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Thread: Odd thoughts about still being above .500 even after losing to the Knicks

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    Default Odd thoughts about still being above .500 even after losing to the Knicks

    God I hate playing the Knicks these days. Don't get me wrong I'm not one of those Indiana fans who just turn red in the face and fire flows from their nostrils at the mere mention of the N.Y. Knicks. In fact I always admired the teams of the Knicks of the 90's and yes I am one of those rare Hoosiers who thinks that Ewing was a hell of a good basketball player.

    But I hate these Knicks, not because they beat us (we'll get to that in a min.) but just because they play such a wretched form of basketball I can hardly stand to watch it. However as we found out tonight, much like last season when KryptoNate splashed down on us, they always have a punchers chance.

    I can only assume that this is what Boston fans feel like when they play us.

    Ok, the really crappy thing about the server being down for so long is that I wasn't able to post any odd thoughts during the win streak and now here it is after a loss. So I almost really want to hold off on this because there were a lot of good things that happened over that streak and I don't want it to be totally over looked tonight, however since I am running short on time today I am not going to have the chance to post everything I want.

    Let's face it I think most of us knew this game tonight was scary because of the Knicks style of play. They are so crappy yet they have enough fire power that they can hang around with you and every now and then will catch you. Happened tonight.

    You could tell coming out of the half that the team just seemed to lose a lot of energy and could not get it going. It's too bad that this had to happened tonight (for many reasons actually) but the crowd that was on hand, not huge by any means, was really into the game and was very vocal.

    First and foremost I want to do something a little out of character and that is I think I am going to support Jim O'Brien 100% for the game. In fact when I met with Hicks and Gnome at the half I made it a point to tell them a story from the first half that I am not sure that they showed on TV.

    Tyler was struggling, to put it mildly, and O'Brien took him out of the game. I figured that T was done for the half. Knowing that he really did not do very well on the floor I was content to accept this without question. But a funny thing happened. As soon as Tyler went to the bench Jim pulled him to the side and was talking calmly to him and I don't know what he was saying but you could visually see him pointing out spots on the floor to him. I thought, ok that's cool of him to take the time and show him. Then in just a few min. Jim put him back in but this time put him in with the starters, minus Brandon, and lo and behold the exact two spots on the floor that Jim pointed to Tyler got wide open jump shots from.

    To me that was good solid coaching, not just to show him the spots on the floor but to put him in with a different group where he did not feel the need to be the sole offensive weapon.

    Also there were two times that I thought Jim's head was going to explode over two missed passes by D. Jones. One time he missed Roy in the post and you could hear Jim yell at him where I sat telling him to start looking for Roy and another time on a break he had two players flanking him (I think it was Watson and Ford) and he did not pass. Jim was yelling at him and pointing his fingers to his eyes and then out to the sides saying look around you. In fact I think if he thought he could just give him the finger at that point I'm not sure he wouldn't.

    Look guys I have been more than happy to listen to the calls for O’Brien’s scalp and there were times over the past two seasons that I was all for it.

    But to lay this one at his feet tonight, to me anyway, is just not right. Sure there could have been different lineups used at different times, but nothing was working in the 4th. In fact we could hear him yelling at players to move on offense as everyone just stood around on the perimeter.

    He certainly has his faults and I am not saying he doesn't deserve some of the blame for this one, but let's not go over board either.

    Now on the other hand the award for Turd of the night goes to Brandon Rush.

    I have not heard any of the post game or read all of the threads about the game so I am just going to give you my thoughts on this.

    BTW, no matter what I say or how bad I say it I am not holding a candle to the heat that Diamond Dave was throwing BRush's way both during and after the game. If he had his way we would all have met Brandon outside the Field house and provided him with an escort to Ft. Wayne where he would be the starting two guard for the Mad Ants (and still not lead them in scoring either).

    Look believe me I get it, we need defense. I love defense, you can't win without it.

    But you can NOT have your starting shooting guard score 3 freaking points while playing over 26 min. in a game. By any chance does he have a no drive clause in his contract? 7 of his 9 shots came from behind the arc which I guess I could understand if he wasn't shooting .29% from there before this game.

    Also why do I get the feeling that he has to be treated with kid’s gloves and everybody is walking on egg shells about him? The one three that he got was because Danny gave up an open shot down low to force feed him a shot.

