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Thread: Building a championship team by defining specific roles, with San Antonio as our model

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    Default Building a championship team by defining specific roles, with San Antonio as our model

    Hello everyone.....It's good to have time to write again.

    I check this site several times a week, just to keep up on the pulse of Pacer Nation, and this week and last I've read alot about moves in trading for Vince Carter, or trading JO, or trading Danny Granger. That is all expected and acceptable, since we are nearing the trade deadline and teams all around are looking to add pieces for a championship run or clear the decks for the future. Without getting into specific names in this thread, I wanted to post something which to me makes perfect sense but to others it may not, which is to talk about the core of efficient championship team building: Getting guys who compliment each other, and make each other better players, instead of having players with redundant skills and talents. This is what I believe has been the key to winning titles in San Antonio, instead of just merely being "good."

    First, let me put out the theories of the traditional best formula for building a true team in the easiest ways:

    A. A true "point guard", 2 "wings" who compliment each other, 2 "post" players who compliment each other, and backups/specialists at the point, wings, and posts. If you are a really good/lucky team, some of your guys will be able to play multiple positions, but that is a luxury, not a necessity.

    B. 2 "combination guards" with multiple skills and who share roles, 2 "wings" with multiple skills and who share roles, and 1 "true center", who is strong and can guard the biggest opponent AND be the offensive low post first option. Then you need backups/specialists for the combination guards, wings, and a true backup center.

    I know there are variables/exceptions/nuances that might vary slightly, but at its basic core I think those are the DNA traces of a cohesive successful team. Most franchises go with the "A" plan of building, since the true dominant center is a rare breed. Therefore, in the paragraphs to follow, that is what I will assume the Pacers will need to do too.

    So, by my definitions, the Pacers roster breaks down like this currently, in no particular order:

    1. Point guards: Tinsley, Deiner, Owens
    2. Wings: Granger, Dunleavy, Williams, Daniels, Rush, Graham.
    3. Posts: JO, Foster, Harrison, Murphy, Diogu

    Let me take each of the three positions one after the other, and talk about what we really need to be trying to acquire.

    POINT GUARDS:

    Ok, we obviously all think we have a problem here, and I would agree. The first problem in my view is Deiner and Owens basically are end of the bench fringe guys. For my purpose, they have no value other than guys who play in blowouts or emergencies. I like Travis Deiner and his "intangibles", I just don't like his TANGIBLE ability. So, regardless of what you think of Tinsley, we are at least 1 point guard short.

    Now, on to Tinsley.

    In a perfect world, you'd make Tinsley and his pouty attitude disappear from your roster as fast as possible. But, unless you want to take on baggage as bad or even worse from some other franchise, likely JT will continue to be here. I don't view Tinsley's contract to be all that out of line from what he gives you in reality (he is basically a full MLE player), it's just that we have no other option. So, where Tinsley is concerned, the following statement is where I think our focus needs to be:

    "The goal shouldn't necessarily be to trade Tinsley, it should be to make Tinsley LESS VITAL AND IMPORTANT to our success!"

    In my mind, that means we need a legitimate NBA starter/near starter at this position who legitimately can play at a starters level, and who excels in areas where JT doesn't.

    A perfect blueprint in how this was done was the point guard combination of Mark Jackson and Travis Best back in our glory days.....those 2 guys played about the same minutes, made about the same money, and had very complimentary skills. Best being a very strong on the ball pressure defender, shooter, quicker, with more of a scoring mentality. Jackson being a veteran leader, who orchestrated our half court offense very well. Jackson's mental outlook and game meshed well with our starters, Best and his strengths meshed well with our bench, and his on the ball defense was a great thing when we were ahead in the 4th quarter.

    As aggravating as he is, Tinsley has some strengths. He is a pretty good passer, really good post scorer, and has a creative mind and self confidence that at times is a big asset. He also has a questionable attitude, is a very streaky shooter, and somewhat lazy and slow defender.

    So, in regard to our point guard spot, I think the answer is to keep Deiner as your third guard, and jettison Owens. We then need to try and draft or find a player who compliments Tinsley's game, and can do the things well that Tinsley can't: lead, defend hard on the ball, score if he needs to, and play NBA starting caliber defense on quick point guard types that JT doesn't match up well with.

    If you had a guy like that, you could probably split time with Tinsley at the guard spot, cutting his minutes down into the low 20's or so. You'd have a legitimate player to play the end of the game with, and a legitimate starter who could play big minutes in the games JT is out injured or whatever. Without naming specific names, I believe there will be guys like that in the league who can be acquired or drafted by Indiana, and who won't completely screw up our salary structure. This player needs to be able to score off the dribble for us too, and to be capable of scoring in the 15-16 range fairly consistently, in an ideal world, if he had starter minutes.

    I think if you do somehow trade Tinsley, you will still need to add 2 point guards to next years roster, so Deiner can be your third emergency point.



    WINGS: Now we are to the crux of why I'm writing this article in the first place! When I watch the Pacers, my feelings on this become more and more clear to me. I'm amazed that when I get on here and read that more people don't seem to have the same clarity on the subject as I do, which has caused me to really reevaluate my own thinking on the subject. Having done that lately, I must say I still think I'm right on with what I'm about to say. First, let me set it up a bit.

    To me, in building a team you need as starters 2 wings who have complimentary, not redundant, skills. You need in my view a really exceptional scorer, and a really exceptional defender, at these spots. Your scorer needs to be able to give you great offense on a consistent basis, your "wing defender" alongside him needs to be able to stop the other teams best offensive player and cause him trouble. If possible, then you'd like to be able to have a backup who could give you a little of both defense and offense to be in a rotation with those 2 starters, with maybe a 4th guy with 1 real strength you can use in special situations/matchups.

