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Thread: Bird says coach stays despite recent struggles (new article)

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    Default Bird says coach stays despite recent struggles (new article)

    http://www.indystar.com/article/2009...cent-struggles

    (Mike Wells)
    CHICAGO -- The Indiana Pacers are stuck in reverse.

    They take a six-game losing streak into tonight's contest against the Chicago Bulls, they have the NBA's fifth-worst record and their chemistry has come into question.

    Fans are clamoring for team president Larry Bird to make a move, preferably to replace coach Jim O'Brien.

    For fans in that camp, don't get your hopes up.

    Bird said Monday he has no plans to fire O'Brien.

    If anything changes, according to Bird, it will be the roster.

    "Jim is going to be here; that's one thing the players have to know," Bird said. "The coach is secure. We wouldn't have picked up his option if we didn't think he was secure. If the players have a problem with Jim, the players are the ones that are probably going to leave."

    The Pacers are coming off their second-worst loss since the 2004 brawl, a 34-point blowout at Miami one day after a 12-point loss against Atlanta. They are closer to catching New Jersey for the league's worst record than Cleveland for the Central Division lead.

    "I don't like what I'm seeing," Bird said. "Going in, we expected to compete and be in every game. I thought last year we played very hard and had a chance to make the playoffs at the end. The play on the court now, it's no excuse. We have to be able to compete on a nightly basis."

    The Pacers (9-20) are one game worse than they were at this point last season, but there's a different feel.

    "I've seen it off and on throughout the season," Bird said. "I take notes every game and watch the players' performance, watch their body language. I watch them on the bench.

    "It's a clear sign when guys or the team is not playing well, guys sit on the bench and they cover their face with their towel and they're talking to one another. That's not a good sign and that's something we don't like seeing."

    Fans blame O'Brien, who is 81-112 in two-plus seasons. Bird doesn't. Bird said the team is still rebuilding, and extending O'Brien's contract through next season is part of the process.

    "We decided awhile back that we had a plan and we're going to stick with the plan," Bird said. "If there's changes that are going to be made, it's going to be through personnel, not through the coaches."

    Don't expect owner Herb Simon to step in and make a move, either.

    Simon said he supports Bird and O'Brien.

    "It's a problem, but it's solvable and we're going to solve it," Simon said Monday. "It's going to take some time. We always said it was going to take three years to get the flexibility we needed. This is just a little setback."

    Bird is exploring trades, but he won't make a move just to appease fans.

    He is looking toward the summer of 2011, when the Pacers will gain salary cap flexibility as the contracts of Mike Dunleavy and Troy Murphy expire. They will make $22.5 million combined next season.

    "Something we have to do is really watch everything and make sure, if we make a deal, it's going to be looking forward to the future," Bird said. "We've always been looking. We talk to people, just not every day. With the cap and the (luxury) tax coming down again next year, we're in a situation where we have to be very careful what we do."
    Not sure if someone put this up yet.

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    Default Re: Bird says coach stays despite recent struggles (new article)

    ARGHHHH... I'M SO MAD!!!!!!!! WHY, WHY, WHY!!!! /rant

    Okay, now that I'm done with my little hissy-fit, I have to question Larry Birds' basketball IQ. Doesn't he understand the values of defense, set plays, and execution? Because I'm damn sure Jim doesn't.
    "I keep wondering the same thing. Last week they had the 4th worst record in the league, had an 11.9 percent chance of winning the lottery and were in line to land a franchise type player like Derrick Favors or DeMarcus Cousins. This week? They have a 1.7 percent chance of winning the lottery, have the 8th worst record and are in line to draft Cole Aldrich or Greg Monroe. Way to go Jim O'Brien. Rest Danny Granger the rest of the season (if it isn't too late) and give Josh McRoberts lots of minutes. That ought to do it." - Chad Ford on winning meaningless games

    Way to go Jim, you may have just put our franchise back another 4+ years.

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    Default Re: Bird says coach stays despite recent struggles (new article)

    Quote Originally Posted by Thesterovic
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    I have to question Larry Birds' basketball IQ.
    Here's your answer.

    [yt]pxHd83BqDpo[/yt]

    "No era ningun palurdo."