    His defense is very good but players in this league are going to score, so you have to be able to give them something back as well. After tonight’s game he will be avg. 5ppg for the season. Now think about that for a good while and then ask yourself can you really afford to have your two guard, wing player or whatever score that many points in a game? If Brandon would have just scored 11 points (I don't think that is too much to ask for a starting caliber two btw) we would have won.

    Now don't get me wrong, he was not the only reason we lost. As I said with O'Brien there is plenty of blame to go around, but I can't help but start with Brandon. It was so bad at the end of the game that when Danny fouled out that instead of Brandon Rush being called on he went with the rookie and I had a hard time coming up with any logical reason not to.

    I hate having to say bad stuff about Ford tonight. In fact I almost want to skip this because I think T.J. has become the poster child on here for people just picking up a trait of a player and then never giving up on it and not acknowledging when there is any growth or change.

    So I'll get this out of the way quickly. He sucked in the 4th towards the end. Now there were times he drove and the lack of movement by other players got him stranded but he should not have left his feet or driven so deeply without being sure the other players were moving as well.

    But I want to be clear about something though. Since the second half of the Denver game up until the mid point of the 4th quarter tonight T.J. Ford has played excellent basketball for us. His defense had been above average and he was helping move the offense along quite well. Sadly with the outage I don't know if anybody was recognizing this and of course the one game we are going to talk about he did not really excel at. But I'm saying he was great in several of those wins.

    D. Jones had an unbalanced night tonight. Hard nosed defense as always and his offense again was great. But he had too many turn overs and he had a few plays that no one will get a turn over for but he cost the offense an easy shot because he does not look around with the ball enough.

    I still love his fighting not going to back down spirit that he brings to the floor so even when he has a night like tonight I can almost always over look it because I think he brings more to the table than he takes.

    Roy Hibbert is just getting better and better. When they went to that 2-3 zone in the second they really put the screws to Roy but no more so than his own team mates did for not moving without the ball. BTW, Danny and Roy are really becoming very good at that PnR that they run.

    I can't complain about Roy because this guy is giving us everything he has and much like the Borg every time somebody hits him with something new he seems to adapt and the next time it either doesn't work or doesn't work as well.

    His rebounding has been what has impressed me the most. I always new he was going to be able to score (how many I wasn't sure) but I had made myself content with the fact that he was going to be another in the long line of Pacer centers who could not rebound. Man has he made that ever a wrong thought.

    Ok, a quick break in our Pacers talk for a moment.

    I know his stats for the season are good, in fact very good, but the fact that Danilo Gallinari earns a paycheck in the NBA makes me want to scream. Every time I see him he is absolute garbage. That is all.

    Now back to the Pacers.

    Earl Watson had a crappy night from the floor. Good to great defense and fairly solid with the ball. I can only assume that prior to the game that he and Brandon had a bet to see who could shoot the higher % of their shots from behind the arc and both were losers.

    Solomon Jones continues to give us decent big man min. off of the bench. I never understood why so many thought that he was going to come here and be put on the inactive roster. I mean he's not the greatest backup on the planet but I think there are plenty of nights when he truly helps us. I know against Boston he hit a couple of shots that helped keep our momentum going and killed a run by them.

    What I like about him though is that he is not afraid to body up and obviously as E. Curry found out tonight he is not going to back down from players who are bigger or stronger than he is.

    I mean you would like to get a little more out of him than we did tonight, 2 points 2 boards and 2 blocks isn't great in 15 min. of time, but for the season I like what he is bringing.

    Tyler has struggled the last few games and again tonight I want to say that I thought he didn't play well but then you look up and see that he had 14 points and 5 boards in 20 min. of action and you have to ask what more do you want from a rookie? Well obviously 8 more points tonight would have helped, but overall I still think he is coming along pretty nicely and again I really liked what I saw from Jim with him during the game.

    Danny Granger.....for a moment there I thought I was going to witness another 40 plus point game from the man. However several factors made that impossible not the least of which was N.Y. rushing him every time he got the ball in the second half. I'm not worried about Danny though.

    In fact I'm not that worried about this game in general. Sure it sucks to lose and yes I hate losing to a team of gimmicks but at the end of the day it’s just another loss no more or less than any other. So we need to put this one behind us and try and get ready for Cleveland.

    The reason I am not very pessimistic about this is because after the first three games of the season I pretty much was thinking we would never sniff the .500% mark the rest of the season let alone be one game over it going into the game vs. the Cavs.

