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Thread: comments from an O'brien supporter - warning its lengthy :)

  1. #26

    Default Re: comments from an O'brien supporter - warning its lengthy :)

    Excellent reading, he makes very good points, at least in the first half. I'll read the second one later.

    1). Indystar Coverage—Like any paper, they control the narrative and the message, what to emphasize and what to deemphasize. Every year, Jim O’Brien says that we have to improve defensively. Why does he say this? BECAUSE JIM O’BRIEN WILL NOT BE SATISFIED UNLESS WE ARE ONE OF THE BEST DEFENSIVE TEAMS IN THE NBA. That’s his obsessive standard, and it’s a major reason why I am happy he is our coach. As such, he tends to not be self-congratulatory in his remarks. No matter how unreasonable this standard may seem--especially considering that last year we had arguably the worst combination of interior defenders in the NBA with cumbersome Hibbert and Murphy—Jim O’Brien is striving to reach this level. But instead of noting how the Pacers have likely overachieved defensively given our personnel, The Indystar usually chooses to frame O’Brien’s displeasure with the defense as an overall Jim O’Brien failure. Just recently Mike Wells had the following line in an article: “Opponents have shot at least 45.4 percent against the Pacers each of the three years Jim O'Brien has coached the team. That won't get it done.” Notice the glaring absence of some important context? As mentioned earlier, the league average was .461…
    A note on this one. Regardless of the IndyStar feelings towards O'Brien or the Pacers, the biggest issue here is that Mike Wells is bloody awful as a basketball analyst - probably the worst beat writer in the entire league. He frames the issue that way because he's sincerely convinced that the Pacers are a better offensively than defensively because there are lots of points scored in their games - there was an article of him this Summer stating this line of reasoning, that the Pacers needed their defense to catch up their offense.

    That's acceptable coming from a casual fan, but from a guy who writes about basketball to make a living? Dean Smith published Basketball: Multiple Offense and Defense what, 30 years ago? Yeah, the first edition is from 1981. Three freaking decades later and you're still struggling to get the concept of "possession evaluation"? When all your peers have been aboard for years? It's bizarre.

    THE MAIN DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MILWAUKEE AND INDIANA WAS THAT MILWAUKEE WAS THE THIRD BEST DEFENSIVE REBOUNDING TEAM IN THE NBA (trailing only Orlando and Cleveland). So for all of this talk about how Scott Skiles is head and shoulders above Jim O’Brien… you switch off Andrew Bogut and Roy Hibbert, and we would have been the better defensive team.
    The Bucks were a bit better than the Pacers causing turnovers too, but this is true - second chance points account for most of the difference between the two teams defense.

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  3. #27
    Droppin' knowledge, yo. Mackey_Rose's Avatar
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    Default Re: comments from an O'brien supporter - warning its lengthy :)

    Writing this diatribe is almost as absurd as thinking I would ever consider reading it.

  4. #28
    The Last Great Pacer BlueNGold's Avatar
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    Default Re: comments from an O'brien supporter - warning its lengthy :)

    Lots of good points that can be debated. First, Zeke was coaching the Pacers when the miracle in the garden happened. The year had not gone particularly well as it is, because he was and is a horrible coach. The fact we lost was because his strategy was definitely worse the JOb's...because we had the talent to beat them. IOW, the results of that round said more about Zeke's ineptness than JOb. I say this because the Nets, a team with virtually the same record as the Pacers, turned around and swept the Celtics in the second round. If JOb was such a good coach, why in the world were they no where near as competitive against an arguably equivalent opponent?

    Also, if you want to make the point that the Celtics lost to the Pacers the next year, consider this. Rick Carlisle coached the Pacers the next year to a far better regular season and went to the ECF. You can't just look at what happened with one team and make any conclusions.

    Anyway, the playoffs with the Celtics tells you more about how much better a coach Rick is as compared to Zeke...than anything about JOb.
    Last edited by BlueNGold; 11-10-2010 at 10:36 PM.

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  6. #29
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    Default Re: comments from an O'brien supporter - warning its lengthy :)

    Got done reading it.

    O'Brien is not a bad coach. For all of the supposed ruining of the youth he did they are turning out well, maybe his tough lough isn't so bad afterall. This year he is also doing much better playing the kids (sans AJ)

    Brandon Rush played a hell of a lot for 1st and second year players, and similar thigns can be said for Hibbert when not in foul trouble.

    The only thing that he consistantly is horrible at IMO is substitutions and rotations which is, truthfully very irritating. But the next coach we have isn't guaranteed to be as good as JOB.

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    Default Re: comments from an O'brien supporter - warning its lengthy :)

    I think he's bad at managing time outs, daschysta.

    He lets teams go on runs for too long before stopping them for me. Especially with a young team you need to kill those runs before they kill your teams confidence. Veteran teams can get away with that, they don't get too high, or too low.

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    Default Re: comments from an O'brien supporter - warning its lengthy :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks View Post
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    I don't see how this comment can be good for the board.
    Sorry Hicks, but that's not a shot at most. Don't think of it as an insult to the board as a whole, but a challenge to those who refuse to believe O'brien could possibly be defended. It seems like some of his biggest detractors have already admitted they will not waste their time reading it, and I say challenge your own beliefs a little. How can one possibly believe something if one doesn't question their own beliefs. I think if someone took the time to construct this thing it should be acknowledged by Pacer fans, and nearly a day later all this thing gets is a total of 13 comments most of which are lofty at best. Numerous threads in a negative light have recieved much more attention, and I find it disgusting. It took 20 minutes to read, and I enjoyed it. To me, that's not asking much, is it?

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    The Last Great Pacer BlueNGold's Avatar
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    Default Re: comments from an O'brien supporter - warning its lengthy :)

    JOb is not a bad coach. Lots of bad coaches enter and leave the league every year. So, a bad coach is one that has a very short tenure in the league...or a former star player like Zeke, who has no business coaching at this level.

    So, the fact JOb has stuck around the league deserves respect. At the same time, there are a lot of veteran coaches out there that have a higher market value than JOb. You can't just ignore what the market is saying and claim JOb is John Wooden. The experts and investers who have far more information than anyone here are clearly telling you that JOb is an average NBA coach. He was the second choice to coach a bad team...and apparently was available. It's not like he's a hot commodity folks. At the same time, he's not chopped liver.