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    Last edited by Putnam; 12-29-2009 at 03:45 PM.
    And I won't be here to see the day
    It all dries up and blows away
    I'd hang around just to see
    But they never had much use for me
    In Levelland. (James McMurtry)

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    Default Re: Bird says coach stays despite recent struggles (new article)

    Then why does he have Jim around?
    "I keep wondering the same thing. Last week they had the 4th worst record in the league, had an 11.9 percent chance of winning the lottery and were in line to land a franchise type player like Derrick Favors or DeMarcus Cousins. This week? They have a 1.7 percent chance of winning the lottery, have the 8th worst record and are in line to draft Cole Aldrich or Greg Monroe. Way to go Jim O'Brien. Rest Danny Granger the rest of the season (if it isn't too late) and give Josh McRoberts lots of minutes. That ought to do it." - Chad Ford on winning meaningless games

    Way to go Jim, you may have just put our franchise back another 4+ years.

  6. #5

    Default Re: Bird says coach stays despite recent struggles (new article)

    I don't know what goes on inside Larry Bird's head.

    But I do know what it feels like to have people working under you who want the salary and the status, but don't want to do the work and don't care about the success of the organization.

    When I was in that position, I railed at my derelict colleagues to shape up, and they complained about me, and I got blackballed. So when I see Larry Bird sitting there in his accustomed seat game after game, with those instincts and that competiveness going like a steam engine behind that calm exterior, all I can say is he's a better man than I am.

    Bird may have defects as an executive, such as supposing (without proof) that guys with the physical tools to excel are always going to have the heart to go along with them (Shawn Williams).

    But you don't have to question his basketball IQ.
    And I won't be here to see the day
    It all dries up and blows away
    I'd hang around just to see
    But they never had much use for me
    In Levelland. (James McMurtry)

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    Default Re: Bird says coach stays despite recent struggles (new article)

    Don't put too much stock in this. Bird isn't going to throw his coach under the bus.

    If he does that and the team still struggles, that leaves Bird vulnerable to take blame for the team quitting on O'Brien.

    I'd imagine that Bird will fire O'Brien in the offseason, citing his "3 year coach" rule or whatever.
    WE ARE NOT GETTING ERIC GORDON

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    Default Re: Bird says coach stays despite recent struggles (new article)

    When Bird misses a close range shot, but gets his own rebound and scores, it's a highlight. When the kid does it, it's all about the FG%.

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    Default Re: Bird says coach stays despite recent struggles (new article)

    He said he's done with coaching. You know, it's not a popular perspective, but Larry is right when he says it personnel that's the big problem and not the coach.

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    Default Re: Bird says coach stays despite recent struggles (new article)

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks View Post
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    When Bird misses a close range shot, but gets his own rebound and scores, it's a highlight. When the kid does it, it's all about the FG%.
    Larry Bird career FG% .496

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    Default Re: Bird says coach stays despite recent struggles (new article)

    Okay sure Larry is great basketball mind, but what does he do with it now. Sits in the corner watching the players and thinks to him self. Geez i would have done this or that instead. Does he try to impart this wisdom to the players we have on the team or does he just sit back and say well I put them together now I'm just gonna watch it play out. Part of me thinks its the latter.

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    Default Re: Bird says coach stays despite recent struggles (new article)

    Quote Originally Posted by EmCeE View Post
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    Larry Bird career FG% .496
    Judging by the film we should be critical because he wasn't in the .500's.

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    Default Re: Bird says coach stays despite recent struggles (new article)

    Quote Originally Posted by theboyjwo View Post
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    Okay sure Larry is great basketball mind, but what does he do with it now. Sits in the corner watching the players and thinks to him self. Geez i would have done this or that instead. Does he try to impart this wisdom to the players we have on the team or does he just sit back and say well I put them together now I'm just gonna watch it play out. Part of me thinks its the latter.
    All of me thinks that's a silly assumption to make.

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    Default Re: Bird says coach stays despite recent struggles (new article)

    Quote Originally Posted by Putnam View Post
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    But you don't have to question his basketball IQ.
    On court IQ you mean. Bird's not suiting up, and he's not even playing.

