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Thread: Question for the Old/Long Timers

  1. #1
    dennaB Twes's Avatar
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    Default Question for the Old/Long Timers

    I moved to Indiana back in 1993. The Pacers got good and won their first playoff series around that time and remained in contention for the next decade.

    Did you have the feeling they were getting that good or was it a surprise? Did they suddenly gel out of the blue or was it a predictable progression with hope for things to come?

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    Administrator/ The Real Jay ChicagoJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question for the Old/Long Timers

    The '91 team is still my all-time favorite Pacers team.



    They had everything but experience and mental toughness that Byron Scott eventually brought. They had the talent and brashness to beat the higher seeded teams on the road but then blow a game at home when the more experienced team turned up the defense all the way. It was popular to blame "chemistry" at the time, but the moves to "improve chemistry" never yielded results (or in the case of Pooh Richardson, backfired) until Detlef was traded Derrick and of course Byron was brought it.

    They stayed at 0.500 for too long, though, and the feeling was that they might have peaked until Brownie and more importantly Byron were imported for the purpose of bringing defensive toughness and a winner's composure to the team.
    Why do the things that we treasure most, slip away in time
    Till to the music we grow deaf, to God's beauty blind
    Why do the things that connect us slowly pull us apart?
    Till we fall away in our own darkness, a stranger to our own hearts
    And life itself, rushing over me
    Life itself, the wind in black elms,
    Life itself in your heart and in your eyes, I can't make it without you


  3. #3
    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question for the Old/Long Timers

    Quote Originally Posted by ChicagoJ View Post
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    The '91 team is still my all-time favorite Pacers team.



    They had everything but experience and mental toughness that Byron Scott eventually brought. They had the talent and brashness to beat the higher seeded teams on the road but then blow a game at home when the more experienced team turned up the defense all the way. It was popular to blame "chemistry" at the time, but the moves to "improve chemistry" never yielded results (or in the case of Pooh Richardson, backfired) until Detlef was traded Derrick and of course Byron was brought it.

    They stayed at 0.500 for too long, though, and the feeling was that they might have peaked until Brownie and more importantly Byron were imported for the purpose of bringing defensive toughness and a winner's composure to the team.


    J you are telling about 10% of the story.

    I'll post more on this later

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    Call me Kauffie Kaufman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question for the Old/Long Timers

    I think for me the big thing that made me think that this was going to be the real deal comes down to one person --- Larry Brown. And his track record with San Antonio and then the brief session with the Clippers. When he came here, I knew things were going to get better in a hurry. I didn't like some of the lead up - Chuck Person traded a few years prior, and then Detlef getting traded that preseason, but after that stuff settled down, and the first 40 - 50 games the team basically learned one another - it was smooth sailing afterwards.
    "Sometimes, when you look Andy in the eyes, you get a feeling somebody else is driving." -- David Letterman

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    100 Miles from the B count55's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question for the Old/Long Timers

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaufman View Post
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    I think for me the big thing that made me think that this was going to be the real deal comes down to one person --- Larry Brown. And his track record with San Antonio and then the brief session with the Clippers. When he came here, I knew things were going to get better in a hurry. I didn't like some of the lead up - Chuck Person traded a few years prior, and then Detlef getting traded that preseason, but after that stuff settled down, and the first 40 - 50 games the team basically learned one another - it was smooth sailing afterwards.
    Well, it was three guys:

    Larry Brown - he brought the credibility

    Reggie Miller - he bought completely into what Brown was trying to do, and the rest of the team followed.

    Derrick McKey - I consider that Detlef-McKey trade to be the key to the 90's. It's a long story, but I thought Derrick taught them how to trust each other, and play together.

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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question for the Old/Long Timers

    Quote Originally Posted by count55 View Post
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    Well, it was three guys:

    Larry Brown - he brought the credibility

    Reggie Miller - he bought completely into what Brown was trying to do, and the rest of the team followed.

    Derrick McKey - I consider that Detlef-McKey trade to be the key to the 90's. It's a long story, but I thought Derrick taught them how to trust each other, and play together.
    Agree with all that. Also the timing was right. Reggie was ready, Rik was ready. Dale had two years under his belt, Antonio was signed, Woody gave us some toughnes at the point, after 4 first round exits, the team was ready. But more than anything larry taught them how to win. (Byron scott was important, but I think a lot of people over rate his contribution) I'll go to my grave though saying that Mckey was the Pacers most valauble player during both the '94 and '95 seasons - sentiments echoed by Phil jackson
    Last edited by Unclebuck; 03-20-2009 at 10:39 PM.