    But some of his personnel decisions are very frustrating to see...which may be his greatest weakness as an average coach.

  12. #33

    Default Re: comments from an O'brien supporter - warning its lengthy :)

    No offense, but I'm old, so I think I'll wait for the movie.

  13. #34

    Default Re: comments from an O'brien supporter - warning its lengthy :)

    Whatup Pacer Nation, Don here. I'm new here and I must say I'm impressed by what I've seen so far as I poke around your site.

    Someone informed me that My Case for JOB was posted here. I must say I'm flattered!

    (Yes you'll just have to take my word for it that I wrote it, I'm not an impostor )

    I hope you all won't mind me addressing a few things.... (warning, another LONG post coming up )


    Quote Originally Posted by Brad8888 View Post
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    Why anyone without a vested personal interest in Jim O'Brien's employment would go to these lengths is beyond me.

    I got about one third of the way through. I do intend to read the rest of it at some point, hopefully soon. It is remarkable, in my view, how similar this poster is to O'Bird in phrasing and thought formation, and likewise how similar both are to Jim O'Brien himself, both from quotes in the media, as well as what little I heard his radio shows back when he had those.

    If it actually is O'Brien, or someone from his staff, good. We have something to look at and understand so we can perhaps appreciate what is being done more, or possibly we can quantify why we believe it to be wrong, despite the fact that it can be safely assumed that the vast majority of us have never been NBA coaches. We still understand the game, and I now am coming to believe that, if this indeed is someone who is involved with coaching the Pacers, the gameplan is being massively overthought, and that is why the players, no matter who we have had here, have had such a difficult time executing the O'Brien system, except in spurts.
    LOL OK Let me clear this one up. I've never met Jim O'Brien, I don't know any members of his family, I don't have any financial stake in Jim O'Brien's career, and I don't know anyone that works for the Pacers. I'm just a big fan of the Pacers who thinks that Jim O'Brien is a good, not great, coach (in general I think you need to win a championship before you are deemed "great"). I think he is very underappreciated by many Pacers fans. In terms of questioning why anyone would go to these lengths... keep in mind this was not some speed-induced 96 hour marathon writing session. 20 to 30 minutes a day definitely adds up. Imagine combining all of your posts from the last few weeks... slowly but surely you'll have a lot of material. But I didn't have enough time to revise and to tie everything together as I wanted to. I'll provide a little "cliff's notes" commentary in case anyone is interested.....

    CHAPTER 1--DEFENDING THE DEFENSE..... I think some people have this misconception of Jim O'Brien as some kind of a Paul Westhead/Loyola Marymount wannabe, a guy who doesn't give a darn about defense who is only concerned with pushing tempo and outscoring opponents. And I can see why many people would have this impression--O'Brien followed a period of Pacers basketball where we had top 5 defenses (under both Isiah AND Carlisle) with guys like Ron Artest, Jermaine O'Neal and later with Stephen Jackson. And I think some people view the passing of the coaching baton from Rick Carlisle to Jim O'Brien, as the reason for less favorable defensive outcomes the past 3 years, without appreciating that the defense was bound to get worse with Murphy and Dunleavy, irrespective of coaches. And also--whether you like our offensive approach or dislike it, pushing the tempo also meant that we would be giving up more points per game compared to what fans were used to. (Did you notice today that Bob Kravitz invoked Paul Westhead in his column? I'm not saying he was necessarily trying to conflate O'Brien with Westhead, but I think it still speaks to this urban legend that O'Brien could care less about defense).

    But if you look at O'Brien's ENTIRE coaching career, you would know that he is, indeed, a "defensive-minded" coach. In fact, just my guess... if we didn't have a defensive-minded coach like Jim O'Brien the past few years, we could have easily been a bottom 5 defensive team considering our personnel, youth and roster turnover.

    CHAPTERS 2 and 3--Basically reviewing O'Brien's previous coaching experience. I sometimes hear people smearing his previous experience without providing much context, so I wanted to set the record straight. Boston--+13, first conference finals in 14 years. Philly, +10, and the team took a step backwards after he got fired. At the time I happened to follow what he did in Boston and Philly, and I thought he did a fantastic job of getting more out of less. Most people observing at the time felt that he pretty much stretched the potential of those teams to the limit (I did not make up those John Thompson and JVG quotes--someone on indystar basically accused me of this lol--i use them because they were reflective of what most analysts were saying).

    So I think this is extremely important to consider.... if you're only frame of reference about Jim O'Brien is that he followed a Pacers streak of 16 playoffs in 18 years, only to miss the playoffs in all 3 of his seasons here (and furthermore, playing a style and sometimes using lineups that people don't care for)..... then frankly it's very understandable why so many Pacers fans don't care for the guy.

    But actually, when you look at his ENTIRE career, INCLUDING his 3 years here as Pacers coach... you see an unmistakable pattern of a coach who gets teams to overachieve.

    I'm not necessarily using this as support--but did you see that Wall Street Journal article recently, that noted how most NBA coaches don't really make an impact either way? They listed 5 or 6 notable exceptions including Jim O'Brien. I realize that a lot of the O'Brien detractors probably dismissed the study or didn't believe it, but it was was not news to me. It's what Jim O'Brien does, and considering we are in a "small" market without any star players, we better make darn sure we have a coach in here who has a proven track record of getting more out of less, Jim O'Brien or not.

    .... People sometimes ask, what did Larry Bird ever see in Jim O'Brien, or, what does Bird STILL see in this guy? Well, my educated guess is that he sees him as I do and as many around the league view him; a guy who pretty much milked as much as possible out of those Boston and Philadelphia teams, and a guy who has kept Indiana competitive and in playoff contention despite a rebuilding period that has been made even more difficult thanks to multiple injuries to key players. Recently si.com had the following blurb… “An opposing team's scout sizes up the Pacers

    Other teams have more talent, but the Pacers will have a better record than they should because of Jim O'Brien, depending on how long he stays with them. I don't know how anybody can say he's not a good a coach. Maybe he doesn't have the best relationships with his players, but he gets players to play hard. They've won games they had no business winning over the last two years.”

