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Thread: Tbird analysis: 2009 offseason Big questions, part 1

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    Default Tbird analysis: 2009 offseason Big questions, part 1

    Hello everyone....it's glad to be back posting again after a brief hiatus.

    With everyone mostly feeling somewhat positive about our franchise and its end of the season success, it is apparent to me that the intoxicating aroma of a season without off court strife has dulled our collective senses just a bit. While I loved Conrad Brunner's line about this season feeling like just a beginning, it is also important to note that the road to misery was paved with good intentions.

    Clearly a direction is in place, and the team has shown grit and character. We have ended the era of selfishness, and exchanged it for a team of guys with class and work ethic. Our ownership is more in tune with our fan base than it perhaps ever has been, our management group led by Jim Morris has made long term progress on behalf of the franchise with the city and in its marketing to fans, and clearly our leaders seem to "get it" in terms of the kind of team we as fans will embrace on the whole.

    Larry Bird continues his life long strength of being a good judge of character, Jim O'Brien has brought a professionalism and "adultness" to how our team plays and behaves, and together they have began to try and build a team that plays in a winning way, step by step.

    All of that is great, but let us not let the era of good feelings blind us from the fact that we are still a below average team in terms of actual results. John Wooden famously said "do not let activity be confused with achievement." We have been active, but we have yet to really achieve anything yet other than mediocrity, and sometimes I think that too many of us Pacers fans don't hold our teams to a high enough standard. It is just as important I feel for us fans to not be satisfied as it is for the Pacers ownership and management to not feel that way. Our feelings and standards are as important if not more so.

    So, before I being my draft analysis in depth in a month or so, I think it is important to delve into the big questions that linger about our team and discuss them intelligently. I'll try to tackle mostly on court issues, although I reserve the right to go into the business side at least once among these threads.

    The big issue I want to discuss first is our point guard situation.

    THE BIG QUESTION: WHAT TO DO WITH JARRETT JACK AND TJ FORD?

    It seems to me that we have several options. We could:

    A. Re-sign Jack, keep TJ Ford, and play next season similar to how we did this season.

    B. Re-sign Jack, trade TJ Ford for another asset, and draft a point guard to replace him to share back up duties with Deiner.

    C. Let Jack go, go back to starting TJ Ford, and draft a point guard to replace Jack and share backup duties with Deiner or sign a cheaper free agent.

    D. Sign Jack to a sign and trade deal, and exchange him for another piece of the puzzle.

    E. Get rid of them both and go after another player to play the point that we consider an upgrade to both of them, and draft a backup point guard to go along with Deiner.


    General consensus among this board and in my Pacer loving friends is that everyone says we must re-sign Jack. People like his fire, his toughness, his size, his scoring ability, and his ability to play both guard spots. I know no one in my life who is in favor of not having Jack on next year's team, and it is possible that in your everyday lives that you don't either.

    But you can change all of that, because now you CAN say you know of someone who recommends not re-signing Jarrett Jack, and that would be me! Let me discuss the reasons why:

    1. I think it is reasonable for Jarrett Jack to want to be a starter in this league, and that I imagine will be a priority for him as he looks for a place to sign. There is no reason that he will even WANT to resign here unless he is assured of a starting role. Conversely, there is no way we can make a move with TJ Ford unless we for sure will sign Jarrett Jack back, so you have a mexican standoff situation that could drag on all summer. I do not want that type of indecision, it hampers your ability to make other improvements. Larry Bird is so much more decisive than our past regime, and that is a trait I personally usually like. I doubt he will want to play a waiting game all summer waiting on Jack to do something.

    2. We can't afford to spend 16 million year on average for one position on the floor, so either Ford or Jack has to go.

    3. I think TJ Ford is a better potential player for us long term than Jarrett Jack. He has more upside for the future, and while I have been extremely disappointed in his defensive play at the point guard spot, I have finally decided that is more a product of the system and style Coach O'Brien was using than his true defensive ability.

    Basically, I think that Ford MIGHT be a better defender than Jack currently is now, although I admit that is far from assured. In fact, that defensive question about our point guard is the single biggest mystery I have about this team....I thought Ford was average at best defensively for us, and sometimes he was worse than that. I think that was due to how he was coached and asked to play, but I clearly could be wrong....I'm making an educated guess that Ford at least is capable of playing quality pressuring point guard defense, where I don't think Jack has the physical attributes to ever do so.

    4. To justify keeping both of these players, you probably need to decide that you can win big with both of them playing at the same time. Jim O'Brien clearly likes playing small like that from a theoretical point of view anyway.

