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Thread: Let's talk about our passing

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    Default Let's talk about our passing

    Right now, we're averaging 22.2 APG. Which is good enough for 10th in the league.

    What is perhaps most interesting about this, is that we are doing it without a player that is even averaging 5APG individually. DC leads the team at just over 4/game. Lakers are the only other team in front of us that can say this.

    The teams in front of us right now are...
    Boston (Rondo)
    Utah (D. Williams)
    Houston (Solid team concept, Lowry leads at 6.8 APG)
    San Antonio (Again solid as a team)
    Atlanta (Again solid as a team)
    Dallas (Kidd)
    Lakers (Definitely a team)
    Phoenix (Nash)
    Philadelphia (Jrue Holiday leads at 7 APG)


    So I guess my question is, we talk a lot about this not being a PG dominant offense, but IMO that might not be a bad thing. Four of the teams in front of us do have a ball dominant PG, but the rest are built on a team passing game.

    I guess my question is, how much more efficient can our offense get? And would you like to stick with this gameplan or go to a more PG oriented offense? Consider the second question as a question that is independent of our head coach.
    Last edited by Trader Joe; 12-07-2010 at 10:51 AM.

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    Default Re: Let's talk about our passing

    I honestly like the way we have been playing. We have collison, hibbert, and mcbob who are all honestly great passers. We don't necessarily need a guy getting 10 or 11 assists in a game. Although it is proven that the more assists we have been getting in a game, the better we play and are most likely to win. I look at collison as a mix of a scoring and assist PG. He is very well rounded IMO.

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    Default Re: Let's talk about our passing

    I think it is very important to have multiple good passers in your lineup. Sure having a player like Chris Paul would be great and teams that have a point guard dominant offense tend to turn the ball over a lot less - but having big guys like Josh and Roy who are excellent passers makes our offense unique. (See the Kings early 2000's)

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    Default Re: Let's talk about our passing

    I have to give JOB a lot of credit for the fundamental offense he is running. This offense is a cousin to the triangle that Phil Jackson runs, and as well as the offense we see in Houston. Notice the team assists of both of those teams. These offenses are used to create space through the movement of the basketball between several players hands, including the bigs.

    Many of the assists from a PG dominant offense come off the pick and roll and end up as dump or lob passes from the PG. It generates a lot of spacing, however it doesn't necessarily induce ball movement. If you have a kick out pass, teams like Utah will continue that ball movement around the key. Teams like Milwaukee haven't figured that part out yet. Of course, Jennings is terribly inefficient as a PG. Talented absolutely, but he has a long way to go.

    Back to us. Our ball movement is absolutely critical to creating the passing lanes and open spacing we desire. I think the big difference this year is that there aren't four players standing around the perimeter waiting for an outlet pass. Orlando does that, because they have Dwight Howard down low that REQUIRES a double team. Hibbert hopefully will get there and only then can that be incorporated into our scheme. We see it now, but just not as much as I would like. I am glad to see Hibbert in the low block in tight games. When we go away from our passing schemes, our offense becomes stagnant however. Look at the way that Granger, Rush, and Dunleavy work around the high post. They will cut one way and if its not open, dart back around the high post passer so that the passer becomes a road block as well. They then get the ball with more space to make something happen. If the big man comes out on them, it can turn into a "rolling" situation for the big or an easy drive around the big. If the wing stays on the coverage he is a step behind and won't contest a drive or a pull-up decision depending on how far back the defender is. I haven't seen this much offensive off-the-ball movement since Reggie. I wonder if Reggie has given any of these guys pointers on the moves they can make off the ball.

    Our passing has become the reason we are being a successful offensive team. Our improved defense is the reason we are winning games though. We don't have a player that can go into isolation mode at the end of games and get his shot at will possession after possession after possession. We need this ball movement. Look at how LA runs down the stretch. You would assume that its Kobe in isolation, because he can. But it isn't. You see a lot of pick and roll or high post offense with Gasol and Kobe that allows them to maneuver based on what the defenders are giving them. They score ALOT that way. And if the play breaks down, they always have to option to kick out behind the inevitable help defenders. This is so similar to the "Read and React" high post/low post/pick and roll offense we are running. This offense gives us a lot of options. It requires having player and/or ball movement and that in itself is a massive upgrade.

    I can see why JOB stuck with his system. It makes sense for the core players we have. We just weren't good enough yet and Troy Murphy ruined a lot of ball movement by playing on the perimeter so much. No offense to Troy, because it is damn near a requirement that the bigs are able to step back and make a 15+ footer in an offense like this because the ball will be in his hands at or beyond the high post. Enough rambling. More discussion.

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    Default Re: Let's talk about our passing

    I can't believe that this is probably the most legitimate topic on this board right now and nobody will respond.

