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Thread: An Assessment of Pacer Talent

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    Default An Assessment of Pacer Talent

    Here’s an assessment and outlook for the players who played a serious role in the past season, injured or not.

    JO – A perennially injured player with a $20 million/yr contract. Is incapable of ‘taking over a game’ even when healthy. Can ‘create’ his own shot, but with a low percentage. Probably doen’t contribute to ‘team chemistry’ because he demands the ball when on the court but can’t deliver. An outstanding defensive player and could easily be defensive player of the year if he put his mind to it. No off-court issues. Bottom line: will NOT be traded and will start but due to his health issues will see action in less than 55 games.

    Tins – There’s something going on with Jamal besides ‘injury’. Attitude, maybe? He seemed ideal for JOB’s ill-advised ‘uptempo’ philosophy, i.e., unforced turnovers, impossible 3’s, ineffective offensive rebounding and terrible defense. Something happened to Jamal this past season between game 15 – 20. What? He has a terrible off-court record. Salary’s not that bad. No longer young but I believe has upside potential in the right situation. Bottom line: will be traded.

    Granger – Our current ‘star’, a very solid player. He’s no Ron Artest on defense (who is?), but he’s good enough in terms of perimeter defensive. No off-court issues. DG is now the face of the current franchise. Had a break-out year in 07/08 – thanks to JO injury. Untouchable in terms of trade. Bottom line: will continue as a starter next season. Note, this guy deserves a cool nick-name.

    Murph – Gave us all he’s got, but JOB is right, on a playoff-bound West Coast team, he would not be a starter. Dependable, doesn’t sulk with lame injuries when he takes a breather on the bench. Despite size, plays as a shooting guard. Accuracy is inconsistent, and takes way too many threes. Can’t defend consistently either. True front-court team mates get into foul trouble trying to help out on his defensive lapses. Makes way too many $ for his value and his contract is too long. No off-court issues. Bottom line: will be offered as trade bait, but will probably be a Pacer next season. This is not all bad as he will handle JO’s duties when JO is on the bench with injuries.

    Dunlevy – Just finished his best season ever as a pro. He’s an excellent ball handler for his size. His size and transition game puts a lot of pressure on opponents defense. Best 3-point shooter on the team and fits JOB’s misguided game plan (you know, heave a 3 with 16 seconds on the clock). A liability on defense, but then so was Reggie in his later years. Can play at two positions. Salary not out-of-line for last season’s performance. Zero issues off-court. Bottom line: Mike will be a Pacer next season, and will start!

    Foster – It’s hard not to like this guy. He doesn’t complain, leaves everything he has on the floor, a fundamentally very solid non-scoring, rebounding and defensive specialist. Plays better defense than anyone on the team because he plays ‘position defense’. Actually sets picks and blocks out (a novel idea!). Pay’s reasonable and there are no off-court problems. Bottom line: May be offered as trade bait but he’ll be back and he’ll start more games than not.

    Williams – Has nice size and athletic ability but is dumber than mud. You know, bought a car but drives without a license (every 16-year old kid in America knows you need a driver’s license). Didn’t show up for court date. Hangs with drug user, gun carrying buddy and a wanted murderer so he wouldn’t pass anyone’s man-in-the-street IQ test. Didn’t develop much this past season but shows promise and isn’t especially strong, defensively. His salary makes him tradable. Bottom line: Will be traded in order to cleanse the collective team character, hopefully for a late 1st-round draft pick.

    Diener – Amazing assist-to-turnover ratio. Much better than he looks because let’s face it, he appears to be in the 9th grade. I want him on the floor late in the 4th Q if we have at least a 6 point lead. Can’t really create a winning shot if you need a basket but he’s a great insurance policy when you have JT for a starter. Can get you a 3 when you need it since defensively opponents drop off him to double guys in the paint. No known off-court issues and has a reasonable contract. Can’t imagine he’s in demand for trading purposes. Bottom line: He’ll be a Pacer next season and there will be nights when we’ll be glad we have him.