    Also they are just playing better and that really is what I am looking for. Growth for the future and be competitive now.

    Now let's end this with a fresh fruit basket.


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    Default Re: Odd thoughts about still being above .500 even after losing to the Knicks

    Great read. I appreciate the perspective: TJ has not been as bad for us over the season as the posts (including my own) tend to believe.

    Everyone needs to chill a bit. That being said, I think a Murph + TJ + something/nothing for a more traditional half-court PG that can push the ball occasionally would be the key to 45+ wins for this club.

    I think the streak has something to do with JOB's decisions at the end. When you have something as fragile as a win streak, you go with what works. And in all honesty, TJ and Earl have been better beyond the arc and in clutch situations than Rush thus far this season (IMO.) If it had been a 5 game losing streak, maybe he would be more willing to screw around with the lineup (and let us see some AJ Price!)

    For now, I think fans should stay optimistic, admire the development of both growing Pacers and newly acquired Pacers, and understand that if Indiana beats Cleavland, the woes all evaporate. If they lose, however, then the fire and brimstone is more understandable.

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    Default Re: Odd thoughts about still being above .500 even after losing to the Knicks

    I think the long term perspective is a good one.

    Yes, we lost. But we just finished a five game win streak, the longest in JOB's tenure with the Pacers.

    This loss came from a hungry team and we were on a back to back. Frankly, if we had trailed all game by five and simply lost, I think most of us would be accepting. It's blowing the big lead at the end that's so tough to take.
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    Default Re: Odd thoughts about still being above .500 even after losing to the Knicks

    Great post Peck. I was arguing with many in the postgame thread about Rush, many others wanted him to play the 4th quarter instead of Ford, their argument being at least Rush plays defense. I thought Rush was hurting the Pacers last night so bad with his offense that he needed to be on the bench, no matter who they brought in. I would have been fine with Head, TJ, or anyone at that point. 7 threes in a game for him is disgusting. he should take 1 or 2. He needs to drive, he has the ability. He was driving me nuts last night.

    Rush better be careful because if and when a few of the injured players come back I see Rush getting maybe 12 minutes per night, we know D. Jones isn't getting his minutes cut (nor should he).

    Comparing D. Jones and Rush is facinating. Talent wise I think they are basically the same, at least at the same level. (not suggesting they are exact carbon copies of each other. In fact I think Rush might have more physical ability than Jones. But Jones has the mental toughness, aggressiveness, competitiveness....all those type things - and Rush has seemingly very little of those things.

    (this is just a guess on my part, it seems to me that Jones is also the type of player the type of personality that takes coaching well, takes criticism well, so with the coaches get on Jones for his stupid plays instead of losing confidence, he plays better. Rush I fear is the exact opposite)

    Jones is a high risk, high reward type of player. But I do know that if he gets a relatively open 18 foot jumper, he is going to hit it. I do know he isn't going to stand at the three point line and jack rainbow jumpers.

    I'll take a team full of D. Jones. Sure there might be a few mistakes made, but they will all be from aggressive decisions - that I can live with every day of the week

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    Default Re: Odd thoughts about still being above .500 even after losing to the Knicks

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    Great post Peck. I was arguing with many in the postgame thread about Rush, many others wanted him to play the 4th quarter instead of Ford, their argument being at least Rush plays defense. I thought Rush was hurting the Pacers last night so bad with his offense that he needed to be on the bench, no matter who they brought in. I would have been fine with Head, TJ, or anyone at that point. 7 threes in a game for him is disgusting. he should take 1 or 2. He needs to drive, he has the ability. He was driving me nuts last night.

    Rush better be careful because if and when a few of the injured players come back I see Rush getting maybe 12 minutes per night, we know D. Jones isn't getting his minutes cut (nor should he).

    Comparing D. Jones and Rush is facinating. Talent wise I think they are basically the same, at least at the same level. (not suggesting they are exact carbon copies of each other. In fact I think Rush might have more physical ability than Jones. But Jones has the mental toughness, aggressiveness, competitiveness....all those type things - and Rush has seemingly very little of those things.

    (this is just a guess on my part, it seems to me that Jones is also the type of player the type of personality that takes coaching well, takes criticism well, so with the coaches get on Jones for his stupid plays instead of losing confidence, he plays better. Rush I fear is the exact opposite)

    Jones is a high risk, high reward type of player. But I do know that if he gets a relatively open 18 foot jumper, he is going to hit it. I do know he isn't going to stand at the three point line and jack rainbow jumpers.

