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Thread: Odd thoughts from the first game of the 08/09 season

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    Administrator Peck's Avatar
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    Default Odd thoughts from the first game of the 08/09 season

    There was a lot to like, a lot to dissect and some things that were a little dissapointing in this game.

    First and formost I will say this. The team is fun to watch, each player played at top speed and just a few differant things happening tonight and we may be talking about a differant outcome to this game.

    I want to start with the Pistons. Having watched Boston play last night and now seeing the Pistons tonight I will say that it is way to early to write Detroit out of the mix, however age in the frontcourt is starting to look like it will catch up.

    Give Dumars all of the credit in the world though, they have some really nice young pieces to go along with the old vets they have. I don't see Detroit not being a player again this year. I don't honestly think they have enough to overcome Boston, but I would suspect another Central devision title for them.

    Now to us.

    While I loved the way our guys played and never gave up there were two very troubleing things for me.

    1. Roy Hibbert not getting off of the bench in the second half. This is unacceptable. Now I don't think the guy should play 30 min. a game but in the 6 min. he played he blocked a shot and altered at least 3 others. I will be majorly p!ssed if this is the playing time he is going to get this year.

    2. To much Daniels. I'm sorry guys but his basketball I.Q. on defense is just not what I want out there. I don't even know how many times the guy swiped at the ball while the player on offense was shooting and gets the foul. 32 min. is just way to much time on the floor for this guy. I know with Dunleavy down we are going to be seeing more of him, but I just wish we didn't have to.

    3. Foster playing 20 min. and not scoring a single point. This is also unacceptable. We were pointing out in the third how Detroit would double off of Jeff with his defender. This just can not happen. Honestly I thought he played to much and would much rather have seen Rasho in there or better yet give Hibbert 5 more min. of play.

    Ok, that was the downside. Now let's look at what was good.

    A. Troy Murphy. People if anther former player of ours would have have 13 points 15 rebounds and 3 blocks in a game I would have to hear how he was one of the best power forwards in the NBA. With Troy I'm sure most of you are still trying to figure out a way to package him off with Jamaal to get rid of his contract. Troy owned the boards in that game, period. They weren't the running to the sideline to pickup the ball from the floor boards, nor were they the let's tip it up from the guards to get a board board. They were in the mix, elbows in the chest grind it out kind of rebounds.

    Troy is not a low post scorer nor will he ever be. However he is a very good face up shooter and a player who spreads the floor. I think we could do a lot worse at the p.f. spot.

    B. Danny Granger. Shooting slump my @ss!!! I guess Danny figured he would take the pre-season off and turn it on for the regular season. That last three he hit at the end of the game was just absolutely unreal. He had to be 6-7 feet behind the corner arc when he let that fly and he hit nothing but the bottom of the net. What I loved is that he got 33 points on only 16 shots (he hit 10 of them btw). This isn't a scrub team or a joke of a defender he was playing either. This was Prince and these are the Pistons. I'm just going to go ahead and say it, Danny has arrived. How many players will give you 33 points and also block 3 shots.

    Like every other Pacer he is going to have to watch the turnovers, but I am giving almost everybody a pass on that because it is a new team and not everybody is familiar with everybody yet.

    C. Rasho Nesterovic. He is not a dominate center, he never will be. But what he is, is a solid pro who has no true weakness that can be exploited. His passing was even better than I thought it would be and I thought it would be excellent. To me he is the perfect player for what we need right now. He is good enough to start but isn't dominate enough to say that we shouldn't play Roy. I like the fact that our center can score, unlike our backup powerforward/center.

    D. Brandon Rush. Some early jitters, no doubt. However this guy is already advanced for his age. I have zero doubt that he will be a rotational player all year long. I really like the way he was down there battling for rebounds even though he only grabbed 2. He attacks the basket very well. Once he gets his outside game going I think he is going to be a great addition to our team.

    E. The Granger, Rush, Jack perimeter defense. Much like the Bermuda triangle defenders get lost in the defensive wave these three put on when they are in together. Each of them are longer than you think and Jack is quicker than you think. As time goes on I think this will be one of the lineups you see in there to either end games or make comebacks. Add in Foster and Hibbert for big men and you have a pretty good overall defensive team.

    F. T.J. Ford was fast. He pushed the ball well however for whatever reason I feel somewhat dissapointed by his game. Don't get me wrong he didn't play bad and certainly it is 100% better than what we had last year. But for some reason I just was expecting more. I guess it is my fault for maybe having my hopes to high for him. Of course Billups is one of the few guards in the NBA that I think T.J. will just not be able to play against. (Darron Williams being one of the others). He is just to tall and to strong for T.J. to handle. I think I may have to come back to this game tomorrow or the next day because I feel like I am being to hard on T.J.

