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Thread: Conrad Brunner's QOTD, How Could Center Position Be Addressed?

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    Pacer Junky Will Galen's Avatar
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    Default Conrad Brunner's QOTD, How Could Center Position Be Addressed?

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    How Could Center Position Be Addressed?


    Monday, June 12, 2006


    Q. Like Jermaine O'Neal has expressed, I think the team needs another person who can get the job done in the middle. If Larry Bird addresses this problem, do you think he will try to acquire a big man through a trade, try to draft one, or develop one of our current players : David Harrison, Jeff Foster and/or Scot Pollard? (From Kyle in Holly Springs, N.C.)

    A. After an all-too-brief respite and thank you for your patience while I was on vacation it's time to get back to work. So let's dive right into the mailbag by getting into something of a debate with our very own franchise player. O'Neal's assertion that the team's biggest need is at center is paradoxical, because he is the best candidate on the roster to fill that position. For all intents and purposes, he already is the center, offensively, because he's the primary post threat and the first option in the offense. Defensively, in order to alleviate physical wear and tear, others have guarded the opposing center, allowing O'Neal to move to power forward.

    Foster, Harrison and Pollard have provided a strong variety of matchup options to ease the defensive load on O'Neal. Foster can deal with the more athletic big men; Pollard is ideally suited to the less mobile behemoth-types; while Harrison has the potential to be a game-changer because of his size, offensive skill and shot-blocking. If you could somehow combine all three into one player, you'd probably have what O'Neal wants in fact, you'd probably have what every team (except, possibly, Miami) in the NBA wants.

    Very few NBA teams have true centers anymore. It has become increasingly common for teams to go to a two-post system, where one player is the focal point, offensively, and the other plays a complementary role, either by assuming the larger defensive responsibility or providing the needed floor spacing. It was good enough for San Antonio to win a couple of championships. It worked for Detroit, with Rasheed Wallace (offense) and Ben Wallace (defense) fitting together very well, albeit unconventionally.

    That said, Pollard is a free agent, Foster is coming off two years of injury problems and Harrison has been slow to develop, so there should be some level of uncertainty about that particular slot on the depth chart. The draft offers the easiest way to acquire another big body, but also the most uncertainty. As for free agents, Ben Wallace will be out of the Pacers' price range, leaving a second tier consisting of guys like Nazr Mohammed, Joel Przybilla and Michael Olowokandi. Denver's Nene, though a restricted free agent, would be a gamble, albeit at a reduced price because of his knee. That leaves trades and, when it comes to centers, it's always a seller's market in the NBA because demand far outstrips supply.

    All of which is another way of saying this: quality centers are the hardest commodity to acquire. Even if Pollard leaves, the Pacers still will have a deeper crop than most. While I'm sure there will be an interest and effort in replacing Pollard, should he leave, that doesn't mean this is the position of highest priority this summer.

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    Default Re: Conrad Brunner's QOTD, How Could Center Position Be Addressed?

    Bruno only justifies the current line-up at the defensive end. He doesn't say that the center position holds up on offense except when JO is there.

    We've heard O'Neal is planning to lose weight to gain speed over the summer. Doesn't that mean he's going to stick with Power Forward?

    This isn't as good as Bruno's usual stuff, saying "Even if Pollard leaves, the Pacers still will have a deeper crop than most." It seems pretty clear that "depth" is no longer a strong argument around here. What we need is one really good center, not an assortment of broken pieces and unmolded potential.
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    Member indytoad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Conrad Brunner's QOTD, How Could Center Position Be Addressed?

    I'm not sure how Foster always ends up on these lists, he's always seemed more like a power forward to me. Looking at it that way, if Pollard leaves, the Pacers are left with only one true center. Which may be a good thing, if it would make Rick play him. But that seems unlikely.

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    Default Re: Conrad Brunner's QOTD, How Could Center Position Be Addressed?