    But I don't think that is a winning combination, and my reading of the tea leaves is that Larry Bird doesn't either. Everything I believe about Larry Bird is that he values "positional purity"....he likes guys who fit the basic traditional way to play. Jack is a "tweener" that can be very effective in a role like that, playing a little at each backcourt spot. But I don't think Bird values that very much, and in this case I am in total agreement with that way of thinking.

    By not giving his coach that luxury of playing small, Larry Bird can softly micromanage Jim O'Brien into playing a more traditional defensive lineup.



    So, in my mind that eliminates the "A" and "B" options I listed above.

    But I am not crazy about option "C" either, which is to just let Jack go for nothing. I bet you that David Morway is putting possibilities together as we speak for ways to get some sort of compensation for Jack in a sign and trade in my scenario "D".

    To simply let Jack go as a free agent is unlikely I feel. With the NBA overall finances struggling, and with teams looking to keep as much payroll flexibility as possible, I am guessing there will be few outright free agent signings this summer. By agreeing to a sign and trade, teams can pick up Jack and balance it out somewhat by trading a contract back to Indiana. The Pacers have some leverage in this of course in that they theoretically could match an offer sheet, so another team that would want Jack has motivation to play ball with us.

    And Jarrett Jack himself along with his representation should want to cooperate as well, as the teams who actually have cap room above the MLE this year are very few. Jack can expand the list of teams he can sign with by agreeing to and in fact encouraging a sign and trade scenario.

    Now, if we do what I am recommending here for real, this can't be a scenario where we get stuck with a useless trade exception or a poo poo platter like Scott Pollard, when we played sign and trade roulette the last couple of times. We would need to get a productive player back of some kind, or a future piece, an expiring contract we can use, or a 2010 draft pick, or some combination of the above.

    There are teams out there who make sense to deal with in a Jarrett Jack sign and trade scenario. Jack makes sense for Charlotte if they deem Raymond Felton to be too expensive, or for Philadelphia if they let Andre Miller go. A trade with Phily bringing back Marreese Speights and Reggie Evans in some form seems both possible and positive for both teams. Jack would make sense as a starter in several other cities as well, or if he really expanded his sights he could go somewhere like Pheonix or San Antonio, where he could come off the bench for a better team than we are.

    Ordinarily, I might agree that my "option E" makes sense. I love Raymond Felton for example, and feel after playing a year for Larry Brown that he is poised for a huge year next year in the right situation. He is the right age, has the right type of size and skill set, and would be in fact the type of upgrade I am speaking of at this critical point guard position.

    But I also am leery of too much change for the second straight off season. I value continuity from a basketball purist standpoint and from the view of the actual casual fan. I think keeping at least one of the point guards is the right move for now. Since I have personally came to the conclusion that TJ Ford will be better next year defensively and more comfortable in our motion offenive style, I am fine with making the case that keeping Ford is the right thing to do.

    It does bear mentioning that in the "tryout" that we gave Jack as a point guard coming down the stretch, that Ford could have caused trouble, could have pouted and sulked, but didn't. That shows a growth in maturity than I am wasn't sure he had in him, and it impressed me. It also is key to note that Ford is a player who can score in end of game situations because he can get his own shot, a thing most of our roster struggles with.

    Now, all Ford must do to prove me right in 2009-2010 is to be used more strategically well defensively, and to put much more effort into not being the turnstile that he turned into at times this last season. I have to believe that his skill set and athleticism to move his feet better side to side is there, he simply is too quick otherwise for it not to be. My analysis of him is that our team defensive concept was so convoluted at times that he was thinking defensively instead of attacking like I want a ball hawking, harrassing point guard to do.

    So with all that being said, I am endorsing hesitantly the idea of bringing Ford back as a starting point guard, and letting Jack move on, preferably in a sign and trade.

    But no matter where you come down on the great Ford vs Jack debate of the 2009 spring, I think it is clear that the Pacers front office has to resolve this issue first before doing anything else this offseason. With the dire need of improving our front court, and with the cold hard truth being we have so much dead money invested in Dunleavy and Tinsley, I see no way it makes sense to bring back a good but replaceble combination guard who in my view is not nearly the player and point guard my friends and fellow Pacer fans think him to be.

    Time will tell if I am correct in my analysis about the direction the Pacers go in regards to their point guard position.


    As always, the above is just my opinion.