    G. Overall team defense. The team defense was much improved in this game. You did not have the Pistons just lining up to take open shot after open shot. Players were rotating faster and overall were keeping their man in front of them at all times.

    I am very happy with the way the team played. I never like to play the what if game because you have to play with the team you have. However you have to wonder if the game's outcome would have been differant with Mike in the game?

    It's just a d@mn shame that the schedule is so hard to begin with, I just hope the players don't get down on themselves and pray to God the fans don't turn them off because there is a very good likelyhood that the team will start off at least 0-4 if not 0-6. If we continue to play like we played tonight we will beat plenty of teams and will not be pushovers for the top tier teams.

    Overall I am happy to say this.

    I hate losing but I couldn't be much happier about the way we lost.

    Go Pacers Go.

    Reporting from the bright glow of the sunshine this is your humble corrispondant Peck signing off.

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    Default Re: Odd thoughts from the first game of the 08/09 season

    Quote Originally Posted by Peck View Post
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    A. Troy Murphy. People if anther former player of ours would have have 13 points 15 rebounds and 3 blocks in a game I would have to hear how he was one of the best power forwards in the NBA. With Troy I'm sure most of you are still trying to figure out a way to package him off with Jamaal to get rid of his contract. Troy owned the boards in that game, period. They weren't the running to the sideline to pickup the ball from the floor boards, nor were they the let's tip it up from the guards to get a board board. They were in the mix, elbows in the chest grind it out kind of rebounds.

    Troy is not a low post scorer nor will he ever be. However he is a very good face up shooter and a player who spreads the floor. I think we could do a lot worse at the p.f. spot.

    I always enjoy what you say, but I strongly disagree with this. He does spread the floor and got a lot of rebounds tonight (though 2/3rds were in the first half), but that was it. He had an unbelievably bad defensive game.

    He doesn't understand our team defense, and I think that's unacceptable for someone who's played as long as Troy. Detroit exploited him all night long by getting him out of position and forcing his teammates to cover. We all know about his one-on-one, so I won't even mention it.

    On offense, I thought he was very responsible for clogging up our efficiency. His hesitancy with the ball allowed the Pistons to recover several times. He was unable to post up Chauncey Billups from the top of the key and didn't attempt to get position. He completely disappeared in the 4th quarter.

    Anyways, I could go on and on about Troy. I'm hoping he's just slowed from his injury. Otherwise, he's a good player for your fantasy team, but not a good player for your team.

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    Default Re: Odd thoughts from the first game of the 08/09 season

    I agree with pretty much everything you say Peck, but at times I felt frustrated with Murphy offensively some of it was the position we put him in, but other times it felt like he was dribbling too much and bogging down the offense. It's a minor gripe and something that you might expect to see against a team like the PIstons, but it bothered me enough that I had to get it out there.

    Rush was very good, but at times made some rookie mistakes that I think he will grow out of.

    Ford left me sort of "meh" as well, but I kind of expect that against Billups I expect him to perform better against Rondo.

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    Default Re: Odd thoughts from the first game of the 08/09 season

    Quote Originally Posted by imawhat View Post
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    I always enjoy what you say, but I strongly disagree with this. He does spread the floor and got a lot of rebounds tonight (though 2/3rds were in the first half), but that was it. He had an unbelievably bad defensive game.

    He doesn't understand our team defense, and I think that's unacceptable for someone who's played as long as Troy. Detroit exploited him all night long by getting him out of position and forcing his teammates to cover. We all know about his one-on-one, so I won't even mention it.

    On offense, I thought he was very responsible for clogging up our efficiency. His hesitancy with the ball allowed the Pistons to recover several times. He was unable to post up Chauncey Billups from the top of the key and didn't attempt to get position. He completely disappeared in the 4th quarter.

    Anyways, I could go on and on about Troy. I'm hoping he's just slowed from his injury. Otherwise, he's a good player for your fantasy team, but not a good player for your team.
    While I agree on offense he hesitated way to many times tonight. There were at least three times that he held the ball on a wide open shot and caused a flub in the offense.

    However I will just agree to disagree with you on defense. I did not think he was any more of a liability tonight than other people were. His lateral quickness is just not great and it never will be but I thought he did a decent job of staying with his man. I just don't remember Detroit posting him up like they have in the past.

    However I agree that he could have done more offensively.

