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Thread: Tbird analysis: A call for patience, and some random thoughts

  1. #1

    Default Tbird analysis: A call for patience, and some random thoughts

    Hello again all. Ive been busy this week with high school sectionals, so I havent been able to post, but Ive read the events of the week on this board, and wanted to comment on a variety of topics being brought up as the Pacers have met their latest bump in the road. Rather than post in several threads, Im going to lay out my thoughts and predictions mostly in this summary type thread.

    First of all, some thoughts on Rick Carlisle specifically, and coaching in general.

    To paraphrase Denny Green, "The Pacers are who we thought they were." Which is to say they are a mediocre basketball team with medicore talent, mediocre effort, and mediocre results. Why all the angst over results that are in line with expectations and our talent level?

    We are a team filled with laid back players and a laid back head coach, led by a quietly efficient but laid back front office guru in Walsh, and a stoic Larry Bird. We can't be surprised when our team takes on that personality on the floor. What makes it unacceptable to some of you shouldnt be the quiet nature of our players, but the lack of talent. Of all people, fans of Indianapolis sports should know that a talented team led by a quiet dignified coach CAN have success....our Colts proved that. The differences now among the 2 franchises isnt their personalities, its their talent level.

    When next summer comes, our front office will have to be able to not only add talent to our roster, but possibly mix in a slightly different group of personalities, possibly one who has talent AND is more of a vocal leader. JO is our leader now, and while I believe his heart is in the right place, and he says the right things, I dont think he has proven to be a player who can inspire and bring along his teammates to walk through fire for him. I also don't find that to be a flaw, I just think its a statement of fact. If our surrounding players were better and more talented, his leadership challenges wouldnt be nearly as noticeable, nor would we care as much.

    Jackson was a leader type personality, except he led often in the wrong direction. You arent going to win in the long term that way either, so that player simply has to go to help create a winning atmosphere. What is left now in the interim is a void of sorts that can't be fixed during a season, it needs to be developed and honed thru tough times and an offseason of hard work. The Pacers struggles now as they search for an identity CAN and hopefully WILL make them stronger for the next season....as long as the batle fatigue and strife hasnt worn down the 2 most talented people in their respective jobs the Pacers have....who are JO and Rick.

    Blaming RC for the Pacers struggles are like blaming a store manager for the failures at the top of a huge corporation. Rick's "employees" have become less and less talented over his tenure....its no surprise that his winning has gone down too. We need to show some patience until we can get some better players for RC to coach, and that will take time and patience and perserverance.

    For us Pacers fans, I think we need to think of Jerry Sloan and Utah as a reasonable example to follow. Sloan has had great seasons, and he has had bad seasons...yet he is universally respected through out the league and his job is secure. Theyve recognized that he is a great coach, among the best, and that its mostly the talent level of their roster, not his coaching, that dictates how much success they have. They have now gotten him better players, so they are excelling and have a legitimate chance to be a strong contender for years now, playing in a very small market that wont attract free agents easily....this should be our model, with hopefully getting slightly further in a quest for a title than they have.

    What Im saying is this: Give Sloan, or Van Gundy, or Phil Jackson our current roster and schedule, and the end result wouldnt be much different. We might feel better, but it isnt going to change anything. We dont have the players to go for a title yet....right now we only have one above average player on our roster, and we have several players who are below average and old or too young playing big minutes. We all need to just accept the reality of our situation, and look more long term.

    Thats not to say that we should give up on this season either. I fully expect us to preservere, to get tougher, and show some mettle. Its in the tough times where tough people can come shining through, and we can find alot out about our Pacers, and ourselves as fans, by how we act and believe in our players and franchise now. I think our players can respond like men, circle the wagons, bear down and start listening to the coaches better, start believing in one another better, and focus and play with pride. Its gut check time and I think our guys can make it happen. I BELIEVE!

    How many reading this, secretly and deep down perhaps, wanted Tony Dungy fired and replaced by a more dynamic and hard nosed coach? How do you feel now? Firing the coach isnt a be all end all solution, it often is just a silly delay tactic and bandaid that covers up problems for a short time. Its the PLAYERS that make a difference, in general its not the coaches. Did firing Bob Weiss and hiring Bo Hill really help Seattle? Did all the firings in Minnesota REALLY help them? Of course not...it just goes to show and prove how dysfunctional, inefficient, and wildly unsuccessful those franchises are run.....we dont want to be those guys....we are better than that.

    We need a dynamic backcourt player and scorer, a defender to play beside him on the wing, a grittier and tougher better leading point guard, and some more time and seasoning to put it all together. We could use someone with a championship pedigree, and we could use a tougher more talented front court player to help JO. We have the wherewithall and smarts to make that happen, and in the weaker East it can happen quickly, possibly as soon as a couple of years. But it isnt going to happen yet, we dont have the talent. Firing RC wont necessarily make any difference, biut dont think it doesnt make our franchise look silly long term in the eyes of the media and the sportsnation. Recycling some other guy who has already failed in another job or jobs for PRECISLY the same reasons you want to rid yourselves of RC doesnt make any sense....its just a temporary shuffling of the deck chairs. We have to be smarter than that. Remember what Red Auerbach said about drafting Bird a year ahead...."Do any of you critics realize just how short a year is?"



    Now, just for fun, Im going to give you some of my recommended players we can try and acquire next season, who I think will indeed be our next head coach next season (if it isnt RC), and how I think this all fits together someday:

    Possible guys to acquire/trade for: Darko Milecic, C; Jameer Nelson, PG; Jarrett Jack, PG; Ray Allen, SG, Robert Horry, PF; Sean Livingston, PG (yes I know he is hurt...thinking long term here), Rajon Rondo, PG; Gerald Wallace, SF;, Raja Bell, SG.

    Possible guys we might include in the right deal: Anybody not named JO.

    Goals: To upgrade our talent overall, to gain more future cap flexibility, to get a clear "1A" option to pair with JO, to get better defensively in the wing and at the point, to create a 2-3 year window to go for the East.