    Now, you may personally disagree with this scout, but it’s probably safe to assume that Bird feels the same way, otherwise O’Brien wouldn’t still be here. And I know this will probably be unpopular... But looking at our roster and our injuries the last few years, I think we probably should have been in the 20 to 25 win range....we can't look at our talent level in a vacuum, we need to be honest and recognize that on most nights we were probably at a talent disadvantage.

    CHAPTER 4--OFFENSE. I know this is a controversial topic but here's how I see it... Jim O'Brien inherited one of the worst offensive teams in the NBA in 2007 (dead last if you base it solely on points scored per 100 possessions). As such, he determined that we didn't have the personnel to consistently walk the ball up the court to allow well-prepared defenses the opportunity to set up. He determined that we didn't have the personnel to consistently be effective in half-court sets. So he decided to push tempo and encouraged players to shoot early in the shot clock if they were open in order to compensate for our talent disadvantage.

    Now, people may personally not like that style and think it's kind of "gimmicky"... but is it really all that hard to find fault with the rationale (and furthermore, the results considering we still averaged 35 wins with a roster short on talent and high on key injuries?). Sometimes people say something like... "well you can't win a championship playing this style." Well with all due respect I think that misses the key issue. As an extreme example, obviously you're going to play a different style if you have Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol. We didn't have the talent to compete for championships, and we arguably didn't even have the talent to be a playoff team. So O'Brien adapted to this reality--he had to build a style of play around Granger, Murphy and Dunleavy... and frankly I think he did a fantastic job.

    I think people have this impression of O'Brien as a one-trick pony who just takes the same "system" with him wherever he goes, but that's not true. He's adapted to key personnel at all 3 of his stops.

    I may be wrong, but I think a lot of the friction came last season... we had missed the playoffs 2 years in a row so people were probably fed up with O'Brien ball already (but again as I try to remind people of, winning 36 games those first 2 years was actually quite an achievement). And then... Hibbert began to emerge and people wanted to go ahead and revolve the offense around our second year center. Hey, honest difference of opinion. I can't say any of you are wrong to have wanted that. But I viewed Hibbert as a project center in year one, and a situational player in year 2. As such, gameplans were only occasionally Hibbert-centric instead of all the time. I think on most teams Hibbert would not have gotten 25 minutes of playing time. But I guess it comes down to your overall opinion of Hibbert. But instead of giving him too much too soon, O'Brien sent the message that Hibbert needed to EARN a bigger role. I think that's the way it should be with younger players, and as such, in year 3 Hibbert is seeing more touches with his improved conditioning and improved rebounding ability. I think O'Brien did a fantastic job in Boston of helping to bring out the leader in Antoine Walker. I see a similar thing happening now with Hibbert. O'Brien encourages a culture of accountability and wants players to take ownership, and that's part of why I tell the story of O'Brien sometimes letting Walker lead team huddles... Hibbert has natural qualities of leadership and work ethic, and I think that O'Brien has played an important role in helping to bring a lot of that out of him. (Don't misunderstand, I definitely give the majority of the credit to Hibbert, but I think it's a mistake to overlook O'Brien's role). Regardless of your feelings about last year, I think it's phenomenal the progress Hibbert has made in just 2 years.

    CHAPTER 5--Just more random nonsense in case anyone is interested (my thoughts on murphy at center, The Toronto back-to-back last season with Conner as coach, mcroberts and "irrelevant", things like that). I would also like to clarify... when I say that Rush "failed", I didn't mean that he was beyond repair. This was in reference to his 5 game suspension, but by all accounts he is another player who has really pushed himself this past summer. Hopefully he keeps up what he started last night.


    But anyways... I'm not saying that O'Brien is perfect or correct about everything... but it comes back to perspective and expectations... when considering that we had been in the playoffs 16 of 18 years, sometimes I feel like many of my fellow fans don't have a good concept of what a rebuilding period is going to look like. It's supposed to be ugly and messy. So when people say things like "last year O'Brien's performance on the bench was one of the worst-coached NBA seasons I've ever seen"... heck, people make it sound like we only won 13 games last year!! Our best player, who I don't even count as a top 25 overall player in the NBA, missed 25% of his games and was probably never really 100% in the other 75%... plantar fascia is a tough injury, it's always a good reminder to look at how Tim Duncan's efficiencies declined across the board with the same injury in 05-06. So for people who use the "eyeball test"... well, I think the eyeball test is influenced by your expectations. And I think that if the eyeball test were more reliable, I think people would understand that a lot of coaches would have struggled to win 25 to 30 games with this team and these injuries the past 3 years. Which is why I lead off with my estimate... 98% of why we missed the playoffs the past 3 years had nothing to do with our coach, but because of our lack of talent and our injuries.

    So I'm not just some kind of a JOB "fanboy." I support him because I think he's best for this team. If we miss the playoffs for a 4th straight year... even though I won't be a fan of scapegoating our coach for this given the top to bottom improvements of teams in the East (besides Cleveland and Toronto), I could see some value next summer in making a change just for the sake of change. I probably wouldn't care for it but I will reluctantly support it. But in the meantime, as I think others have tried to say... whether you like O'Brien or dislike him, let's try to put the past behind us and focus on what could be a very exciting (and surprisingly good) season. Thanks for taking the time for those of you who have read what I had to say, and go Pacers!!!

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  15. #35
    Member Noodle's Avatar
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    Default Re: comments from an O'brien supporter - warning its lengthy :)

    I agree that O'brien is not a world beater, but is slighty better than average. I've said this before. Who is going to come to a below average to average team and coach better? Who wants to coach here that is better? I respect O'brien for taking the challenge, and overall I believe he has done a good, but not great job. Since Jim arrived, this team has over-achieved. Now, I believe this current team has average talent, and this season will be the ultimate measure of how good O'brien is by making the playoffs. If the team doesn't improve in the win column, I will give in and say it's time for a coaching change. Until then I remain a supporter of O'brien.

