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Odd Thoughts: Can't stand the Heat

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  • Odd Thoughts: Can't stand the Heat

    In all honesty I didn’t want to do one of these tonight. I just don’t want to add to what I’m sure is already an overwhelming display of negativity and doom and gloom. To continue with my honesty I will admit to something. We got up and left at the end of the 3rd quarter which is the earliest we’ve left a game in a long long time. Actually we debated leaving somewhere in the 2nd quarter but I made us stick it out till when we left.

    I don’t even know where to begin or what to say. This was as bad of basketball that we have played since, well the last time we played the Heat.

    Let’s just say it now, until further notice the Miami Heat are our Lords & Masters. Not only can we not beat them apparently we can not even compete with them. That was the worst part about the game, from about 3 min. into the game it was over. If a game could have been called after the 1st quarter this one was certainly eligible.

    Look there is nothing wrong with losing to the Heat; lots of teams lose to the Heat. But to not even compete is just, well it’s disheartening from a fan standpoint and downright disgusting from anybody’s standpoint.

    So this is two home games that they have had large crowds for and gone out and played like absolute garbage. Hard to get on the locals about not coming to the games when 4 of the last 6 home games have resulted on losses and the 2 wins were by the skin of our teeth against a less than stellar team (Nets) and a team finishing up a huge road trip (Utah).

    I said this after Denver, we haven’t played a good game since we beat Dallas and after tonight I am actually now one step beyond worried. Tonight for certain it’s not the loss but the way we lost and the lack of competitive spirit we displayed for the game.

    Whenever I look at a problem from the team I usually start with the defensive end of the floor and tonight there were so many problems I don’t even know where to begin. Our defensive rotations in general lately have been late or non existent but it was really exasperated by the Heat offense. They would rotate the ball and often times their players were hitting wide open 10-15’ jump shots. But then when they weren’t doing that they were strolling to the rim as though nobody was there, which tonight nobody was.

    Not to be outdone by lousy defense our rebounding was beyond pathetic. How bad was our rebounding? Darren Collison led us with 7 rebounds, that’s how bad it was. If it wasn’t so damn sad it would have been comical. We would let one guy go for offensive rebounds so we could get back and cover the breaks. Which is sound strategy with one small exception; we never stopped the transition baskets.

    We have gotten so far from what got us to our winning record that it’s sad. Defense, offensive rebounding, rebounding in general, getting to the free throw line and working harder than every other team was what made us what we were. It was called smash mouth basketball and right now that seems like a lifetime ago.

    Our next game vs. the Cavaliers is almost a no win game for this team. Win and while it will stop the bleeding nobody is going to be overly happy about it because you are supposed to win. Lose on the other hand and I think Pacer fans will go from concerned to apocalyptic, which I’m sure there are already several people yelling to blow it up or tank.

    We’re not there; we’re not even close to there. So those of you who are already looking at the future draft I’m here to tell you that this team is not done. We still are a winning team and have a playoff berth.

    But by the same token any sane Pacers fan can look out there right now and see that there has been a fundamental shift in the way we have played over the past few weeks. People who are concerned are not wrong to be that way. This loss while only just one loss was troubling in so many ways. Not competing is never good, they were on the 3rd game in 3 nights, and we’ve had 3 days of rest. That is another troubling thing, after the Denver game so many of us were saying & frankly I convinced myself as well, that the team was just exhausted, run down and out of energy. We needed time off. We got it, it didn’t matter.

    We came out lifeless, listless and just provided no form of resistance to Miami at all.

    When you have one or two players you can put your finger on then you look at one or two players. When you have a total collapse of a system or team, well again I hate to do it, but you have to look at coaching. Something has changed over the past few weeks. It may just be Hill, but I doubt it. George Hill playing or not playing doesn’t make one bit of difference in this game, it might have in all of the other losses but not this one.

    Somehow both our offense & defense have changed. Frank made a point of telling us early on that our offense was designed to get two big men at the basket to help with offensive rebounding, that is now all but gone. I have faith that he can turn this around but right now they have to look at what they are running and maybe even who they are running.

    Ok, I’ll try and look at the players but again being honest here I did not see the 4th quarter.

    Dahntay Jones is a gamer. I’ll take 12 Dahntay Jones on the roster and go against anybody. He’s not afraid of any player and treated LeBron James as though he were James Jones. No he didn’t stop LeBron or even really affect him but he played hard against him and never backed down and tried desperately to spark any kind of offense without being out of control. He needs to work on boxing out on the glass a little bit but as a backup small forward I have no complaints for him at all.

    Danny Granger rolled his ego at the end of the 1st quarter went to the locker room and did not return. His ego is day to day at this point.

    David West did not have the great game his offensive statistics are going to imply. Frankly speaking for a starting power forward to play 25 min. and grab 2 rebounds is beyond nauseating. His help side defense is non existent and frankly his man to man defense wasn’t good either. Now he did attack Miami and did get his offensive groove going better than almost anyone on our team. But don’t let the fact that he led us in scoring fool you into thinking he had a good game, he did not.

