Hello there. I've been to this forum a few times in the past month or so, being led by google a few times.
I'm not from Indiana, and haven't been a Pacers fan. In the past few years, I've probably only watched a couple of games. Granger was my first pick on my fantasy team this year, and since I enjoy watching teams that have my players on it, I caught a few of the first games of the season. My team's also very bad, so I added some waiver wire replacements.. Rush, Dunleavy, and McRoberts.. 2 of which are still on my team. So with more Pacers on my team than any other, I started watching all of the Pacer games.
Besides having guys on my fantasy team, I really liked watching them for the first month. Seeing how they played against the Heat and the Lakers, everything about them screamed 'team'. Good defense, motion offense getting everyone involved and they just looked like an atypical nba team. No boring isolation plays every other possession, very good team defense, and a lot of movement off the ball.
I'm also a Duke fan, and the last I'd seen of McRoberts, he was a sophomore there on a comparatively bad team. Certainly didn't look ready for the NBA and honestly I didn't even realize he was still in the league. But here he was, in a system that seemed to fit him well, and playing on a team that looked like it had a lot of chemistry and played the right way. Fun stuff. Granger looked like a superstar who could play both ends, yet another player benefiting from team usa experience, and a guy who looked like he was happy to defer to teammates, bought into the system, and didn't mind a decrease in #s for the sake of winning. Hibbert didn't even look recognizable from the last time I saw him, and Collison was a player who looked really good in NO last year. With all that, I quickly turned into a fairweather fan who checked for the Pacers game first above the other games on nba league pass. Throw in one of the most impressive offensive quarters against my home team in the Nuggets and I was sold.
So with all that said, they look like a totally different team now in mid December. The least interesting team to watch for me this year has been Sacremento, with their lack of chemistry, weird rotations and lineups, and just bad overall play. Hate to say it, but this Pacers team now has a lot of similarities with that team. Like them, it looks like almost anyone on the team can be benched for quarters, halfs, or even taken out of the rotation. Having Rush and Dunleavy in and out of the starting lineup, while not as bad as the constant changing lineups for the Kings, appears to be disruptive. Granger seems the only one immune to benching for poor play, and even when people are playing well, they seem to end up on the bench at odd times.
So I have a few questions for you guys who are Pacer fans and have watched them for years.
1. Why did they get Darren Collison?
He doesn't seem to have a skillset that fits the system they have here at all. I would think more of a Fisher type of guy would have fit better. A defensive minded PG who can hit spot up shots and doesn't need to create. It seems the only time they ask the PG to do point guard stuff on this team is when the shot clock is running low, or at the end of the quarter. But a reluctant 3 pointer who isn't a great defensive player? Seems like a bad choice.
2. Why did they trade Troy Murphy for him? From watching where the power forwards are positioned on offense (3 point line or high post), and who they're guarding (Hibbert still usually has the better post player), I don't understand why they got rid of him. The benching against the Lakers suggested that O'Brien just wanted to look at the box score at half time and see some rebounds on there for his PF, despite standing at the 3 point line on offense. Murphy could give you that at least.
3. Is OBrien on the hot seat? He seems to really alienate the players with rotations, benching, and comments in the press. The chemistry and 'team' part that I saw before seems to be completely gone after a month and a half. While I really liked the systems they were playing previously and the motion offense, it already appears quite a bit different. Hibbert isn't getting the ball in the post. McRoberts looks like he's afraid to shoot or do anything really after a miss or 2. Collison looks completely lost. Only Rush and Dunleavy look comfortable on offense right now. And they look hugely dependent on 3 point shooting.
4. Who do you guys think should be playing at PF? I thought Tyler was the future, but he somehow was completely out of the rotation until last night. I think McRoberts fits the system a lot better and is a young guy too, but OBrien seems to be playing him because he likes Tyler less, not that he actually likes what McRoberts is doing.
5. What's with the rotations, benching, and platoons? Is this what OBrien commonly does, or is this just him trying to figure out what's working or who should be playing? Seems like it would be extremely hard for everyone but Granger to get comfortable when your minutes are up for grab every single game.
Really confused on how this team looked like one of the most fun to watch in the nba to one of the worst in a matter of a few weeks. Help me understand, thanks!