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Thread: Offseason review: Bucks vs Pacers

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    Default Offseason review: Bucks vs Pacers

    interesting article from hoopsworld

    http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?story_id=9892

    Most Improved: Pacers or Bucks?

    By: Jon Mladic Last Updated: 9/3/08 12:52 PM ET | 1719 times read



    Adjust font size:It was a busy summer for the Bucks and Pacers, as both teams looked to improve on teams that failed to make the playoffs - or even finish .500 - last year. Both organizations made moves that shook the core of their rosters. Milwaukee's top headline came from trading Yi Jianlian and Bobby Simmons to the Nets in exchange for Richard Jefferson. Indiana, meanwhile, made news by trading away Jermaine O'Neal for T.J. Ford and Rasho Nesterovic. HOOPSWORLD takes a look at these two improved teams and makes the case for why each is more improved than the other.


    The Bucks Improved More

    When John Hammond came to the Bucks from the Pistons, fans in Milwaukee hoped he would shake things up. They have to be pleased with the results. In addition to dealing for Jefferson, the Bucks added two solid draft picks, signed free agents that other teams wanted and added role players they think will contribute regularly. Things are different, but how improved does that make this team? Is it more than the Pacers?

    Milwaukee is more improved than the Pacers because they did more than change players. In one summer, the Bucks changed identities. They went from an organization with the loose principals of shooting, offensive-oriented team (but not necessarily the players to win with that philosophy) to a franchise that is based on controlling the game and playing defense, led by both a GM and Head
    Coach with NBA success in the area.

    They drafted two rookies (Joe Alexander and Luc Mbah a Moute) that fit this personality perfectly. They traded their scoring point guard, Mo Williams, and will replace him with players that turn the ball over less and focus on distributing the basketball (Ramon Sessions, Luke Ridnour and Tyronn Lue). They won't miss his points, though, because they also added Richard Jefferson, a move that also altered the team chemistry by moving Yi Jianlian and Bobby Simmons.

    The Bucks also made sure they had some quality depth (Francisco Elson backing up Andrew Bogut comes to mind), and that even the players that would not see much playing time were going to give complete efforts when they step on the floor - Malik Allen and Adrian Griffin were known quantities to Coach Skiles because they played for him in Chicago.

    While the Pacers took a chance on T.J. Ford being healthy, the Bucks eliminated as many questions as possible. They are clearly starting fresh, and know exactly what they have to work with in attempting to get back to the playoffs. They added talent AND leadership, and can depend on getting the most out of their roster.


    The Pacers' Side

    In terms of immediate success, the Milwaukee Bucks are probably going to see a bigger jump in wins this season, but the Indiana Pacers improved the long-term future of their organization this summer more than almost any other team in the entire NBA.

    The last couple of seasons in Indianapolis have been dismal, unfortunately thanks largely to the injuries of starting point guards and former franchise player Jermaine O'Neal. Despite the emergence of Danny Granger and Mike Dunleavy, Jr., the Pacers have made absolutely zero noise in the playoffs, often finishing just poorly enough to miss the postseason or sneak into an eight seed, as well as just good enough to lose out on any real shot at a high lottery pick.

    Rebuilding has not been easy, but this summer Indy finally got the ball rolling by making a couple of smart raft picks and one tremendous trade.

    Finally bringing in a respectable franchise point guard in T.J. Ford allows the team to shop Jamaal Tinsley more aggressively, which they certainly have been doing. Not only that, but backup Jarret Jack (formerly of Portland) is another affable starter should Ford get hurt or need a spell during games.

    Mid first-round pick Roy Hibbert may end up a starter by year's end, and if he plays defense and grabs rebounds as well as he did in college, he'll be a nice step up from an aging Jeff Foster. Even Rasho Nesterovic, who came over in the J.O. trade, will add much-needed depth to the frontlines.

    Brandon Rush, clearly one of the most NBA-ready players in the 2008 draft, will add depth behind Dunleavy and Granger at either the two or the three, but Granger has done nothing but improve in his few years in the league, and some are suggesting he could be an All-Star talent as soon as this year.

    When you factor in the development of Indy's young players and their new draft picks, as well as subtract some of the injury and personality issues they've been having in years past, it's hard to ignore the team's improvement, not only this year but for seasons and seasons into the future.