    You can have a center like FOSTER who doesn`t need the ball to be effective. With 4 other scorers in the starting line-up FOSTER fits in nicely. He has the energy that the team needs on the floor, plus I feel he will have very good year coming up after getting all the way back from his injuries the past 2 years

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    Default Re: Conrad Brunner's QOTD, How Could Center Position Be Addressed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Conrad
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    O'Neal's assertion that the team's biggest need is at center is paradoxical, because he is the best candidate on the roster to fill that position. For all intents and purposes, he already is the center, offensively, because he's the primary post threat and the first option in the offense.
    Did I write that? It sounds familiar.

    Quote Originally Posted by Conrad
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    Defensively, in order to alleviate physical wear and tear, others have guarded the opposing center, allowing O'Neal to move to power forward.
    Did UncleBuck write that? It sounds familiar.

    Prior to this past season, JO did spend a lot of time defending the C. And he was taking too much wear and tear. So to keep him healthier, he didn't play as much C defensively last year. Worked wonders, didn't it?

    When Foster is playing C, both Foster and JO break down because Foster, for all his hustle, just isn't physical enough nor strong enough to play C in the NBA.

    Foster is a big part of the problem, and he's not part of the solution. And that's a shame because he is likeable as a player and as a person. Well, except when you pass him the ball, then he just plain sucks and I'm tired of watching this team play 4-on-five.
    Why do the things that we treasure most, slip away in time
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    Default Re: Conrad Brunner's QOTD, How Could Center Position Be Addressed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay@Section204
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    Did I write that? It sounds familiar.



    Did UncleBuck write that? It sounds familiar.

    Prior to this past season, JO did spend a lot of time defending the C. And he was taking too much wear and tear. So to keep him healthier, he didn't play as much C defensively last year. Worked wonders, didn't it?

    When Foster is playing C, both Foster and JO break down because Foster, for all his hustle, just isn't physical enough nor strong enough to play C in the NBA.

    Foster is a big part of the problem, and he's not part of the solution. And that's a shame because he is likeable as a player and as a person. Well, except when you pass him the ball, then he just plain sucks and I'm tired of watching this team play 4-on-five.
    Did Jay write what I highlighted? He must have because he has a lot of weird ideas.

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    Default Re: Conrad Brunner's QOTD, How Could Center Position Be Addressed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay@Section204
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    Foster is a big part of the problem, and he's not part of the solution. And that's a shame because he is likeable as a player and as a person. Well, except when you pass him the ball, then he just plain sucks and I'm tired of watching this team play 4-on-five.
    Thank-you, you must of been reading my Fing mind.

    Quote Originally Posted by rommie
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    Here is who I think the Pacers should look into...Primoz Brezec.
    Why?!? Anyway, I'm sure they are not just going to give him away for our garbage.
    ...Still "flying casual"
    @roaminggnome74

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    Default Re: Conrad Brunner's QOTD, How Could Center Position Be Addressed?

    Foster is a back-up PF with no offense and injury concerns.

    Pollard is a good back-up C with injury concerns; and judging by his post-season comments, he's not coming back anyways.

    Harrison is our only true C, but has some maturing to do - including his foul trouble.

    JO is an All-Star PF, OK C.

    Anyone know anything about Robert Whaley? He's probably not an All-Star, but I've heard his name mentioned with all the Toronto Trade Talks and now they plan on waiving him. Good back-up C?
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    Default Re: Conrad Brunner's QOTD, How Could Center Position Be Addressed?

    Quote Originally Posted by pizza guy
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    Anyone know anything about Robert Whaley? He's probably not an All-Star, but I've heard his name mentioned with all the Toronto Trade Talks and now they plan on waiving him. Good back-up C?
    Well hopefully this answers your question....

    He's getting waived by Toronto

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    Default Re: Conrad Brunner's QOTD, How Could Center Position Be Addressed?

