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Thread: Kravitz: Pacers' effort noble . . . but not real smart

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    Denim Chicken duke dynamite's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Kravitz: Pacers' effort noble . . . but not real smart

    Posted: March 30, 2008

    They care, even if nobody else does. These Indiana Pacers are still playing, still trying, still caring deeply about what's left of their mostly dismal season, and don't dare suggest to them that tanking is really their best option.
    This was a couple of minutes after the Pacers' 123-115 home victory over the New Jersey Nets on Friday night. Players were showering and dressing, and most reporters stood around loitering, checking out an NCAA Tournament game playing on one of the TVs.
    "Turn on the Bulls-Hawks game,'' guard Travis Diener told one of the locker-room attendants.
    Bulls-Hawks?
    Who watches Bulls-Hawks, except maybe for the Bulls and Hawks themselves and possibly some degenerate gamblers with cash on the outcome?
    "Tell me again,'' I asked Diener. "Who do you guys want to win here?''
    Diener turned. "We need Chicago to win,'' he said.
    Yes, right. The Atlanta Hawks are in eighth place. The Pacers are 10th and the Bulls 11th. Sometimes you forget or, in my case, lose interest.
    I also wanted to ask Diener what was up with the facial growth he's been sporting in recent weeks -- puberty is such a special time in a boy's life -- but I had gotten caught up in the Bulls-Hawks action.
    Give the Pacers this much: They are still trying, even if trying isn't what's in the long-term interest of their franchise. They haven't gone in the tank, like Miami and New York and other franchises more concerned with their ping-pong ball allotment. They are still competing like the eighth spot is a holy grail of sorts. There are a number of players in this room who haven't sniffed the playoffs, players who want this chance, and are playing like it.
    That's commendable.
    Not smart, but commendable.
    Let's be honest here: The best thing that could happen is the Pacers go, say, 3-7 in the final 10 games, earn a spot in the NBA Lottery and take their chances.
    If they reach the eighth spot, that means a quick and relatively painless exit at the hands of the Boston Celtics. The Simons might like the postseason payday, and the guys in my business might enjoy a couple of days of eating in Little Italy, but for this franchise, the best option is the lottery.
    It's enough to make you wonder if it's best for Jermaine O'Neal, currently the world's biggest fashion model, to even bother returning down the stretch. On the one hand, it's important for future trade partners to see that O'Neal is healthy and productive. On the other hand, if he's healthy and productive, the Pacers might just follow up this latest 6-4 stretch with another nice run of 10 games.
    For those of you still living and dying with this playoff push, here is the breakdown:
    The Hawks, now eighth in the Eastern Conference at 32-40, finish the season with five games against teams .500 or better, with five games at home and five on the road. Currently, they're 21/2 games up on the Pacers.
    The Nets, who might be the biggest underachievers in the league, are a half-game ahead of the Pacers. (And essentially are ahead by one additional game because they own the tiebreaker.) The Nets are going to have it rough: After Saturday night's loss to Phoenix, they have eight games remaining -- three at home, five on the road and six against teams above .500.
    The Pacers are in 10th place, and while they're not dead just yet, they surely aren't feeling all that frisky. The schedule, though, looks friendly. They have nine games left -- five at home, four on the road and just three against teams above .500.
    Nobody cares? That's understood. And that's understandable. Combine some early-season off-the-court issues with injuries and a losing team, and there's not a lot to recommend this team.
    But this much should be said: They are giving it everything they've got. Mike Dunleavy keeps making his case for Most Improved Player. Danny Granger shows why he's the future cornerstone of this franchise. Troy Murphy, who's never been a personal favorite as a player, is emerging as an automatic double-double guy. And in recent games, Shawne Williams, who would be a junior on the current Memphis team, is starting to show what he's got.
    "We've had teams here before, they had a lot more talent, but they didn't play as hard as this team,'' center Jeff Foster said. "Our problem is, we just don't have enough talent right now.''
    Which is the point entirely. They don't have enough talent, and they are especially lacking when it comes to having the talent to defend. They don't have a soul who can guard the ball on the perimeter. And they don't have anybody who can patrol the lane.
    But they're trying. They truly are trying. They may just try hard enough, and play well enough, to screw up the whole thing and blow the lottery pick. For the sake of the franchise, you hope it doesn't happen. But for a bunch of guys who still care even if nobody else does, a spot in the postseason seems like an appropriate payoff.


    http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dl...TS15/803300401

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    Denim Chicken duke dynamite's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kravitz: Pacers' effort noble . . . but not real smart

    This is my comment...