    My predicted next coach: Its someone none of you are mentioning. Hiring Johnny Davis is a joke.....Marc Iavoroni would be a bad fit and has no connections to Bird at all, plus his system he'd likely bring with him doesnt fit our personnel at all. Hiring guys who arent good in the media like Adelman, Jim Obrien, and some of the other guys Ive seen mentioned isnt going to happen.....the Pacers will want someone with a different personality than RC and Bird both have to be the public face of the franchise....this person will be media savvy and telegenic, dynamic and extroverted. He will also have an NBA background, winning pedigree at all levels, and probably have head coaching experience. He will be a guy willing to take on a new challenge, ready to prove he can do this at the highest level. He will also have a relationship with other great NBA coaches, and have a close relationship already with one of our young guys we are banking on for the next 10 years.

    I'm going out on a limb and saying the following:
    1. RC wont be fired mideason, and most likely will come back next year.
    2. IF RC chooses to go upstairs, our new head coach won't be anyone currently on staff, the new guy will get to start with his own assistants.
    3. IF we have a new head coach next season, it will be: John Calipari, current coach of University of Memphis, Larry Brown protege, ex of the Nets, UMASS, and a few other stops.

    Sorry for the long rambling post today....Ill try and be more coherant next time. In the meantime, all of you readers in Indiana need to go to Hinkle next weekend, or to Huntingburg, or to Seymour, or to Loogootee, or to Washington, for some great Hoosier Hysteria....it might renew your faith and spirit and love of the game.

    All of this just my opinion, of course....

    Tbird

  2. #2

    Default Re: Tbird analysis: A call for patience, and some random thoughts

    I forgot something....the fact that RC put the starters back in last night down big.

    I have absolutely no problem with that at all. As a coach, there are 2 ways to react to getting blown out when you are trying to teach your players a lesson. One is you bench them, make them sit and watch others play with more enthusiasm and heart than they were. You do that if you know that having to sit and watch burns them up inside, and being on the bench is in your opinion the best way to motivate them.

    But Ive also had teams with guys who were the other way...who when the chips were way down were embarrased and ashamed and DIDNT want to be out there. I usually put that kind of player BACK in the game, just to ingrain in his mind how bad getting your *** kicked felt....I wanted them to REMEMBER THE FEELING, so theyd do whatever they could in their power to never feel it again.

    Putting the guys back in last night was a well thought out psychological ploy by RC Im sure.....whether it works or not is something else......but I have no problem with the move.

    Tbird

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    Default Re: Tbird analysis: A call for patience, and some random thoughts

    Very glad it is simply an opinion because I can't disagree more.
    This team has talent. NBA talent. It's up to the coach to figure out how, who and what to do with it. That's where the buck stops.
    You want "a call for patience." Isn't that what they called for the first year after the brawl? Or the second year? And now we have a team that can actually turn an 18 point lead into an 11 point loss and not show up since and you "call for patience?"
    Ugh.
    Tell me Marquis Daniels deserved the yo-yo PT he was receiving earlier in the season, yet now he is an integral part of this team. Tell me how Harrison makes a showing last night and can't really show up most of the rest of this season. JO? What happened to his time last night? And to be brought in late in the 4th Q when all was done? JO doesn't make those around him any better, or at least he hasn't been. Why embarrass his butt with that move late.
    It's no wonder it looks as if RC has lost this bunch. His head scratching substitution patterns rival those of Zeke in his waning days.
    Patience. Tell that to SACtown when they get to test the patience of this team Tuesday night. Or tell that to season ticket holders that know effort (and lack of) when they see it.
    Sorry. Just an opinion here.

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    Default Re: Tbird analysis: A call for patience, and some random thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by thunderbird1245 View Post
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    Hello again all. Ive been busy this week with high school sectionals, so I havent been able to post, but Ive read the events of the week on this board, and wanted to comment on a variety of topics being brought up as the Pacers have met their latest bump in the road. Rather than post in several threads, Im going to lay out my thoughts and predictions mostly in this summary type thread.

    First of all, some thoughts on Rick Carlisle specifically, and coaching in general.

    To paraphrase Denny Green, "The Pacers are who we thought they were." Which is to say they are a mediocre basketball team with medicore talent, mediocre effort, and mediocre results. Why all the angst over results that are in line with expectations and our talent level?

    We are a team filled with laid back players and a laid back head coach, led by a quietly efficient but laid back front office guru in Walsh, and a stoic Larry Bird. We can't be surprised when our team takes on that personality on the floor. What makes it unacceptable to some of you shouldnt be the quiet nature of our players, but the lack of talent. Of all people, fans of Indianapolis sports should know that a talented team led by a quiet dignified coach CAN have success....our Colts proved that. The differences now among the 2 franchises isnt their personalities, its their talent level.

    When next summer comes, our front office will have to be able to not only add talent to our roster, but possibly mix in a slightly different group of personalities, possibly one who has talent AND is more of a vocal leader. JO is our leader now, and while I believe his heart is in the right place, and he says the right things, I dont think he has proven to be a player who can inspire and bring along his teammates to walk through fire for him. I also don't find that to be a flaw, I just think its a statement of fact. If our surrounding players were better and more talented, his leadership challenges wouldnt be nearly as noticeable, nor would we care as much.

    Jackson was a leader type personality, except he led often in the wrong direction. You arent going to win in the long term that way either, so that player simply has to go to help create a winning atmosphere. What is left now in the interim is a void of sorts that can't be fixed during a season, it needs to be developed and honed thru tough times and an offseason of hard work. The Pacers struggles now as they search for an identity CAN and hopefully WILL make them stronger for the next season....as long as the batle fatigue and strife hasnt worn down the 2 most talented people in their respective jobs the Pacers have....who are JO and Rick.

