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Thread: Some Love for the Three

  1. #51
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    Default Re: Some Love for the Three

    Again, I think Earl was better in the areas that experience makes you better, not ability. We're talking about ability here right?

    I've never had the positive view on Earl like you've had for the past couple of years. He's nothing special phsyically. He's a smart player, and he's going to minimalize mistakes, but in the end that's playing not to lose instead of to win. What he brings to the table might win you a few (one or two) extra games, if any.

    On head to head matchups with other starting PGs, he's more often times on the losing side. When you have a player that has better phsyical tools, and isn't a slouch with decision making, you should fully exercise that option. Not give him a shot, and when he exceeds expectations, put him back on the bench.

    This isn't about AJ vs. Earl. This is about how they're being used by JOb.

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    Default Re: Some Love for the Three

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    We disagree. At some point everything cannot be blamed Jim O'Brien. I mean if Roy makes the allstar in two years will some still blame Jim for him not making it sooner, or for holding him back for as long as he did.
    You're right. Which is why I don't blame him for Rush not being more aggressive.

    But a center isn't a guard, nor is he a 3. He gets the ball when others decide to give it to him. As a guard, I was fully aware that they are at the mercy of me. I can make a pass around the perimeter a lot easier than I can feed it into the post. You have to actively make a post player part of the gameplan, and I don't feel like he was really ever a focus. A game or two here, but he was never established the way a post player needs.

    When Danny wants the ball, he can go out to the 3pt line, body up his defender, and stick his arm out to call for the ball. The passer can throw the ball two feet away from his target, and Danny can get the ball. Easy pass. I can make that pass. Roy doesn't have that option.


    I'm not saying that the players were purposely ignoring him. I'm saying they executed the gameplan, and Roy wasn't it.

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    Default Re: Some Love for the Three

    Quote Originally Posted by Since86 View Post
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    . We're talking about ability here right?
    Here is my main point, My point is our offensive talent last season was really, really bad. We were extremely easy to defend and I cannot think of an offensive system that would have made our players good offensively. We had Danny and that was it. And danny is not someone who makes scoring easier for less talented players. We had no players teams had to double ever - Pacers were in the bottom 5 for sure in offensive talent

    I was talking about last season specifically, not future ability or future talent.

  6. #54

    Default Re: Some Love for the Three

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    I watched every game and I thought Earl played better than AJ did last season. Earl was the better player. Defensively he was much better, knowing the NBA game he was much better, veteran leadership he was much better, just knowing how to play the NBA game he was much better. In two years from now i would expect and hope that Price is better, but not last season
    AJ was arguably better in the first month he played. In March Earl was playing well, so AJ really didn't get the minutes (between 8-12 minutes instead of between 15-20 like January) so it's not really fair to compare that. But even for the sake of argument, I'll give you that Earl was a better PG in March. What's also not debatable, was that the Pacers were a better team when AJ was getting minutes, as opposed to when he was not. Whether that was because of AJ or because TJ wasn't there, we don't know (although AJ was quite often instrumental in wins...and a reason the team was competitive in close losses) but you can't debate it. Record with AJ as opposed to without is a ridiculous difference.

    What wasn't arguable was that AJ was/is the more talanted PG and that the Pacers weren't makeing the playoffs and at some point, a team has to do whats best for the future.

    And logic would tell us that Earl wasn't going to be in a Pacers uniform the next season, therefore we should see what AJ can do as a starter.

    Playing Earl more than AJ wasn't nearly as bad of a move as taking AJ out of the lineup in favor of TJ, though.

    I think the offensive system was a problem, but a part of that was because of the PGs we had. There was a reason AJ and Earl looked better than TJ in it. This system, IMO, gives a lot of discretion to the PG. There doesn't seem to be structure, but rather "do what you want." Better decision makers are going to look better. Especially when we add in the idea that JOB wants quick "first look" shots. How often is the ball really going to go into the post when AJ and Earl know that coach wants a quick shot, and he prefers threes. Wouldn't passing it to Troy be the option they are both going to chose? Now, it looks better than TJ's *dribble dribble dribble turnover* but still, quick shots..regardless of whether or not they are bad, are going to be thrown up..and if they are quick..they aren't going to be Roy's shots. Which is a problem, and shows a strategy error on JOB's part.