    So, you have Granger already....so what is he? Is he your shutdown elite defender, or is he your future main 20-24pt scorer? Is he neither one?

    The Pacers currently are forced to use Danny as both a top scorer and to guard the opponents best guy. Therefore, Danny really to me hasn't reached his full potential in either area. I think the time is now to make a decision on what Granger truly is, and get the pieves around him at his spot to make him better utilized. Only the elite of the elite (I can only think of one: Kobe Bryant) playing currently can fill both the scorer and stopper role at an all star level. So what does he need?

    If your answer is Danny can be neither an elite scorer or an elite defender, then I think your move should be to trade him for a more important position and future flexibility/draft picks. If your answer is that Danny can be an elite defender for you, then you need to try and acquire a strong stud of a scorer alongside him, so Danny doesnt have to score all that much for you to win.

    I think the solution is obvious still, as I like Granger's offensive potential more than many of you do. The easiest, most efficient, and less costly way to build our team is to acquire a really great perimeter defender to play next to Granger, so Granger can be your traditional top player on offense. I see Granger being able to reach a Paul Pierce/Manu Ginobili/Reggie Lewis level of offensive potential, and doing it for a very low contract for the next few years. I think this only happens if we free him up to be "the guy" and that means getting a completely different style of player to play next to him than Dunleavy is. Dunleavy to me is a fine player, but NOT IN COMBINATION WITH GRANGER.

    I know many of you will disagree with that, and that's ok. Could you win big with a Granger and Bruce Bowen type combination? Yes, that's exactly what I am saying. Could you win with a Dunleavy and Bruce Bowen type? I think you could win more than we are now, but not as much as Granger would because Granger is better than Dunleavy, not to mention younger and cheaper. Could you win a championship with a Dunleavy and Ginobil combination? Both fine players, but no I don't think so....you'd have no wing defense. Same as Granger and Ginobili would be, although it would be a bit better.

    So, I think the move to make is to try and move Dunleavy to a team who needs him more than we do, to try and fill holes we may have in other areas. Somehow someway, we need to acquire this top notch wing defender who can start alongside Granger, and it wouldn't necessarily have to be a big name. There may even be a player like this in the draft we can acquire late in the first round or early in the second round. Last year, Detroit nabbed Aaron Afflalo from UCLA....he is a prototype for a player Im describing....there are others we can sign or obtain if we are smart.

    I think we have in Kareem Rush a nice wing bench piece. He is a reasonably good scorer, and a reasonably good defender. He'd be a nice 8th man type, rotation guy, if we can resign him.

    I'm souring a bit on Shawne Williams, who I thought would be better than he is under Jim O'Brien. However, he still has time to develop, so I'm not going to panic yet. If I had to include him in a deal to pick up a harder to find piece I would, but I wouldn't actively be shopping him. Possibly if you don't resign Rush he can be that "8th man back up wing rotation guy"

    This leaves Dunleavy, Daniels, and Graham to actively be shopping, if I were in charge. These 3 guys bring redundant skills, or skills we can find cheaper or more efficiently on the market or in the draft. Dunleavy in particularly would be a great acquisition for a team who really wanted to make a push and needed his type of skills, either as a starter or in a 6th man role. If any of you have agreed with my premise, maybe you can construct some deals that make some logical sense for both teams.

    In looking to move Daniels, I'd be willing to take nothing but expiring deals for him, draft pick (s), and cash. In building a team my preferred way, he can't play....especially since he is somewhat expensive and injury prone. I'd keep Rush over him for those reasons.

    Graham is an end of bench talent and is easily replaceable.


    POST PLAYERS:

    Ok, to have 2 post players starting for you, you need one of them to be a really good and strong post defender, by that I mean someone who can guard the opponents best post player and do it solo, without alot of double team help. Someone who can fight for position, and make it hard for the opponents best post guy to get the ball and then score. Someone who is a strong rebounder.

    You need the other to be an offensive force. Someone who can score with his back to the basket, someone who can produce points for you somehow someway. This guy needs to be able to play defense and rebound too, but his main key role is to be able to score for you in and around the paint.

    Ideally you'd have a third post guy who could fill either role in some ways, so he could sub for either player. Then you might have a "specialist" 4th post player who excelled in one particular specific skill, so you could use him for a specific role if you needed to. Lastly, you would ideally have a 5th guy, role player, brute physically imposing guy who could defende the few behemoth centers in the league in a crunch, and maybe who could develop.

    That would give you 5 guys who could defend the post somewhat, one of the core tenets of building a basketball team.


    The "post scorer" guy is the hardest to find. We sort of have our guy in JO, but he is often injured and is unreliable. The big decision of our franchise going forward is to decide whether to "hold or fold" with Jermaine. If you decide to dump JO, finding your next post scorer will need to be priority one, because you can't win bigh without a guy like that.

    You'll be faced with either getting a free agent to sign here for max money (unlikely to happen), have to get extremely lucky in the draft (top post scorers likely always go in the top 3 picks), get extraordinarily lucky in a trade (like we did with JO) or take someone else's trash and somehow salvage somebody (Zach Randolph or someone similar).

