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Thread: Odd thoughts about the Magic loss

  1. #1
    Administrator Peck's Avatar
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    Default Odd thoughts about the Magic loss

    Right off the bat I want to point to a couple of troubling things. Both from today's star article.

    First let me get the legal formality out of the way.

    http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dl.../1088/SPORTS04
    Actually, Peck, you still need some practice. You forgot:
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    Now I'm not going to post the article you can just read it via the link, however I am going to copy and paste a couple of quotes.

    "We just need to make a few more plays," Pacers forward Mike Dunleavy said. "That's what it comes down to. It may be old, it may be the same old story, but it's the truth. . . . I believe if this team came with a little bit more focus at practices, shootarounds and games . . . maybe we can start squeaking out a few more wins."

    We had some defensive breakdowns and we have to work on that along with other parts of our game," Granger said. ". . . Fatigue has become a little bit of a problem mentally and physically."

    The second quote by Granger is frankly understandable. Losing this much this often obviously is going to wear on the players. But I also think that this is the point where management better be trying something to regenerate morale. A win would go a long way in doing that but considering we have the champs coming to town next I don't think that this will be the game.

    However, and maybe I'm just reading this wrong, Mike's comment made me take pause.

    Lack of focus in practices and shootarounds????? Hmmmmm......

    Well first of all did I dream this up or didn't O'Brien say he wasn't going to do shootarounds? I thought I read that somewhere but I could be mistaken.

    Second of all, when a team is as desperate as we are for a win and we have a new coaching staff that is supposedly player friendly how exactly are we lacking focus in practice? Or better yet, who is not focusing?

    Is it one player, a couple of players, a few players or the whole group?

    We are just over half-way through his first season here and are we to infer that the players are already going off of the farm?

    I'll just leave it at that as anything I am saying about this quote is just speculation. I'll just say it is troubling.

    Speaking of troubling.

    How exactly does Troy Murphy play big min. in the first half and have what I consider to be a good half of ball. Then get 7 min. in the second half? Please don't give me the "he is horrible on defense" thing. Dwight lit Jeff up in the first quarter like a Christmas tree. BTW, that is not a knock on Jeff, Howard was an absolute beast in the first quarter.

    Here is a thought, one that I had all during the time that Turkoglu was killing us.

    Why not try Jeff on him for a few min. and use Troy on Howard. Or better yet how about the two players sitting on the bench not being used at all (Harrison & Diogu) for a few min. to cover Howard while Jeff tried to slow down the raging Turk.

    To say that I am less and less of a fan of O'Brien each and every game may be an understatement.

    I am trying my best to not totally throw him under the bus yet because I understand he doesn't have much to work with. But I swear to God our offensive structure is so bad that I often wonder if I'm not watching a pickup game at the Y.

    However, as was pointed out to me by Diamond Dave, you should never score 115 points and lose a game. So while I hate his offense, I am now wondering about his defense as well.

    Is it maybe to complex for our players to play? Something is not right here and when I start hearing about a lack of focus in practice and people not learning plays. Well I know this can't be happening yet, it's to soon. But at some point in time you have to wonder about the age old problem of "tuning out".

    On a positive note, Danny Granger was great.

    I think we need to put to bed once and for all the notion that he is the same player when O'Neal plays. Clearly he is not.

    Since J.O. has been gone for extended time Danny has once again come alive.

    Right now, as far as I'm concerned until they bring in another player from outside either via trade, free agent or draft that is clearly better, I think Danny needs to be the number one option on offense. When he drove the lane during the game good things happened. Either a bucket or a foul or sometimes both.

    Foster had another great game, however you could see the fatigue setting in on him. That is why I was so puzzled by the amount he played in the second half. The guy clearly has had two nights of going toe to toe with players much much stronger than he is.

    Shawne played ok. I just do NOT want him to fall in love with the three point shot. However knowing who our coach is....

    He used to be better on the boards than he is now, I want him to get back to work on being a true paint player.

    I thought Dunleavy had a bad game. No crime in that, but I just didn't feel like he was on during the game and again I was stunned at how much he played. Mike tried, don't get me wrong, I am not saying he was off in that aspect. But for whatever reason he just could not get his shot to drop and I felt like we tried to force it to him. Maybe they were just trying to get him out of his slump, I don't know.

    Not a lot to say other than that really.

    I'd give every Pacer on our team now and probably every Pacer that has ever played for us to have Dwight Howard on our team. My God when he devolps a game beyond hook's and dunks I don't know how anybody will be able to handle him.

    I'd say onward and upward but our next battle is San Antonio so I think we can all assume the outcome of that right now.

    Has there ever been a team that needed the all-star break more than us? Not that it will do any good, but maybe they all just need to get away from basketball for awhile.

  2. #2
    Jimmy did what Jimmy did Bball's Avatar
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    Default Re: Odd thoughts about the Magic loss

    I'm quickly losing faith in OBrien.

    We can keep the run but we need less 'gun' in the offense. ...And defensively we're still a sieve.

    If someone wants to make me happy, can we just run the offense we ran under Rick when JO was out for extended periods of time?