    He complains and complains that we don't play well. Now he is complaining that we are showing some heart. You never want your team to tank. And coming from someone who "lost interest". Why even bother writing if you aren't interested? If that's the case let someone else write the stories on the team.

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    Pacer Junky Will Galen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kravitz: Pacers' effort noble . . . but not real smart

    Quote Originally Posted by duke dynamite View Post
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    This is my comment...

    He complains and complains that we don't play well. Now he is complaining that we are showing some heart. You never want your team to tank. And coming from someone who "lost interest". Why even bother writing if you aren't interested? If that's the case let someone else write the stories on the team.
    Amen!

    Besides, there's not much difference between the 15th pick which is what we would have if we make the playoffs and pick 11 or 12 which is what we will probably have if we don't make the playoffs. So . . .

    Go Pacers!

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    Default Re: Kravitz: Pacers' effort noble . . . but not real smart

    I just view Kravitz as ***** stirrer. He's never consistent on any view. He just likes the cause a stir, guess it sells papers.

    I care, I'm just on the fence as to what is best for the team.

    Getting lucky and getting a 1, 2 or 3 pick would be great, but I'm not very optimist for that to happen. So does it matter if we are the 9, 10, 11 or 12 pick? Could the playoff experience of getting beat 4 straight by Boston really help us? Would it help the guys to play in a few playoff games? some people thing it does. I just don't know what's best, I can't help but to still root for them to win.
    "Just look at the flowers ........ BANG"

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    Denim Chicken duke dynamite's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kravitz: Pacers' effort noble . . . but not real smart

    Just another way to keep the fans from heading out to the games. I'm sure without at least a little bit of the media interfering the team would have a little bit better of a reputation and more tickets being sold. Since the Colts have nothing to report on until mid-April, someone has to come up with something fast for the mouth-breathers to chew on and spit out.

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    Default Re: Kravitz: Pacers' effort noble . . . but not real smart

    Re-read his last sentence. I think this whole piece is a shaded compliment to the players. They haven't given up...they care...and he's saying so. I don't think it's a slap at the franchise at all.
    If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around..

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    All is full of Orange! Mourning's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kravitz: Pacers' effort noble . . . but not real smart

    I aggree with you, Geezer. He's definitely complimenting the players IMO. He just says that for the sake of the franchise it might be better (and I happen to aggree with that) to get a better pick. Sure now that it's bound to be a 11-12 pick the difference isn't that big with a 15th pick. Remember though that we had the virtual 8th and 9th pick shortly ago.

    Some are craving for Augustin others for Love and yet others for Thabeet. Well wouldn't it be nice to miss out on all three of those? Which might just happen now. Cool huh? Guess that was all worth playing four extra games where we get our asses handed on a silver plater . EJ is out of reach allready by now.

    Aside from that if we want to move up in the draft it's going to be a lot more "costly" now to do so and if we wanted to use or pick as a trading piece it's worth now is also a lot lower. So, yeah I happen to aggree with Kravitz on this.

    And for the people in denial... YES, I do think we lack talent, mainly on the defensive end.

    Regards,

    Mourning
    Last edited by Mourning; 03-30-2008 at 07:26 AM.
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    Default Re: Kravitz: Pacers' effort noble . . . but not real smart

    Mourning-

    Very well put. You touched all the bases. The notion that there
    is no real difference between #9 or 10 and #15 is ridiculous.

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    Member Erik's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kravitz: Pacers' effort noble . . . but not real smart

    Quote Originally Posted by duke dynamite View Post
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    "Turn on the Bulls-Hawks game,'' guard Travis Diener told one of the locker-room attendants.
    Bulls-Hawks?
    They haven't gone in the tank, like Miami and New York and other franchises more concerned with their ping-pong ball allotment. They are still competing like the eighth spot is a holy grail of sorts. There are a number of players in this room who haven't sniffed the playoffs, players who want this chance, and are playing like it.
    That's commendable.
    Knowing that these guys are trying makes me proud to be a Pacer fan. If the players want to make it, I'm not going to wish them bad luck just for lottery balls. Tanking is low-class, it was hilarious when Boston ended up not getting the #1 last year (even though the offseason worked out pretty well for them).

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    Default Re: Kravitz: Pacers' effort noble . . . but not real smart

    Quote Originally Posted by Rajah Brown View Post
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    Mourning-

    Very well put. You touched all the bases. The notion that there
    is no real difference between #9 or 10 and #15 is ridiculous.

    I do agree with you, but it's not as ridiculous as you think.

    2004

    9) Andre Iguodala
    10) Luke Jackson

    15) Al Jefferson

    I'm an avid Jefferson fan who so badly wanted a JO to Boston trade for Al. I firmly believe he's a future Allstar.

