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Thread: Thru 17 games: P's biggest concern area

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    Default Thru 17 games: P's biggest concern area

    Well, we are almost to the quarter post of the season. I will take this opportunity to throw out my theory as to our biggest concern area. Of course, there are myriad options from which to choose so feel free to elaborate on mine or suggest your own.

    IMO at this juncture the Pacer's biggest problem area is the PG situation-particularly defensively. Here are some thoughts/questions that I have based on observing our play so far:

    1) Do JT's offensive capabilities outweigh his painfully obvious defensive deficiencies, not to mention his sometimes questionable decision making, ball handling, and shot selection (which at times rivals Jacks alleged level IMO)?

    2) Will DA continue his current level of on-court performance throughout?

    3) Will Sarunas ever really play significant minutes at the point and should he?

    4) Will we ever see our defensive-oriented options (Greene, Daniels) at this position even only in situational use?

    5) Can we aspire to being anything more than a .500ish team this year with the PG coprs/rotation as currently constituted?

    My thoughts on these issues:

    I am, as I have been for the last several years, completely ambivalent about Tinsley. I just don't know. True on ocassion, as in GS, his offensive abilities outweigh his weaknesses. But in order for that to happen in the big picture, he'd have to bring that level on offense regularly and he definitely has not so far.

    Then you have to look at other areas that are also highly variable like decision making, turnovers, and shot selection. And finally there's his painfully obvious defensive liabilities, which in my opinion are the single biggest defect in our team play in the early season. Ridnour is a good player, but against JT he looked like a top tier NBA PG. The consistent penetration he allows absolutely undermines an otherwise solid group of individual and team defenders.

    Yet it appears like RC has supreme confidence in him. Will we ever see some of our stronger defensive oriented possibilities at this spot-Daniels, Greene? At least in stretches when it's worth an attempt to cool off the opponent a bit? HOW ABOUT AGAINST SEATTLE ON THEIR LAST POSSESSION TO GUARD RIDNOUR FOR EXAMPLE?

    If not, do we or will we have the pieces at the right time to obtain either another starter who offers more balance of O and D or maybe a back-up with tough D yet enough ability to manage the O that RC would give him consistent minutes and trust him as a strategic defensive sub?

    For the record I do not think DA or Saras are really answers at this position with the second unit either. I think DA will cool down and wear down a little. His on the ball D generally is the best we get at the position but he's not a big minute answer. Sarunas has similar defensive struggles as Tins and therefore isn't a big minute answer as a backup point either. Although I like him getting minutes in the two PG look.

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    Default Re: Thru 17 games: P's biggest concern area

    Quote Originally Posted by D-BONE View Post
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    1) Do JT's offensive capabilities outweigh his painfully obvious defensive deficiencies, not to mention his sometimes questionable decision making, ball handling, and shot selection (which at times rivals Jacks alleged level IMO)?


    Then you have to look at other areas that are also highly variable like decision making, turnovers, and shot selection. And finally there's his painfully obvious defensive liabilities, which in my opinion are the single biggest defect in our team play in the early season. Ridnour is a good player, but against JT he looked like a top tier NBA PG. The consistent penetration he allows absolutely undermines an otherwise solid group of individual and team defenders.

    Yet it appears like RC has supreme confidence in him. Will we ever see some of our stronger defensive oriented possibilities at this spot-Daniels, Greene? At least in stretches when it's worth an attempt to cool off the opponent a bit? HOW ABOUT AGAINST SEATTLE ON THEIR LAST POSSESSION TO GUARD RIDNOUR FOR EXAMPLE?

    If not, do we or will we have the pieces at the right time to obtain either another starter who offers more balance of O and D or maybe a back-up with tough D yet enough ability to manage the O that RC would give him consistent minutes and trust him as a strategic defensive sub?

    For the record I do not think DA or Saras are really answers at this position with the second unit either. I think DA will cool down and wear down a little. His on the ball D generally is the best we get at the position but he's not a big minute answer. Sarunas has similar defensive struggles as Tins and therefore isn't a big minute answer as a backup point either. Although I like him getting minutes in the two PG look.
    This is by far my area of concern, Tinsley does not keep guys in front of him. It makes it really difficult because he really is a rare creator offensively.

