what do you do with him? Suddelnly you have JO,JB, RA,and AH for the front line and JO doesn't wanna play the 5 all the time. So in order to add a 5 and keep the rest happy...how you do that?????


I'm a Bender is useless guy; it's too late to try and hide that fact.

Bender had a very nice game last night. In the other thread, I pointed out that my evaluation of his game last night had NOTHING to do with points. It had to do with more important things: defense, screening, cutting, timing. I will be among the first to publicly eat crow if he is able to perform similarly through the end of the season.

In response to geezer's comment, it would be great for this team if Bender elevated his game to the level of Al's. That would be a great problem to have. You take Foster and one of Bender or Al, possibly throw in Croshere or Pollard, and you go looking for one hell of a trade that brings back a bona-fide center and a shooting guard able to make perimeter shots.

It's no secret that several teams constantly inquire about Al's availability. If Bender elevated his game to Al's level, he would also beomce a high-demand commodity. It would certainly put the Pacers in the cat-bird's seat when other teams go looking for a trade.

Anthem
02-21-2004, 12:28 PM
Well, Artest is never going to be your prototypical shooting guard. But consider it a different way.

Take all of the abilities that you want to see from your shooting guard and your small forward, put them in a bag, mix it up, and draw them out giving some to each player. The "mix" of skills might be similar to what you'd get if you put Ronnie and Bender at the wings. Which one is the shooting guard and which one is the forward? Who knows. But that doesn't mean it wouldn't be effective.

That's a long way of saying that Bender as a small forward could mesh well with Artest as a shooting guard and JO as a power forward. They're all different but compatible.

Al would be ideal as a backup to both forward positions, but I don't think he'll ever go for that. So I firmly believe that we will eventually trade Al.

Suaveness
02-21-2004, 03:28 PM
I'd like to see Bender play an entire season. That's it.

Kegboy
02-21-2004, 03:32 PM
In answer to the original question, it has nothing to do with stats. Bender will have proven himself when Pacers fans (not just the hardcore THX guys) start saying, out loud, "When are they gonna put Bender in?"

That's the standard. Pacer fans have a love afair with guys who produce off the bench, be it Jalen or Austin or Al. Of course, we'll turn on you when you become a starter and the problems in your game begin to show. It has more to do with promise than actual production. If Johnny starts showing flashes of real ability on a consistent basis, when something happens like Al goes into "Black Hole" mode, people will start clamoring for JB.

Of course, to live up to his potential, he's gonna have to go further than Jalen or Austin or Al (at least up until now) and become a productive starter without having glaring problems, be it physical (Austin) or mental (Jalen.)

indytoad
02-21-2004, 05:01 PM
I've given up on Bender ever living up to the fifth pick in the draft. It's not going to happen. But that's ancient history. It doesn't matter anymore. All I want from Bender now is to be good enough off the bench to allow for us to trade Al without much of a dropoff. 10 and 5 would be good enough for me. If we can get that kind of production out of Bender and trade Al for a Dampier-esque starting-quality center, I'd be happy.

IndyToad
Finished, idle...

sixthman
02-21-2004, 06:29 PM
Take all of the abilities that you want to see from your shooting guard and your small forward, put them in a bag, mix it up, and draw them out giving some to each player. The "mix" of skills might be similar to what you'd get if you put Ronnie and Bender at the wings. Which one is the shooting guard and which one is the forward? Who knows. But that doesn't mean it wouldn't be effective.

And when the other team goes "small", be able to bring in an athletic, strong defender to guard the quicker "2".

Sounds like a plan to me.

Go JB! Go Freddie!

Tim
02-22-2004, 10:39 AM
What will it take for Bender to prove himself?

I ask the hardcore Bender fanboys, the wait-and-see-ers, and the he'll-never-be-anything-ers.

Presumably, he's got to be an impact player or some such. So what the heck does that mean? Can it be quantified? Is there any kind of objective standard that we could point to and say "If he does THIS, then he's ok."?

Well?

For the rest of this season, always be aggressive. In whatever he does, even if he is missing shots, be aggressive.

Its his lack of aggressiveness that doesn't allow us to see the game his peers see on the practice court.

If his critics want to see numbers out of Bender (this season) I think you are setting yourselves up to be disappointed and will end up making a bad choice.
Bender isn't in game shape and really won't be until he can get a summer and following season injury free and in regular rotation.

I don't expect Bender to catch a good flow like AL can get into.

One last thing, no matter what, until its contract year Al isn't going anywhere. Rick uses Al way too much. 31 minutes a game and he is injured. Al may be hated here but Rick loves him. :)

waxman
02-22-2004, 03:34 PM
It's never been a question of talent with JB...its always been about "where is his head at?"....menatally (although he does have a tiny head) And "Can he stay healthy?"

JB has never looked real comfortable or confident on the floor... whether it was not understaning defensive schemes ...or not being aggressive offensively...it has always seemed that he just didn't have court awareness or understand game situations. His raw talent occasionly overcame those shortcomings...and gave glimpses of what potential was there.

He seemed more engaged in the game the other night... hopefully he can put it together on a regular basis. He can really add an interesting dimension to the game.

