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Thread: Don't look now, but Pacers aren't all that bad

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    Default Don't look now, but Pacers aren't all that bad

    http://www.1070thefan.com/blogs/brun...-arent-all-bad

    Maybe itís the heat.

    Maybe itís some dizziness lingering from the recent whirlwind of activity.

    Or maybe, just maybe, Iím actually thinking clearly, and the Pacers arenít looking as bad as the NBA world seems to think.

    If you really dig into what team president Kevin Pritchard has done in the past few weeks and sort through all the new pieces, you donít have to squint to see the foundation of a decent team being poured. No oneís suggesting theyíre going to shock the world this season and make a deep playoff run. But they just might surprise their own little corner of it by winning more than expected.

    Because, when you take a hard look at the team as it currently stands, it really doesnít look all that bad compared to last season. In fact, it can be reasonably argued they are better off at four positions; whether thatís enough to offset the big drop at small forward remains to be seen. Hereís a comparison of the depth chart now, and the way it looked at the end of 2016-17.

    POINT GUARD

    Now: Darren Collison, Cory Joseph

    Then: Jeff Teague, Monta Ellis, Aaron Brooks

    Bottom Line: Minor Upgrade.

    Analysis: Although Teague is regarded as the better overall player than Collison, is the difference really that stark? Their career statistics are almost identical and, while Teague is a more polished offensive player, Collison is a substantial upgrade, defensively. The real difference comes off the bench, where Cory Joseph is one of the top 10 backup point guards in the league, solid at both ends of the floor, whereas Ellis and Brooks were both fading, inefficient scorers whose defensive inadequacies could no longer be masked.

    SHOOTING GUARD

    Now: Victor Oladipo, Lance Stephenson

    Then: C.J. Miles, Stephenson

    Bottom Line: Major Upgrade.

    Analysis: Maybe he isnít an All-Star, but Oladipo is at the very least an established starter with an upward career arc. Heís a very strong defender and aggressive offensive player. While not a pure 3-point shooter, heís better in every other category than Miles or Ellis, who opened last season as the starter but failed to hold onto the position. This seasonís Stephenson should be better than the unhealthy, out of shape version that joined the Pacers late last year. Itís not unreasonable to suggest the Pacers could get a combined 30 points per game from this position.

    SMALL FORWARD

    Now: Bojan Bogdanovic, Glenn Robinson III

    Then: Paul George, Robinson.

    Bottom Line: Major Downgrade.

    Analysis: No way to sugar-coat this. George was the best scorer and defender on the roster and even though he didnít play hard all the time, his talent was undeniable. Yes, he had his failings (passing, dribbling, decision-making), but he did so many things well he will be impossible to replace. The Pacers, in fact, didnít even try. Bogdanovic is a floor-spacing 3-point threat with a strong floor game, but his defense leaves much to be desired. In fact, his shortcomings there have led to his departures from both Brooklyn and Washington, and may cost him the starting job if Robinson continues to improve. Robinson is at least a comparable 3-point threat, more athletic and better defensively; he may just need another year of development in his all-around floor game to emerge as the starter.

    POWER FORWARD

    Then: Thaddeus Young, Lavoy Allen, Kevin Seraphin

    Now: Domantas Sabonis, Young, T.J. Leaf

    Bottom Line: Minor Upgrade

    Analysis: If you think Young will remain the starter, think again. The combination of Young and Myles Turner didnít work last year. Not enough defense, not enough rebounding, not nearly enough toughness inside. Thereís a reason the Pacers spent both draft picks on bigs (Leaf and Ike Anigbogu) while also acquiring Sabonis from OKC with Oladipo in the George trade, and it wasnít to maintain the status quo up front. Sabonis started 66 games as a rookie and has the size, strength and skill around the basket to stabilize things at both ends of the floor. Young will now be in his best role, the first big man off the bench to match up with stretch fours when necessary, while Leafís intriguing offensive game should earn a steady diet of minutes off the bench.