    Bird didn't run the trades and draft for his Celtics teams. And Donnie Walsh doesn't have a highlight reel of plays yet he put together ECF caliber teams BEFORE Bird arrived even as a coach.

    Scouting is a different skill, GM is a different skill than scouting, and coaching is different than both those. Magic Johnson was just as brilliant as Bird on the court but had no ability to coach. You'd never question Magic's on-court IQ.


    If you think knowing how to do something means you can teach it, then you've never tried to teach. Teaching itself is a skill. You must know the subject AND understand the process of teaching. Hell, you can't even teach different subjects the same way, or different students.

    Scouting takes an eye for the translation and the ability to see both the good and bad. Too many scouting reports I've read get lost on 1 or 2 pros or cons and lose sight of the overall picture. Too many scouts buy into pure potential.

    And GMs too often work of a model that no longer applies, or fail to see the pending development of the market. It's less about basketball plays or even about individual talents than it is about seeing all current and future opportunities for roster adjustments and knowing when and where the best moves can be made.

    You can know you Tyler but overlook the fact that you are better off getting a PG when you can and saving the PF for this season when there will be plenty of guys better than Tyler available to the team.

    A GM can hear what a coach has to say and like the sound of it enough to overlook strategy issues. It's as much about reading people and a business market than about knowing how to PLAY the sport.

    No one currently questions Darryl Morey's ability to GM the Rockets, and yet his background is not as an NBA player or even the NBA in general.



    I mean Bird has said "we're going for the playoffs, not a rebuild". Even as he puts out the "3 year plan" thing he's maintained a goal for making the playoffs.

    Well how does 9 wins match that? And if he really was waiting on some contracts or something, then why sign Watson this year, or Solo? Couldn't you just work with AJ and McBob if you are going to lose anyway?

    I like Watson, but obviously he's not enough to make this team a playoff caliber team. Only Dahntay can be defended as just being a long term guy you happened to add this year because that's when you could get him.

    But Watson, Sold and Head at the last second? Those are only moves for a team pushing for the playoffs. So clearly Bird did misread the situation, or naively assumed there would be no injuries.



    The fans are done with JOB. So if the GM is going to stand behind him he risks some of their wrath by association. And then the owner backing both of them does the same.

    If Bird really is backing JOB for the long term he damn sure better be right because if it doesn't work out they're going to lose the entire fanbase that remains in a real hurry. It's one thing to be bad and realize it, quite another to ask the fans to buy into the idea that things are fine.
    Last edited by Naptown_Seth; 12-29-2009 at 05:43 PM. Reason: grammar crackers

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    Default Re: Bird says coach stays despite recent struggles (new article)

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks View Post
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    Judging by the film we should be critical because he wasn't in the .500's.
    I am not a Bird (GM) fan nor advesary

    Bird has a phenominal basketball IQ... ON THE COURT

    That does not necessarly translate to "GM IQ"

    In fact it seems that supersatrs often make poor GM's (Jordan, Johnson, etc.)


    I think there are only two ways to come out of this

    A failed GM, or a freakin Genuis

    Not really much room for inbetween, in my opinion
    Sittin on top of the world!

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    Default Re: Bird says coach stays despite recent struggles (new article)

    Let me throw in a prediction here, since nowhere else to put it. 4 wins in a row, starting tonight. You got Chicago away after laying the biggest egg in 5 years against Miami, we should see optimal effort, tonight.

    Minnesota and Memphis at home.

    New York on the road. Mike D likes it at MSA.

    All winnable games. Now, not the way they've played, but talent wise they aren't grossly out matched, either.

    I'll be back tomorrow to blast my own prediction, I suspect.