    It would be a defensible position I think for the Pacers to hold onto JO for a little while longer, and see if he can get healthy once and for all. I don't think he will personally ever be reliable and explosive enough to be the guy we need him to be, but I'm not sure I see a better option I like better. Now, if we get lucky in the lottery and get in position to draft Michael Beasley......then trading JO makes entirely more sense, because then it isn't really as important what you may get back position wise.

    Assuming JO is probably untradeable anyway, and assuming he will be here because of that fact, what do we need to do to compliment him better?

    Because JO is a much better weakside defender than he is on the ball, you need a bigger guy I think who can physically handle a big center. I do not think that this particularly player is on our roster. I know many of you will argue for Foster, but he lacks the bulk and strength to be a premier on the block post defender against most elite starting big men. He also isnt physically intimidating or imposing. I'm thinking of more of a Dale Davis type defender, but who hopefully has some ability to help a bit on offense too.

    The ideal player to completely compliment JO we already had in Brad Miller, although he is so totally overpaid that I can't recommend him as an option in most scenarios. We need ideally somebody like a young Brad Miller, but if you can't find that then you need to either go for a stronger defender type (Diop maybe) or a slightly more offensive type (Kristic maybe). JO in reality is a hard guy to compliment and build around, which has been one of our central problems for a long time.

    Then as a third guy, you'd like to have a post player who could play with either starter effectively, much like Antonio Davis used to be able to do. This type of player I think can be found later in the draft, in Europe, or in the trade market. I don't think it would have to be a big name or expensive acquisition necessarily. Whether or not you want to keep Foster or not to fill this role is a big question. I think arguments can be made either way, but I'd probably lean toward finding a cheaper and younger alternative. If you keep Jeff, then this is the role he needs to be in, not as a starter. I've never liked Jeff as a DEFENSIVE TANDEM WITH JO....I'd prefer someone bigger and stronger. These type of guys are available in the middle or later parts of the first round, which is why when we deal we need to get picks thrown in as often as possible. A great guy to draft for this role if we could get multiple picks would be D.J. White, a player I don't project as an NBA star or starter, but as a great rotation energetic post player who helps you win, like Antonio Davis was.

    Your 4th post guy could be a specialist. Either someone who is a great perimeter shooter, letting you play a different scheme if you wished (Robert Horry type), or someone who is a great shotblocker/athlete, or maybe someone who would be an extremely great low post scorer for a period of time (Ike maybe?), or maybe a great rebounder type (Jeff Foster again).

    Again, what your 4th guy would need to be able to do in large part depends on your first 3 guys.

    Your 5th guy can either be a project young guy with size, or an old crusty veteran you can play in an emergency.


    This leaves Murphy for sure as an odd man out. I'd deal Murphy for any contract of similar size that was shorter in length than his, and I wouldn't be picky who I got back. I'd even be willing to pick up others trash if it meant purging his contract off the books, as long as we shortened the time we had committed in length. For a playing role until then, Murphy can only be at best the 4th big man.

    Ike is cheap, so I have no problem keeping him in the 4th big man role. However, much like Golden State did to us, I'd include him in a heartbeat if it gave me a way to get rid of Murphy.

    Let me be clear, I have no real issue with Murphy, he just is what he is. If he had a contract more in line with his talents, then he'd be a nice 4th big man piece on a winning team. The only real argument for keeping him is to save him for 3 years and carry him on your roster, then use him as a major expiring contract to trade for some superstar in a blockbuster trade. That is best case scenario, and it is too far in the future to have as a legitimate idea.

    We might be able to use Shawne Williams in the 4th big man role too, against certain matchups. It is in this role that he gains a little value to me, as he is the only guy we have who I project as being able to swing from the wing to the post area defensively against certain teams.

    Harrison is ok as a 5th big man type, but since his attitude sucks he can go away and begin his future as a journeyman big man. He is easily replaceable.


    Ok, so the conclusions I'm trying to make with this long article are as follows:

    1. We need players who compliment each other, instead of duplicate their teammates skills, in both the backcourt and frontcourt.

    2. Trading for a scoring wing player isnt the most efficient use of our resources, and won't help us wing long term. (Vince Carter, I mean you)

    3. We need a different type of player than Dunleavy is to play along Granger and use him in the most efficient way which in my view is as a scorer and number one option. We need an elite perimeter defender in the worst way, like the Spurs do with their combination of Ginobili and Bowen.

    4. We have assets to trade that other teams could use that aren't named JO or Tinsley, and we need to think that way sooner rather than later. Dunleavy, Daniels, Murphy (if by some miracle possible), Foster, and Ike should all be moved in the right circumstance.

    5. We need to start acquiring picks in bulk when we trade these assets, to help set up future moves.


    This isn't going to be checkers, this is more like multi dimensional chess, but it is the game that the Pacers front office needs to be able to play. Before identifying specific players, the Pacers must first realize how a championship level team is built piece by piece, and quit trying to put square pegs in round holes.

    Just a few days left to see if the Pacers can help their future before the summer time.....what happens next should be interesting, and educational, about whether the Pacers can improve their future, or stay on the treadmill to mediocrity.


    As always, the above is just my opinion.

    Tbird

  2. #2
    Member CableKC's Avatar
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    Default Re: Building a championship team by defining specific roles, with San Antonio as our model

    Would the offensive and defensive style that JO'B runs ( which is completely different then the way the Spurs or the Pistons run ) affect the type of roleplayers that you're suggesting that we get?

    Also......although it is optimal to get a complimentary player that can play defense for the offensive wing and Post players that we have ( Granger and JONeal ), is there a requirment that the defensive Starter be a decent scorer as well?