    There have been draft years when 9, 10, and 15 draft picks were nothing of note.

    2006 Draft

    9) O'Bryant
    10) Sene

    15) Simmons


    2003 Draft

    9) Mike Sweetney
    10) Jarvis Hayes

    15) Reece Gaines


    In the 2004 draft there were numerous players drafted after 15 that have become nice or quality players.

    17) Josh Smith
    18) J R Smith
    19) Dorell Wright
    20) Jameer Nelson
    21) Delmonte West
    22) Tony Allen
    23) KEVIN MARTIN
    28) Ben Udrih

    With Udrih being a RFA this off season, I would love to see the Pacers go after him, but the Pacers won't use their MLE again this off season to go into the luxury tax. Really, I don't think the MLE could get Udrih anyway.

    Where was Bird when McHale waived Udrih? What a pickup for cheap money!

  11. #11

    Default Re: Kravitz: Pacers' effort noble . . . but not real smart

    "If" we trade JO that alone should bring back talent that will improve us significantly, maybe a 1st rnd pick also. Screw Krapitz... I wanna make the playoffs. Who knows if our 3's are falling we might pull a game or two out. It would be fun watching David vs Goliath. The players and teams make more money.
    "He wanted to get to that money time. Time when the hardware was on the table. That's when Roger was going to show up. So all we needed to do was stay close"
    Darnell Hillman (Speaking of former teammate Roger Brown)

  12. #12

    Default Re: Kravitz: Pacers' effort noble . . . but not real smart

    1998 draft-

    9. DIRK NOWITZKI
    10. PAUL PIERCE
    11. Bonzi Wells
    12. Michael Doleac
    13. Keon Clark
    14. Michael Dickerson
    15. Matt Harpring

    Touche !

    Obviously, it makes a big difference some years, others not so
    much. But generally speaking, the higher the pick, the more value
    it has as an asset.

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    Default Re: Kravitz: Pacers' effort noble . . . but not real smart

    Quote Originally Posted by duke dynamite View Post
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    This is my comment...

    He complains and complains that we don't play well. Now he is complaining that we are showing some heart. You never want your team to tank. And coming from someone who "lost interest". Why even bother writing if you aren't interested? If that's the case let someone else write the stories on the team.
    I don't see the article that way at all.

    I see him commending the team on giving effort and having heart. Two thiings that not all recent Pacers teams have had.

    I think sometimes people have such a dislike for the messenger, that they miss (or ignore) the message.
    Last edited by Tom White; 03-30-2008 at 10:27 AM.

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    ENABEABLER MagicRat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kravitz: Pacers' effort noble . . . but not real smart

    1998 Draft

    1 - Michael Olowokandi
    6 - Tractor Traylor

    Touche!
    PSN: MRat731 XBL: MRat0731

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    100 Miles from the B count55's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kravitz: Pacers' effort noble . . . but not real smart

    The only thing a higher pick guarantees you is that you'll have more players to choose from. It mitigates (somewhat) the inherent risk of the draft by allowing you more choices.

    On March 2nd, we all watched the 17th pick in the 2005 draft (Danny Granger) put up 27 pts, 9 rebs, 3 asts, a steal and a block, while three players drafted ahead of him in that draft (Ike Diogu, Charlie Villanueva, and #1 Andrew Bogut) combined for 17 pts, 14 rebs, 4 asts, and a block.

    Both sides can come up with myriad examples of 8's being better than 15's and vice-versa. However, I would absolutely shocked if it could be demonstrated that in any draft in any sport in the history of man that the top 10 players taken actually turned out to be the 10 best players that came out of that draft. Can you honestly say that DJ Augustin is a mortal lock to be a better NBA player than Ty Lawson?

    Given that uncertainty, don't you find it at the least distasteful and at the most outright slimy to backhand players who are only doing what our fathers taught us and what we as parents would teach our children to do: try their best and maintain a desire to win? And yes, it is backhanding. "Isn't it precious how they try? Just look at those poor, dumb *******s."

    Many of the players in this lockerroom will be the core of this team for years to come. Next year's pick could be a key piece, perhaps even a difference maker (if we're extremely lucky), but he's going to have to rely on the players around him to optimize his impact. Isn't it a good thing that they're players who play hard and want to win?