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    100 Miles from the B count55's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question for the Old/Long Timers

    Yes...I don't mean to diminish Byron. I still get warm fuzzies when I think about the letter published in the Star after Vancouver took him in the expansion draft (*******s). He was the guy I wanted to hire when he went for Isiah.

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    100 Miles from the B count55's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question for the Old/Long Timers

    Quote Originally Posted by count55 View Post
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    Yes...I don't mean to diminish Byron. I still get warm fuzzies when I think about the letter published in the Star after Vancouver took him in the expansion draft (*******s). He was the guy I wanted to hire when he went for Isiah.
    As to the original question...I think it was a surprise how fast it turned around, but I think we had been expecting the team to take a leap. They had good talent, but they were (or seemed to be) underachieving.

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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question for the Old/Long Timers

    Quote Originally Posted by count55 View Post
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    As to the original question...I think it was a surprise how fast it turned around, but I think we had been expecting the team to take a leap. They had good talent, but they were (or seemed to be) underachieving.
    Not so sure about that. My memory is that most people were saying he team needed major changes as they started the season 17-24. Fans were irate over the Det for Derrick trade. I'll never forget a fan walking by Donnie at MSA and just screaming at him about the Det trade (if you remember where he used to sit at MSA, it wasn't dificult to walk right in front of him)

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    100 Miles from the B count55's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question for the Old/Long Timers

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    Not so sure about that. My memory is that most people were saying he team needed major changes as they started the season 17-24. Fans were irate over the Det for Derrick trade. I'll never forget a fan walking by Donnie at MSA and just screaming at him about the Det trade (if you remember where he used to sit at MSA, it wasn't dificult to walk right in front of him)
    Well, the expectation I spoke of was prior to the season. I didn't do boards, and I wasn't in contact with many other Pacer fans at the time, but my take was that they were close, but just couldn't break through. I was expecting them, even at 17-24, to be a playoff team. My thought in that Houston game was, "OK. That's it. They've got it now." It was the only time (as an adult), that I've ever looked at a single game as "the light switch going on."

    I do admit that I was surprised that they became one of the top two or three teams in the league that season, but I was pretty confident, even at 17-24, that they were going to be good.

  11. #11
    The Last Great Pacer BlueNGold's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question for the Old/Long Timers

    It seemed like Larry Brown was the difference at the time...but I think it was a combination of some additional factors. Yes, Byron Scott brought a winning attitude or expectation...and got every bit of credit possible for that. IMO, it had more to do with the fact many of the players were entering their prime including Miller, Smits and McKey....along with the fact McKey was a much better fit than Det because the team needed some athleticism and length on defense...more than a little bit more offense than Derrick. Also, the Davis guys brought some energy and toughness to the table. It was all just good timing and the pieces fit together very well. Miller was a great player, but as a team they were greater than the sum of the parts.

    So, as usual, it was not any one factor....but Brown was an excellent coach nonetheless. The team became very, very good...and needed all of these factors to be that good given the fact no one on the team was a legit superstar ala MJ, Barkley, Magic, Shaq, Kobe, etc.

  12. #12
    Administrator/ The Real Jay ChicagoJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question for the Old/Long Timers

    Its that the 91, 92, and 93 teams teased us that made the breakthrough satisfying. We aren't even to that point with the current team - good enough to feel like we "should" be a contender because we can beat great teams on the road but bad enough to **** us off when we lose to average teams at home. We're a long way from that today. Those were necessary steps in building the mid-90s Pacers, and we'll see it again in the early-10s Pacers. Eventually.

    If you undo the Minnesota trade, but still move Det for Derrick, you might have a team with enough offensive firepower to beat NYK, Orlando, and Houston. Those teams lost in the ECFs because their great defense wasn't enough to cover up for a two-dimensional offense.

    It was the smaller tweaks - Det for Derrick, bringing in AD, signging Bryon that made the difference. And yes, for two/ 2.5 years Brownie did a lot of the right things.
    Why do the things that we treasure most, slip away in time
    Till to the music we grow deaf, to God's beauty blind
    Why do the things that connect us slowly pull us apart?
    Till we fall away in our own darkness, a stranger to our own hearts
    And life itself, rushing over me
    Life itself, the wind in black elms,
    Life itself in your heart and in your eyes, I can't make it without you


  13. #13
    Administrator/ The Real Jay ChicagoJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question for the Old/Long Timers

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    (Byron scott was important, but I think a lot of people over rate his contribution)
    That must be the fundamental difference between us. Byron Scott was the one that brought winning basketball to Indiana. Not Larry Brown.