    Murray – Nice size for a point guard. Can hit the 3. Inconsistent from night-to-night and at both ends of the floor. Low in basketball IQ but seems like there is upside potential if he get playing time. No publicly known team chemistry issues and has behaved off-court at least so far. Cheap and contract length is ideal. Bottom line: Will continue as a Pacer next season, perhaps as a back-up if the team finagles a true point guard.

    Everyone Else On the Roster Including Ike – Trade fodder for the rebuilding that has to come.

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    Default Re: An Assessment of Pacer Talent

    Quote Originally Posted by madison View Post
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    Murray – Nice size for a point guard. Can hit the 3. Inconsistent from night-to-night and at both ends of the floor. Low in basketball IQ but seems like there is upside potential if he get playing time. No publicly known team chemistry issues and has behaved off-court at least so far. Cheap and contract length is ideal. Bottom line: Will continue as a Pacer next season, perhaps as a back-up if the team finagles a true point guard.
    The thing is that Flip isn't and shouldn't play at the 1 guard position. His ball handling skills are just terrible. He can't pass, either. I think he would work fairly well as a backup 2 guard, but that is if we keep him.

    His numbers went up a little the last few games that he played with us, but I think a struggling team would be wanting to pick him up for his ability to shoot the 3.

    I honestly don't think that he will be back next season.

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    100 Miles from the B count55's Avatar
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    Default Re: An Assessment of Pacer Talent

    The sad part is that I'm struggling to think of who the other guys that he didn't mention were.

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    Default Re: An Assessment of Pacer Talent

    Quote Originally Posted by count55 View Post
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    The sad part is that I'm struggling to think of who the other guys that he didn't mention were.
    Ike, Harrison, Graham, Rush, Owens...

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    NaptownSeth is all feel Naptown_Seth's Avatar
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    Default Re: An Assessment of Pacer Talent

    Despite wanting the Pacers to bring in his younger brother, I cooled to K Rush by the end of the year. He got set up to succeed from three and often didn't make good on it like you'd want a specialist to do.

    Also his early promise on defense seemed to fade over time. There was a reason he started seeing bench time at the end of the year unfortunately. No loss in taking a look but not likely to be part of the long term plan it would seem.

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    The Last Great Pacer BlueNGold's Avatar
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    Default Re: An Assessment of Pacer Talent

    Excellent summary of the current state of reality. I especially liked this precious segment: "Tins – There’s something going on with Jamal besides ‘injury’. Attitude, maybe? He seemed ideal for JOB’s ill-advised ‘uptempo’ philosophy, i.e., unforced turnovers, impossible 3’s, ineffective offensive rebounding and terrible defense. "

    The only thing that took me by surprise, which I actually do agree with as well, is the knock on Williams. Yes, Shawne is young and young people often do dumb things. However, I am afraid Mr. Madison has him pegged. So sad. He's a talented baller...

  7. #7

    Default Re: An Assessment of Pacer Talent

    Nice summary. I'm still made a little queasy with the 'untouchable' tag
    on anyone on a 35 win team. But other than that, aside from the
    fact that it's tough to rebuild w/o giving up anyone another team
    might want, it's a pretty good sysnopsis.

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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: An Assessment of Pacer Talent

    I've only read the first two - but what happened with Tinsley is O'Brien scolded him after the Suns game and then suspended him some games later and Tinsley pouted, and injuried his knee.

    Overall very nice summaries. Agree with most of them. I will disagree with your statement that Dunleavy is a liability on defense. He might not be an asset, but to say flat out that he is a liability I believe is just not correct. He plays the defensive system better than anyone on the team. He takes a lot of charges - his team defense is excellent, and in O'Brien system team defense and playing the system is extremely important. Sure his one-on-one defense is poor. But then Granger's team defense is often lacking - although he got better as the season went along.
    Last edited by Unclebuck; 04-24-2008 at 08:01 AM.

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    Default Re: An Assessment of Pacer Talent

    I agree with almost all of this. Good break-down. Post more.


    Quote Originally Posted by madison
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    Note, this guy deserves a cool nick-name.
    The Gift.

    Quote Originally Posted by madison
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    Diener – Amazing assist-to-turnover ratio. Much better than he looks because let’s face it, he appears to be in the 9th grade.
    Nice.