    [Edit: Naturally, I would love for the Pacers to have as high of a pick as possible, and of course, I would expect a first round matchup with the C's to result in a sweep. However, it is contrary to everything I have been taught and believe to go into the tank. I simply cannot get mad at a team for doing what we would expect it to do on any given night: play hard and try to win. It's the moral of all of the Faustian legends...if you sell your soul, it always turns out badly, despite what Charlie Daniels said. I mean, is Chicago really in any better shape than we are after 10 years into trying to "blow it all up"?)
    Last edited by count55; 03-30-2008 at 11:09 AM.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Kravitz: Pacers' effort noble . . . but not real smart

    count55-

    Where Kravtiz is concerned, you are correct. Aside from
    generally being a horse's a$$, he's just being a condescending,
    *****-stirrer in his piece this a.m.

    As for myself, I don't root against the players, but I'd rather the
    franchise lose and optimize their position in what'll hopefully be
    their last draft in the Lottery for a long, long time.

    For the record, I really like the existing team. I enjoy them as
    much as any bunch since the post-Brawl squad of overachievers.
    They play their a$$es off.

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    Artificial Intelligence wintermute's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kravitz: Pacers' effort noble . . . but not real smart

    i just realized how little playoff experience we have in the rotation. dunleavy, murphy, diener, shawne, and ike have never made the playoffs. granger and harrison have only played in 1 series. aside from jeff and hopefully jermaine, our "veteran core" consists of ... rush, quis, and flip, who have 2-3 postseason appearances each. in terms of playoff experience (or lack of), we're almost as bad as the hawks.

    playoff hungry indeed.

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    100 Miles from the B count55's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kravitz: Pacers' effort noble . . . but not real smart

    Quote Originally Posted by Rajah Brown View Post
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    count55-

    Where Kravtiz is concerned, you are correct. Aside from
    generally being a horse's a$$, he's just being a condescending,
    *****-stirrer in his piece this a.m.

    As for myself, I don't root against the players, but I'd rather the
    franchise lose and optimize their position in what'll hopefully be
    their last draft in the Lottery for a long, long time.

    For the record, I really like the existing team. I enjoy them as
    much as any bunch since the post-Brawl squad of overachievers.
    They play their a$$es off.
    Cool...I apologize if I insulted you. As a vet primarily of RealGM, and somewhat of this board, I've been engaged in this general debate dozens of times. Last year, it was especially raw because of the top 10 protection...I found myself hoping we'd either make the playoffs or backslide into the bottom 10...What bothered me about last year's result was not that we lost Acie Law (meh), but that we literally ended up in the worst possible position (11th). It was one more example of the Pacers getting stuck with the worst case scenario.

    I think, in the back of my mind, by "best case scenario" (assuming we won't get lucky and land in the top 3) is that these guys play hard, but can't quite catch Atlanta, and we can land a DJ Augustin or Darren Collison. I'd love to get Derrick Rose, but it's clear Karma doesn't like us that much.

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    Default Re: Kravitz: Pacers' effort noble . . . but not real smart

    Quote Originally Posted by count55
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    The only thing a higher pick guarantees you is that you'll have more players to choose from. It mitigates (somewhat) the inherent risk of the draft by allowing you more choices.

    More choices increases uncertainty, hence it increases risk. It doesn't mitigate it. But count55, I like everything else you wrote.

    Here's what shocks me:

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Kravitz
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    Give the Pacers this much: They are still trying, even if trying isn't what's in the long-term interest of their franchise.

    I don't see how he could bring himself to write those sentences. Trying is always in the best interests of the franchise.
    Last edited by Putnam; 03-30-2008 at 12:28 PM.
    And I won't be here to see the day
    It all dries up and blows away
    I'd hang around just to see
    But they never had much use for me
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    J.O. To The T.O. Oneal07's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kravitz: Pacers' effort noble . . . but not real smart

    LOL. . .I do not agree with this guy at all. There's so many prospects out there that can help this team in the top 20. why do people always think that getting a top 5 pick is gonna help out your team. unless there's a LeBron James in this years draft, there's really no sense tanking. The Pacers just have to be smart drafting players. I've seen a lot of PG's in this years tournament that could help the Pacers that aren't big names but have a lot of skill.

    I never believe in the hype, I don't hate on them, but there's a whole lotta young ballers out there that can help this team
    R.I.P. Bernic Mac & Isaac Hayes

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    NaptownSeth is all feel Naptown_Seth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kravitz: Pacers' effort noble . . . but not real smart

    Quote Originally Posted by duke dynamite View Post
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    This is my comment...

    He complains and complains that we don't play well. Now he is complaining that we are showing some heart. You never want your team to tank. And coming from someone who "lost interest". Why even bother writing if you aren't interested? If that's the case let someone else write the stories on the team.
    I bring this up from time to time, but Bob is the guy that wrote of the WOMEN'S Final Four when it was being held in Indy a few years ago (paraphrasing) - "I can't make you care about it so why bother writing about it."