    I'll take a team full of D. Jones. Sure there might be a few mistakes made, but they will all be from aggressive decisions - that I can live with every day of the week
    UB, you seem to be one of the most long suffering posters on the board. Always slow to criticize coach and players . . .

    . . . but something happened on the way to the forum, and you apparently turned on Brandon a few games back and have little patience with him any more.

    Not that there's anything wrong with that. I would be interested in hearing more about it, though.

    In regards to your comments, I think this lineup down the stretch may have helped our offensively challenged team:

    Watson
    Head
    Jones
    Granger
    Hibbert
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    “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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    Default Re: Odd thoughts about still being above .500 even after losing to the Knicks

    Great post.

    I too am very disappointed with Rush's offense right now. I expected big things from him this year (and hopefully they still happen) given his fantastic play down the stretch last year and also because we read about how he was working his butt off all season.

    He is just so frustrating to watch because you know he has the ability to attack the basket, yet he just isn't for whatever reason.

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    Default Re: Odd thoughts about still being above .500 even after losing to the Knicks

    Quote Originally Posted by McKeyFan View Post
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    UB, you seem to be one of the most long suffering posters on the board. Always slow to criticize coach and players . . .

    . . . but something happened on the way to the forum, and you apparently turned on Brandon a few games back and have little patience with him any more.

    Not that there's anything wrong with that. I would be interested in hearing more about it, though.

    In regards to your comments, I think this lineup down the stretch may have helped our offensively challenged team:

    Watson
    Head
    Jones
    Granger
    Hibbert

    I get frustrated with passive players. I rarely if ever criticize a player for making a mistake if they are aggressive. I defended Jack last year during the first half of the season when he had some horrible turnovers because he was aggressive. I love D. Jones as a player because he is aggressive. Next game I'll stand a cheer Rush if he goes hard to the basket, bowls over three defenders, refuses to pass the ball and gets called for an offensive foul, if he does that twice, I'll cheer both times. I can live with that, that can be coached, corrected later. But with a timid player, I don't know if that can be corrected or coached.

    I think Ford needed to be on the floor in tyhe 4th, he is most needed when we become stagnant, he can run a pick and roll or go one-on-one and get a decent shot better than any of the other guards on the team.

    Having said all that I do like Rush's defense - it is excellent and can get better to the point where he is one of the best defensive 2-guards in the NBA. I also love his rebounding - that is probably the best part of his game right now.

    If Rush didn't have the talent, I wouldn't expect so much. But he should be the second best player on the right right now (of the players who are healthy and playing)
    Last edited by Unclebuck; 11-19-2009 at 08:56 AM.

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    Default Re: Odd thoughts about still being above .500 even after losing to the Knicks

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    I get frustrated with passive players. I rarely if ever criticize a player for making a mistake if they are aggressive. I defended Jack last year during the first half of the season when he had some horrible turnovers because he was aggressive. I love D. Jones as a player because he is aggressive. Next game I'll stand a cheer Rush if he goes hard to the basket, bowls over three defenders, refuses to pass the ball and gets called for an offensive foul, if he does that twice, I'll cheer both times. I can live with that, that can be coached, corrected later. But with a timid player, I don't know if that can be corrected or coached.

    I think Ford needed to be on the floor in tyhe 4th, he is most needed when we become stagnant, he can run a pick and roll or go one-on-one and get a decent shot better than any of the other guards on the team.

    Having said all that I do like Rush's defense - it is excellent and can get better to the point where he is one of the best defensive 2-guards in the NBA. I also love his rebounding - that is probably the best part of his game right now.

    If Rush didn't have the talent, I wouldn't expect so much. But he should be the second best player on the right right now (of the players who are healthy and playing)
    During the post-game call-in show, there was a caller who wanted his head. He called rush a "disgrace" and I took a very poor attitude towards that person. To go that far was uncalled for.

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    Default Re: Odd thoughts about still being above .500 even after losing to the Knicks

    I think this was one of those games where we died by the jump shot. During the last part of the fourth quarter I was increasingly upset that they went away from what had got them the lead - getting the ball into the paint with Roy or Solo or even with someone driving - then realized that NY just dropped into a zone and crushed anything coming into the lane. Since no one could get into the paint they simply stopped trying most of the time. Since when they actually tried they either got a foul or a turnover, it was less than 50-50 from that point on.

