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Why so little faith?

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  • Why so little faith?

    As Pacer fans I believe we should be really excited about this season and our future! Our starting lineup that outplayed the best team in the NBA for much of a seven game series is coming back to Indy, and our bench has improved dramatically. We also have two more seven footers off the bench to throw at Miami when Hibbert is tired. According to Las Vegas Odds the Heat, Bulls, and Celtics have better odds than the Pacers of coming out of the East. As I see it who knows where the Bulls will be at the end of the season without Rose playing the majority of it, and as the majority of Boston's and Miami's players slowly creep out of their prime years (minus Rondo and LeBron) the Pacers entire roster is slowly going into their prime years (Granger and West have been in their prime for a few years - Same as LeBron and Rondo). So I really do not understand the threads that say we have no chance for the next five years as we are by far the youngest team out of the top teams in the East. Also, if you consider the Knicks, Nets, and Sixers as better teams than the Pacers then you are a complete pessimist NOT a realist. When you're picking teams to beat your team despite seeing that even Las Vegas is picking the smaller market team in the Pacers (which usually the larger market teams odds would go up slightly because of all the fans of those teams placing their bets on them), then you know that you are a doubter.

    Just a thought.

  • #2
    Re: Why so little faith?

    So you wanted to reply to my thread by opening a new thread?

    Maybe not the most efficient use of forum space.

    Just a thought.


    • #3
      Re: Why so little faith?

      It occurred to me that you probably hadn't actually read the thread but were merely replying to my actually thread title. So I figured the best way to respond is for you to actually read what I said.

      Here ya go:

      What you see is what you get. The Pacers will remain for the most part with the players you see now for the next 5 years and they will not compete for a championship. They have a ceiling below championship contention, and the Pacers front office doesn’t have the foresight to see our Pacers’ limited potential.

      Quick note- I don’t intend this as a negative outlook on the Pacers future. Believe it or not, I’m relatively happy with the Pacers’ offseason moves and I look forward to watching some of our young guys develop into real good players. However, that doesn’t keep me from seeing the cold hard truth, and that is this team’s talent level is not on a championship level.

      So just hear me out. No matter what I say in the following, I can promise you the next 5 years are going to be some of the most exciting times in the Pacers’ history and it will be a whole lot of fun to watch.

      It would be hard to look at all the improvement in the Indiana organization over just the last 3 years and come up with a conclusion that this team cannot or won’t compete for a title. But like most things, proper perspective can give us real insight into where this organization is heading.

      It all starts at the top. I don’t necessarily believe the Pacers’ brass aren’t intending on winning as much as possible. I think they very much so are doing everything they can to win. Kevin Pritchard has made some smart moves this offseason drastically improving the bench. It has nothing to do with desire, or a lack of an ability in our team’s front office. They simply don’t realize this team is severely lacking in some areas and unless they make drastic moves at some point in the next few years they’ll never truly compete.

      I’ve never really had a problem with how a front office operates. Whether they’re aggressive, conservative or maybe opportunistic. Whatever you want to call it. As long as they have an understanding of what it takes for a team to beat the absolute best, and the complete understanding that they cannot “sit back and evaluate” until they truly have a team that rivals the absolute best.

      But that’s what our front office has said. Kevin said the following:

      “Coach Vogel wants to keep this team together and see them grow,” Pritchard said. “We’ll look for deals and be opportunistic, but it’s not like we have to do something right now.
      “It’s never done,” he added, “but it’s time to sit back and evaluate where we are.
      I believe there are only three teams in the NBA that truly should simply be happy with the teams they have fielded. OKC, MIA, and LAL. Those three teams are stacked and are looking at an NBA Finals appearance. While OKC, MIA and LAL have different small issues they will be actively looking to fix if the right deals are coming along, all know they’re fielding top tier talent and until some glaring issues become apparent, no moves need to be made.

      This is obviously not the case with the Pacers and even the most positive thinking fellow on this board would agree this team isn’t where they need to be. But there lies the problem. Other than minor upgrades to the bench, the Pacers front office hasn’t made an attempt, or at least welcomed the idea that improvements need to be made for this team to compete.