    Here's the rub, I think JT can play better defense he just spends so much energy offensively. I am really pleased that he has stayed healthy and asserted himself offensively. I have said this from the start of the season, lock him in a room and play a loop of Mark Jackson playing D. Mark was half as quick and about equally effective. If Tinsley, again, would just stay in front of his man, it would be a huge improvement.

    Give up the jumper in transition, but not a lay up. It puts so much pressure on the team defensive concept.

    I've watched Saras improve this year, he'll never be a good defender but it's not a lay up drill most of the time. Saras will try to recover after being beat and if not he'll take a foul to protect his big guys.

    I still think you'll see Tinsley get some nagging injuries at some point that may keep him out for 3-4 games and Greene will be such a dramatic difference defensively that this board will cry for Tinsley to not come back, but the truth is Tinsley as an offensive point guard is a top 6 or 7 guy and you need him.

    Currently, however, he is probably the worst starting pg defensively in the league about half the games.

    Now, the last play last night had nothing to do with Tinsley, imo, it was a switch, nothing wrong that he did.

    So what needs to happen is that he has to get better, as we all suspected a big part of the season depends on JT.

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    Default Re: Thru 17 games: P's biggest concern area

    Quote Originally Posted by D-BONE View Post
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    Ridnour is a good player, but against JT he looked like a top tier NBA PG.
    Ridnour's stats last night were dead-on his season averages.
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    Default Re: Thru 17 games: P's biggest concern area

    The only real worry I have is our inability to keep guys from scoring inside the paint. Is Chuck Person in charge of our defense? If so, it shows.

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    Default Re: Thru 17 games: P's biggest concern area

    Quote Originally Posted by Speed View Post
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    Now, the last play last night had nothing to do with Tinsley, imo, it was a switch, nothing wrong that he did.
    I don't find fault with him on the Ridnour final circus shot. The way I stated it in the post does sound like it so my fault for not phrasing better. What I was trying to convey was that it would be a quintessential situational substitution context for a stronger defender. How bout Quis on Ridnour for 6 seconds? That's more of a commentary on the coaching/substitution patterns than directly on JT. Greene's lack of PT wouldn't lend itself to coming in cold for one play of that importance I suppose.

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    Default Re: Thru 17 games: P's biggest concern area

    Quote Originally Posted by MagicRat View Post
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    Ridnour's stats last night were dead-on his season averages.
    Point taken. However the key word is look. Watching the game, I felt like Ridnour clearly outplayed Tinsley with ease. Important point, he was probably fresher than Tins based on our recent schedule.

    Along these lines, and I am unable to watch the game again, but Ridnour's ability to set the tone and tempo and penetrate via the dribble or pass (SETH, they stuck it to us on the PnR all night!) continually destabilized our D. That might not all show up in his stats as leading to a score or assist by him. But there were many sequences of Seattle making a series of nice passes leading to a made shot initiated by penetration. So the penetrator might not wind up getting the assist but is key in destabilizing the D by forcing extreme amount of help rotation.

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    Default Re: Thru 17 games: P's biggest concern area

    I'm confident Sarunas can play big minutes at the point, especially when paired up with someone like Daniels who can also handle the ball. Sure he struggles with pressure sometimes, but that's because he's the only PG on the Pacers who gets any pressure from other teams while bringing it up. The bottom line is that in the halfcourt, he combines both timely shot making and playmaking which is a combination that Tinsley simply doesnt have

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    Default Re: Thru 17 games: P's biggest concern area

    SETH, they stuck it to us on the PnR all night!
    It's not just Tinsley either. It's how they are playing it. I need to get Visio going to post a decent diagram, but basically my issue (which I said in another thread) is the space the PG gives the pick.

    Say it's Jeff and Tins, they PnR and Foster does his best to force the PG out wide. Fine. Tins will pursue. Fine.

    The problem is that Tins will follow the same curving path that the PG and Jeff are taking, in an effort to close out from behind/side and eventually trap it (I think that's their goal). When the PnR is done at other places on the court which involve the PG going more to the lane where he can be cut off and closed out, this often works and then Tins and Jeff switch back.