    The jumpers completely stopped falling and NY was perfectly happy to let us have them.

    I read the Star on line articles and then, for some reason known only to the psychologist who treats me for masochistic tendencies, I read the comments. Today I found the gem among the excrement, as one commenter posted that most of the Knicks paint points came when Roy had to rotate to cover someone. That goes along with what I saw - when that happened, someone else (usually Lee, who should have been Roy's man) would get the ball and basically swoop in from behind for the basket. By the last part of the fourth they were trying to rotate back and fouling because of getting there too late, or someone else was coming in late and fouling, or we just didn't even try to cover late because we knew we'd foul.

    I am not worried about the defense, it will recover. I am not worried about the movement on offense, I think it will recover. What I am worried about is the overall shooting slump most of the wings on this team have gotten into, from the field and from the free throw line. You can't keep your inside game opened up if you can't be a threat from outside, and if you only have one threat from outside (Granger) it is pretty easy to shut him down.

    As Kevin Lee said over and over again last night, this team is still a work in progress. I couldn't agree more.
    BillS

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    Default Re: Odd thoughts about still being above .500 even after losing to the Knicks

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    I think Ford needed to be on the floor in tyhe 4th, he is most needed when we become stagnant, he can run a pick and roll or go one-on-one and get a decent shot better than any of the other guards on the team.
    Let me give you a derivative of another well known maxim:

    "You live by the TJ, you die by the TJ."

    I understand your (and JOB's) predilection for Ford at the end of games. Problem is, if he's not on, or making stupid decisions and turnovers, it fails horribly.

    The bigger problem is that it's one dimensional. This is supposed to be a team game and we need the team distributing the ball to one another at the end of games in order to find the strategic, surgical spot on the floor for the right guy to get the open shot.

    That takes time, that takes practice, that takes a coach who is willing to invest in it at the end of games a few times (and fail) before it starts to work.

    That's why I suggested a Watson/Head backcourt for the end of this game. Personally, I don't think TJ Ford has the mentality to distribute the ball correctly at the end of games, make good judgements and take the right shot. Sometimes he gets lucky and makes a basket on a one on one move. But he isn't sharp enough to solve those special zones (although Watson is).

    You live by the TJ, you die by the TJ."
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    “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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    Default Re: Odd thoughts about still being above .500 even after losing to the Knicks

    Great post.

    At first I was thinking that this loss was like last year, but honestly if this was last year, they would have lost the Washington game and maybe won the Celtics or Nets game. I'm convinced this team is different, and that this game was just a bump in the road. Like Peck said, the Knicks always have a chance against the Pacers, and last night the team just ran out of gas. I've enjoyed having Murphy out because it's let JOB fiddle with the rotation and certainly gave some nice results, but I'll be damned if I wasn't wishing JOB could put Murphy on the floor to try to give us an offensive spark. At that point we didn't need defense, we just needed a couple FG's to keep us ahead down the stretch.

    I honestly think the team has a good chance to beat Cleveland. They'll have some rest, they'll be on their home floor, they'll be hungry after that upset, and I think they're missing a couple guys in addition.

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    Default Re: Odd thoughts about still being above .500 even after losing to the Knicks

    Quote Originally Posted by smj887 View Post
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    Great post.

    At first I was thinking that this loss was like last year, but honestly if this was last year, they would have lost the Washington game and maybe won the Celtics or Nets game. I'm convinced this team is different, and that this game was just a bump in the road. Like Peck said, the Knicks always have a chance against the Pacers, and last night the team just ran out of gas. I've enjoyed having Murphy out because it's let JOB fiddle with the rotation and certainly gave some nice results, but I'll be damned if I wasn't wishing JOB could put Murphy on the floor to try to give us an offensive spark. At that point we didn't need defense, we just needed a couple FG's to keep us ahead down the stretch.

    I honestly think the team has a good chance to beat Cleveland. They'll have some rest, they'll be on their home floor, they'll be hungry after that upset, and I think they're missing a couple guys in addition.
    Well, you've got a point.

    Last night, a line-up of the following may have gotten us out of the offensive slump:

    Watson/Ford
    Jones
    Granger
    Murphy
    Hibbert
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    “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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    Default Re: Odd thoughts about still being above .500 even after losing to the Knicks

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    I'll take a team full of D. Jones. Sure there might be a few mistakes made, but they will all be from aggressive decisions - that I can live with every day of the week
    I seem to remember you saying the exact same thing about Jack last year.

