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Thread: The talent drop at small forward is massive... but what about the other positions?

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    Member Hicks's Avatar
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    Default The talent drop at small forward is massive... but what about the other positions?

    We can all agree that going from Paul George/CJ Miles to Bojan Bogdanovic/Glen Robinson III is a huge step down.

    But looking at the other spots, are we sure we aren't better at 3, maybe even 4 other positions?

    Let's start with the one I think is most debatable: Point guard. Jeff Teague and Aaron Brooks, now Darren Collison and Cory Joseph (which one ends up starting is debatable). While Teague is almost certainly better than DC or Joseph, are we sure that Teague + Brooks is > DC + Joseph? I think this is debatable, but it's still interesting that it's even a debate IMO.

    Then let's look elsewhere. Shooting guard. We had Monta Ellis and Rodney Stuckey for most of last year, now we have Victor Oladipo and Lance Stephenson. Is this even a question? I don't think it is; I think it's a big step up.

    Next, power forward. It appears for the moment that Thaddeus Young may stick around after all, so he remains the same, and I'm not sure he'll be better or worse than last year. Hopefully his wrist is healed up. That means looking at the backup spot. Last year, that was usually LaVoy Allen, now it could be Domantas Sabonis or TJ Leaf. At the moment, none of them are exciting names, yet I have to think almost everyone here would prefer Sabonis or Leaf over Allen.

    Lastly, center. Myles Turner 2018 should be better than Myles Turner 2017 unless something goes horribly wrong. Behind him we had Al Jefferson and then eventually Kevin Seraphin last year. Now it may still be them, or it may be Sabonis. Collectively, this would appear to be a net gain, and it's more a question of if it's a slight gain or a larger gain depending on how Myles improves, how Seraphin or Sabonis does, and the biggest long shot, if Al is actually in good shape this year. Nothing spectacularly different here, but it's hard to argue that it's worse, and it's probably at least marginally better.

    There's no getting around that the overall talent is down until proven otherwise, but on a position by position basis, it's not nearly as gloomy as it may immediately appear, no?

    If nothing else, we should have better depth, shooting, and defense in the back court, and hopefully improved play in the front court, if even a little. If Myles has a leap year, this could be dramatic, but I'm not quite ready to expect that just yet.

    Truthfully, the only part that really horrifies me is defense at SF with Bogdanovic because going from Paul to that is just... brutal. If we're lucky, Glen Robinson has a better year, and if he does he just might earn the starting role before the year is over, and bring superior athleticism an defense along with him, which would certainly help.

    Or maybe we're going to win 20 games. But there's definitely some encouraging things to consider, right?

    I'm hoping the pieces fit better than last year's pieces as well, which would obviously help. The biggest question to me is if Nate goes back to a fast game like he tried last year. If he does, and if it sticks around all year, things could get pretty interesting.

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    Default Re: The talent drop at small forward is massive... but what about the other positions?

    The bench should be much improved, and there are going to be guys pushing each other for playing time. Imagine that, competition!

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    Default Re: The talent drop at small forward is massive... but what about the other positions?

    I think the point guard position is undoubtedly better. I'm also thinking there's a chance that CoJo winds up better than Teague, even if points and assists aren't as high.

    Won't know for certain, but I think this is a breakout year for CoJo.

    And I think all the other positions are upgrades as well.

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    Default Re: The talent drop at small forward is massive... but what about the other positions?

    I think it's likely the Pacers end up with about the same record as last year.



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    Default Re: The talent drop at small forward is massive... but what about the other positions?

    Wings as a whole:

    PG
    CJ
    Monta
    GR3

    Vs.

    Oladipo
    Lance
    Bogdonavic
    GR3

    Obviously we got worse because we lost PG. But I definitely like Lance > Monta and GR3 should improve. Haven't seen enough of Bogdonavic to have a huge opinion he vs CJ.

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    Default Re: The talent drop at small forward is massive... but what about the other positions?

    We are 100 million dollars in debt at the SF position. But don't worry - we saved $500 combined at all other positions. We're about even.
    Lifelong pacers fan

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    Default Re: The talent drop at small forward is massive... but what about the other positions?

    Our defense at the guard positions will be much, much better. The PF position is a little better. The players on the team fit together much better. That combination will help the weakness at the SF position out.

