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Thread: A playoff team in name only (Indystar)

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    Default A playoff team in name only (Indystar)

    This article puts Danny and Mike's quotes in context.

    A playoff team in name only
    Pacers, 7th in East at 14-20, aren't happy with their record
    -Jeff Rabjohns

    http://www.indystar.com/article/2011...team-name-only

    PHILADELPHIA -- At this point, tonight's game between the Indiana Pacers and Philadelphia 76ers is between two playoff teams.

    The 14-20 Pacers are seventh in the Eastern Conference standings and the 15-22 Sixers are eighth, the final playoff spot.

    In part, that's an indictment on the East, which had six teams at least six games above .500 entering Monday night and a bottom nine all at least six games below .500.

    It also means, despite nearly a month of struggles, the Pacers are playing games that could be critical at the end of the season.

    "I guess it's a good-news bad-news thing, but we're really not happy with where we're at," Pacers guard Mike Dunleavy said. "You almost don't even look at the standings. The most important thing for us is to start playing better.

    "The winning, the seeding, the playoffs will take care of themselves. Right now, it doesn't really matter that we're in the seven spot because if we keep playing the way we do, we won't be for long."

    The Pacers have gone 5-13 their past 18 games, sliding into a pack of six teams vying for the East's final two playoff spots.

    Indiana, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Charlotte, Toronto and Detroit entered Monday within three games of each other.

    Pacers coach Jim O'Brien isn't pleased with the team's position.

    "We're a little angry to be 14-20," he said. "We should be a better team and that's my job; 14-20 is not very good. It doesn't matter whether we're seventh in the East or 10th. We are not playing the type of basketball that allows us to be anything other than 14-20."

    The Pacers have been good offensively and poor defensively the past few years, but the opposite has been true recently. The offense needs fixing.

    The Pacers are third in the NBA in field-goal defense (43 percent) this season, but they are averaging just 92 points over the past 10 games, fifth worst in the NBA in that span.

    The players have become irritated with the situation.

    "Guys are not happy. There's some frustration, and there's also some looking for answers," Dunleavy said. "Quite frankly, some guys just don't feel like we have this thing figured out, especially on offense."

    So what isn't working?

    "A lot of it is rhythm and timing and making smart basketball plays," Dunleavy said. "We have a pretty simple offense. It's based on reads, hitting the open guy. We struggle with that. Until that changes, we're probably going to struggle on offense."

    The Pacers spent more than two hours on the practice court Monday, the entire time dedicated to offense.

    The issue isn't simply missing shots. The Pacers haven't been getting quick shots and, as a result, have fewer possessions and more shots taken as the shot clock runs down.

    Danny Granger, Indiana's leading scorer, said players have worried about the offense for several weeks.

    "Teams are scouting us, taking away a lot of our set plays," he said. "We like to do our quick motion, which is a little bit unpredictable and easier to score out of, but with that offense, we really have to have an understanding of what's going on, and I don't think we have that yet."

    If they don't get it soon, seventh in the East may begin slipping away.





    To me it looks like the players' really believe that the team really isn't getting the offense and not blaming the coach. And pigs must be flying because Jim took some blame for the losing. It seems the player's really are trying to follow his offense (even though it clearly isn't working). But frustration is setting in and the ship needs to get turned around soon before the team loses any confidence they still have.

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    How u imawhat's Avatar
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    Default Re: A playoff team in name only (Indystar)

    Semi-refreshing article to read. I love reading accountability.

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    Default Re: A playoff team in name only (Indystar)

    Yip, credit where credit is due. Jim actually did seem to take some of the blame in this interview.

    Also the wording is written and probably said in such a way that you really can not tell who the players are placing blame on or if they are placing blame at all.

    If I were guessing though I would not be suprised if Darren Collison is at the center of this either way. He really hasn't hid the fact that he is not happy in this offense at all.

    But again, that is just a wild guess on my part.

    They really need to get some wins or I have a feeling this team may be on the verge of a mental collapse, if they are not already there.


    Basketball isn't played with computers, spreadsheets, and simulations. ChicagoJ 4/21/13

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    Droppin' knowledge, yo. Mackey_Rose's Avatar
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    Default Re: A playoff team in name only (Indystar)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim O'Brien
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    "We're a little angry to be 14-20," he said. "We should be a better team and that's my job; 14-20 is not very good. It doesn't matter whether we're seventh in the East or 10th. We are not playing the type of basketball that allows us to be anything other than 14-20."
    I've posted several times that one of the things that bothered me most about O'Brien, is that he often tries to deflect all the blame onto his players. I've complained about it frequently, so I think it's only fair if I give him credit for this. He took a small share with this quote.

    It isn't much, but it's a start.

