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Thread: Another lineup change coming?

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    Default Another lineup change coming?

    http://www.indystar.com/article/2010...rs-to-overcome

    (Mike Wells)
    Slow starts are too much for Pacers to overcome

    The Indiana Pacers' list of problems this season is endless.

    They've had injuries and been inconsistent. Much too often they've been one-dimensional on offense.

    Their inability to get off to a good start also hasn't helped.

    The Pacers have rarely landed the first punch. They are 9-27 when they trail after the first 12 minutes. They've given up at least 30 points in the quarter 24 times.

    They'll try to get off to a quick start tonight and finish 2-2 on their four-game trip when they take on the Chicago Bulls.

    The Pacers know the numbers. They just can't explain them.

    "I don't know, to tell you the truth," swingman Brandon Rush said. "You can't pinpoint one thing. We don't push the ball enough. That's one thing."

    "I'm not sure if there is one exact reason," center Roy Hibbert said.

    The Pacers typically fall behind by double figures early. They have one or two runs to get back into the game before running out of energy.

    "It probably starts with not really being ready to play," Pacers veteran Mike Dunleavy said. "We're not coming out hitting first. It seems like we're always taking the first blow and then working our way back in it. It's something we need to get better at."

    Saturday, they trailed Houston by just three after a quarter and won.

    Coach Jim O'Brien goes back to his notion that the Pacers are a better team when they use their "small lineup," with Hibbert or Troy Murphy on the floor, but not both.

    "We have struggled with the big lineups at times," O'Brien said. "I know that's the lineup that we won at Houston with, because it was our best lineup coming down the stretch. But when we get off to a tough start, we end up going small and a lot of times we come back with the small lineup."

    O'Brien likely will stick with the big lineup because he wants Murphy for his shooting and Hibbert needs to continue his development.

    "We space the court, we have more mobility and we're a better transition defensive team when we're small," O'Brien said. "Danny (Granger) is as good of a defensive player that we have at guarding the (Dirk) Nowitzkis and (David) Wests of the league. I know for a fact that we're a better defensive team when we're small."

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    Release Psycho T pwee31's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another lineup change coming?


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    Default Re: Another lineup change coming?

    There is little to nothing in that article I disagree with. The reality would likely be more time with Hibbert on the bench than Troy, and we've seen pitifully few games this season where Roy was starting and Troy was not, but the idea is sound.

    And why? Because our "small" lineup seems to move better and therefore scores better without having to take an early shot for a miss. That leads to being better set on defense, which leads to better defense.
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    Default Re: Another lineup change coming?

    I think the 1-3 positions are fine, but it's the issue with the 4 and 5.

    I say keep Watson, Rush, and Granger at their regular starting positions and call me crazy JOB, put Josh at starting PF next to Roy and see what these "core, future" players you mention can do for us.

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    Default Re: Another lineup change coming?



    *sigh*

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    Default Re: Another lineup change coming?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trophy View Post
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    "We space the court, we have more mobility and we're a better transition defensive team when we're small," O'Brien said. "Danny (Granger) is as good of a defensive player that we have at guarding the (Dirk) Nowitzkis and (David) Wests of the league. I know for a fact that we're a better defensive team when we're small."
    (Mike Wells)
    I was talking about this with a friend the other day. Granger has been really good when he's put in charge of guarding 4s - it's probably his better defensive position. It'd be a waste to make him a new Rashard Lewis though, he impacts the game more as a wing.

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    Default Re: Another lineup change coming?

    Quote Originally Posted by cordobes View Post
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    I was talking about this with a friend the other day. Granger has been really good when he's put in charge of guarding 4s - it's probably his better defensive position. It'd be a waste to make him a new Rashard Lewis though, he impacts the game more as a wing.
    The 4 should never be Granger's best defensive position, however, I will agree with you that this season it has been. He completely stopped trying to defend last year as a 3, and it continued this season. I would argue that his improved defense against opposing 4's is 100% effort related.

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    Default Re: Another lineup change coming?

    Quote Originally Posted by WetBob View Post
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    The 4 should never be Granger's best defensive position, however, I will agree with you that this season it has been. He completely stopped trying to defend last year as a 3, and it continued this season. I would argue that his improved defense against opposing 4's is 100% effort related.
    I don't even think you'd have to argue that it was so clearly true.
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    Default Re: Another lineup change coming?

    I believe Granger to be more effective guarding a non-post PF.

    West and Nowitzki shoot from the outside and are more mobile in that regard. Whereas you would NOT want to play Granger against Pau Gasol or Carlos Boozer type PFs. He will not be effective in post defense.

    The problem with Murphy on the floor, is that he cannot effectively guard in the post or against PFs that will drive around him. He is not strong enough for one and too slow for the other. Hibbert is a liability in that he is slow, but he is also a shot-blocking Center in the half-court. His post defense is good and getting better every game.

