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Thread: What Are Weaknesses Of East Contenders? Question of the day

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    Default What Are Weaknesses Of East Contenders? Question of the day

    What Are Weaknesses Of East Contenders?


    Monday, Oct. 17, 2005
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    If you'd like to pose a Question of the Day to Conrad Brunner, submit it along with your full name and hometown to Bruno's_mailbag@pacers.com. Brunner’s opinions are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of Pacers players, coaches or management.
    QUESTION
    OF THE DAY
    Conrad Brunner


    Q. A lot of experts say the Eastern Conference championship will be a toss-up among Miami, Detroit, and Indiana. But it does appear that this is our year. Miami, despite having Dwayne Wade and Shaq (who are injury prone), has a short bench while Detroit has a new coach. If each team (Miami, Detroit, and Indiana) was not to make it to the NBA Finals, what do you think would be the reasons? (From Noel in Manila, Philippines)



    A. What an interesting question. Rather than measuring each team by its strengths, it might just be more relevant to study the potential weaknesses. Let's start with the Pacers. This is a team that appears to have all the physical elements as well as quality depth, experience and motivation. The primary stumbling block could be team chemistry. There aren't enough minutes to keep everyone happy and it remains to be seen if the players who wind up playing less than they want, or even deserve, will make the sacrifice quietly.

    Injuries apply as a mitigating factor to all teams but moreso to Miami. Even with all of the postseason moves aimed at increasing depth, this is still a two-man team. And if either Shaq or Wade is lost for a substantial amount of time, it would cripple the Heat. Even if healthy, Miami also has some potential chemistry issues. Antoine Walker and Jason Williams must prove, over the course of the long season, that they're not only willing to play without the ball, but capable of being effective in that role.


    Detroit is a very, very solid team but it remains to be seen what effect the departure of Larry Brown will have. The fact he has been replaced by a quality coach in Flip Saunders should mitigate any potential dropoff, and there is no real post-Brown trend. Of the last three teams he left, the 76ers and Clippers both went into the tank, but the Pacers immediately thrived under Larry Bird. Maybe more of the focus should be on the lack of backcourt depth. If anything happens to either Chauncey Billups or Richard Hamilton, the team will be in trouble.

    http://www.nba.com/pacers/news/question_051017.html

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    Default Re: What Are Weaknesses Of East Contenders? Question of the day

    Conrad should've called the Pacers center position into question as a weakness (or at least question mark). IMHO that is the Achilles heel that Carlisle will be forced to try and minimize and deal with all season (especially when playing against playoff teams and especially the upper echelon contenders).

    I still don't consider Foster a starting center for a contending team. Add to that an injury situation that didn't get put away last season and a new worry. Harrison now has two question marks: Experience/reaching potential and injury situation. Pollard seems to be a fall or wrong move away from a back injury.

    A training camp player may end up our starting center for the opener.

    Or else Carlisle rethinks our rotations and JO plays center...

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    Default Re: What Are Weaknesses Of East Contenders? Question of the day

    I'd say Indiana and Detroit have the same weakness. Their benches are very inexperienced.

    Detroit's starters can go through droughts (though Rasheed becoming a true go-to guy could eliminate that), and Indiana's starters have a lot of trouble rebounding and defending the paint (though harrison could help that too), but I'd say the biggest question mark for both teams is their benches. Indiana's bench will heavily depend on two rookies, and Detroit's bench will only feature one player that was a rotation mainstay last year.

    I disagree about the talent of the backcourt depth. Arroyo and Delfino are MORE than talented enough bo be solid backups off the bench. They're just very young. Arroyo has a little NBA experience, so I don't worry about him. Delfino has MORE talent than Arroyo, but he's basically a rookie this year. Last year was a total disaster for him physically and mentally.

    Assuming Delfino can stay in one piece this year, I'd be perfectly fine having him as a backup plan at SG. Behind him, Mo Evans can also play the 2 in a pinch.

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    Default Re: What Are Weaknesses Of East Contenders? Question of the day

    Quote Originally Posted by Kstat
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    I'd say Indiana and Detroit have the same weakness. Their benches are very inexperienced.