    Quote Originally Posted by microwave_oven
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    Well hopefully this answers your question....

    He's getting waived by Toronto
    That's why I said back-up. He's also a second year player next year, and maybe has potential to be a good back-up. I didn't know, that's why I put it out there. I guess it's common sense, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks
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    What comments by Pollard suggest he's not coming back?
    He said something about this being the most messed team he's ever played for, which to me is a good indication that he has not enjoyed his time here, which to me is an indication that he won't be back. It's an assumption, but, I think it's an educated guess.
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    Default Re: Conrad Brunner's QOTD, How Could Center Position Be Addressed?

    Quote Originally Posted by pizza guy
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    He said something about this being the most messed team he's ever played for, which to me is a good indication that he has not enjoyed his time here, which to me is an indication that he won't be back. It's an assumption, but, I think it's an educated guess.

    He's also said he loves the city, and doesn't want to pick up and move again for his kids' sake.

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    Default Re: Conrad Brunner's QOTD, How Could Center Position Be Addressed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Since86
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    He's also said he loves the city, and doesn't want to pick up and move again for his kids' sake.
    Oh, I didn't hear that. What do I know?
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    Default Re: Conrad Brunner's QOTD, How Could Center Position Be Addressed?

    I agree with Conrad, even if we lose Pollard, we're still better off then most teams at center. In other words, we don't need to focus on upgrading at the center position. We have much bigger needs in the front court.

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    Default Re: Conrad Brunner's QOTD, How Could Center Position Be Addressed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pacerized
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    I agree with Conrad, even if we lose Pollard, we're still better off then most teams at center. In other words, we don't need to focus on upgrading at the center position. We have much bigger needs in the front court.
    You are sooooo wrong. We BADLY need a center who can score and at least throw a body in the middle on defense. We ALMOST as badly need a consistent and quick SG. And thirdly, we need a quick, penetrating PG.

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    Default Re: Conrad Brunner's QOTD, How Could Center Position Be Addressed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pacerized
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    I agree with Conrad, even if we lose Pollard, we're still better off then most teams at center. In other words, we don't need to focus on upgrading at the center position. We have much bigger needs in the front court.
    True. But JO doesn't want to play C anymore, he wants someone else to do the physical dirty work so that his body holds up better. And from the former "leader" of the "JO is our C" bandwagon, I agree with JO on this. So it doesn't matter anymore that JO is one of the best C's in the East.

    Surely you weren't talking about Foster? Because Foster can't hit the broad side of a barn and because Foster can't really 'body up' at the defensive end, upgrading at C is vital to the Pacers' sucess next season.

    Unfortunately, I don't think David is ready. Thanks to Rick's win-now mentality, he's still a rookie in terms of game experience (and he desperately needs a big-man coach.)
    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: Conrad Brunner's QOTD, How Could Center Position Be Addressed?

    Quote Originally Posted by pizza guy
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    That's why I said back-up. He's also a second year player next year, and maybe has potential to be a good back-up. I didn't know, that's why I put it out there. I guess it's common sense, though.



    He said something about this being the most messed team he's ever played for, which to me is a good indication that he has not enjoyed his time here, which to me is an indication that he won't be back. It's an assumption, but, I think it's an educated guess.
    On Whaley, he's not being released due to his ability to play basketball, as I understand. From what I hear, he's a major off-court distraction.

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    Default Re: Conrad Brunner's QOTD, How Could Center Position Be Addressed?

    What comments by Pollard suggest he's not coming back?

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    Default Re: Conrad Brunner's QOTD, How Could Center Position Be Addressed?

    Let me ask a question that is related to this topic.

    Why are the Mavs so effective guarding Shaq and the Heat, (at least through the first two games)

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    Default Re: Conrad Brunner's QOTD, How Could Center Position Be Addressed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck
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    Let me ask a question that is related to this topic.

