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Thread: Odd thoughts about beating the Blazers.....

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    Administrator Peck's Avatar
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    Default Odd thoughts about beating the Blazers.....

    For the past three or four years we have heard over & over again how offensive rebounding was the "most over rated" stat in all of basketball. I've heard that low post isolation offense is the best way to win games & that really guards & even small forwards should just get back on defense to stop any breaks & not help with the boards.

    I've heard that fronting the post on defense is the way to go & that really the strength of the team should come from our wing player & that we really wanted speed in our big men. I've heard that assist were not an accurate measure of offensive success & I've heard player spacing was more important that player movement.

    I've heard this for so long & so often that I almost started to beleive this.

    Almost.

    The Diamond one & myself were debating after the game about the current style of play & what team it most copy's.

    When I started speaking of free flowing offense he thought I was trying to describe the current Phoenix Suns & he suggested that is what I wanted.

    After reflecting on this I have come to this conclusion, that is not what I want at all & that is not what we have.

    What we have is a lesser version of the 99 Pacers. With Pollard & Foster you have the Davis's. Peja is similar to Reggie, Jax is Jalen Rose. A.J. will never be Mark Jackson but he is manning the point at present.

    In other words what Carlisle has done is reached into his bag of tricks & pulled out the old play sets from the 97-99 team.

    What we have right now is a combonation of strength, speed & ball movement.

    No one on our team stays in any one position for more than 4-5 seconds at a time on the offensive end & our ability to drive & kick to the wings is not because they are just hanging out at the line but because they are moveing from side to side & working position.

    That is just one of the reasons things are working now more than they were two weeks ago or for that matter two months ago.

    I'm not saying we are title contenders but I am saying we are going in the right direction.

    Let's examine some of the reasons why things are going better at the moment, shall we?

    1. Chemistry. Less is more, their backs are against the wall, they ride together, etc., etc. Whatever cliche' you want to use here feel free, but it doesn't change the basic fact of this. These guys are enjoying playing together. Scot Pollard said in the post game interview that it was nice to have player playing together instead of against one another. I don't know what he meant by that for sure, but I think I have an idea. We have no star, we have no one out there above any of the others. They are all held to the same standard & IMO it has given them an identity. The bench players are getting theirs, the starters are getting theirs. Nobody resents anybody at the moment. Of course winning helps that a lot as well, let's see how they do when they lose a couple (which they will) but my guess is that this particular unit will not put it's head down & point fingers. They will group together & work harder.

    2. The re-emergence of true centers. No offense to some of our power forwards who have been manning the spot for the past three years, but the truth is simple. Our resurgence has coincided with the fact that for over 90% of the last three games our center spot has been manned by (Gasp!!!) Centers. Scot Pollard has been a phenom. & Harrison has been delivering from the bench. All you have to do is look at these two men & you will see that they are big, thick, strong & talented. Unless foul trouble or injury occurs I never want to see another powerforward play center again.

    3. We have not matched down to teams. As above we have done away with trying to play small ball for the most part. We almost always have a true center on the floor & so far it has worked. Make them pay by smashing it down low or make them pay for not having the size to match up down low. Either way, we win.

    4. Power at our power forward spot. In all of this I have become a fan of Jeff Foster again. The reason? He's not being forced to be the physical player on the floor anymore. However as the second physical player on the floor he is an @ss kicker. He is bigger & stronger than a lot of powerforwards & he's as quick as any of them. Having him & pollard or Harrison in there together is usually an advantage for us. Having him play the center spot is a disadvantage for us in most cases.

    5. Our offense has changed. This could be listed much higher but I'll keep it here for now. It's easy to guard one player, it's harder to guard two players it's d@mn near impossible to guard five players on the floor. When all five players on the floor are a threat it changes the entire defenseive scheme of the other team. Yes, in our current offense Jeff Foster is somewhat an offensive threat. Because of our new pick & roll that we are running Jeff is getting some wide open drives to the basket. He didn't take advantage of them in this game but he has been over the other two games. We are running screens at the elbow, we have player movement from baseline to baseline & most important we have lots of cuts going to the basket. We are shooting a lot of three's but with the way our new offense is we are in position to get offensive rebounds if our guys miss.

    6. Our bench provides the other team no rest. In fact often times our bench comes in & kicks the crap out of the other team. I know that some people like a shorter bench & shorter rotation. I don't agree with that. Now if we had superstars, no we don't have any of them & we never have, then I could see playing them for as long as you could. But in our case I would like to still keep a deep rotation even when everyone is healthy. Harrison coming off of the bench is almost cruel to the other team at this point in time, as long as he can keep playing like this, then add into that Granger & you almost feel sorry for the other team. Well almost anyway. I like a deep bench as long as everybody is on the same page & everybody is happy in their roles which as of now, they are.