    Goes to show why ESPN does well with their drama pieces because people don't see through the crap enough to talk about something with substance. And yet we get four pages over a Tyler Hansborough chant. Wow.

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    Default Re: Let's talk about our passing

    Oddly enough I started both threads...

    Anyway, I think you all make good points.

    I wonder just how much it helps to have two of the best big man passers in the NBA playing next to each other. It is something most defenses won't see every night and I think it makes us one of those teams that is truly unique and much more difficult to game plan for. It is very hard to know on any given moment coming up the court who will initiate our offensive set.

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    Default Re: Let's talk about our passing

    I love our passing. It's part of the reason I don't really have a problem stomaching O'Brien's offense. When it's clicking, and guys are making good cuts and crisp passes, it's a thing of beauty. Roy and Josh are especially fun to watch when they are operating at a high level. In last night's game McBob got a rebound and made an absolutely perfect outlet pass to DC, leading to a layup. Made me smile. It's fun to watch good basketball, no?

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    Default Re: Let's talk about our passing

    Here is another question, even with this solid passing, we still aren't a very efficient offense, why?

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    Default Re: Let's talk about our passing

    Quote Originally Posted by Trader Joe View Post
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    Here is another question, even with this solid passing, we still aren't a very efficient offense, why?
    Because we get too fancy and try to make passes we can't make. We turn the ball over a lot when we aren't clicking. We don't hit shots. We don't get to the line very much.

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    Default Re: Let's talk about our passing

    I think that more than anything- just as important as Roy, Josh, Danny's approved passing, and DC- the extra pass is helping us. Last year Danny, TJ when he played, Troy, and especially Dahntay Jones stopped the ball and wouldn't make that extra pass. This year every-single-thing is different from TJ trying to make the right plays, Mike being better, DC Roy and Josh tandem, plus Danny's improved decision making.

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    Default Re: Let's talk about our passing

    Quote Originally Posted by Trader Joe View Post
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    Here is another question, even with this solid passing, we still aren't a very efficient offense, why?
    I believe that we still aren't there yet. Collison is new, McRoberts is still getting acclimated to his mimnutes, Rush looks brilliant out there IMO but he's still getting comfortable with a larger role, and Dunleavy is finally healthy after 18 months of hardly playing basketball at the level he expects of himself. Posey is new, but he adapted really quickly, and you expect that out of vets, but he still has to get used to some of the quirks of the other guys too. Hibbert is getting more minutes.

    Long story short, teams are like girlfriends. The relationships build over the course of the year and grow together because they know more about one another and can adapt. They can make adjustments to make the functionality of their interactions work. And just like relationships, they can end when you cheat on someone with their mother.
    Last edited by pacergod2; 12-07-2010 at 03:10 PM.

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    Default Re: Let's talk about our passing

    This, to me, has been the difference this year: We've been watching a terrible offense "based on spacing" for a few years, and all of a sudden, it has clicked and this year we're actually watching an offense that uses spacing well. I can't tell you how many times I've seen the Pacers take advantage of a double team or breakdown in the opponent's defense this season. Hibbert's dunk to finish off the Lakers is the perfect example. In year's past, we run an awful isolation and let TJ fall to the floor on a drive, or hope Danny hits a long jumper, usually well-contended. Against the Lakers, when the double team went to TJ, Roy immediately broke to the empty space and TJ made a good pass for a dunk.

    Guys are finding the open space, cutting to it, and then the pass is being made. Not to mention, I don't think we've missed a 3 that followed the "extra pass" this season. The ball movement is infinitely better, and the player movement is too. When both of those factors come together, it makes for an offense that is efficient and hard to stop.

    As far as having a more PG-dominant offense, I think it really depends on who the players are. DC is a well rounded player, but in his second year, he has some growing and learning to do still. I wouldn't mind seeing more pick'n'rolls on offense, with Hibbert and Solo both. Hibbs can create and get his shot, but a DC/Roy p'n'r would be roughly as potent as Nash/Amar'e if they work on it. And Solo is not an offensively gifted player, but he is long and athletic. If he could develop a p'n'r with DC or TJ or AJ, it would make a big difference on the second unit.

    The second unit (when Roy is sitting) is almost always relegated to shooting jumpers because we don't have another low-post force. This is when a good pick'n'roll would come in handy. It's like a football offense that relies on the pass more than the run, but will still try to run to "keep the defense honest." If our second unit can successfully run a p'n'r, it will keep the defense honest enough that our outside shooters could actually get some open shots.

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    Default Re: Let's talk about our passing

    Quote Originally Posted by pacergod2 View Post
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    I can't believe that this is probably the most legitimate topic on this board right now and nobody will respond.

    Goes to show why ESPN does well with their drama pieces because people don't see through the crap enough to talk about something with substance. And yet we get four pages over a Tyler Hansborough chant. Wow.
    What makes this more "legitimate" than any other topic?