    Roy Hibbert didn’t shoot a single free throw. Now honestly it’s hard to play Miami because yes the referee’s tend to give them every benefit of the doubt and never seem to call them for obvious things. But you have to also take it at them and make the refs. either make the call or make it so obvious that even the NBA has to question the calls. Roy did not do that tonight. Now again to Roy’s credit it is very possible that Joel Anthony is the leader from the Hulk Comic books (look him up to see his huge head and tell me they are not one and the same) so he might outsmart Roy and everybody else. But Roy has recently gone back to being Mr. Pushover in the post as well. No more do we see Roy backing down the opponents big man for that 2-3’ hook shot. Now he is just flipping it up from 4-5’ and sometimes just missing it right at the rim. But it is on the defensive side of the floor we are missing Roy the most right now. Gone are the days of him getting tough contested rebounds, gone is the shot blocking presence that we had (although he got 2 tonight I don’t think he is intimidating anyone anymore from going in there).

    Paul George just played poorly. His shot was off and sadly it was not because of Miami’s defense. He was just missing wide open shots. Sometimes that happens so we can live with that. But the 6 turnovers were a little much.

    Darren Collison played worse than poorly. I don’t know if this is by design (God I hope it is not) or if Darren is just so bad at defense sometimes that opposing point guards routinely get right at the rim vs. our club. It’s like he can’t keep them in front of him. It happens so often though that I haven’t wondered if they aren’t trying to set some interior trapping defense that just fails to materialize because our power forwards just don’t rotate fast enough. But then surely to God Frank is not that dumb. I don’t know though, it happens a lot.

    Tyler Hansbrough is a mystery to me. The mystery to me is why have we been cutting back his time 3-4 min. a game? Tonight for example he only played 19 min. and in that time he got 3 less points and 2 more rebounds than West. Neither of them are what you would call the Gary Payton of the power forward position on defense so this is really kind of mystery to me why Tyler has gone down this much. If anything Roy probably shouldn’t have played as much. Oh who am I kidding in this game it didn’t really matter. But overall I know he had a slump that was extended but he seems past that, yet we still are only giving him the min. he got when he was slumping. Not sure what is up there.

    In the short time Lance & A.J. played when I was there they both did ok. Nothing great nothing so bad that I want to scream about either.

    Look we all need to probably just take a nice cleansing deep breath here. We can regroup and get this team headed back in the right direction without making major changes.

    But the team can not and I repeat can NOT come out and play like that at home again the rest of the season. Losing is bad, but it’s the NBA people understand that nobody has a perfect season. But nobody is happy about laying down any kind of hard earned money and see that kind of effort.




    Basketball isn't played with computers, spreadsheets, and simulations. ChicagoJ 4/21/13

  • #2
    Re: Odd Thoughts: Can't stand the Heat

    I have to start wondering about four things:

    1) Are many of our players just mentally weak?
    2) Did something happen with our locker room chemistry?
    3) Is this the coaching staff?
    4) Is it mostly just '**** happens' and nothing big actually happened to cause these changes?

    I'm not the quickest to point to number one, and I don't believe in going there just because players have bad games, but when there's just not much sense of fight, I start to wonder more.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Odd Thoughts: Can't stand the Heat

      Originally posted by Hicks View Post
      I have to start wondering about four things:

      1) Are many of our players just mentally weak?
      2) Did something happen with our locker room chemistry?
      3) Is this the coaching staff?
      4) Is it mostly just '**** happens' and nothing big actually happened to cause these changes?

      I'm not the quickest to point to number one, and I don't believe in going there just because players have bad games, but when there's just not much sense of fight, I start to wonder more.
      There is another option IMO as well.

      5) Other teams have adjusted to our early season style of play.

      Unless of course you just mean tonights game. Then in that case I think it is a combination of 1 & 4. We just can't play the Heat. It is down right embarassing playing the Heat and I think Danny get's mentally affected playing against LeBron.

      But really, your guess is as good as mine. I have no idea what is going on here.


      Basketball isn't played with computers, spreadsheets, and simulations. ChicagoJ 4/21/13

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Odd Thoughts: Can't stand the Heat

        How about we got a lot of lucky breaks early in the season (see low point differential), lost George Hill, didn't get the breaks, and then didn't have the depth to make up for it.

        Also, the Heat are definitely just better than us. We're built to beat the Bulls, not the Heat.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Odd Thoughts: Can't stand the Heat

          I've wondered something a little from out in left field... We had a lot of dustups over the course of several games for a while. Didn't back down from anyone. I kind of wonder if the league, Simon, someone in a position of power didn't tell the team to watch the chippiness... And maybe that has affected the mojo.
          Nuntius was right for a while. I was wrong for a while. But ultimately I was right and Frank Vogel has been let go.