    Personally, I think Lance is a better fit with CoJo and Victor. That would be a very good defense people. Also, CoJo and Victor are offensive minded players. Bojan is too. Lance is a passer. Come on.
    Lance is finally home. Whether he becomes our starting PG or he's 6th man, he's getting big minutes and he's here to stay. #llortontnia

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    Default Re: The talent drop at small forward is massive... but what about the other positions?

    Our arms got stronger but that doesn't make up for having our foot chopped off.

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    Default Re: The talent drop at small forward is massive... but what about the other positions?

    ^^ OR .......... it's like getting that boil in the crack of your butt removed. It's gonna hurt for a while, but the long term results are better than keeping it.

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    Default Re: The talent drop at small forward is massive... but what about the other positions?

    Quote Originally Posted by PacersHomer View Post
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    Our arms got stronger but that doesn't make up for having our foot chopped off.
    Depends. Are you jogging or doing hand-over-hand on a ladder bar?
    BillS

    A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
    Or throw in a first-round pick and flip it for a max-level point guard...

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    Default Re: The talent drop at small forward is massive... but what about the other positions?

    There are different ways to judge how good a team is going to be in the future. One way to do it is to it position by position, player by player. You often see that prior to a playoff series. Team A could be better at 3 of the 5 starting positions, and Team A might have a better bench. So does that mean Team A is better than team B. Not really, maybe. If team B is the Thunder and you have Westbrook and PG dominating the games and it could be a huge mismatch.

    The way I like to judge a team when I am trying to determine how they are going to be. I judge a team by looking at their best player, their second best player and maybe their third best player. I do that first and foremost. I don't really care in the macro sense who the 7th man is, or even who their 5th best starter is.

    And when I do that with the Pacers, they really fall short. Who will be the Pacers best player. Turner, Dipo, Lance, who? You can pick whoever you like and I would argue our best player is one of the worst best players in the NBA. So this Pacers team will struggle. We don't have a star player or even close to one. We don't have nearly enough three point shooting to compete in todays NBA. We have too many poor defenders. Our best defender? is probably Cory Joseph. And he likely only play 20-25 minutes per game. Dipo is a good defender I would rate him second best, but he is not great, I would certainly rate him behind George Hill and PG.

    So if this team wins 30 plus games that would be a major accomplishment.

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    Default Re: The talent drop at small forward is massive... but what about the other positions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    There are different ways to judge how good a team is going to be in the future. One way to do it is to it position by position, player by player. You often see that prior to a playoff series. Team A could be better at 3 of the 5 starting positions, and Team A might have a better bench. So does that mean Team A is better than team B. Not really, maybe. If team B is the Thunder and you have Westbrook and PG dominating the games and it could be a huge mismatch.

    The way I like to judge a team when I am trying to determine how they are going to be. I judge a team by looking at their best player, their second best player and maybe their third best player. I do that first and foremost. I don't really care in the macro sense who the 7th man is, or even who their 5th best starter is.

    And when I do that with the Pacers, they really fall short. Who will be the Pacers best player. Turner, Dipo, Lance, who? You can pick whoever you like and I would argue our best player is one of the worst best players in the NBA. So this Pacers team will struggle. We don't have a star player or even close to one. We don't have nearly enough three point shooting to compete in todays NBA. We have too many poor defenders. Our best defender? is probably Cory Joseph. And he likely only play 20-25 minutes per game. Dipo is a good defender I would rate him second best, but he is not great, I would certainly rate him behind George Hill and PG.

    So if this team wins 30 plus games that would be a major accomplishment.
    I get what you are saying. I will leave you with one word and that word is Chemistry. It may take a little time but once is kicks in this team will be better than the sum of its parts. I think 30-40 wins is very doable and likely.
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    Default Re: The talent drop at small forward is massive... but what about the other positions?

    Quote Originally Posted by owl View Post
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    I get what you are saying. I will leave you with one word and that word is Chemistry. It may take a little time but once is kicks in this team will be better than the sum of its parts. I think 30-40 wins is very doable and likely.
    First we don't know if the chemistry will be good. You never know until you know. Second, I will mentioned the Nets last season had great chemistry, they played hard every night, they played the right way, all those intangibles they were good and yet they won 20 games - because their talent level was terrible.

    My only point is this. if everything comes together this season. Chemistry is great, coaching, great, they play the right way, players get better. Injuries are minimal. IMO they still only win in the low 30's - maybe 35 at the absolute most - but that is if all the intangibles are perfect.