    7. Rebounding rebounding rebounding!!!!!! I have hated the way our team rebounds for so long that I don't even remember when the last time I liked. That is until now. Every single player that played rebounded the ball. Eddie Gill didn't score a point but he got a board. Out of the players who got real min. on the floor Jax had the least with 3. Compared to Portland who had one player (Randolp) with 9 all on the offensive end but their starting guards combined for 3. I will always quote Pat Riley till the day I die. "No rebounds, no rings". I don't know what has made me more happy our new offense or our new dedication to rebounding. Oh who am I kidding, I love rebounding.

    8. True defense. We no longer employ gimick defense (ie. fronting the post) because we don't have to. Our centers now can body up on almost any center in the NBA & in Harrisons case as long as he doesn't foul I will say it now. He can body up to any player in the NBA including Shaq. No, I'm not saying he will stop Shaq but I am saying that Shaq can't just bump him out of the way with his shoulder. Foster is good at guarding the quicker big men in the NBA & Peja is a hell of a lot better than I thought he would be. To be honest he played Randolph straight up several times in the second half & he stopped him cold. Granger is already one of our better defenders on both the perimater & down in the paint. Our guard defense has been steady, not spectacular but very steady.

    9. Coaching. Actually Coaching is 1A. but I'm not talking about overall coaching in this particular part. I'm talking about Rick's new found patience. If a player makes a dumb mistake he is no longer yanked from the game & set on the bench for a long time. He is allowed to play through it & if he continues to make dumb plays or if he gets hot under the collar Rick then pulls him, let's him cool off & then puts him back in the game. This allows the players to not play scared. They are not looking over at the bench every time the miss a defensive assignment. I think this has helped greatly with overall team chemistry. We no longer have players out there who are treated differantly than others.

    10. Freedom. There is a certain liberation when you no longer have any expectations. We come in as the underdog & maybe that is the way our fans & even our players like it. We didn't handle being the favorite to win it all very well but we seem to thrive as the team that everybody over looks. The Diamond one pointed this out to me before the L.A. game so I wanted to make sure he got credit for this.

    Now let's deal with a couple of other things & yes we will address the big pink elephant in the room in a min.

    Can I get everybody to climb off of Anthony Johnson's @ss? This guy is more pro than we deserve. This guy has gone from second p.g. to starter to DNP-CD to starter to second back to DNP-CD & then back to starter & each time he has come in & done his job. Did he make a fuss about any of this? Yes, of course he did. But he never quit & he never walked away what the team has asked of him.

    I am saying it now, A.J. should just start for the rest of the year. That's right I said it. Jamaal Tinsley should not just be able to come back & get his p.g. spot without earning it from the bench for a few games. If he comes back & comes off of the bench & proves he can work in this system then by all means, but under no circumstance should he just get his job back the first day he is back.

    Then we have to address what to do between Saras & A.J.? Well, sorry but my money is on the guy who is there right now. Saras can get some time but the first p.g. off of the bench, IMO, should be A.J. if it's not J.T.

    I know that won't be popular with some of his fans but right now A.J. is giving you everything you would ever want from a backup p.g. & in our case it's even working as the starting p.g.

    Well, we might as well go ahead & start the p!ssing contest about Jermaine O'neal right now.

    Here is my fear. Take every single one of the 10 reasons I listed above & throw them out the window if J.O. comes back & we allow him to be the focus of our team again.

    One of the reasons I didn't post after the Detroit game? What Jon Theodore said I was going to say, well not the racist part or anything, but what he was saying about J.O. I was going to fire the same thing out.

    I came home after the game & watched the game on Tivo before I even got online I made the Diamond one & even my wife look at a freeze frame of the exact same shot on the bench that Theodore saw. Remember this was before I read what any of you were saying. I said right there & then to my family that this was not the face of a happy team mate. There was Saras all smiles, there was Pollard & Harrison laughing & haveing a good time there was even shot of Eddie Gill smiling. But there all alone stood a sour looking Jermaine O'Neal. Now I would be willing to buy that he was trying not to get his team to not celebrate a regular season win, hell in fact I would admire him if that were the case. But this is the same guy who looks as though he has brain worms exploding from his head every time he dunks the ball on someone.

    Your team just won a hard fought game vs. the best team in the NBA he should have been over there with a high five & a butt slap for every player that came out of the game, he should have been waving a towel & leading all of us in the fieldhouse in cheering for the players. I've seen Reggie do that many of time btw.

    But no, that's not what we got.

    Now is it ever fair to look at a bench shot & believe that we know what the player is thinking? No, of course not. But demeanor & body language sure tells you something of what a person is thinking.

    But that is just the mental side of this topic & I hope we don't get drug down in the mud arguing over it.

    What I want to talk about is whether Jermaine O'Neal the player can fit into this style of play?

    The answer? Probably not.

    No, not because he is not talented enough to do so. We all know he can. But because he is not skilled enough at certain things to do it as well as the other big men.

    Why are we rebouning as well as we are? Yes, the change on offense has helped with the "o" boards but the fact is that Pollard & Harrison are space eaters & rebound by position. Foster still is using his speed but he does know enough to try & block out.