      Many would argue that we have to allow the team to grow, and when the opportunity arises moves will be made. But again, the brass has clearly stated the starting five will stay as is for the forseeable future.

      This team’s starting five does NOT have a high ceiling. If we were the most positive and optimistic about this team’s future than this is the best we’ll see out of this team:

      George Hill could improve to a very solid starting point guard. Let’s say best case scenario Hill is a top 15 point guard. I mean that’s being honest. He’s not going to be handing out assists like Nash, and he’s not going to be exploding to the basket like Westbrook. He is who he is. A a solid defender, and a solid, reliable offensive player.

      Paul George could progress to a top 15 player, the second best two guard in the league. Again, that is probably overly optimistic. But let’s imagine he does. 20ppg, and top tier defense is a fair ceiling for PG.

      Granger simply cannot get better than he is now. He’s above average on offense and above average on defense. A real good player.

      This is West no matter how optimistic you are on his future: Average defense at best, poor rebounding and absolutely no shotblocking or protecting the rim. Let’s so he’s very good on offense. (that’s just absolutely inaccurate but we’ll throw him a bone)

      Hibbert is a shotblocker, protects the rim, plays solid defense and is a real good rebounder. He’s average on offense at best.

      That’s your team folks. That is the following, a real strong offense, a strong defense, and average rebounding. That’s pretty good. But bigger teams will out rebound us. Team’s with slashers will exploit our lack of an ability to protect the rim. Great offenses with all world superstars will simply beat our strong but not great defense. That is our team of the future. BEST CASE.

      Now compare that to any of the top three. Let’s go with LAL: They have twin towers protecting the rim, they have probably the best rebounding in the NBA, and they have Nash to help an offense that consists of Kobe, Pau and Howard.

      The only thing the Lakers lack is depth, and a perimeter defense that is probably not a problem considering Howard’s defensive prowess.

      Say what you want about the Lakers good fortune, or good market - whatever it may be, but the real problem is we have a front office that doesn’t at least want to TRY to beat that. No attempt at all.

      The funny thing is this has nothing to do with, as I alluded to before, our front offices general manner of doing business. Whether you refer to that as an aggressive or conservative office. It has everything to do with knowing who they are and the willingness to change it.

      Say what you want about Bird, who is considered much more conservative compared to Kevin Pritchard but Bird had the same idea each year: “Our team isn’t good enough as constructed, so we’ll do what we need to do to fix that.” Do you see how important that is? This could mean Bird, had he still been in charge, ends up making absolutely no big moves this offseason. This has nothing to do with doing a move, to do a move. This has everything to do with our front office recognizing a lack of talent and making it clear they will work to improve that until they can be happy with the talent level.

      I don’t believe it is impossible to compete with LAL, MIA, and OKC. I don’t. I think if you get creative with building a team you can come up with a team that could theoretically beat them. That doesn’t mean they actually end up doing it. But if you can at least field a team that can exploit weakness on those prior teams than you have a chance.

      I’m merely asking our office to have a goal they will work to achieve even if it never happens. I understand because of our market, because of luck or any other possible reasons that may be an impossible goal. Doesn’t matter. Aim for the sky, if you don’t meet it than so be it.

      I just don’t want to be told that the team I’m seeing has a chance to beat Miami, or OKC or LAL. Because they don’t. Plain and simple. And they won’t next year, or the year after, no matter how good Paul George gets. they don’t have that high of a ceiling.

      For those that don’t believe moves can be made to compete with the best, I’ll give you a fictional example of what I think could compete with every team in the NBA. I will not continue to trumpet this idea as if it is the only way to go, or as if this is the best possible example. This is nothing more than a vision I have, for a team that could be formed that would rival any other team in the NBA. Once again the point I’m trying to drive home is not, “Kevin Pritchard should listen to mattie, dumbass drunk boarder on PacersDigest.” It is, Kevin Pritchard should have visions of different scenarios in which a Pacers team could be fielded that can beat anyone.