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    Default Re: The talent drop at small forward is massive... but what about the other positions?

    Quote Originally Posted by owl View Post
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    I get what you are saying. I will leave you with one word and that word is Chemistry. It may take a little time but once is kicks in this team will be better than the sum of its parts. I think 30-40 wins is very doable and likely.
    The Pacers with Reggie, rarely had the best player and second best player. They might have the best 3rd and 4th, and a great bench. And the chemistry you speak so highly of took nearly 5 years to develop. It took getting McKey and Mullin, waiting on Smits and Antonio, and having Jalen and Best as your core bench h help. The NBA is compeltly different now. It was a crock pot then, it is a full blown microwave now. The Warriors took how long from when Thompson got drafted to contend?

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    Default Re: The talent drop at small forward is massive... but what about the other positions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Major Cold View Post
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    The Pacers with Reggie, rarely had the best player and second best player. They might have the best 3rd and 4th, and a great bench. And the chemistry you speak so highly of took nearly 5 years to develop. It took getting McKey and Mullin, waiting on Smits and Antonio, and having Jalen and Best as your core bench h help. The NBA is compeltly different now. It was a crock pot then, it is a full blown microwave now. The Warriors took how long from when Thompson got drafted to contend?

    Last years chemistry was terrible so I feel pretty confident this year will be better. Two players are gone that were not much on chemistry.
    UB says the talent is weak at best. Well time will tell on that also.
    In any case we are arguing about what the record will be. UB thinks 35 tops. We are not talking about contending.That is very doable in my mind.
    Last edited by owl; 07-13-2017 at 10:45 AM.
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    Default Re: The talent drop at small forward is massive... but what about the other positions?

    Another way to look at this is if Paul is on this current team, could they beat the Cavs or Warriors? I think it's not close unless everyone from CoJo, Dipo, Myles, Bogie to Sabonis all massively overachieve. Unfortunately our roster is not that good. But at least it's young and set to trend better over time than set to decline like the previous couple years' rosters.
    Pacers!

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    Default Re: The talent drop at small forward is massive... but what about the other positions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Major Cold View Post
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    The Pacers with Reggie, rarely had the best player and second best player. They might have the best 3rd and 4th, and a great bench. And the chemistry you speak so highly of took nearly 5 years to develop. It took getting McKey and Mullin, waiting on Smits and Antonio, and having Jalen and Best as your core bench h help. The NBA is compeltly different now. It was a crock pot then, it is a full blown microwave now. The Warriors took how long from when Thompson got drafted to contend?
    The Pacers with Paul George rarely had the best or second best player. They might have the 3rd or 4th best, and a mess of a bench. And the chemistry they had took a few years to develop too. It took getting DWest and Scola, waiting on Hibbert and Lance, and having CJ Watson and Tyler Hansbrough as your core bench help.

    My point is, we've seen the Pacers build a roster this way multiple times and become ECF contenders with our biggest stars being clearly second-tier stars (Reggie, Smits, PG, West), but because they followed this model, they were able to go toe-to-toe with MJ, Kobe, LeBron, Wade, Bosh. And they did it as recently as the last five years.

    People are acting like the poor signings of Monta and AlJeff were the only moves this franchise has ever made. Traded for JO, Artest, Jalen, Brad Miller, Mullin, Mark Jackson, Stephen Jackson, Hibbert, Scola, on and on. Drafted Al Harrington, Danny Granger, Lance, Paul George, Chuck Person, Davis brothers, Smits, and of course Reggie. The method the team has used since Donnie Walsh first joined the franchise is to start in the draft and build. When you hit a good pick, you re-sign him. When you re-sign multiple good picks, you end up with little cap room. We've taken risks on a couple really good players, and a few busts, and we've managed to sign guys like DWest and even though Monta didn't work out here, he was a big signing.

    What has me, and a few others here pretty excited is that we may have lost a legit star (albeit a second-tier star IMO), but we've also acquired some young guys who look like they may have potential while also arranging the books so we'll actually have some cap space in the next couple off-seasons. I think Oladipo is going to be the best SG we've had here since Reggie (not as good as Reggie, just better than anyone else). I think Sabonis and Myles have the chance to be our starting front-court for the next 6-8 years and really develop a great tandem. Maybe Cory Joseph has something to show. Maybe Bojan becomes a long-term role player for us, like Croshere. Maybe TJ Leaf, Ike, and Sumner develop into quality starters, and maybe we see better team chemistry than we've seen for 20 years.

