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Thread: Bruno’s Blog> In search of greatness

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    Pacer Junky Will Galen's Avatar
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    Default Bruno’s Blog> In search of greatness

    http://my.nba.com/thread.jspa?threadID=580002078

    In search of greatness, or at least very goodness
    By Conrad Brunner

    Apr 21, 2008
    Dozens of highly skilled, experienced professionals have spent the better part of the past year traveling around the globe to scout talent, assembling detailed reports on every facet of the skill sets of hundreds of prospects big, small and in-between, so that the Pacers will be fully prepared for the NBA Draft.

    Which is nice, but I watched quite a bit of the NCAA Tournament (not to dislocate a shoulder patting myself on the back, but I did have Davidson reaching the Sweet 16 in my bracket) and have spent several minutes on draft Websites and I've already got the thing pretty much figured out.

    Though the draft is a couple of months away, it's a very big deal indeed for the Pacers. Assuming they don't pull one of the top three picks from the lottery on May 20 (they have a 3 percent chance of one of the top three picks, less than 1 percent at No. 1 overall), they'll almost certainly be picking No. 11 in the first round and No. 41 in the second round.

    Which brings up what might be the biggest question of this offseason: is there any greatness available at No. 11 -- or anywhere else, for that matter?

    Though there are clearly identifiable needs, both from a positional and a skill-set standpoint, what the Pacers need more than anything else is a player with greatness. They have plenty of good young players to build around, most notably Danny Granger and Mike Dunleavy. Granger is on the verge of stardom, but he's a few steps away from greatness.

    By greatness, I mean the ability to take over a game at either end, the skill to either get or create a shot under pressure, the professionalism to set an example for the rest of the team, the thoroughness of basketball savvy to be able to make his teammates better. The great player is the sun around which all others revolve.

    You know, the guys whose names always come up in the MVP discussion.

    The Pacers, then, have two options as it relates to their lottery pick. They can keep it, draft a young talent, give him time to develop and hope he rises to the elite level. Or they can treat it as a liquid asset and package the pick in a trade to acquire more immediate help.

    If they choose to keep it, I've already determined exactly who they should select. Given the stated needs of point guard and a big man – not to mention mental and physical toughness – and the nature of the prospects available, it seems the Pacers will be able to fill one need in the first round and the other in the second.

    SCENARIO ONE

    First round, Kevin Love, PF, UCLA – Love has the potential to develop into a very effective offensive force around the basket and has worked on extending his range. He's big, strong and tough and has a solid basketball IQ. The questions center on his athleticism and defensive.

    Second round, Lester Hudson, G, UT-Martin – A first-round talent who ranked third in the country in 3-pointers per game (10) and first in steals, Hudson has the size, strength and all-around game to be a second-round steal, even if he isn't a pure point guard. Really, how many pure college point guards make it in the NBA? Remember Phil Ford? There are red flags about his background but, in the second round, it's worth rolling the dice.

    SCENARIO TWO

    First round, Russell Westbrook, G, UCLA – If you're looking for defense at the point of attack, this is your guy. Westbrook has the look of a lockdown defender with excellent size and strength. He isn't a creator and needs work on his long-range shooting but is one of those guys that finds a way to fill up a lot of columns in the box score.

    Second round, D.J. White, PF, Indiana – Though perhaps a tad undersized for an NBA post player, White has the toughness and desire to make it work. If last season was an indicator, this is a guy willing to put in the work to improve his all-around game. The next step would be to improve his shooting range.

    There. I'm glad that's settled.
    ----------------------------
    Bruno didn't mention it, but it's possible we can also move backwards and pick at 12,13, or 14.

    Of course is very, very, unlikely we would pick at those spots because the teams behind us, who have less of a change than we do, would have to move into the top three. We probably have better odds of picking 1st than picking 13th or 14th. Bruno's right we will most certainly pick 11th and 41st.

    I like his scenarios, although I probably like #2 the best.

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    Default Re: Bruno’s Blog> In search of greatness

    I would like either scenario (not thrilled that Hudson has a red flag, though), but the idea of shoring up our PG defense is very tempting.

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    Member esabyrn333's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bruno’s Blog> In search of greatness

    I have a feeling someone will reach on Love & Westbrook and they will be gone at 11. I think someone is going to fall into our lap that we did not expect. I just don't know who.

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    Default Re: Bruno’s Blog> In search of greatness

    I'm starting to get on the Russell Westbrook bandwagon here on PD.