    CENTER

    Then: Turner, Al Jefferson, Rakeem Christmas

    Now: Turner, Jefferson, Seraphin, Anigbogu

    Bottom Line: Minor Upgrade

    Analysis: After a fast start, Turnerís batteries were quickly drained and he was unable to sustain the level of play necessary. It was a mistake throwing him to the wolves inside without an enforcer next to him, and he wound up paying the price. His improvement this season is not only the key to this position, but the key to the team. If he is able to add core strength while improving his conditioning, he could take a big step toward true stardom. If, like Jermaine OíNeal and Roy Hibbert, he proves more interested in growing big biceps than building a better basketball body, heíll never fulfill his immense potential. Keep an eye on Anigbogu, a first-round talent who fell into the second round because of a troublesome knee. If the Pacers can get that cleaned up, he could become a force off the bench. Otherwise itíll be more of the same with Seraphin and/or Jefferson.

    OVERALL

    The intangibles should also be much better with this group because of the influx of youth, athleticism and motivation, but theyíll have to be. Last yearís team looked good on paper entering the season, but quickly turned to scrap. This team will be widely overlooked because of the lack of star power, but even that will offer the players additional edge. And keep in mind, the bar hasnít exactly been set high the past couple of years. At least now, there is a future to anticipate, and the present wonít be as bad as you might think.
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    Default Re: Don't look now, but Pacers aren't all that bad

    I'm sure that I could find similar articles written about the Nets every year. I think that Conrad just came up with the team marketing slogan: Pacers Basketball, Not All That Bad!

    Just looked at the 2015-2016 Orlando Magic roster. https://www.basketball-reference.com.../ORL/2016.html. It looks a lot like ours. Talented young bigs, Vic at the 2. Our advantage is that Sabonis and Turner as a combo may be better than Vucevic and whoever (old Channing Frye), but they had Evan Fournier in the backcourt and Tobias Harris on the wing. The PG situation is similar (Payton is better than DC now, but he was still learning then). They won 35 games that year. That I think is our ceiling, unless Sabonis shows real growth and/or Leaf is better than we think. I'll watch and go to a game or two, but I'm ready to be excited about 5 game win streaks all over again.

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    Default Re: Don't look now, but Pacers aren't all that bad

    Is Bruno browsing PD? Didn't Peck create a thread discussing the same exact thing?
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    Default Re: Don't look now, but Pacers aren't all that bad

    Peck= Brunner lol
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    Default Re: Don't look now, but Pacers aren't all that bad

    Very vague. Did he put a win total on the season? I hope they are better than I think. My question is how many of these players will be here two years from now? 2 or 3? Probably not more than 3. So maybe they win 35 games the next two years. That is what we were when JOB was coach and was anyone happy? No one I know.

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    Default Re: Don't look now, but Pacers aren't all that bad

    Pacers will win 35 games and narrowly miss the playoffs in the most irrelevant season ever. We're never really bad when we need to be. We haven't had a single digit draft pick since 1989. That has to be the longest streak in the league. There's no way it couldn't be.

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    Default Re: Don't look now, but Pacers aren't all that bad

    Quote Originally Posted by Sollozzo View Post
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    Pacers will win 35 games and narrowly miss the playoffs in the most irrelevant season ever. We're never really bad when we need to be. We haven't had a single digit draft pick since 1989. That has to be the longest streak in the league. There's no way it couldn't be.
    You're right. I just checked.

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    Default Re: Don't look now, but Pacers aren't all that bad

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    Very vague. Did he put a win total on the season? I hope they are better than I think. My question is how many of these players will be here two years from now? 2 or 3? Probably not more than 3. So maybe they win 35 games the next two years. That is what we were when JOB was coach and was anyone happy? No one I know.
    Buck, I think the whole point of his article was not necessarily about a win total, but more on the perception (nationally) that the Pacers were going to be horrible or perhaps the worst team in the league

    His point being we will probably not be that bad and could even surprise a few people
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    Default Re: Don't look now, but Pacers aren't all that bad

    There are three NBA writers that I take their word at face value. Woj, David Aldridge & Conrad Brunner. Even when he worked directly for the Pacers he was still pretty critical of the players and even management on occasion.