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    Default Re: Bird says coach stays despite recent struggles (new article)

    Before I question his basketball IQ being a GM, I would like to see what he does with some cap room to work with. We are handcuffed until we rid our selves of Dun, Murph, and Ford's contracts. I wonder what he would do with a chunk cap money to spend? So far the moves he has made have been minor, well except moving JO, which I guess was a huge move. But still that was moving players, I would like to see what he does when signs a bigger free agent. I like the moves he made this past offseason (Jones x2 & Watson). I would still be willing to give him till then before I judge him as a GM.
    Last edited by odeez; 12-29-2009 at 05:40 PM.
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    Default Re: Bird says coach stays despite recent struggles (new article)

    This really belongs in the Tyler thread, but technically Hicks got it started over here. I'm not really as PO'd as long rant would suggest, but I do think that Hicks' comment represents an opinion that a lot of people have talked themselves into believing is legit, when in fact the stats are about to slam the heck out of it. The rant is big because I want this crazy talk to come back to the truth.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks View Post
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    When Bird misses a close range shot, but gets his own rebound and scores, it's a highlight. When the kid does it, it's all about the FG%.
    Here's a reality check if you are even daring to compare this issue.

    Let's do the Seth Adjusted FG% for rebounding. You remove all offensive boards and apply them to missed FGs, subtracting them from FGAs.

    Then do the FGM/FGA on those numbers (RFG%). A great offensive rebounder, either tracking his own or others, makes up for his own misses. I can agree with that.

    I'll also do the effectiveFG% (eFG%) where you get the 1/2 FGM bonus for hitting a 3, and then I'll do a combo where you get the 3pt bonus AND lose misses for every OREB (eRFG%)

    Bird (career)
    .496 FG%
    .552 RFG%
    .514 eFG%
    .572 eRFG%
    By hitting 3s and getting his team more chances with rebounds, Bird effectively shot 57.2%

    Hans
    .365
    .494 RFG%
    .365 eFG%
    .494 ReFG%
    It's not close.

    Bird was YOUNGER in his rookie year than Hans, but his O REB numbers were better that year than his overall career, so this comparison actually gives Hans an advantage of Bird's lesser years toward the end.

    Hans does draw fouls, so his Points Per Shot is his best stat.
    Bird
    1.26 PPS
    Hans
    1.11 PPS, which is still not that good.


    For comparison, here's Dale Davis, Jeff, and McBob (all career totals)

    Dale
    .530 FG%
    1.033 RFG% (yes, he got more OReb than he missed shots)
    .530 eFG% (no 3PA)
    1.033 eRFG%
    1.28 PPS

    Jeff
    .498 FG%
    1.621 RFG% (way above Dale's and way beyond just his own misses)
    .499 eFG%
    1.625 eRFG%
    1.27 PPS

    McBob
    .429 FG%
    .616 RFG%
    .429 eFG%
    .616 eRFG%
    0.99 PPS (this is poor)


    So if you compare Hans to other "weak" shooting rebound grinders it's a flat-out joke. He stinks as some offensive glass force that justifies his misses.

    Foster makes up for his misses, Hans doesn't even get back to a respectable PF caliber FG% with his OReb.

    And he doesn't even make up for all his FG misses with foul shots when compared to Jeff or Dale. Only McRoberts lags Hans in the points per shot area, having a very low FTA rate.



    Hans is ripped for his poor shooting in spite of some O rebounds because he stinks on an epic level right now. He's not just doing kinda okay.


    And not only that, but it's not like his other game justifies all this. His p36 rebounds is lower than all 3 of those guys, with his 9.6 to McBob's 9.8 being the closest. And his 0.5 blocks per 36 is dwarfed by McBob's 1.8 or Dale's 1.5. Foster is even ahead of him at 0.7.

    His foul rate of 4.8 per game is better than Josh's 5.1, but worse than Jeff's 4.3 or Dale's 3.5. The assist, TO and steals numbers are all typically low as PFs and similar for all 4 guys.


    So what is Hans doing if it's not really big time rebounding or shot blocking or shooting even moderately okay?

    One thing - drawing some fouls. That's it. And of course no one criticizes that part of his game, specifically because it's the one real plus he's brought so far.
    Last edited by Naptown_Seth; 12-29-2009 at 05:52 PM.

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    Default Re: Bird says coach stays despite recent struggles (new article)

    You could have just taken the joke and rolled with it. I hope all that work was worth your time, because it wasn't necessary. Come on, man.

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    Default Re: Bird says coach stays despite recent struggles (new article)

    Quote Originally Posted by Naptown_Seth View Post
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    Here's a reality check if you are even daring to compare this issue.


    So what is Hans doing if it's not really big time rebounding or shot blocking or shooting even moderately okay?