    Jermaine O'Neal is an athletic rebounder, not a skilled one. In other words J.O. jumps higher to get the boards than others do & often times he does not block out to do this. So if he can't get the board the other team often time does. Pollard & Harrison block out so well that even if they don't secure the boards they have cleared a path so our guards or other forwards do.

    Could J.O. do this? Yes, but it would take a change in mentality to do it.

    J.O. is a decent passer, actually I think he is underrated in this aspect of his game. But J.O. would also have to become more of a mover. He would no longer be able to plant himself in the post for 15 sec. & just sit there till the team gets him the ball.

    Now this does not mean he could not do post up offense. If you will notice we still have some post up plays, but we no longer run 80% of our plays as post ups anymore.

    He still could do this, he even would have more of the 15' shots he loves so much. But he would have to be willing to do this. He would have to be willing to go down on the offensive end & not even touch the ball on occasion.

    Would he be willing to do that?

    The fact is this, none of us know. He always says the proper thing in the paper or on radio. But again, body language & demeanor go a long way in explaining ones thoughts. Let's just say I am skeptical that this is all Rick Carlisle.

    Now call me Fox Mulder because I do want to beleive that he would be willing to do it, but I am also very very skeptical that he would.

    Are we sure it was all the other player who was only worried about their touches?

    Jackson also had a comment on the post game show that was telling as well. He said that players were getting more touches & that made everybody play harder.

    Now he could have just been talking about himself, but it seemed to me like he was speaking for more than one guy.

    Trust me I certainly understand that our former problem child was a problem here. But I will not totally lay the blame at his feet as being the only player worried about getting his. Yes, Jax does the same thing but let's just say I don't think he "rides alone" in that case.

    Now is the time for Bird, Walsh, whoever, to actually look at this team & see if this really is the style we should be playing with. If it is then I'm sorry to say but we really should look to move J.O. for a great guard & a solid big man who can help with depth.

    Now if they believe that this style is not the way to go then by all means bring J.O. back & then truely surround him with the players who will make his style of play work.

    As to Jamaal? Sorry, injury prone or not he just is not available enough for me to care anymore. I know he is almost impossible to move right now but over the summer it is time to do something else & no Saras is not the answer.

    Now before everybody has a seizure with me complaining about things after a three game win streak understand this. I know we are on a hot streak right now & as soon as teams get us scouted this may change again, who knows.

    But right now I am looking at the sytem & this is the style of play I like to watch better & here is the truth. This style of play wins better as well. Because while the other system has it's advantages it also causes disharmony amongst the team & thus is a self defeating style of play.

    This style got us to three E.C. finals & one NBA finals apperance & in reality this is also very similar to the style that Brown played here as well so it was 5 E.C. finals if you go back that far.

    Feel free to flame away at me, but before you do know this.

    I am giving you some free happy dancing fruit.



    And if that isn't enough to make you happy then I will throw in this picture for free, how can you stay mad at me & look at this in the face?

    neill:

  2. #2
    White and Nerdy Anthem's Avatar
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    Default Re: Odd thoughts about beating the Blazers.....

    You're the man, Peck.

    I didn't give the post the justice it deserves because it's late and I'm exhausted. I'll leave it for tomorrow.

    The one thing I will say: You say you're not a fan of a short bench. I say: look at the minutes tonight. It was a 30-point blowout, and only 9 players played tonight (besides one meaningless minute by Eddie Gill). That's exactly what I want. When Jay and I say "short bench" what we mean is enough of the "our third string can beat your second string" mentality. So what? Don't invest time and money in players that aren't going to see the court.
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    Administrator Peck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Odd thoughts about beating the Blazers.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthem
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    You're the man, Peck.

    I didn't give the post the justice it deserves because it's late and I'm exhausted. I'll leave it for tomorrow.

    The one thing I will say: You say you're not a fan of a short bench. I say: look at the minutes tonight. It was a 30-point blowout, and only 9 players played tonight (besides one meaningless minute by Eddie Gill). That's exactly what I want. When Jay and I say "short bench" what we mean is enough of the "our third string can beat your second string" mentality. So what? Don't invest time and money in players that aren't going to see the court.

    When you get a chance tommorrow I will want you to explain that a little better to me. I'm not sure I understand what you are saying there.

    BTW, 9 players was every player available to play.

    I think I understand what you are saying & I even think I agree but I want to be sure.

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    Follow me no more....... Fireball Kid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Odd thoughts about beating the Blazers.....

    Well Peck, after reading from your thoughts, I must say that I pretty much agree with everything except for AJ starting over Saras. I still think that Saras should start, AJ should be the back up and nothing is going to make me change that. Other than that, nice read.
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  5. #5
    Pacer Junky Will Galen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Odd thoughts about beating the Blazers.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Peck
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    But right now I am looking at the sytem & this is the style of play I like to watch better & here is the truth. This style of play wins better as well. Because while the other system has it's advantages it also causes disharmony amongst the team & thus is a self defeating style of play.
    Most all of your Odd thoughts posts are good Peck, but I especially like this one. You see more than what I do, but you express yourself better when we both see the same thing. The above for instant is what I've been trying to say.