    Blaming RC for the Pacers struggles are like blaming a store manager for the failures at the top of a huge corporation. Rick's "employees" have become less and less talented over his tenure....its no surprise that his winning has gone down too. We need to show some patience until we can get some better players for RC to coach, and that will take time and patience and perserverance.

    For us Pacers fans, I think we need to think of Jerry Sloan and Utah as a reasonable example to follow. Sloan has had great seasons, and he has had bad seasons...yet he is universally respected through out the league and his job is secure. Theyve recognized that he is a great coach, among the best, and that its mostly the talent level of their roster, not his coaching, that dictates how much success they have. They have now gotten him better players, so they are excelling and have a legitimate chance to be a strong contender for years now, playing in a very small market that wont attract free agents easily....this should be our model, with hopefully getting slightly further in a quest for a title than they have.

    What Im saying is this: Give Sloan, or Van Gundy, or Phil Jackson our current roster and schedule, and the end result wouldnt be much different. We might feel better, but it isnt going to change anything. We dont have the players to go for a title yet....right now we only have one above average player on our roster, and we have several players who are below average and old or too young playing big minutes. We all need to just accept the reality of our situation, and look more long term.

    Thats not to say that we should give up on this season either. I fully expect us to preservere, to get tougher, and show some mettle. Its in the tough times where tough people can come shining through, and we can find alot out about our Pacers, and ourselves as fans, by how we act and believe in our players and franchise now. I think our players can respond like men, circle the wagons, bear down and start listening to the coaches better, start believing in one another better, and focus and play with pride. Its gut check time and I think our guys can make it happen. I BELIEVE!

    How many reading this, secretly and deep down perhaps, wanted Tony Dungy fired and replaced by a more dynamic and hard nosed coach? How do you feel now? Firing the coach isnt a be all end all solution, it often is just a silly delay tactic and bandaid that covers up problems for a short time. Its the PLAYERS that make a difference, in general its not the coaches. Did firing Bob Weiss and hiring Bo Hill really help Seattle? Did all the firings in Minnesota REALLY help them? Of course not...it just goes to show and prove how dysfunctional, inefficient, and wildly unsuccessful those franchises are run.....we dont want to be those guys....we are better than that.

    We need a dynamic backcourt player and scorer, a defender to play beside him on the wing, a grittier and tougher better leading point guard, and some more time and seasoning to put it all together. We could use someone with a championship pedigree, and we could use a tougher more talented front court player to help JO. We have the wherewithall and smarts to make that happen, and in the weaker East it can happen quickly, possibly as soon as a couple of years. But it isnt going to happen yet, we dont have the talent. Firing RC wont necessarily make any difference, biut dont think it doesnt make our franchise look silly long term in the eyes of the media and the sportsnation. Recycling some other guy who has already failed in another job or jobs for PRECISLY the same reasons you want to rid yourselves of RC doesnt make any sense....its just a temporary shuffling of the deck chairs. We have to be smarter than that. Remember what Red Auerbach said about drafting Bird a year ahead...."Do any of you critics realize just how short a year is?"



    Now, just for fun, Im going to give you some of my recommended players we can try and acquire next season, who I think will indeed be our next head coach next season (if it isnt RC), and how I think this all fits together someday:

    Possible guys to acquire/trade for: Darko Milecic, C; Jameer Nelson, PG; Jarrett Jack, PG; Ray Allen, SG, Robert Horry, PF; Sean Livingston, PG (yes I know he is hurt...thinking long term here), Rajon Rondo, PG; Gerald Wallace, SF;, Raja Bell, SG.

    Possible guys we might include in the right deal: Anybody not named JO.

    Goals: To upgrade our talent overall, to gain more future cap flexibility, to get a clear "1A" option to pair with JO, to get better defensively in the wing and at the point, to create a 2-3 year window to go for the East.

    My predicted next coach: Its someone none of you are mentioning. Hiring Johnny Davis is a joke.....Marc Iavoroni would be a bad fit and has no connections to Bird at all, plus his system he'd likely bring with him doesnt fit our personnel at all. Hiring guys who arent good in the media like Adelman, Jim Obrien, and some of the other guys Ive seen mentioned isnt going to happen.....the Pacers will want someone with a different personality than RC and Bird both have to be the public face of the franchise....this person will be media savvy and telegenic, dynamic and extroverted. He will also have an NBA background, winning pedigree at all levels, and probably have head coaching experience. He will be a guy willing to take on a new challenge, ready to prove he can do this at the highest level. He will also have a relationship with other great NBA coaches, and have a close relationship already with one of our young guys we are banking on for the next 10 years.

    I'm going out on a limb and saying the following:
    1. RC wont be fired mideason, and most likely will come back next year.
    2. IF RC chooses to go upstairs, our new head coach won't be anyone currently on staff, the new guy will get to start with his own assistants.
    3. IF we have a new head coach next season, it will be: John Calipari, current coach of University of Memphis, Larry Brown protege, ex of the Nets, UMASS, and a few other stops.

    Sorry for the long rambling post today....Ill try and be more coherant next time. In the meantime, all of you readers in Indiana need to go to Hinkle next weekend, or to Huntingburg, or to Seymour, or to Loogootee, or to Washington, for some great Hoosier Hysteria....it might renew your faith and spirit and love of the game.

    All of this just my opinion, of course....

    Tbird



    1. RC wont be fired mideason, and most likely will come back next year.
    2. IF RC chooses to go upstairs, our new head coach won't be anyone currently on staff, the new guy will get to start with his own assistants.


    I have to agree with you on this Tbird, RC isn't going anywhere. There is not a coach on this planet that could get better results out of this mismash of players, that we call the Pacers. Mediocre players don't win titles or even compete at a high level no matter who the coach may be.