    I think that players need more of a structure than JOB believes in. And that perhaps thats why he prefers playing vets..because younger players tend to need more structure. And I think the lack of structure REALLY hurts players like Rush and TJ.
    Last edited by Sookie; 08-26-2010 at 04:46 PM.

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    Default Re: Some Love for the Three

    Quote Originally Posted by Since86 View Post
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    You're right. Which is why I don't blame him for Rush not being more aggressive.

    But a center isn't a guard, nor is he a 3. He gets the ball when others decide to give it to him. As a guard, I was fully aware that they are at the mercy of me. I can make a pass around the perimeter a lot easier than I can feed it into the post. You have to actively make a post player part of the gameplan, and I don't feel like he was really ever a focus. A game or two here, but he was never established the way a post player needs.

    When Danny wants the ball, he can go out to the 3pt line, body up his defender, and stick his arm out to call for the ball. The passer can throw the ball two feet away from his target, and Danny can get the ball. Easy pass. I can make that pass. Roy doesn't have that option.


    I'm not saying that the players were purposely ignoring him. I'm saying they executed the gameplan, and Roy wasn't it.
    Good players get open when they want to, Roy hasn't reached that level yet.

  8. #56

    Default Re: Some Love for the Three

    Good thread.

    I think it has been reached a plateau in regards to the amount of 3pt shots taken (1st graph - 3PA as % of FGA - it has stagnated in the last 3 seasons). For the first time in years, last season the league 3pt% didn't raise. This suggests teams are getting better defending the 3 point shot, which means the tendency to take more of those shots stopped. It's going to be interesting to see for how long this equilibrium point wil be sustained.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad8888 View Post
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    Also, the three O'Brien years have seen the team with the three worst league defensive rankings of the last 11, while seeing the three highest league pace rankings of those same years. There may not be a 100% causal relationship, but those factors are related, and they are also related to franchise success within the league. Pace rating tends to be inversely proportional to effective defense as well as playoff success from what I found, also.




    If that correlation exists (pace rating to effective defense), it's a very tenuous one.

    ----------

    Personally, I don't see many differences between the Pacers under Jim O'Brien and Orlando under Stan Van Gundy in terms of identity and overall philosophy. The differences that exist are more a product of the talent gap between rosters - basically Howard being a better player than Hibbert (not only in the post but as the screener/rolling man) and Orlando having a very good pick'n'roll game, especially with Jameer Nelson - which ignites a very large part of their offense.

    -----------

    Roy Hibbert ended the season with a 22.2 USG% - the 2nd in the Pacers roster for every player with more than 1000 minutes played in the season, behind only Danny Granger. That's decent for a player with his current ability, even if it could be a little higher - but Hibbert's TS% is an unspectacular 53% + a relatively high 14% turnover rate.
    Last edited by cordobes; 08-26-2010 at 06:58 PM.

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    Default Re: Some Love for the Three

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    But those of you who complain about what the Pacers tried to do, what else would have worked better. What system would have matched better with the talent?
    .
    Honestly I think its sort of silly to think that no coach in the NBA could have done a better job than JOB with this team.

    As much as I hate to admit it I think Larry Brown could have done a better job than JOB with our starting five.

    Its easy to be critical but JOB just doesn't inspire our players to play hard. Do I blame the players or him? Looking at our players and their hard work ethic,,,, I blame him. I think the players are tired of playing "his kind of ball".
    Last edited by Gamble1; 08-26-2010 at 07:44 PM.

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    Default Re: Some Love for the Three

    Quote Originally Posted by cordobes View Post
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    Personally, I don't see many differences between the Pacers under Jim O'Brien and Orlando under Stan Van Gundy in terms of identity and overall philosophy. The differences that exist are more a product of the talent gap between rosters - basically Howard being a better player than Hibbert (not only in the post but as the screener/rolling man) and Orlando having a very good pick'n'roll game, especially with Jameer Nelson - which ignites a very large part of their offense.

    -----------

    Roy Hibbert ended the season with a 22.2 USG% - the 2nd in the Pacers roster for every player with more than 1000 minutes played in the season, behind only Danny Granger. That's decent for a player with his current ability, even if it could be a little higher - but Hibbert's TS% is an unspectacular 53% + a relatively high 14% turnover rate.
    http://www.eightpointsnineseconds.co...orlando-magic/

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    Default Re: Some Love for the Three

    Quote Originally Posted by count55 View Post
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    That's a great post, very worth reading.