    Thanks Don for chiming in. I enjoyed your post. We have an insane lack of O'brien supporters here.
    Last edited by Noodle; 11-11-2010 at 12:31 AM.

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  17. #36
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    Default Re: comments from an O'brien supporter - warning its lengthy :)

    Quote Originally Posted by EmCeE View Post
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    It took 20 minutes to read, and I enjoyed it. To me, that's not asking much, is it?
    Who are you, Evelyn Wood? You may well be a speed reader, and if so I commend you for having that skillset, but I believe I spent at least 30 minutes reading the third of it that I had time to earlier, and it took that long because I was attempting to do it justice as opposed to skimming it, despite not agreeing with the basketball parts I finally got to after the poster explained in painstaking detail what method was going to be utilized during the dissertation.

    I did find what was written articulate, both more defensive and having more offensive execution in its expression than the Pacers have had on the court for the most part, and an accurate portrayal of what we have seen from O'Brien. It is very detailed, and requires thought to process both the poster's thoughts, as well as the thoughts that have been expressed by other posters that are being responded to, which I feel is required to fully understand something more than "Everybody is wrong, O'Brien is better than he is being portrayed, and in fact he is better than the revered Rick Carlisle in several respects". Obviously there is much more to it than that.

    As I stated earlier, I do intend to read the remainder in the near future, despite being one of the more (currently) vocal detractors here. Who knows, I may be influenced by it, though I don't think I have been so far.

    Granted, many won't bother to read it because they realize that they have heard it all before, and have discussed it or read about it to the point that they are sick of it, and many likely don't have the time it would take to truly read for comprehension.

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    Default Re: comments from an O'brien supporter - warning its lengthy :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad8888 View Post
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    Who are you, Evelyn Wood?
    I'm not a pioneer of any sort, but yes I do read very fast. I was actually exaggerating though. In reality, it took about 30-40 minutes to read all five parts.

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    The light, not the lie. kester99's Avatar
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    Default Re: comments from an O'brien supporter - warning its lengthy :)

    I'm not saying how long it's taking me to get through it. Too revealing of my attention span...but, the half I've gotten through so far, and the 'abridged version' that Don posted above are excellent. Well thought out, well expressed, and not obnoxiously idealogical.

    Hope we see more from you, Don. Welcome. Well argued and informative.
    [~]) ... Cheers! Go Pacers!

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    Default Re: comments from an O'brien supporter - warning its lengthy :)

    OK...finally manged to get through the whole thread.

    One question, if you want to opine, Don: What do you think about AJ's inactivity vs TJ's revitalized role? Obviously, we don't see what goes on in practice, but that one factor seems to me to be the most obvious questionable call from JOB this year....and 'questionable' is about as strong a word I would apply at this (3-3 record) point.
    [~]) ... Cheers! Go Pacers!

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    Default Re: comments from an O'brien supporter - warning its lengthy :)

    I would like to thank donswanson for his post. I don't agree with everything but he does make a interesting arguement. I am ready to accept those and feel with all that being true, we should overachieve and win or first NBA CHAMPIONSHIP THIS YEAR.
    Good is the enemy of Great


    We're changing the identity of our basketball team -- dramatically. We're a power post team -- a blood-and-guts, old-school, smash-mouth team that plays with size, strength, speed and athleticism. We attack the basket. . . . This is the new identity of our team. It was a great effort. I'm very proud of our guys."
    -- Frank Vogel.

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    Default Re: comments from an O'brien supporter - warning its lengthy :)

    Personally, I can't get thru the lengthy defense of O'Brien because I've watched the games. I see coaching decisions I don't agree with and I see results that are because of bad coaching. I do not look at the W-L record as the be all-end all in coming to that conclusion.

    Furthermore, the idea that a team that is poor offensively needs to play a fast game is just crazy to me. Sure, push the ball up the court and try to catch the defense napping but if it's not there then be patient and get a good look in the flow of the offense.

    Just as crazy is reading the team has poor defensive players so we need to increase the offensive tempo to... I don't even understand any defense of this philosophy. You increase possessions for the other team and you give the other team baskets in transition. So you make defending much harder and spot them baskets on the way to scoring even more points.

    But besides all of that there's the rotation questions... over reliance on a 'stretch 4'... the team's lack of situational awareness that is a direct result of what O'Brien has preached

    I've seen enough to know Jim O'Brien makes any fan of fundamental basketball despise every minute he's on the bench.

    You can explain what he's attempting but you can never make me believe it's good basketball.
    Nuntius was right. I was wrong. Frank Vogel has retained his job.

    ------

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    Default Re: comments from an O'brien supporter - warning its lengthy :)

    Jim isn't a good coach because he preaches contradictions. Period. I've said it since the very day we found out that he was going to be the next coach.

    His defensive philosophy directly contradicts his offensive philosophy. And it's crazy.

    His defense is mainly set up around protecting the basket, as it should be obviously because that's what defenses are designed to do. The Pacers, like all teams, want to stop pentration, and make the offense shoot quick, long shots. Low percentage shots.

    What does he preach on offense? Taking the open shot, regardless of where it comes in the shot clock. No, he doesn't preach just chucking the ball, but how many times have I heard Quinn say that he won't yell at a player for missing an open shot, but he will yell at them for not shooting it? Too many times.

    Jim has this idea that an open shot is a good shot. That's not the case. Obviously defenses can't stop all aspects of the game. It's just too hard in general, and then the league impliments pro-offensive rules and it becomes even harder. Any team, regardless of playing level, can get open 3pt shots, whenever they want them. That's not a hard play to setup nor is it a hard play to execute.

    But yet it's not only encouraged, it's coached. If you're hitting them, great. But when it comes down to crunch time, and your whole identity is taking open shots, and you don't have the patience nor discipline to work the ball for a GOOD shot, you get forced shots with a hand in the face. Every time I watch the Pacers I have multiple "Oh nooooo, oh, good shot" moments and even more "wow, not a good shot there....."

    If you can't be patient and wait for a good shot at the 7min mark of the 2nd quarter, you're not going to be patient and get a good shot with 30secs left in a tight ball game.