    Fans need to calm down and understand that all teams go through ups and downs ,and the Pacers are no exception. Screaming like a bunch of hyenas for the coaches head, won't get you the desired results of a better team, only heartburn.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Tbird analysis: A call for patience, and some random thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by special ed View Post
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    Very glad it is simply an opinion because I can't disagree more.
    This team has talent. NBA talent. It's up to the coach to figure out how, who and what to do with it. That's where the buck stops.
    You want "a call for patience." Isn't that what they called for the first year after the brawl? Or the second year? And now we have a team that can actually turn an 18 point lead into an 11 point loss and not show up since and you "call for patience?"
    Ugh.
    Tell me Marquis Daniels deserved the yo-yo PT he was receiving earlier in the season, yet now he is an integral part of this team. Tell me how Harrison makes a showing last night and can't really show up most of the rest of this season. JO? What happened to his time last night? And to be brought in late in the 4th Q when all was done? JO doesn't make those around him any better, or at least he hasn't been. Why embarrass his butt with that move late.
    It's no wonder it looks as if RC has lost this bunch. His head scratching substitution patterns rival those of Zeke in his waning days.
    Patience. Tell that to SACtown when they get to test the patience of this team Tuesday night. Or tell that to season ticket holders that know effort (and lack of) when they see it.
    Sorry. Just an opinion here.


    Lets talk about some other franchises who have changed coaches recently:

    Minnesota.....have they become better since firing Flip Saunders? No, much worse actually.

    Detroit....have they gotten better since firing Larry Brown? No, slightly worse, maybe they will reach the finals now and maybe they wont. Did their previous move really make the difference? maybe, but I think a more experienced Teyshaun prince and the trade for Rasheed Wallace was more of a reason that the change in coaches.

    Seattle....have they gotten better since firing Bob Weiss? No, pretty much still a lottery team.

    Philly....Has Philly gotten better since firing Jim Obrien? No, they still basically are in turmoil.

    Chicago....they got better after hiring Skiles and firing Cartwright, correct? Not really, he is a good coach but theyve turned over their roster too....thats the main reason.

    Sacramento....firing Rick Adelman help them much? No, theyve gotten worse.

    Golden State....did recycling Nellie and firing Montgomery help? Maybe it will, but for now they have made a major trade at Nellie's urging and still will miss the playoffs unless something drastic happens.

    Atlanta.....how many coaching changes have they made in the last 15 yrs? Have any of them helped at all?

    Fans, its not the x's and o's, it's the Jimmy's and the Joe's.......its a players league predominitely.


    You know what else I find hilarious? Its the idea of firing your head coach and hiring his assistant.

    What does this mean? You mean the assistant knew what to do all along and just didnt tell anyone? This almost never works.....its silly on its face.

    Of course, reasonable smart intelligent people can disagree, thats what makes this such a great forum.

    Tbird

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    Default Re: Tbird analysis: A call for patience, and some random thoughts

    God, I've been wondering when I would hear the collective opinions like this.
    EFFORT, that's what I'm talking about. This coach is not getting it from this group. That's when the coach has to go. At least VG or Sloan or whoever would bench those not giving. This coach chooses to "stay the course", which is probably written on his index cards.

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    Default Re: Tbird analysis: A call for patience, and some random thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by special ed View Post
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    God, I've been wondering when I would hear the collective opinions like this.
    EFFORT, that's what I'm talking about. This coach is not getting it from this group. That's when the coach has to go. At least VG or Sloan or whoever would bench those not giving. This coach chooses to "stay the course", which is probably written on his index cards.

    I like Van Gundy and Sloan too, but you can't say theyve never had bad teams with poor efforts and bad results, because they have. Jerry Sloan has missed the playoffs numerous times since Stockton and Malone left, and JVG's last New York teams had basically quit on him before he left them. Even his current Rockets have been up and down, he very nearly lost his job last season even.

    Even the RC detractors, whose opinions I understand and respect, have to admit at least RC has never missed the playoffs....although admittedly he nver has had an overall roster as bad as this one. He may miss this year in fact....and even then I highly doubt Id recommend making a change.

    Franchises go up and down in sports. rarely does changing the coach solve the underlying problems, and often it creates more of them.

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    Default Re: Tbird analysis: A call for patience, and some random thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by thunderbird1245 View Post
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    To paraphrase Denny Green, "The Pacers are who we thought they were." Which is to say they are a mediocre basketball team with medicore talent, mediocre effort, and mediocre results. Why all the angst over results that are in line with expectations and our talent level?

    Interesting choice of coach, but I think the situations are very, very similar. Arizona had talent, and so do the Pacers, but neither coach could get the best out of their players.


    The Pacers obviously have the talent. We've had two chances to easily beat Dallas, one to beat Phoenix, and we have beaten Miami, LA Lakers (before their slide), Chicago, and Toronto since the trade (the Dallas games were pre-trade). And JUST like the Arizona Cardinals against the Chicago Bears, the Pacers didn't have the mental toughness to beat Dallas and Phoenix. Couple that with poor coaching decisions and you have very embarrassing losses.

    To make it even worse is that we've seen these guys go on winning streaks. We KNOW they can win, AND they are in arguably the worst sports conference of the past ten years. So even if they were mediocre they'd still be facing a lot of other mediocre/worse teams.

    But that's not the issue, at all. The main issue is that we're not showing up to play. Here, look at these losses:

    Home vs. Golden State: Golden State on the fifth game of a six game road trip. We got blown out.

    Home vs. Seattle: Seattle had lost 15 consecutive road games. We lost.

    Home vs. Denver: Got beat badly by an injury-hobbled Nuggets team. Starting lineup includes Linas Kleiza, Steve Blake, and Nene. Armstrong and Carlisle get ejected (first tangible signs of trouble), Linas Kleiza has this to say "When things get a little out of hand, we've got to keep our mouths shut. That team was out of control. We had to be quiet and just finish out the game"

    Road vs. Toronto: 23 point blowout. The score looks closer than the game truly was; a game in which the Pacers never led. Carlisle has this to say about our team's effort. ""We were on our heels from the beginning of the game," Indiana coach Rick Carlisle said. "They played with a lot of aggression and we just were a step behind most of the night."


