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it drives me nuts, that week in and week out we continue to play lackluster defense. On top of that we are playing Rasho, Murphy, and diener on the court at the same time. No wonder the DEFENSE IS HORRIBLE! oH N it will get worse when Dleavy comes back. I just feel this guy is a terrible coach and does not encourage defense. i mean geeeeeeeeze he's playing Rasho over McRoberts....Well maybe you guys enjoy his coaching, i know i am sick of it. your thoughts?
unfortunately it won't happen during this season. i hope he sees the basketball JOB is making this team play is useless and fires him at the end of this season.
you know what would kill us entirely: getting a small guy or a basketball IQ'less,athlete,'he runs the floor well for his size' kind of big man from the draft just because he fits JOB's system.
if this happens we are doomed.
Is this gonna be a weekly thing? If so, maybe they can set up a Robokbills05.
I also want to quash the idea that O'Brien does not encourage defense. In his full seasons in Boston, his teams were 5th and 7th in Defensive Rating (Points per 100 possession), and in Philly, his team finished 10th.
This is a bad defensive team, and Jim O'Brien and his staff should be criticized for not getting them to be more consistently effective, or should be criticized for it's flawed design or rotations. However, the implication that this is a Paul-Westhead-Loyola-Marymount-let-'em-score-so-you-can-get-the-ball-back defensive system and coaching style is nothing more than a lie, and should be treated as such.
Also, I really think it's unfair to expect a team to win while playing Hibbert for 18 minutes and Graham for 29 minutes like we did last night. Those guys are borderline rotation players and if you're going to have them on the floor for that much of a close game, you're going to lose.
"A man with no belly has no appetite for life."
- Salman Rushdie
I will say this, and I'm an Obie fan. It's time to abandon the half azz trap Defense. I know it's impossible to do this at this point in the season. It troubles me that this has been taught to the young guys now to the point that they'll have to be deprogrammed from the way it is run. It's maddening.
The gimmicky defense only works against teams that are dumb and/or teams that aren't prepared. At this point in the season they won't come against either. The elbow jumper is open everytime, no matter how well they rotate.
I like Obie, I may be the only one left, but he needs to quit trying to gimmick his way around the talent/team make up.
I just wonder if the coaching staff has over thought all of this without the long term in mind.
Last edited by Speed; 01-06-2009 at 10:35 AM.
Karl sees our running team, looks at his roster, decides to run us off the floor from the beginning. We do nothing to control the tempo by making any adjustments in game strategy. We get hot as we always do. We predictably run out of gas. Predictably, Rush and McRoberts, two of our better energy guys who at least try to defend, only get very limited court time for whatever reason that O'Brien has. In a game like this, who cares if they don't understand the "team" defense concepts that O'Brien supposedly is trying to instill in our group of guys. O'Brien's concepts (I choose not to blame Harter, whose hands are tied by the ridiculous pace that the players are expected to maintain due to our run and gun offense) on defense just don't work unless his teams are blessed by hot shooting and superior athleticism, which is nearly impossible to expect with our group of guys. We can get hot shooting, but we are definitely NOT superior athletes. The closest we have in terms of pure athleticism are Ford at pg, Granger, Rush, and Daniels for wings, and McRoberts on the interior. With Daniels and Ford injured and Rush and McRoberts not utilized, the result of last night's game is not surprising in the least.
Our coach chose not to control the tempo, we could not compete. O'Brien caused this game to be a blowout due to not making adjustments to his strategy based on his available personnel and the personnel he chose to play.
The chessmaster needs to learn the way his "pieces" move, and adjust his attack / defense based on the pieces he has left on the board, while taking into account his opponents pieces, the attacks his opponent is likely to make given their available pieces and the tendencies / playing style his opponent likes to utilize. Unfortunately, he fails to do this during our "matches". Frequently, this failure of execution results in "checkmate".
How many more years does JOB have on his contract? It's just the remainder of this season and next season, right?