    You get an A+. (GRIN)

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    Member NorCal_Pacerfan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Odd thoughts about beating the Blazers.....

    Solid, long post as usual. I enjoyed the read. I wish there was a long and short version for days when I'm short on time.

    Question for you. No mention of Austin. Where does Austin fit in to this system, and how and who will his return affect?

    I share your concerns regarding JO. I'm just hoping that JO can see the light, and play more like he did a few years ago - maybe get out and run a little. How will JO play when Pollard or Harrison is the center? We haven't even seen JO play a single minute with Peja. I can't write him off. I think we can find a balance, but it remains to be seen. I am a little concerned about JO's lack of enthusiasm during the Piston game. Was he the same way against Portland?
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    Lithfan
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    Default Re: Odd thoughts about beating the Blazers.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Fireball Kid
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    Well Peck, after reading from your thoughts, I must say that I pretty much agree with everything except for AJ starting over Saras. I still think that Saras should start, AJ should be the back up and nothing is going to make me change that. Other than that, nice read.
    Me, of course, agree with Fireball
    Peck, why exactly you decided that Saras is not the awnser?
    His production is great in limited minutes he gets. And he is a rookie.
    AJ is getting more minutes right now because he is more experienced, thats all. Thats what coaching staff repeated on numerous occasions. In other words Rick doesn't want to start rookie.
    When experienced starting PG as JT was available, Saras was the main back-up and he was getting the same PT he has now, while AJ played less.
    So what exactly convinced you that Saras is not the awnser?

  8. #8
    Jimmy did what Jimmy did Bball's Avatar
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    Default Re: Odd thoughts about beating the Blazers.....

    Excellent review.

    Personally, I see no reason for Tinsley to suit up as a Pacer ever again. Maybe that is just me? Actually, he can suit up- and be the 3rd string disaster PG. He shouldn't move AJ out of the lineup nor should he move Sarunas out of the lineup. And if Tinsley should get healthy (hahahahahaha) and AJ get injured, Tinsley should only keep AJ's spot warm for him. IOW, it is time to move on from Tinsley. He cannot be counted upon due to injuries to do anything but throw the rotations off kilter and IMHO he has attitude problems which should glue him to the bench anyway.

    That sounds awfully harsh when I put it in print. Good... I guess that makes it clear
    Just keep him on the bench healing and hope injuries don't force us to use him so he can be bubblewrapped for summer and a trade.

    Not even Tinsley can bring me down after watching this team rebound. What a joy to see. Rebounds!!!!! Rebounds!!!!! Rebounding Pacers!!!!

    And then a balanced, unselfish offense too.

    -Bball
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    Member NorCal_Pacerfan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Odd thoughts about beating the Blazers.....

    Bball - I'm with you 100% regarding Tins, but I've felt that way for a long time now.

    I will say this, it's amazing what three solid wins can do. Let's not forget we just came off a six game skid.
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    Default Re: Odd thoughts about beating the Blazers.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Bball
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    Excellent review.

    Personally, I see no reason for Tinsley to suit up as a Pacer ever again. Maybe that is just me? Actually, he can suit up- and be the 3rd string disaster PG. He shouldn't move AJ out of the lineup nor should he move Sarunas out of the lineup. And if Tinsley should get healthy (hahahahahaha) and AJ get injured, Tinsley should only keep AJ's spot warm for him. IOW, it is time to move on from Tinsley. He cannot be counted upon due to injuries to do anything but throw the rotations off kilter and IMHO he has attitude problems which should glue him to the bench anyway.

    That sounds awfully harsh when I put it in print. Good... I guess that makes it clear
    Just keep him on the bench healing and hope injuries don't force us to use him so he can be bubblewrapped for summer and a trade.

    Not even Tinsley can bring me down after watching this team rebound. What a joy to see. Rebounds!!!!! Rebounds!!!!! Rebounding Pacers!!!!

    And then a balanced, unselfish offense too.

    -Bball
    Yeah, you are right.

    Isn't that what usually happens when team loses its stars?

    They start playing with sacrifice, unselfish offence, rebounding. The problem is that those type of things are brought by a momentum and it doesn't last. Lets see first how Pacers with current healthy roster play 10 games.

  11. #11
    Grumpy Old Man (PD host) able's Avatar
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    Default Re: Odd thoughts about beating the Blazers.....

    OK one last attempt to get reason in to some of you, others I have given up hope for, but it becomes dreary and old quick to read the continuous JO and Tins bashing and now my favorite read in the morning after got contaminated with it as well, so as I said, I should do a last ditch effort before I clasp my hands together, look at the sky and give up and go do something more worth while.

    Let's face some hard facts before we draw upon conclusions we seem to reach at the moment.

    What were/are the characteristics of the "iso-offense" we play(ed)?