      Here’s my simple thought- While gathering superstar talent went out of the wayside when the Pacers made no attempt to sign Deron Williams in the offseason, I could see how the Pacers could form an all defensive team that could matchup on any front with any team. A a team that could out rebound any team, protect the rim and make life miserable for guys like Wade and LBJ who’d like a nice free ride to the rim.

      I know the Pacers do have in place at least part of that puzzle. George Hill is a long physical defender at the PG position. Once Paul George puts on a little strength he’ll be an all world, long defender at the two. He’ll truly have the physical capacity to give any two guard in the league fits. Danny Granger is a very physical defender capable of forcing LBJ to settle for jumpshots just because of his strength and good footwork. Roy Hibbert is a strong rebounder and shotblocker able to protect the rim better than just about every NBA player except Ibaka and Dwight Howard.

      That’s a real core there. David West however is a major flaw in that plan. He cannot protect the rim, rebound or play anything above average defense. If David West’s valuable expiring contract is packaged with draft picks and or particular appealing bench players, he could bring back a starting caliber powerforward that could fullfill that necessary role.

      Forget David West’s supposed leadership. Focus what it would take for this team to keep Pau and Dwight Howard off the offensive boards. Imagine if this team had two frontcourt players that kept Russell Westbrook and James Harden from having easy layups and dunks. What would happen if Indiana faced Miami in the post season, and they left Shane Battier on our starting 4, and we beat them so bad on the boards Miami would have to play LBJ at the 4 allowing Granger to score at will?

      That fictional concept of a team could conceivably play against anyone. (In before ******* quotes the prior sentence and ignores everything else I said.)

      My idea as I’ve stated multiple times in various threads is since the rebuilding Hawks have lost out on the Dwight sweepstakes, offer them a package for either one of their 4’s, either Horford or Smith. Obviously Smith would be the best case scenario, but Horford would be amazing as well.

      The sheer size and athleticism and defensive ability displayed by our Pacers would allow us to truly play with any team in the NBA. That’d truly make them like the Pistons before. What people forget is that Pistons team was so great because they could defend ANYONE. They were that great. They didn’t have a superstar that could drop 40, but they could stop anyone, outrebound anyone and one year they were fortunate enough to outscore everyone because of all world defensive play.

      So I’d like to say one last time, I’m not really upset with how things are going. Watching the Pacers make it to the second round is going to be exciting. I think in the next few years Paul George is going to be a really good player. I think he’ll be an allstar. But that’s the teams ceiling.

      Next year when David West is a FA, he’ll be resigned and all of our starting five will be undercontract. DJ will be replaced by another backup point guard. Maybe a slightly superior one, maybe not. Lance could become an important contributor that is fun to watch, or he could go the way of Brandon Rush. You’ll see other various moves that change up the bench from year to year. But as said before, this is our team of the future and they aren’t getting much better.

      That is all.

      *Cliff notes

      The Pacers front office will not make any moves in the next 5 years to change the current starting lineup. The current starting lineup will never be good enough to beat the top teams in the NBA.


      • #4
        Re: Why so little faith?

        Not just your thread but I have seen multiple comments on different threads saying the Nets, Knicks, and Sixers are better than the Pacers. I do not believe you were one to say that. But I just thought I would try to start a positive conversation on a Pacers forum. Just a thought.


        • #5
          Re: Why so little faith?

          and here's one of the better responses in that thread:

          Originally posted by Cubs231721 View Post
          I have a couple quibbles with your best case scenarios.

          For example, Hibbert. You mentioned he's average at offense at best as a best case scenario. I would contend that he is already well above average offensively. He was 55th in the NBA in points per game last year which is a little above average. And he's efficient with that scoring. He was tied for 20th in FG percentage (and there were several players who scored less than he did above him). He shoots a pretty good free throw percentage for a big man with 71 percent last year.

          And from a scouting perspective on Hibbert, he draws double teams frequently. Teams have been known to gameplan against stopping Hibbert first. That sort of attention isn't garnered on players who are barely average on the offensive end.