    Having players who are playing to help the team and not help their own personal numbers is a major contributor to the improved passing and ball movement.

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    Default Re: Let's talk about our passing

    Danny, Mike, and Brandon are all doing an incredible job of moving around the picks and cutting to open passing lanes for the high post pass.

    Collison I think is the player that could stand to have the biggest improvement in this offense. And he really has improved since we started the season. He has to work around the offense differently than the wings do. He needs to utilize his quickness to force the opposition to make a decision. If they make the wrong decision he gets easy baskets because he gets to the rim so quickly. I think that Collison would be able to be really effective after he makes his first pass and cuts to one of the two corners. From there, he has the opportunity to utilize the baseline to get open. He is so quick that a baseline move would free up plenty of passing lanes for the bigs. If nothing is open he rotates out back to the top of the key.

    Dun and Posey are similar players in this system where they are more predicated on shooting the three. Their movements you will notice are more to set themselves up for the three ball than Danny or Rush. They make cuts where they primarily move back out to the top of the key. Those are two players who I think teams will adjust for defensively, and ask their men to crowd them on the perimeter because neither will go around you. Their men should guard "over" any picks set for them.

    I think McRoberts and Hansborough are the keys to this working better than it does now. If those two, especially Hansborough, become more comfortable out there passing from the high post it will free up Hibbert to work around the basket with his height. It is the same exact type of positioning Phil Jackson asks from A. Bynum. Bynum is typically the guy that cleans up whatever is created elsewhere in the offense. Both are very good players and will be effective around the basket on tip ins and rebounds solely because of their height. Throw their skill on top of that and they become very difficult to guard. They run Bynum in the high post as well, but Bynum doesn't look nearly as comfortable there as Hibbert. I think Bynum is a touch stronger which helps down low. If Hansborough and McRoberts can start to really stroke that 12-15 footer consistently, it will cause defenses to guard up on them, freeing space around the rim. Their passing effectiveness will improve with more touches in the high post as well. Both crash the boards hard from there already, which is absolutely terrific.

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    Default Re: Let's talk about our passing

    Quote Originally Posted by Trader Joe View Post
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    Here is another question, even with this solid passing, we still aren't a very efficient offense, why?
    Because they take early in the shotclock outside jumpers, instead of passing on them and working for a better shot.

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    Default Re: Let's talk about our passing

    I know this sounds obvious but it is true and truer for the Pacers than it is for most teams. Pacers really have trouble with the good defensvie teams, especially those that are physical and pressure the ball, front the post...... But if a team is lazy defensviely, and just lets us do what we want and hopes we miss - the pacers shread that type of defense. I love the containment defense - but hate the aggressive defense. if you read opposing coaches post game quotes, they mention this in one form or another.

    I'm sure opposing coaches drive the point home - if we pressure and are physical they will turn the ball over

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    Default Re: Let's talk about our passing

    Quote Originally Posted by Trader Joe View Post
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    Here is another question, even with this solid passing, we still aren't a very efficient offense, why?
    what do you mean by efficient?? I think we are very efficient against poor defenses and struggle against pressure and physical defense

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    Default Re: Let's talk about our passing

    Let's not forget about Josh McRoberts playing over Troy Murphy either. That is huge. Troy can't do anything in the high post except maybe take his man off the dribble- but that isn't even in factor because many times he was camped out at the three point line. Now Josh brings a whole different factor to our offense. He makes crisp passes to the highest percentage player and his overall understanding of the game has suprised me since day one.

    One more thing to be much more specific on small details about our passing. Darren Collison cuts hard. When he gets Roy the ball in the low post, he really knows how to get away from his man for a cut to the basket. When he receives the ball from Roy, he jumps high so that his shot won't get blocked and he can finish with either hand at ease.

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    Default Re: Let's talk about our passing

    Quote Originally Posted by Since86 View Post
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    Because they take early in the shotclock outside jumpers, instead of passing on them and working for a better shot.
    They aren't doing that nearly as much this year, though I admit they still do it too often for my taste.

    The greater number of offensive (non-turnover) flaws I see are them passing up layups to pass out for a jumper (lower percentage shot), missing open midrange jumpers, and losing track of the motion leading to having to force up a contested shot because the defense is able to close in (particularly in the post).
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    Default Re: Let's talk about our passing

    Quote Originally Posted by Trader Joe View Post
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    Here is another question, even with this solid passing, we still aren't a very efficient offense, why?
    Sometimes we overreach and try to thread passes that shouldn't be made. It's clear in our TO numbers. Anecdotally, it seems to me that we often times struggle to get the ball into Hibbert: a lot of the turnovers come from passes into the post.