    Tbird

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    Administrator Roaming Gnome's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tbird analysis: 2009 offseason Big questions, part 1

    Good read, T-bird...
    ...Still "flying casual"
    @roaminggnome74

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    Running with the Big Boys BillS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tbird analysis: 2009 offseason Big questions, part 1

    As always, a good read.

    I think I disagree with you for the first time.

    My preference for Jack over Ford is due to the way they play offense at the point. While Ford has improved since being relegated to the bench, I still think he does not make good decisions on what to do with the ball - or, probably more accurately, he does not have the flexibility to change his decision once he makes up his mind.

    Ford's improvement in recent games comes when he "looks up" (not a literal look but more of a pause for decision) at the top of the key or thereabouts before either continuing a drive or passing the ball. He still misses that spot and drives well into the crowd under the basket before realizing he is in trouble and either forcing up a shot or trying to pass, or losing his handle on the ball for a turnover. I am simply not convinced that he can change his game enough to have more of the "new" decisions rather than the "old" ones.

    Now, if Point Guards were pennies in this league I'd be interested in going for option E. However, good PGs are second only to big centers in rarity (and sometimes I think size in the front court is more common than the kind of skill and size it takes to be a top PG).

    Yes, defense is a big hole, and there is something to be said for the way we let so many teams get away from us on offense. For the last part of the season in particular, though, it seems to be the consistency of our offense that has been an issue - specifically our inability to play a real inside-outside game so that there's a weapon available when the jumpers aren't falling.

    Given all of those, I'd rather see us try to use TJ in a deal to get a solid "traditional" PF who has a balance of post offense and defense.
    BillS

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    Formerly QuickRelease NapTonius Monk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tbird analysis: 2009 offseason Big questions, part 1

    If Philly is willing to give up Speights, ring it up! But I actually think they would be more willing to Deal Elton Brand, as he doesn't seem to fit their running game.

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    Default Re: Tbird analysis: 2009 offseason Big questions, part 1

    Quote Originally Posted by QuickRelease View Post
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    If Philly is willing to give up Speights, ring it up! But I actually think they would be more willing to Deal Elton Brand, as he doesn't seem to fit their running game.
    If Philly were up for it, that'd be tempting to try.

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    Default Re: Tbird analysis: 2009 offseason Big questions, part 1

    In regards to our PG situation, I would go with Option "B".

    I think that there will be interest from other Teams for somewhat decent Starting Quality PG like Ford.
    Ash from Army of Darkness: Good...Bad...I'm the guy with the gun.

    This is David West, he is the Honey Badger, West just doesn't give a *****....he's pretty bad *ss cuz he has no regard for any other Player or Team whatsoever.

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    Default Re: Tbird analysis: 2009 offseason Big questions, part 1

    I think a Jack/Ford rotation at the point is fine. There are many, many worse PG rotations out there.

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    Default Re: Tbird analysis: 2009 offseason Big questions, part 1

    Quote Originally Posted by QuickRelease View Post
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    If Philly is willing to give up Speights, ring it up! But I actually think they would be more willing to Deal Elton Brand, as he doesn't seem to fit their running game.
    Hell yes! Speights is who I wanted the Pacers to take at #17. Unfortunately, he went #16.

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    100 Miles from the B count55's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tbird analysis: 2009 offseason Big questions, part 1

    Quote Originally Posted by BillS View Post
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    As always, a good read.

    I think I disagree with you for the first time.

    My preference for Jack over Ford is due to the way they play offense at the point. While Ford has improved since being relegated to the bench, I still think he does not make good decisions on what to do with the ball - or, probably more accurately, he does not have the flexibility to change his decision once he makes up his mind.

    Ford's improvement in recent games comes when he "looks up" (not a literal look but more of a pause for decision) at the top of the key or thereabouts before either continuing a drive or passing the ball. He still misses that spot and drives well into the crowd under the basket before realizing he is in trouble and either forcing up a shot or trying to pass, or losing his handle on the ball for a turnover. I am simply not convinced that he can change his game enough to have more of the "new" decisions rather than the "old" ones.

    Now, if Point Guards were pennies in this league I'd be interested in going for option E. However, good PGs are second only to big centers in rarity (and sometimes I think size in the front court is more common than the kind of skill and size it takes to be a top PG).

    Yes, defense is a big hole, and there is something to be said for the way we let so many teams get away from us on offense. For the last part of the season in particular, though, it seems to be the consistency of our offense that has been an issue - specifically our inability to play a real inside-outside game so that there's a weapon available when the jumpers aren't falling.