    But I still stand by my point, if Jeff Foster had the game that Troy Murphy did everybody would be abslutely raving about it. If Jermaine would have had this stat line we would hear talk of how he was one of the best.

    Troy has this stat line and already there are people on here downplaying his game.

    2/3 in the first half still means that he grabbed 15 rebounds.

    Look if you want to say that we would be better off with Al Jefferson or Kevin Garnett I won't argue. I'm just saying I think people have a hatred for Troy Murphy that frankly boggles my mind.

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    Default Re: Odd thoughts from the first game of the 08/09 season

    Quote Originally Posted by Peck View Post
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    Look if you want to say that we would be better off with Al Jefferson or Kevin Garnett I won't argue. I'm just saying I think people have a hatred for Troy Murphy that frankly boggles my mind.
    I've already trademarked the phrase, "Austin Croshere Syndrome" where a player who is mediocre to above average is viewed negatively based solely upon his contract.

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    Default Re: Odd thoughts from the first game of the 08/09 season

    Quote Originally Posted by Peck View Post
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    I'm just going to go ahead and say it, Danny has arrived. How many players will give you 33 points and also block 3 shots.
    Yes. He has.

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    Default Re: Odd thoughts from the first game of the 08/09 season

    Quote Originally Posted by Peck
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    T.J. Ford was fast. He pushed the ball well however for whatever reason I feel somewhat dissapointed by his game.

    I can't see how the Pacers scored only 3 points on fast breaks.
    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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    Default Re: Odd thoughts from the first game of the 08/09 season

    Just to echo some of what has been said.

    Very encouraging, they competed against a contender at their home opener.

    A couple of observations, I think Roy makes a difference, sure he was a little nervous, but you know he ALWAYS makes a difference on the floor, sometimes good, sometimes bad. He's never invisible. I mean that in the best possible way, because it's often very positive. They tried to iso with Kwame freaking Brown and Roy blocked his shot and then altered it to the point that I don't think it caught iron on the second one. The spin baseline move was very agile for a man of his size and it was yet another weapon in the arsenal I hadn't seen yet. I think Roy will get more minutes because I don't think Obie will be able to keep him off of the court. Roy better get more time.

    Murphy, yes great numbers and his rebound numbers were impressive, but (and I'm a self professed sunshiner) I have to somewhat disagree that he had many non falling in his hands rebounds. Additionally, the number of offensive rebounds for Detroit is very troublesome, I thought they were going to adjust the scheme to take care of this? It really takes the steam out of a nice defense effort to have to start all over again.

    More on Murphy, he's very valuable in that he is an offensive weapon, but he does NOT look comfortable with the high offense they run. Often he would get the ball above the top of the key and with light pressure he looked panicked and couldn't wait to pass it back to a guard. Murphy has to get stronger with being on that spot on the floor with the ball within the structure of the offense. Be ready to look for those curl screens that are going on around him and not be so scared to have the ball in his hands at that place on the floor.

    Sounds like I'm down on Murphy, not at all. I just think the offense you saw last night looked rough and not smooth. This is ALL things that will look crisper EVERY game from here out. Especially when Dunleavy gets back. There seemed to be many moments of confusion that I think had part to do with Detroit extended their Defense on the perimeter and more about the lack of time together as a unit for the Pacers.

    Otherwise, B Rush got well deserved crunch time minutes and completely altered Rip Hamiliton's shot on 3 different occaisions in the 4th quarter.

    I saw more contested jump shots last night than in 3 games from last year.

    Back to the offense, new philosophy this year is to push guys baseline into a trap in the corners/wing area, I really like this, but Detroit being a smart ball club realized that the elbow area was often left open with the PF or C wide open for a 17 foot jumper. This has to be cleaned up with rotations and recognitions.

    Point Guard play, I think they played okay, I think they showed they will have an advantage most nights, combined, but again, I think it's just going to take time to gel. The tools/skills are there and I'm very happy with the potential. I think we'll look back on this game and it will be in the bottom 25% of the games that TJ/JJ play over the season, productivity wise.

    Foster, he's going to have to get some confidence in his offensive game and stepping to the Free Throw line and missing 2 in the 4th quarter is unacceptable for a 70% shooter and a 10 year vet. His defense is good, he needs to get back to controlling the boards, I hope this isn't a sign of a drop off of his ability and his most important strength in years past. Makes me nervous if he can't dominate the boards and they just extended him for 2 years.

    Granger, points aside, he showed two things last night. He can now get to the free throw line regularly, this changes so much in how teams have to play him . Secondly, he wants to be a go to guy. Now that is a process, you have to know when and how to get a good clutch shot. He did several times, but also did not twice. It's a growth process that I think he'll improve on as the year goes on. Lastly, it's good to have the courage to take the big shot, but mix in the "big assist". Again, he's headed down the right road, imho.