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    Default Re: Let's talk about our passing

    Quote Originally Posted by docpaul View Post
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    Sometimes we overreach and try to thread passes that shouldn't be made. It's clear in our TO numbers. Anecdotally, it seems to me that we often times struggle to get the ball into Hibbert: a lot of the turnovers come from passes into the post.
    I agree. I think an equal share (at least) of the blame should fall on Hibbert. He doesn't do a very good job getting in position and sealing his man. He makes the post feeds a lot harder than they need to be a lot of the time, simply because it seems like he has never been taught the basics of posting up. He needs to get lower and wider and use his body to block off his defender.

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    Default Re: Let's talk about our passing

    Quote Originally Posted by Since86 View Post
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    Because they take early in the shotclock outside jumpers, instead of passing on them and working for a better shot.
    That's going to be a continuing concern, I think, because of the question of transition from the secondary break phase to the half-court phase of a possesion. In other words, in the mind of the player shooting that shot, is it 'early in the possesion' or late in the break?

    O'Brien wants a quick strike, on the break, if we can get it. Defense is not set, and statistically it's an efficient shot. But where is that magic moment when it becomes obvious we didn't get our opportunity on the break, and now it's time for the east-west movement, cuts, good passes, etc? That player with the ball has to make the call...and a lot of our players are 'shooters.'
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    Default Re: Let's talk about our passing

    Quote Originally Posted by BillS View Post
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    They aren't doing that nearly as much this year, though I admit they still do it too often for my taste.
    I agree with that, but it's still nature of the beast. I was hoping someone wasn't going to jump on it like it's just me singing the same tune.

    But unless you have a team full of deadeye shooters, that never go into slumps, you lose efficiency when you take long jump shots. But at the same time, there's a reason why long shots are worth 3 points and closer shots are worth two. It is a trade, because it's a lower percentage shot.

    I don't have a problem taking long jump shots, I just wish the team would turn them down with 15secs left on the shot clock. You can get a 3pt shot very easily, especially in the NBA.

    How many times did TJ get into the lane last night, only to kick it out to the perimeter for a 3 by Posey? The biggest one I can remember was at the end of the 3rd quarter. He not only beat his man, but he beat the big man who stepped up to help. He was just outside of the lane on the right side when he whipped it back to Posey who missed the shot. Solo then got the rebound and missed the putback and the time ran out as they were wrestling for the ball.

    In the situation like last night, there's no problem with that kind of play. You're still up big, I think over 20 still, and while the Raps made a little run it was nothing to really worry about. But that play happens when the score is close, or even if the Pacers are trailing. That's the problem.

    Instead of TJ just taking another dribble and getting to the rim, or even pulling up for a 10ft jump shot, the thing to do is pass it out for a 3. It just irks me. Take the damn shot in the lane. Take the layup. Take the high percentage shot. Because when you get in the playoffs, those types of shots are going to be hard pressed to get. Those are the times when you can't afford to miss. You have to be able to convert the easy baskets, and the Pacers don't do it. They'd rather try their luck and hinge their play around a long shot.

    It's just a bad habit to get into, and a habit that doesn't translate into wins. When you're shooting as a team like they did last night, it's a moot point. But you can't have those expectations. Take the easy ones when you get them.

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    Default Re: Let's talk about our passing

    Quote Originally Posted by Mackey_Rose View Post
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    I agree. I think an equal share (at least) of the blame should fall on Hibbert. He doesn't do a very good job getting in position and sealing his man. He makes the post feeds a lot harder than they need to be a lot of the time, simply because it seems like he has never been taught the basics of posting up. He needs to get lower and wider and use his body to block off his defender.
    last night in the first half, Roy did a very nice job of getting position and then calling for the ball - he scored rather easily and they showed a replay and showed Jim O'brien tell Roy, Nice job calling for the ball.

    As Hubie Brown has taught me the passer should never throw the ball into a post player until he calls for the ball. (Not really a verbal sounds, but a raised hand or obviously when the player has position). Also we do a horrible job as we try and try again to feed the low post from the top and you never do that, feed from free throw line extended on down

    I think we are used to feeding the high post from the top that we get out of position in feeding the low post.
    Last edited by Unclebuck; 12-07-2010 at 04:22 PM.

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    Default Re: Let's talk about our passing

    Quote Originally Posted by Mackey_Rose View Post
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    I agree. I think an equal share (at least) of the blame should fall on Hibbert. He doesn't do a very good job getting in position and sealing his man. He makes the post feeds a lot harder than they need to be a lot of the time, simply because it seems like he has never been taught the basics of posting up. He needs to get lower and wider and use his body to block off his defender.
    Yeah, I should have added that caveat... it does seem as if Hibbert hasn't forced himself into a better position quite a lot... he still looks a bit panicky and timid at times and my guess is that considering his current growth trajectory, that this will improve as well.

    I completely agree with "getting low" as a way of offsetting his height/weight ratio... I still think he's trying to get accustomed to his new body a bit.

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