    Given all of those, I'd rather see us try to use TJ in a deal to get a solid "traditional" PF who has a balance of post offense and defense.
    BillS here pretty much nailed my thoughts on this.

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    Default Re: Tbird analysis: 2009 offseason Big questions, part 1

    I'm a Ford-backer, but Jack has clearly earned the starting nod. For now, at least.

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    Default Re: Tbird analysis: 2009 offseason Big questions, part 1

    Excellent comments so far, as expected, by some of our best posters. I'm not at all surprised that I am in the minority on this topic, and that's ok, but I do have some follow up on some of the things that have been mentioned so far.

    To BillS, Cable, and Count: I think the scenario you envision, my scenario "B" of re-signing Jack to be the starter, and then trading Ford for a power player inside is the most conventional train of thought that I think most fans will choose at this point. In this case, I think the majority is mistaken.

    I fail to see why a team that struggles so much defensively should base one of its biggest decisions on offensive concerns however. Especially since I think Ford is a slightly better individual player offensively, and I don't agree that our offense from a team standpoint flows that much better with Jack playing instead. I think Jack's defense was this season a smidgen better defending the point of attack than Ford's, but neither was a stopper by any means.

    I guess I must view Jack as more of a "small 2" guard, a poor man's version of Ben Gordon, while you guys view him as starting point guard material for a really good team. He has intangibles in terms of attitude, toughness, leadership, etc etc that I like, but I think you plan a team with "purity in guards" at the point, and I think he is a mini shooting guard masquerading as a point guard.

    To QR: No way are we trading for Elton Brand.

    To Shade: I think the combination while playing either one or the other is fine as well. I would bet that Larry Bird and Jim O'Brien disagreed behind closed doors about how often those 2 played together this year. That is just me surmising of course, I have no inside knowledge of such a rift, but I wrote about such a possibility before last season even started when I posted a thread with a title of something like "A potential looming conflict on the horizon" or something similar...I'm too lazy to look it up. So you see, I think the problem is if they are both on the roster, then they will both play significant minutes playing together as the Pacers go small too often for my preferred taste. It is for that reason I think you have to choose, along with the obvious financial repurcussions.

    Also to Shade: You and I may have disagreed big time on Bayless, but we were both on the Speights bandwagon and I think we may both turn out to be correct about him. Any potential deal with Philadelphia must include him, in my opinion.

    To all: To those who like the re-sign Jack, trade Ford for a power forward idea, do any of you have any specific players and trades in mind? It isn't as easy as many of you think I believe to come up with a deal that both makes sense for each team involved and fits the CBA. Trading Jack in a sign and trade is easier as it involves less money, enabling us to perhaps take a player still on his rookie contract.

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    Default Re: Tbird analysis: 2009 offseason Big questions, part 1

    I don't see the Ben Gordon comparison at all other than they're both small for 2-guards.

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    Default Re: Tbird analysis: 2009 offseason Big questions, part 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks View Post
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    I don't see the Ben Gordon comparison at all other than they're both small for 2-guards.
    The size was pretty much what I was referring to.

    Obviously Jack has the capability of playing a point guard position for stretches while Gordon doesnt have the mentality or the ballhandling skills for it in any way.

    It wasn't meant to be a perfect comparison. Maybe I should have worded to say Jack is "closer" to being a Ben Gordon type than he is a true point guard, in my opinion.

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    Default Re: Tbird analysis: 2009 offseason Big questions, part 1

    I have a feeling we might not see both Jack and Ford on the team next year. Both have pros and cons. Assuming that trades might be similar in what they bring to the team-in other words there is no huge benefit to trading one over the other as far as what the team gets in return-then I think chemistry might be the overriding factor in determining which one they keep.

    And I cant help but think that they might keep Jack based on the chemistry issues.

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    Boom Baby'er ABADays's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tbird analysis: 2009 offseason Big questions, part 1

    Since I'm not the X and O guy most of you are I just have to have a brief observation.

    I'm for JJ simply from a leadership standpoint.

    I will take issue with one point. I don't think acceptance of mediocrity is valid nor do I think the expectations are lowered. What I think is the front office was in a tough spot. They didn't have a lot of talent or money to deal with. A decision had to be made. I think serviceable with high character was an ABSOLUTE NECESSITY. The fan interest was sinking quicker than the Titanic. In my opinion, Bird did a superb job - beyond anything that could have been expected. At the same time, the message was loud and clear - there will be no tolerance with "police blotters".

