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Thread: How do the Pacers do against the zone?

  1. #1
    Banned Fool's Avatar
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    Default How do the Pacers do against the zone?

    So the Pistons have this new coach yada yada yada ... how well/poorly do the Pacers handle zone defenses?

    I'm not asking if you think its a mistake for the Pistons to use it or how effective you think the Pistons will be playing it, or even how much you think they will play it. Not that you can't speculate on that (free world/Pacer website). But if you do, please include at least a statement on how well/poorly you think the Pacers handle the zone.

    Thanks,
    Fool

    (I mean, I've watched quite a few Pacer games and I have my own oppinion but I would like those of actual fans of the team)

  2. #2
    White and Nerdy Anthem's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do the Pacers do against the zone?

    Yeah, it's hard to say. You beat a zone with shooting. Historically, we've had Reggie.

    That said, Tinsley and Fred were both shooting incredibly well before their injuries. Croshere should regain his form now that his rib has healed, and Bender's good from the arc. Granger and Saras have the ability to shoot the three just fine. Jack's more of a volume shooter, but if gets on a roll then it doesn't matter where he's standing. Even Ron has the ability to shoot a good percentage when his fingers aren't all broken.

    We could easily put a team out on the floor where 4 out of 5 can shoot the three. For example, a lineup of JO/Bender/Ron/Jack/Tinsley would be interesting against Detroit, because if Sheed guarded JO then Ben would have to guard Bender. And all the subs could shoot the three as well... Cro/Granger/Fred/Saras.

    You also beat a zone with good passing. We have Tinsley and Saras, possibly the two best pure passers in the NBA.

    I think we'll manage just fine against a zone, but we'll have to see how it works out.

    What are your thoughts, Fool?
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  3. #3
    Wasting Light Hicks's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do the Pacers do against the zone?

    You beat a zone by attacking it aggressively and exploiting it when it sags on you by kicking it out to a shooter. Just plain shooting is doing what the zone wants you to do.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: How do the Pacers do against the zone?

    I appreciate the difficulty in predicting the Pacers performance this year vs the zone.

    As for my opinion, I try not to speculate on your team in broad general areas (at least not here).

    I will say this. I think the zone plays away from what (IMO) is your teams most vulnerable area but it is also affective against the way Carlisle has traditionally run a game. The latter might not apply if Carlisle actually impliments the changes in offense he's been speaking about.

    So what about slashing and kicking out? Tinsley can clearly do this, maybe Saras. I don't perceive Jax as a guy who playmakes off his slashing but I didn't really focus on the guy last season. Thoughts?

  5. #5
    Wasting Light Hicks's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do the Pacers do against the zone?

    Tinsley would be important. I think Saras can do the same thing, so we should always have a PG on the floor who can do it. Jack could probably do it every once in a while, but I would not run a series of plays around him doing it.

  6. #6
    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do the Pacers do against the zone?

    Speaking of zone and the Pistons

    http://www.detnews.com/2005/pistons/...D02-339420.htm

    Pistons: Notebook

    Zone and Pistons just might work

    Saunders can envision such a defense, although team wrote the book on tenancious man-to-man.

    By Chris McCosky / The Detroit News

    AUBURN HILLS -- Thinking about the Pistons playing zone defense is a little weird, isn't it? They, after all, have been the NBA's standard-bearers for hard-hitting, man-to-man defense the last four years.

    It's like picturing 50-Cent in a Subaru or Tiger Woods hitting an iron off the tee on a par 5 -- sort of tough to get your mind around.

    And, frankly, not all of the Pistons players have gotten their minds around it.

    Ben Wallace, the reigning defensive player of the year, isn't exactly thrilled with the concept.

    "We'll see," he said.

    Rasheed Wallace isn't completely sold, either.

    "I am not a big fan of the zone, myself," he said. "I am more of a man-to-man guy. But, hey, if it's for the team, I am with it."

    Before we go any further, it must be pointed out that the Pistons are, by no means, scrapping their old defense. Man-to-man will continue to be their primary defense.

    "Our bread and butter is still our man-to-man," Chauncey Billups said. "That's not going to change."

    Coach Flip Saunders, though, has long been recognized as the most ardent and effective teacher and practitioner of zone in the NBA. And when he sees the length, quickness and aggressiveness of the Pistons' frontcourt players, he can barely keep from salivating at the idea of deploying them in zones.

    "I'll say this, we were known in the league for playing the best zone defense when I was in Minnesota," Saunders said. "In one day (with the Pistons), I can tell you we're going to be a much better zone defensive team here this season than we ever were in Minnesota."

    Saunders envisions using zone as a change-of-pace defense, one that can disrupt the opponent's offensive rhythm and create scoring opportunities in transition.

    "The main part of our defense is our ability to protect the paint, play aggressively, give up no layups, contest every shot and give up no second shots," he said. "You know, I watched a lot of film from last year and they (the Pistons) played zone. They just didn't call it a zone."

    The players dispute that a bit. Yes, some of their help techniques and switches resembled zone concepts. But they will proudly tell you that they played mostly straight-up man-to-man, often refusing even to double-team.

    "We never played zone and we hardly even double-teamed," Billups said. "In a zone you are guarding space. It's tough to get used to. Larry (Brown, former coach) tried to do it a couple of times last year, but we never really worked on it. This year, we are going to work on it. It's going to be a change-up type thing for us."

    Saunders is a staunch zone proponent for several reasons.

    "In our league, a lot of teams don't prepare much to play against a zone," he said. "They don't have as extensive an offense as they do against man-to-man. Zones can work because offenses are often inept against them.

    "And plus, you can do more things out of a zone to negate pick-and-rolls."

    Saunders doesn't buy the theory that playing zones will soften the Pistons' man-to-man concepts or lessen accountability on the court.

    "We don't play a typical zone," he said. "You see our zone, a guy will pick up a cutter on the left wing and wind up guarding him in the right corner. Our concepts are like man-to-man, with zone principles."

    Only time will tell if it works for the Pistons.

  7. #7
    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do the Pacers do against the zone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Cox
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    You beat a zone by attacking it aggressively and exploiting it when it sags on you by kicking it out to a shooter. Just plain shooting is doing what the zone wants you to do.

    Exactly right.

    I hope the Pistons play zone a lot. No matter what defense they play they will always be a very good to great defensive team, but their zone won't be as good as their man-to-man. At least the zone will give us some open shots and freedom to pass the ball. Their man-to-man does not do that.

    Kstat, what do you think about your team playing zone

    Pacers play very well against the zone once they realize what it is. Usually Rick calls a timeout and they come out in their zone offense and do just fine

  8. #8
    How are you here? Kegboy's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do the Pacers do against the zone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck
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    Exactly right.

    I hope the Pistons play zone a lot. No matter what defense they play they will always be a very good to great defensive team, but their zone won't be as good as their man-to-man. At least the zone will give us some open shots and freedom to pass the ball. Their man-to-man does not do that.

    Kstat, what do you think about your team playing zone

    Pacers play very well against the zone once they realize what it is. Usually Rick calls a timeout and they come out in their zone offense and do just fine
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