          ------

          "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, thatís teamwork."

          -John Wooden

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          • #6
            Re: Odd Thoughts: Can't stand the Heat

            I think we knew that was going to be impossible to keep winning games while shooting a horrible percentage, it was expected for teams to pick it up including us, the problem has been that teams are starting to shoot better and we are still shooting the same percentage.

            Our defense in the beginning was also overrated by us playing bad teams that were also shooting bad giving us false defensive stats, there are many games were we got lucky because of the many open jumpers the other team missed.

            Looking around the NBA it looks to me like the teams that were supposed to be at the top are getting better by the day and the surprising teams like us(Utah,Philly,Denver) are getting a reality check.
            @WhatTheFFacts: Studies show that sarcasm enhances the ability of the human mind to solve complex problems!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Odd Thoughts: Can't stand the Heat

              I honestly think teams have simply adjusted to our early, successful style of play. Which is basically feed it to Roy Hibbert early in the shot clock and if it's not there kick it out to a shooter or find the slashing guy. We also run pick-n-rolls and they almost never work. That is basically our offensive game and I think teams have figured it out. If we want to get farther than the first or second round this year we are simply going to have to make a move of some sort. The question is when will Larry pull the trigger on such a move...?

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Odd Thoughts: Can't stand the Heat

                Originally posted by rexnom View Post
                How about we got a lot of lucky breaks early in the season (see low point differential), lost George Hill, didn't get the breaks, and then didn't have the depth to make up for it.

                Also, the Heat are definitely just better than us. We're built to beat the Bulls, not the Heat.
                I'm leaning towards this and the notion that we have a deep bench was "fool's gold".....we are only 6 deep.
                Ash from Army of Darkness: Good...Bad...I'm the guy with the gun.

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                • #9
                  Re: Odd Thoughts: Can't stand the Heat

                  Originally posted by CableKC View Post
                  I'm leaning towards this and the notion that we have a deep bench was "fool's gold".....we are only 6 deep.
                  7 deep on a good night. This is why a move must be made.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Odd Thoughts: Can't stand the Heat

                    Tyler and Hill were basically the bench early. Now Hill is out and Tyler's usage is hit or miss getting tons of shots in a short time or nothing for extended time IE 1 first half shot in each of the last 3 games, after 3 games of heavy usage and production after a game he got 1 shot the whole game.

                    We are now 3-6 without Hill and 8 of those games also happen to be Tyler's lowest 8 games of PT and we're 2-6 in those. These two are also our top two bench scorers and were the ones expected to take most of the shots off the bench and also are the two least likely turnover prone players on the team and the TO they do get are walks and charges which don't go the other way for easy hoops.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Odd Thoughts: Can't stand the Heat

                      Originally posted by vnzla81 View Post
                      I think we knew that was going to be impossible to keep winning games while shooting a horrible percentage.
                      I disagree. We're actually shooting better as of late. In the last 4 games, excluding the loss to Memphis, we've actually shot better than 40%.

                      Justin Tyme is right. The problem lies within our defense. It makes the most sense. We find our pace through our defense. When our defense fails, we just cannot find our pace.
                      Tonight, all flags must burn, in place of steeples.
                      Autonomy must return into the hands of the people.

                      Panopticon

                      Originally posted by IrishPacer
                      Empty vessels make the most noise.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Odd Thoughts: Can't stand the Heat

                        Originally posted by PGisthefuture View Post
                        7 deep on a good night. This is why a move must be made.
                        Hansbrough has been inconsistent as of late....so he's fallen out of my "Starting 7" and now think that we only have a "Starting 6". I'm putting him at the front of the line in the same group as Inferno, Foster, AJ, Lance and Amundson. I believe that he's part of the future core...but other Teams have figured out his game, adjusted to him and he hasn't figured out how to get over that proverbial "hump" to get to the next level.

                        Regardless, you're right...we need to make a move.
                        Ash from Army of Darkness: Good...Bad...I'm the guy with the gun.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Odd Thoughts: Can't stand the Heat

                          Here is what I hope a meaningless random stat....

                          We are 3-9 in the 12 games PG has got the most burn this year(34 rounded MPG or more) And are 14-2 rest of the games with a 8-0 record when less than 28 MPG. These numbers could be a product of not having Hill as well.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Odd Thoughts: Can't stand the Heat

                            Originally posted by Asher99 View Post
                            Here is what I hope a meaningless random stat....

                            We are 3-9 in the 12 games PG has got the most burn this year(34 rounded MPG or more) And are 14-2 rest of the games with a 8-0 record when less than 28 MPG. These numbers could be a product of not having Hill as well.
                            That's because he's the one starter/big minute guy that Frank leaves in games regardless of the score.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Odd Thoughts: Can't stand the Heat

                              Yea we really need to get our defense back, one of the reasons we were winning was because it hid our lack of offensive skills. When we go try to engage in a shooting match like we did with Denver we are going to lose.

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