    Orlando runs a lot more PnRs. They got almost 1,500 shots out of PnR action, which accounted for about 22% of their total. The Pacers, on the other hand, only got about 800 or 12%.
    Plus, Orlando creates large amount of shots for their spot-up jump-shooters off pick'n'rolls, kicking out the ball to the man of the helper, while the Pacers rely more on getting shots off swing passes.

    The talent of the players makes a very profound impact on how teams end up creating their shots and especially on how effective they are. Orlando's transition 3s are much better than the Pacers mostly due to how fast Howard runs the floor, frequently forcing a perimeter defender to drop down with him. There's an article from Lakers' assistant coach Jim Cleamons in a FIBA Assist Magazine where he says that stopping those transition jump-shots was their first priority when game-planning to face Orlando in the finals 2 years ago.

    The question of “how much” is a little fuzzier (and I’ll give that more attention in future project). The short answer is that O’Brien is almost certainly not using Hibbert as much as he should, but I don’t think that it’s as drastic as some might think. When he’s on the floor, he is not being ignored. His usage rate is pretty solid, and he’s getting over 11 post touches per 48 minutes, which is comparable to Al Jefferson and Tim Duncan, who get between 12 & 13 per 48.
    Have you expanded on this already? Sounds like an intriguing topic.
    Last edited by cordobes; 08-26-2010 at 10:12 PM.

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    Default Re: Some Love for the Three

    Quote Originally Posted by Gamble1 View Post
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    Honestly I think its sort of silly to think that no coach in the NBA could have done a better job than JOB with this team.

    As much as I hate to admit it I think Larry Brown could have done a better job than JOB with our starting five.

    Its easy to be critical but JOB just doesn't inspire our players to play hard. Do I blame the players or him? Looking at our players and their hard work ethic,,,, I blame him. I think the players are tired of playing "his kind of ball".

    1) I was specifically just talking about the offensive production - which is what this thread is about. Certainly Larry Brown could have gotten this team to play much better team defense and individual defense, so sure he could have gotten more wins out of this team, but that wasn't even close to the point I was making. I was only talking about an offensive system

    2) And I was asking an honest question. I wanted to know if someone could tell me a different offensive system which would work better with last years team than the one Jim ran. No one has attempted to answer that question
    Last edited by Unclebuck; 08-26-2010 at 10:05 PM.

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    Default Re: Some Love for the Three

    I actually can't stand Orlando's offensive strategy either. He's the best center in the league and the team doesn't find him nearly enough.

    As for an offensive system. I think there are plenty of offensive systems. Quite frankly, I actually think a half court offense would have been better for this team. Not having that much offensive talent typically means you want to slow the game down a bit. We would have had to play Earl and AJ as the PGs, but we should do that no matter what system. Other than that, I think Rush and Roy play better in that kind of system, and I don't think it matters much for Danny and Troy.

  16. #62

    Default Re: Some Love for the Three

    But would a more grind-out style of play lead to better shots? Where would they come from? If I were Jim O'Brien last season, I'd have cared mostly about creating a more dynamic transition game, not so much on slowing down the pace and try to handle set defenses in the half-court. Hibbert still isn't the kind of guy that demands a double-team consistently, nobody who can consistently penetrate and force the defense to collapse, not a lot of guys who are natural cutters, able to create shots off-the-ball, no high-caliber shot-creators on isolations.. this team would be bottom 5 offensively in the half-court. The best close game I saw the Pacers having last season was one where TJ Ford went bananas firing mid-range jump-shots off a ballscreen.

    Howard is a big part of Orlando's game, he's the central piece of their offense. Teams just put a lot of focus on stopping him and that opens the game for their other guys making it look like he's being underused. Besides the transition 3s he creates by merely running the floor, that playoff series versus Charlotte last season is a prime example. Jameer Nelson went bananas not exactly because he was dominating his counterpart but due to the Bobcats focusing so much on defending Howard - their screen defenders would just stay with Howard and not give Felton any kind of help in the screenroll game.