    Players like Artest and ( to a certain degree ) Bowen who can provide pressure defense as well as score ( or hit the 3pt shot like Bowen can ) aren't easy to find. It would seem that it would be easier to find a defensive minded player ( Quinton Ross or Diop )...unfortunately, most defensive-minded players are not very good scorers.

    Also...assuming that most of the players that you have suggested that we move...specifically Dunleavy and Murphy...aren't going to be moved primarily due to their contracts.....what role do you see them playing on the team? It sounds like they can be used as the rotational guys that come in behind the primary starters as the 4th Wing or Post guy for scoring off the bench.
    Last edited by CableKC; 02-20-2008 at 04:10 PM.
    Ash from Army of Darkness: Good...Bad...I'm the guy with the gun.

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  3. #3

    Default Re: Building a championship team by defining specific roles, with San Antonio as our model

    cool i guess step 1 is to pair a top 10 alltime power forward with a hof center.

    step 2 all you have to do is get a great mix of shot makers and great defenders.

    see guys we are all closer than we think only 2 steps away from being annual contenders
    then: adverb - at that time; at the time in question

    than: conjunction & preposition - introducing the second element in a comparison

  4. #4

    Default Re: Building a championship team by defining specific roles, with San Antonio as our model

    Quote Originally Posted by CableKC View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Would the offensive and defensive style that JO'B runs ( which is completely different then the way the Spurs or the Pistons run ) affect the type of roleplayers that you're suggesting that we get?

    Also......although it is optimal to get a complimentary player that can play defense for the offensive wing and Post players that we have ( Granger and JONeal ), is there a requirment that the defensive Starter be a decent scorer as well?

    Players like Artest and ( to a certain degree ) Bowen who can provide pressure defense as well as score ( or hit the 3pt shot like Bowen can ) aren't easy to find. It would seem that it would be easier to find a defensive minded player ( Quinton Ross or Diop )...unfortunately, most defensive-minded players are not very good scorers.

    Also...assuming that most of the players that you have suggested that we move...specifically Dunleavy and Murphy...aren't going to be moved primarily due to their contracts.....what role do you see them playing on the team? It sounds like they can be used as the rotational guys that come in behind the primary starters as the 4th Wing or Post guy for scoring off the bench.

    CableKC, thanks for responding to my original post with some good questions. I'll try to answer them in order.

    My answer to the Jim O'Brien system question, whether that would affect the type of role players I'd look for, is absolutely not. I would build this team to the blueprint I described, irregardless of the particular system Jim O'Brien is running. Why is that? Because by the time the pieces are in place completely to be a championship contender, Jim O'Brien likely won't be here. I also have real reservations about O'Brien in general.....his overreliance on his "system", his stubbornness streak, his ability to handle young guys, his in game coaching decisions, his ability to analyze players in the same way I do, etc etc etc. I was clear early on that I wouldn't have hired a "retread coach" like Jim O'Brien anyway. Having said that, no coach can win with the players we have currently playing big minutes, so this mess isn't really his fault in my view.

    It's very important for the front office and the head coach to be completely in sync with one another so they can build together the type of players they can win with. I just lack confidence in the tandem of Larry and Jim to be able to have the correct vision and execution to pull this off.

    On the next question, I think it would be a requirement for our "defensive" wing and post players to have at least some offensive skills, they just may not all be scoring in and of itself. For instance, Dale Davis couldnt really post up or shoot, but his ability to set bonecrunching baseline screens helped Reggie Miller and Jalen Rose score, and his ability to offensive rebound enabled Rik Smits to play more at the high post and away from the basket.....Dale couldn't score much himself, but his abilities COMPLIMENTED our other guys.......that's really the point I'm making.

    Derrick McKey was a reluctant scorer, but he could handle the ball well at the top of the circle, so we could run different plays other teams couldn't, with him as a primary ballhandler. Derrick had only a decent jump shot, but he was an excellent and tall feeder to the low post....his skills, while not scoring totally himself, helped the PACERS SCORE.....which is the entire point.

    We can find guys that have defense as their main function, and yet have a few redeeming offensive skills that can help us win I believe.

    In terms of Dunleavy and Murphy and using them in the event we are forced to keep them, the two players really are entirely different.

    I think Dunleavy could probably be a really good primary backup wing man on a really good team. If a team was set up perfectly, he might even be able to start....for instance, he could play the Ginobili role in San Antonio about 90% as good as Manu does, I believe. I think if the Pacers decided to move Granger instead of Dunleavy (not what I would do at all, but still) then he could start for us, AS LONG AS YOU PUT A COMPLIMENTARY PLAYER ALONGSIDE HIM. Dunleavy is a good player no doubt, I just don't think he fits well alongside Granger......think of it like what we need to do with Dunleavy is akin to moving Detlef Schrempf for Derrick McKey all those years ago. Detlef was probably a better individual player, but MCKEY HELPED US WIN BETTER.

    In regards to Murphy, I just now basically don't think he can play on a good team. Much like I think JO is a difficult player to build around and compliment, Murphy is impossible. Murphy has a few skills, but the combination of them compliments nobody. Chris Mullin dumping him on Larry Bird/Donnie Walsh will end up being his crowning achievement as a GM someday.

    I suppose Murphy is good enough to play a role similar to Austin Croshere, kind of a tweener guy who doesnt play at all some nights, but who occasionally can come in and give you some offense when you are desperate. Unfortunately, he makes even more that AC did.