    So basically, I pointed out several things that they will improve on and they really were right there with a team that could be in the ECF and at the very least is one of the 4 or 5 best defensive teams in the league. Very impressive. I am extremely excited.
    Last edited by Speed; 10-30-2008 at 08:45 AM.

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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Odd thoughts from the first game of the 08/09 season

    Peck, I too disagree with a lot of what you posted. Murphy played well, Rasho played well and yet I don't like those two guys on the floor at the same time. - just a huge athleticism deficit - and that hurt the defense, and rebounding and the overall, game. (I do find it amusing that you are criticizing Jeff for not scoring - sort of like criticizing Ford for not having any block shots. Will concede that if the Pistons were doubling off Jeff the whole night - that is a problem - I just didn't notice that - not saying it didn't happen - just didn't notice, I was looking at other things.

    I do agree, it is too bad Roy can't play more minutes - too bad it isn't his 3rd or 4th year in the NBA - because the Pacers need him. But he isn't ready and I disagree with the notion so many have that the best way for him and the team to devlope is just throw him out there for major minutes.

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    100 Miles from the B count55's Avatar
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    Default Re: Odd thoughts from the first game of the 08/09 season

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    I do agree, it is too bad Roy can't play more minutes - too bad it isn't his 3rd or 4th year in the NBA - because the Pacers need him. But he isn't ready and I disagree with the notion so many have that the best way for him and the team to devlope is just throw him out there for major minutes.
    I don't think he's ready for major minutes, but another 4-6 minute stint in the 2nd half would've been nice. That'd put him at 10-12 minutes, and help him get acclimated. I didn't see the game, but it sounds like he was at least moderately productive, so a little more burn doesn't seem unreasonable.

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    Default Re: Odd thoughts from the first game of the 08/09 season

    Quote Originally Posted by count55 View Post
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    I don't think he's ready for major minutes, but another 4-6 minute stint in the 2nd half would've been nice. That'd put him at 10-12 minutes, and help him get acclimated. I didn't see the game, but it sounds like he was at least moderately productive, so a little more burn doesn't seem unreasonable.
    Exactly.
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    Default Re: Odd thoughts from the first game of the 08/09 season

    Quote Originally Posted by Putnam View Post
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    I can't see how the Pacers scored only 3 points on fast breaks.
    I only saw the second half but Detroit was frickin' amazing at how quickly they got back on defense. I don't think I saw a situation in the entire half where we had an advantage coming to the top of the key.

    Some notes on what I saw:

    - I think the Pacers blocked out under the defensive glass more in one game than they did most of the season last year. I kept saying, "Look! They blocked out!" I think I heard Clark say something to that effect as well.

    - There was some serious bogging down going on when Detroit managed to get back on defense. I hope this is just that this group isn't used to playing with each other against an unpredictable defense, but it concerns me that the only way to get the ball around seemed to be to carry it or to try to throw it hard through traffic (leading to a lot of the turnovers).

    - I was wondering why Hibbert didn't play in the second half. It's good to know he played in the first. It occurs to me that the team on the floor was constantly closing the gap, so maybe JOB didn't want to disrupt the flow too much, but still.

    - Foster seemed really active to me - his assist was a big one, and I would swear he had the pass before the assist a couple of times. I'm surprised at the emptiness of his stat line.
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    Default Re: Odd thoughts from the first game of the 08/09 season

    First of all, I loved the P's in this game. It was refreshing and gave a lot of hope.

    However-I don't think they played O'bies game at all from a running perspective. We seemed to play into Detroit's game most of the night until late in the 2nd half and then started getting out and running. Either way, once this comes around, I think the games will be much different both from a def. and off. perspective.

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    Default Re: Odd thoughts from the first game of the 08/09 season

    I was very encouraged with this game, actually. I think this team is moving in the right direction. We might have 50 losses this season and that might be tougher to swallow later but right now, I like this team a lot.

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    Default Re: Odd thoughts from the first game of the 08/09 season

    The trick will be to increase tempo, but yet still play defense. It's going to be a process.

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    Default Re: Odd thoughts from the first game of the 08/09 season

    Quote Originally Posted by Peck View Post
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    C. Rasho Nesterovic. He is not a dominate center, he never will be.
    I'm convinced you do this just to torture me. "Dominate" is a verb, "dominant" is an adjective. Rasho is neither a dominant center nor a center who dominates, but he's certainly not a dominate center.

    That is all.