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    Default Re: Some Love for the Three

    I don't know as much about basketball as you guys, but why don't we get Hibbert moving around in the post instead of standing near the free throw line and having to fight inside for a hook or lay up? After watching it all last season, it just doesn't make sense to me. We have a few good passers that could get it to Roy moving to the inside for easy points. More movement = better. boom baby.

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    Default Re: Some Love for the Three

    Quote Originally Posted by cordobes View Post
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    But would a more grind-out style of play lead to better shots? Where would they come from? If I were Jim O'Brien last season, I'd have cared mostly about creating a more dynamic transition game, not so much on slowing down the pace and try to handle set defenses in the half-court. Hibbert still isn't the kind of guy that demands a double-team consistently, nobody who can consistently penetrate and force the defense to collapse, not a lot of guys who are natural cutters, able to create shots off-the-ball, no high-caliber shot-creators on isolations.. this team would be bottom 5 offensively in the half-court. The best close game I saw the Pacers having last season was one where TJ Ford went bananas firing mid-range jump-shots off a ballscreen.

    Howard is a big part of Orlando's game, he's the central piece of their offense. Teams just put a lot of focus on stopping him and that opens the game for their other guys making it look like he's being underused. Besides the transition 3s he creates by merely running the floor, that playoff series versus Charlotte last season is a prime example. Jameer Nelson went bananas not exactly because he was dominating his counterpart but due to the Bobcats focusing so much on defending Howard - their screen defenders would just stay with Howard and not give Felton any kind of help in the screenroll game.
    See I don't agree. I think that, for the most part, the players on this team are more built for a half court offense. (well now not as much, Collison obviously would prefer and up and down game.)

    Particularly Roy and Rush. Roy's just not built for a transition game, and Rush needs structure. I think this is especially important when you consider that last year, after Danny, Roy was our best player, and Danny was out quite a bit last season..so wouldn't we be better off playing a system that would be better for Roy?

    And I still feel like they don't get Howard as involved as they should. I know him being there creates opportunities for others, but he's still Orlando's best option, and a lot of times he's not treated like it.

    Of course, this is probably some personal bias here, as I like a nice pretty halfcourt game much more than a transition one (which is fun to watch..but..just not the same.)
    Last edited by Sookie; 08-27-2010 at 01:24 AM.

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    Default Re: Some Love for the Three

    Quote Originally Posted by Sookie View Post
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    And I still feel like they don't get Howard as involved as they should. I know him being there creates opportunities for others, but he's still Orlando's best option, and a lot of times he's not treated like it.

    Of course, this is probably some personal bias here, as I like a nice pretty halfcourt game much more than a transition one (which is fun to watch..but..just not the same.)
    The problem is that Howard seems to get a large majority of his offense from highly efficient oops and putbacks. He doesn't have much of a post game. What he does have, is the ability to get around you, go over you, or back you down. Basically he owns positioning.

    He's not a guy you can just give it to in the post and wait for him to get his own offense. He erases his teammates mistakes.

    I think they utilize Howard perfectly in Orlando. I don't think they have the proper personnel elsewhere to win a championship though.

  20. #66
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    Default Re: Some Love for the Three

    You bring up an excellent point. The Pacers didn't have the kind of talent to shoot from deep last season. (We could argue about that, with Danny, Troy and Brandon all good three point shooters, but that is not my point). OK for sake of discussion what kind of talent did the pacers have.
    how many big 3's has Rush hit in his career? his stats are misleading. i think rush can improve, but so far he is not consistent. Murph is a good shooter, but no post game at all; even high post, where i think he would do well. Granger is a good shooter but he relies on it way too heavily. Granger attempted the 4th most 3 pt. attempts last season per Espn.

    http://espn.go.com/nba/statistics/pl...GoalsAttempted


    Did they have a good low post player? No. Roy was average last season.
    Roy is young, and is our core foundation, most pacer fans knew that after his rookie season. all im saying is give Hibbert the ball down low 5+ possessions.

    Did they have a dynamic point guard who could score and breakdown defenses? No
    no, and they did have several players injured, i like Foster and hope he is healthy, along with Dunleavy, it makes our bench strong. Hansbro as well, but have to wait and see with him. basically, if Bird supports JO'B then I will suppot him. interesting observation as you mentioned something below about Obrien to coach at ORL. SVG was Birds initial replacement for Carlisle. SVG also runs a 4 out offense i guess you could say. Maybe this is Birds style that he wants.