    That's the problem. I don't care about a few quick, open, long shots during the course of a basketball game, but I do care when that's what is being coached. And that's what's being coached.

    So to sum it up quickly, Jim's defense is designed to force the opponents into long shots, but yet he preaches open shooting, regardless if they are long shots. Long shots are extremely easy to get, and players routinely fall into the trap of defenses letting the offense take quick long shots. What he wants the opposition to do is exactly what he coaches his team to do.

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  31. #43
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    Default Re: comments from an O'brien supporter - warning its lengthy :)

    Quote Originally Posted by DonSwanson View Post
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    Whatup Pacer Nation, Don here. I'm new here and I must say I'm impressed by what I've seen so far as I poke around your site.

    Someone informed me that My Case for JOB was posted here. I must say I'm flattered!
    Welcome DonSwanson to PD! yea i used to post over on indystar.com but there are alot more diehards over here and have become a big fan ever since stumbling upon this site back when. dont get me wrong, there are some good guys over on indystar as well.. but the pluck forums pretty much suck imho.

    I want to make clear as i pointed out in my first post that i was not the author.. and so on.. hope you were not offended by me posting your comments over here. i know there are some on here, few and far b/t that do support O'brien so this was more for their benefit, and thought some might enjoy the post. if anything i was thinking it would get a chuckle simply due to the length of the article : )

    when i first read it i was like damn.. its humorous just the length of the article, and then i noticed it was well written and seemed sincere so i wanted to share it with PD.

    glad to see you made it over here on PD, I really think you will enjoy the site and bring alot of good comments to the forum!

    ps.. you never responded to my comments on your idea to trade for Gilbert Arenas over on the indystar.. i was a little dissapointed about that since i took the time to explain why bringing in arenas would be a bad move. not sure if you still feel like that is a good idea or not.. but wouldnt mind hearing your thoughts on the subject as well.

    again welcome to PD and nice work on the article, i have yet to read it all the way through, because i wanted to get the opinions of others before doing so.. but it seems to have created a bit of a stir so i think it is worthy of my time.. dont take that the wrong way or anything.. pretty busy guy and am currently working on an certification for my profession.. so my mind is a lil zapped from all the verbiage there, but i will definitely read it when i get a moment.

    Go Pacers!

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    Default Re: comments from an O'brien supporter - warning its lengthy :)

    Jim is average at best. He can take a certain type of team and get them to out-perform expectations ( a team with limited athletic ability for example)

    However his stubbornness to adpat to his personel, instead of wanting his personel to adapt to his system, is his greatest weakness

    He is a student of the game and has some decent offensive game plans, but the doubble talk and doubble standards he does, allows him to lose faith of his players quickly
    Sittin on top of the world!

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    Default Re: comments from an O'brien supporter - warning its lengthy :)

    bump
    [~]) ... Cheers! Go Pacers!

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  36. #46

    Default Re: comments from an O'brien supporter - warning its lengthy :)

    Hi folks. I haven't figured out how to say "thank you" yet (do you have to post a certain number of times before this feature is activated?), so I'll just do it here. Many thanks to Flox, PacersPride, Emcee, Brad8888, Cordobes, BlueNGold, daschysta, Kester99, colts19 and everyone else for taking the time to read through this and for sharing your feedback.

    Quote Originally Posted by kester99 View Post
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    One question, if you want to opine, Don: What do you think about AJ's inactivity vs TJ's revitalized role? Obviously, we don't see what goes on in practice, but that one factor seems to me to be the most obvious questionable call from JOB this year....and 'questionable' is about as strong a word I would apply at this (3-3 record) point.
    Thank you. Before sharing my opinion on the playing time of younger players, I think it's sometimes best to take a step back and to take more of a 500 foot view of things.

    Out of the 15 players taken in the 2nd half of the 2nd round of the 2009 draft (i.e., picks 46 through 60), only three are currently in the NBA... A.J. Price, Patrick Mills and Lester Hudson. Mills and Hudson have COMBINED appeared in 40 NBA games, zero starts. A.J. Price? 56 games played, 2 starts. It's interesting how different fans have completely different takeaways with respect to the playing time of a player like A.J. Price. I look at it and see it as another example of O'Brien keeping an open mind and demonstrating a willingness to let younger players receive more playing time (which again is why I invoked J.R. Bremer in my Case for JOB... granted I think Price is better than Bremer was, but that example is meant to remind people that actually on balance, O'Brien is pretty good about giving younger players an opportunity compared to other coaches). Meanwhile, some of the JOB bashers might look at the A.J. Price issue and say that O'Brien is a prick or whatever else, but actually, the amount of playing time that Price received is rather unusual.

    Same thing with Paul George. We can't look at his playing time in isolation. Let's look at how other coaches have approached the decision of allocating playing time to rookies... (I'm excluding picks 1 through 5 because I think it's a different issue... besides exceptions like Hasheem Thabeet from a year ago, I think it's pretty much a given that the top 5 players in the draft will get more PT... and John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins are the two best players in the draft imo, so it makes sense that they will receive more playing time than the following 25 players).