    Conrad is not known to write puff pieces so don't confuse this article with something that David Benner dictated he write.


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

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    Default Re: Don't look now, but Pacers aren't all that bad

    Quote Originally Posted by Peck View Post
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    There are three NBA writers that I take their word at face value. Woj, David Aldridge & Conrad Brunner. Even when he worked directly for the Pacers he was still pretty critical of the players and even management on occasion.

    Conrad is not known to write puff pieces so don't confuse this article with something that David Benner dictated he write.
    Lowe?

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    Default Re: Don't look now, but Pacers aren't all that bad

    In the way that we weren't all that bad last year, then I agree. East isn't that strong, Pacers will probably win like 40 games.

    It's how KP spends our cap space that will ultimately decide where we go .



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    Default Re: Don't look now, but Pacers aren't all that bad

    Call me a Pollyanna if you want but I honestly think we will be either as good or better than last year. I actually believe in this roster more than I have the past 2 seasons roster. Yes I'd rather have Paul George but that wasn't an option. I think the package we got for him is going to surprise a lot of people.

    Even if its not though I just believe we will be a far more fun team to watch play and easier for me to root for.


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

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    Default Re: Don't look now, but Pacers aren't all that bad

    Quote Originally Posted by Ace E.Anderson View Post
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    Lowe?
    Nope, I trust him but he is second tier compared to the three I listed.


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    Default Re: Don't look now, but Pacers aren't all that bad

    I'm not so sure this is a good thing.

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    Default Re: Don't look now, but Pacers aren't all that bad

    Quote Originally Posted by Peck View Post
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    Nope, I trust him but he is second tier compared to the three I listed.
    For analysis and actual breakdowns, Zach Lowe is as good as it gets imo. For local guys, Conrad is probably the best.

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    Default Re: Don't look now, but Pacers aren't all that bad

    Quote Originally Posted by cdash View Post
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    For analysis and actual breakdowns, Zach Lowe is as good as it gets imo. For local guys, Conrad is probably the best.
    I was referring more to breaking news, however in the context of breakdowns yes he is one of the best.


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    Default Re: Don't look now, but Pacers aren't all that bad

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    Very vague. Did he put a win total on the season? I hope they are better than I think. My question is how many of these players will be here two years from now? 2 or 3? Probably not more than 3. So maybe they win 35 games the next two years. That is what we were when JOB was coach and was anyone happy? No one I know.
    I already like the players on this team better than that team...and the coach...isn't JOB. So this team is already ahead of that curve, no matter if it's 25 or 35 wins. Having better odds at a top pick probably wouldn't go well anyway since the Pacers have never had any luck in the lottery. A 1% chance is about as good as a 25% chance in their case.
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    Default Re: Don't look now, but Pacers aren't all that bad

    Quote Originally Posted by Sollozzo View Post
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    Pacers will win 35 games and narrowly miss the playoffs in the most irrelevant season ever. We're never really bad when we need to be. We haven't had a single digit draft pick since 1989. That has to be the longest streak in the league. There's no way it couldn't be.
    Reggie, PG, Granger, DD, JO all picked 10th or later. Single digit draft picks are not the end all be all of building a contender. Sure, you have to strike gold sometimes. But they've gotten some all time greats outside of that range.

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    Default Re: Don't look now, but Pacers aren't all that bad

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    Very vague. Did he put a win total on the season? I hope they are better than I think. My question is how many of these players will be here two years from now? 2 or 3? Probably not more than 3. So maybe they win 35 games the next two years. That is what we were when JOB was coach and was anyone happy? No one I know.
    I wasn't here during the JOB era so I cannot really comment on it but the rosters do look quite different. Our roster under JOB was neither young nor athletic. Our current roster is both relatively young and athletic. Plus, we all know that we're currently rebuilding around our young players. So, we don't really expect results outright.