    I'd trade Murphy for almost any expiring(s) deals in the league, or almost anyone who had a shorter deal than he does. Murphy just can't play.

    Thanks for the questions CKC, I hope that clarified my thinking.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Building a championship team by defining specific roles, with San Antonio as our model

    So my previous post was lost but I wanted to suggest 2 things for you T-bird.

    To you is granger quick enough and good enough with the ball to be our number one option? To me he is not and it has nothing to do with a dual role we ask of him. Some people have it and other don't or are unwilling to assume the role. You might think that it is developed but I don't think so. Look at all of the number one options in the NBA and how long did it take them to assume that role. Danny to me has had enough time.

    For me our biggest need is a number one option and unfortunatley the only ones I can see us getting/trading for all have baggage.

    So my next question is of that baggage list who would you suggest?
    Last edited by Gamble1; 02-20-2008 at 05:39 PM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Building a championship team by defining specific roles, with San Antonio as our model

    Quote Originally Posted by Gamble1 View Post
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    So my previous post was lost but I wanted to suggest 2 things for you T-bird.

    To you is granger quick enough and good enough with the ball to be our number one option? To me he is not and it has nothing to do with a dual role we ask of him. Some people have it and other don't or are unwilling to assume the role. You might think that it is developed but I don't think so. Look at all of the number one options in the NBA and how long did it take them to assume that role. Danny to me has had enough time.

    For me our biggest need is a number one option and unfortunatley the only ones I can see us getting all have baggage.

    So my next question is of that baggage list who would you suggest?
    Thanks for the question Gamble.....I'm glad you wrote.

    Well, in regards to Granger being "good enough" to be a number one option on a really good team, I think that he is but I admit there is room for argument. I know he isn't the greatest ballhandler and "slasher" but I think he makes up for some of that by being a very good decision maker and perimeter shooter, in spite of the fact that in this system very few plays are necessarily designed for him to score. Combine that with the extra energy he does have to expend trying to guard the Rip Hamilton/Dwayne Wade/Carmelo Anthony/Kobe Bryant/LeBron James types, and I think his production is about what you'd expect. I think getting extra touches, not having to expend so much energy defensively, and by some natural improvement and development that Granger can be a 20-23 point guy who is very efficient and effective consistently.

    Like I said, I compare his upside to be at about the limit of Paul Pierce and Reggie Lewis. You'd need a post player to be a primary scorer also, and at least one more good offensive player on the floor to score.

    I think its much more likely to develop Danny as a scorer than a lockdown defender.


    On the "baggage" list, who exactly are you referring to?

    Tbird

  7. #7

    Default Re: Building a championship team by defining specific roles, with San Antonio as our model

    Personally, I don't believe that Granger will ever be an 'elite level'
    scorer (which I define as a guy who can get his won shot almost
    anytime, is both an explosive and efficient scorer and opens
    things up for other guys via his abilities) or an elite level defender.

    My biggest fear as that TBTP disagrees and because he's also a
    'good guy', will hang on too long waiting to find out only to realize
    he isn't.

  8. #8
    Member CableKC's Avatar
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    Default Re: Building a championship team by defining specific roles, with San Antonio as our model

    Quote Originally Posted by thunderbird1245 View Post
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    CableKC, thanks for responding to my original post with some good questions. I'll try to answer them in order.

    My answer to the Jim O'Brien system question, whether that would affect the type of role players I'd look for, is absolutely not. I would build this team to the blueprint I described, irregardless of the particular system Jim O'Brien is running. Why is that? Because by the time the pieces are in place completely to be a championship contender, Jim O'Brien likely won't be here. I also have real reservations about O'Brien in general.....his overreliance on his "system", his stubbornness streak, his ability to handle young guys, his in game coaching decisions, his ability to analyze players in the same way I do, etc etc etc. I was clear early on that I wouldn't have hired a "retread coach" like Jim O'Brien anyway. Having said that, no coach can win with the players we have currently playing big minutes, so this mess isn't really his fault in my view.

    It's very important for the front office and the head coach to be completely in sync with one another so they can build together the type of players they can win with. I just lack confidence in the tandem of Larry and Jim to be able to have the correct vision and execution to pull this off.

    On the next question, I think it would be a requirement for our "defensive" wing and post players to have at least some offensive skills, they just may not all be scoring in and of itself. For instance, Dale Davis couldnt really post up or shoot, but his ability to set bonecrunching baseline screens helped Reggie Miller and Jalen Rose score, and his ability to offensive rebound enabled Rik Smits to play more at the high post and away from the basket.....Dale couldn't score much himself, but his abilities COMPLIMENTED our other guys.......that's really the point I'm making.

    Derrick McKey was a reluctant scorer, but he could handle the ball well at the top of the circle, so we could run different plays other teams couldn't, with him as a primary ballhandler. Derrick had only a decent jump shot, but he was an excellent and tall feeder to the low post....his skills, while not scoring totally himself, helped the PACERS SCORE.....which is the entire point.

    We can find guys that have defense as their main function, and yet have a few redeeming offensive skills that can help us win I believe.

    In terms of Dunleavy and Murphy and using them in the event we are forced to keep them, the two players really are entirely different.

    I think Dunleavy could probably be a really good primary backup wing man on a really good team. If a team was set up perfectly, he might even be able to start....for instance, he could play the Ginobili role in San Antonio about 90% as good as Manu does, I believe. I think if the Pacers decided to move Granger instead of Dunleavy (not what I would do at all, but still) then he could start for us, AS LONG AS YOU PUT A COMPLIMENTARY PLAYER ALONGSIDE HIM. Dunleavy is a good player no doubt, I just don't think he fits well alongside Granger......think of it like what we need to do with Dunleavy is akin to moving Detlef Schrempf for Derrick McKey all those years ago. Detlef was probably a better individual player, but MCKEY HELPED US WIN BETTER.