    6. Ekpe Udoh, Golden State—Hasn’t played, injured
    7. Greg Monroe, Detroit—2 DNP-CD’s, averaging 17 mpg
    8. Al-Farouq Aminu, Clippers—0 DNP-CD, 13 mpg
    9. Gordon Hayward, Utah--1 DNP-CD, averaging 11 mpg (As an aside, I think Hayward ought to study Dunleavy's success under O'Brien--and if O'Brien is still coaching in 4 years, Hayward would be smart to look him up).
    10.Paul George--2 DNP-CD'S, averaging 17 mpg
    11. Cole Aldrich, OKC—3 DNP-CD’s, averaging 9 mpg
    12. Xavier Henry, Memphis—2 DNP-CD’s, averaging 15 mpg
    13. Ed Davis, Toronto—Injured, hasn’t played
    14. Patrick Patterson, Houston—Hasn’t played, was assigned to the D-League this week
    15. Larry Sanders, Milwaukee—4 DNP-CD’s, averaging 5 mpg
    16. Luke Babbitt, Portland—6 DNP-CD’s, averaging 6 mpg
    17. Kevin Seraphin, Washington—Hasn’t played
    18. Eric Bledsoe, Clippers—0 DNP CD’s, 7 starts, averaging 29 mpg… Baron Davis is out of shape and not playing, and Bledsoe has made the most of his opportunity… shooting 50% from the floor… But not surprising that the Clippers are 1-9 with a rookie point guard
    19. Avery Bradley, Boston—Hasn’t played
    20. James Anderson, San Antonio—2 DNP’s, 1 CD, 1 b/c of injury, 17 mpg
    21. Craig Brackins, Philadelphia—Hasn’t played
    22. Elliot Williams, Portland—Hasn’t played—DNP CD first 5 games, then dislocated patella on 11/4… probably means he’s done for the year
    23. Trevor Booker, Washington—3 DNP CD’s—6 mpg
    24. Damion James, NJ—2 DNP CD’s, 7 mpg
    25. Dominique Jones, Dallas—1 DNP CD, 6 mpg
    26. Quincy Pondexter, New Orleans—5 DNP CD’s, 11 mpg
    27. Jordan Crawford, Atlanta—5 DNP CD’s, 9 mpg
    28. Greivis Vasquez, Memphis—6 DNP CD’s, 4 mpg
    29. Daniel Orton, Orlando—Hasn’t played
    30. Lazar Hayward, Minnesota—3 DNP CD’s, averaging 8 mpg

    And let me say that I was very happy when we picked Paul George at 10. Some analysts made fun of the pick at the time but I thought it was a bold (and correct) move by Bird. Down the road he could be a key player for us.

    But I'll also say... I've got no problem with him not playing right now. He's a 20 year old kid who was playing at Fresno State last year. He's just not used to this level of competition and there's no way of getting around that (as we can see above, some players like Brackins are on losing teams with more college experience, both in terms of years AND in playing against tougher competition, and they STILL are hardly playing right now). And Besides hurting the team, I think it could actually hurt the PLAYER to give him too many minutes too soon before he's ready. And I disagree with this idea that a player cannot develop when getting dnp-cd's. I've heard it said before by NBA players--you learn the most sometimes when you have a period of time of NOT playing and can instead focus solely on observing and learning/working hard in practice. He seems like a smart guy so hopefully he's using his time wisely.

    Some people believe that George is not playing now because of something he posted on twitter.... I just don't see it the same way--like most coaches, O'Brien is basing his playing time on who is best equipped right now to help the team win. Here's what George's tweet told me.... like a lot of rookies coming in, he probably thought he was hot ***** and that he was going to be a world beater in no time at all. I'm not knocking self-confidence, but I definitely think it's a mistake to reward a young player with minutes when they aren't performing well in games and/or practices. I think that approach only reinforces a false sense of entitlement which is bad for the developmental process. So, NOW is the time to remind the young fella that he's going to have to earn it through focused preparation and hard work (same goes for Lance Stephenson). In the long run he'll be better off for it. If come March the playoffs are out of reach then fine, give him more minutes regardless. But right now Dunleavy is playing great and Rush is clearly further along, so George has his work cut out for him if he expects to be included in our crowded wing rotation right now. And if folks don't care for playing older players--consider that if we don't play vets like Dunleavy and T.J. Ford then it's much less likely we will be able to deal them for our biggest need--a backup big--before the deadline. And I really don't trust Solo or Foster's health at this point. Posey has also been a solid player off the bench the last 2 games--his shot was off against Cleveland but I thought he made up for it on the defensive end.

    I know a lot of people like to focus instead on soundbites from our coach... but I think that a lot of coaches can get a bit hyperbolic at times. Whether a person likes it or not, I think it's just O'Brien's way of recognizing and paying tribute to the hard work of some of the players.

    O'Brien on Hibbert... "The best summer I've ever seen out of a player."
    O'Brien on Hansbrough... "He looked like The Incredible Hulk when I saw him this summer."
    O'Brien on Magnum Rolle... "He's been our best player in summer league."
    O'Brien on Price... "He's been our best player in preseason." (I took that to mean he was so impressed with how hard he worked to come back from his injury and was trying to go out of his way to express that).
    O'Brien on Dunleavy... "The hardest I've ever seen a player rehab to come back from that kind of an injury."

    And likewise, he's probably not going to be gushing over the performance of a player in a 32 point blowout loss. So if people want to call the guy a liar or whatever that's fine, but I see consistency in his general approach with younger players.

    Quote Originally Posted by PacersPride View Post
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    ps.. you never responded to my comments on your idea to trade for Gilbert Arenas over on the indystar.. i was a little dissapointed about that since i took the time to explain why bringing in arenas would be a bad move. not sure if you still feel like that is a good idea or not.. but wouldnt mind hearing your thoughts on the subject as well.

    Go Pacers!
    Oh I promise I wasn't dodging you. I took a break from the NBA in July for vacation and such, and by the time I returned to the board it was August and we were able to pull off the Collison trade, so by that point the issue was moot. But I'd be happy to revisit my thoughts on this matter.

    Keep in mind, I was not saying the move was without its drawbacks, but I was touting the idea because A). It was a sure thing (meaning, he was ours if we wanted him--and actually, I was also somewhat trying to prepare other fans for this possibility since there were rumors of a couple of teams interested in Arenas, and we were desperate for a point guard) and I didn't have faith at the time in our ability to get someone like Collison B). I didn't think the drawbacks were as detrimental as others did...

    1). The contract--Yes it's huge, but in year one by trading Ford and Dunleavy for Arenas, we would have SAVED money (and opened up more playing time for guys like Rush and George). And by year 4 we'd have a massive expiring contract and potential trade chip. The problem I saw was year 3... we probably wouldn't be able to sign a player like Rush to an extension without exceeding the cap. But I could have lived with that.

    2). Free agency 2011--Yes, no doubt about it that Arenas is overpaid, but what quality free agents will voluntarily come to Indiana next summer? You'd likely have to overpay them anyway to lure them here (and I for one do not want to pay a guy like Big Baby Davis something like $50 million over 5 years). I think Arenas would have been psyched to come here... it would have been his last shot at redemption at being the starting point guard on a playoff team, instead of being second fiddle to John Wall. You can tell he's definitely depressed right now. Coming here would have completely rejuvenated him imo.

