I'm becoming increasingly puzzled with our outrage over Obie's decision-making and not playing certain young guys.
Here's the logic as I see it:
Obie-->Losing-->Good draft pick
Firing Obie/Playing young guys-->Winning-->Bad draft pick
You have to make a choice. You can't both hate Obie and want a high draft pick. Obie is the key to a high draft pick.
As a Pacer fan, I think you can take one of two positions:
1.) You support Obie's decisions because you think it guarantees the Pacers a higher pick. I don't think he's a terrible coach (I thought he did a great job with what he had last year, for instance). However, it's clear that he's reached the end of his effectiveness here. You may disagree. However, I think it's become fairly obvious that his coaching is leading to losing.
2.) If we fire Obie or Bird forces him to play the young guys more, I think you'll see the overall energy of the team pick up, which will lead to more wins.
As of right now, we are 1 off in the win column from the 9th pick. That's how precarious our drafting position is. Would you really want sit through this year and not get a top 5 pick? What's the point? To develop Josh McRoberts? To see Lester Connor for two months?
Now, you could argue that this could have long-term poor effects on our players. I don't think so. If they're mentally strong enough, which I would hope, a new coach and more talent will reinvigorate them.
Personally, I think that Bird-Morway is making a conscious decision to tank away this year. They didn't enter the season with this mindset but I think that it became clear that it was a lost year when Danny went down for an extended period of time. Giving Foster time to recover is evidence of this. Tyler's not playing again this year either, which shows me that they're not interested in winning at all. In other words, they're not going to push it with semi-injured players. I'll be shocked if Danny is still playing in April.
Ultimately, this is an optimistic post. I want to encourage everyone to calm down. It really will not matter in 2011-2012 what happened in these months of 2010, even if we don't get Wall or Turner. The most important year since 04-05 is coming up next year. Focus on that. That's when we'll finally reap the benefits of all of our patience. Or not. In any case, this year only matters in so far as it doesn't interrupt our future plans. It hasn't so far.
Start worrying if our pick in June busts and we get nothing from our expirings/cap space. But, for the love of god, don't worry about Jim O'Brien or this season. He's a throwaway coach and this is a throwaway season. This team is about something much bigger than either of those things: the future.