    I just think that he is the right guy. If you look at talent level and needs he is the guy for us. He has a strong character and work ethic. Mostly though he gives us something we haven't had since who knows, a big point guard who can defend.

    As far as i'm concerned DJ doesn't improve our defense and the bigs likely avaliable at 11 have some character question marks such as DeAndre Jordan.

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    Release Psycho T pwee31's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bruno’s Blog> In search of greatness

    I think the Pacers will trade #11, but who knows?

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    '12 PD Sunshiner awardee Kemo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bruno’s Blog> In search of greatness

    shoot, I REALLY want us to draft Westbrook if he is available, and if possible trade up to be able to get him...

    IMHO he is gonna be the closest to the next Jordan/Kobe/Lebron that the NBA is gonna see in awhile
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    Default Re: Bruno’s Blog> In search of greatness

    Anyone else find it odd that Bruno ( aka Pacers mouthpiece ) mentions specific players that he wouldn't mind the Pacers drafting?

    I also agree with esabyrn333, I think that someone is going to reach for Kevin Love and pick him by the 7-9 spots. As for Westbrook......there is a chance he could get picked early as well....but not as likely as Kevin Love being drafted before the 10th pick.
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    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: Bruno’s Blog> In search of greatness

    Quote Originally Posted by Kemo View Post
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    shoot, I REALLY want us to draft Westbrook if he is available, and if possible trade up to be able to get him...

    IMHO he is gonna be the closest to the next Jordan/Kobe/Lebron that the NBA is gonna see in awhile
    ummmmmmm no. He isn't/ More like Tayshaun Prince
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    Default Re: Bruno’s Blog> In search of greatness

    sorry , but Tayshaun prince isn't a monster on the dunks...


    Westbrook is gonna be like an early , in his prime vince carter .. watch
    Quote Originally Posted by naptownmenace View Post
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    Plumlee reminds me of a young Dale Davis. Good rebounding and he contests shots well on defense and his offensive game is very raw just like DD's was coming out of college.
    "If my answers frighten you, then you should cease asking scary questions."

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    Member Erik's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bruno’s Blog> In search of greatness

    D.J. has heart, the type of toughness that will make him better than Ike even though Ike has more talent. I hope he is there for us when we pick second.

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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bruno’s Blog> In search of greatness

    If the Pacers take Love from UCLA, I might get sick. So he is the guy we get rewarded with for missing the playoffs. I'd rather lose to the Celtics by 30 in 4 straight games. Wow this draft must really be bad.

    One thing to keep in mind over the years, a much greater % of busts and horrible picks were big men
    Last edited by Unclebuck; 04-22-2008 at 09:23 AM.

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    Default Re: Bruno’s Blog> In search of greatness

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    If the Pacers take Love from UCLA, I might get sick. So he is the guy we get rewarded with for missing the playoffs. I'd rather lose to the Celtics by 30 in 4 straight games. Wow this draft must really be bad.

    One thing to keep in mind over the years most a much, much greater % of busts and horrible picks were big men

    Who would you take with the 11th pick then?

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    Default Re: Bruno’s Blog> In search of greatness

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    One thing to keep in mind over the years most a much, much greater % of busts and horrible picks were big men
    To be fair, that would be because a larger number of big men get picked higher than they probably should due to their rarity and because a larger number of big men get shoved into heavy service before they are probably ready. Makes it easier to get bad habits/nagging injury/bad reputation early in a career and show out as a bust or bad pick.
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    Default Re: Bruno’s Blog> In search of greatness

    Regarding Hudson, Conrad didn't do any great research, he just listened to Jimmy's last radio show:

    http://www.pacersdigest.com/apache2-...5&postcount=55
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    Default Re: Bruno’s Blog> In search of greatness

    Quote Originally Posted by Vince Neil View Post
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    Who would you take with the 11th pick then?
    I probably should stay out of the draft discussion, because I watch very litle college basketball. But I did see UCLA and Love didn't impress me at all and I think that is the type of player we don't need.

    Pacers in general must get quicker

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    Default Re: Bruno’s Blog> In search of greatness

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    I probably should stay out of the draft discussion, because I watch very litle college basketball. But I did see UCLA and Love didn't impress me at all and I think that is the type of player we don't need.

    Pacers in general must get quicker
    Did you just see him in the tournament when he was playing hurt?