    One thing - drawing some fouls. That's it. And of course no one criticizes that part of his game, specifically because it's the one real plus he's brought so far.
    I think you've really got to give him an adjustment period.

    And what I mean by that, is a lot longer amount of time. He's still wearing the brace, and he's got to learn how to make shots in the Pros.

    He does get alot of his own rebounds.
    Last edited by Sookie; 12-29-2009 at 06:10 PM.

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    Default Re: Bird says coach stays despite recent struggles (new article)

    Quote Originally Posted by theboyjwo View Post
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    Okay sure Larry is great basketball mind, but what does he do with it now. Sits in the corner watching the players and thinks to him self. Geez i would have done this or that instead. Does he try to impart this wisdom to the players we have on the team or does he just sit back and say well I put them together now I'm just gonna watch it play out. Part of me thinks its the latter.
    That's really not fair to Bird. I'm going to assume must posters here have never been in a position of leadership because if you had you'd know it's not easy sitting back observing what's going on and trying to give room to delegate authority w/o circumventing that authority.

    The GM hires a coach to lead a team. And yes, if the team isn't doing well the first thing you look at is coach's leadership style and approach. I'd have to assume that's what Bird has done and has determined it's not the coach, but the players. And how many times have posters made the comment here, "Coach's coach; players play," or words to that effect? Unless you've been in a position of leadership, you don't know how daughting that task can be.

    I think there is something to not having a bonifid "go-to-guy" among the starters, if not the entire team. You'd think Dunleavy would have stepped right into that role considering how well he performed prior to his surgery, but that hasn't been the case and I'm not sure why. But one player has certainly remained consistent for the most part and it comes to a surprise to most Pacers fans: Troy Murphy.

    I'm not saying he has suddenly become that "go-to-guy", but I am saying that throughout this losing streak Murphy has been the one player the team can count on to provide consistent offense. Still, I think someone on this team but particularly among the starters truly needs to make up their mind to be "that guy". Currently, I see no one else except Murphy who is worthy of that role due to his consistency and who has spoken out against this team's lack luster performances of late. TJ has tried, but he doesn't seem to fit in with the starters. It's not his personality; it's his game.

    I'd like to think Dunleavy could be that catalysist for the team. He certainly was very outspoken while he was on the IL. Unfortunately, his performance on the court doesn't lend itself to allowing him to be a cheerleader right now. (Or perhaps it does; since he's not scoring the ball well he may as well grab a set of palm-palms and get over there with the danty ones). Watson's been relatively productive, but he lacks that "takeover the game" skillset. Hibbert and BRush...forget about it. Both are still babies by comparison. So, now you have to start looking to the 2nd unit...

    Dahntay? He, like Watson, hasn't quite earned the right to take charge yet due moreso to his lack of production than anything else. He was brought in to be a defensive stopper, but who has he stopped from scoring? And what happened to all that surprise offense he had at the start of the season? Have teams figured out all they have to guard him because he's unable to create shots for himself? Otherwise, if you leave him out there he just take those uncontested shots. Put a hand in his face or force him to put the ball on the floor and now he's rendered useless, i.e., dribble, dribble, dribble, drive, turnover...tired of seeing it really.

    Hansborough has been the only player worth caring about on this team over the last 10 games or so. He's come out and been very solid on both ends of the court. But as I said concerning Hibbert and BRush, the same applies to Hansborough; he a rookie...too green to be that guy to listen to with authority in that locker room. Thus, if Bird thought the Pacers lacked a leader before trading JO, he's really in trouble now!

    Still, I'd blame this mess moreso on the players than the coach. Players just have to be willing to step up, take responsibility for what's happening out there and be far more conscience of what's taking place on the court. Most of their problems among the starts have been due to carelessness and a lack of awareness. Stupid passes, not going after lose balls, not boxing out, not executing playes, not being aggressive, not putting the dang ball in the basket. You can't put those things on the coach. That's 100% player responsibility.