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    Having said all that I do like Rush's defense - it is excellent and can get better to the point where he is one of the best defensive 2-guards in the NBA. I also love his rebounding - that is probably the best part of his game right now.

    If Rush didn't have the talent, I wouldn't expect so much. But he should be the second best player on the right right now (of the players who are healthy and playing)
    I've been somewhat of a Rush apologist, if not on the board, at least in my own mind. Even I'll admit, however, that my patience is wearing a bit thin. With his disappointing play and the emergence of Jones, I've started to think of him as more of a trade chip than a player who will find a bunch of success in Indy.

    Quote Originally Posted by BillS View Post
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    . Today I found the gem among the excrement, as one commenter posted that most of the Knicks paint points came when Roy had to rotate to cover someone. That goes along with what I saw - when that happened, someone else (usually Lee, who should have been Roy's man) would get the ball and basically swoop in from behind for the basket. By the last part of the fourth they were trying to rotate back and fouling because of getting there too late, or someone else was coming in late and fouling, or we just didn't even try to cover late because we knew we'd foul.
    This is interesting. As I was watching I was wondering why the Knicks didn't just run the pick and roll every play when Hibbert was in the game. They were slaughtering us with it. It's just not possible for Hibbert to hedge and then get back in time to cover a guy like Lee who's flying to the basket. Thankfully they didn't keep kicking the horse because I think they could have gotten many more points off that simple play than they actually did.

    I'm sure there are some guys who have ideas on how to fix it. I don't, but I could tell it was broken last night.

    What was really frustrating to me was that while the Knicks were taking advantage of their quickness, we were not taking advantage of Roy's size advantage on the other end.

    As I was watching the end of the game, I kept hearing Tbird's words over and over again in my head. He's posted in multiple threads that the Pacers need a play they can call when they really need a basket. As New York was in the midst of their run I was wondering where that play was.

    I was also wondering why Danny wasn't taking over before he fouled out. I don't think he was being given the chance. It seemed like the offense would run and then the ball would stop right before it got to Danny. I'm not a huge fan of iso ball, but I think that's where we should have gone last night.

    It's a pretty common thing for teams to just throw the ball to their best player and then get the hell out of the way at the end of games. Atlanta does this all the time with Joe Johnson. Heck, nearly every team with a big-time scorer does it. Danny's our guy and when the Knicks were on that run and our offense was stagnated and playing like crap, you need to just give it to Danny and say "look, you're the big ticket, take over."

    Peck. Thanks for the great post. I'm only mildly exaggerating when I say that it restored my faith in humanity. Or at least the Pacer fan portion of it.
    "A man with no belly has no appetite for life."

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  16. #14
    It is ka Thankee sai Major Cold's Avatar
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    Default Re: Odd thoughts about still being above .500 even after losing to the Knicks

    I have a feeling that Rush is a late season surge guy. Why would it take so long to click?

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    Default Re: Odd thoughts about still being above .500 even after losing to the Knicks

    Quote Originally Posted by Major Cold View Post
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    I have a feeling that Rush is a late season surge guy. Why would it take so long to click?
    The thing that has baffled me is that he surged when he was basically the only option at the 2. We now have Dahntay that is complimenting Danny and Rush sees that. I would assume he'd rather have Jones shoot because he is efficient and effective right now. Maybe he needs to be put in a position similar to last spring (Heaven forbid that happens) in order for him to succeed offensively.

    Maybe.

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    Default Re: Odd thoughts about still being above .500 even after losing to the Knicks

    Quote Originally Posted by duke dynamite View Post
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    The thing that has baffled me is that he surged when he was basically the only option at the 2. We now have Dahntay that is complimenting Danny and Rush sees that. I would assume he'd rather have Jones shoot because he is efficient and effective right now. Maybe he needs to be put in a position similar to last spring (Heaven forbid that happens) in order for him to succeed offensively.

    Maybe.
    I suspect early on he thought he was making the best decision for the team by deferring. Now he's being told to be more aggressive and so he's forcing more shoots but missing. I do see him driving to the basket at times and actually making a few good passes from the paint. But most of the time he seems to miss the layup/dunk and he bobbles his dribble a fair amount so maybe he doesn't drive more because he is trying to avoid losing the ball - figures it is safer to shoot from the outside, safer to defer to DJones. It's clear he's not a bad kid - from all accounts he worked hard over the summer and as has been noted, he's an excellent defender at such a young age. For whatever reason his offensive confidence is badly shaken. I really don't know why, though I suspect he's over thinking things.

