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Thread: Some quick random thoughts about the loss to the wolves....

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    Administrator Peck's Avatar
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    Default Some quick random thoughts about the loss to the wolves....

    I had to give away my tickets to the game because of a conflict so once again I did not get to see this one live. However I did Tivo this & I did see the house feed.

    First & formost I will point this out now, it's pre-season so we can't take way to much away from this. However, like any game, there are trends we can begin to see.

    1. Danny Granger must & I mean MUST be more aggressive on the offensive end. He is already to good to defer this much to J.O. & we have yet to see him Al & J.O. on the floor together. He also needs to work on his ball handling ability because as far as I can tell the only real weakness he has is that he lacks the ability to break his man down off of the dribble as well as other players who become stars do.

    2. We are in trouble with our back court. No need to beat a dead horse here but both the p.g. & the S.G. spot is in need of some very serious upgrading. Marshal had some nice drives but better defensive teams will just shut down the lane on him & then what will he do? He looks to be very limited in his ability to hit from the outside. Again, Armstrong was the best p.g. on our team. That should tell you how bad things were right there.

    3. Shawne Williams needs some work but I honestly think by the end of the year he will be a solid rotation player. I don't know why but when I see him play I sometimes get the feeling he is a more talented Stromile Swift in the making. I know it will never happen but I would not be opposed to some D-League time for Shawne if we won't give him regular rotational min.

    4. Jermaine O'Neal looked average. That's not an insult or a compliment it's just what I saw. Also whenever he was in we once again went back to the low post offense we all know oh so well.

    5. Jackson made poor decisions & seemed to play more one on one than I am used to from him. I'm used to a lot btw, but this seemed even more to me. As to the fans booing, again I wasn't there but on tv it sounded like a wall of boo's, I could be wrong though. I know that for the teams benefit they probably need to stop sooner rather than later but IMO it's ok for the fans to let TPTB know how they feel.

    6. I'm about done with David Harrison. I know that sounds harsh & it is but I'm sorry I just don't see the growth there as a player that we should see after three seasons. For God's sake he couldn't even accidently grab a rebound? He also has become the black hole on offense, once the ball goes in it does not come back out. Look I gripe all the time at Foster for not expanding his game at all, well David is on the same path. What does he do better now than he did as a rookie? Look this is coming from a guy who was a huge David fan, but if I don't see some real honest growth over the next couple of months I would not be opposed to packaging up David with whomever & get something good out of him if we can. He still was the last pick in the first round so I guess nothing lost there but he has got to start improving & fast.

    7. I'm not sure what to think about Saras. Not good from the field, leaving his man open for jumper after jumper & trouble bringing the ball up the floor. I just don't understand what is going on with him. Has the NBA figured him out? Is he fatigued? Was he never that good to begin with? I don't know the answer but something is wrong.

    8. Snap Hunter had a horrid game.

    9. I still can not stand Jeff Foster & Jermaine O'Neal on the floor at the same time.

    10. James White has so far shown why he is a second round pick.

    Like I said at the start, it's pre-season. I'll be interested to see what Danny Al-Jermaine does together. But no matter what I worry about our back court.


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    Member jjbjjbjjb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some quick random thoughts about the loss to the wolves....

    Maybe we should start Greene and Quisey in the backcourt...

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    Jimmy did what Jimmy did Bball's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some quick random thoughts about the loss to the wolves....

    I was just getting ready to go to bed when I saw this so I will only talk to one point....The question of Sarunas.

    Since I didn't see the him versus the US in international competition I have to ask why was he effective then playing against NBA players? What's changed?

    Also, one thing that has always worried me a little about Sarunas is that we might've gotten him a couple of years too late. He's not an athletic freak to begin with and his age keeps moving on. Is that part of the problem?

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    Default Re: Some quick random thoughts about the loss to the wolves....

    Sarunas had an out-of-body shooting performance. He spent 4 years waiting to get the US back for 2000 and he pretty much played it like it was his last game. He hit something like seven threes, with Iverson draped over him.

    I think a lot of people saw that and thought he could duplicate that performance, instead of looking at his overall euroleague career, where he was a fine distributor but a streaky shooter at best.

    Just my opnion, anyway. I think Sarunas has trouble keeping up with the faster pace of the NBA, wheras international ball is much slower and controlled.

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    Default Re: Some quick random thoughts about the loss to the wolves....

    Where was there TV coverage? I looked and didn't see them listed as playing on TV.

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    Default Re: Some quick random thoughts about the loss to the wolves....