I'd like to seem him on the floor with Tins a little more somehow... I think they could be exciting as running mates.

Eindar
02-22-2004, 07:09 PM
Any possibility that Bender's basketball IQ was simply too low to grasp the free-wheeling, adlib "quick" offense, and that we might finally see some development from him in a more structured system?

Perhaps his lack of confidence came from not knowing what the hell was going on....

waxman
02-22-2004, 07:52 PM
Any possibility that Bender's basketball IQ was simply too low to grasp the free-wheeling, adlib "quick" offense, and that we might finally see some development from him in a more structured system?

Perhaps his lack of confidence came from not knowing what the hell was going on....

Yeah...I think any NBA offense period would've been a struggle... he has great individual skills... but a couple years of college playing in a system would have been beneficial...in just learning how to play the overall team game.

They were saying on the broadcast tonight that he's comfortable with about 2/3rds of the offensive system. If he can apply his skills within the team game instinctually, then i think he'd thrive in a more free wheelin adlib offense... IMO teams playing at their best aren't always running set plays... they're just playing good ball... there is a certain fluidity you can't always setup...

But you gotta have the fundamentals for a foundation...don't think JB had that.

Anthem
02-22-2004, 09:30 PM
Al would be ideal as a backup to both forward positions, but I don't think he'll ever go for that. So I firmly believe that we will eventually trade Al.

Guess you missed a week or so ago when Artest wasn't going to play at all then changed his mind. Al was to start and they were going to leave it there. Al INSISTED that Ron start as to "not distrupt the chemistry".
You Al bashers are gettting REALLY tiresome. :mad:

Whoa, back that train up. What I said was not bashing Al.

Donnie, Bird, and Zeke have all said that Bender has the most potential of any of the three HSers. JO is obviously second. That puts Al in third.

Assume that Al and Bender pan out like we hope they will. Then what's the ideal lineup? I submit that it would be JO starting at PF and Bender starting at SF, with Al backing them up. He could come in for JO or come in for Bender. He'd compliment either player.

How is that bashing Al? It's a compliment.

duaneok66
02-23-2004, 01:22 AM
Any possibility that Bender's basketball IQ was simply too low to grasp the free-wheeling, adlib "quick" offense, and that we might finally see some development from him in a more structured system?

Perhaps his lack of confidence came from not knowing what the hell was going on....

he has great individual skills .

I wish they'd show up against non lottery teams . . .

Anthem
02-23-2004, 01:31 AM
he has great individual skills .

I wish they'd show up against non lottery teams . . .

Cut the kid some slack, eh? It's not his fault that the only games he's played in since being activated are against lottery teams. He's been consistent and agressive, which isn't a bad start.

duaneok66
02-23-2004, 01:37 AM
he has great individual skills .

I wish they'd show up against non lottery teams . . .

Cut the kid some slack, eh? It's not his fault that the only games he's played in since being activated are against lottery teams. He's been consistent and agressive, which isn't a bad start.

IF he does it against a real team, I will change my mind, until then, I'm a non-believer . . .

Kegboy
02-23-2004, 12:59 PM
he has great individual skills .

I wish they'd show up against non lottery teams . . .

Cut the kid some slack, eh? It's not his fault that the only games he's played in since being activated are against lottery teams. He's been consistent and agressive, which isn't a bad start.

IF he does it against a real team, I will change my mind, until then, I'm a non-believer . . .

I maintain the best game Bender ever played was a week before the end of the '01-'02 season, when we were fighting tooth-and-nail with Milwaukee and Toronto for the 7th and 8th seeds. We beat the Bucks in OT, and JB completely locked down Robinson, and had like 17 points along with it.

Eindar
02-23-2004, 05:26 PM
It may just be me, but it looks like Bender's defense is even improved. How many 7' guys, good defenders or not, do you know that could keep up decently with a 6'5" shooting guard? Bender did just that against Giricek, and only gave up 1 or 2 layups, but had a couple blocks, and drew a ton of fouls (something this team lacks and will need in the playoffs). He's bringing it all to the table. If he can stay healthy, next season could be the year it all comes together.

As an aside, has anyone else noticed this difference between this year's team and the 2000 team? Rik Smits, Reggie Miller, Jalen Rose, and Mark Jackson were all very good at getting their defender in foul trouble. Even Chris Mullin and Austin Croshere had some ability in this regard. Often, this is what made the difference over the course of a game, and it's something we don't have much of now.

DisplacedKnick
02-23-2004, 06:12 PM
:soapbox: I took enough grief two years ago when I posted that Bender would never be anything more than a solid reserve (unless he developed a post game) that my standard will be pretty high.

I thought at the time he could be a guy who could come off the bench, make a quick impact before teams adjust to him and maybe average 10-12 ppg. So just because he does that and I have a long memory that isn't enough for me to call off the crow barbecue I'm planning for this summer.

He'll prove himself to me when he does one of two things: Becomes a 20 ppg plus scorer from the perimeter (which is what a lot of folks - not everyone - told me 2 years ago) OR - and since I still believe the former is impossible for a variety of reasons I'm not going to repeat at the moment this is the main one - HE PARKS HIS BUTT DOWN INSIDE AND DEVELOPS ENOUGH OF A POST GAME TO WHERE TEAMS CAN'T GUARD HIM WITH A 6-6 OR 6-7 GUY WHO CAN NEUTRALIZE HIM ON THE PERIMETER.