    PG bringing up the ball, considering we want a low tempo to control most flow the pg pounds the ball, makes some threatening moves and gets the ball to the post player who is (hopefully) drawing a double team, then passing out to waiting player on the perimeter, or when the double does not come or to late OR when no perimeter player is "easily" reachable, goes for the basket.

    This does not exactly put he post player in the position to box out, so any rebounds he gets are to come from athleticism instead of other means.
    It also leaves at most 1 player under the basket, so getting position for rebounds in itself becomes hard, unless they are the "long" type rebounds, because there are enough players on the perimeter.
    That is of course if they haven't already ran back to go on defense.

    Now is there any action in there that was not pre-destined, and written in stone on the blackboard in the locker, then please let me know.

    Also please come with some form of proof that this is the choice of play by the people you are indicting with this, JO and Tins.

    I for one do not believe it for ONE second to be their choice offense, nor defense.

    Did Rick play different sets when in Detroit? Or are we talking about the same Rick Carlisle here that told Ben Wallace not to bother trying to score; just get rebounds?

    Can anyone tell me we were playing such a different system then Detroit when Rick was there?
    Did we not have Jeff aka Ben, JO aka Rasheed, Ron aka Prince, Jax aka Rip and Tins aka Billups?

    Was Billups ever asked to score, except in dire situations like Tins now? no.

    So the same dog, the same tricks.
    Weren't we all in Flip's jockstrap earlier in the season when Detroit wen on a rampage by him letting the players play, run and score?
    Aren't we talking about the same players 2 years ago known for their grindout ball, the 60 point games with a win?

    So now I have established the MO for the coach(ing staff, because really O'Neill is no different) we can move on to the players.

    What is JO's natural position? right PF, as such he is known for speed and power, good shot, strong moves to and around the rim, one of the most versatile big man in the league.
    Never wondered why coaches and other players call him all that?

    Now unless I can't read, I am sure I read several times that JO does NOT like playing at C.
    But let's face it, where has he played the past 2.5 years?
    Do we really want to maintain after what we are seeing at current that Jeff played C?

    Well for those that do, please, you are delusional.

    HOWEVER, while partly playing C, he also had the task of playing PF, be the main scoring threat and have the offense grind through him.

    Jeff was there for the rebounding, rebounding and rebounding, nothing else.
    Just like Rick wanted to and used as Ben Wallace.

    As I wrote in an earlier post in a thread about the "big question" (another one about JO) JO did not come up with the idea of bulking up, he did so because it was asked or he was told, so he could have more resilience in banging down low.
    Now is that not one of the last things we want him to do?
    Isn't it clear NOW that Polly and David are much more suited for that?

    Now I have written ad nauseum about Tins' injuries, like most here, be it from a different angle, but again, how did he get inured this year?

    Because every game he started the 1st 3 plays of the game were him driving to the rim.
    Why?
    Tins' is not the player known to break any play, the last to go his own chance, more then enough handles to do a lot of other things, yet game after game, and please do go over the recordings if you don't believe me, he drove to the hoop the first 3 plays.

    That made the defense pay a different kind of attention, collapsing quicker and leaving room for the wing players.

    He got hurt that way, someone grabbed his arm, he tore a biceps and done.
    However we were not playing to well, so he was rushed back, with as a result his arm overworked to get well again (regain strength) and thus as a result his elbow is injured (can anyone say tennis elbow?)
    Yeah right, always injured Mel, Who last year played with a foot injury the med staff was unable to correctly diagnose and which was most likely similar to Maggette's injury, but just diagnosed after he tried playing on it, for the good of the team, since most other players were out.

    Is there anyone out there that thinks he is not the best PG we have? Thought so.

    Now let's face it straight up, instead of "wondering aloud";

    JO @ PF! would fit just fine in this setup of the team, or is there anyone out there that thinks that Jeff is better suited then JO to play PF?

    Fast moves, deep passes and fast break offense, anyone willing to bet Tins is not at his best at that? With his vision of the floor, ability to zip passes? ability to finish at the rim, penetrate and kick out ?
    Is there anyone who does not think that JO and Tins can run a great pick&roll?

    Of course we will have a "problem" in who to play when they come back, some depth will either go to deep, or someone will lose some minutes.
    But would it really hurt to see less of Jeff? IF he's replaced by JO?
    And YES I DO think that Tins should come back of the bench, just as much as I am sure that wont last to long before he establishes being the best again.
    Do we really think AJ would have a problem playing with the second unit? To me (and I thought I would never say this) he has more then established that if not starting he should get the majority of the backup minutes. Sorry but for now Saras moves down the order.

    Now get Polly to start at C, or even David, I mean; wouldn't you love to see JO at PF and a real C alongside? Peja Granger and Tins to fill out the 5? Or sub Granger for Jax, either way it will be a great starting 5.
    And for the Bench? (yes with a capital B) Do you want to bring in your bench against them? Whether it is David or Polly at C, Granger, Fred, AJ and if you want to rest all starters, bring in Jeff as well.