    While the upcoming season, and perhaps even the next few years, will bear out which organization improved more, give both organizations credit for making moves to get better. Trades are not always easy to hammer out, and, when they involve players as closely associated with the organization as O'Neal had been and Yi was being marketed to become, the results of these days matter a great deal. In the end, these two organizations need this year to be different, and accepting the risk of these trades was the necessary cost for the hope of winning in the NBA.

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    Default Re: Offseason review: Bucks vs Pacers

    Adjust font size:It was a busy summer for the Bucks and Pacers, as both teams looked to improve on teams that failed to make the playoffs - or even finish .500 - last year.
    Since you can make the playoffs without being .500 it should read "failed to finish .500 - or even make the playoffs - last year."

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    Default Re: Offseason review: Bucks vs Pacers

    Bird and Morway have put the Pacers to be better than the Bucks within the next 2 or 3 years. We have a lot of expiring contracts that will allow us to hit the FA market within a few seasons.

    In the long run, we're better off. This would have never happened if Bird and Morway didnt make some key trades this offseason

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    Default Re: Offseason review: Bucks vs Pacers

    I think the Scott Skiles move does more for Milwaukee over the next 12-24 months than anything we've done.



    Of course, I agree that all of these moves were made for 2-3 seasons down the road and that next year's version of the Pacers won't even be as good (record-wise) as the last couple of years while they build for the future. And I'm okay with that.
    Why do the things that we treasure most, slip away in time
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    Default Re: Offseason review: Bucks vs Pacers

    The Bucks strike me as your typical team that looks good on paper, but never puts it all together on the court. They've got some 'name' players that can put the ball in the hoop, but their defense looks as bad as any team in the league's. The Jefferson acquisition was a good win-now move, but they seemed to have neutralized it with the horrible Mo Williams for Luke Ridnour swap. Any offense picked up in the Jefferson trade was lost, and their backcourt somehow managed to get even worse defensively.

    Buck's Projected Starters
    • Luke Ridnour
      Michael Redd
      Richard Jefferson
      Charlie Villanueva
      Andrew Bogut


    You could make the argument that they have the worst defensive starters in the league at three positions (PG, SG, PF) and while Jefferson and Bogut aren't bad defenders, neither is especially great either. They also lack depth, especially up front. I've never been that impressed with Skiles as a coach either. I can't see how he could be considered the difference between the two teams.

    I think they'll win more games than last year, but I still see them as a sub-.500 team.

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    Default Re: Offseason review: Bucks vs Pacers

    What a poorly written article. But the points are legit.

    I tend to agree with Kofi here, the Bucks essentially just rearranged the deck chairs on the Titanic. Their principal flaws from the past few seasons still remain and their number one option is still Michael Redd. Ridnour is backup material and his offensive ability (decent but not dynamic) doesn't come close to compensating for his defensive issues. I don't like R-Jeff at all and consider him to be the Corey Maggette of the East...

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    Default Re: Offseason review: Bucks vs Pacers

    Quote Originally Posted by ajbry View Post
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    What a poorly written article. But the points are legit.

    I tend to agree with Kofi here, the Bucks essentially just rearranged the deck chairs on the Titanic. Their principal flaws from the past few seasons still remain and their number one option is still Michael Redd. Ridnour is backup material and his offensive ability (decent but not dynamic) doesn't come close to compensating for his defensive issues. I don't like R-Jeff at all and consider him to be the Corey Maggette of the East...
    ha, now i don't know about THAT. He's more than a pretty solid player offensively and defensively; capable of All-Star numbers.
    That being said I think our offseason moves helped us both present and future...I really have nothing to say. I'm just too ready for the season to start...

    Let's Go Pacers.
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    Default Re: Offseason review: Bucks vs Pacers

    Quote Originally Posted by ChicagoJ View Post
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    Of course, I agree that all of these moves were made for 2-3 seasons down the road and that next year's version of the Pacers won't even be as good (record-wise) as the last couple of years while they build for the future. And I'm okay with that.
    I disagree. I think the team this season will be marginally better than last season - in record and competitiveness.