          And for a team thing, you mentioned the team's best case scenario is an average rebounding team. But they were 9th in the NBA in rebounding margin just last year (even better in total rebounds, but that was mostly influenced by the Pacers style). Certainly their best case scenario is at least the same and maybe even a little better than they did just last year. Even with the same starting 5, they certainly have room to improve the bench's rebounding capability.

          So the Pacers in best case are a bottom of the top 5 offense, bottom of the top 5 defense, and top 10 rebounding sort of team. I think that's the other area on where we differ. I don't think a team necessarily has to have a specialized skill to win a title. In that scenario, as you said, some teams could break down the Pacers defense, others could defend the Pacers well, and others could outrebound them. But the Pacers would still be contenders in that scenario because it's rare for a team to be that well balanced, and so the Pacers would have advantages over each of those teams who have that one elite skill.

          Now there still is the thorny question of how likely it is that the Pacers hit that ceiling. The Pacers could easily not be true title contenders over the next 5 years. But their ceiling IMO is true title contention. I don't think the Pacers as currently constructed could ever be considered hands down the best team in the league even if they hit their ceiling, but they definitely could be in the mix.


          • #6
            Re: Why so little faith?

            and finally another good response:

            Originally posted by BillS View Post
            This is well written and I thanked it, but (as you might expect) I disagree with a number of points:

            - I think we will have at least one if not 2 new starters within 2 years.

            - I think we're only taking some time to see where this team develops with a full training camp and season behind it - making moves before you know what you really have is at some point just guesswork.

            - We see the message coming from Pritchard and Vogel, not just Donnie, but of course it is always "Donnie's express goal"

            - I fail to understand how, when the quality of our bench definitely affected our ability to hold leads in the playoffs and therefore we made some moves to improve the bench, that is not addressing something we needed to do to make the team better. Why is it only changes to the starting lineup that make the team better?

            I still feel like much of the idea that we won't make any more moves comes from three places: Donnie's reputation for not making moves, the team not making moves this summer for various fan favorite FAs or trade targets, and the assumption that Herb Simon won't spend money.

            Toward the first point - please remember that Donnie's reputation was really NOT that he made NO moves, it was that he got the team to a certain point AS A CONTENDER and then failed to make the final big move. He made lots of moves - many of them very unexpected and involving major components of the team - prior to the point when the Pacers were in the ECFs nearly every year. He was then criticized for tweaking things rather than trying for one big thing that would put the team over the top. After the Finals year, the next bold moves blew up in his face, but he MADE them. He was hoist with his own lingering concept of how things should work between teams and players, but it was NOT that he made NO major moves involving starters.

            The second point is purely my opinion, there's not much to base it on other than the fact that people claim we really did nothing this offseason when we did a lot - just not what they wanted.

            The third point seems a bit overwrought. We're going to be over the cap and up toward the LT. If Herb wanted to be Donald Sterling I think we wouldn't be spending anywhere near that much. Herb doesn't strike me as a wishy-washy guy - if he wanted to not spend money we would not spend it, period. We spent the money, we just didn't spend it in a way some people felt was advantageous.


            • #7
              Re: Why so little faith?

              I dunno why I said "finally" because I fully intended on posting another response. Here ya go:

              Originally posted by beast23 View Post
              Mattie -

              You're absolutely killing me. You are sucking the air right out of my room. You see, I'm 60 years old and I have very few remaining on my bucket list. One of the most important for me, one that I have absolutely no control over, is seeing the Pacers win an NBA championship before my days are done.

              First off, you've given us an extremely well written position. I've understood your position for some time, but this serves very well to summarize your viewpoint. However, I don't agree with the lack of faith that you have in TPTB.

              The reason I say this is that I can understand and can certainly accept their rationale for making the moves that they have made this summer. I could easily join in with those that feel we may have overpaid for some of the deals that were made, but I really don't take exception with the personnel retained or acquired, or the reasoning behind it.

              I break a game into about 3 components. Game initiation/start, mid-game (perhaps further broken into Q2 and Q3/early Q4) and end-game situations.

              Quite frankly, once the move was change was made to start Hill (with Collison's injury) and to stick with him (even after Collison returned), I don't believe that anyone can reasonably argue the point that our starting lineup was not capable of playing with anyone in the league in game start (Q1) situations. I think the scoreboard has proven that point.