    McRoberts would be a massive upgrade in three phases of defense (post, perimeter, and transition) because of his athleticism IMO. But of course, if Troy is at the three point arc he doesn't have as far to go in transition, but he still won't contest that shot.

    The problem is that if we go to a small lineup at the end of a game, the opponent will force us into half-court sets where we are undersized. We are easily outmuscled in the half-court and that is why we try to force the tempo. I love having our best defenders out there at the end of a game, but a lineup of Watson, DJones, Rush, Granger, and Hibbert is not great offensively. If we go with our best offensive lineup in Ford, Rush, Dunleavy(?), Granger, and Murphy we will get scored on very easy. There needs to be a happy medium and we have too many one-dimensional players is what it comes down to.

    IMO, Granger should never play the 4. But we don't have anybody the coach can put in at the 4 where he is confident in their ability both offensively and defensively. Hence the need to go with a PF (/C) in the draft and give McRoberts more time down the stretch to see what he is capable of once he is more comfortable on the court.

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    Default Re: Another lineup change coming?

    "We have struggled with the big lineups at times," O'Brien said. "I know that's the lineup that we won at Houston with, because it was our best lineup coming down the stretch. But when we get off to a tough start, we end up going small and a lot of times we come back with the small lineup."
    Talk about disconnect.

    You make these great comebacks for 2 reasons - teams literally get bored or go deeper on their bench (DAL didn't use Kidd for 36-40 min for the first time in weeks) or you hit a lot of the 3s you are chucking up just on pure odds of it happening.

    More on Kidd in fact - this season here are the other times he's played 28 or less minutes in a game
    26 vs TOR in a 28 point destruction
    27 vs MIN, "close" game vs terrible team which they won by 12 and led by 19 after 3
    26 vs PACERS here, when they crushed us by 21
    26 vs LAL, when the Lakers thumped them by 35

    That's IT. So using Kidd as a meter for how hard Dallas has pushed it, 2 of the 5 times they've backed off have come vs the Pacers in easy wins. A prime example of teams going easy on the Pacers as they "come back".


    I like how apparently they've never started a small lineup and got behind early, at least to hear JOB tell it.

    You tell me how good the team looks if Watson, Head and Dun are out there together shooting 30% from 3 as a group, drawing no fouls and giving up easy transition buckets on long rebounds - see nearly every play in the first half vs DAL.


    And to top it off you get "I know that worked vs Houston but...". But what? But you don't like winning? How many of these wins are you getting that you can totally discount it when it happens?


    Plus, if you'd play the STYLE suited for bigs, ie don't chuck a no-passes-made-three 4 seconds after crossing the HC line, then maybe the big lineups would look even better.

    If he insists on playing a terrible, losing style then sure, lineups more suited to that crap will be a bit better at it. But you don't go big in order to ruin the crap style, you go big to CHANGE THE STRATEGY. He can't or won't, that's a big part of the issue. It's not his vision and it's not going to be.



    Besides all of that, didn't we just hear about "developing the future". He says it even here in passing (or is that Wells only) but yanking out Roy and Josh while keeping Troy out there with a smaller group is in direct contradiction to his words....yet again.


    We are well past the "feeling it out" stage. Apart from Danny out last game they are getting to a pretty steady state point in regards to the roster and how guys are playing.

    And the kicker is that he's "searching for answer" in places he's spent most of the season already. Try searching someplace new.
    Last edited by Naptown_Seth; 02-24-2010 at 03:39 PM.

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    Default Re: Another lineup change coming?

    Plus, if you'd play the STYLE suited for bigs, ie don't chuck a no-passes-made-three 4 seconds after crossing the HC line, then maybe the big lineups would look even better.

    If he insists on playing a terrible, losing style then sure, lineups more suited to that crap will be a bit better at it. But you don't go big in order to [run] the crap style, you go big to CHANGE THE STRATEGY. He can't or won't, that's a big part of the issue. It's not his vision and it's not going to be.
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    Default Re: Another lineup change coming?

    JOB seems clueless based on what he says.

    It's not the starting lineup that's causing these close losses. We had this problem last season.

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    Default Re: Another lineup change coming?

    Quote Originally Posted by Naptown_Seth View Post
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    I like how apparently they've never started a small lineup and got behind early, at least to hear JOB tell it.
    Yeah, I caught that too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nap
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    We are well past the "feeling it out" stage. Apart from Danny out last game they are getting to a pretty steady state point in regards to the roster and how guys are playing.

    And the kicker is that he's "searching for answer" in places he's spent most of the season already. Try searching someplace new.
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    Default Re: Another lineup change coming?

    Quote Originally Posted by Naptown_Seth View Post
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    And the kicker is that he's "searching for answer" in places he's spent most of the season already. Try searching someplace new.