    JO nor Tinsley is the problem in this team, the coach's MO is clear evidence, so easily overlooked.
    So we start to say that maybe JO wants his touches, his points, whatever, but can we give an example where JO has not done all that was asked of him, no matter what, without pouting, complaining, sulking or under protest? No we can't JO has been an exemplary soldier just like Tins.
    The least we can do is give them the benefit of the doubt, because when they return and we return to the "iso-ball" then we can rightly once again say that it is Rick, because JO and Tins are both on record for saying they do not really like the "iso-ball" offense.
    So Long And Thanks For All The Fish.

    If you've done 6 impossible things today?
    Then why not have Breakfast at Milliways!


  12. #12
    You are my Lucifer D-BONE's Avatar
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    Default Re: Odd thoughts about beating the Blazers.....

    Yes, JO can be successful in this approach IMO depending on two things:

    1) Coaches MUST stick with this offensive scheme
    2) He must be willing to accept a reduced (read: team/balanced) role and get opportunities within the flow of offensive movement

    If 1 occurs and JO can't make the commitment, then gotta think about moving him. The best thing is maintaining the team (not individual) dynamic that seems to have been established.

    Tinsley? I say he gets back and has to work from the bottom in the PG rotation. He could also thrive in the new style, but I think AJ and Sarunas have earned their nitches. Sarunas is more valuable playing with the second unit IMO. As several have noted, our 2nd string as currently constituted is very potent and problematic for our foes and a key cog is Saras at the point. Leave AJ as the starter. Last night, for instance, they either had similar minutes or maybe Saras even ended up with more. As long as PT is there Saras can make an impact. Plus his D probably is less exploitable by opponent's #2 PG.

  13. #13
    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Odd thoughts about beating the Blazers.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Peck
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    For the past three or four years we have heard over & over again how offensive rebounding was the "most over rated" stat in all of basketball. I've heard that low post isolation offense is the best way to win games & that really guards & even small forwards should just get back on defense to stop any breaks & not help with the boards.

    I've heard that fronting the post on defense is the way to go & that really the strength of the team should come from our wing player & that we really wanted speed in our big men. I've heard that assist were not an accurate measure of offensive success & I've heard player spacing was more important that player movement.

    I've heard this for so long & so often that I almost started to beleive this.

    I've been discredited, I'm a fraud.


    I simply don't have time right now to respond. maybe tonight

  14. #14
    Member Doug in CO's Avatar
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    Default Re: Odd thoughts about beating the Blazers.....

    Have to keep this short as I need to run to a meeting...

    I don't even bother with reading the Star anymore - just go to Peck's rundown. The one thing I missed more than anything during the year or so after bailing on RATS and before I found this place.

    My main complaint with JO's role on this team early in the year is that we had the inside without the outside - that he was asked to make game winning shots while he was being triple teamed. Now that we have Peja - hopefully long term - hopefully that rectifies the situation. Let's remember how reluctant Reggie was to shot near the end of his career so we really have not had that inside-outside for a long time.

    ALSO - let's face facts - we made a long term commitment to JO by jetisoning Ron. Carlisle will be gone before JO is... maybe just due to the fact that you can't trade him... unless you could get Garnett or would be willing to take Francis. I would take the former, not the latter.
    Heywoode says... work hard man.

  15. #15

    Default Ricks Post game comments

    Maybe I'm reading to much into this but Rick said this after the game.
    "The less you can do in a set offense, the better, within a context. You canít go wild. The way weíre structured now, we have to play more up tempo"

    To me this say's as soon as JO is back we will go back to the grind it out throw it into JO and stand around O. I hope not this would be the worst thing you could do to the team and to JO. The offense for the most part should remain the same and JO needs to find his niche in it. The players also must not start just defering to JO because he is back.

    As far as JO pouting, I would not read to much into it, I do think he is as puzzled by why we play so well when he is out as everyone else. He needs to adjust his game and Rick must not defer back to the Old offense at least as the staple. There is a time and place to pound, pound pound it, but not night in and out. Run it enough that you can go to it when needed but
    build the bread and butter around what we are doing now.

  16. #16
    Grumpy Old Man (PD host) able's Avatar
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    Default Re: Odd thoughts about beating the Blazers.....

    I went over the 4th quarter to see where JO was pouting, while so many metioned it when Polly and Jeff were doing a happy dance

    1st: he's injured no reason to do a happy dance,
    2nd: the first to high-five David coming of the court with 1.13 to go = JO
    3rd: the first to walk on the court handing Polly a towel is our own towelboy JO

    After high fiving some more players he walks on the court and talk a minute with Rasheed.

    Serious facial expression? I sincerely hope so, be cause though the team is doing good, he is working with the big men, and he is not playing, he is keeping a close eye on David and talking to all the players Polly, Jeff, David, they all start talking to JO the minute they walk of the court.

    After game interview; Jax: we will be a better team when the guys come back from injury.
    So Long And Thanks For All The Fish.