    Detroit's starters can go through droughts (though Rasheed becoming a true go-to guy could eliminate that), and Indiana's starters have a lot of trouble rebounding and defending the paint (though harrison could help that too), but I'd say the biggest question mark for both teams is their benches. Indiana's bench will heavily depend on two rookies, and Detroit's bench will only feature one player that was a rotation mainstay last year.

    I disagree about the talent of the backcourt depth. Arroyo and Delfino are MORE than talented enough bo be solid backups off the bench. They're just very young. Arroyo has a little NBA experience, so I don't worry about him. Delfino has MORE talent than Arroyo, but he's basically a rookie this year. Last year was a total disaster for him physically and mentally.

    Assuming Delfino can stay in one piece this year, I'd be perfectly fine having him as a backup plan at SG.
    Thanks for the laugh, I really needed that. The stress of school was getting to me.





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    Default Re: What Are Weaknesses Of East Contenders? Question of the day

    Quote Originally Posted by SlamSally
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    Thanks for the laugh, I really needed that. The stress of school was getting to me.
    You disagree that Indiana's bench lacks experience?

    Or do you think Pollard and Croshere's combined 80 years of NBA play are really going to matter when they aren't on the floor?

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    Default Re: What Are Weaknesses Of East Contenders? Question of the day

    Quote Originally Posted by Kstat
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    You disagree that Indiana's bench lacks experience?

    Or do you think Pollard and Croshere's combined 80 years of NBA play are really going to matter when they aren't on the floor?
    I think that after last year when our starting line-up had played a total of ZERO times together that our bench was playing. I would agree that Detroit's bench lacks experience because Larry Brown was set on his 8 player line-up. I mean there were times when your starters were playing 40+ minutes. But, I also think that it is extremely inaccurate to say that your bench has the same amount of experience as Indiana's. Thats just a false statment.





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    Default Re: What Are Weaknesses Of East Contenders? Question of the day

    Quote Originally Posted by SlamSally
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    I think that after last year when our starting line-up had played a total of ZERO times together that our bench was playing.
    You're right, I forgot all the times last year when Tinsley and Reggie were out, and Carlisle had Saras and Granger starting in their place . I stand corrected.

    But, I also think that it is extremely inaccurate to say that your bench has the same amount of experience as Indiana's. Thats just a false statment.
    If you want to look at both benches as a whole, they're nearly identical experience-wise. At the top is a lot of players with little experience, and at the bottom are guys that have a TON of experience, but won't play.

    The only real exceptions are foster and McDyess, but if Foster starts, Detroit probably has a MORE experienced bench, now that I think about it....

    Still curious as to what you were laughing at....

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    Default Re: What Are Weaknesses Of East Contenders? Question of the day

    AJ, Fred, Cro (and he will play), and Pollard all are experienced. Saras is experienced as a pro, Granger isn't. Given reports of his high basketball IQ, I doubt that will matter more than a little.

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    Default Re: What Are Weaknesses Of East Contenders? Question of the day

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks
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    AJ, Fred, Cro (and he will play), and Pollard all are experienced. Saras is experienced as a pro, Granger isn't. Given reports of his high basketball IQ, I doubt that will matter more than a little.
    Hicks, the only guys on your bench that will get any meaningful time are Saras, Granger, Foster and Freddie.

    Also, to say that Granger and Saras will be immune to rookie mistakes is incredibly naive. Both of them are going to need to adjust to the NBA game. Saras may have a little more difficulty adjusting than Granger, because he's spent a lot more time playing ina different kind of league.

    If Croshere, Pollard or AJ play, it means either someone good got hurt, or it's garbage time. Either that or the guys in front of them are sucking, which is probably the wrost-case scenario.

    I'd love to say Lindsey Hunter and Dale Davis make us a very experienced bench, but I'm realistic.

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    Default Re: What Are Weaknesses Of East Contenders? Question of the day

    Unless you expect JO to play 48 minutes at PF, Cro will play. AJ will play when we need a stop.

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    Default Re: What Are Weaknesses Of East Contenders? Question of the day

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks
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    Unless you expect JO to play 48 minutes at PF, Cro will play. AJ will play when we need a stop.
    ....and Lindsey will play when we really need a stop. But how often do you honestly think that will happen? Carlisle isnt going to break the flow of the game and go to his #3 guy unless his PGs are REALLY getting killed, which won't happen every game.

