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Thread: Pacers play hard, but lack talent(SI.com)

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    Default Pacers play hard, but lack talent(SI.com)

    Game Time: Pistons 114, Pacers 110

    If the Pacers are relatively short on sheer talent, they hustle, execute and are extremely well-coached.
    Let's scrutinize Indiana's roster to discover the details.

    Danny Granger: He's strictly a rhythm shooter but, man, can he fill it! Granger can catch-and-shoot; pull-and-shoot left and right; and his pet move is to drive, bump, then step back and let it fly. His passing, however, is somewhat erratic he can always see (six assists) but can't always deliver (six turnovers). On defense, he's merely adequate he routinely fails to step out and help on weak-side screens and curls but he is the Pacers' most effective shot-blocker.



    The verdict: His defense needs improving, but he's certainly a bona fide All-Star.

    T.J. Ford: For most of the game, he could bring the ball into the paint whenever he desired and his kick-outs were right on the money. But Ford never did anything with his left hand except to set up his right-handed dribble; he forced a pair of shots; and on defense he was confounded just about every time he had to navigate past a screen.

    The verdict: Opponents' defenses would be unable to gang up on Ford as much as they do if Mike Dunleavy was around to provide another hot-shooting target for his drives-and-dishes. Still, Ford doesn't shoot, defend or go left well enough to be the full-time floor leader of a team with championship aspirations.

    Troy Murphy: He isn't much of a presence on defense where he always seems to be a half-step behind the unfolding of every play. On the other end of the court, he sets adequate screens, is an inferior passer and relies on long-range shooting. Except for his rebounding prowess and his lack of athleticism, Murphy plays like a small forward. On the one sequence where he ventured into the pivot only because Rodney Stuckey was guarding him in a mismatched switch Murphy ignored his 6-inch height advantage to take (and make) a twisting, off-balance, fade-away jumper.

    The verdict: If he shoots well, he plays well.

    Rasho Nesterovic: This guy is actually the fulcrum of much of Indiana's half-court offense. He receives the ball at the high post, then waits for his teammates to make various combinations of back-door cuts, back screens-and-pops, dive cuts and squeeze cuts before either passing or shooting his fairly accurate midrange jumpers. He also successfully teamed with Ford to score on a couple of nifty screen/rolls. Rasho's slow-motion lateral-movement becomes evident on defense, where he can show but is only occasionally able to recover.

    The verdict: His intelligence and strength serve to maximize his limited skills, but he's best suited to be a backup.

    Marquis Daniels: He's a slasher who makes smart and efficient cuts. Daniels is shaky with the ball in traffic, plays slightly better than average defense in iso situations, but loses his concentration when playing off-the-ball defense.

    The verdict: An energy player who would be better employed on a second unit.

    Jeff Foster: Plays the high post when Nesterovic is on the bench, has great hands and is the most athletic (as well as the best defender) of the Pacers' big men. Shoots 16-foot free throws (2-for-2), and even hit a midrange jumper from the left baseline. But his forte is rebounding.

    The verdict: One of the most underrated backup centers in the league.

    Jarrett Jack: Strong, fearless, smart but not very smooth with the ball and has no shooting stroke. Played good defense against Allen Iverson and Rip Hamilton was hurt most often when he tried to top screens.

    The verdict: An excellent backup point, but one with obvious limitations.

    What's right with this team?

    Most of what Ford does. Foster's defensive rotations and rebounding. Some of what Murphy does. Their up-tempo and early-offense opportunities. Their teamwide unselfishness, discipline and hustle. Coach Jim O'Brien's ability to get his players to overachieve. And just about everything that Granger does.

    What's wrong with this team?

    Some of what Ford does. The lack of a scorer off the bench which is why Granger plays with the second unit. The continuing absence of Dunleavy. The absence of anybody who's a threat to score in the low post. And the limited skills of all of their bigs.

    Even though the Pacers are 7-15, their winning percentage will improve when/if Dunleavy returns. But no matter what their immediate destiny might be, Indiana is still better off with Murphy and Dunleavy than they were with Jamaal Tinsley, Al Harrington and Stephen Jackson.

    At least, the Pacers currently have the kind of players that devoted Indiana fans can feel good about rooting for.

    http://msn.foxsports.com/nba/story/8...ut-lack-talent

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    Default Re: Pacers play hard, but lack talent(SI.com)

    But no matter what their immediate destiny might be, Indiana is still better off with Murphy and Dunleavy than they were with Jamaal Tinsley, Al Harrington and Stephen Jackson.
    Naptown Seth's head just asploded.

    the Pacers...are extremely well-coached.
    Coach Jim O'Brien's ability to get his players to overachieve.
    And so did mine.

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    The Last Great Pacer BlueNGold's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pacers play hard, but lack talent(SI.com)

    Not all of this is accurate, but it's not bad and pretty objective. The title is pretty accurate too.