    Quote Originally Posted by jjbjjbjjb View Post
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    Maybe we should start Greene and Quisey in the backcourt...
    We wouldn't be significantly worse off than with Tins or Saras running with Jack. Defensively we'd be way better. But what's up with Greene's injury? Broken pinky on the left hand I think I heard? Sounds like he could be out a while perhaps? Anybody got info on that situation?

    As far as dissatisfaction with Harrison, anybody near the point of using him for trade bait? I know the arguments about being young and big and so forth. But could he net us an upgrade at one of the backcourt spots and/or help us help us unload Tins or Jack? Just crossed my mind reading Peck's post game.

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    The Last Great Pacer BlueNGold's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some quick random thoughts about the loss to the wolves....

    Quote Originally Posted by Kstat View Post
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    Sarunas had an out-of-body shooting performance. He spent 4 years waiting to get the US back for 2000 and he pretty much played it like it was his last game. He hit something like seven threes, with Iverson draped over him.

    I think a lot of people saw that and thought he could duplicate that performance, instead of looking at his overall euroleague career, where he was a fine distributor but a streaky shooter at best.

    Just my opnion, anyway. I think Sarunas has trouble keeping up with the faster pace of the NBA, wheras international ball is much slower and controlled.
    Maybe Iverson guarded him too, but I specifically recall Marbury guarding (LMAO) Sarunas when Lithuania beat the US. Sarunas looked nothing short of incredible during that game. Marbury played off him early on and Sarunas got hot....and was visibly having a great time draining three's. Marbury was trying to return the favor, but was not nearly as successful shooting. I was convinced at the time that Sarunas was a combination of Jason Kidd and Steve Nash. I now truly think that game was an aberration.

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    Default Re: Some quick random thoughts about the loss to the wolves....

    I believe Greene will be the starter at some point during the year and not relinquish the spot, maybe ever. He consistently give you a prescence that physical and defensive oriented. Makes guys around him better just by playing a role. I know I'm taking great leaps here, but I think it's just what they need. He is also a natural floor leader. His only downfall is that guys will start to play off him, but a shot can be learned. Jason Kidd couldn't throw it in the ocean, at first. Not comparing the two, just saying it can be learned.

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    Default Re: Some quick random thoughts about the loss to the wolves....

    The closest Team USA had to a decent perimeter defender in that Lithuania game was Lamar Odom, and Saras hit that huge 4pt play against him.

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    Default Re: Some quick random thoughts about the loss to the wolves....

    I also don't like Foster and JO on the floor, but I love Powell and JO there.

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    Default Re: Some quick random thoughts about the loss to the wolves....

    Quote Originally Posted by Peck View Post
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    6. I'm about done with David Harrison. I know that sounds harsh & it is but I'm sorry I just don't see the growth there as a player that we should see after three seasons. For God's sake he couldn't even accidently grab a rebound? He also has become the black hole on offense, once the ball goes in it does not come back out. Look I gripe all the time at Foster for not expanding his game at all, well David is on the same path. What does he do better now than he did as a rookie? Look this is coming from a guy who was a huge David fan, but if I don't see some real honest growth over the next couple of months I would not be opposed to packaging up David with whomever & get something good out of him if we can. He still was the last pick in the first round so I guess nothing lost there but he has got to start improving & fast.
    I would like to officially welcome you aboard, you are about a year late, but you are here now and it is nice to have some company aboard what was a lonely train. Right now the only thing I see him good for is shotblocking, but he is rarely in the correct position so even that is few and far between. One thing he simply isn't good at is being a primary post-up guy, I can't figure out why, but when we throw the ball to him directly in a post-up he rarely scores, he gets into a wierd crouching position and tries to over power his guy and then throws up a weak shot that is almost always short.


    Quote Originally Posted by Peck View Post
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    7. I'm not sure what to think about Saras. Not good from the field, leaving his man open for jumper after jumper & trouble bringing the ball up the floor. I just don't understand what is going on with him. Has the NBA figured him out? Is he fatigued? Was he never that good to begin with? I don't know the answer but something is wrong.
    The thing I've noticed that is different this season is his fire is gone. At least last year he had enthusiasm, he has a certain spirit about him, this preseason he has none of that. For whatever reason his shot has left him, and now we are left with a guy who is a good passer, but cannot do anything else even fairly well.

    Just for sake of comparision, I went back and looked at the box scores of the preseason games last season.

    And not that scoring is the best way to judge any player, but this is at least interesting. he played in all 8 preseason games and here are his minutes played and points scored.