    In regards to Murphy, I just now basically don't think he can play on a good team. Much like I think JO is a difficult player to build around and compliment, Murphy is impossible. Murphy has a few skills, but the combination of them compliments nobody. Chris Mullin dumping him on Larry Bird/Donnie Walsh will end up being his crowning achievement as a GM someday.

    I suppose Murphy is good enough to play a role similar to Austin Croshere, kind of a tweener guy who doesnt play at all some nights, but who occasionally can come in and give you some offense when you are desperate. Unfortunately, he makes even more that AC did.

    I'd trade Murphy for almost any expiring(s) deals in the league, or almost anyone who had a shorter deal than he does. Murphy just can't play.

    Thanks for the questions CKC, I hope that clarified my thinking.
    Since I don't think that we will ever move Murphy and ( I prefer to keep Dunleavy ) to rotate in with Granger while playing next to a defensive minded player ( Quinton Ross ), I am guessing that we need to get a defensive minded player to compliment what he does. It's been said that Murphy seems to play well next to Foster....maybe both of them can work as the 3rd/4th rebounding/scoring Post Players that you suggest. Maybe all we need is a decent Big Man that can defend the post and rebound while scoring on occasion. It sounds like we need to find a "Dale Davis" type-player to go alongside the Rik Smits player that JONeal is becoming.

    I don't know if we could afford him....but I wouldn't mind going for a player like Diop in the offseason. He may have little to no offensive game...but he's worth a try.
    Ash from Army of Darkness: Good...Bad...I'm the guy with the gun.

    This is David West, he is the Honey Badger, West just doesn't give a *****....he's pretty bad *ss cuz he has no regard for any other Player or Team whatsoever.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Building a championship team by defining specific roles, with San Antonio as our model

    CableKC-

    There is always Thabeet as a possibility in the June draft. If
    the stud G's are gone by the time the Pacers pick, he might be
    a better way to go rather than 'reach' for a PG/SG. He's a guy
    at '5' who can cover alot of defensive ills at other spots. He's
    raw, but he's on his way to being a more fluid, athletic version
    of Motumbo if he works at his game.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Building a championship team by defining specific roles, with San Antonio as our model

    Quote Originally Posted by thunderbird1245 View Post
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    Thanks for the question Gamble.....I'm glad you wrote.

    Well, in regards to Granger being "good enough" to be a number one option on a really good team, I think that he is but I admit there is room for argument. I know he isn't the greatest ballhandler and "slasher" but I think he makes up for some of that by being a very good decision maker and perimeter shooter, in spite of the fact that in this system very few plays are necessarily designed for him to score. Combine that with the extra energy he does have to expend trying to guard the Rip Hamilton/Dwayne Wade/Carmelo Anthony/Kobe Bryant/LeBron James types, and I think his production is about what you'd expect. I think getting extra touches, not having to expend so much energy defensively, and by some natural improvement and development that Granger can be a 20-23 point guy who is very efficient and effective consistently.

    Like I said, I compare his upside to be at about the limit of Paul Pierce and Reggie Lewis. You'd need a post player to be a primary scorer also, and at least one more good offensive player on the floor to score.

    I think its much more likely to develop Danny as a scorer than a lockdown defender.


    On the "baggage" list, who exactly are you referring to?

    Tbird
    I am referring to anyone we can get with our tradeable pieces. For me I think Zach would be a reasonable first option and a low post threat we could get. I know the forum is high and tight with such suggestions but to me you play the game to win not to look good. If you want role models go to church is my opinion. We need scorers that are cheap and who we could get.

    So Zach to me is rare in the fact that he is cheap and fulfills two roles, rebounding and points. I know everyone knocks his defense but most teams have one not two low post scorers. His defense could be masked with a hard nosed big man, which in my opinion are easier to come by than a scoring big man that rebounds.

    Danny could be developed but in my opinion we need a guy to create off the dribble which Danny in my eyes is lacking.

    Lastly taking SA as a model of building has 2 flaws. The first is they were ahead of the curve in drafting over seas. The second is they were incredibly lucky to draft Tim D because of D.R's injury.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Building a championship team by defining specific roles, with San Antonio as our model

    Quote Originally Posted by Rajah Brown View Post
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    CableKC-

    There is always Thabeet as a possibility in the June draft. If
    the stud G's are gone by the time the Pacers pick, he might be
    a better way to go rather than 'reach' for a PG/SG. He's a guy
    at '5' who can cover alot of defensive ills at other spots. He's
    raw, but he's on his way to being a more fluid, athletic version
    of Motumbo if he works at his game.
    Do you actually believe he will be around? I don't at all..
    Last edited by Gamble1; 02-20-2008 at 11:32 PM.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Building a championship team by defining specific roles, with San Antonio as our model

    Quote Originally Posted by thunderbird1245 View Post
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    1. We need players who compliment each other, instead of duplicate their teammates skills, in both the backcourt and frontcourt.

    2. Trading for a scoring wing player isnt the most efficient use of our resources, and won't help us wing long term. (Vince Carter, I mean you)

    3. We need a different type of player than Dunleavy is to play along Granger and use him in the most efficient way which in my view is as a scorer and number one option. We need an elite perimeter defender in the worst way, like the Spurs do with their combination of Ginobili and Bowen.