    I still think back to the ball and player movement we had against Boston following the brawl game and what a lovely sight that was to behold. That was basketball the way it was meant to be played.

    Basketball is not an overly complicated game, but it does require players playing within themselves, knowing their roles, sacrificing for their teammates, solid fundamentals, and maintaining discipline and focus. Once you are able to do those things instinctively, winning generally follows.

    For the most part, I do think the team we've put on the floor these past few games is trying. They are hustling but they don't look very organized. I just don't think they look like they are very well coached.

    -Bball
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  3. #3
    Pacer Junky Will Galen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Odd thoughts about the Magic loss

    [quote=Peck;651106] Mike Dunleavy said. . . . "I believe if this team came with a little bit more focus at practices, shootarounds and games . . .

    Second of all, when a team is as desperate as we are for a win and we have a new coaching staff that is supposedly player friendly how exactly are we lacking focus in practice? Or better yet, who is not focusing?

    I think he was talking about everything the Pacers are doing. I believe Mike was just commenting on the fact that some players just haven't grasped what's going on yet. So he thinks if they would just focus a bit more and get what's going on the Pacers would be better.

    Slick is always commenting that some of the young players look lost when playing defense. So do some of the posters on here.
    It was either Seth or Buck that commented yesterday that they think Danny is starting to get it and come around.

    That's all I think Dun was talking about. A little more focus at all times and we would be a better team.



    To say that I am less and less of a fan of O'Brien each and every game may be an understatement.

    To quote Slick again it's not the coaching.

  4. #4
    You are my Lucifer D-BONE's Avatar
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    Default Re: Odd thoughts about the Magic loss

    Well, it looks to me like our D is a mess. It's not all on the coach as the players have to pick it up and be talented enough to be effective.

    But last night we had that same rotation problem we've seen all year where our big gets taking way out of the picture hedging the screen roll. Then a weak side guy has to come all the way under the hoop to cover the roll man (usually Howard last nigh) and then they just fire a cross court pass to a wide open Hedo or Lewis for a money 3-ball.

    That's essentially the same way we lost the Cleveland game way back when, not to mention numerous others. Make the Pacers defend the high PnR and spread them out. They'll break down.

    Danny really seems be coming on with his off the dribble game. But you'd have to admit that he, too, cooled noticeably in the 2nd half. Then Dun seemed to catch on and carry us toward the end.

    Diener with 10 assists, very little D, and a lot of hustle. If he could just shoot consistently as he was advertised, but I find myself frustrated by that aspect of his game-a rumored strenght.

  5. #5
    Jimmy did what Jimmy did Bball's Avatar
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    Default Re: Odd thoughts about the Magic loss

    Let me clarify-

    I don't think OBrien has lost the team. I just don't think we play very smart. Dunleavy seems to come the closest to 'getting it' and maybe what he's saying is that OBrien doesn't use a hammer to teach his stuff so you have to want to learn and understand and really take advantage of practice. ... not just show up and go thru the motions.

    It looks to me like the offense and defense needs broken down to their simplest form and then spoonfed to the team. Also, the defense needs to be a priority. The offense can be reined in and fixed later (we need better shots and we need to work harder to get players open thru teamwork) but that sieve of a defense needs to be a priorty. We need to stop someone so that 100+ points stands a chance of winning... plus we need to make sure we don't have to shoot 60% for the game to stand a chance of winning.

    -Bball
    Nuntius was right. I was wrong. Frank Vogel has retained his job.

    ------

    "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, thatís teamwork."

    -John Wooden

  6. #6
    Feed the big fella. Infinite MAN_force's Avatar
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    Default Re: Odd thoughts about the Magic loss

    Im not ready to start blaming Obrien till we get some personnel here that I actually believe in. He has took a team with marginal talent in boston to the ECF. When I feel like we have built a talented team and if they are still struggling, than I start to look at the coach. Sort of like Isiah in 03.

    Hard to blame the coach for bad defense when diener, murphy, and dunleavy are three of your 5 starters. I think diener could work as a backup and I think dun would be ok defensivly if surrounded by better defenders, but that is just a bad defensive combo any way you cut it.
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  7. #7
    Administrator Peck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Odd thoughts about the Magic loss

    Quote Originally Posted by Infinite MAN_force View Post
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    Im not ready to start blaming Obrien till we get some personnel here that I actually believe in. He has took a team with marginal talent in boston to the ECF. When I feel like we have built a talented team and if they are still struggling, than I start to look at the coach. Sort of like Isiah in 03.

    Hard to blame the coach for bad defense when diener, murphy, and dunleavy are three of your 5 starters. I think diener could work as a backup and I think dun would be ok defensivly if surrounded by better defenders, but that is just a bad defensive combo any way you cut it.
    Oh I'm disgusted with O'Brien at the moment but that does not mean that I think he has all of the tools to work with.

    However I do want to point out something.

    The coach picks the starters.

    Foster could play with Murphy, Dunleavy could come off of the bench, Andre Owens could play some more to help on defense.

    David Harrison could play a few min. a game, I realize they would be foul plagued min. but he could help for a few.