Sorry for shouting. :)

duaneok66
02-23-2004, 11:37 PM
It may just be me, but it looks like Bender's defense is even improved. How many 7' guys, good defenders or not, do you know that could keep up decently with a 6'5" shooting guard? Bender did just that against Giricek, and only gave up 1 or 2 layups, but had a couple blocks, and drew a ton of fouls (something this team lacks and will need in the playoffs).

Bad example, Giricek has to be one of the slowest shooting guards in the NBA . . .

duaneok66
02-23-2004, 11:38 PM
:soapbox: I took enough grief two years ago when I posted that Bender would never be anything more than a solid reserve (unless he developed a post game) that my standard will be pretty high.

I thought at the time he could be a guy who could come off the bench, make a quick impact before teams adjust to him and maybe average 10-12 ppg. So just because he does that and I have a long memory that isn't enough for me to call off the crow barbecue I'm planning for this summer.

He'll prove himself to me when he does one of two things: Becomes a 20 ppg plus scorer from the perimeter (which is what a lot of folks - not everyone - told me 2 years ago) OR - and since I still believe the former is impossible for a variety of reasons I'm not going to repeat at the moment this is the main one - HE PARKS HIS BUTT DOWN INSIDE AND DEVELOPS ENOUGH OF A POST GAME TO WHERE TEAMS CAN'T GUARD HIM WITH A 6-6 OR 6-7 GUY WHO CAN NEUTRALIZE HIM ON THE PERIMETER.

Sorry for shouting. :)

that was a classic (and long) thread by the way . . .

ABADays
02-24-2004, 08:15 AM
I maintain the best game Bender ever played was a week before the end of the '01-'02 season, when we were fighting tooth-and-nail with Milwaukee and Toronto for the 7th and 8th seeds. We beat the Bucks in OT, and JB completely locked down Robinson, and had like 17 points along with it.

I agree. One of his "Once A Year Games". I will be interested in how the rest of this season goes when the team NEEDS for him to produce in the absence of RA.

sixthman
02-24-2004, 08:28 AM
This is the year you're going to see it. ;)

ChicagoJ
02-24-2004, 12:00 PM
:soapbox: -snip- HE PARKS HIS BUTT DOWN INSIDE AND DEVELOPS ENOUGH OF A POST GAME TO WHERE TEAMS CAN'T GUARD HIM WITH A 6-6 OR 6-7 GUY WHO CAN NEUTRALIZE HIM ON THE PERIMETER.

Sorry for shouting. :)


Amen.

The worst thing the Pacers have done is give any credence to this "Bender as shooting guard or small forward" crap. He's 7'0" tall. He should have spent 1999 through 2003 at MCL cafeteria and Gold's gym, gaining thirty to forty pounds in the thighs, hips, and chest. Not running around on the perimeter shooting threes. :mad:

I guess that's why I still think he's three years away from "showing it."

indygeezer
02-24-2004, 12:59 PM
I very anxious to see tonight's game. Can he keep it up? I HOPE SO!!! THat would be a MAJOR PLUS going into the PO's if he suddenly "got it". Imagine this team with a "Nowitski" or a "Garnett" type player. More like KG IMO in that he could play D better than Dirk.

How much more would he need to develope to be a candidate for the 5? (I asked in another thread and never got an answer)?

Gyron
02-24-2004, 01:15 PM
Now now Mr. Geezer, don't get too carried away yet.

Although I REALLY would like to see JB play to his full potential, you might be just a little too excited as his good output the last two games.

JB has had two good games, but he's gonna have to do this consistently for the rest of the season and playoffs before we could start talking a player of the caliber of Duncan or KG:)

ChicagoJ
02-24-2004, 01:15 PM
How much more would he need to develope to be a candidate for the 5? (I asked in another thread and never got an answer)?

In my opinion, all he's missing is about 30 pounds.

He's got the skills to play down there already, just not the confidence nor the bulk.

Arcadian
02-24-2004, 02:06 PM
While I would compare KG or Dirk to Bender ever Bender does match up with them taking away those mismatches.

One thing that gets missed in Bender discussion I think is his ablity to create or cancel mismatches which makes the game easier for his teammates.

What makes Bender special (and worth the wait) isn't that he has talent but that he is a 7 footer with talent.

wintermute
02-24-2004, 11:21 PM
How much more would he need to develope to be a candidate for the 5? (I asked in another thread and never got an answer)?

In my opinion, all he's missing is about 30 pounds.

He's got the skills to play down there already, just not the confidence nor the bulk.

he played center in hs, so i guess you can say he has the mentality.

but is gaining so much weight (30 lbs??) the answer? that's got to have major repurcussions (slowing him down, making him less athletic). and i think there's a theory that bender's body type just won't support so much weight.

i think thinder could play c at his weight. camby, for example, is a decent c at 225 lbs, as compared to thinder's 219. maybe he just needs to get stronger.