Up to this point a lot of this mess has been on the on the coach, but this is really beginning to get on Bird and even worse, it's getting on the players.
I somewhat understand not firing Jim after the loss at Madison Square Garden because that would be a knee jerk reaction even had the coach been Dick Versace with white sideburns. But tonight is a different story.
Starting with the players, after going 0-4 during the road trip I was really expecting us to come out with a punch, but to no avail, it never happened. Our top guns, Danny and Roy, played with zero energy and they made bad decisions throughout the game. Mike Dunleavy, Danny Granger, and especially Darren Collison were making bad decisions with the ball (Even if Collison was scoring the ball, he was looking at all of the wrong players). Tyler Hansbrough got slaughtered on defense; Paul George, Danny Granger, and our point guards the same. They also didn't put any significant effort into this game, and that is extremely dissapointing.
They lack cohesiveness. Just like past years we no longer have any chemistry whatsoever. The players do not fit, which will bring me to my next point:
Larry Bird has to get players that fit together. We have Roy, a low post scorer, Darren, a ball dominating point guard, Danny Granger, a shooter, and Mike Dunleavy, a spot up shooter. Or offense has Roy operating in the high post, Darren is basically a scoring guard in this offense, Danny Granger is forced to consistently make plays for himself, and Mike is forced to run off of screens and take off balance shots that he isn't very capable of making compared to his talent level.
It's one or the other. If Larry is going to support the coach, than he can't support the players. Thats being somewhat hypocritical and he's being contradicting if he isn't pressing hard to make moves while at the same time supporting Jim O'Brien. It simply can't go both ways. If Larry doesn't support the coach, than:
Jim really needs to be let go for the sake of everyone. He packed the defense in on Dwight, and he forced the Orlando Magic to make jumpshots. They are 39.1% on threes, and tonight since they weren't being guarded due to us packing the defense in they shot 47.1% from three while Dwight was still 8-16 for 19 points. That gameplan was obviously a failed plan, and Jim has unofficially lost the team. I do applaud him, however, for sticking with George through thick and thin so far.
I didn't go to the game today despite owning season tickets, and I didn't/don't regret it.
It's one or the other: Jim or the players. The talent doesn't fit, Jim won't change the system (We went back to the motion), and the players aren't playing hard. We aren't going to win any games until a decision is made; The players and the coach are that bad of a fit.
The players are simply not going to play hard until a decision is made, and Jim isn't going to have success here until a decision is made.
EDIT: For good measure:
http://twitter.com/MikeWellsNBA/stat...8758919536640#There are fans wearing bags over their head here at the game. That's how bad it's gotten for the Pacers.
33 minutes ago via web
Retweeted by 18 people