Finally we can all walk away from this wretched season and never speak of it again. I’ve been a Pacers fan all of my life and I can tell you I have never wanted a season to end so badly for so long.
First let me get to some housekeeping issues. A couple of you have sent me P.M.’s asking why I stopped doing Odd thoughts and I never got back to you.
Let me explain here. When I made the decision to stop doing them other than for an occasional one here and there it was because the demeanor of the board was already very negative and frankly I was doing nothing but adding to the negativity and at some point in time I could only complain about the same things over and over. It was already driving a couple of long time posters insane that so many people were jumping on JOB and others that almost every post I made was going to cover the same topic over and over so I just decided to back off and post in other peoples threads for the most part.
But the season is over now and I am going to fire this one for sure off and probably a few more in the coming days.
I will give fair warning now. If you are a Jim O’Brien fan or a Troy Murphy fan and maybe even a Larry Bird fan you will not want to read what I am going to say.
Also fair warning number two, I normally keep my post as clean of profanity as I can and as an admin. I know what we can and can not accept on here. So while I usually try and keep it clean fair warning # 2 I am probably going to let fly a few off color statements here.
I will admit that seeing the Reggie Miller movie honestly mellowed me out a lot and I mean LOT. In fact for about a week after that I felt pretty good and my disdain for the team dropped a lot.
Anyway sit back, keep your hands inside the ride at all times and let’s go.
I was going to start with everything or anything else. I thought about going with up and coming players or players I thought would be a part of the team or what we needed or any number of other things.
But at the end of it all I can NOT make any plans, have any hopes or have any real clue about this team without talking about issue number one.
I know that Uncle Buck is already preparing his year end report and I am sure he will give you the logical intellectual rebuttal explaining everything that Jim O’Brien does. I know that people who run other web sites and intellectuals here are going to have their heads explode over what I am going to say and how I am going to say it but frankly tonight I just don’t care.
Jim O’Brien sucks.
I’m tempted to just leave it at that but I am going to terry on.
In my life I have seen George Irvine, Dick Versace and Isaiah Thomas and Jim has surpassed all of them by leaps and bounds on my disdain list.
I have never in my life seen a coach, or frankly a person in general, so *** D@mn stubborn about doing things one way no matter how much the evidence to the contrary shows.
Don’t kid yourself for one single min. that the end of the season run was a turning point for Jim. No way in hell. I can point to the Atlanta game, the Orlando game and then again to the last quarter of the last game of the season. Troy (the saloon door) Murphy was playing center and you had Danny Granger at the 4 or even worse in the Orlando & Atlanta games we had to once again try and guess which one was the power forward D. Jones or Dunleavy.
I said it in another post the other day and I’ll repeat it here. If I could pick one word to describe O’Brien (well one clean word anyway) it is Hubris.
This man is so arrogant that he actually believes that his defensive schemes are so brilliant that he can plug anybody into his system and as long as they do as he say’s that they will succeed. Thus he then is free to pick and use anyone on the offensive end that follows his one dimensional offense that spreads the floor. Thus why you see Troy Murphy play more front court min. than anyone not named Granger. We’ve even had to make up a new name for Murphy’s position (stretch four) because everybody concedes the guy is not a real power forward. Now if we all agree with that what in the name of God do we call him when he plays center?
Is there another coach on the planet earth that thinks that Troy Murphy is a starting caliber center in the NBA? If you are going to say that Jim doesn’t you might want to go back to the months of December through February and see who started in the center spot quite a few times.
I’ve said all season long and I’ll continue to say Jeff Foster going down was the best thing that could have happened for the team this year. Not that I wanted Jeff gone but because it forced O’Brien to play Roy and even then he tried everything in his power to limit his min.
Back to his defense for a min. I guess it’s been said before but I will say it again. Jim’s defense is designed to give up shots that Jim’s offense is designed to take. Does anyone see a problem with that besides me?
Now let’s deal with the small ball thing for a min. When I think small ball I think players that might be a little shorter but usually they are faster, more athletic and usually better shooters. A team like Miami plays small quite well, in fact their team kicked our butts every single time we played them and it is simple they are all of the above over us.
However when Jim does this he really only looks to make sure that they are able to shoot from the perimeter better.
An example of a lineup that might work in situations for us would be to have Josh or Solomon at center with Danny at the 4 and Brandon at the 3 with D. Jones at the 2 and Earl at the 1.
This is a smaller lineup in height but each of them can jump and are as strong as their counterparts on the team. But that is not the lineup he would use because only Danny, Brandon and sometimes Earl can shoot from the three point arc.
I can’t tell you how disgusted I was when I heard Herb confirm that he would return next year. I always knew it would happen but to have it be confirmed just made me ill.
I’ll say it and I’m not sorry for saying it.
I hate watching any team this man coach’s. I can not stand the amount of three point shots that we take and yes I am one of those who actually understand that he wants the three point shot to open up the driving lanes for ball movement and drives.
Well guess what, it didn’t work. That would have been fine if we would have tried something else but whenever and wherever he could he wanted to go back to his preferred offense no matter how bad it was not working.
I asked this early in the season and I’ll ask it again now that the season is over. At what point in time is it his responsibility for the shot selection, lack of off the ball movement and win/loss %?
I know some are going to say I am being unfair, well to my defense I tried for the first half of the season to give him the benefit of the doubt. I do acknowledge that some injuries certainly hurt the team over the season and a few players were not playing up to their potential. That is not on him. I’ll give him that.