  10. #10

    Default Re: An Assessment of Pacer Talent

    Good stuff, Madison. But what about M. Daniels?

    Granger's cool nickname is "The Gift."

    And I don't have a problem with keeping Williams. If Tinsley, Daniels and Harrison are gone, and replaced with good citizens and serious drinkers of milk and/or Pepsi, then Shawne Williams can grow up and become a man and a NBA player. It is all a question of clubhouse atmosphere. We've not had 12 serious men for a lot of years.
    Last edited by Putnam; 04-24-2008 at 09:42 AM.
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    Default Re: An Assessment of Pacer Talent

    I'm struggling to contain my dork-ness.... is anyone going to photoshop Danny leaping into a portal to save Sunnydale? No one?

    Aww.

    Anyway, I agree with a lot of the initial post, but certainly not everything. Most glaring is the belief that Jim O'Brien essentially coaches them to take bad shots or to not attack the basket.

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    Default Re: An Assessment of Pacer Talent

    Quote Originally Posted by Mal View Post
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    I'm struggling to contain my dork-ness.... is anyone going to photoshop Danny leaping into a portal to save Sunnydale? No one?

    Aww.

    Anyway, I agree with a lot of the initial post, but certainly not everything. Most glaring is the belief that Jim O'Brien essentially coaches them to take bad shots or to not attack the basket.
    So, does that make Tinsley Glory?

    Is Obie Giles?

    Who's Spike?

    I'm thinking Travis would be Dawn.

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    Default Re: An Assessment of Pacer Talent

    OK, now I just pictured Travis in that dress they put Dawn in at the end.

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    Default Re: An Assessment of Pacer Talent

    Quote Originally Posted by Mal View Post
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    OK, now I just pictured Travis in that dress they put Dawn in at the end.
    Of course, Dawn would be able to grow a fuller beard.

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    Default Re: An Assessment of Pacer Talent

    Quote Originally Posted by Mal View Post
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    Most glaring is the belief that Jim O'Brien essentially coaches them to take bad shots or to not attack the basket.
    I think he coaches them to take open shots not bad shots. In fact, I think he specifically emphasizes not taking bad shots.

    I wonder what our shooting percentage is for open 3-pointers verses contested 10-footers? That would be an interesting stat, and I bet they have it.

    That said, I do agree that we do need to be more aggressive when attacking the basket in order to be successful.
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    Default Re: An Assessment of Pacer Talent

    O'Brien does not want anyone on our team to ever take contested shots. But his theory and it certainly has some merit, is often times an open shot you get with 16 second left on the shot clock is going to be the best shot you are going to get and he wants the first good "open" shot taken.

    Doug, I think I heard O'Brien on his radio show say something to the effect that the Pacers shoot 54% on open shots and I think he said something like 24% on contested shots.

    Pacers have no one on the roster who is good at shooting contested shots. certain players like Kobe, Lebron and players like that don't have that trouble. But it is amazing ths difference in Granger and Dunleavy open vs. contested - I can see a huge difference.
    Last edited by Unclebuck; 04-25-2008 at 10:23 AM.

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    Default Re: An Assessment of Pacer Talent

    The whole thing about Murray/Rush is their status depends on who the pacers draft in June.

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    Default Re: An Assessment of Pacer Talent

    UB-

    You hit on the key point. The Pacers don't have anyone who 'can
    create his own OPEN shot'. Therefore, it makes some sense to take
    early, open looks that might otherwise be somewhat ill-advised.

    If they can ever acquire (or develop, though I doubt DG will ever be
    capable of it) a perimeter/wing guy who can do so, I suspect the
    number of early efforts will probably go down.

    Note: Having a totally healthy J.O. would probably change that
    dynamic some too.

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    Default Re: An Assessment of Pacer Talent

    I'll agree with a number of points, but let me point out a couple of things.

    Mainly this has to do with rebounding.

    You tag Murphy as playing like a shootinng guard, but look at his rebounding numbers. Not bad.

