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

  1. #51

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad8888 View Post
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    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.
    I was just talking about defense when citing that part (and it's hard for me to fault our adjustment in the 2/27 follow-up vs Chicago since we won that game!) We did have McRoberts matched up with Miller to close out the Houston game, right? We tried Hibbert on Miller again before that, but even with Hibbert's improved agility he still had his problems.

    This isn't totally related, but I heard a great interview on the radio last May between Jeff Van Gundy and Michael Reghi during the Boston-Cleveland series. Van Gundy was adamant that it is a mistake for coaches to "cross-match" on defense, and I'm guessing that a lot of coaches probably feel the same way. So that's what I mean by supporting O'Brien's decision to take Hibbert out of the game in the final stretch (as long as Miller was on the floor) and to put McRoberts at the 5. I know a lot of people may disagree with that but chalk it up to an honest disagreement I guess. As for the issue of how McRoberts should have gotten more playing time a year ago, I generally disagree with that as I discussed earlier. I see where you're coming from though. But I think O'Brien has been pretty clear that he doesn't want McRoberts to be Troy Murphy... Shoot the occasional three, sure, but his stated role is to run the floor, hustle, rebound, defend, make smart passes, etc. I personally feel that McRoberts may be better suited to a role off the bench if/when Hansbrough improves. In short, I miss Jeff Foster..

  2. #52

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Sookie View Post
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    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.



    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..)



    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.
    I'm not trying to say you're wrong for viewing it that way. Thank you also for providing some extra context. And definitely, I was aware that Price performed well and saw it as well. I'm not disputing that.

    My point in citing draft orders is not as something absolute, just as a guide. Which is why I say, O'Brien's willingness to play Price 56 games a year ago was somewhat unusual for a guy picked that late--and it follows a trend of O'Brien giving players like Kedrick Brown, J.R. Bremer, and Travis Diener an opportunity. Now clearly you thought he should have been playing more than he did and that he should be playing right now. All that I'm trying to show is that this rhetoric I sometimes see of O'Brien "ruining" younger players is off base imo. Whether you think it's fair or not, usually coaches won't include in the rotation players that are drafted that late ahead of veterans like T.J. Ford (heck, many don't even make the team)--and that can't be an easy thing for a coach to play a 2nd round pick over a guy whose salary is 16 times higher--yet O'Brien responded to the reality that Price was playing well and was probably better than his draft order indicated, and thus decided to give him a chance. Maybe he didn't play as much as you would have liked... but I think there is a middle ground here in acknowledging that O'Brien at least gave the kid a shot which is more than you can say about a lot of coaches. And I'm OK with Ford right now, he's been a decent backup for us. Hopefully we can get another big for him because I'd prefer we keep Dunleavy for the full season.

    And I'll say something else in defense of your favorite player... I think he can handle this adversity. He's clearly a mentally tough guy to rehab the way he did over the summer.... But there's just a disconnect for me I guess. I look at how hard some of these players work, and how some people will then generally criticize O'Brien for somewhat vague things like how he's supposedly not good at installing the proper culture or whatever... Just doesn't make sense to me. Oh well.

    When people talk about how a lot of these players may not like playing for O'Brien, it sort of reminds me of school... If you've ever had a teacher who was rather strict and no-nonsense, it's probably true that you probably didn't always enjoy being in their class compared to a teacher (or coach like Kurt Rambis) who is probably more laid back in comparison... But after the fact you realize, "Hey, that guy forced me to prepare more than what I was used to or than i would have otherwise... I didn't always like it, but it made me better." I mean, isn't it supposed to be uncomfortable? Isn't that an important part of the developmental process? It's the same thing when people talk about not always enjoying their experience playing with Kobe Bryant... I'm sure it's a chore, and some like Smush Parker have admitted that he didn't particularly care for it... but playing with a guy like that only forces everyone else to step up their games otherwise he'll be all over them about it, and I think this makes everyone around him better. Since we don't have a player like Kobe here, this is another reason why I think it's important to have a no-nonsense coach like O'Brien in here to hold down the fort. That's my pop psychology take on it anyways.

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  4. #53

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad8888 View Post
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    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.
    Where should McRoberts be played? What's his position, in which way he was used that made him successful? In the low block? When did that happen?

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