    Do I think JOB is the right coach for this team or the best coach the Pacers could get today? No. But, I don't blame him for how bad things have gotten. This is on the players, particularly the starters out there whomever they may be. It's not a matter of moving without the ball anymore. That excuse is over since Dunleavy was inserted among the starters. You can't blame it on the lack of post-play considering Hansborough has been productive, and he's done so against the other team's starters and reserve players. And you really can't blame TJ Ford. Although he still hasn't let go of being a pass-first PG, he has managed to score the ball moreso than others - Dunleavy and Dahntay to name just two who stand out the most, IMO, as being non-productive on the offensive end. Yoiu can't even blame BRush because he has been much more ascertive about his game of late, and I like what I'm seeing from him. He seems to be alot more confident in himself and has allowed the game to come to him vice trying to do too much out there. He's still making some mistakes, but I don't see the same insecure BRush out there that I did two weeks ago.

    This team needs to put things together and do so fast! In under 30 games they've managed to get to a half-way point alright...half of the total loses they need to NOT see the post-season. Another 20 tic-marks in the lose column before the season ends and it's over for them. But honestly, I seriously doubt they can turn things around even if Bird made a few trades. So, I'll call it now: The Pacers' playoff hopes are dashed. No way do they make the playoffs. It just ain't happening.

    Sidenote: If you want to blame Bird for brining in these guys, go right ahead. But you'd first best consider what we had - a group of troublemakers -vs- a group of good character players we all hoped would perform better. It's a shame we got rid of the troublemakers for character and yet we somehow managed to get the same mediocore team out of the deal. I expected much better...such a disappointment.
    Last edited by NuffSaid; 12-29-2009 at 06:34 PM.

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    Default Re: Bird says coach stays despite recent struggles (new article)

    Quote Originally Posted by Naptown_Seth View Post
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    Hans is ripped for his poor shooting in spite of some O rebounds because he stinks on an epic level right now. He's not just doing kinda okay.


    And not only that, but it's not like his other game justifies all this. His p36 rebounds is lower than all 3 of those guys, with his 9.6 to McBob's 9.8 being the closest. And his 0.5 blocks per 36 is dwarfed by McBob's 1.8 or Dale's 1.5. Foster is even ahead of him at 0.7.

    His foul rate of 4.8 per game is better than Josh's 5.1, but worse than Jeff's 4.3 or Dale's 3.5. The assist, TO and steals numbers are all typically low as PFs and similar for all 4 guys.


    So what is Hans doing if it's not really big time rebounding or shot blocking or shooting even moderately okay?

    One thing - drawing some fouls. That's it. And of course no one criticizes that part of his game, specifically because it's the one real plus he's brought so far.
    And? I think most posters here who paid attention on draft day knew this about him already. Hans isn't going to score the ball all that much, but what he will do - HAS done - is remain aggressive and play within the offense. That's what we expected from this 4-time All American...just come in and play the game the way it was meant to be played for 48+ mins.

    I've never expected much out of Hansborough from Day-1 except that he brings that same level of intensity from the college game to the NBA. Can anyone argue that he hasn't done just that? Personally, I wish the rest of this team played the game the same way Hansborough does. The Pacers would be in a much better position than they are now for sure.

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    Default Re: Bird says coach stays despite recent struggles (new article)

    Good stuff Nuffsaid. I really can't disagree with any of that.

  30. #23
    Administrator Peck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bird says coach stays despite recent struggles (new article)

    Quote Originally Posted by Naptown_Seth View Post
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    I worked really hard on something Hicks was joking about.[/B]


    Basketball isn't played with computers, spreadsheets, and simulations. ChicagoJ 4/21/13

  31. #24

    Default Re: Bird says coach stays despite recent struggles (new article)

    Quote Originally Posted by EmCeE View Post
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    Good stuff Nuffsaid. I really can't disagree with any of that.
    Thanks. I'm just telling it like it is...or atleast how I see it.

    Simply put, this team needs to wake the **** up and fast!!! There's just no excuse for the caliber of play we've seen of them since Granger went down - NONE!!!

    There are enough healthy veterans out there to lead as well as perform, but for whatever reason they just aren't doing it. It's as if all but a select few have decided to cash it all in long before they're reached the season's half-way point. In my view, that's very disheartening. I really did expect alot more from this team than they've given.

  32. #25
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    Default Re: Bird says coach stays despite recent struggles (new article)

    Stick with the 3-year plan! Don't blow things up.

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