    It may take a three-year plan to put the competitive team together we all want to see. But it had to be a one-year plan for the character issues. There are a lot of variables to consider with the increased attendance. All I will say is it did increase and I think, by large measure, it's because the players measured up to the character expectations. People could pull for this team.

    With that established, the team can now make the player adjustments to be a contender. I don't see how anyone would think this is the team Bird wants. But I bet he gets the team he wants.
    Last edited by ABADays; 04-17-2009 at 10:27 PM.

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    Default Re: Tbird analysis: 2009 offseason Big questions, part 1

    I would go with Plan B. If there is any way we can move Ford for an asset or salary relief, we really should look at it. Ford tends to dominate the ball which is about the worst thing a PG can possibly do. PG's are supposed to make other players better. Dominating the ball actually makes them worse. It allows their defenders to rest and attack on offense. It's just a terrible trait for a PG.

    Jack is a tweener and tends to make crazy decisions with it, but I do think the ball moves a little better with him on the floor...even if once in awhile the referee gets a pass. Also, for some reason I think Jack has some potential to improve while with Ford, that's what you're going to get. Let's just hope Larry makes the right decision.

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    Default Re: Tbird analysis: 2009 offseason Big questions, part 1

    Quote Originally Posted by ABADays View Post
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    Since I'm not the X and O guy most of you are I just have to have a brief observation.

    I'm for JJ simply from a leadership standpoint.

    I will take issue with one point. I don't think acceptance of mediocrity is valid nor do I think the expectations are lowered. What I think is the front office was in a tough spot. They didn't have a lot of talent or money to deal with. A decision had to be made. I think serviceable with high character was an ABSOLUTE NECESSITY. The fan interest was sinking quicker than the Titanic. In my opinion, Bird did a superb job - beyond anything that could have been expected. At the same time, the message was loud and clear - there will be no tolerance with "police blotters".

    It may take a three-year plan to put the competitive team together we all want to see. But it had to be a one-year plan for the character issues. There are a lot of variables to consider with the increased attendance. All I will say is it did increase and I think, by large measure, it's because the players measured up to the character expectations. People could pull for this team.

    With that established, the team can now make the player adjustments to be a contender. I don't see how anyone would think this is the team Bird wants. But I bet he gets the team he wants.
    This.... This right here!

    I know that Larry Bird has a lot of detractors around here. Heck, I believe that I coined the phrase at a forum party, "Boomer for the adults", but at the end of the day Larry has done a fantastic job giving us something to work with and a little hope.
    ...Still "flying casual"
    @roaminggnome74

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    Default Re: Tbird analysis: 2009 offseason Big questions, part 1

    TJ's defense was the single biggest disappointment I had in terms of the two new PGs overall. T-bird, I know you've been on this thing about how Ford has been constrained by the defensive system and at one point I think you said he was forced to cover for Jack a lot when they were out there together.

    Perhaps there's some truth to that, but does being forced to think a lot within the defense really excuse so much getting beat like a punching bag by penetration in straight-up situations? Is it really valid explanation for the alleged fastest guy in the league to have such non-existent lateral movement and footwork? Might this signal something else? Like lack of effort or commitment?

    As far as ABA's leadership angle, I know there are ways to lead that might not be as observable in what we see and there's obviously a good deal we aren't privy to, but TJ doesn't display the same level of passion and observable qualities that Jack does IMO.

    Assuming that neither of these guys are the starting PG of a future, title-contending Pacers team, a guy like Jack who does have the versatility and the passion might make a good, veteran 3rd guard by the time we get to a point to challenge. Just a thought and only based on his willingness to relinquish a starting gig at any given time.

    Whatever the case, all this also would hinge on what would be coming back in return for either TJ or JJ. If you can get Speights and Evans, of course you pull the trigger for either of our guys. I don't know that I do that if I'm Philly. I suppose Miller is a financial issue for them, but I consider him better than either of our points. I don't know that TJ is that tradeable at all with his contract.

    And what about Trevor Ariza?
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    Default Re: Tbird analysis: 2009 offseason Big questions, part 1

    Option B

    JJ has better leadership, better defender, can play the small 2 if needed and remember
    Diener is our back up. I do not want two small pg's on this team.
    So trade TJ for a better draft pick or trade for a PF.
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    Default Re: Tbird analysis: 2009 offseason Big questions, part 1

    Quote Originally Posted by thunderbird1245 View Post
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    To BillS, Cable, and Count: I think the scenario you envision, my scenario "B" of re-signing Jack to be the starter, and then trading Ford for a power player inside is the most conventional train of thought that I think most fans will choose at this point. In this case, I think the majority is mistaken.