    Byron brought three rings. Instant credibility. Said to Reggie, "you don't have any idea how to practice like a champion. Watch me, and learn from me." Told the team, "this isn't Magic's summer pickup league, and this is how we practiced with Magic." He brought a Pat Riley-ism that Brownie - who a decade later finally got an NBA Finals experience - has never actually had.

    Brownie is a great turnaround guy. But he's not a championship caliber coach. We got to the next level because Byron didn't just bring us 10ppg and a sweet jumper off the bench. He brought WINNING.

    Which can never be over-rated.

    Now I agree that the other player that brought a winning mindset was Derrick. He did it in a much different way, of course, with his willingness to do whatever he was asked to do (including taking a role that appeared to be smaller because of what didn't show up in the boxscore.) As I recall, Derrick started the season with a tweaked hamstring (we should have known then... ). By the time he was healthy and Byron was signed and Reggie started listening to him... that's when the team took off.
    Why do the things that we treasure most, slip away in time
    Till to the music we grow deaf, to God's beauty blind
    Why do the things that connect us slowly pull us apart?
    Till we fall away in our own darkness, a stranger to our own hearts
    And life itself, rushing over me
    Life itself, the wind in black elms,
    Life itself in your heart and in your eyes, I can't make it without you


  14. #14
    This must be a bad dream.
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    Default Re: Question for the Old/Long Timers

    At that time, I though trading away Person and bringing in Sam Mitchell was the best
    thing they could have done for the team. The team had too many scorer mentalities
    and not enough defense and was way out of balance. Sam Mitchell was one of the
    league's most tenacious defenders at the SF position, and Person's departure allowed
    for Reggie to finally blossom into the man...particularly at crunch time.

    That I felt, was the beggining of the team finally turning the corner and starting to
    become really good.
    Last edited by RamBo_Lamar; 03-21-2009 at 07:51 AM.

  15. #15
    The light, not the lie. kester99's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question for the Old/Long Timers

    Bottom line, for me, was that the team was built piece by piece. There was no sudden transformation. The team evolved, and grew, together. When the Pacers of that era trounced someone, it was with surgical skill, teamwork at a high order, not the result of a superstar draft, but the result of a finely meshed, intuitive familiarity between the players.

    That approach to winning takes time to develop, and can be side-tracked easily with a bad trade, or poorly considered coaching change.

    And I have to assume that the point of this thread is to draw a comparison between that era and the current state of afffairs. To that point: We are not likely to draft the next Michael Jordan. We have to field the right pieces, and we have to give those pieces time to gel as a team. Adding a coach for the long-haul would be a nice touch, also. I sure hope JOB's replacement isn't seen as an interim 'just get us to the play-offs' guy.
    [~]) ... Cheers! Go Pacers!

  16. #16
    Boom Baby'er ABADays's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question for the Old/Long Timers

    Boy. that sure was an exciting time. Hadn't felt that way since the ABA championships.

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    Pacer Junky Will Galen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question for the Old/Long Timers

    Quote Originally Posted by Twes View Post
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    I moved to Indiana back in 1993. The Pacers got good and won their first playoff series around that time and remained in contention for the next decade.

    Did you have the feeling they were getting that good or was it a surprise? Did they suddenly gel out of the blue or was it a predictable progression with hope for things to come?
    Until Larry Brown came along it seemed like the best we could expect was a .500 team. So yes it was a surprise.

  18. #18
    Intuition over Integers McKeyFan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question for the Old/Long Timers

    Danny = Reggie
    Rush = McKey
    Roy = Smits

    We still don't have a Davis brother or a Mark Jackson or a Larry Brown.

    Thoughts?
    .

    .

    .

    .


    “People talk about how quiet he [McKey] is, but he’s really been helpful. He gives a lot of insight to players in how to guard certain teams and what their weaknesses are. The whole team listens to him, and it makes my job a lot easier. Having players like him is what pro basketball is all about for me.” —Larry Brown

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    Running with the Big Boys BillS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question for the Old/Long Timers

    Brandon doesn't look evil at all, it's hard to imagine him as Satan
    BillS

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  20. #20
    Cheeseburger in Paradise Los Angeles's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question for the Old/Long Timers

    I remember Reggie's first 50 point game. It was the era of MJ, and I believed that the only way to win was to have a guy that could score at will.