    Last season was a tough season for the Pacers, Granger was out along with other players. Difficult for me to bash Obrien for last year; the previous season i felt like the team played hard and well. Im willing to give Obrien one more year. Like i said, maybe this is the style he wants the team to play, since it is also SVG's style. though, i think that was in place when Gundy was given the job. Either way, Howard is a beast down low, therefore a team can play that style.

    Did they have a wing player who could score and breakdown defenses? No, danny can score, but not breakdown and create for others.
    i dont like seeing Danny shoot the fourth most 3's in the league last year. when he can drive to the rim, and can also post his defender up. i think its gonna be great now with DC on the court, 33 will finally have someone to set him up, along with rush. im not wanting to annoint DC the next Action Jackson or better, but I think Granger is going to benefit. so again, Obrien should recieve one more season. He stuck with us when this team had very little talent, and several injuries. Dunleavy being one of them along with Foster. Obrien should be able to get this team to 44 wins if they are healthy overall. Less than 40 and we begin to consider a replacement, if someone is worth considering. again, Im going to defer to Legend.

    Just what were the Pacers strengths offensively last season. I would argue they were few and far between. We had Danny and his ability to score, shoot, get hot. OK, what else did we have. Troy from three on pick and pops was one of our more unique strengths, and that play did at the very least cause defensives to adjust. What else? I would argue the 3 at least gave us a shooters chance. Our quick shooting style at least gave our offense a chance to get decent shots.
    I preferred Carlisle's system. interesting enough the Pacers during his teams years averaged high in 3 pt attempts as well. we had JO so it opened up the perimeter. I think the 3pt shot is almost always available with less than 10 seconds on the shot clock. would like to see more passing in the offense. i gotta say Foster plays right at the FT line and distributes the ball. i would have liked to see murph in that role more often. he was good at driving to the rim w/ a pump fake. i still basically feel Granger is shooting way too many 3's.


    I would argue we have pretty good passing bigs with Roy, Jeff and Josh, but jeff played hardly at all and Josh only after March 1st. Mike Dunleavy when healthy is an effective player and perfect for this system.

    But those of you who complain about what the Pacers tried to do, what else would have worked better. What system would have matched better with the talent?
    Granger posting up more. more movement in the offense. with the 3 pt shot not the primary scoring opportunity. was murphy that bad at posting up? but thats just my opinion, i trust that Bird feels some confidence with Obrien at coach. i do feel like SVG was Birds first choice and if we have the talent and cap room to attract a better coach Bird might look into it. I think Byron Scott would have been a good choice but im sure there are other coaches out there to consider, and if not Obrien may overachieve this year.

    Edit: on a related point - I think Jim O'Brien would love to have a deference maker as a low post player. His dream team to coach is the Magic.
    im okay with Obrien one more season, he should recieve another chance. last year was brutal. he has talent this year, albeit young talent, the pacers should be in the 40-44 win range. 36-40 and the Pacers explore the options available. Bird has eluded to wanting a PF who can score down low, which this team definitely needs right now. JO in his youth would be ideal next to Hibbert.
    Last edited by PacersPride; 08-27-2010 at 12:26 PM.

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    Default Re: Some Love for the Three

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    1) I was specifically just talking about the offensive production - which is what this thread is about. Certainly Larry Brown could have gotten this team to play much better team defense and individual defense, so sure he could have gotten more wins out of this team, but that wasn't even close to the point I was making. I was only talking about an offensive system

    2) And I was asking an honest question. I wanted to know if someone could tell me a different offensive system which would work better with last years team than the one Jim ran. No one has attempted to answer that question
    You more or less answered your own question. Any coach that would've taken stock of our offensive woes and maximized our defensive potential (which would include not running an offense that harmed our defensive abilities) would've had a better offensive system.

    And of course, I always say: Coaching matters

    Everyone's view of a team is always based on what a certain coach gets out of them. But change the coach and you change the players' approach to the game, and suddenly they have 'different' talents. But it isn't really that they have different talents, it's that they are utilized differently and so different abilities shine thru (while others are sacrificed or lost to the system). The trick is, and the part I absolutely believe Jim O'Brien is horrible at, is finding a balance that works. Jim is too focused on his system of rushed shots.... defense be dam-ed...
    O'Brien has been fired! Yay! What took so long?