    23 - 8
    25 - 18
    24 - 9
    24 - 0
    21 - 10
    16 - 14
    20 - 2
    20 - 7

    here is the link, did anyone remember Bender having 17 points in a game last preseason.
    http://www.nba.com/pacers/schedule/results_2005.html


    I just want to say one thing, and it pains me to say this, I haven't been this unexcited (is that a word) about a Pacers season in about 17 or 18 years. There is this sense of dread, sense of doom that I don't think I've felt before - and I can't figure out why that is. I don't read much into preseason games (certainly not the results of the games) so I don't know why I feel this way.

    There almost seems like there are three current Pacers teams. One I'm sick of, One I'm excited about, and one that is third string so I just don't think they'll play much - so I really don't care about them.

    1) the team I'm sick of is Tinsley, Jackson, Saras, Harrison - JO, Granger, and Al. I just don't think the starters are going to work., Granger hasn't found his place yet - but he'll be fine, although it might be better if he came off the bench. Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with JO and Al, but it just seems like when they are on the floor with Jax and Tins it seems to be same old same old .

    2) team I'm excited about - Marquis, Armstrong, Greene, White, Granger,

    3) team that I really don't care about right now - Hunter, Powell, White, Marshal. I care for the future but right now they aren't going to play much, except maybe White.

    But more than anything the starters seem like a stale re-hash of last years team (although if the pacers went with a new backcourt it would seem like a totally different team).

    Do you know what would get me excited - if we replaced Jax, JT, and Saras with DA, Marquis, and Greene - and by that I mean replace them in the starting lineup and as the primary backcourt players.

    If someone told me right now the primary backcourt rotation would include Danials, Armstrong, Greene and White (meaning Jax, JT and Saras would not play at all)- that would make me very happy. And if that means the Pacers lose a few games they otherwise wouldn't, I could live with that. Because I believe that is the direction we need to go.

    If the opening night starters were Greene and Marquis - I would stand and cheer We need to go in a new direction, a radically new direction. Does Carlisle have the guts to do that. (the problem is they are both injured right now, so it won't happen, but I think that would send a good message)

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    How are you here? Kegboy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some quick random thoughts about the loss to the wolves....

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    here is the link, did anyone remember Bender having 17 points in a game last preseason.


    (I had forgotten about the game where he hit 11-14 FTs, though)
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    Pacer Junky Will Galen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some quick random thoughts about the loss to the wolves....

    I think we will do a preseason trade. Why? Because Walsh has already told Greene they had seen enough and we know Powell has made the team.

    However, they keep starting Marshall so it's obvious they are looking hard at him.

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    Default Re: Some quick random thoughts about the loss to the wolves....

    I agree with you Peck about Harrison, I have see nothing from him since his rookie year that shows me he is going to grow into a solid center. He lost a bunch of weight this summer but thats it, he didnt improve his post game at all. The game against Nets he was playing against their scrubs in the last few minutes of that game and he couldnt do nothing.

    And he still hasnt learned how to stop fouling players. I doubt he will be in the rotation once the season starts.

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    Default Re: Some quick random thoughts about the loss to the wolves....

    Quote Originally Posted by Will Galen View Post
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    I think we will do a preseason trade. Why? Because Walsh has already told Greene they had seen enough and we know Powell has made the team.

    However, they keep starting Marshall so it's obvious they are looking hard at him.
    In the back of my mind, that's what I have been thinking as well. Given all the circumstances, and the number crunch, it just seems logical that some move will go down soon.

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    Default Re: Some quick random thoughts about the loss to the wolves....

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Slade View Post
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    In the back of my mind, that's what I have been thinking as well. Given all the circumstances, and the number crunch, it just seems logical that some move will go down soon.
    For all we know they could have a trade on the table and be showcasing Marshall.

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    sweabs
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    Default Re: Some quick random thoughts about the loss to the wolves....

    Unfortunately, I'm kind of with UB on this one. I just don't have that excitement that I've had in years past. I'm not basing it all on preseason games...I just haven't been enthusiastic about this roster since we started making trades. That is because I thought when would start trading that we'd be getting rid of those players that needed to be dealt.........but that didn't happen.

    Which has led me to wonder.

    Was this Donnie and Larry's vision all along? This wildly athletic roster of guys with no real shooters or fundamentalists among other things? Is this what they had hoped for entering the offseason?