    Edit: No, the Pacers are not extremely well coached...and that's not the only inaccuracy.

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    Default Re: Pacers play hard, but lack talent(SI.com)

    I don't like how it says Jack has no shooting stroke.

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    Default Re: Pacers play hard, but lack talent(SI.com)

    I agree, the Pacers are extremely well-coached.

    Coaching is the least of our problems, in fact it isn't a problem at all

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    Default Re: Pacers play hard, but lack talent(SI.com)

    Quote Originally Posted by Shade View Post
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    Naptown Seth's head just asploded.

    And so did mine.
    Well to be fair I was 100% behind booting Al and Tinsley, but not for off-court stuff. Al and Tins were selfish and spoiled, horrible teammates. Jack may be erratic at times but he's a good teammate and gives a crap too. If Celtics fans can put up with KG crawling on all fours at Bayless or putting his finger in Calderon's face then I could put up with Jack getting emotional with refs or the coach.

    Of course the Pacers ARE NOT without Tinsley since his contract is still on the books, and say what you will about Dun vs Jack as SGs (Dun is a better shooter and rebounder, equal on assists - yes, check the numbers, and Jack is the better defender) but I'd take Jack and his contract ON THE COURT vs Dun and his sitting on the bench.

    Tins, JO and Bender were all problems due to lingering injuries. That measuring stick must also be applied to Dunleavy and his on-going mysterious injury situation.


    Also the WINNING PCT calls bulls*** on this one anyway, like it or not.


    As I've ALWAYS said, trade Al, trade Jack, but just don't do it for worse contracts at positions you already have covered. What, GS didn't love the shot at Al? What, Jack couldn't have been traded on his own at the deadline?

    How quickly we forget that most evaluators said the key to the deal was IKE DIOGU, or in other words DOH!

    Not having Al or Jack never had to mean you must take the Dun AND Troy deals, two players GS was ready to be rid of. Tinsley is untradeable, Jackson never was close to that. Heck, Artest is more untradeable than Jack because at least you know you can count on Jack to be his consistant self.

    And as a Walsh defender I'll admit he sucked it up if we truly know he called that GS deal.

    This team IS NOT BETTER BECAUSE OF THE GS TRADE. They are better because of the brilliant JO and Bayless trades. Even with Murph playing how he is, simply because he is not the make or break guy. Who wouldn't love to trade the salaries of Dun/Troy for a single player making something in that range and coming anywhere near earning it - say Boozer or something like that.

    But you can't spend that money on that player because it's locked into Dun and Troy and will be for some time still.

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    NaptownSeth is all feel Naptown_Seth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pacers play hard, but lack talent(SI.com)

    As for the article, this is another of those very insightful, accurate evaluations we see done from time to time at a particular game. This, as I read it, is not a scouting over a long term but done in-depth at one game, the Pistons game

    So any skew might come from who is hot or cold right now too. In this case J Jack has been struggling and it's not wrong to scout him this way.

    Ford and Jack have both been having more problems lately than at the start of the season. And all of us agree that this team could use a #1 star option for Danny to play off of.

    With Rasho's deal and some of the good backup bench caliber play on the roster you could see how a team might be interested in trading a piece matching that description.

    Clearly the Pacers don't have to go anywhere near the top of the lottery in order to get unstuck. They did it in the 90's AND did it again early in 2000.

    The team has started placing itself into a situation that will allow it to adjust and improve the talent over a period of a few seasons without having to fail horribly.

    There is no shame in things not being instantly fixed.

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    Default Re: Pacers play hard, but lack talent(SI.com)

    Quote Originally Posted by Naptown_Seth View Post
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    Tins, JO and Bender were all problems due to lingering injuries. That measuring stick must also be applied to Dunleavy and his on-going mysterious injury situation.
    let's draw a comparison between the guy that played 82 games each of the last two seasons (including every game since being traded) to three injury plagued pacers. good idea.

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    Default Re: Pacers play hard, but lack talent(SI.com)

    Quote Originally Posted by Naptown_Seth View Post
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    Well to be fair I was 100% behind booting Al and Tinsley, but not for off-court stuff. Al and Tins were selfish and spoiled, horrible teammates. Jack may be erratic at times but he's a good teammate and gives a crap too. If Celtics fans can put up with KG crawling on all fours at Bayless or putting his finger in Calderon's face then I could put up with Jack getting emotional with refs or the coach.
    And, if Jackson brought us a title, I could live with that, too.

    Look, I always thought that Jackson got a little more abuse than he deserved here. At the time of the GS trade, I had said that I wished we'd been able to deal Tinsley instead of Jackson.

    However, that does not mean that I wish that Jackson was still here.