    If you've done 6 impossible things today?
    Then why not have Breakfast at Milliways!


  17. #17

    Default Re: Odd thoughts about beating the Blazers.....

    Saras is playing very good and has been all year. The majority of Harrisons points comes from Saras creating and dishing off to Harrison. Saras gets everyone involved and thats what you want out of your PG. AJ is playing very good right now and if he keeps it up then JT shouldn't just be thrown back into the starting spot. Although when healthy Tinsley is the best pg on this team. I can see him being traded in the summer.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Odd thoughts about beating the Blazers.....

    Quote Originally Posted by able
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    After game interview; Jax: we will be a better team when the guys come back from injury.
    This is really my biggest concern on this team right now. What happens when
    Cro, JO and Tins are back? Should we be a better team? Yes. But the problem is that some players will have to loose PT and become unhappy.
    We really have too many players who need to be playing and it causes chemistry issues when a few of them are not getting the PT they deserve.

    I really think one of our biggest issues for awhile is that we are to deep.
    When everyone is healthy, I know that does not happen often, there are going to be players not seeing the court that should be.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Odd thoughts about beating the Blazers.....

    In all of the bashing of JO and Tinsley, with the argument being that our success has come coincidentally when they are not in the lineup. Has anyone noticed that our success also coincides with Peja joining this team? He has shown me so much more than I expected of him and he is the reason why we can go up tempo. He can hit the outside shot, something noone else on the team had been a true threat from.

    Bring JO back with Peja and we have an inside out game that we havn't seen since we had, well, JO and Reggie.

    Also coincidentally, our success has come at nearly exactly the same time Austin Croshere went down. Was it his fault that we struggled in the losing streak leading up to the wins? Of course not.

    If we are truly afraid that the team will revert back to an iso offense simply because of the presence of JO, then shipping out JO is not the answer...shipping out our coaching staff is. Big athletic PFs can thrive in up-tempo offenses and they can still iso when in half court sets.

  20. #20
    Member owl's Avatar
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    Default Re: Odd thoughts about beating the Blazers.....

    D-Bone said.."1) Coaches MUST stick with this offensive scheme
    2) He must be willing to accept a reduced (read: team/balanced) role and get opportunities within the flow of offensive movement

    If 1 occurs and JO can't make the commitment, then gotta think about moving him. The best thing is maintaining the team (not individual) dynamic that seems to have been established."


    Truth. I have been saying for the last 2 years that JO needs to take a
    diminished offensive role. He should be a rebounder and shot blocker and
    facilitator for the perimeter guys.

    As far as point guards are concerned the Pacers have I believe what they
    need in Saras and Johnson. Saras however should always be, at least for
    now the back up guard, regardless if Tinsley or Johnson starts. Tinsley
    dominates the ball and that is bad for the team. He gets his assists by
    dribbling all over the court and making the pass where as Saras often makes the pass to set up the pass for the assist. In other words he runs the offense.


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  21. #21
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    Default Re: Odd thoughts about beating the Blazers.....

    As much as it pains me to say this, I am now starting to think AJ is our second best pg. I would be fine with Tins coming off the bench for a game or even two. I know what will happen (remember when Ricky made him come off the bench behind AJ before? Tinsley so out played AJ that everyone in Indiana would have stoned Rick if he would not have started him the next game)

    I am starting to think my 3 year long burning hatred for AJ's game has been misplaced. His best games have all come when we play more of an open offense. The funny thing to me is how many of you have started believing that AJ would be better at an open offense than Tinsely would.

    Of course many of you who are saying that now, were saying that Tinsley could not run a half court offense and that he would only be useable with an open offense back when Rick first got here and benched him for pg phenom Kenny (the slug) Anderson.

    Those of you asking if we should maybe trade J.O. because we like this style of play better need to look back to Isiah's last games coached. Yes we lost, yes we underachieved but it was not Jermaine who let us down. He had 26 got that TWENTY SIX rebounds. Its the coach not Jermaine. Its the coach not Jermaine. Its the coach not Jermaine.

    Jermaine can rebound even better than any of our current players. Put him in his natural position play him along side David or Polly tell him to get all the rebounds he can and to think of them as points and he will lead the league in rebounds. Remember Isiah never ran the low post offense that Rick ran and J.O. got his points then too. Jermaine is quicker and more agile than most pf's in the league and at the same time stronger than most of them as well.

    If nothing else you cant tell me he would not be an upgrade over Jeff. (I have a Foster Jersey and consider him one of my favorite Pacers so this is not a knock on Jeff.)

  22. #22

    Default Re: Odd thoughts about beating the Blazers.....