    There was another article in the Star on Sunday from Mike Wells that talked about the Atlanta game, and how the Pacers cannot match up with their athleticism as a team.

    http://www.indystar.com/article/2011...|text|Sports|s

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Wells, Indy Star
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    ATLANTA -- Brandon Rush, between bites of his postgame meal of grilled chicken and rice, looked up and was ready to pounce on the question the way the Atlanta Hawks jumped all over the Indiana Pacers.

    "People don't talk about them, but they're a true contender in my eyes," Rush said of the Hawks.

    Atlanta would be the best team in the league if it played the Pacers 82 times a season. The Hawks continued their dominance in a 108-93 victory at Philips Arena on Saturday night.

    "They're a terrifically talented basketball team and they're just a little too much for us to handle right now," Pacers coach Jim O'Brien said.

    The Hawks have won nine straight over the Pacers, and they're showing no signs of letting up as long as Josh Smith, Al Horford and Joe Johnson are on the roster.

    The Pacers lack the personnel to match up with Atlanta's athleticism.

    Smith beat the Pacers with an array of moves -- dunks, jump shots and 3-pointers -- to finish with 27 points, 10 rebounds and a block.

    Johnson had 24 points, six assists and five rebounds. Horford continued to treat Pacers center Roy Hibbert like a junior varsity player, compiling 14 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. Hibbert had only eight points on 3-of-8 shooting.

    "They have a great inside attack and they space themselves very well," O'Brien said. "They're terrific in post-ups and in one-on-one situations."

    The Pacers, on the other hand, continue to search for an identity that has been missing for more than a month. The Pacers are 5-13 since being two games over .500 in late November. They've lost eight straight games on the road.

    The Pacers were held to 41 percent shooting and they've only reached the 100-point total three times in the past 18 games.

    Danny Granger, who said their offense "sucks right now," led the Pacers with 16 points but had just two points in the second half.

    "We're really not playing well right now," Mike Dunleavy said. "We just have no flow on offense right now. It can't be a whole lot of fun to watch us right now. We just have to get back to playing good basketball."

    Smith took his game to another level in the third quarter after Jeff Foster fouled him hard on an alley-oop attempt from Johnson.

    Smith had words for Foster and the officials when he got up because he thought it was a flagrant foul. Smith was given a technical.

    "It wasn't a flagrant," Foster said. "I went up to contest his shot and we just had body contact."

    Smith closed out the quarter with 11 points, including a follow dunk and a 3-pointer.

    Smith's play helped the Hawks build their lead from five at halftime to as many as 20 points late in the third quarter.

    "It's like they can beat you in so many different ways," Rush said. "They've got Josh, who can do so many things out there. Then you also have to worry about Joe, Horford and they bring Jamal (Crawford) off the bench."
    So O'Brien doesn't think he has the players to beat the Hawks. They are just too athletic. Call me crazy, but if a team's athleticism, especially from the big guys, is what has beaten you 9 games in a row, it doesn't make a whole hell of a lot of sense to make your most athletic big man, and one who has already started 29 games for you this season inactive.

    Nobody matches up better with Josh Smith on our roster than Josh McRoberts. Twice already this season, McRoberts has had some success defending Smith. Twice already this season, he had tried Posey on Smith with disastrous results. O'Brien's solution was to deactivate McRoberts, give Posey (among others) a third shot to defend him, and Smith goes off for 27 points, 10 rebounds, and 6 assists. Clearly he didn't get all of those numbers against Posey alone, but when the opportunity was afforded to him, he absolutely abused him for a third time.

    Smith has had huge statistical games against us in all 3 games, and in each case, it has been largely because O'Brien keeps putting James Posey on him. Sorry Jim, that doesn't work. It isn't James' fault, he isn't capable of defending a player like Smith. Anyone can see that, except Jim O'Brien.

    Here is the thread from the December 11th Hawks game in Atlanta.

    http://pacersdigest.com/showthread.php?t=59208

    Quote Originally Posted by Mackey_Rose on December 11th
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    For the second time this season, he really didn't do much against McRoberts.

    He made a couple jump shots to start the 2nd half when Josh was in, but most of his points came against Posey early and against Granger late.
    And here is the post-game thread from the November 16th Hawks game in Conseco.

    http://pacersdigest.com/showthread.p...ks+game+thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Infinite MAN_force on November 16th
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    Josh Mcroberts has hardly been tearing it up lately and did commit a few dumb fouls in the third quarter... but Josh Smith only scored 2 points against him all night. He scored 23 against Posey... and the vast majority were directly coming at Posey who was clearly outmatched. Why did he play 25 minutes vs. 22 for Josh?
    Last edited by Mackey_Rose; 01-11-2011 at 08:31 AM.