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    Default Re: Some Love for the Three

    Quote Originally Posted by Bball View Post
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    You more or less answered your own question. Any coach that would've taken stock of our offensive woes and maximized our defensive potential (which would include not running an offense that harmed our defensive abilities) would've had a better offensive system.

    And of course, I always say: Coaching matters

    Everyone's view of a team is always based on what a certain coach gets out of them. But change the coach and you change the players' approach to the game, and suddenly they have 'different' talents. But it isn't really that they have different talents, it's that they are utilized differently and so different abilities shine thru (while others are sacrificed or lost to the system). The trick is, and the part I absolutely believe Jim O'Brien is horrible at, is finding a balance that works. Jim is too focused on his system of rushed shots.... defense be dam-ed...
    the quote:

    "the best defense is often a good offense" applys to your statement. everyone has their opinion on what a good offense entails. I still have to defer it to Legend. Obrien will have the talent to win 40 this season.

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    Default Re: Some Love for the Three

    Quote Originally Posted by PacersPride View Post
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    the quote:

    Obrien will have the talent to win 40 this season.
    True, and he has previously if a different system that emphasized passing instead of shot creation had been used (among other things that could have been changed but are not being discussed under this topic), but, under his system if the 3's happen to not fall at a high rate, even this year's version will have difficulty winning 40 IMO, unless our interior game is both utilized more consistently and is more effective, both in offensive efficiency and on the boards.

  24. #70

    Default Re: Some Love for the Three

    I want to revive this with a different focus, just to give an alternative subject to trade speculation and irrelevant games overseas.


    Am I the only one who thinks the high arc of the basketball on its way to the hoop is a thing of beauty. I also think shooting a long shot is probably the greatest physical skill in the game. The long jumpshot takes skill and cannot be faked.

    I know some people get enthused about dunks, but heck, I could dunk a ball myself when I was 20. I never did it with anything larger than a volleyball, to be perfectly honest, but if I could do it at all then the physical prowess involved can't be that great.

    Look at this:


    Six snotty kids, playing dunkball on an 8-foot rim. I ask you: is this basketball, or a perversion of it?



    I understand that a balanced attack is essential to winning. The Pacers do deserve criticism last season when they shied away from attacking the rim and settled for outside shots. And they did this some, though not as perpetually as some posters here want to say they did.

    No, I think jump shots are the best part of the game. I like crisp passes and really good individual on-the-ball defense, too. But there's nothing like a good high-arcing swish!

    And I won't be here to see the day
    It all dries up and blows away
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    Default Re: Some Love for the Three

    Quote Originally Posted by ChicagoJ View Post
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    Wow. And you've only been here a couple of months and you're ready to puke? Just be glad you haven't been here longer. Like before June (when you joined PD, remember), when they were actually playing games and everyone was griping about Troy's soft rebounds.

    Not everyone was griping about Troy's rebounding. I said then, and I say now that Troy was under appreciated by the fans here in Indiana. The problems we have were much more at PG than PF..

  26. #72
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    Default Re: Some Love for the Three

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad8888 View Post
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    ... the three O'Brien years have seen the team with the three worst league defensive rankings of the last 11...
    http://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/IND/2010.html

    Basketball Reference has them ranked 14th last season. Your claim is simply mistaken, and misrepresents the team and its priorities.

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    Default Re: Some Love for the Three

    Quote Originally Posted by Putnam View Post
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    I want to revive this with a different focus, just to give an alternative subject to trade speculation and irrelevant games overseas.


    Am I the only one who thinks the high arc of the basketball on its way to the hoop is a thing of beauty. I also think shooting a long shot is probably the greatest physical skill in the game. The long jumpshot takes skill and cannot be faked.

    I know some people get enthused about dunks, but heck, I could dunk a ball myself when I was 20. I never did it with anything larger than a volleyball, to be perfectly honest, but if I could do it at all then the physical prowess involved can't be that great.
    I don't think I'm going to say anything that's going to rewrite the history books but....

    Dunking a volleyball is not the same as dunking a basketball. And you know this.