    Home vs. Sacramento: 17 point blowout. Another game in which the score didn't reflect the outcome. The Pacers had a second-half lead, and at one point were down by 30. This against a Sacramento team that was 1-5 in its previous 6 games and 9-20 in its other road games. A complete collapse. Signs of a lost team are evident in photos of Rick Carlisle diagramming plays to two attentive players, while the rest of the team tunes him out. Sacramento then goes on to lose to the lowly Philadelphia 76ers in their next game (by 7).


    Home vs. Phoenix: Pacers have 18 point lead. Phoenix closes the game on a 44-15 run and hand the Pacers their first home loss in 5 years when leading by that many points. Darrell Armstrong shows first signs of dejection (I've never seen dejection from Darrell in his entire career) directly after Phoenix takes a 10 point lead. Phoenix then goes on to lose to the lowly Philadelphia 76ers (by 5).


    Road vs. Phoenix: Pacers lose to a depleted Phoenix Suns roster that was playing the first game back from a 4-game road trip. Usually teams play lethargically in this situation, and they had injuries. But what happens? A 25-point loss (once led by 28), and players like Pat Burke and Eric Piatkowski have near-career games. Eddie Johnson, Phoenix announcer, comments that Pacers are playing like they "expect to lose".


    Road vs. Clippers: Pacers never show up and lose by 23 to another injury-depleted team in the Clippers. Clippers hold 31 point lead at one point while using their 19th different starting lineup of the season. Pacers have to go hot at the end of the game to come up with 64 points, only 6 off of a franchise record low. Tinsley and O'Neal argue for minutes on the bench.


    Quote Originally Posted by thunderbird1245 View Post
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    Blaming RC for the Pacers struggles are like blaming a store manager for the failures at the top of a huge corporation. Rick's "employees" have become less and less talented over his tenure....its no surprise that his winning has gone down too. We need to show some patience until we can get some better players for RC to coach, and that will take time and patience and perserverance.
    Outside of Jeff Foster, we're going to have to get an entirely new roster, in that case. He's the only player left that hasn't tuned Rick Carlisle out.


    Quote Originally Posted by thunderbird1245 View Post
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    For us Pacers fans, I think we need to think of Jerry Sloan and Utah as a reasonable example to follow. Sloan has had great seasons, and he has had bad seasons...yet he is universally respected through out the league and his job is secure. Theyve recognized that he is a great coach, among the best, and that its mostly the talent level of their roster, not his coaching, that dictates how much success they have. They have now gotten him better players, so they are excelling and have a legitimate chance to be a strong contender for years now, playing in a very small market that wont attract free agents easily....this should be our model, with hopefully getting slightly further in a quest for a title than they have.

    The extremely large difference between Sloan and Carlisle is that Jerry has always gotten his team to perform hard for him. Jerry's teams have perennially had a low level of talent, and have perennially overachieved (even with their lowly records). You think the Utah is that much more talented than our current Pacers? Second-year Deron Willams and an old Derek Fisher are the starting guards, Kirilenko and oft-injured Boozer are starting forwards, and Okur is the starting center. They're bringing Harpring, Giricek, and Jarron Collins off the bench. You really think they have a talent advantage over the Pacers? Their lineup consists of many more deficiencies and weakness than ours, yet they are 39-19 in a much more talented and competitive Western Conference.

    I don't think it's a fair comparison, at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by thunderbird1245 View Post
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    What Im saying is this: Give Sloan, or Van Gundy, or Phil Jackson our current roster and schedule, and the end result wouldnt be much different. We might feel better, but it isnt going to change anything. We dont have the players to go for a title yet....right now we only have one above average player on our roster, and we have several players who are below average
    We may not have the team to win a title, but there's no excuse, imo, for the way we're playing right now. We have more than one above average player on our team. I don't know how else to say it, but talent is not our issue right now. It's drive, competitiveness, preparation, and strategy; all things in which the coach is fully or partially responsible for.

    Quote Originally Posted by thunderbird1245 View Post
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    How many reading this, secretly and deep down perhaps, wanted Tony Dungy fired and replaced by a more dynamic and hard nosed coach? How do you feel now?
    The huge difference between Tony Dungy and Rick Carlisle is that every single player bought into Tony's system, and everyone wanted to play and win for him. Just read quotes from the players to see the difference. Every Colt says the same thing about their preparation and mindset for every game, and I read countless quotes after the Super Bowl in which every player mentioned winning for Tony. The Pacers? They are scattered all over the book, rather than on the same page. Nobody is buying in to Carlisle's schemes, you never hear a player say they want to win for Rick (in fact, the only quotes you hear about Rick from players are negative, with the exception of one Stephen Jackson quote which followed negative quotes). Every quote from a player makes it sound like everyone has their own beliefs, not a team belief.


    I totally understand the virtue of patience and letting this thing develop, and I understand that we don't have the talent it takes to win a championship, but the players are never going to tune-in on Rick Carlisle; not after tuning him out. He plays favorites, positively reinforces bad play and behavior, and doesn't motivate. In my opinion, it's looking like a sinking ship.

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    Default Re: Tbird analysis: A call for patience, and some random thoughts

    T-Bird - yes the Pacers lack talent, but right now that is the least of their problems. Right now confidence is at an all-time low, the players dont believe in themselves, their teammates and the coaches. The effort is lacking, the togetherness, the fight is lacking. Watching them lose to teams like the Suns is understandable, but the total lack of effort isn't acceptable.

    The lack of talent is a problem and it needs to be addressed - but there are other more pressing issues.

    Watching them run their offense last night - was what I might expect to see in a summer league game. Half hearted at best. There heart isn't in it right now.

    It isn't that the pacers are losing, it is the way they are losing. (losing to the Suns twice in a row is to be expected)

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    Default Re: Tbird analysis: A call for patience, and some random thoughts

    Thank you! At least there's one person besides me who realizes that Carlisle cannot squeeze blood out of a stone. Dunleavy, Harrington, Murphy, Peja, Jack, those are not the players you start if you hope to go far in the playoffs.