    4. We have assets to trade that other teams could use that aren't named JO or Tinsley, and we need to think that way sooner rather than later. Dunleavy, Daniels, Murphy (if by some miracle possible), Foster, and Ike should all be moved in the right circumstance.

    5. We need to start acquiring picks in bulk when we trade these assets, to help set up future moves.
    TBird,

    I agree with EVERYTHING here. Very well put.

    I really like Dunleavy but he doesn't complament Granger. At all really.

    To me Danny is not your shutdown defender, he is one of the players you probably want for the future. So Mike should be moved at some point.

    I'm a big fan of gathering as many draft picks as possible for teams that are re building. Like it or not, call it whatever the hell you want, the Pacers are re building.

    One thing though, you were saying about point guards how good it is to have two different ones, such as Jackson/Best. Can you even do that now a days? The point guard has become a scoring position and probably the most important player on the floor. Can you really win a championship without a great point guard now a days?

    I just wish TPTB would realize these things and take actions. I think Larry has the knowledge to do a good job. I just worry that Donnie is holding him back. I also worry that Larry may himself be reluctant to pull the trigger on deals but maybe not.

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    Default Re: Building a championship team by defining specific roles, with San Antonio as our model

    Quote Originally Posted by Gamble1 View Post
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    Due you actually believe he will be around? I don't at all..
    If we miss the Playoffs....then we will likely draft no later then the 10th spot.....he'll probably be there.
    Ash from Army of Darkness: Good...Bad...I'm the guy with the gun.

    This is David West, he is the Honey Badger, West just doesn't give a *****....he's pretty bad *ss cuz he has no regard for any other Player or Team whatsoever.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Building a championship team by defining specific roles, with San Antonio as our model

    I bet he goes in the top 5.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Building a championship team by defining specific roles, with San Antonio as our model

    Gamble1-

    I have my doubts. We all know that 'bigs' tend to rise as the draft
    draws near. As much as he's been improving as the seasons rolls
    along, he may well sneak into the 4-6 range. It depends on who is
    picking where and what they need.

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    Default Re: Building a championship team by defining specific roles, with San Antonio as our model

    Quote Originally Posted by thunderbird1245 View Post
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    I like Travis Deiner and his "intangibles", I just don't like his TANGIBLE ability.
    I'm grabbing that for my sig!
    BillS

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    Default Re: Building a championship team by defining specific roles, with San Antonio as our model

    Quote Originally Posted by thunderbird1245 View Post
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    Ok, so the conclusions I'm trying to make with this long article are as follows:

    1. We need players who compliment each other, instead of duplicate their teammates skills, in both the backcourt and frontcourt.

    2. Trading for a scoring wing player isnt the most efficient use of our resources, and won't help us wing long term. (Vince Carter, I mean you)

    3. We need a different type of player than Dunleavy is to play along Granger and use him in the most efficient way which in my view is as a scorer and number one option. We need an elite perimeter defender in the worst way, like the Spurs do with their combination of Ginobili and Bowen.

    4. We have assets to trade that other teams could use that aren't named JO or Tinsley, and we need to think that way sooner rather than later. Dunleavy, Daniels, Murphy (if by some miracle possible), Foster, and Ike should all be moved in the right circumstance.

    5. We need to start acquiring picks in bulk when we trade these assets, to help set up future moves.

    1) Yes, the Pacers have too many of the same type of players (this is a very old and exasperating issue who's worst moment came, IMO, in the trade for a redundant Harrington, as was pointed out by many posters at the time). It seems like its always been the case (during the JO era anyway) that the Pacers have too much bench and too few starters. There is always someone who can come in and give you pretty much the same as the guy who starts in front of him because the guy who starts in front of him shouldn't really be a starter. It's very much like McDyess is right now for the Pistons. There is nothing really wrong with Dyess, he just doesn't bring anything that isn't already brought be other starters already and so he shouldn't be the starting PF.

    2) I read your reasoning and I understand it but I think its basically just choice rather than necessity. With Granger being able to play defensively and offensively its just a matter of who you want to pair with him on the wing (as you've said). As you said, defense is cheaper (contract wise) than offense so it makes sense (and UB happy) to get a defender and use Granger as your primary offensive wing but there are a LOT more offensive wings out there and so an offensive wing might be more available and if so I say you go for it and turn Granger towards a more defensive role who provides very solid secondary wing offense.

    3, 4, and 5) Here's the thing about these three. This is exactly what the outcry was when the Pacers made the Warrior trade (and even the trade to get Harrington again). No Dunleavy isn't a good fit next to Granger because Dunleavy's best position is as a really solid guy off the bench (as was said before the trade for him). Two of the first three you mention as assets (Dun and Murphy) aren't really assets as they have hugely bloated contracts which is why they were up to be traded by the Warriors in the first place and why there was such an outcry against the trade for them as well. Daniels contract isn't as bad but he makes more than Tinsley, provides less, and Tinsley's contract is seen as unmanageable for what he brings. Foster and Ike are tradeable assets that should be used, I agree. Foster I can see as usable towards your desire for picks but Ike seems more likely to be used to get one of the afore mentioned terrible contracts off your books (which is exactly how the Warriors used him).

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Building a championship team by defining specific roles, with San Antonio as our model

    Since the roster has been set for the rest of the season......I thought that I would revisit this topic.