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    Default Re: Another lineup change coming?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Wells
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    "We space the court, we have more mobility and we're a better transition defensive team when we're small," O'Brien said. "Danny (Granger) is as good of a defensive player that we have at guarding the (Dirk) Nowitzkis and (David) Wests of the league. I know for a fact that we're a better defensive team when we're small."
    I'm going to ask the obvious question....and ( in turn ) re-open up a can of worms.

    I can understand the need ( at times ) to have Granger defend the Non-Low-Post Scoring PFs.....but if we are concerned about mobility on the defensive end....why are we giving our one of our least Mobile Big Man a large majority of the minutes at the Center spot as opposed to giving more minutes to our most mobile Big Man on the floor when we go Small-Ball?

    This is more of a rhetorical question since I think that JO'B values Offense over Defense.

    In the end...as many preach day in and day out....Murphy is simply not a good defensive option to be the Center in Small-Ball. The only time IMHO where Murphy playing the Center spot is effective is when we are playing against a Team with a non-athletic Big Men that has a Offensive Low-Post games that does not rely on strength but finesse ( think Big Z or Rasho as opposed to Shaq or Dwight ).
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    Default Re: Another lineup change coming?

    1) Against 75% of teams, we are better with Granger at the 4 and Murphy on the bench.

    2) Against 25%, the bigger front lines, we are better with either McBob or Solo at the 4 and Murphy on the bench.

    There is a clear pattern here and it is not complicated. I think JOb gets #1, but does not get #2.

    If you want to preserve Granger's health, we probably need a better PF.

    Edit: I may be wrong. JOb may not actually get #1 either.
    Last edited by BlueNGold; 02-24-2010 at 08:09 PM.

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    Default Re: Another lineup change coming?

    Quote Originally Posted by CableKC View Post
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    I'm going to ask the obvious question....and ( in turn ) re-open up a can of worms.

    I can understand the need ( at times ) to have Granger defend the Non-Low-Post Scoring PFs.....but if we are concerned about mobility on the defensive end....why are we giving our one of our least Mobile Big Man a large majority of the minutes at the Center spot as opposed to giving more minutes to our most mobile Big Man on the floor when we go Small-Ball?

    This is more of a rhetorical question since I think that JO'B values Offense over Defense.

    In the end...as many preach day in and day out....Murphy is simply not a good defensive option to be the Center in Small-Ball. The only time IMHO where Murphy playing the Center spot is effective is when we are playing against a Team with a non-athletic Big Men that has a Offensive Low-Post games that does not rely on strength but finesse ( think Big Z or Rasho as opposed to Shaq or Dwight ).
    Big Z would score every time on Murphy...if he were remotely healthy. Rasho is a backup, so yes that's a good match for Troy.

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    Default Re: Another lineup change coming?

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueNGold View Post
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    1) Against 75% of teams, we are better with Granger at the 4 and Murphy on the bench.

    2) Against 25%, the bigger front lines, we are better with either McBob or Solo at the 4 and Murphy on the bench.

    There is a clear pattern here and it is not complicated. I think JOb gets #1, but does not get #2.

    If you want to preserve Granger's health, we probably need a better PF.

    Edit: I may be wrong. JOb may not actually get #1 either.
    The obvious response:

    O'B is full of #2.

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    Default Re: Another lineup change coming?

    Quote Originally Posted by WetBob View Post
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    The 4 should never be Granger's best defensive position, however, I will agree with you that this season it has been. He completely stopped trying to defend last year as a 3, and it continued this season. I would argue that his improved defense against opposing 4's is 100% effort related.
    I never thought about effort as a factor. That's interesting. Why do you think Granger puts the effort to defend at the 4 but not at the 3? It's because he'd rather play as a PF more?

    I thought that his combination of size+quickness makes him at least as apt to defend 4s as wings in the league these days and that when he's playing PF the Pacers put 2 or 3 strong and dynamic perimeter defenders on the floor at the same time (Jones/Rush/Watson) plus another quick and mobile guy at the 4 so the team defence just run better.

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    Default Re: Another lineup change coming?

    Quote Originally Posted by cordobes View Post
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    I never thought about effort as a factor. That's interesting. Why do you think Granger puts the effort to defend at the 4 but not at the 3? It's because he'd rather play as a PF more?

    I thought that his combination of size+quickness makes him at least as apt to defend 4s as wings in the league these days and that when he's playing PF the Pacers put 2 or 3 strong and dynamic perimeter defenders on the floor at the same time (Jones/Rush/Watson) plus another quick and mobile guy at the 4 so the team defence just run better.
    I think it's a mental thing.

    He knows he has to put in effort at the four in order to be effective, where as at the three, he probably has some sort of physical advantage.

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