If that's the case, I think we'll ride it out. JOB was hired for PR purposes as much as coaching.
Though I do not agree, I do not wish prevent people from expressing displeasure with O'Brien. I simply do not wish "thread chase" the conversation. This topic bleeds through game and post-game threads, and has had more than one thread started on it. The particulars do not change.
Those who don't like O'Brien (not all, but broadly) don't like his system and place a high emphasis on in-game coaching and play calling.
Those who do like O'Brien (again, not all, but broadly) tend to look at preparation and progress, and really de-emphasize play calling.
There also tend to be differences in both evaluation of the talent on hand and in the philosophical approach regarding the development of the rookies.
Often, those who support O'Brien are not what you'd call huge fans. They simply believe that he's done a reasonable job, and that the chances of going backwards with a coaching change are greater than the chances of advancement.
But, again, the particulars rarely change. What causes frustration is that, for example, my arguments in support of O'Brien have been largely unchanged over the course of the season. However, every game brings fresh opportunity to complain about play calling, substitution patterns, etc. Since every coach makes judgment calls every game, there will always be mistakes made, (or, perhaps more accurately, decisions that don't work out).
I rarely agree with everything that O'Brien does in a game. However, it does not change what I consider to be the underlying truth. This is a team that has limited talent, exascerbated by injuries and illnesses. They are not as good defensively (or at least as mediocre defensively) as they should be, but I think the team has (generally) held together surprisingly well and maintained a decent level of effort. That will not be sufficient in the long run, but for right now, I have a very hard time seeing any coach winning more games given the circumstances of this year. I assume those calling for Obie's firing see a different underlying truth and have the same frustration.
This is tiring for the people on both sides, and it's tiring for the innocent bystanders in the conversation. It is particularly tiring when you consider that there is very little chance, whatsoever, of Bird firing O'Brien during this season. IMO, there is a greater chance of O'Brien getting fed up and resigning then there is of Bird firing him before this summer.
Finally, there is a tendency for frustrated people to engage in heightened hyperbole and bombast, which often creates equal and opposite reactions. It becomes more and more difficult to try to establish (what you consider to be) a balanced position. As the extremes of the argument move farther and farther to the fringes, those towards the middle find themselves dragged inexorably away from the center and towards one side or the other. The conversation no longer becomes about the subject, but about the response. Opinions become facts, those who disagree become the enemy, and the cycle continues downward.
So, I apologize for the curt tone of the initial post (though I stand by the rebuke of the "doesn't encourage defense" comment), and hope that we can find some way to keep this debate, which will last for the foreseeable future, from completely tainting every conversation we have on the board.
Last edited by count55; 04-07-2009 at 01:51 AM.
I was making refernce to the fact that one of interesting tidbits that was hyped when O'Brien was hired is that he LOVES chess and plays often. If I recall correctly, he achieved some kind of master status at some time in the past before he became a coach. The Pacers I am sure wanted the public to understand that they had hired a coach who would be capable of strategic thought at a high level.
I agree with you, though. Basketball is NOT chess. The fluid athleticism present and the additional variables that happen during the flow of a game make basketball far more complex than chess. Perhaps O'Brien's chess playing has impacted his ability to analyze the intricacies of the game of basketball due to its faster, more dynamic nature?
I don't think O'Brien willfully makes detrimental decisions OR purposely ignores what is going on in front of him. I simply don't think he makes adjustments like other more successful coaches at either the college or professional levels of basketball routinely make.
The thing I always liked about Harter's defenses in the past is that, while they had very, very strong team defensive principles, they were predicated on basically playing straight up. Each man needed to guard their man first and foremost, then they needed to understand what the situation was with their teammates and team as a whole.
However, this team is definitely scrambling too much on defense. Take the play against Atlanta where Joe Johnson hit the three to put them up three. Quinn lambasted Marquis for leaving him, but Daniels had gone to guard the wide open (Horford) under the basket. Many, including me, felt he'd made the appropriate decision. The problem is that in watching the replays, I couldn't for the life of me figure out what they were trying to do, and who was really responsible for the breakdown. There were too many of them.
