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