    Why are the Mavs so effective guarding Shaq and the Heat, (at least through the first two games)

    The Mavs are obviously doing a hell of a job, but come on, Shaq is finished. If the Mavs would have tried this little strategy 5 years ago against Shaq, he would have rolled over them like a freight train.

    Shaq's lack of fundamental skills and lack of an ability to split the defense are why he is playing like garbage. From now on in his career, any team with big bodies is going to double the hell out of him. He won't be able to do anything about it. What you have seen against Dallas is just a preview of what will happen to him the rest of his career.

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    Default Re: Conrad Brunner's QOTD, How Could Center Position Be Addressed?

    Am I missing something? Aren't they keeping a fresh Diop and Dampier in the game against Shaq?

    I know Shaq hasn't played well but I haven't taken the time to figure out why yet (other than my assumption that Shaq just doesn't play well on the road anymore but he's a beast during home games.)
    --- Edited Follow-Up ---
    Quote Originally Posted by Will Galen
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    Did Jay write what I highlighted? He must have because he has a lot of weird ideas.
    Cute.

    Maybe unconventional, because I figure stuff out before others do. And then spend weeks or months or longer explaining what I see. But not weird.

    Do me a favor. Come out from behind that snide remard and tell me what is weird about that? Do you ever see Foster putting a body on the offensive player? Of course not. Further, that's what UncleBuck loves about Foster's defense: he fronts the post because he's too damn weak to play behind the guy. Its not a weird idea. Even Foster's biggest fans would agree.

    Quick? Yes. Hustle? Of course. Strong? uh, no.
    Why do the things that we treasure most, slip away in time
    Till to the music we grow deaf, to God's beauty blind
    Why do the things that connect us slowly pull us apart?
    Till we fall away in our own darkness, a stranger to our own hearts
    And life itself, rushing over me
    Life itself, the wind in black elms,
    Life itself in your heart and in your eyes, I can't make it without you


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    Default Re: Conrad Brunner's QOTD, How Could Center Position Be Addressed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay@Section204
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    Maybe unconventional, because I figure stuff out before others do. And then spend weeks or months or longer explaining what I see. But not weird.

    Do me a favor. Come out from behind that snide remard and tell me what is weird about that?
    Don't break an arm patting yourself on the back! And since you are so good at figuring out stuff before others do, figure it out.

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    Default Re: Conrad Brunner's QOTD, How Could Center Position Be Addressed?

    :harrison:
    --- Edited Follow-Up ---
    Quote Originally Posted by Will Galen
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    Don't break an arm patting yourself on the back! And since you are so good at figuring out stuff before others do, figure it out.
    Well then how bout you explain it for the rest of us?
    You, Never? Did the Kenosha Kid?

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    Default Re: Conrad Brunner's QOTD, How Could Center Position Be Addressed?

    Jay is right here. We play usually with two PFs, one that plays at that spot but should be a center and another that plays at the C spot but should be a 4off of the bench. What the Pacers need is a player that is a C in physical stature and not only is willing to accept the contact, but actually likes banging down low. It would also be really nice if he had more than one post move.

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    Default Re: Conrad Brunner's QOTD, How Could Center Position Be Addressed?

    Quote Originally Posted by FrenchConnection
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    Jay is right here. We play usually with two PFs, one that plays at that spot but should be a center and another that plays at the C spot but should be a 4off of the bench. What the Pacers need is a player that is a C in physical stature and not only is willing to accept the contact, but actually likes banging down low. It would also be really nice if he had more than one post move.
    The Ps have that player.

    Too bad he just can't seem to play legal defense.

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    Default Re: Conrad Brunner's QOTD, How Could Center Position Be Addressed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Since86
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    The Ps have that player.

    Too bad he just can't seem to play legal defense.
    He also gets whistled for lots of BS calls. My main problem with Hulk is how he complains about all of them (even if most are legit). You aren't going to win any ref's respect (and therefore, calls) when you do that all the time.

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