June 7, 2009
O'Brien, Dunleavy and draft workouts
Posted by Mike Wells
THE `BURBS - Here's part of an email I got from somebody last week:
"What is Jim O'Brien thinking in saying Dick Harter won't have more of a say with the defense? Doesn't he realize his defense stinks?"
O'Brien, who is a very hands on coach, flat out said "no" when I asked him if Harter would have more of an impact with the defense.
"Dick has the same impact that he had when he joined me with the (Boston) Celtics and we went from 27th to third (in field goal defense),'' he said last month. "His impact is substantial.
"Dick has tremendous input, as does (assistants) Dan Burke and Lester (Conner) and Frank (Vogel).''
O'Brien's comments came weeks after Larry Bird, who said he's not in a lot of the team meetings, would like to see Harter, a former assistant of his, have more of a say.
"If he doesn't have the input, he'll start to get the input because it's crucial for our team," Bird said back in April.
Everybody knows the Pacers are a horrible defensive team.
O'Brien, along with just about everybody else who has seen the Pacers play the past two years, has said it publicly and privately.
It's up to O'Brien to fix their problems. A good starting point is stopping dribble penetration.
There hasn't been any indication that O'Brien will receive a contract extension.
Has O'Brien, who is 72-92 in two seasons, done enough to earn an extension?
I can already see it now, some of you will say O'Brien will ended up being a "lame-duck" coach next season if he doesn't get an extension.
Here's two words for you to think about when that thought crosses your mind: Rick
The Pacers gave Carlisle an extension prior to the 2006-07 season to avoid having the players quit on him.
That decision worked out so well that the Pacers went 35-47, missed the playoffs and Carlisle was fired at the end of the season, forcing the Simon's to cut him a check.
I'm not a believer in a "lame-duck" coach.
There's a few ways you can look at the "minor" hip surgery Mike Dunleavy underwent last week.
It's better that he had his "long-standing injury" cleaned up now instead of waiting until later to do it.
Some of you are probably wondering why he didn't have the procedure right after he had surgery on his right knee in March.
Others, which probably fits most of you, are thinking this is another setback for Dunleavy and you're wondering if he'll be effective when he returns.
Pump your brakes on that thought.
It's way too early to jump to conclusions on Dunleavy's situation.
The Pacers released a statement saying Dunleavy's hip procedure is not expected to have an impact on his right knee rehabilitation.
We'll see if that holds true because the Pacers need Dunleavy back on the court since they've suddenly become thin at the swingman position.
The Pacers are expected to resume draft workouts at Conseco Fieldhouse later this week.
The team's front office, scouting department and O'Brien spent the past two weeks at the pre-draft camp in Chicago and watching group workouts in Minnesota and Golden State.
General manager David Morway and Pacers scouting director Joe Ash are in Italy scouting talent at the Eurocamp.