    And maybe, given that we have the makings of a solid roster with two borderline (or better) All Stars in Oladipo and Myles, in addition to plenty of cap space, it'll be an option for one of the truly elite free agents.

    So yeah, this season, we absolutely have a major drop-off from the talent that PG brought to a rebuild squad. But outside of losing PG, how bad is it to replace Teague, Monta, and CJ Miles with youth and potential, while also setting ourselves up to have the cap space and draft picks to adequately replace PG in the next two seasons?
    It's a new day for Pacers Basketball.

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    Default Re: The talent drop at small forward is massive... but what about the other positions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    I judge a team by looking at their best player, their second best player and maybe their third best player. I do that first and foremost. I don't really care in the macro sense who the 7th man is, or even who their 5th best starter is.
    UB, I like this approach and agree that it's often a good predictor... in the playoffs. In the regular season, you can pick up a fair number of wins just by being gritty and playing hard.

    I'm not saying we're challenging for a championship (or even a playoff spot) but if you're predicting 30 wins I'll take the over.***




    ***Caveat: The real concern is that "being gritty and playing hard" does not look like a description of Nate's teams. That should be a concern.
    This space for rent.

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    Default Re: The talent drop at small forward is massive... but what about the other positions?

    PG is only a good defender when he's in the mood. Our overall defense will improve. Bog won't start, very long anyway.
    We'll win a similar number of games, and be MUCH more fun to watch. In total, we are not much changed. We need one more great pick up, and a dose of maturity to be a strong team. I think we'll see someone step up this year. Could be any of Sabonis, GRIII, or 'dipo. If we can manage to avoid the '18 playoffs, and get one of IKE/Leaf to live up to their po, then we will be looking pretty good by the '19 playoffs.
    A top 10 pick, and two of those five taking a step and we're a good team. The odds do not look terrible.
    Last edited by solid; 07-13-2017 at 01:00 PM.

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    Default Re: The talent drop at small forward is massive... but what about the other positions?

    Having the best player on the court matters. A lot. PG gave us that. Now we got nothing near that. Also 34mpg of Jeff Teague and 14 of Aaron Brooks is much better than whatever we role out this year.

    I fully expect Thad to be traded. Maybe not before the season, but by the deadline. So at the end of the day, SG and Center will be better. But also at the end of the day, this team is going to struggle to score down the stretch. Who on this roster can break down the defense or bail you out because they are just flat out better than everyone else?

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    Default Re: The talent drop at small forward is massive... but what about the other positions?

    My $ is going on O30.5 wins. This team is going to come together quick IMO & play hard every night & play for each other. No more BS Paul George around. Myles will get fired up every night & lead & teammates will get behind that. Could be one of the best stories in basketball this season.

    39-41 wins, first round exit but similar vibe to that Pacers-Bulls series few years back.

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    Default Re: The talent drop at small forward is massive... but what about the other positions?

    Quote Originally Posted by pizza guy View Post
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    The Pacers with Paul George rarely had the best or second best player.
    Many times PG was the best. Except for 10 or so teams we had the best player on the court. The Toronto series is proof of that. The Wizard and Hawks series in 2013 does too.

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    Default Re: The talent drop at small forward is massive... but what about the other positions?

    Quote Originally Posted by pizza guy View Post
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    Traded for JO, Artest, Jalen, Brad Miller, Mullin, Mark Jackson, Stephen Jackson,
    And we didn't have PG with those players.

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    Default Re: The talent drop at small forward is massive... but what about the other positions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Major Cold View Post
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    Many times PG was the best. Except for 10 or so teams we had the best player on the court. The Toronto series is proof of that. The Wizard and Hawks series in 2013 does too.
    And playing in the East, only Cleveland had the better player.

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    Default Re: The talent drop at small forward is massive... but what about the other positions?

    Having the best player matters, when the game is on the line. If he pouts half the time he's not going to get that chance as much as he should.
    It is still a team game. PG is still a punk.

    "It's more about the fight in the dog, than the dog in the fight".
    This team will have improved fight.
    I just hope we can miss the playoffs.
    We need one more really good asset that we can not otherwise acquire (and some maturation).
    ...pretty much in the same as last season.
    Last edited by solid; 07-13-2017 at 01:43 PM.

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