    It shouldn't be too difficult to improve on a record of 35-47 considering the Pacers have improved the PG and Center positions (I'm not counting JO as a Center because he missed half the season). Rasho, Hibbert, and Foster should be better than the Foster and Harrison rotation from last season.

    They could see some improvement as well from just having practices with players at full strength and a consistent rotation. It can't be easy to have any sort of continuity on the court when 2 of your most important players can't even practice from day-to-day.
    Last edited by naptownmenace; 09-05-2008 at 01:41 PM.
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    Larry is not coming back, he didn't have a meeting with Orlando for not reason, yeah he is coming back to the NBA but not to the Pacers, the notion that he is a taking a year off and then come back is absurd.
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    Default Re: Offseason review: Bucks vs Pacers

    I happen to think last year's team really overachieved to get up to 35 wins, picking up a lot of wins late in the season against teams that were ready to "go fishing" as EJ, Jet, and Barkley would say.

    I think this team is heading for 28-32 wins. Milwaukee is probably in the 30-34 win category. O'Brien seems to have a better grasp on "putting the young guys heavily into the rotation". Skiles will milk that team in Milwaukee for everything they've got.
    Why do the things that we treasure most, slip away in time
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    Default Re: Offseason review: Bucks vs Pacers

    Quote Originally Posted by ChicagoJ View Post
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    I happen to think last year's team really overachieved to get up to 35 wins, picking up a lot of wins late in the season against teams that were ready to "go fishing" as EJ, Jet, and Barkley would say.

    I think this team is heading for 28-32 wins. Milwaukee is probably in the 30-34 win category. O'Brien seems to have a better grasp on "putting the young guys heavily into the rotation". Skiles will milk that team in Milwaukee for everything they've got.
    Overachieved? I'm pretty sure that's the first time I've heard that word used to describe last year's team.

    I can't help but remember the games against Denver and the Clippers where they choked away 20 point leads to lose early in the season. They lost at least 9 or 10 games last season that they lead with 6 minutes left in the fourth quarter. Two of those games were against Phoenix, which is understandable, but losing to teams like Charlotte, Minnesota, and Seattle in that fashion was the epitome of "underachievement".

    I think they did a better job of closing out games to end the season because they established Granger as the go-to-guy. Danny learned how to drive and draw fouls which helped them protect leads and pull out some close games.
    Quote Originally Posted by vnzla81
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    Larry is not coming back, he didn't have a meeting with Orlando for not reason, yeah he is coming back to the NBA but not to the Pacers, the notion that he is a taking a year off and then come back is absurd.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trader Joe View Post
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    GOOD GOD THAT'S LARRY BIRD'S MUSIC!

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    Default Re: Offseason review: Bucks vs Pacers

    I'm already on the record (at the forum party) as saying that the Bucks would make the playoffs and the Pacers wouldn't.

    If it happens remember you heard it from me first.

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    Default Re: Offseason review: Bucks vs Pacers

    The Bucks paid Bogut close to 70 million.....enough said
    "Can you take away every single day that we have given to another false prophet" -- Corey Taylor

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    Default Re: Offseason review: Bucks vs Pacers

    Quote Originally Posted by ChicagoJ View Post
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    I happen to think last year's team really overachieved to get up to 35 wins, picking up a lot of wins late in the season against teams that were ready to "go fishing" as EJ, Jet, and Barkley would say.

    I think this team is heading for 28-32 wins. Milwaukee is probably in the 30-34 win category. O'Brien seems to have a better grasp on "putting the young guys heavily into the rotation". Skiles will milk that team in Milwaukee for everything they've got.
    They may have overachieved a bit...and no, this is not nearly the talent level we have grown accustomed to in Indy. However, the same scenario will play out this coming year when teams "go fishing". More important, several of the major shortcomings on the team have been addressed. With two real PG's in TJ Ford and Jarrett Jack, another year under the belt for Granger and Dunleavy, a fairly solid Center in Rasho (who unlike JO will actually suit up)...I suspect we will do at least as well as last year. If Hibbert or Rush add anything, it will be gravy.

    Yes, if we crack .500 it will be surprise. If we lose 50-54 games as you say, it will be a bigger surprise. JMHO.

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