Are the players pushed too hard?
The Pacers have been having injury problems the last couple years and they apparently don't know why. The evidence for that was moving long time trainer David Craig to the front office and hiring another trainer. That seems to me to have been at least a vote of no confidence in David, but it didn't make sense to me. The reason it didn't make sense is I've been around long enough to remember another time when the Pacers were having what seemed like more than their share of injury problems then they hired David and there weren't so many injuries any more.
Are the injury problems caused by the Pacers starting to push the players too hard in the off season and David wasn't down with it? Or was David pushing the players too hard and the team wasn't down with it? I think it's the former because the Pacers are sending coaches to workout players in the off season. Is it too much?
Lets go another direction.
Is JO injury prone, or is it other factors?
The length of an NBA season is 82 games, plus 8 preseason games, plus up to 28* playoff games, plus enumerable practices. Add to that the fact that people push themselves and others harder when they get close to the object of their affection, in this case an NBA championship. Now add to that, that this could go on season after season if the team is an elite team.
In JO's case there's more. He's been playing for this country just about every Summer. Plus he's gained weight to protect himself because the team constantly plays him out of position. He's a power forward often asked to play center.
There's more. JO being the highly motivated man he is, calls the other players and most show up for practices 2 weeks early.
So, is JO becoming injury prone from all this? That being, pushing and being pushed to hard.
Is Danny Granger being pushed to hard?
What I want to know is who's idea is it to play the players out of their optimum position so much? Walsh? Bird? Carlisle?
Sometimes circumstances are such that players have to play out of position. But the Pacers routinely use players out of their natural positions for long stretches of time. Does that contribute to their getting hurt?
Why did the Pacer brass decide to give Ron Artest a go at power forward last Summer? Using him there had to mean playing JO at center, so both would be playing out of their natural positions against bigger players.
And now what are they doing with Danny Gee? A natural small forward that even played some point guard in college.
While still in college Danny was asked a series of questions. Note his answer to this one.
What position do you see yourself playing at the next level, and what do you think you need to improve on to get there? (Ricky D.)
DG: I think I would play a small forward, or even a shooting guard at the next level. I think I need to work on my ball handling skills and my outside jump shot, and I need to get stronger.
Notice he didn't mention power forward, but the Pacers wanted him to learn that position from the get go. Why? We have an All Star at the PF position? They wanted Artest to learn the position too, so it seems to be they were committing themselves to using JO out of position. Otherwise why groom two small forwards for power forward?
A question was asked of Conrad Brunner last Summer, namely, Is Shooting Guard Really a Problem? In his answer he said, "Danny Granger almost certainly will play somewhere, whether it's as a backup at shooting guard or small forward or both."
The thing is, they didn't even try Danny at shooting guard, they just decided he could play PF as well as SF. It's these kind of decisions that make me suspect the Pacer brass are behind the Pacer's injuries. Namely Larry Bird.
I think Bird is an awesome judge of talent, but I also think he might be too opinionated. He's formed his opinions from playing at a championship level, and players that have reached his level typically think they know better than everyone else. Has Bird decided on an off season work load that is too much for some players?
So . . .
[ ] Is JO injury prone?
[ ] Is JO becoming injury prone?
[ ] Is JO's work Ethic too much for his body?
[ ] Is JO played out of position too much?
[ ] Do the Pacers push their players too hard?
[ ] Do the players push too hard?
[ ] Does JO weigh too much?
[ ] Are the Pacers using Danny Granger wrong?
[ ] Are the Pacers trying to hard to develop multi position players?
[ ] Do todays players work and play basketball, to hard, for to long, to also play out of position, for very long against bigger players.
* Four, seven game series, all going the distance.