    There's going to be a set rotation. I think you're confusing Carilse with Isiah. Carlisle isnt going to play 11 guys randomly whenever the mood suits him.

    As for Croshere, maybe Carilse might fit him in as the 4th big man, but I get the feeling he'd rather use those minutes on Bender.

    Saras, Granger, Jones and Foster should be your first 4 guys off the bench. Bender and Cro are probably battling over the #10 spot right now.

    Of course, thats assuming Carlisle has decided that he's going to play 10 guys. But if the Pistons are going to do it, I can't see Carilse not doing it with just as much depth.

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    Default Re: What Are Weaknesses Of East Contenders? Question of the day

    Bender won't play. Foster will probably start.

    Regardless of all this, I'm not worried about inexperience hurting #s 3, 33, 20, or 44 off the bench. Not after the all-star break.

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    Default Re: What Are Weaknesses Of East Contenders? Question of the day

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks
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    Bender won't play. Foster will probably start.

    Regardless of all this, I'm not worried about inexperience hurting #s 3, 33, 20, or 44 off the bench. Not after the all-star break.
    I'm not terribly worried about my bench either, but then again very little about my team worries me.

    I'm saying, looking at both rosters from the outside, one would probably say the one thing that both teams lack is NBA experience among the guys that they're going to rely on most for bench production.

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    Default Re: What Are Weaknesses Of East Contenders? Question of the day

    Kstat, I'll start by stating that you're leaving only one center in our "bench" focus - Foster. Fact is, we'll be leaning heavily on all of our centers, one by one, depending on who can play.

    Of the four you have listed, Saras, Granger, Foster and Freddie, Granger is the least experienced. But all reports right now suggest that he is very mature, stable, and ready to go. Saras is 28? and an international champion. The other two were FORCED to play big time minutes and out performed expectations last year. The same goes for pretty much everyone on our team, except Bender, of course.

    Of everyone on our team, the least experienced players are Harrison, Granger and Saras. I'd take that "weakness" every day of the week and twice on Sundays.

    The basis of your argument - that the Pacers primary weakness is that the bench is inexperienced - does not hold water. The biggest weakness for the Pacers is games missed due to injury and/or suspension. Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow.

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    Default Re: What Are Weaknesses Of East Contenders? Question of the day

    Quote Originally Posted by Kstat
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    You disagree that Indiana's bench lacks experience?

    Or do you think Pollard and Croshere's combined 80 years of NBA play are really going to matter when they aren't on the floor?
    Kstat....who are the players that come off the bench in Detroit? (Sorry, I'm not trying to be sarcastic here...I seriously don't know who comes off after McDyess and Hunter...cuz they are the only players I saw in the playoffs that played decent minutes behind the starting 5 ). I'm guessing Delfino, Darko and the guy from Sactown they just signed will get some minutes there?

    On the Pacers end....we know that the primary backup players will be Granger, Sarunas, Bender, Croshere, Harrison, Freddie and Pollard. The only 3 question marks that we have here is Granger, Sarunas...as they don't have any real NBA experience ( which is different then any talent or skill that they possess )....and Bender ( who we don't even have to expand on his NBA experirence ).
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    Default Re: What Are Weaknesses Of East Contenders? Question of the day

    Eh, I saw Sabonis, Kucoc and Rebraca- All european champions- enter the NBA and have problems adjusting. And two of them were OLDER than Saras is now.

    I could be wrong, but Saras would be the first player EVER to go straight from eurpoe to the NBA and not have difficulties adjusting. Off of what I know if him, I think his biggest obstacle will be getting used to the speed.

    Granger's a nice rookie. Experience-wise, he's about where Prince was coming out of UK, or Grant Hill out of Duke. But both of them had learning curves, albeit smaller ones than most rookies. Almost all rookies have them, and Granger will have his. Not a knock on Granger, it's just the way it goes.