    Personally, I don't have an issue not making the playoffs with a young team that still has potential. It's a team that's trending up so I'm fine with it.
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    Default Re: Don't look now, but Pacers aren't all that bad

    The key to the season will be the improvement of the young players. Turner, Oladipo, Sabonis, Joseph and how much Leaf is able to contribute as a rookie.

    Most likely we will be around 35 wins but it could be 30 or slightly less of 40 or slightly more.

    This situation is far and away better than the JOB years. During the JOB years we were basically biding time until the bad contracts like Murphy's and Dunleavy's were coming off the books. Now we have some young players that should develop. It will be fun to watch.

    As far as having not having a single digit draft pick since 1989 ( isn't that when we selected Smits with the #2 pick?), I believe that we have made the ECF's 8 times in the last 24 years. Getting a single digit draft pick is not critical to having contender. I remember the teams in the 1980's that only won 20 some games a year. That wasn't fun at all for anyone associated with the Pacers.
    Last edited by sav; 07-14-2017 at 05:07 PM.

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    Default Re: Don't look now, but Pacers aren't all that bad

    Quote Originally Posted by Nuntius View Post
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    I wasn't here during the JOB era so I cannot really comment on it but the rosters do look quite different. Our roster under JOB was neither young nor athletic. Our current roster is both relatively young and athletic. Plus, we all know that we're currently rebuilding around our young players. So, we don't really expect results outright.

    Personally, I don't have an issue not making the playoffs with a young team that still has potential. It's a team that's trending up so I'm fine with it.
    The JOB years I personally blame on the brawl and aftermath.

    Bird got a no-nonsense coach that kept players in line; and especially after the fans stating they were tired of having "thugs" on the team, he got some semi-talented players (Dunleavy & Murphy), that regardless of fit or skill, were players known for NOT getting out line or being insubordinate.

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    Default Re: Don't look now, but Pacers aren't all that bad

    Quote Originally Posted by CableKC View Post
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    Is Bruno browsing PD? Didn't Peck create a thread discussing the same exact thing?
    It was Hicks.

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    Default Re: Don't look now, but Pacers aren't all that bad

    Quote Originally Posted by sav View Post
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    This situation is far and away better than the JOB years. During the JOB years we were basically biding time until the bad contracts like Murphy's and Dunleavy's were coming off the books. Now we have some young players that should develop. It will be fun to watch.
    Yup, back in Obie's tenure, we were looking ahead at a 3 year slog while waiting for the Murphleavy contracts to expire (the famous 3 year plan LOL). Depressing stuff. This time around, we have flexibility to look forward to next season. No guarantee that we can do anything with that cap space of course, but at least it's another avenue for improvement.

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    Default Re: Don't look now, but Pacers aren't all that bad

    Quote Originally Posted by Ace E.Anderson View Post
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    Lowe?
    I always thought Chris Mannix was pretty good aswell.
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    Default Re: Don't look now, but Pacers aren't all that bad

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    Very vague. Did he put a win total on the season? I hope they are better than I think. My question is how many of these players will be here two years from now? 2 or 3? Probably not more than 3. So maybe they win 35 games the next two years. That is what we were when JOB was coach and was anyone happy? No one I know.
    The JOB teams were insufferable moreso because of the roster than the win/loss total, you should know that. We traded for quite possibly the two worst contracts in the league in one fell swoop, had no athleticism on the entire roster, played old guys over young players for no reason and had a highly unlikable coach...unlike Nate, JOB earned the dislike. There were only like two players with any upside to speak of.

    As for how many players will be here from now, I'd guess a lot more than 2-3. But you could play that game year to year, it means nothing. You never know what's going to work and when a team is going to change its direction.

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