    Walsh has been trading one problem for another the last few years. That Carlisle had this team above water for as long as he did is a testament to his ability. Also, I don't know too many coaches who wouldn't have quit by now out of frustration with Walsh/Bird and their refusal to acquire quality starters.

    It's my hope that the Pacers will continue to give Shawne Williams a lot of minutes (as they did in the last game), but as weak as the East is, I doubt it. Barring injury, the Pacers should be fighting for the 8th seed until the end of the season.

    I wouldn't want Jameer Nelson on this team, though. Delonte West? Sign me up. This would be a great time to play Williams/Diogu a lot and get a head start on next season. But like I said, I doubt it happens.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Tbird analysis: A call for patience, and some random thoughts

    Well, that was a pretty good rebuttal by imawhat, but I guess I disagree slightly with the opinions on how good our roster is relative to the league. I understand the "bad" losses angle of the argument, my only issues are one of how everyones memory is so short term. I remember the Colts loss to Houston this year, when everyone was ready to run Polian and Dungy out of town on a rail.....we all know now how silly that looks in retrospect.
    Thats really what Im saying.

    On our roster, lets just compare our top guys to Utah, just for fun.
    PG Deron Williams vs Jamal Tinsley.

    I love Williams...I love everything about him. I loved him in high school when I saw him play, I loved him in college, and he is going to be a great pro. He is a leader, makes big shots, runs the team well, defends with intensity...he is like a more energetic and younger, better version of Chauncey Billups. He will clearly in my view be an elite point guard for the next 12 years. He is substantially better and more consistent than Jamal Tinsley....this is a huge advantage for Utah.

    SG Fisher vs Dunleavy....Dunleavy is better. Neither are anything better than average 2 guards, and both would be better served being bench guys.

    C Okur vs Murphy.....Okur is more physical, a better defender, and a better scorer. He screens better, plays tougher, and still provides the outside shooting Murphy can at times give us. Okur is clearly an above average NBA center, Murphy is a bench guy on a good team.

    PF Jermaine vs Boozer....JO is better, and provides much more shotblocking. Boozer however is a physical banger with a well rounded game too, who comes with a winning pedigree. He plays hard every night and plays physical defensively. This is an advantage for us, but it isnt like Boozer is a chump, he is an above average PF.

    SF Granger vs Kirilenko....AK47 is one of the leagues premier defensive players, and even though he is struggling some on offense he guards the opponents best wing player, still gives them 14 or so a night, and plays within their system, Maybe not for the future, but for now he is still a better overall player than Granger.

    Utah is better than we are, and much more cohesive and stable. They also have 2 things we dont have but desperately need: a premier wing defender and a young excellent point guard and leader.

    Enough of Utah I suppose....but the point after all was that if Utah's front office was being run by many of the posters on this board, Jerry Sloan wouldve been fired about 8 years ago probably.

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    Default Re: Tbird analysis: A call for patience, and some random thoughts

    When talent is the major problem you don't get blown out in every game. When talent is really low, effort, energy, togetherness - all those intangibles will keep a team in the game, sure they might wear out by the 4th quarter - but the team is still in almost every game. But I swear on everything that is good, right now the Pacers aren't doing any of the intangibles to keep them in games.


    Let me say something about our level of talent. JO alone is talented enough all by himself to to lead the team to be a .500 team. Before anyone says the obvious, yes the team is .500 right now, but if they keep playing like this they will lose 20 out of the next 24 games - or something that bad

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    Default Re: Tbird analysis: A call for patience, and some random thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by thunderbird1245 View Post
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    Well, that was a pretty good rebuttal by imawhat, but I guess I disagree slightly with the opinions on how good our roster is relative to the league. I understand the "bad" losses angle of the argument, my only issues are one of how everyones memory is so short term. I remember the Colts loss to Houston this year, when everyone was ready to run Polian and Dungy out of town on a rail.....we all know now how silly that looks in retrospect.
    Thats really what Im saying.
    I don't see any value in continuing to make the comparison between the Colts and Pacers. The Colts may have had some bad losses but still finished in the Top 3 of their conference. And generally speaking the effort was there, the only team that really blew them out was Jacksonville.

    The Pacers problems go beyond talent. It's more about effort. You can't tell me with a straight face that the Pacers 64 point abomination last night was simply because they don't have the talent to do any better.

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    Default Re: Tbird analysis: A call for patience, and some random thoughts

    TBird, I believe you are 100% correct about the talent issue. I actually believe our talent level (not so much potential talent level when factoring in some of the young guys) is actually worse than mediocre outside JO.

    I disagree with you, however, in the area of players being engaged and giving consistent strong effort, as do a some others here. This team just appears to be spiraling downward out of control. Hemorraghing enthusiasm, interest, and chemistry is what I'd call it since the ASB. This is at least in part RC's responsibility.

    I don't think the Sloan comparison is accurate. True he's had his down years, but his teams play hard like clockwork. I just don't have too much faith left in RC's ability to relate to players.

    So I think it's the players, coach, and management all at fault to some degree. If I had my druthers it would be an overhaul at all levels. I am willing to give Rick until the end of the season to see if the team, particularly in the areas of energy, effort, and team spirit, can regain some momentum. But I am not confident that will happen.

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    Default Re: Tbird analysis: A call for patience, and some random thoughts

    P.S.-I do think Calipari is an intriguing candidate though. Here he would reunite with Shawne. Do you really think he's ready to make the NBA jump? Could he succumb to the same fate as Pitino?

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    Default Re: Tbird analysis: A call for patience, and some random thoughts

    Well, with all the success he had in New Jersey, I can't imagine why some NBA team hasn't made him a call in the last 7 years.....

    It wasn't about being the team everyone loved, it was about beating the teams everyone else loved.