    BUT...if the PnR is off the elbow (corner of FT line to be clear) and their BIG goes straight toward the basket while the PG curls from the elbow toward the baseline, this has been leaving a passing window clear to the big in the lane.

    If instead Tins would go straight along the side of the FT lane mirroring the big, I think he'd be able to deny that passing opportunity, and then around the low block or even sooner he could stop and then move in a straight line to help Jeff with the PG, who by now will be going into a cross-over or spin to go past him (and will if he doesn't get help from Tins).

    So Tins does a check-mark path instead of a curve that goes away from the lane.


    Now it could be that this spacing looks worse on TV and that they are trying to do what I'm suggesting. If so then they really need to come up some serious rotation help because otherwise this will never stop, and it's not just with Tinsley involved.



    A different aspect that to me looks GOOD on the PnRs - a lot of times the big spaces well and the small is able to go between the pick and the Pacer big. The Pacers have been playing a lot of PnRs this way and as long as the small hustles he typically can cut off the dribble. But this isn't really a pure PnR, more like PnPops or perhaps the Pacers big has just done a good job of denying roll motion by the other big.

    I just don't recall the Pacers playing any PnRs this way last year. Seemed like nearly everything was over the top or underneath, and a lot less switching I think. Hard to remember for certain.

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    Default Re: Thru 17 games: P's biggest concern area

    Quote Originally Posted by Naptown_Seth View Post
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    It's not just Tinsley either. It's how they are playing it. I need to get Visio going to post a decent diagram, but basically my issue (which I said in another thread) is the space the PG gives the pick.

    Say it's Jeff and Tins, they PnR and Foster does his best to force the PG out wide. Fine. Tins will pursue. Fine.

    The problem is that Tins will follow the same curving path that the PG and Jeff are taking, in an effort to close out from behind/side and eventually trap it (I think that's their goal). When the PnR is done at other places on the court which involve the PG going more to the lane where he can be cut off and closed out, this often works and then Tins and Jeff switch back.

    BUT...if the PnR is off the elbow (corner of FT line to be clear) and their BIG goes straight toward the basket while the PG curls from the elbow toward the baseline, this has been leaving a passing window clear to the big in the lane.

    If instead Tins would go straight along the side of the FT lane mirroring the big, I think he'd be able to deny that passing opportunity, and then around the low block or even sooner he could stop and then move in a straight line to help Jeff with the PG, who by now will be going into a cross-over or spin to go past him (and will if he doesn't get help from Tins).

    So Tins does a check-mark path instead of a curve that goes away from the lane.


    Now it could be that this spacing looks worse on TV and that they are trying to do what I'm suggesting. If so then they really need to come up some serious rotation help because otherwise this will never stop, and it's not just with Tinsley involved.



    A different aspect that to me looks GOOD on the PnRs - a lot of times the big spaces well and the small is able to go between the pick and the Pacer big. The Pacers have been playing a lot of PnRs this way and as long as the small hustles he typically can cut off the dribble. But this isn't really a pure PnR, more like PnPops or perhaps the Pacers big has just done a good job of denying roll motion by the other big.

    I just don't recall the Pacers playing any PnRs this way last year. Seemed like nearly everything was over the top or underneath, and a lot less switching I think. Hard to remember for certain.
    Seth, in my book there are 2 ways to defend against PnRs:
    1. Switch. Always. In your scenario - if Foster has to guard a PG, then he does his best, while the other guys always look to help him out. Now Tins is mismatched off the ball on a big, so he has to switch off the ball (!!!) with the other big, and so forth. Switch & help, switch & help. It means that you need guys who can guard anybody decently. Not shut down, but at the very least not foul and force a tough shot. Even Sarunas can do that...
    2. Zone. All sorts. 2-3, 3-2, 1-3-1, boxN1, whatever... PnRs have little to no significance against a zone - a good zone. For the Pacers I'd go with a classical 3-2, with Al on top, JO & Jeff on the blocks, and Tins & Jax on the wings. Pair Jax with Jeff and Tins with JO. Al & Jax can switch between them as well. Quis can do great in a zone, with his long hands and all. Even Harrison can stay out of foul trouble in a zone D. And you get more long rebounds and can run more, get transition baskets, etc. In a nutshell - I like zones, and the Pacers can play it more.

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