    I've heard a number of people say he should go 3rd behind Rose and Beasley. Not saying I agree with that, just throwing it out there.
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    It's my opinion, relax! Vince Neil's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bruno’s Blog> In search of greatness

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    I probably should stay out of the draft discussion, because I watch very litle college basketball. But I did see UCLA and Love didn't impress me at all and I think that is the type of player we don't need.

    Pacers in general must get quicker
    Love does run a little goofy, to say the least.

    I want the Pacers to take a point guard but not sure who will be left at the 11th slot. DJ Augustine maybe, but his height (5'10", I think) scares me a little.

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    Default Re: Bruno’s Blog> In search of greatness

    Bird says we need experience at the point guard position and that leads me to believe we won't be drafting one. I see a better chance of us using that pick along with a player as leverage in a trade and maybe picking a bit later or possibly not at all in the first round. I'm with UB though, I'm not a Kevin Love fan.

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    Default Re: Bruno’s Blog> In search of greatness

    Quote Originally Posted by Irk Woodsman View Post
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    D.J. has heart, the type of toughness that will make him better than Ike even though Ike has more talent. I hope he is there for us when we pick second.
    I second that. DJ has not only worked hard on his game, but with all he went through at IU over his time there, showed just what a class act he is.

    Heck, he is still at it helping IU recruit new talent. Check out this link:


    http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dl.../80421063/1069

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    Default Re: Bruno’s Blog> In search of greatness

    Quote Originally Posted by Mal View Post
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    I would like either scenario (not thrilled that Hudson has a red flag, though), but the idea of shoring up our PG defense is very tempting.
    Hudson's red flags are as follows
    He never graduated highschool. You do not have to pass a literacy test to play in the NBA.

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    Default Re: Bruno’s Blog> In search of greatness

    Quote Originally Posted by Kemo View Post
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    shoot, I REALLY want us to draft Westbrook if he is available, and if possible trade up to be able to get him...

    IMHO he is gonna be the closest to the next Jordan/Kobe/Lebron that the NBA is gonna see in awhile
    Mayo has that potential, though, more like a DWade.

    Bayless could be like Billups.

    Rose will be a cross between DWade and Kidd with outside shooting.

    Westbrook, I think, has the potential to be more like Gary Payton with less PG skills and more scoring punch.

    With Beasly, I'm thinking, a Melo-like PF.

    I really like Eric Gordon's shooting range.

    Don't think DJ White will still be on the board at the Pacer's second pick. Do like his heart and energy and hard work, and this is coming from a Purdue alum. I would be happy to see him in Blue and Gold, or whatever color you want to call it (maize?).

    Anybody see Patrick Ewing in Brook Lopez?

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    Default Re: Bruno’s Blog> In search of greatness

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan View Post
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    Hudson's red flags are as follows
    He never graduated highschool. You do not have to pass a literacy test to play in the NBA.
    I thank God that I came from a family that supported and emphasized education. Not everyone has that blessing.

    Red flags could be viewed as adversity that a player overcame. He did go to a community college and got his GED his first semester. He seems to be very talented on the court. After everything the Pacers have gone through, they will be sure to do their homework on every draft candidate.

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    Default Re: Bruno’s Blog> In search of greatness

    hoping anthony randolph falls to us at 11.

    would be the perfect PF in JOB's offense

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    Default Re: Bruno’s Blog> In search of greatness

    Quote Originally Posted by iPACER View Post
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    Mayo has that potential, though, more like a DWade.

    Bayless could be like Billups.

    Rose will be a cross between DWade and Kidd with outside shooting.

    Westbrook, I think, has the potential to be more like Gary Payton with less PG skills and more scoring punch.

    With Beasly, I'm thinking, a Melo-like PF.

    I really like Eric Gordon's shooting range.

    Don't think DJ White will still be on the board at the Pacer's second pick. Do like his heart and energy and hard work, and this is coming from a Purdue alum. I would be happy to see him in Blue and Gold, or whatever color you want to call it (maize?).

    Anybody see Patrick Ewing in Brook Lopez?
    You set some pretty high expectations there with your comparisons.

    That is the great thing about the NBA draft. It is ALWAYS filled with all stars in waiting. That is, until they actually play and the high ecpectations come back down to Earth.

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    Default Re: Bruno’s Blog> In search of greatness

    I'll say this again and get knocked for it, but with regards to Love.

    Who is the best american white player in the league?

    Whatever your answer is, I'll respond with "exactly!"

    It doesn't mean Love won't end up being an allstar I suppose, but recent history is way against him.

    Bash away.

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