    What I'm saying is that I agree he doesn't have the best talent to work with but he does have options on how to utilize them.

    His small ball sucks, in fact have we won two games since we have gone to this? The closest we have come is when we have put Foster and Murphy out there together.

  8. #8
    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Odd thoughts about the Magic loss

    O'Brien doesn't have shootarounds. He conducts ful contact practices on the morning of games. (At least he was earlier in the season)

    What I see from my vantage point when I'm at the games is a lot of frustration from Jeff and Mike and I think a lot of it is because a lot of the players don't know what they are doing out there. Danny has gotten better, but still gets lost. Diener seems to have a good grasp. Tinsley doesn't care. Ike and David are in a fog somewhere. Troy has a clue, but can't overcome his lack of quickness.

    Owens to my way of thinking isn't an NBA caliber guard.

    Mike is very fruastrated right now and I don't blame him.

    Sorry for this rambling and horrible post. Most of all I feel really bad for several of the players on the team, they deserve better. But when your two stars are always injured or worse, and you have a bunch of players on the team that either are unwilling or incapable of learning the sytem - this is the way it goes.

  9. #9
    How are you here? Kegboy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Odd thoughts about the Magic loss

    I'm not going to criticize Jimmy, and I'm certainly not a fan. If he's not getting the most out of severely limited talent, he's pretty close.

    [edit] And Buck's right. He stated at the beginning of the season that he wouldn't have shootarounds, he'd run full practices on game days.
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  10. #10

    Default Re: Odd thoughts about the Magic loss

    My thing is if you're going to stick with small ball knowing you don't have a dominate front court and your perimeter defense is still lacking, why not use every shooter you have at your disposal?

    JOB said it himself during his latest radio show that until last game he wasn't able to rotate more than one player at a time during substitutions. Most coachs tend to sit his starters longer before the half and right before the 4Q. While that's an a-typical approach, JOB still has one player who IS a shooter who hasn't seen any worthwhile playing time since January 9th. Y'all know who I'm talking about.

    Again, I don't think Stephen Graham will be the team's savior, but if fatigue seems to be that much of a factor and your typical rotation players aren't getting it done what's giving Graham some minutes really going to hurt? He can't do no worse! At the most, he'll energize the team and maybe give you a few points. At the least, he'll go scoreless and miss a defensive rotation or two. But how is that doing any worse than anyone else including the starters?

    My arugument is simply this: If Rush and Quis are hurt, players are growing more fatigued as the game goes on because they're expending so much energy trying to contribute on both sides of the ball and you need dribble penetration to render to defense ineffective, why not use your depth more to your advantage? Give Graham some minutes to at least give your starters more of a breather. Lord knows Quis and Rush haven't been as effective recently as they had been before the team started down this big slide.

    As to the overall debate - is it the players or the coach - I'm beginning to wonder if it's not a little bit of both. The coach can only give so many motivational speeches and the players can only sustain the mental drag of losing for only so long before all they're really doing is going throuh the motions. You want a breathe of fresh air? Put some fresh meat out on the court.

    PLAY STEPHEN GRAHAM!

  11. #11
    White and Nerdy Anthem's Avatar
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    Default Re: Odd thoughts about the Magic loss

    Quote Originally Posted by Peck View Post
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    Lack of focus in practices and shootarounds????? Hmmmmm......

    Second of all, when a team is as desperate as we are for a win and we have a new coaching staff that is supposedly player friendly how exactly are we lacking focus in practice? Or better yet, who is not focusing?

    Is it one player, a couple of players, a few players or the whole group?

    We are just over half-way through his first season here and are we to infer that the players are already going off of the farm?
    That's not what I got from the article. What I got is that the game is easier when you're winning. When you lose game after game after game it starts to wear on you.

    I'm not hearing "the guys are goofing off in practice." I'm hearing "it's hard to keep your head in it all the time when you're getting the crap kicked out of you."
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  12. #12

    Default Re: Odd thoughts about the Magic loss

    I don't know what is really behind these comments. But I know there are several possibilities.

    Quote Originally Posted by cited by Peck, from an article by Mike Wells in the IndyStar
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    "We just need to make a few more plays," Pacers forward Mike Dunleavy said. "That's what it comes down to. It may be old, it may be the same old story, but it's the truth. . . . I believe if this team came with a little bit more focus at practices, shootarounds and games . . . maybe we can start squeaking out a few more wins."

    We had some defensive breakdowns and we have to work on that along with other parts of our game," Granger said. ". . . Fatigue has become a little bit of a problem mentally and physically."
    We must always remember, when reading comments like these, that players can't come right out and say what they think. Ever. When a player says, "We" he probably means one or more of his teammates, but not the whole organization. "More focus in practice" might be Dunleavy's kind way of saying, "My teammates are stupid." And, to guard the comment even further, he blames "fatigue" for the lack of focus.

    What is the alternative? Any player who points a finger and says, "Him! That guy right there! He's the problem with our team!" would get reviled by all the players, by Kravitz and by half the posters on this forum.
    Last edited by Putnam; 02-03-2008 at 09:11 PM.
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