    Wow, that's the spirit. Good thing he wasn't one of the producers of King of Kong or some other interesting film who's topic didn't exactly leap off the page before a great artist got his hands on it.

    Personally I thought a writer, ESPECIALLY a columnist, was supposed to make you care. Here's a topic, give me 500 words why I give a s***. The ones that can't aren't supposed to get jobs. I mean even JayRedd could muster enough noun-verb combos, maybe even in the correct tense, to make me at least put a subject at the bottom of my list of things I need to consider at some point reflecting on possibly caring about.


    Sadly I think this is his attempt to make you care, going with the whole "I'm with you, they should tank, but they are trying" reverse psychology thing. You know, like Hemingway did ala "hey, I think fly fishing sucks too, but guys go do it so I guess maybe that's something."

  22. #22
    100 Miles from the B count55's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kravitz: Pacers' effort noble . . . but not real smart

    Quote Originally Posted by Putnam View Post
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    More choices increases risk. It doesn't mitigate it.
    It depends on whether you believe the additions to the pool are better likely better than the average of those already present. While it's absolutely true that it would increase the risk of making exactly the right choice (ie...choosing the player who actually turns out to be the best), it could mitigate the risk of getting a good, productive player simply by the virtue of having more potentially good, productive players available. (This, of course, based on the premise that NBA talent scouting, as inexact a science as it may be, is at least directionally correct in it's overall assessment of players in the draft.)

    I guess the problem here is the use of risk. David Harrison was arguably a good draft pick at 29 because you really weren't expecting much out of the pick. If he didn't pan out, there was no real loss. I probably should have said "increases your chances" rather than "mitigates your risk".

    It "mitigates the risk" of the player you want not being available when you draft. (Though, considering that Scott Haskin, Jonathan Bender, Fred Jones, and George McCloud were "the players we wanted", maybe that's not altogether a good thing.)

  23. #23
    NaptownSeth is all feel Naptown_Seth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kravitz: Pacers' effort noble . . . but not real smart

    Quote Originally Posted by Putnam View Post
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    More choices increases uncertainty, hence it increases risk. It doesn't mitigate it. But count55, I like everything else you wrote.
    You forgot to finish with "see: Jonathan Bender".

    Having more options still on the table is great, but a higher pick means higher risk-reward as Putnam says. That's why with Granger we say "it was the obvious pick". Sucks to not get credit for it but the fact is they didn't have the #3 on the line. Compare that to the Manning/Leaf choice. Without that top pick you can't get Manning, but if you picked 5 you also didn't pick Leaf over Manning (or lots of other players).


    I guess with the draft you have to sincerely ask who you trust more, Bird getting it right or a few other GMs getting it wrong before it gets to Bird. I like Shawne and that wasn't a no-brainer, but even still I think the jury is still out. This is the first real deal out on the table, just as his rep for dealing is about to start getting accumulated this summer for better or worse.


    This, of course, based on the premise that NBA talent scouting, as inexact a science as it may be, is at least directionally correct in it's overall assessment of players in the draft.)
    Good overall response, and on this quote the stats sure back up the fact that they are directionally correct. There is noise but the curve of potential success does peak at the #1 pick and slope quickly down, somewhat exponentially even.

    I've posted it before, I think from 82 Games, but there is one thing to being 8-14, that's the sweet spot for PAY vs TALENT. Those guys tend to overplay their rookie deals. There is a premium for the extra talent that comes at 1-6 or so. Of course that's not going to make or break a team financially. It's just a small bit of sunshine for a team drafting out of the top slots.
    Last edited by Naptown_Seth; 03-30-2008 at 12:44 PM.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Kravitz: Pacers' effort noble . . . but not real smart

    ^^^^


    Quote Originally Posted by count55
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    I guess the problem here is the use of risk. David Harrison was arguably a good draft pick at 29 because you really weren't expecting much out of the pick. If he didn't pan out, there was no real loss. I probably should have said "increases your chances" rather than "mitigates your risk".

    Exactly right. David Harrison was a good draft pick, who turned out to be a crappy NBA player. A lot of people think they can apply hindsight and declare Harrison a mistake. But you can't. Even though there were questions about him from college, Harrison was still the right guy to pick at that moment. He flopped, but no one knew he was going to flop on draft night.
    Last edited by Putnam; 03-30-2008 at 12:44 PM.
    And I won't be here to see the day
    It all dries up and blows away
    I'd hang around just to see
    But they never had much use for me
    In Levelland. (James McMurtry)

  25. #25
    It Might Be a Soft J JayRedd's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kravitz: Pacers' effort noble . . . but not real smart

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