    I fail to see why a team that struggles so much defensively should base one of its biggest decisions on offensive concerns however. Especially since I think Ford is a slightly better individual player offensively, and I don't agree that our offense from a team standpoint flows that much better with Jack playing instead. I think Jack's defense was this season a smidgen better defending the point of attack than Ford's, but neither was a stopper by any means.

    I guess I must view Jack as more of a "small 2" guard, a poor man's version of Ben Gordon, while you guys view him as starting point guard material for a really good team. He has intangibles in terms of attitude, toughness, leadership, etc etc that I like, but I think you plan a team with "purity in guards" at the point, and I think he is a mini shooting guard masquerading as a point guard.
    It may be simply a sign of my own lack of ability to interpret what I'm seeing on the floor. I know by the numbers that our largest flaw is at the defensive end, I also see that every game we seem to have one guy that comes from nowhere and kills us because we have to spend our team energy on the main go-to guys.

    I know that in my head.

    In my heart, though, I see that time after time when we DO manage a stop or force a turnover, we get to the offensive end and can't capitalize on it.

    I don't think Jack is some head-and-shoulders above TJ, certainly I think TJ has the ABILITY to create shots and do some amazing things on offense. It is TJ's head that bothers me, and I think Jack's willingness to work the floor as a whole is the deciding factor for me.
    BillS

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    Default Re: Tbird analysis: 2009 offseason Big questions, part 1

    Quote Originally Posted by D-BONE View Post
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    Perhaps there's some truth to that, but does being forced to think a lot within the defense really excuse so much getting beat like a punching bag by penetration in straight-up situations? Is it really valid explanation for the alleged fastest guy in the league to have such non-existent lateral movement and footwork?
    This is my biggest disappointment with TJ as well. I just don't understand it. I expected his defensive weakness to be getting posted up by bigger guards, not getting blown by out front.

    Jack is tough and a leader. TJ has shown some maturity in the way he has responded with the change at the end of the season.

    I don't like Jack at the 2 guard, at all. I just did not like TJ/Jack on the floor like that.

    While PG is not our strongest position, I do think that the Jack/TJ combination is a valid one on a contender as long as you have two good wings, which we appear to have in Danny and Brandon. The missing piece, IMO, is a true power forward. I'm not trying bash Troy on that - he's had a great season, but I feel we need a bit more 'power' at the 4.
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  22. #22
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    Default Re: Tbird analysis: 2009 offseason Big questions, part 1

    Im liking option B. We should try to resign Jack right away and move Ford and Foster (possibly) for a big man
    "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: Tbird analysis: 2009 offseason Big questions, part 1

    Quote Originally Posted by ABADays View Post
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    Since I'm not the X and O guy most of you are I just have to have a brief observation.

    I'm for JJ simply from a leadership standpoint.

    I will take issue with one point. I don't think acceptance of mediocrity is valid nor do I think the expectations are lowered. What I think is the front office was in a tough spot. They didn't have a lot of talent or money to deal with. A decision had to be made. I think serviceable with high character was an ABSOLUTE NECESSITY. The fan interest was sinking quicker than the Titanic. In my opinion, Bird did a superb job - beyond anything that could have been expected. At the same time, the message was loud and clear - there will be no tolerance with "police blotters".

    It may take a three-year plan to put the competitive team together we all want to see. But it had to be a one-year plan for the character issues. There are a lot of variables to consider with the increased attendance. All I will say is it did increase and I think, by large measure, it's because the players measured up to the character expectations. People could pull for this team.

    With that established, the team can now make the player adjustments to be a contender. I don't see how anyone would think this is the team Bird wants. But I bet he gets the team he wants.
    Absolutely, 100% agree with all aspects of this post. JJ is definitely a leader on the floor which we haven't had in years.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Tbird analysis: 2009 offseason Big questions, part 1

    I also think health issues are a factor to consider. Jack is much more reliable in that department. Add that to his better leadership, chemistry and defensive qualities and I think there's the answer.

    In any case both are very descent point guards and I wouldn't be overly disappointed if Bird picks Ford over Jack

  25. #25
    Remember #31 dohman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tbird analysis: 2009 offseason Big questions, part 1

    Not to mention Jack has a nice shoe collection and every time I shoot free throws on 2k9 I have to hear about it from my roommate! That alone is enough to keep him.

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