    I know a lot of you say it's because he's inherently passive. That made some sense to me until I started watching him closely on defense and realized not only how good he was, but how aggressive he was on that end. So clearly somewhere in there he has a drive for engagement and aggression. Why does it only come out on the defensive end? How can it be channeled toward the offensive end? Would we trade a bit of a drop off in his defense and rebounding for 10-12 efficient points per night?

    I don't know the answers to any of those questions. I've defended Rush in the past couple of weeks mostly because I think it is silly to look at a kid who has the potential to become one of the best defensive 2 guards in the league and say he's garbage or a total bust. Elite defenders at his position don't grow on trees you know, certainly not at the prolific rate that good scorers do at that position.
    Last edited by gummy; 11-19-2009 at 01:44 PM.
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    Default Re: Odd thoughts about still being above .500 even after losing to the Knicks

    One thing that is different than last year is that JOB plays the 'utes more. If this continues past December though, you have to understand if Rush get less and less PT.

    He is not garbage, but he is not playing like a starter. We need him to shoot more effectively. We have not even played 10 games.

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    Default Re: Odd thoughts about still being above .500 even after losing to the Knicks

    BRush is stuck between trying too hard and not knowing what to do.

    His teammates are picking up on his problems, they almost won't pass it to him, unless it's early in the shot clock or he's wide open for 3.

    Watch next game how many possessions go by without him even touching it.

    Honestly, I understand it, I'm not saying his teammates are wrong, it's just not something thats NOT conducive to moving forward as a team or for Brandon.

    This is where Obie may need to step in and either really work on Brandon's psyche or maybe just sit him for a few games then ease him back in via super easy match ups. Brandon needs to get his feet under him and feel like he can be sucessful.

    I guess the flip side of it is what Obie has been doing and giving him tons of minutes and try to let him bulldoze through this.

    I wish there was a way to simplify his role and say look. Don't stress play defense, set some good picks, don't over think it. Easy to say, tough to do.

    Part of me wonders, if he's ever had some tough love. It may break him completely or it may give him some mental toughness. Who knows? Something has to give soon cuz I think he's actually regressing.

    Anyone know what got him going the end of last year??
    Last edited by Speed; 11-19-2009 at 02:49 PM.

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    Default Re: Odd thoughts about still being above .500 even after losing to the Knicks

    Quote Originally Posted by gummy View Post
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    I suspect early on he thought he was making the best decision for the team by deferring. Now he's being told to be more aggressive and so he's forcing more shoots but missing. I do see him driving to the basket at times and actually making a few good passes from the paint. But most of the time he seems to miss the layup/dunk and he bobbles his dribble a fair amount so maybe he doesn't drive more because he is trying to avoid losing the ball - figures it is safer to shoot from the outside, safer to defer to DJones. It's clear he's not a bad kid - from all accounts he worked hard over the summer and as has been noted, he's an excellent defender at such a young age. For whatever reason his offensive confidence is badly shaken. I really don't know why, though I suspect he's over thinking things.
    That's the one thing about Rush's game from last night that has been largely ignored. He had 4 assists and 0 turnovers. I remember seeing Rush drive into the lane twice and set Hansbrough up for wide open jumpers. It was one of the more effective things I've seen him do off the dribble.

    I still don't think that Rush is being used correctly by the coaching staff. My gut tells me that he'd be more effective offensively as a catch and shoot player like Rip Hamilton or Ray Allen.
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    Default Re: Odd thoughts about still being above .500 even after losing to the Knicks

    He has a simplified role. DJones has the role he left late last year. Its not like we asking him to put up 15 fga. I simply want him to be effecient at his 6-10 fga.

    It is very simple. Hit at least 35% from downtown. These 1-9 games are killing us when he plays 30 mpg +.

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    Default Re: Odd thoughts about still being above .500 even after losing to the Knicks

    Quote Originally Posted by McKeyFan View Post
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    UB, you seem to be one of the most long suffering posters on the board. Always slow to criticize coach and players . . .

    . . . but something happened on the way to the forum, and you apparently turned on Brandon a few games back and have little patience with him any more.

    Not that there's anything wrong with that. I would be interested in hearing more about it, though.