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    Default Re: Tbird analysis: A call for patience, and some random thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Smooth View Post
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    I don't see any value in continuing to make the comparison between the Colts and Pacers. The Colts may have had some bad losses but still finished in the Top 3 of their conference. And generally speaking the effort was there, the only team that really blew them out was Jacksonville.

    The Pacers problems go beyond talent. It's more about effort. You can't tell me with a straight face that the Pacers 64 point abomination last night was simply because they don't have the talent to do any better.

    Teams have some off nights....it happens offensively. NBA coaches even have a nickname for this kind of game :"Gong games". Its when the coach wishes he could just walk to the middle of the floor, hit a huge gigantic gong during a timeout, and declare the game over. (Thats a George Karl story, by the way).

    Since this thread has created comparisons with Utah and Jerry Sloan, I remember a PLAYOFF game years ago when the Jazz only scored 59 points. Should Sloan have been fired after the playoffs?

    In general, I dont view the Pacers most pressing problem offense, although it is an issue too....lack of shooters and creators, lack of easy baskets, etc etc. I view our defense as being our most pressing issue, with a lack of defense on the point and the lack of any perimeter wing defender to be able to stop anyone.

    So if we have major offensive defiencies, and lack people who defend well, how exactly is RC supposed to make this team any better than it is right now?

    I love basketball at all levels, and I love the idea of a coach being able to give a rah rah speech and inspire, cajole, or threaten his team into achieving great things.....but this isnt Hoosiers. There are no magical inspiring motivating speeches to give, this is a lack of talent and cohesiveness due to lack of skill and time together playing, not poor coaching, as I see it.

    Speaking of Hoosiers, I remember the fans of Hickory wanted to fire the head coach mid season too, but he got a lot smarter when he got a great player added to his roster, didnt he?

    To paraphrase Rick Pitino "Jimmy Chitwood isnt walking thru that door."

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    Default Re: Tbird analysis: A call for patience, and some random thoughts

    I think the problem is 110% talent related. We don't have any great, or even above average starters outside of JO in my opinion.

    Great: Jermaine O'Neal
    Average: Danny Granger, Jeff Foster
    Below Average: Mike Dunleavy, Jamaal Tinsley

    If we're ever gonna become a watchable team again, we're gonna need some serious upgrades to the starting lineup.

    Will Granger ever elevate his game into good or even great player? Right now he's been a bit disappointing in my opinion.

    Can Quis be a full-time starting SG in the NBA? Or will his injury concerns and poor outside shot hold him back?

    Will any of Shawne Williams, Ike Diogu, or David Harrison raise their game and prove themselves worthy of being starters in the next season or two? And even if they do, we're still stuck at point guard. Could we move someone else for a worthy starting point guard? Could we pick up one in the draft? *cough*Acie Law*cough*

    We'll have the MLE to use this offseason, but with the current salary of the team, would management even be willing to use it? And if so, you'd have to consider yourself lucky if you could get an above average starter with average player money.

    So what's the future of our team look like?

    PG: Definitely Not Tinsley
    SG: Definitely Not Dunleavy. Quis? Maybe, Maybe Not. Shawne Williams??
    SF: Danny Granger
    PF: Jermaine O'Neal
    C: Foster? Murphy? Ike? Harrison?

    I think goal #1 has to be to somehow acquire the talent. Goal #2 should be to work from there. Unfortunately, we may have to move JO in order to accomplish goal #1.

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    Default Re: Tbird analysis: A call for patience, and some random thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by thunderbird1245 View Post
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    Teams have some off nights....it happens offensively. NBA coaches even have a nickname for this kind of game :"Gong games". Its when the coach wishes he could just walk to the middle of the floor, hit a huge gigantic gong during a timeout, and declare the game over. (Thats a George Karl story, by the way).

    Since this thread has created comparisons with Utah and Jerry Sloan, I remember a PLAYOFF game years ago when the Jazz only scored 59 points. Should Sloan have been fired after the playoffs?



    Can you name me another team in the NBA this year that has lost 5 consecutive games by double digits? Here's a hint: The Atlanta Hawks.


    Not even the Boston Celtics, Memphis Grizzlies, NO/OKC Hornets, Philadelphia 76ers, Charlotte Bobcats, Portland Trailblazers, Milwaukee Bucks, Seattle Sonics, or Golden State Warriors have done that.


    And who did the Hawks have to lose to equal the Pacers' streak? Road games against Houston, San Antonio, Toronto, Detroit, and a home game against Cleveland.

    The Pacers? Sacramento in its 4th game in 5 nights and 5th road game in a 6 game road trip, injury depleted Phoenix (btw, also playing first game at home after a four game road trip) and Los Angeles Clippers teams, Toronto, and Phoenix at home.



    It's one thing to have an off-night. It's another to have a low talent level.


    But it's another to lose five consecutive games by double digits, especially in games where we should've competed, let alone win.



    Not even those low-level teams could pull off what the Pacers have, and it took a seriously tough schedule for the Hawks to match it. We're not just underachieving; we're in uncharted waters this season.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Tbird analysis: A call for patience, and some random thoughts

    To paraphrase Denny Green, "The Pacers are who we thought they were." Which is to say they are a mediocre basketball team with medicore talent, mediocre effort, and mediocre results. Why all the angst over results that are in line with expectations and our talent level?
    I agree. Maybe enough people weren't following the tough schedule thread. I know JayRedd and I aren't surprised in the least. This is a 4-5 win month at best, that's why it was so critical to not drop those home games vs bad West coast teams.

    But it's another to lose five consecutive games by double digits, especially in games where we should've competed, let alone win.
    The PHX games should have been competitive? I know if the 98-2000 Pacers let a .500 team stay competitive with them I would have been upset. Heck, theh 03-04 Pacers won 6 straight playoff games by double digits even. That's what good teams do.

    Vs LAC was unexpected, but it seemed to be a roster snowball as much as anything.

    No quality backup PG at this point, Army has hit his wall, apart from some fluke 3pt shooting the other day. Dude hit the GLASS and and it bounced so hard it missed the rim...from the BASELINE. You know how hard that is to do?