    3). Off the court issues overblown... Peter Vecsey played a big part in it, and while Arenas definitely made a mistake, I thought he got a raw deal. Yes I realize that because of the brawl we have to be more sensitive to issues like this, but it's worth noting that Arenas at one point was one of the most popular players in Wizards franchise history... with the exception of the Jordan years, the Wizards had their highest attendance numbers during his heyday of "hibachi!" and the like from 2005-2007, and I thought that Indiana would eventually embrace him as well. If you're interested in reading more, here's a good start...
    http://reason.org/news/show/persecution-gilbert-arenas (warning, it's long )

    4). At the time last June, I felt we needed more offensive firepower, guys who won't shy away from getting us points in a hurry... Arenas at 28 isn't the same player he was in 2006-07, when he had 8 games of 40 or more including 54 point and 60 point eruption games.... But I think he can still have maybe 3 good years left. He's off to a slow start this year since he hasn't played in so long, but last night was a good reminder that he can still play as he continues to rediscover his rhythm (30 points in 31 minutes).... and ultimately I think this would have helped Hibbert to surround him with 4 solid 3 point shooters... if teams wanted to double-team Hibbert then they would have to pay for it.

    5). Moxie! LOL. We needed it. And back to the issue of younger players sitting on the bench, as this commercial from a few years ago reminds us, even Arenas was forced to ride the pine for that first half of his rookie season...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEJglM7iuMs


    But again, it's moot now. We got Collison so well done Larry

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  38. #47

    Default Re: comments from an O'brien supporter - warning its lengthy :)

    Heh nevermind, now the "Thanks" icon is showing up, I guess all I needed was 2 posts then haha.

  39. #48

    Default Re: comments from an O'brien supporter - warning its lengthy :)

    I know that some people haven't been happy with some of Coach O'Brien's lineup decisions, but think back to the Chicago game last February as I touched upon in my case for O'Brien....

    5). Versus Chicago on 2/27/10, a Pacers win…. Indiana had just experienced some success with Murphy at center in the previous game vs. Milwaukee, so why not try it out again? Also---Two games prior at Chicago, with Hibbert starting at center, Brad Miller drained 2 threes in the first quarter alone as Chicago outscored Indiana 37 to 18. Clearly there was merit to the idea of saving Hibbert for situational relief later in the game, preferably when the team would not have to concern itself with cross-matching while worrying about Brad Miller on the perimeter… and Big Roy responded with a solid 12, 7 and 3 in 19 minutes.


    So... now I see people not pleased with the Houston loss and assigning blame to the coach... I think the difference in the game was Brad Miller, particularly his two threes in the fourth quarter. Even though Hibbert has definitely improved his agility, he is still going to struggle at times against bigs who shoot from the outside. I'm not here to be argumentative, but I'm willing to bet that a lot of the same people who were making a fuss out of O'Brien's decisions from a year ago to not match up Hibbert with shooting bigs like Miller, were probably also displeased that during the Houston game last Friday Hibbert was in the game at the start of the 4th quarter vs Miller when he drained the threes. So, as soon as Miller got hot, O'Brien pulled him and I think that was the correct move. And really--not having Yao Ming was likely a BENEFIT to Houston, since it meant that Hibbert and Miller would likely be matched up for longer stretches.

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    Default Re: comments from an O'brien supporter - warning its lengthy :)

    Quote Originally Posted by DonSwanson View Post
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    I know that some people haven't been happy with some of Coach O'Brien's lineup decisions, but think back to the Chicago game last February as I touched upon in my case for O'Brien....

    5). Versus Chicago on 2/27/10, a Pacers win…. Indiana had just experienced some success with Murphy at center in the previous game vs. Milwaukee, so why not try it out again? Also---Two games prior at Chicago, with Hibbert starting at center, Brad Miller drained 2 threes in the first quarter alone as Chicago outscored Indiana 37 to 18. Clearly there was merit to the idea of saving Hibbert for situational relief later in the game, preferably when the team would not have to concern itself with cross-matching while worrying about Brad Miller on the perimeter… and Big Roy responded with a solid 12, 7 and 3 in 19 minutes.


    So... now I see people not pleased with the Houston loss and assigning blame to the coach... I think the difference in the game was Brad Miller, particularly his two threes in the fourth quarter. Even though Hibbert has definitely improved his agility, he is still going to struggle at times against bigs who shoot from the outside. I'm not here to be argumentative, but I'm willing to bet that a lot of the same people who were making a fuss out of O'Brien's decisions from a year ago to not match up Hibbert with shooting bigs like Miller, were probably also displeased that during the Houston game last Friday Hibbert was in the game at the start of the 4th quarter vs Miller when he drained the threes. So, as soon as Miller got hot, O'Brien pulled him and I think that was the correct move. And really--not having Yao Ming was likely a BENEFIT to Houston, since it meant that Hibbert and Miller would likely be matched up for longer stretches.
    A thinner and quicker McRoberts was the answer against Brad Miller in the game against Chicago that you referred to, with McRoberts being used at that time as more of a roving low post threat who used his quickness and hops to create a mismatch against Miller on both ends of the court. He is no longer being used that way, and his game is suffering mightily as a result. He obviously was no use against Miller, or anybody else, at the arc, and Roy was little to no use against Miller down low because Roy is both too light weight and has very little polish on his footwork in the low post despite his one and only week with Walton this summer.

    So, you would think our coach, having seen the Chicago game, would have used McRoberts in the way that mde him successful the previous time against a (literally) pivotal player who happens to be with the Rockets now, but, as usual, he failed to do so, and instead continued with his inflexible game plan where Josh is being played out of position in the high post to try to "stretch the court" when he is ill suited for that purpose.

    There is no longer Troy Murphy or Antoine Walker, the closest is James Posey, who predictably is beginning to see an increase in minutes and is soon to be inserted into that slot in the O'Brien system despite his overall hindrance to the team performance due to his slow feet defensively. He sometimes makes a good play, but many more times he simply avoids contact instead of attempting to reach, which reduces his fouling, but also renders him pretty ineffective defensively unless others are funneling driving players into him at the rim for charges.