    In regards to your comments, I think this lineup down the stretch may have helped our offensively challenged team:

    Watson
    Head
    Jones
    Granger
    Hibbert
    There hasn't been much talk about Luther Head. I question some of his shots, but he's a decent defend from around the arc.

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    Default Re: Odd thoughts about still being above .500 even after losing to the Knicks

    Don't know if it's been mentioned. The Backcourt shot 3-25, last night.

    That's 3-25 for Ford, Rush, Watson, Head.

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    Default Re: Odd thoughts about still being above .500 even after losing to the Knicks

    Quote Originally Posted by Speed View Post
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    BRush is stuck between trying too hard and not knowing what to do.

    Anyone know what got him going the end of last year??
    Your first sentence is the at the root of what I believe is the answer to your question.

    I think that last year Brandon finally got going when he was given minutes without the threat of being benched due to making mistakes or missing some shots. The difference this year is that we have other more viable options than we had at nearly any point last year.

    That threat has increased significantly this season with the arrival of Dahntay and the impending return of Dunleavy. Couple that with O'B coming right out and stating that he benched him in favor of Watson down the stretch against the Knicks where Brandon's defense could easily have made some difference due to his ability to cover more space on the floor defensively than Watson can and Brandon is likely to continue his regression in my opinion.

    Brandon is, I believe, an extremely motivated individual who takes everything to heart and actually tries to do his best most of the time. When he tries too hard his shots don't fall because he loses his touch and rhythm. O'B (and most other coaches would as well) tries to push Brandon to shoot the ball to get through his slump. Then, when his shots from the perimeter (generally catch and shoot threes) aren't falling, Brandon is supposed to dribble penetrate and score that way. Other teams know this and are waiting for it and stop his drives, causing him to be a poor finisher. Brandon then reads both himself and the defense on the floor pretty well due to his instincts and becomes passive due to recognition that there are other better scoring options on the floor than he is and defers to others. This infuriates O'B and causes our pg's to not wat to include Brandon in the flow of the offense. Then, he is either taken out of the game entirely or the guards pass to whoever else (this year Dahntay) would ordinarily be asked to do the same thing because they are correctly looking for the best option to pass to.

    Now, Brandon also sees poor decision making being rewarded pretty consistently by O'B, where Dahntay receives the ball and bulls into the lane hoping to draw fouls but at times making shots that he probably will be less and less effective at finishing as the season progresses and opponents decide to shut that down, while Brandon tries to show at least some patience and not force things when he doesn't feel like his shot is falling. Also, taking chances on defense and going for stops and being a ball hawking defender, which is what Dahntay pretty much does most of the time, got Brandon benched last year for being a poor team defender instead of being hailed as a defensive savior of some kind. This has to truly confuse Brandon, because last year Brandon was benched for similar play, at least in his mind, early in the year before O'Brien had no alternative but to play him when Dunleavy, Marquis, and Danny were not available for a long stretch.

    I believe that O'Brien benching Brandon early and often last year has led him to more of a mistake avoidance mindset, which is about the worst possible thing that can happen to a shooting guard who is expected to score as his primary function on our offensively oriented team. Brandon has to be feeling more pressure and confusion at this point in his young career than he ever did last year due to the competition from Dahntay and now the likely insertion of Dunleavy into the rotation which should basically wipe out whatever minutes Brandon would have gotten. This pressure basically has re-frozen Brandon this season, and it is hurting the overall performance of both Brandon and the Pacers.

    What should be done at this point to sort things out? I really doubt that anything short of a mind reset by either a sports psychistrist or a trade would change the cycle and behavioral pattern of Brandon in his current situation. For the good of the team, I can see why Brandon taking on the role that quite a few thought Dahntay would have is the best decision for the franchise in the near term -- Brandon being a defensive specialist who shuts down the opponents best scorers (though that is plainly not what O'B thinks) without worrying about scoring himself.

    All in all, I can see a tiny amount of value in benching him at this point, even though it will only serve to reinforce all that is currently wrong with him in my opinion. The team will likely adjust and flow better due to having a more balanced scoring attack despite being less effective defensively, especially once Dunleavy returns. In the meantime, double point guard lineups will be utilized with an alarming frequency as we have seen before, with TJ being utilized as a dribble penetrating 2 on offense and a point on defense, and Watson being the point on offense and a woefully undersized 2 on defense.

    And so, the rollercoaster ride continues. Whee.

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