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Thread: How The Pacers Got Where They Are

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    Default How The Pacers Got Where They Are

    The Pacers enter the 2008-09 season with a scent of new hope.

    They were 36-46 last year with Jermaine O誰eal and Jamaal Tinsley missing a significant chunk of time. After falling only one game out of the playoffs while playing shorthanded, should Pacer fans assume that the offseason upgrades at point and on the perimeter will translate into a winning record and a playoff berth?

    Let's peel the onion and the 2007-2008 season to find out.

    Pacers were 19-23 (.452) with O誰eal in the lineup, and 17-23 (.425) without him. They were 13-20 (.394) prior to his injury-enforced absence with him, and 6-3 after his return when he averaged 7.2 points and 4.8 rebounds in 19.2 minutes.

    They were 16-23 (.410) with Tinsley in the lineup, and a slightly better 20-23 (.465) without him.

    Indiana was 10-16 (.385) with both Jermaine and Jamaal in the lineup, 11-16 (.407) with neither player in the lineup, and 15-14 when just one or the other played.

    When J.O. played, but Tinsley did not, the Pacers were 9-7 (.563), and that included their 6-3 stretch to end the season. Prior to O誰eal's injury, the Pacers were 3-4 (.429) with just Jermaine and no Jamaal.

    When Tinsley played and O誰eal did not, the Pacers were 6-7 (.462).

    There's little doubt that there was a stretch during which this team was unrelentingly bad. In January and February, the Pacers were a combined 8-19 (.296). Thirteen of those games were played with both Jermaine and Jamaal out of the lineup, and Indiana was 4-9 (.308) in those games.

    The Pacers were 1-2 (.333) in that stretch when both played, 2-2 (.500) when just O誰eal played, and 1-6 (.143) when Tinsley, and not Jermaine, was in the lineup. They were 5-7 against losing teams in that period, 2-1 against teams at .500, and a horrific 1-11 (.083) against winning teams.

    Outside of those two months, the Pacers were 28-27 (.509). That includes a 7-17 (.292) record against winning teams, 1-2 against .500 teams, and 20-8 (.714) against losing teams. Over the full season, Indiana was 3-3 against .500 teams, 25-15 (.625) against losing teams, and a woeful 8-28 (.222) against winning teams.

    So, how important were Jermaine and Jamaal to last year's record?

    When both played, the team was worse than it's overall record at 10-16, but they played a higher percentage of those games against teams with winning records (54% vs. 51%), were 3-11 against teams .500 or better, and 7-5 against losing teams.

    When neither played the team was slightly more successful than when both played, with a record of 11-16. However, only 48% (13) of those games were played against winning teams, and they lost eleven of those thirteen.

    O誰eal痴 record, 9-7, when playing without Tinsley is slightly skewed because eleven of those sixteen games were played against losing teams. The Pacers won eight of them, but were only victorious once in five tries against winning teams.

    Tinsley's record, 6-7, when playing without O誰eal is a little misleading because ten of the thirteen games were against winning teams. The Pacers were 5-5 in those games. Oddly, they were only 1-2 against losing teams.

    It appears that Jermaine and Jamaal, or just Jamaal by himself, made the Pacers more competitive against the better teams. It also appears as though the two together didn't translate into wins on the court, or a significant difference.

    The team was 16-20 (.444) when Tinsley started. They were 6-15 (.286) when Travis Diener started at the point, leaving them at 14-11 when "somebody else" started. That should bode well for the team this season since "somebody else" (T.J. Ford or Jarrett Jack) should be handling the starts.

    In looking at the opponent splits, there are some alarming facts that surface.

    The initial review of the splits against winning teams, .500 teams, and losing teams seems to indicate that the Pacers were a mediocre team that beat the teams they should, but were defenseless -- in more ways than one -- against good teams. However, there are some results that could be cause for concern in Indiana.

    The Pacers were 13-10 (.565) in March and April last year. That's a pretty positive trend, right?

    Not so fast. A closer look shows that Indiana was 13-2 against losing teams and 0-8 against winning teams during that stretch. Of those wins against losing teams, only the victories over Philly and Atlanta could be considered meaningful to the opponent.

    While that does take the luster off last year's finish, it also makes something else pop Indiana痴 mark against losing teams heading into March. Their record, 25-15, looks good overall, but if you remove the late season mark (13-2), where motivation and effort could be questioned, the Pacers were 12-13 against losing teams prior to March.