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  42. #50

    Default Re: comments from an O'brien supporter - warning its lengthy :)

    Quote Originally Posted by DonSwanson View Post
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    Thank you. Before sharing my opinion on the playing time of younger players, I think it's sometimes best to take a step back and to take more of a 500 foot view of things.

    Out of the 15 players taken in the 2nd half of the 2nd round of the 2009 draft (i.e., picks 46 through 60), only three are currently in the NBA... A.J. Price, Patrick Mills and Lester Hudson. Mills and Hudson have COMBINED appeared in 40 NBA games, zero starts. A.J. Price? 56 games played, 2 starts. It's interesting how different fans have completely different takeaways with respect to the playing time of a player like A.J. Price. I look at it and see it as another example of O'Brien keeping an open mind and demonstrating a willingness to let younger players receive more playing time (which again is why I invoked J.R. Bremer in my Case for JOB... granted I think Price is better than Bremer was, but that example is meant to remind people that actually on balance, O'Brien is pretty good about giving younger players an opportunity compared to other coaches). Meanwhile, some of the JOB bashers might look at the A.J. Price issue and say that O'Brien is a prick or whatever else, but actually, the amount of playing time that Price received is rather unusual.
    Here's the problem with that.
    Isn't perhaps the reason Price played more, because Price had no business being left on the draft table that late. The year before he was projected to go around 19th, before his knee injury.

    I'll go even further..Johnny Flynn was a lottery pick because of a six-overtime win over Uconn. Anyone who watched that game knew that Price had matched his effort, but just came up a little short. Flynn blasted up the draft charts..what happens if it's Uconn that wins that game? Then Price goes onto lead his team to the FF?

    A lot of things happen, and with Price in particular you have to watch and see what actually happened, because he had such a..strange college career.

    Part of my problem with O'brien, is that I feel he pays too much attention to statistics and theory, and doesn't pay attention to what is actually happening. The situation from last season was this:

    The Pacers were performing poorly.
    A major reason the Pacers were performing poorly was that the point guards were playing extermly poor basketball.
    A rookie, according to O'brien, was outplaying the vets in practice.

    It doesn't take a great basketball mind to understand what should have happened. Forget what was supposed to be happening..that vets should be better in games, that they should play well, and that second round rookies had no business being on the court ahead of two vets..

    Then he outplayed those two in games. How good was Price's rookie season? Well, if you want to look at stats, some things that O'brien likes...plus/minus. Did you know Price led all rookies in adjusted +/-? By a significant amount too. (Curry was second, and then there was a huge drop off) That's kind of hard to do when you play on a bad team. How about team record? Team record was significantly better with Price in the lineup than it was without him. You can look at a lot of advanced statistics that show Price's rookie season was in fact, quite good. (Impact stats, for example, rates him 13th overall http://www.hoopskarma.com/hk/2010/9/...act-stats.html And he should have been playing. )

    But even beyond numbers, this guy has yanked Price, specifically, around, when truly the logical thing to do is to play him. After you're drafted, it shouldn't be your draft number that matters, but rather how you play. The Pacers got lucky here, so long as AJ stays freak injury free, and it's silly not to take that gift. I don't know how you say to a player, multiple times "He's outplaying people, I'll give him more time" and then bench him.

    Obviously AJ is my favorite player on the team, but you just don't act in the way JOB has acted towards AJ, towards your players. I can accept that there might be something going on behind the scenes with Price (aka, explaining to AJ he's not gonna get time until the trade TJ) but that doesn't explain last year. This year is not something new.

    Quote Originally Posted by DonSwanson View Post
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    And if folks don't care for playing older players--consider that if we don't play vets like Dunleavy and T.J. Ford then it's much less likely we will be able to deal them for our biggest need--a backup big--before the deadline. And I really don't trust Solo or Foster's health at this point. Posey has also been a solid player off the bench the last 2 games--his shot was off against Cleveland but I thought he made up for it on the defensive end.
    And that to me, is the only logical reason to be playing Ford ahead of Price right now. Problem is, I don't know that the "logical reason" is the reason.

    Sorry Mike Wells, Ford has been decent. He hasn't matched Price's preseason play. That's okay though, Slick, Stacy Paetz, and Dan Dakich prefer my guy, so I'll take their opinion. (slick in particular, might be a bigger fan that I am..)

    Quote Originally Posted by DonSwanson View Post
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    I know a lot of people like to focus instead on soundbites from our coach... but I think that a lot of coaches can get a bit hyperbolic at times. Whether a person likes it or not, I think it's just O'Brien's way of recognizing and paying tribute to the hard work of some of the players.

    O'Brien on Price... "He's been our best player in preseason." (I took that to mean he was so impressed with how hard he worked to come back from his injury and was trying to go out of his way to express that).
    No, Price had been our best player to that point, and the game after JOB said this, he benched AJ in favor of Ford. Yes, Ford deserved his shot to EARN a rotation spot, but you didn't have to take Price out of the lineup to do that.

    As I've said, the guys know that Price earned minutes, and they see him on the bench. And quite frankly, it's typical of younger players to think something along the line of "I'm not playing because...coach doesn't like me" And not feel as if you earn playing time. All this situation does is give them ammo. Why? Because they look down the bench at Price in his suit and think "He worked his *** off to get back on the court, never has a bad practice (according to the coach) outperformed the two guys ahead of him in preseason (according to the coach), and he's still not playing because he's not the guy coach wants to play"

    or they look at Hibbert, who also worked his *** off all summer to get in shape, and notice that now..the second best player on the team, is not finishing games, because .....coach doesn't want him too.

    I'm not saying that is what they definitely are thinking. I'm saying that's what younger guys typically think. And it's a logical conclusion to make in this situation.

    But once again, there's no real explanation (other than showcasing) here. And truly, the Price situation is baffling. But Price him self is a strange situation. O'brien probably wouldn't be a bad coach if his theories and stats matched what was actually happening. And that was probably the case in Boston. But it's not here.
    Last edited by Sookie; 11-14-2010 at 07:09 PM.

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