    You talk about Tinsley not being a good offensive rebounder? What about out big guys? Surely you expect them to be better at it than a point guard. I would have made mention of O'Neals lack of offensive rebounding instead of Tinsley's.

    As for the Buffy/Angel comparisons, we need a Pacemate squad full of Charisma Carpenters.

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    Default Re: An Assessment of Pacer Talent

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom White View Post
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    As for the Buffy/Angel comparisons, we need a Pacemate squad full of Charisma Carpenters.

    From your lips to God's ears.

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    Default Re: An Assessment of Pacer Talent

    Several good comments (Doug, Unclebuck, Rajah) about taking open shots versus contested ones.

    I'd like to add that taking early shots is not a problem. Last year, I hated the way the Pacers would hold the ball til the end of the shot clock (for defensive reasons) and then take a bad last second heave. So taking more early shots this year feels like an improvement, and I'm happy for it.

    82 games.com breaks down each team's performance by shot clock usage. And it shows that the Pacers were most productive in the first 10 seconds of the clock:

    00-10 seconds - .531 eFG%
    11-15 seconds - .489
    16-20 seconds - .475
    21-24 seconds - .403


    The Celtics and the Spurs had their best productivity early in the clock, just like the Pacers. Those better teams had higher output than the Pacers in every situation, but they seem to work on the same principle of "take the first good shot" that O'Brien has brought to the Pacers.
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    Default Re: An Assessment of Pacer Talent

    Quote Originally Posted by Putnam View Post
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    Several good comments (Doug, Unclebuck, Rajah) about taking open shots versus contested ones.

    I'd like to add that taking early shots is not a problem. Last year, I hated the way the Pacers would hold the ball til the end of the shot clock (for defensive reasons) and then take a bad last second heave. So taking more early shots this year feels like an improvement, and I'm happy for it.

    82 games.com breaks down each team's performance by shot clock usage. And it shows that the Pacers were most productive in the first 10 seconds of the clock:

    00-10 seconds - .531 eFG%
    11-15 seconds - .489
    16-20 seconds - .475
    21-24 seconds - .403


    The Celtics and the Spurs had their best productivity early in the clock, just like the Pacers. Those better teams had higher output than the Pacers in every situation, but they seem to work on the same principle of "take the first good shot" that O'Brien has brought to the Pacers.
    Those are interesting stats, although I wish they could take out fast break points - because that always skews the 00-10 seconds stats. I would guess every team in the NBA is best in the 00-10. And likewise shots taken as the shot clock is about to expire are almost always rushed and usually well defended shots

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    Default Re: An Assessment of Pacer Talent

    Mr. Tom White. Guess I wasn't clear. I wasn't saying JT is an ineffective rebounder. I meant to communicate that the TEAM is an ineffective offensive rebounder due to the 'everyone stand on the perimeter except Foster and jack up a three' offense coached by JOB.

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    Default Re: An Assessment of Pacer Talent

    Quote Originally Posted by madison View Post
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    Mr. Tom White. Guess I wasn't clear. I wasn't saying JT is an ineffective rebounder. I meant to communicate that the TEAM is an ineffective offensive rebounder due to the 'everyone stand on the perimeter except Foster and jack up a three' offense coached by JOB.
    Yeah, I just re-read your original post. You were clear enough, it was my mistake.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: An Assessment of Pacer Talent

    What talent?

    Seriously, we've got one or two guys (DG & MDJ, obviously) who are arguable above average for NBA talent levels. Unfortunately both play the same position-a position that's one of the easiest ones to fill. Plus, neither can be considered to be established at this point.

    We have some guys who are good bench or role-player type contributors. Murphy, Foster, Deiner. Beyond that everyone else is problematic due to remaining unknown, not living up to expectations, injury-prone, off-court issues, and so forth.

    I'd say we are in a proverbial mess. I just don't think JO will ever be able to contribute much again. He's a nice guy, but I question his commitment, drive, durability and mental and physical toughness. Love for him to be gone to start next year as much as Tins. It will take some phenomenal dealing from Bird to move this group from also ran to anything resembling contending. Otherwise, he should just come out and admit the rebuild is on and get behind that 100% instead of all the wishy washy stuff.
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