    So, while I believe that the Pacers have improved themselves with their offseason moves, it's appears it's possible that those transactions won't necessarily translate into more wins. Or, more to the point, that the 36-win figure from last year could arguably have been inflated by some late season "differences in priorities" between the Pacers and the teams they played.
    http://pacers.realgm.com/articles/14...here_they_are/
    "So, which one of you guys is going to come in second?" - Larry Bird before the 3 point contest. He won.



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    Danny Granger PowerRanger DGPR's Avatar
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    Default Re: How The Pacers Got Where They Are

    I'm not sure if I get the point of this article. Sure missing Tinsley and O'neal directly related to the W-L column, but I don't understand how this relates to this season. Unless I'm mistakin Tinsley isn't Ford and J.O. isn't Hibbert or B-Rush.
    "I've got an idea--an idea so smart that my head would explode if I even began to know what I'm talking about." - Peter Griffin

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    Default Re: How The Pacers Got Where They Are

    Whoever researched that must've had alot of time to kill.

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    Default Re: How The Pacers Got Where They Are

    Quote Originally Posted by Erik View Post
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    Whoever researched that must've had alot of time to kill.
    "So, which one of you guys is going to come in second?" - Larry Bird before the 3 point contest. He won.



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    Default Re: How The Pacers Got Where They Are

    So, while I believe that the Pacers have improved themselves with their offseason moves, it's appears it's possible that those transactions won't necessarily translate into more wins. Or, more to the point, that the 36-win figure from last year could arguably have been inflated by some late season "differences in priorities" between the Pacers and the teams they played.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    The last sentence refers to tanking by some teams. This occurs every year and thus is not
    a real factor from year to year relative to the Pacers W-L record.
    {o,o}
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    Default Re: How The Pacers Got Where They Are

    Is it just me or could that information have been better expressed via a series of tables or some other visual display?
    I'd rather die standing up than live on my knees.

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    Default Re: How The Pacers Got Where They Are

    if you were to go back 2 or 3 years and look at the pacers' win-loss record with tinsley in the lineup and without jo, the win % is above .500. this article is proves nothing.

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    100 Miles from the B count55's Avatar
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    Default Re: How The Pacers Got Where They Are

    Quote Originally Posted by DanGrangerPwrRanger View Post
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    I'm not sure if I get the point of this article. Sure missing Tinsley and O'neal directly related to the W-L column, but I don't understand how this relates to this season. Unless I'm mistakin Tinsley isn't Ford and J.O. isn't Hibbert or B-Rush.
    The point was that Ford isn't Tinsley, and Hibbert isn't JO, so if we're better off, should we actually expect a better record?

    Quote Originally Posted by Erik View Post
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    Whoever researched that must've had alot of time to kill.
    Or they're just an absolute stud with Excel.

    Quote Originally Posted by owl View Post
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    So, while I believe that the Pacers have improved themselves with their offseason moves, it's appears it's possible that those transactions won't necessarily translate into more wins. Or, more to the point, that the 36-win figure from last year could arguably have been inflated by some late season "differences in priorities" between the Pacers and the teams they played.


    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    The last sentence refers to tanking by some teams. This occurs every year and thus is not
    a real factor from year to year relative to the Pacers W-L record.
    The point was that it was indefinable. Yes, there are teams that tank every, but it's hard to quantify the effect. The most concerning fact is that almost 1/3 of their total wins came against teams "playing out the string". Over half of their wins against losing teams fell under that category. While it's impossible to prove whether or not there was tanking, there's little question that they made a lot of hay against these teams. That, plus the glaring disparity in performance against winning teams are a valid basis for questioning how "soft" those 36 wins were.

    Quote Originally Posted by D-BONE View Post
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    Is it just me or could that information have been better expressed via a series of tables or some other visual display?
    Absolutely. The middle section of the article was brutal, but it was published at the last minute. For those who don't recognize it:

    http://www.pacersdigest.com/apache2-...&postcount=102

    I was buried at work (my company's just been sold, and I'm waiting to here when or if I'll be losing my job), and Andrew wanted to use it to augment his projection. It was never really meant to be an article, so the edits were just to shave off the rough edges and make it readable.

    I'll admit that it didn't quite get there, but it was unexpected, I was flattered and didn't think everything through all the way. If I get another opportunity, I would hope to be a more compelling read.