    TBird....to simplify things ( and correct me if I am wrong ); it seems that you're suggesting that we pair up your scoring Wing and Post player with a corresponding defensive minded Wing and Post player while having a Backup Defensive minded PG that can come in to pressure the opposing team.

    As you suggest:

    For the PG, whether we keep Tinsley or continue to use Diener.......we just need to have a defensive minded PG back him up.

    For the Wing position, assuming that Rush is the "defensive minded scoring Wing Player" and Dunleavy as the "offensive minded Scoring Wing Player" ( both as the Backup Wing Players ).....we would just need a very solid defensive SG to pair with Granger.

    For the Post position, assuming that Foster is the "defensive minded Post Player" and Murphy is the "offensive minded Scoring Post Player" ( both as the Backup Post Players ).....we would just need a very solid defensive Big Man ( preferably a Center ) to pair with JONeal.

    Given the unliklihood that we will make any major moves anytime soon, looking at next season's roster.....it could be argued that we already have the "offensive" part of the equation solved.....it just comes down to a matter of adding the "defensive" players to the equation. The 2008-2009 rotation could likely look like this:

    PG - Tinsley / DEF_PG2 / Diener
    SG - DEF_SG1 / Rush
    SF - Granger / Dunleavy / Shawne
    PF - JONeal / Murphy
    C - DEF_C1 / Foster

    While figuring out a way to resign Rush....that would leave Marquis, Tinsley and Ike as the only players under contract that we can use in a trade to acquire the type of players that we need. I think that Marquis and Ike can probably fetch the type of trade that we need to directly or indirectly acquire the type of players that we need. I think that with some savvy Trades and draft picks....TPTB can probably get the type of players that you suggest to balence out this roster.

    The question would then become who can we pick up?

    Ross and Diop come to mind in FA while Thabeet would be someone to draft...assuming that we have the 8th to 10th pick in the draft.
    Ash from Army of Darkness: Good...Bad...I'm the guy with the gun.

    This is David West, he is the Honey Badger, West just doesn't give a *****....he's pretty bad *ss cuz he has no regard for any other Player or Team whatsoever.

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    Default Re: Building a championship team by defining specific roles, with San Antonio as our model

    YOu lost me when you said keep Tinsley.

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    Default Re: Building a championship team by defining specific roles, with San Antonio as our model

    Quote Originally Posted by Elgin56 View Post
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    YOu lost me when you said keep Tinsley.
    If I believed that we could move him....I would agree with you. I'm mainly talking from a "worst case scenario" where we don't move him....which is near impossible.

    I'm hoping that we can package him with Diogu in the offseason.

    The main thing is that I agree with TBird and many others who has said that we need to pair Tinsley or Diener with a defensive minded PG to help pressure the opposing PGs.
    Ash from Army of Darkness: Good...Bad...I'm the guy with the gun.

    This is David West, he is the Honey Badger, West just doesn't give a *****....he's pretty bad *ss cuz he has no regard for any other Player or Team whatsoever.

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    Default Re: Building a championship team by defining specific roles, with San Antonio as our model

    Great post. Good insights.

    However, I can't see Danny ever reaching the level of a Paul Pierce. Not even close, really.

    Based on your theories, I would make Granger the Defensive guy and find our Pierce. Also, our perimeter defense is hindered primarily by the weak PG effort, not as much by the wings.

    I could also see Shawne becoming our elite offensive player. If he developed that way, and Danny focused on defense, Dun could sub for both of them.

    Then go get a damn point guard.
    .

    .

    .

    .


    “People talk about how quiet he [McKey] is, but he’s really been helpful. He gives a lot of insight to players in how to guard certain teams and what their weaknesses are. The whole team listens to him, and it makes my job a lot easier. Having players like him is what pro basketball is all about for me.” —Larry Brown

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    Default Re: Building a championship team by defining specific roles, with San Antonio as our model

    I would much rather find a strong perimeter defender at the SG, PG and Center and have Granger, Diener ( or Tinsley ) and JONeal stick to what they seem to do best....score.

    Since it's unlikely that we would be able to sign some top tier FA.....I agree with TBird in that the next best ( and cheapest ) thing to do is to find some solid defensive players to pair up with our existing lineup.

    If anything....we need quicker and smarter defensive players given how bad our defense is right now. Scoring isn't where we need to find help....significantly improving our defense would help alot.

    To me....now that we have figured out the offensive part of JO'Bs system......the main objective of this offseason should be to acquire defensive players that can effectively implement Harter's defense.
    Last edited by CableKC; 02-23-2008 at 01:01 AM.
    Ash from Army of Darkness: Good...Bad...I'm the guy with the gun.

    This is David West, he is the Honey Badger, West just doesn't give a *****....he's pretty bad *ss cuz he has no regard for any other Player or Team whatsoever.

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    Default Re: Building a championship team by defining specific roles, with San Antonio as our model

    Quote Originally Posted by McKeyFan View Post
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    Great post. Good insights.

    However, I can't see Danny ever reaching the level of a Paul Pierce. Not even close, really.
    Yep, a lot of people either don't realize or forget how good Paul Pierce has been throughout his career. He's got a career average of 23.6 pts, 6.4 rebs and almost 4 assists. He's a 6 time all-star.

    This guy is going to end his career Top 10 all time in getting to the FT line. He's taken a pounding year in and year out and hasn't missed that many games. He's really been a rock, a model of consistency, and he's done it year after year when everyone's had the scouting report on him.

    I like Granger, but he's got a ways to go if he wants to be anything like Pierce. And he'd better get started soon because Pierce was already making all-star teams at the age Granger currently is.

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