    It was Reggie's 50 point game when I finally felt a glimmer of hope that we could finally have a winning future. Of course, it took a long time to get there.
    Last edited by Los Angeles; 03-21-2009 at 12:29 PM.
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    Default Re: Question for the Old/Long Timers

    This is easily my favorite thread since being a member. Thanks guys.

    I feel like the approach we took in last year's draft is bringing us closer to the greater than the sum of all parts type of team. We are still early in THIS transformation.

  22. #22
    Pacer Pride, Colts Strong Kid Minneapolis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question for the Old/Long Timers

    Quote Originally Posted by kester99 View Post
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    Bottom line, for me, was that the team was built piece by piece. There was no sudden transformation. The team evolved, and grew, together. When the Pacers of that era trounced someone, it was with surgical skill, teamwork at a high order, not the result of a superstar draft, but the result of a finely meshed, intuitive familiarity between the players.

    That approach to winning takes time to develop, and can be side-tracked easily with a bad trade, or poorly considered coaching change.

    And I have to assume that the point of this thread is to draw a comparison between that era and the current state of afffairs. To that point: We are not likely to draft the next Michael Jordan. We have to field the right pieces, and we have to give those pieces time to gel as a team. Adding a coach for the long-haul would be a nice touch, also. I sure hope JOB's replacement isn't seen as an interim 'just get us to the play-offs' guy.
    I agree. We accumulated savvy veterans over a 5-6 year stretch and it was some great basketball to watch in the late '90s. They played using their heads instead of leaning on athleticism, and it was fun watching those "old guys" school all the younger athletic teams. There were a lot of players brought in during the mid-90s that had big impact. Reggie and Smits were obviously the big players already. Dale and Antonio were drafted. McKey and Scott were brought in. Mark Jackson came in (one of the biggest moves, in my mind), and then Chris Mullin joined us in '97... but then even the roleplayers were key, like Workman, Big Smooth, Travis Best, Austin Croshere, Jalen Rose (who really blossomed in Indy)...

    Man, I loved that team around the '98-'00 years. But that team was like 7 years in the making, if not more.

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    Member idioteque's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question for the Old/Long Timers

    Quote Originally Posted by McKeyFan View Post
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    Danny = Reggie
    Rush = McKey
    Roy = Smits

    We still don't have a Davis brother or a Mark Jackson or a Larry Brown.

    Thoughts?
    I don't mean to trivialize what the Davis brothers did for us, but I don't think it would be hard for the Pacers to find a couple of enforcers. With the emergence of Hibbert though it is clear that we need to pursue a Davis to Roy's Smits. Maybe DeJuan Blair is that guy. Maybe we don't even need to use a pick on this guy. I don't know.

    It will be much harder to get a great PG for this team. It is obvious that that great PG is not on our roster right now. It is certainly not TJ Ford who I would like to move at the first good opportunity. Brandon Jennings from Europe is said to be a pass-first PG. He COULD slip to us in the draft since he is keeping a low profile right now while other players in the US inflate their draft standing in the NCAA Tournament. I wouldn't expect it to happen but it could happen.

    The other possibility is luring a good PG through using Murph and Dun's contracts in a couple of years. Murph and Dun are peaking right now and probably aren't part of our future, although I could see a somewhat aging Murph playing a Sam Perkins type role for us.

  24. #24
    Call me Kauffie Kaufman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question for the Old/Long Timers

    Quote Originally Posted by Los Angeles View Post
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    I remember Reggie's first 50 point game. It was the era of MJ, and I believed that the only way to win was to have a guy that could score at will.

    It was Riggie's 50 point game when I finally felt a glimmer of hope that we could finally have a winning future. Of course, it took a long time to get there.
    just out of curiosity - reggie has only had one 50 point game right? the 57 in Charlotte?
    "Sometimes, when you look Andy in the eyes, you get a feeling somebody else is driving." -- David Letterman

  25. #25
    The Last Great Pacer BlueNGold's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question for the Old/Long Timers

    Quote Originally Posted by dcpacersfan View Post
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    I don't mean to trivialize what the Davis brothers did for us, but I don't think it would be hard for the Pacers to find a couple of enforcers. With the emergence of Hibbert though it is clear that we need to pursue a Davis to Roy's Smits. Maybe DeJuan Blair is that guy. Maybe we don't even need to use a pick on this guy. I don't know.
    It's a lot harder to get a top notch PG...but Dale Davis's do not grow on trees either. Didn't both of those guys crack the all-star team at some point? That's quite an accomplishment.

    All the Pacers need to do to improve their record and make the playoffs is acquire that type of player and slow the pace down a bit. Basically, focus on ball movement and defense. Why that's not obvious, IDK.

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