              Our early leads were often lost in late Q1/early Q2 when there were usually 3-4 bench players on the floor along with one starter. It was then not uncommon to see the starting unit either rebuild a lead or play back to even by halftime once they were re-inserted into the game in Q2. Starting the second half, our starters sometimes built leads or held their own.

              The only time that I can sometimes take exception to the performance of our starters would be in end-game situations (last 5 minutes) against the best of the best. The better teams have more talented star players that focus better in end-game situations. And, I cannot disagree when the top players of the best teams are playing more focused, they more often than not can get the better of even our starting players.

              So, I see the challenges for the Pacers being the strength of their bench and what they provide as a unit when the starters are out of the game in late Q1 and late Q3 situations, and the performance of even our best players in late game situations.

              I honestly believe that that TPTB believes that they have addressed both needs. Is it unreasonable to believe that the overall performance of this team would be improved by improving the talent and capabilities of the bench players that come onto the floor in late Q1/late Q3? Is it really unreasonable to believe that Hibbert and George will continue to improve or that West will perform better as he further heals, thereby perhaps providing even more cushion to help the subs maintain leads that our starters have built? I believe this is where the TPTB took a position as one solution and that I really can't argue against the position that they took. It is reasonable and was probably the easiest solution to execute.

              I believe that by retaining our starters, we have a unit that will perform no worse than they performed late last year. And, if George, Hibbert and West do improve, the starting unit building comfortable Q1 leads will be the norm. A better bench that can maintain those leads will eventually lead to opponents starters having to play more minutes in an attempt to overcome those leads.

              That takes us to late-game situations. Hopefully the extra minutes players by the opponents starters will help our starters in their attempt to perform better in the final minutes of games against the leagues best players. If not, then I believe that definite needs will reveal themselves to TPTB. You could be very correct in that the Pacers will need to replace West with a player that is better suited to defend the paint in late game situations. If that is the case, then I hope by then that someone else becomes much better at providing scoring in end game situations, because right now I believe that West is the most consistent scorer we have in those situations.

              As for our starting unit being as is for 5 years, I just don't see it. Even with a top-performing team like we had in the late 90s, that has never been the case. I don't see it now. First off, West will be a free agent and I don't see the Pacers paying him the type of money that it might take to retain him, which is probably about what he is making now. The only way would be if West will give us a break due to an enjoyment he has in playing with this team or due to some new-found loyalty he might have. But playing him his present dollars would only set us up for team salary difficulties when have to renegotiate with Granger and George.

              I believe that this season is put up or shut up time for Paul George. If he does not elevate his game quite a bit this year, the Pacers might even go a different direction at SG. Who knows.... maybe by acquiring a new PG and moving Hill to SG. But at any rate, if tinkering with the roster through rebuilding the bench is not the answer, I don't believe TPTB will hesitate for a moment to look at attempting to bring in a new starter or two.


              • #8
                Re: Why so little faith?

                Of course the more I think about I realize that you could just actually read the original thread and join in the discussion.


                • #9
                  Re: Why so little faith?

                  I read the whole thread along with multiple other threads with people basically saying the Pacers are not good enough to win. And I believe the Miami Heat are by far the best team in the NBA and we were very competitive with them last year. Paul George and Roy Hibbert, and even George Hill are all projected to improve as you said in the previous forum, and our bench also has improved. So I do not see why we would not be able to beat the "top 3" teams. OKC took Miami to 5 games, while we took Miami to 6, and we have improved more than OKC has improved. I am just saying we have a nice squad and if they stay together for a while then I do not see us having a ceiling.


                  • #10
                    Re: Why so little faith?

                    Lastly, I realize I'm a prick. Allow me to explain in a less assholish way.

                    The rest of the forum members are engaged in a spirited discussion on the topic you have just brought up. Asking them all to stop discussing it there and come here is a little unrealistic. It's also a little rude, because you've shown you haven't taken the time to read up on the discussion to find out how far along it has gotten or more importantly where the discussion has gone.


                    • #11
                      Re: Why so little faith?