    Foster with foul trouble (only got 8 freaking minutes), Murph with a shooting slump (and no prior defense anyway). Ike in over his head (dude can't handle a double team). No Quis.

    Granger in a slump too.

    You take JO out of the mix, give him a bad night on ANY night, and this current roster is screwed. It's virtually a one man show and he had a bad game.


    The one bright spot - Dunleavy using the 3pt upfake to step in for the 3pt make. 4-7, nothing from 3, beautiful.

    Get Quis back, get JO on track, keep Dun at that level, keep Jeff in a game for 30 minutes, things will look a lot better. Not in the next few days, but by the end of the month.


    This is what you get when you have some fans seriously running with the Pacers being ranked in the top 10 a few weeks ago. It was overhype and basing expectations off that leads to this reaction.


    Hemorraghing enthusiasm, interest, and chemistry is what I'd call it since the ASB. This is at least in part RC's responsibility.
    But just as much due to realizing that there isn't that much talent around you on the team. You've got 10 8th graders facing 10 versions of The Rock...the morale for that street fight isn't going to stay high for very long for the 8th graders, even if Gene Hackman is giving them the pre-fight speech. Players aren't stupid, they can see the matchups developing.

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    Default Re: Tbird analysis: A call for patience, and some random thoughts

    Low Talent Level + Low Team Morale = Lots of ****ty Loses

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    Default Re: Tbird analysis: A call for patience, and some random thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by thunderbird1245 View Post
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    Teams have some off nights....it happens offensively. NBA coaches even have a nickname for this kind of game :"Gong games". Its when the coach wishes he could just walk to the middle of the floor, hit a huge gigantic gong during a timeout, and declare the game over. (Thats a George Karl story, by the way).

    Since this thread has created comparisons with Utah and Jerry Sloan, I remember a PLAYOFF game years ago when the Jazz only scored 59 points. Should Sloan have been fired after the playoffs?

    In general, I dont view the Pacers most pressing problem offense, although it is an issue too....lack of shooters and creators, lack of easy baskets, etc etc. I view our defense as being our most pressing issue, with a lack of defense on the point and the lack of any perimeter wing defender to be able to stop anyone.

    So if we have major offensive defiencies, and lack people who defend well, how exactly is RC supposed to make this team any better than it is right now?

    I love basketball at all levels, and I love the idea of a coach being able to give a rah rah speech and inspire, cajole, or threaten his team into achieving great things.....but this isnt Hoosiers. There are no magical inspiring motivating speeches to give, this is a lack of talent and cohesiveness due to lack of skill and time together playing, not poor coaching, as I see it.

    Speaking of Hoosiers, I remember the fans of Hickory wanted to fire the head coach mid season too, but he got a lot smarter when he got a great player added to his roster, didnt he?

    To paraphrase Rick Pitino "Jimmy Chitwood isnt walking thru that door."
    I am 100% familiar with the concept of NBA teams having off nights. Off nights happen far too frequently with this team to write it off so easily. And I'm not just talking offense, of course the Pacers have generally been able to score. But this team has been putting forth inconsistent, sometimes listless efforts far too often to call it an occasional fluke.

    I'm also baffled as to how Tony Dungy and the some mythical coach from a movie has any relevance here.

    When a coach loses his troops in consecutive seasons, it's time for a change.

    And I don't recall too many Jerry Sloan teams suffering from a consistent lack of effort.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Tbird analysis: A call for patience, and some random thoughts

    i think the team has quit. larry bird admitted that the players quit last season. and i think the players have tuned out rick again.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Tbird analysis: A call for patience, and some random thoughts

    The Pacers are still a talented team. You can't confuse talent with results, which is what you are doing. The problem starts and ends on defense.

    And could someone please explain to me why an unathletic 6'10" guy is the P's starting two-guard (don't say Granger draws the opposition's two on defense).

    Here's a blueprint: get rid of Tinsley, add a point who can play defense, and move Dunleavy--who isn't as bad a player offensively as said to be--to the bench. And then, possibly, just maybe, add someone who can complement JO on the perimeter.

    To me, Marquis is the X-factor: he can do everything well but bomb threes.

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    Default Re: Tbird analysis: A call for patience, and some random thoughts

    We have the same problem right now that the Knicks had in the 90s until Sprewell and Allan Houston stepped up their games, and that our own Pacers had in the late 90s until Jalen Rose stepped into the limelight. As of right now, we don't have a 1-2 punch of any sort...and, well, I can't think of many teams in the last 20 years who have made it to the NBA finals, much less actually won the championship without some sort of dignified 1-2 punch.

    The Knicks always had Ewing, who essentially is one in the same as Jermaine, but they never got anywhere until Allan Houston stepped up his game and they acquired Sprewell. The same thing can be said of the old story of the Bulls until Pippen stepped up, and the Spurs until Duncan showed up, and basically everyone except maybe the 76ers in '01.

    Our Pacers team in the late 90s was always one cog away from getting to the finals, and Jalen Rose proved to be that cog for us. Bird took a beleaguered and somewhat troublesome player and converted him into the team's leading scorer and most improved player on the roster the year that the Pacers made it to the finals. This Pacers team right now needs at least that one extra player to either step up or be acquired. Danny is trying to fill that role, but in my opinion he is better suited to fill a Derrick McKey type of role than the Jalen Rose role at this stage in his career.

    The Pacers led the league in scoring that season, and were only 13th in defense, with a pace-factor that ranked 15th in the league. You had the likes of Chris Mullin, Mark Jackson and Rik Smits out there, so defense doesn't rule everything when it comes to getting to the finals.

    Who will be this team's Jalen/Sprewell/Houston? I don't see anyone on the current roster coming into that mold for at least a couple of years, if ever. We have a great cast of role players, and 1 great player, but we're a #2 option away from being where we need to be.
    Sometimes a player's greatest challenge is coming to grips with his role on the team. -- Scottie Pippen

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