    Last edited by Graham Mernatsi; 10-30-2008 at 10:38 AM.

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    Default Re: Odd thoughts from the first game of the 08/09 season

    Quote Originally Posted by Graham Mernatsi View Post
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    I'm convinced you do this just to torture me. "Dominate" is a verb, "dominant" is an adjective. Rasho is neither a dominant center or a center who dominates, but he's certainly not a dominate center.

    That is all.

    Shouldn't you use a nor with neither?

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    Default Re: Odd thoughts from the first game of the 08/09 season

    Quote Originally Posted by Peck View Post
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    2. To much Daniels. I'm sorry guys but his basketball I.Q. on defense is just not what I want out there. I don't even know how many times the guy swiped at the ball while the player on offense was shooting and gets the foul.
    Seeing as he only had three fouls the entire game, I'm guessing that he did it twice.

    A. Troy Murphy. People if anther former player of ours would have have 13 points 15 rebounds and 3 blocks in a game I would have to hear how he was one of the best power forwards in the NBA.
    Yeah, that would have been a really impressive stat line for Double D. Or was that not what you meant? Yeah, Troy was solid tonight.

    Good summary though. I expected a blowout this game, so even keeping it close felt pretty good. We may not be as bad as I expected.

    Now the question is whether we can do this consistently or if this is a one-time occurrence.
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    Say it out loud. Graham Mernatsi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Odd thoughts from the first game of the 08/09 season

    Quote Originally Posted by rexnom View Post
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    Shouldn't you use a nor with neither?
    Funny that I caught that too, but half a second after you. Bummer.

    I was so worried about getting the bold right... just terrible.

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    100 Miles from the B count55's Avatar
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    Default Re: Odd thoughts from the first game of the 08/09 season

    Quote Originally Posted by Graham Mernatsi View Post
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    I'm convinced you do this just to torture me. "Dominate" is a verb, "dominant" is an adjective. Rasho is neither a dominant center nor a center who dominates, but he's certainly not a dominate center.

    That is all.

    Beat me to it...I see that a lot, and was going to comment.

    Quote Originally Posted by rexnom View Post
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    Shouldn't you use a nor with neither?
    ahem...

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    Default Re: Odd thoughts from the first game of the 08/09 season

    Is there anything Jarrett Jack gives us that Marcus Banks couldn't?

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    Default Re: Odd thoughts from the first game of the 08/09 season

    Quote Originally Posted by Quis View Post
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    Is there anything Jarrett Jack gives us that Marcus Banks couldn't?
    imho, defense, takes contact when driving the lane, defense, hustle, defense, reasonable contract, defense, great team/lockeroom guy, defense, top 20 in the league FT percentage shooter, defense, will dive on the floor for loose balls, and .... I feel like I'm forgetting something.... Oh ya, defense.

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    Default Re: Odd thoughts from the first game of the 08/09 season

    Quote Originally Posted by Quis View Post
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    Is there anything Jarrett Jack gives us that Marcus Banks couldn't?
    Quote Originally Posted by Speed View Post
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    imho, defense, takes contact when driving the lane, defense, hustle, defense, reasonable contract, defense, great team/lockeroom guy, defense, top 20 in the league FT percentage shooter, defense, will dive on the floor for loose balls, and .... I feel like I'm forgetting something.... Oh ya, defense.
    That's largely your answer, but my question is, "What's your point?" Was there some point in time where we had an option between the two, or are you just throwing out some random guy?

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    Default Re: Odd thoughts from the first game of the 08/09 season

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    ...I do find it amusing that you are criticizing Jeff for not scoring - sort of like criticizing Ford for not having any block shots. Will concede that if the Pistons were doubling off Jeff the whole night - that is a problem - I just didn't notice that - not saying it didn't happen - just didn't notice, I was looking at other things.
    I'm sure we can re-watch the game and nit-pick on a lot of minor flaws. But, for the most part, the Pacers had 2 problems that need immediate attention.

    Turnover differential.
    Offensive rebound differential.

    That led to the Pistions getting 24 more shots than the Pacers. Despite the fact that we hit nearly 50% of our shots, a 24-shot differential is nearly impossible to overcome.

    But, considering that we did hit 50% of our shots, Foster's inability to score in this game had absolutely nothing to do with the outcome. In fact, if the Pacers were to shoot 50% for the remainder of the season, I would be perfectly happy if Foster went scoreless for the entire year.

  25. #25
    Remember #31 dohman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Odd thoughts from the first game of the 08/09 season

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    Is there anything Jarrett Jack gives us that Marcus Banks couldn't?
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