                      Originally posted by mattie View Post
                      Maybe not the most efficient use of forum space.
                      and all of your quotes on here are 'efficient uses' of forum space? you're not helping at all here, in fact you're just making it worse.


                      • #12
                        Re: Why so little faith?

                        Originally posted by adamscb View Post
                        and all of your quotes on here are 'efficient uses' of forum space? you're not helping at all here, in fact you're just making it worse.
                        So you're saying rehashing an entire discussion in a new thread isn't a good idea?

                        *takes out notepad and pencil*


                        • #13
                          Re: Why so little faith?

                          Originally posted by brownjake43 View Post
                          As Pacer fans I believe we should be really excited about this season and our future! Our starting lineup that outplayed the best team in the NBA for much of a seven game series is coming back to Indy, and our bench has improved dramatically. We also have two more seven footers off the bench to throw at Miami when Hibbert is tired. According to Las Vegas Odds the Heat, Bulls, and Celtics have better odds than the Pacers of coming out of the East. As I see it who knows where the Bulls will be at the end of the season without Rose playing the majority of it, and as the majority of Boston's and Miami's players slowly creep out of their prime years (minus Rondo and LeBron) the Pacers entire roster is slowly going into their prime years (Granger and West have been in their prime for a few years - Same as LeBron and Rondo). So I really do not understand the threads that say we have no chance for the next five years as we are by far the youngest team out of the top teams in the East. Also, if you consider the Knicks, Nets, and Sixers as better teams than the Pacers then you are a complete pessimist NOT a realist. When you're picking teams to beat your team despite seeing that even Las Vegas is picking the smaller market team in the Pacers (which usually the larger market teams odds would go up slightly because of all the fans of those teams placing their bets on them), then you know that you are a doubter.

                          Just a thought.
                          You are on a message board, hoss. What do you expect?

                          The nay sayers are assuming that all of the players on the roster will play exactly as they did last year and the years before. And maybe for Granger and West that is a good point. I prefer to think that Augustin, Hill, Hibbert, Green, and George will improve. Despite all of the negativity on this all knowing board, there is a good reason Plumlee and OJ were drafted. I prefer to think that they will prove the Pacer front office correct and show us all something.

                          Personally, I believe that the Pacers will seriously challenge for the Central Division title. With or without Rose at 100% for CHI. I think the Pacers will have to fight for every win and will be discounted by the sports media, but will make a lot of serious noise in the NBA this year. I think they can and will go far and a run for the title is not completely out of the question. But then again, I am a long time fan from back when the team started.

                          Since people want to make predictions. Here's one of mine:

                          After each and every loss. Starting in the pre season. This board will go spastic/wild with goofballs wanting the front office fired, the coach replaced, and the team blown up. Which will we have more of? Trade Granger threads or bring in McRoberts/Gordon/some other local talent threads?


                          • #14
                            Re: Why so little faith?

                            Originally posted by mattie View Post
                            So you're saying rehashing an entire discussion in a new thread isn't a good idea?

                            *takes out notepad and pencil*
                            i'm saying making a big deal out of it and making yourself look like a complete ***hole in the process isn't a good idea. we have admins for a reason, and you're not one of them.


                            • #15
                              Re: Why so little faith?

                              You sir have not read through any of my responses you were too busy mocking me. This thread is supposed to be about having faith in the Pacers for this year and next year, and the following years. This thread was not a shot at you at all. You took it as a shot at you because of the one thread you made that is somewhat related to the topic I put on my thread. This thread was made after reading through your thread, AND multiple other threads with people saying how the Pacers will finish 6th or 7th in the East or the Pacers have no chance to win ever again. I just find it interesting how we can be picked by Vegas to be in the top 4 in the East but then we have fans who have smaller expectations than what the Vegas odds are. And again this is not a shot at you or anyone else, this is just me saying that people who are trying to be "realistic" maybe are a bit "pessimistic" rather than realistic because now even Vegas and the some media members are giving us some credit. And that is rare to find when you are a small market team. Maybe we should be thankful to the FO for turning things back around and getting us back to being competitive.