    Or, was it a product of circumstances? Perhaps originally they had an entirely different vision in their mind, but just couldn't achieve it because the players they needed to trade/acquire were just not available in terms of making deals work. Sure, they picked up a couple nice acquisitions in the offseason, but that starting lineup still involves players who probably shouldn't be here. I just honestly don't feel as though this was the starting lineup Larry had in mind for us this year...but I could be wrong.

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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some quick random thoughts about the loss to the wolves....

    Quote Originally Posted by rcarey View Post
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    Was this Donnie and Larry's vision all along? This wildly athletic roster of guys with no real shooters or fundamentalists among other things? Is this what they had hoped for entering the offseason?

    Or, was it a product of circumstances? Perhaps originally they had an entirely different vision in their mind, but just couldn't achieve it because the players they needed to trade/acquire were just not available in terms of making deals work. Sure, they picked up a couple nice acquisitions in the offseason, but that starting lineup still involves players who probably shouldn't be here. I just honestly don't feel as though this was the starting lineup Larry had in mind for us this year...but I could be wrong.


    I think it was a combination of both.

    Yes TPTB wanted a more athletic team. But I think they tried to trade Tinsley and Jax (and DW said they considered trading Saras) but the offers (if there were any from other teams) were so poor the Pacers felt like they were better off keeping them and hoping they would play well and increae their trade value so they could be traded either at the deadline or next summer.

    That is why I posted several months ago that this rebuilding that started with the Artest trade is a two year project - I believe that because JT and Jax are still on the team.

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    Default Re: Some quick random thoughts about the loss to the wolves....

    Quote Originally Posted by Peck View Post
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    7. I'm not sure what to think about Saras. Not good from the field, leaving his man open for jumper after jumper & trouble bringing the ball up the floor. I just don't understand what is going on with him. Has the NBA figured him out? Is he fatigued? Was he never that good to begin with? I don't know the answer but something is wrong.
    hmm, but I thought you guys all understand he has hit the rookie wall

    seriously, I wish Saras left this God forgoten club. on paper this season looked o.k. (apart from the coach), but in reality it's shaping up to be the same as last year, but with a worse start. playing with dopehead ganstas and a coach who built you "rookie walls" last season is no fun.
    on the other hand, I'm being sarcastic, of course. hope will be the last one to die. Pacers will pick it up and everything will be fine (though not sure how that might happen). I hope that if Saras will be played at PG consistently he will become a big asset to this team. his return to Europe would be a big dissapointment (in terms of basketball in general). . ah, whatever..

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    Jimmy did what Jimmy did Bball's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some quick random thoughts about the loss to the wolves....

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    I think it was a combination of both.

    Yes TPTB wanted a more athletic team. But I think they tried to trade Tinsley and Jax (and DW said they considered trading Saras) but the offers (if there were any from other teams) were so poor the Pacers felt like they were better off keeping them and hoping they would play well and increae their trade value so they could be traded either at the deadline or next summer.

    That is why I posted several months ago that this rebuilding that started with the Artest trade is a two year project - I believe that because JT and Jax are still on the team.
    The problem is that SJax has put his trade value in the crapper and Tinsley's isn't much better... tho Tinsley could improve his by not being injured/sick (or pretending to be) over the course of several games.

    I still don't think there really is a vision for this team. Or it's a diluted vision with everyone's ideas being in the pot (that is owners, Walsh, Bird, Carlisle, and probably a few others as well). That's why it's all a mess. There's no clear vision and direction for this team. It's a team built by committee.

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    The Last Great Pacer BlueNGold's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some quick random thoughts about the loss to the wolves....

    Quote Originally Posted by Bball View Post
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    The problem is that SJax has put his trade value in the crapper and Tinsley's isn't much better... tho Tinsley could improve his by not being injured/sick (or pretending to be) over the course of several games.

    I still don't think there really is a vision for this team. Or it's a diluted vision with everyone's ideas being in the pot (that is owners, Walsh, Bird, Carlisle, and probably a few others as well). That's why it's all a mess. There's no clear vision and direction for this team. It's a team built by committee.

    -Bball
    It is an experiment that may or may not turn out. I plan to give it a couple months before I make a final judgment.

    My instincts have told me the team is not respecting the need for shooters and physical players enough. I remember when we had some poor shooting teams in the past. We were not very good at all back then.

    I am also concerned about some of our smallish players getting banged up. Al already hurt his back. Not sure if it was from guarding the bigger Utah frontline, but I doubt it helped.

    Also, with this team we are relying on a number of unproven players....more than at any time in the recent past. We sent Pollard, Cro, AJ and Freddie and received Quis, Powell, Greene, Baston, Williams, White and Marshall. Maybe athletically we got an upgrade...but we lost a ton of experience. ... maybe we should add Jamison Brewer...