    Quote Originally Posted by croz24 View Post
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    if you were to go back 2 or 3 years and look at the pacers' win-loss record with tinsley in the lineup and without jo, the win % is above .500. this article is proves nothing.
    In the two years prior to last season, the Pacers were 6-15 (.286) when Tinsley played and O'Neal did not. With the 6-7 last season, that brought the record up to 12-22 (.353).

    More to the point, the article wasn't necessarily trying to prove anything. There was a discussion about how much the Pacers had improved, and the question came up about what impact Tinsley & JO had on the 36 wins. I researched it and decided that, while it was slightly more than I had originally thought, it was still relatively immaterial. However, it did lead me down "strength of schedule" (for lack of a better word) path, and it basically made me think that it could be harder to win 36 games this year than it was last.

    EDIT: I like numbers and statistics for support, but not as the be-all, end-all. I believe this team is better. I think this team played better Wednesday night than they did even during March & April last year, but the game was still a loss. This was not an attempt to run down last year's finish or this year's team. It was (originally) just a way to figure out how I should gauge success for the new squad. Essentially, I came to the conclusion that the team could finish with 36 or fewer wins, but it would still be possible for me to consider it a step forward.
    Last edited by count55; 11-01-2008 at 10:12 AM.

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    Default Re: How The Pacers Got Where They Are

    Quote Originally Posted by Erik View Post
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    Whoever researched that must've had alot of time to kill.
    My sentiments exactly.

    Having said that, I have always thought a teams record in January and February is a much better indicator of how good the team is than any other month(s).

    The reason is that in the beginning teams are pacing themselves for the grind of a long season...........playing hard only in the 4th qtrs of games especially on the road.

    At the end of the seaosn lots of non playoff teams are preparing for the lottery and not trying as hard as they might otherwise. And even th etop teams are resting and not exerting lots of effort most nights in march and April unless they are battling for something tangible liek home court in teh last week of the season.

    So teams with poor talent but strong wills to win like the Pacers usually do well early and late but not well at all in the middle when everyone else is giving a solid effort most nights.

    That has a lot more to do with record disparity than JO and Tins' injury problems.

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    Default Re: How The Pacers Got Where They Are

    Quote Originally Posted by Erik View Post
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    Whoever researched that must've had alot of time to kill.
    What else is Tinsley supposed to do while he's waiting to be traded?

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    Default Re: How The Pacers Got Where They Are

    Quote Originally Posted by D-BONE View Post
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    Is it just me or could that information have been better expressed via a series of tables or some other visual display?
    I recommend Tufte.

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    Default Re: How The Pacers Got Where They Are

    Quote Originally Posted by count55 View Post
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    I think this team played better Wednesday night than they did even during March & April last year, but the game was still a loss. This was not an attempt to run down last year's finish or this year's team. It was (originally) just a way to figure out how I should gauge success for the new squad. Essentially, I came to the conclusion that the team could finish with 36 or fewer wins, but it would still be possible for me to consider it a step forward.
    I think it's arguable whether or not they played better on Wednesday than in March/April.

    As their defense is significantly better now, their offense was significantly better at the end of the season. The closeout game against the Knicks was the best example.

    Everything O'Brien is currently preaching about was in practice by end of last season. The ball/player movement was superior and the offense did not get bogged down. The 67 FGA against the Pistons is 5 less than any game from last season. Numbers wise, we averaged over 107 pts game on 45.5% shooting/85 FGA for March/April.



    They have a while before they get there, but I think our offense has a chance to be as good/better than last season's.

    Our defense is already better than last season's, and has a chance to get even better.

    Everything points toward the possibility of us being a better team than last year, but given our opponents/motivation for the bulk of season's end, I'm not sure we can use 36 wins as a true measuring point. No way to really calculate it, but the number may be closer to 30 wins.


    Quote Originally Posted by Anthem View Post
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    I recommend Tufte.

    I was disappointed when I was unable to look inside.
    Last edited by imawhat; 11-01-2008 at 04:57 PM.

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    Default Re: How The Pacers Got Where They Are

    I just ran this through my quantitative string theory phd program for idiots. It asked for specific facts regarding the position of all 9 planets and the moon in relation to game start times. When I couldn't come through it just said FAIL.

    My computer started smoking and crashed.

    Then with a dead computer, Danny Granger appeared on my flat screen in a misty fog and said: "I will restore the pride" and everything faded to black.

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