    I played basketball with a kid that was all of 5'7" and could shoot lights out. He won the BSU 3pt contest multiple times, but outside of shooting, he isn't/wasn't worth a lick. Too small to play defense, too small to rebound, couldn't handle the ball without turning it over against pressure. But if I needed a partner to play 56 or 41, I would pick him everytime.

    Dunking a volleyball, with no defender or need to actually dribble your way to the rim doesn't automatically translate to the court, just like shooting around and hitting a high percentage doesn't automatically translate into a game shooter.

    Being able to rise up, and dunk the ball isn't the skill. Being able to set up the defense to get to the rim, and having the ability to control the ball to get there is a lot more difficult.

    I can do a pretty nasty cross over dribble, but just haven't done so against any defense. About the same....

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    Default Re: Some Love for the Three

    Quote Originally Posted by O'Bird View Post
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    http://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/IND/2010.html

    Basketball Reference has them ranked 14th last season. Your claim is simply mistaken, and misrepresents the team and its priorities.

    .
    Sorry for the derail Putnam.

    O'Bird,

    Actually, you are mistaken.

    "Also, the three O'Brien years have seen the team with the three worst league defensive rankings of the last 11"

    It may not have been well stated in retrospect, but I did not intend to say that the team was worst in the entire league for the last 3 seasons. What I did intend to say is the fact that the Pacers RANKED lower within the league defensive rankings during the last three years than they have at any other time in the last 11 years.

    The defensive rankings have been (and the Pace rankings are in parentheses for each year)

    1999-2000 13th (15th)
    2000-2001 11th (24th)
    2001-2002 11th (8th)
    2002-2003 5th (10th)
    2003-2004 3rd (26th)
    2004-2005 11th (29th)
    2005-2006 4th (20th)
    2006-2007 9th (10th)
    2007-2008 15th (3rd)
    2008-2009 19th (3rd)
    2009-2010 14th (2nd)

    Nothing about that statement misrepresents the team or its priorities. What it does show is that the Pacers have not been as highly ranked within the league defensively as they had been accustomed to being, and there are at least two significant factors that contribute to it in my opinion. No healthy JO or interior presence to make up for the lack of effective perimeter defense is one, and likely the largest one. Pace is the second major factor, as well, IMO, though the negative impact of that lessened this past season with the additional usage of Brandon Rush and Roy Hibbert staying out of foul trouble somewhat better, coupled with more minutes being played by teams who did not need their best effort to beat the Pacers from an offensive standpoint during the dark days of this past winter prior to Danny returning from injury with an improved ability to hit jumpers and drive to the basket more effectively than he had earlier in the season. I believe that the ranking of 14th seems too high, and that similar to where the team was ranked in the league from a team record standpoint (21st) is likely more representative of its defensive effort, much like its offense with the injured Granger being relatively ineffective had a ranking of 20th, which was likely too low. That is why I (and others) asked previously in another thread why you believe that the team was better defensively than it was offensively this past season, and we await your response if you could indulge us with your insights.

    For 2010 here are the team Defensive Rankings and their associated Pace Rankings (Pace Ranking in parentheses)

    1. Charlotte (26th)
    2. Milwaukee (19th)
    3. Orlando (18th)
    4. Lakers (14th)
    5. Boston (23rd)
    6. Cleveland (25th)
    7. Miami (28th)
    8. San Antonio (20th)
    9. Oklahoma City (13th)
    10. Utah (9th)
    11. Chicago (12th)
    12. Dallas (17th)
    13. Atlanta (27th)
    14. Indiana (2nd)
    15. Portland (30th)
    16. Denver (5th)
    17. Houston (8th)
    18. Washington (21st)
    19. Sacramento (6th)
    20. Memphis (10th)
    21. Clippers (15th)
    22. New Orleans (16th)
    23. Phoenix (4th)
    24. Philadelphia (22nd)
    25. New Jersey (24th)
    26. Detroit (29th)
    27. Minnesota (3rd)
    28. New York (7th)
    29. Golden State (1st)
    30. Toronto (11th)

    We shall see if things continue at their current level with Danny being healthy and other teams feeling more threatened by the Pacers offense, and likely a reduced role for Rush, at least early in the season, due to his unfortunate lifestyle choice. It should help a lot that the slow footed Murphy is no longer an issue defensively, and our defensive rebounding should actually improve as well due to having multiple players responsible for getting those rebounds instead of it being what almost appeared to be an assigned task for Murphy, which may be somewhat contrary to conventional wisdom. Hopefully, also, Roy has been absorbing a whole lot from his time with Bill Walton because it would help the team tremendously to have somebody who can erase the defensive mistakes that our perimeter players have made frequently in the past.