    The basis of your argument - that the Pacers primary weakness is that the bench is inexperienced - does not hold water. The biggest weakness for the Pacers is games missed due to injury and/or suspension. Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow.
    I'd agree with that, except that's more of an intangible. You can't really quantify injury-prone players. I'll wait until AFTER they get hurt to say that's their biggest issue.

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    Default Re: What Are Weaknesses Of East Contenders? Question of the day

    Quote Originally Posted by Kstat
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    I'm not terribly worried about my bench either, but then again very little about my team worries me.

    I'm saying, looking at both rosters from the outside, one would probably say the one thing that both teams lack is NBA experience among the guys that they're going to rely on most for bench production.
    The Pacers bench is not only more experienced on the whole, it's deeper as well.

    IF Saras and Granger prove that they can't get it done, we have guys that started for us for most of last year backing them up. Detroit can't say that if their two main bench guys go down. You're argument just doesn't hold up under scrutiny.

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    Default Re: What Are Weaknesses Of East Contenders? Question of the day

    Quote Originally Posted by CableKC
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    Kstat....who are the players that come off the bench in Detroit? (Sorry, I'm not trying to be sarcastic here...I seriously don't know who comes off after McDyess and Hunter...cuz they are the only players I saw in the playoffs that played decent minutes behind the starting 5 ). I'm guessing Delfino, Darko and the guy from Sactown they just signed will get some minutes there?
    The Pistons bench rotation will probably go like this:

    1. Dice
    2. Arroyo
    3. Darko
    4. Delfino
    5. Evans

    Hunter and Dale will probably be our 11th and 12th men and will not play.

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    Default Re: What Are Weaknesses Of East Contenders? Question of the day

    Quote Originally Posted by travmil
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    The Pacers bench is not only more experienced on the whole, it's deeper as well.
    I'd love to contest both statements. I'm not sure your bench has more total NBA experience, OR more depth.

    The only position where you have a solid 3rd backup is PG, and we have the same thing.

    IF Saras and Granger prove that they can't get it done, we have guys that started for us for most of last year backing them up. Detroit can't say that if their two main bench guys go down. You're argument just doesn't hold up under scrutiny.
    If Saras and Granger prove they can't get it done, it's a big problem. Saras at least you have a decent backup for, though. But lets not go overboard and say that those guys are expendable.

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    Default Re: What Are Weaknesses Of East Contenders? Question of the day

    Quote Originally Posted by Kstat
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    I'd love to contest both statements. I'm not sure your bench has more total NBA experience, OR more depth.

    The only position where you have a solid 3rd backup is PG, and we have the same thing.



    If Saras and Granger prove they can't get it done, it's a big problem. Saras at least you have a decent backup for, though. But lets not go overboard and say that those guys are expendable.
    I didn't say they were expendable. I merely pointed out that if we have to, we can bring in guys that have started frequently in the past. Any other words you'd care to put in my mouth today?

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    Default Re: What Are Weaknesses Of East Contenders? Question of the day

    I think all Pistons players should add an "o" at the end of their name.

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    Default Re: What Are Weaknesses Of East Contenders? Question of the day

    Quote Originally Posted by travmil
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    I didn't say they were expendable. I merely pointed out that if we have to, we can bring in guys that have started in the past. Any other words you'd care to put in my mouth today?
    I have to disagree with you saying we have an All Star caliber bench.














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    Default Re: What Are Weaknesses Of East Contenders? Question of the day

    Quote Originally Posted by Los Angeles
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    I think all Pistons players should add an "o" at the end of their name.
    Ben-o?
    Rasheed-o?


    Darko.....-o?

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    Default Re: What Are Weaknesses Of East Contenders? Question of the day

    After seeing Saras old team beat Toronto, yes they may be bad but they were playing starters, mind you, I think the learning curve for Saras might be less than you all think...
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    Default Re: What Are Weaknesses Of East Contenders? Question of the day

    I like our bench far more than Detroit's. Here is a line-up if our starters are out:
    1) Saras
    2) F. Jones
    3) Granger
    4) Bender (if he is injured, Croshere)
    5) Harrison

    No offense to the Pistons b/c their first 6 or 7 are great, but the Pacers have them in depth. ...and we don't even mention AJ, who is a darn good backup PG himself.

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