    There no doubt that Stephen has excelled since going to Golden State. However, that success was never going to be achieved here. Right or wrong, Jackson was reviled by a large and vocal portion of this fan base. They were going to do everything they could to make his life miserable. Jackson, being the the type of personality that he is, would absolutely be adversely affected by that. Whether you believe that criticism or hatred was fair or deserved, it doesn't make it any less real. That's hardly a criticism of Jackson. It would be difficult for anyone to perform at the top of their game under such circumstances.

    The only problem I ever had with Stephen was that he, on occasion, went screaming past the line of being a passionate player and good teammate, and danced in the realm of just being a dick. While everybody does that from time-to-time, Stephen did it just a little too often for my tastes. That being said, I wasn't ready to run him out of town.

    Right now, this team's problem is talent and execution. I would prefer Stephen and his skill set starting at the wing opposite Danny, certainly to Quis and probably to Dunleavy. However, I think that the franchise would still be facing a lot of those old problems.

    Also, if you undo the Murphleavy contract impact, then does the JO for Ford trade happen? Do we just replace the dollars consumed by those two with the dollars consumed by JO?

    You've said you'd undo the GS trade. You just said that we were not better because of the GS trade. I think you're wrong on both counts. The Pacers and Stephen were both better off for the parting of the ways. If the GS deal doesn't happen, then you're basically just kicking the can down the road a bit. We have no idea what the chain of events would be if you alter that basic equation.

    Today, we have Rush, Hibbert, Ford, and Jack as young players to go along with Danny as a young core. It's possible that we could be sitting on Jackson, Tinsley, and Harrington in those positions right now, perhaps Saras floating around the edge. If you want to undo the parts of the past that you don't like, then you have to understand that you are also undoing the parts of the present and the future that you do like.

    Quote Originally Posted by seth
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    As I've ALWAYS said, trade Al, trade Jack, but just don't do it for worse contracts at positions you already have covered. What, GS didn't love the shot at Al? What, Jack couldn't have been traded on his own at the deadline?

    How quickly we forget that most evaluators said the key to the deal was IKE DIOGU, or in other words DOH!

    Not having Al or Jack never had to mean you must take the Dun AND Troy deals, two players GS was ready to be rid of. Tinsley is untradeable, Jackson never was close to that. Heck, Artest is more untradeable than Jack because at least you know you can count on Jack to be his consistant self.
    This is both right and wrong.

    Yes, a lot of prognosticators at the time were banking on Diogu. I hoped for much more from him, but I always stopped short of seeing him as the "key" to the trade. If you consider the analysis done by me, and others, on draft picks, Ike was the rough equivalent of getting a pick in the deal. That being said, Ike's failure does not mean that the trade was a failure. Just as Al's failure in GS doesn't mean that GS views their side as a failure.

    However, you're not at all accurate about Jackson not being untradeable. Stephen had become an absolute pariah. Tinsley did not reach Stephen's level of toxicity until this summer. Now, the reason we can't deal Tinsley is because we won't take a GS-like deal. Artest was never more untradeable than Jackson, because many people looked at Jackson and saw similar head problems with far less talent. (Again, right or wrong, the perception was real.) You always knew you could move Artest if you discounted him enough, that was not necessarily the case with Stephen.

    To say otherwise is revisionist history.

    I wish Dunleavy were healthy. However, equating the current situation to JO, Tins, & Bender is a stretch. Dunleavy had missed 11 of 492 games in his first six years. Yes, this injury is unsettling, but until it's proven to be a chronic injury, there's hardly reason to lump him in with players who took years earning their injury-prone reputations at this time.

    I'm fine with both Dunleavy and Murphy as players. I hate their contracts. Well, I don't like Junior's, and I have strong distaste for Murphy's. However, that was the price we paid to move Jackson. I thought it was too much at the time, and, while I still might, I'm a lot more comfortable with it today.

    I can understand how you could covet Jackson's durability and defense. I could understand how you could covet Stephen's ability to get shots at the end of the game. However, I don't understand how you could forget the problems swirling around the franchise during Stephen's tenure, and how large portions of the disenchanted fanbase viewed Stephen as the poster child for all of the things that were "wrong with the Pacers".

    That black cloud was going to hang over Stephen and the franchise for as long as he was here. Whether you agreed with it or not.

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    The Last Great Pacer BlueNGold's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pacers play hard, but lack talent(SI.com)

    "Extremely" is a pretty strong word.

    There's a handful of extremely good NBA coaches when compared in relative terms. JOb is a nice guy and a pretty decent coach. However, I doubt that an "extremely" good coach would have this record with this team. More precisely, I don't think an "extremely" good coach would have lost the Philly game.

    I'm not that down on JOb. I do see flaws and I don't agree with him planting McRoberts and Baston on the bench never to see the light of day. I also don't agree with this stats-based decision to bench Brandon Rush.

    With that said, JOb is a good NBA coach, but the term extreme should be reserved for very few coaches in this league.

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