    Usually when an NBA club is relying on young players, they are promising players that were picked in the lottery. In contrast, we are relying on players from Euroleague, late first round picks and second round picks to come through for us while our other players are in a different kind of court. Not a good situation. It seems like this "idea" is merely on paper or in someone's mind...like the Saras deal.

  22. #22
    sweabs
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    Default Re: Some quick random thoughts about the loss to the wolves....

    Speaking of bad shooting, here are some numbers that aren't so reassuring:

    Preseason Game #1 FT% = 64.9%
    Preseason Game #2 FT% = 75.5%
    Preseason Game #3 FT% = 65.6%

    We're not a very good shooting team in general. During those close games in the regular season, we're going to need every bit of help we can get. Making our free throws will be crucial. Since we have no real pure shooters on the team, a lot of our points are going to come from using that athleticism and driving hard to the hole. That's going to result in a lot of fouls (assuming we stick with that plan), and it does no good if we get to the line and miss our free throws.

    And once again, I agree with Bball. I remember we were both calling for someone to step up and proclaim a future vision for this team quite some time ago. However, it seems as though you have 3 guys who all want different things. You can almost see the roster divided into those 3 parts (players like Sarunas and Williams were in Larry's vision, guys like Armstrong appealing to Rick, Daniels for Donnie, etc.). I don't know if those are right per se, but you get the idea.

    All three of those guys have a different opinion on how the team should look, and it's as if they're trying to bunch them all together and hoping for the best.

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    Default Re: Some quick random thoughts about the loss to the wolves....

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueNGold View Post
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    I am also concerned about some of our smallish players getting banged up. Al already hurt his back. Not sure if it was from guarding the bigger Utah frontline, but I doubt it helped.

    I don't see any evidence that guarding bigger people causes injuries. Al played a lot of hard minutes the past two seasons. And what I mean by that is he played a lot of minutes, over 40 minutes per in close games and he was involved in almost every play, he was counted upon to produce and be a leader, and that takes a lot out of a player - much more than guarding bigger players.

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    Default Re: Some quick random thoughts about the loss to the wolves....

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueNGold View Post
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    Maybe Iverson guarded him too, but I specifically recall Marbury guarding (LMAO) Sarunas when Lithuania beat the US. Sarunas looked nothing short of incredible during that game. Marbury played off him early on and Sarunas got hot....and was visibly having a great time draining three's. Marbury was trying to return the favor, but was not nearly as successful shooting. I was convinced at the time that Sarunas was a combination of Jason Kidd and Steve Nash. I now truly think that game was an aberration.
    Well, that game was not coincidence. Saras really was one of the major players taking his teams to the titles. We were used to him being clutch and we were confident that he will play his best game when in matters. I thought he will repeat his success, but...

    Imo Pacers didn't became his club. And this is essential for a PG. He is a stranger playing the team game. Maybe the team didn't accepted him and it's hard to build confidency without team support. That's why his fire is gone (referring to Unclebuck). And I guess his fire is/was not acceptable for some players and his fire was not supported.

    Otoh take into accaunt that Tinsley is also playing bad. Is this coincidence? Is this just a preseason and lack of the training together? Is this RC and his old game? We'll see, but I'm not very optimistic at the moment.
    I'm really sorry because of my english (which is my 3-4 language) and I really appreciate Your patience. I hope this board will make me better

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    Default Re: Some quick random thoughts about the loss to the wolves....

    Quote Originally Posted by Bball View Post
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    I still don't think there really is a vision for this team. Or it's a diluted vision with everyone's ideas being in the pot (that is owners, Walsh, Bird, Carlisle, and probably a few others as well). That's why it's all a mess. There's no clear vision and direction for this team. It's a team built by committee.

    -Bball
    You keep posting as if vision is what this team needs. The problem is their vision conflicts with 29 other teams visions so getting what you actually envision is almost impossible. (Playing fantasy basketball wises up people that think putting together the basketball team you envision is easy.)

    Then when you get something that is pretty good the wheels can still come off as we've seen. (injuries, suspensions) It takes awhile to salvage things under those conditions.

    Harrington was a pretty good salvage job of the Artest situation, but we still have some more salvage work to be done before we can get back to looking at how the team actually fits together.

    I think Bird has found out what Donnie already knew, citizenship counts almost as much as talent. I think that's why he passed on some point guards last draft. I'm still not exactly comfortable with him at the controls though, and I haven't figured out why.

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