But this isn’t the guys first season here guys. This is season 3 and we are getting worse not better and at this point in time you can only argue the lack of talent for so long. Because at some point in time it is proper to ask “are you properly using the talent you have available to you”?
So in short here are the issues that I do not blame him for.
• Brandon Rush’s offensive production (however there is a caveat here)
• Larry Bird not getting him players that play his way in the off-season
• Bowser being laid off
Other than that, no pretty much everything else about this wretched season is his fault.
However having said all of the above and knowing how I feel about it I want to move on to person number 2.
Sorry guys I have been solidly in Birds corner since he took over. I actually like the players he has drafted, traded for or gotten via free agency.
But his extension of O’Brien to a guaranteed contract for next year is about all I can stand.
At some point in time you don’t blame Ron Artest for going Artest just like you don’t put a fox in a chicken coop and expect it to not react.
Well same principle applies here. You can’t blame Jim O’Brien for being Jim O’Brien at this point in time. You can make a logical argument that he had to have him here for three years because of money. Fine I can live with that, I don’t like it but I can live with it. But there is no way in hell this guy should have ever been extended.
Forget whether or not he lost the team, we can guess but will never truly know, but for certain that guy has lost the majority of the fans. If you haven’t been to the fieldhouse when his name is announced in the pre-game the boo’s come loud, early and often. You can not hear it on TV because the music is drowns it out and they better thank God that they play the music there because if not I’m afraid it would be embarrassing.
Now I am even going to give Jim some credit here. Why in the name of God did Bird go out and get players that he had to know that Jim would not want to use? In fact you can make a logical argument that Bird has done nothing but sabotage O’Brien from the get go by trading for a traditional post up center and dribble penetration point guard who didn’t have a three point shot to getting a wing player in the free agent market that did not have an outside shot.
So from today forward every time that I see Troy Murphy at the five spot or I have to try and figure out which of the 6’4” players is the power forward I will no longer blame Jim O’Brien.
From this day forward this all falls squarely on the shoulders of Larry Bird. It is obvious that Bird supports this and if he doesn’t support this he should have made a change.
Like Fox Mulder I still want to believe in what Bird is doing but frankly nothing and I mean nothing will change next season because until we change the culture of our team (where have we heard that before) from the top then nothing else matters. We may all want a power player in the draft or some great point guard, but none of those matters at all if we have a coach who will either misuse them or not use them at all.
You can tell me all about the double double’s that he obtains. You can tell me all about projected figures per minute or over a game or any other statistic you want to tell me about to defend this guy.
There is only one set of numbers that means anything to me.
621 - 0
Troy Murphy has played in 621 career NBA basketball games and has appeared in 0 playoff games.
Now while it might be unfair to blame him for an entire team not making the playoffs, let me assure you he is a might big reason that his teams do not. In particular here because his is like crack cocaine to the coach that we presently have. He is not only a major player on our team, he is featured.
He is a very irritating player because what he does is often by choice and frankly sometimes it is down right offensive. I called him saloon door before because that is what his defense is like a two way swinging saloon door that offers no real resistance and is there for mostly show.
I love now how we are trying to cover up the fact that the guy blows on defense by saying that he is a good team defender. Whatever the hell that means. I mean I know what it means to me but I have no idea what they mean by it. To me it means that Troy will get between himself and the ball and the basket to only move to the side while his player drives right past him. He could either attempt to actually defend the player or even take a foul to stop the drive. But more often than not he just literally turns side ways to get into rebounding position thus leaving the man to either get a lay-up/dunk, get fouled by another defender or every now and then they miss the lay up and the powerhouse that is Murphy sweeps in to get the board. Thus padding his stats on the rebounding number but there is no real actual stat that shows you getting blown buy other than the +/- and as we all know from Jim’s talk with Duke the +/- is just A tool no THE tool.
Funny how that works that way when the +/- doesn’t back up your reasoning as to why a player plays all of the time.
I don’t have the game anymore on DVR but there is a time in the Wiz game that McGee drives the lane on him and it would be comical if it wasn’t so damn sad how Troy reacted to this. He about tore his hip out trying to get out of the way.
But what I hate most about Murphy is that he is making me question the value of rebounding. I actually have said that rebounding numbers don’t matter this year. Me, I said that. I’ve never uttered those words in my life.
Now let me give Murphy a little bit of a break here. I don’t blame him for all of the time on the floor. That fell on O’Brien and from today forward falls on Bird. He is only doing what is asked of him by shooting the three’s and everybody knows his lack of defense so he does what he can with what he has. So no fault to him for some of that, although not taking a foul instead of making Roy or someone else take it is just purely selfish IMO but for all I know he has been instructed by O’Brien to not foul.
If Bird is going to keep O’Brien (which he is) then he has to do one of two things. He either has to get more players exactly like Murphy or he has got to get rid of him so Jim can not play him in the high 30’s for min. again next year.
I would also like to now take this time to make the following confession.
I was wrong about Troy Murphy. I freely admit when he was with G.S. I thought he was Brad Miller light and I was looking forward to getting him. Hell his first year here I even defended him because I thought too many people were looking at his contract and not at what he was doing.
Well let me be the first to say I was dead wrong. I was fooled by hallow numbers and he is NOT the player I thought he was. I thought he was going to be a far more physical player and a decent defender.
Whew boy was I wrong there.
So I apologize to Anthem who had this guy pegged from day one.
Part two of my multi part series will come later.