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Thread: Can we talk about AJ for a minute?

  1. #1
    White and Nerdy Anthem's Avatar
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    Default Can we talk about AJ for a minute?

    Ok, so AJ's been great in this series. But it leaves me wondering: what's this mean?

    Can AJ continue to play at this level? Would you feel comfortable with this AJ as your starting point guard next year? If so, do you think we'll continue to get this AJ?

    Last year AJ had a 2-and-a-half week stretch where he was out of his mind. But then he came back to earth, and when he fell he fell hard.

    Is that likely to happen again?
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    Member Doug in CO's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can we talk about AJ for a minute?

    I would not use the word great - I think he fits with what Carlisle wants... let's start with whether Carlisle will be back before we make a decision on AJ.
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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can we talk about AJ for a minute?

    I would like to get a better point guard than AJ. But I'd start him over Saras or Tinsley that is for sure.

    If we got what I call a dynamic scoring shooting guard then AJ could be OK. What I mean by that AJ would be more than fine with Kobe, James, Arenas or players like that by his side.

    Every good team in the NBA needs a dynamic scoring force from one of their perimeter positions. (the Spurs and Pistons do it with two players who combined equal what I'm talking about) But the Pacers need this more than anything else.

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    Default Re: Can we talk about AJ for a minute?

    While I like AJ, I discount his success this series. Not only was Kidd a sparring partner, but I really think Kidd's slowing down.

    I just don't think we can be anything more than a mid-tier team with him as a starter. We most certainly need to keep him, but as a backup.
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    Default Re: Can we talk about AJ for a minute?

    AJ's good enough IF you can get a slasher/scorer SG. You need a perimeter guy who can break down defenses.

    You get a premier SG and all your PG needs to be able to do is not turn the ball over, play defense and hit the occasional jump shot - all of which AJ can do.
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    Default Re: Can we talk about AJ for a minute?

    If we can't get anyone better in the offseason, I can accept AJ as the starting PG. As Buck says, especially over Tinsley and Saras, anway.

    What I'd really like to see at starting PG is a quicker, and even better defending version of AJ. So, I would agree that ideally AJ would be the ideal backup.

    But, apart from that, I agree with Rim that AJ could work if we had a quicker player at SG that can slash. Especially if the new SG would also be a decent defender.

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    Default Re: Can we talk about AJ for a minute?

    AJ is putting up nice point and FG% numbers, and his assists are okay.

    But he's not really running the offense. We have no dribble penetration except when Fred goes with his right hand.

    Our post-entry passes are excruciatingly horrible.

    No. He's just not good enough at running the offense to be a starting PG.

    I am okay with him as the third-guard in a three guard set. And that means the other candidates (Fred and Saras) are expendable.

    But we need a starting PG - be it a rejuvenated Tinsley under a new coach or somebody we acquire via a blockbuster-type trade.
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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can we talk about AJ for a minute?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay@Section204
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    But we need a starting PG - be it a rejuvenated Tinsley under a new coach or somebody we acquire via a blockbuster-type trade.

    So are you admitting that all of Tinsley's injury problems are carlisle related. Otherwise I don't understand at all how you can make him the starting point guard with his injuries

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    Default Re: Can we talk about AJ for a minute?

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck
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    So are you admitting that all of Tinsley's injury problems are carlisle related. Otherwise I don't understand at all how you can make him the starting point guard with his injuries
    I don't know. I think the significant injuries are real, and of course I'm concerned that he's fragile.

    I think there's a lot of stuff that is just "Carlisle related" though.

    We've seen him play in pain before - his durability is a question mark but his mental toughness hasn't been questioned before.

    For what its worth, I think his "surly attitude" is primarily that he's disappointed in himself that he's not able to play at the level he thinks he can play at. And I think that's been misinterpreted by Carlisle and the fans. Prior to the past couple of months, any time there were rumors of a Tinsley attitude problem, he'd always bounce back with a great, team-oriented game and Carlisle would praise him for his professionalism.

    In fact, we never even saw the ball-hogging Tinsley that none of us like until after the brawl last season, when Tinsley and Fred Jones were our only two scoring options.

    What changed? Was Carlisle covering up for him then - trying to positively re-inforce occasional glipses of the right attitude? Maybe, I don't know.

    Something has gone dreadfully wrong over the past few months. But at this stage, is there even a single player that Carlisle has a good relationship with?
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  10. #10
    White and Nerdy Anthem's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can we talk about AJ for a minute?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay@Section204
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    But at this stage, is there even a single player that Carlisle has a good relationship with?
    Croshere and AJ...

    My personal thought is that AJ would be great playing as the starting PG on a team that runs the offense through a top-flight SG... Think Pierce, Kobe, TMac, Wade, etc. He could be great in that Ron Harper role. But we're not likely to get one of those guys.
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    Member Doug in CO's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can we talk about AJ for a minute?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthem
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    Croshere and AJ...


    So we either
    a) build a team around these two... damn that's funny OR
    b) get a new coach and replace the backcourt (keep AJ as a backup)
    Heywoode says... work hard man.

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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can we talk about AJ for a minute?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthem
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    Croshere and AJ...

    My personal thought is that AJ would be great playing as the starting PG on a team that runs the offense through a top-flight SG... Think Pierce, Kobe, TMac, Wade, etc. He could be great in that Ron Harper role. But we're not likely to get one of those guys.

    Exactly right.


    When you build a team you have to get two guards and even a small forward who complements each other well. AJ could start in some situations depending on who is around him. Think BJ Armstrong, John Paxson and Steve Kerr in Chicago. Those were their three point guards during the 6 championships. The Lakers won three championships with Derek Fisher as their point guard. MJ and Kobe made that work.