    So, overall, I guess the team may improve somewhat from a defensive standpoint this upcoming season even without any additional players coming back from injuries being taken into account, and may even reach the middle of the pack or so, which would be a testament to the efforts of the players in the face of having to overcome a system that appears, to us outsiders who watch the games at least, to have offense as a primary focus, with our best player currently not playing much for Team USA for the most part because of a lack of defensive skills despite being an exceptional shooter when he is fully healthy.

    Offensively, the team should improve markedly with a healthy Granger, an improved Roy (hopefully, and hopefully with increased utilization as well), and the addition of Collison, though his high turnover rate is a concern, especially with the directive to create shots first and then look for others after driving into the paint on the part of the point guards. Hopefully he can hit enough perimeter shots to make up for that deficit, unless he is going to be utilized differently than the rest of our point guards have been since O'Brien has been here.

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    Default Re: Some Love for the Three

    Quote Originally Posted by Putnam View Post
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    What I'm trying to show here is that the 3 is NOT the problem that is is often made out to be. If O'Brien is susceptible to criticism for using a gimmicky game plan, it is the fast pace and not the use of the 3 that is his gimmick.
    The point is well taken, but it's hard to argue against a quick pace; I know that you're using some rhetoric here, but a quick pace is hardly a gimmick, and it's easy to see why it's a good idea for the Pacers' roster; they're not blessed with much offensive ability, and early offense is when you can get the most mismatches in your favor and the least protection for the paint, equalizing their limitations. The fast break itself is only the tip of the iceberg; DíAntoniís teams play ďseven seconds or lessĒ because youíve got a window after all five defenders are back before they get sorted out.

    I've heard people say that Roy Hibbert is not suited to a quick tempo; this is a misunderstanding of what's involved. First of all, he doesnít need to beat his man up the floor. Early offense is a great time to post up, when the defense is trying to stop the ball and the least organized part of the defense is on the weak side and the help in general; Roy can hit cutters as well as make a move himself. He hasnít been great popping from the elbows in his pro career, but itís a shot heís worked on since college; thatís another good early offense shot for him since heís got a great chance at a clear view.

    On the relationship between tempo and defense: how would you know that pushing it up the floor and looking for early shots was hurting you on the other end? So far the argument in favor has not been based on anything concrete. It is true that veteran teams play better defense; thereís a learning curve. AND itís also true that veteran teams, being older, tend to play a slower tempo and be more effective in a half-court game.

    But that doesnít mean that a quick tempo means that a team canít get to the top of the mountain, let alone play top-drawer defense.

    Case in point: the Lakers.
    2010: 14th in tempo, 4th in defense;
    2009: 5th in tempo, 6th in defense;
    2008: 6th in tempo, 5th in defense.

    But of course an argument one way or the other is only interesting if it fits the actual Indiana Pacers. Applying suppositions, or even generalities - however generally true - are in the end not worth much if you want to look at whether the Pacers should play quick and whether it hurts their defense to do so.

    We should consider first what that might mean. Does a quick tempo make you more tired, less able to defend? Itís not likely - if itís making one team tired, it must be making the other team tired, too. In any case the team thatís pushing it up the floor is running forward, while the defensive team is running backward; shouldnít the defensive team be working harder?

    More fundamentally, itís also hard to get around the simple fact that weíre talking about pro athletes who are paid princely sums to be in shape and to get the job done that theyíre asked to do. We could go further, inquiring into whether early offense really is more tiring than half-court structured offense, but thatís enough of an argument for now.

    I have a notion of how you would look into whether or not the Pacersí tempo hurts their defense, but perhaps the proponents of the theory have something concrete to show that we can discuss, rather than settle for speculation and assumption, however reasonable.
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    "Defense doesn't break down on the help, it breaks down on the recovery." - Chuck Daly

    "The first shot does not beat you." - Chuck Daly

    "To play defense and not foul is an art that must be mastered if you are going to be successful." - Chuck Daly

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