They made a boo boo properly linking to todays QOD. Here it is the correct link for those that want to read it.
Q. I'm a little confused as to how the Pacers can improve cohesively when they have multiple players that can play multiple positions. I understand that it allows more versatility with matchups. However, I watched the Pistons keep the same lineup, with the same people, playing the same positions become very successful. They had a very cohesive group. There has been a lot of discussion the last two years on how the Pacers couldn't compete because of all the lineup changes, and people playing lots of different positions, and the lack of cohesion. So, how does a new team that seems to be designed to do what we have been trying to avoid help people get comfortable out on the floor with each other? (From Chris in Indianapolis)
A. There's no question the events of the past two seasons disrupted the Pacers' team chemistry in a major way. But it wasn't so much that the lineup had to change or players found themselves in unusual positions it was the circumstances that forced those changes. When a team goes through a seemingly never-ending series of traumatic events, as the Pacers have, the mental strain of constantly coping with adversity wears on the players. In 2004-05, they were able to maintain a defiant spirit that bonded the players and produced an inspiring result. In 2005-06, when injury after injury brought about the same muddled mixture of lineups and roles, that bond disintegrated under the weight of frustration.
Team chemistry is built in a number of ways, and a very important one is the clear definition, understanding and acceptance of roles. Does that mean the starting lineup has to remain inviolate? Not necessarily. It would make things easier if the lineup was able to remain relatively intact (for a change) because that would allow consistent roles to be established in terms of who's in the rotation and what the primary combinations will be. That doesn't depend on guys playing the same position every time, but it does require different groups to be established – big lineup, small lineup, fast lineup, etc.
Given the changes that already have transpired, and the likelihood that more are on the way, it will take some time for the players to learn their teammates' strengths, weaknesses and tendencies. Newcomers and holdovers will be in much the same boat, though, as all will be learning what promises to be a different style of play than was necessary the past couple of years. You raise a very important point, one that has gone largely overlooked by dopes like me who've focused almost solely on talent, and it is one that will merit study throughout the season. I wouldn't expect this team to mesh immediately but, given time and good health, it should happen.