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    Default Re: Can we talk about AJ for a minute?

    okay, then let's make a blockbuster trade for Kobe.

    We'll also need Phil, because you're talking about the triangle.

    And I'd feel like we sold our soul to the devil.
    Why do the things that we treasure most, slip away in time
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    And life itself, rushing over me
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    Life itself in your heart and in your eyes, I can't make it without you


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    Default Re: Can we talk about AJ for a minute?

    I would love to have a healthy Tinsley, the kind we saw a couple years ago when he came out and played his arse off. That was great.

    Unless we get that Tinman back, then I am fine with AJ at starting PG. That is if we do not get a good PG in a trade or something.

    Then again, AJ is known to make a case for himself if he is challenged. Maybe a healthy, good spirited Tinman can even bring more out of AJ.


  15. #15
    White and Nerdy Anthem's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can we talk about AJ for a minute?

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug in OH
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    So we either
    a) build a team around these two... damn that's funny OR
    b) get a new coach and replace the backcourt (keep AJ as a backup)
    I agree with replacing the starting backcourt (with a new team, I'd consider keeping Carlisle). But it's not just the starters that need a look, we need to either ship Saras or AJ. We shouldn't be holding on to either of them as a third-string point guard. I honestly don't care which one we keep, except that I bet AJ has more trade value.
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    Default Re: Can we talk about AJ for a minute?

    Trade him while his value is this high. He wont be able to continue to play on this level next year. He's a great player, but he is not starting PG material if we want to win a championship. We should trade Tinsley and AJ and try and pick up a good starting PG and use Runi to back him up. Once Runi learns to play defense, (This off-season) he will be an excellent backup guard if not a decent starter.

    If we keep him, I don't care..but he can't be the starter.

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    Default Re: Can we talk about AJ for a minute?

    Assuming that Tinsley is moved in the offseason....with what AJ has shown during this time and understanding that AJ may not be the Pass-first PG that we all want.....its may not be the best situation...but given that we need more help ( and more like to find more help ) at other positions.....I would live with an AJ/Sarunas PG combination.

    To me....improving the PG situation maybe one of the priorities....but not a #1 priority given that we have a decent PG rotation already.
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    Default Re: Can we talk about AJ for a minute?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthem
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    Ok, so AJ's been great in this series. But it leaves me wondering: what's this mean?
    It means he's comfortable as being the full time starter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthem
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    Can AJ continue to play at this level?
    Yes

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthem
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    Would you feel comfortable with this AJ as your starting point guard next year? If so, do you think we'll continue to get this AJ?
    No, I wouldn't feel comfortable with AJ as our starting point guard next year. I think we need to grab a serious long term solution at the point guard spot... Which is something every serious contender has. On the flip side, I think it depends on who's left on our roster, and who we get to pair with him.

    I do think AJ will continue playing well regardless. I just think we're better off with someone with excellent court vision running our offense, because the ball does tend to rotate more when Tinsley and/or Sarunas play. No, I'm not saying I want Tinsley or Sarunas running our offense as a starter next year...



    Quote Originally Posted by Anthem
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    Last year AJ had a 2-and-a-half week stretch where he was out of his mind. But then he came back to earth, and when he fell he fell hard.

    Is that likely to happen again?
    Nah, I think it would have happened by now.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Can we talk about AJ for a minute?

    BTW, AJ excelled playing heavy minutes (being a starter) and he was not a successful backup PG. He was not playing his best before Tinsley injury and after Tins return he was not a good backup PG. I'm just saying that it is not safe to assume that AJ will play his best the next year as a backup.
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  20. #20

    Default Re: Can we talk about AJ for a minute?

    Buy low, sell high. That's how you build a contender without being in the lottery. If we don't trade AJ this summer for top dollar, I may go find Donnie Walsh's car and pee on the door handles.

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    Default Re: Can we talk about AJ for a minute?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eindar
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    Buy low, sell high. That's how you build a contender without being in the lottery. If we don't trade AJ this summer for top dollar, I may go find Donnie Walsh's car and pee on the door handles.
    I feel like, in the NBA, almost any time you put a guy up on the trading block their stock goes down. When Donnie makes the call, "Hey, what about AJ?", opposing GM's go "Wait, maybe it was AJ that was causing all their locker problems. Why do they want to get rid of him?" I think that's one of the reasons there's so few trades. Just speculation, though.

    We have two real assets: JO (superstar) and Granger (potential and small contract). I don't want to trade either. Everyone else is not a good trade asset. We don't have much wiggle room, I don't know what people expect Donnie to do.

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    Default Re: Can we talk about AJ for a minute?

    I think AJ may be moving into the range of "just barely starting caliber." From what I've seen in the second half he's driving and dishing pretty well.

    If we could pair him with a good SG, it'd be great. And that may be easier to do since good PGs are more rare and valuable.
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  23. #23
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    Default Re: Can we talk about AJ for a minute?

    Quote Originally Posted by SoupIsGood
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    From what I've seen in the second half he's driving and dishing pretty well.
    It's weird. You hate to talk badly about a guy that's such a good team player, but I'll never understand how he consistently gets more shots than JO. I like point guards that can point.

    EDIT: Well I feel stupid. AJ's having the game of his life right now.
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  24. #24

    Default Can we talk about AJ for a minute?

    There is no way this man can get away with the effort and fight he's shown.......He is not part of the problem, can't set up other players, blah blah. Who carers? The real problem is he needs some teammates with as much as fight as he shows......

  25. #25
    Member zag's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can we talk about AJ for a minute?

    I would be fine with Anthony Johnson as the starter next season if we don't bring anyone better, like an Andre Miller caliber player.

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