I also think that this team too consistently sags on the weakside, resulting in constantly being torched on ball reversal.
I've been trying to formulate a response that would be only very slightly sarcastic and yet funny. Haven't come up with anything. I do think the Jim O'Brien topic has been brought up before - although I'm not sure.
I do want to add something of a bit more substance. I don't believe the defense is a gimmick or highly schemed or something out of the ordinary - in fact to me it looks a lot, in fact to me it looks like the exact thing as the Celtics defense - (I'm talking about the system - not the execution)
Last edited by Unclebuck; 01-06-2009 at 11:21 AM.
Maybe O'Brien's chess background makes him overthink the game of basketball which results in his highly-schemed defense?
Here is a link about O'Brien and other Pacers related coaches and personnel and their chess playing. They also believe there are a lot of similarities between the two games.
I tend to agree with O'Brien's comments regarding controlling the middle, preparation, and strategy.
I get relatively uncomfortable when coaches talk about chess in relation to basketball, because it brings to mind the move/countermove ideology, and I begin to fear that the coach holds an illusory view over the control and impact he can have in a game. (Which I consider to be relatively limited during a game.)
Here is the thing. I you decide to pull a big over to the opposite block, NO MATTER WHAT. You are out of position as a team. It's math, if someone is guarding no one, then someone it open.
Typically, in the recent past we were PUT out of position by very poor one on one defense. However you didn't play a SCHEME that is predicated on being out of position or not guarding someone. So, to me if your going to play this way, your saying "we feel like we can not guard our man one on one, so we are going to concede this and go strong side help, PREEMPTIVELY.
A good point guard or player for that matter TRIES to get two guys to guard him so he can get it to the open guy for an open shot (on the elbow mostly, against this scheme). It seems simple to beat and being a life long point guard, it's the kind of thing you hope for!! Double team me so I can drop the easy dime.
My point is this, in years past you had JO who, if anything we can agree about, is a shot blocker, this allowed for some of the "beat off the dribble mistakes" to be keep to a minimum.
I dread when dunleavy comes back in this scheme because he'll draw charges galore, cuz he's smart and great at it, but it's still saying okay drive the lane. I worry about the tremendous physical pounding Dun will get in this scheme.
Lastly, if Harter could have Mark Jackson and Chris Mullin not getting killed on defense, why in the world can they not do better than this with these guys. It's almost comical, if it wasn't so sad.
At this point, I'd rather go back to individual accountability on Defense with helpside when absolutely needed. I think with this group (TJ and JJ), you can take away one of the historic horrible problems with accountability. What do you have to lose? I'm not saying put guys out on an island, but let's try to do something more traditional, because this SCHEME is getting worse by the moment.
Last edited by Speed; 01-06-2009 at 11:43 AM.
Sure Harter's defense were about plkaying one on one defense, they rarely if ever doubled the post, but it was a very much a team defense. help and recover was the basis for the system. They played the exact same no matter who the opponent was - they defended the pick and roll the exact same......It was excution over scheming. This defense is similar in that regard - a lot of the principles are the same - but the zone rules allow flooded the strong side more
But when the zone rules were changed 7 years ago or so defenses have changed and now most teams attempt to do what the Pacers current defense does - give up contested long two point shots and make the team pass the ball a few times.
Sorry - I really had to rush through this - wish I could delve into this deeper - I love this stuff. (more fun thatn talking about whether JOB is the worst coach of all time or just bad)
Last edited by Unclebuck; 01-06-2009 at 12:18 PM.
Has it been considered that maybe OBrien is not very good at scaling things to his personnel?
I'm not making that claim, just throwing it out for some discussion....
Nuntius was right. I was wrong. Frank Vogel has retained his job.
"A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, thatís teamwork."
The problem is that teams are hitting said long 2's because they're wide open.