    Rick built the system he has used here around Ron and JO in the post, when all were healthy and Ron had his head on straight, it was a great system and had things gone the way we all hoped this year, may have brought the championship we all hope for. Alas, Ron went Ron, the injuries piled up (we never had our full roster available to us, meaning Foster and Polly, when we had early Chemistry problems, etc.) and now JO and Tins are out for ?? I truly believe that Rick had a system best suited for our players to win playoff basketball when we had JO and Ron together, ie. before the brawl last year. Since that time we have been reeling for many reasons, and now we have a fresh start with Peja here and Ron difintively gone. Rick has adjusted the system to fit our available players, and we are winning with it. I think we will have a different system from now on, because the players have changed and Rick will maximize the talents of the players he is given and try to win as many games as possible.

    Can we win a championship playing this way? I don't think we can without adding JO and what he brings into this system. Carlisle has been in this league for over 20 years, do you really think he doesn't see the things we are pointing out here? He does, but he also sees much more which he has to factor in and try to make the best decisions for the team to win. We aren't at practice or in the locker room and there are many things we just don't know about what goes on behind the scenes which Rick has to deal with. We have to give JO a chance to see how he fits now that Ron is gone and Peja is here. The old system won't work and so I don't think Rick will force it when JO comes back. Granger and Harrison are emerging now, we have a different set of talent to build a system around and I believe this is the beginning of seeing the new system we will be using.

    I honestly don't know what to say about Tins. He is a very talented player who this year just didn't seem to fit or be happy, maybe he is upset about Saras coming in and all the hype about that. Whatever it is, he hasn't played well the past month when he's been available, maybe it was the injury, but if he comes back and plays like that I hope we ship him out of here in the summer.

    Jax has been playing much better, and his attitude has improved, maybe he will be fine here now. Last night I didn't notice much of his turning into a black hole and he is moving the ball and passing to everyone even Saras when they play together. Lets hope we can see what he can bring along side JO and Peja.

    Thanks for insight and thoughts Peck, I always look forward to reading your posts after a game.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Odd thoughts about beating the Blazers.....

    Quote Originally Posted by able
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    1st: he's injured no reason to do a happy dance,
    2nd: the first to high-five David coming of the court with 1.13 to go = JO
    3rd: the first to walk on the court handing Polly a towel is our own towelboy JO

    After high fiving some more players he walks on the court and talk a minute with Rasheed.

    Serious facial expression? I sincerely hope so, be cause though the team is doing good, he is working with the big men, and he is not playing, he is keeping a close eye on David and talking to all the players Polly, Jeff, David, they all start talking to JO the minute they walk of the court.

    After game interview; Jax: we will be a better team when the guys come back from injury.
    Thank you for inserting a little truth in this not so subtle assassination of Jermaine O'Neal's character. One certainly doesn't have to like JO's basketball game; that is fair game. But the pseudo psychological analysis is just awful. Particularly when the facts as just presented by abel contradict the absurd notion that JO was an unhappy camper the night of the Piston's victory. Frankly, the idea that father and son would spend time studying freeze frames of JO's face is bizarre.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Odd thoughts about beating the Blazers.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Ragnar
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    Jermaine can rebound even better than any of our current players. Put him in his natural position play him along side David or Polly tell him to get all the rebounds he can and to think of them as points and he will lead the league in rebounds. Remember Isiah never ran the low post offense that Rick ran and J.O. got his points then too. Jermaine is quicker and more agile than most pf's in the league and at the same time stronger than most of them as well.
    I agree. I think once JO is back, you put him in as the starter, and then Foster as his backup, with Pollard starting C, and Harrison as his backup. Then you throw Cro in as needed.

    With that you have Peja at the SF (backed up by Granger), Jackson at the SG (backed up by Jones), and Tinsley/AJ at PG (backed up by Saras). I think this gives you a nice rotation and good punch off the bench.

    Last night I liked watching Saras play more than AJ, just because when the team was pressing on offense, he did a great job of finding the open space on the floor. He had a bounce pass to Jones that was really good and took advantage of Freddie's speed. You can tell he's starting to gel with the team more and figuring out their strengths.

    The biggest example of this are his passes to Harrison. He used to send passes to Hulk right in his breadbasket, thinking he would want the added power of planting and raising his arms. Now instead of going around his defenders, he's looping the ball over them, so all Hulk has to do is catch it high, turn, and lay it in or dunk it.


    "Like [Jonathan Bender], AMC's Pacer was supposed to be fitted with a rotary engine--but both rotaries had technical problems late in their development (read: after incurring heavy research costs) that prevented them from seeing the light of day. Of course, both vehicles had plenty of problems that did reach production. The Pacer was a dud in terms of quality, execution and particularly styling. Make your own assessment about its bizarre proportions, but don't miss the one door that's bigger than the other."

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Odd thoughts about beating the Blazers.....

    Quote Originally Posted by sixthman
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    Frankly, the idea that father and son would spend time studying freeze frames of JO's face is bizarre.
    Frankly 6th I'd say that is pretty cool. For most dads the song "Cats in the Cradle" normally applies.
    You know how hippos are made out to be sweet and silly, like big cows, but are actually extremely dangerous and can kill you with stunning brutality? The Pacers are the NBA's hippos....Matt Moore CBS Sports....

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