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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: A playoff team in name only (Indystar)

    Mackey - I always thought we didn't want Jim to match up with the opponent, but rather make the opponent match up with us. Roy should be too tall for Horford or Smith, so play Roy and make the Hawks adjust.

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    Default Re: A playoff team in name only (Indystar)

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    Mackey - I always thought we didn't want Jim to match up with the opponent, but rather make the opponent match up with us. Roy should be too tall for Horford or Smith, so play Roy and make the Hawks adjust.
    Not always. He played Roy. I don't understand what you are suggesting. I never mentioned Roy one time.

    Playing Posey is a bad match-up on our end, and does not force anyone to match-up against him. Especially against the Hawks.

    What are you saying?

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    Default Re: A playoff team in name only (Indystar)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mackey_Rose View Post
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    Not always. He played Roy. I don't understand what you are suggesting. I never mentioned Roy one time.

    Playing Posey is a bad match-up on our end, and does not force anyone to match-up against him. Especially against the Hawks.

    What are you saying?
    I thought you wanted Josh to play center with Tyler as the PF. Josh matches up better with Horford than does Roy. My bad.

    But my larger point was just to mention that yes sometimes a coach must match up to the opponent. Many are critical of Jim or Rick when he was the coach, but one thing that is seldom mentioned is unless you have the better player it is almost impossible to make the opponent match up with you. Wasn't really directing this at you Mackey
    Last edited by Unclebuck; 01-11-2011 at 08:31 AM.

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    Default Re: A playoff team in name only (Indystar)

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    I thought you wanted Josh to play center with Tyler as the PF. Josh matches up better with Horford than does Roy. My bad.

    But my larger point was just to mention that yes sometimes a coach must match up to the opponent. Many are critical of Jim or Rick when he was the coach, but one thing that is seldom mentioned is unless you have the better player it is almost impossible to make the opponent match up with you. Wasn't really directing this at you Mackey
    In general, I want to see a lot more of the Hansbrough/McRoberts front court. I think they have games that are extremely complementary of each other, and I do think they play really well together. The energy level of the whole team is raised by having either one of those guys in the game. Put them both in, and the other three guys on the floor can't help but to turn their energy level up a notch. I think that helps, and I think that is what makes them effective. That wasn't what I was suggesting though.

    I think that PF/C combination could possibly work against the Hawks, it certainly would be a better option than Posey/anybody. I'd probably put Hansbrough on Horford, and let McRoberts utilize his length and athleticism against Josh Smith. That isn't ideal, obviously, but it at least has the potential to be effective. Smith is like a better version of McRoberts, and Horford is like a bigger, better version of Hansbrough. But again, it would at least be a lesser of two evils.

    Posey on Smith is a recipe for disaster, every single time.

    You are right, sometimes it is definitely necessary to match-up to the opponent. Sometimes. Sometimes, I think taking advantage of Roy's size is the best thing for the Pacers. I don't think that's the case against the Hawks. You are correct to say that sometimes it isn't best. He may be taller than Horford, but Horford is so much stronger, has such long arms, and is athletic enough that any advantage Roy has due to sheer height is negated.

    Putting Posey against a front line of Smith and Horford does neither. It does not force them to match-up with him. He isn't good enough on either end for anybody in the league to bother to try anything like that. It doesn't help us match-up with them.

    It just doesn't work. Period. The fact that O'Brien was unable to come to that conclusion after two unsuccessful attempts, says a lot about him. He is unable to adjust. He simply goes with what he thinks is right, regardless of previous results. The "security blanket" theory makes a whole lot of sense when it comes to O'Brien, and James Posey vs. Josh Smith is just further evidence of this phenomenon.

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    Default Re: A playoff team in name only (Indystar)

    pretty sure the problem with the hawks is the pacers cannot match up with josh smith. if any of the pacer bigs could do that, they would be playing. since ATL plays an isolation offense so much, any bad matchup sticks out. plus roy is having trouble with horford just makes things worse.

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    Default Re: A playoff team in name only (Indystar)

    Would a zone be helpful against teams like Atlanta?

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    Default Re: A playoff team in name only (Indystar)

    Quote Originally Posted by MyFavMartin View Post
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    Would a zone be helpful against teams like Atlanta?
    joe johnson and mike bibby are really good shooters. not sure about marvin williams. josh smith is shooting more 3's this year. i think he is making more also. not sure a zone would do the trick.

    however, any defense that would get josh smith shooting 3's instead of layups would be worth looking at imho.

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    Default Re: A playoff team in name only (Indystar)

    I don't know why Jim doesn't have any kind of confidence in teams we play.

    We can have the capability of beating Atlanta and definitely can avoid getting blown out by them.

    Our players matchup well to their players. Roy has the ability to outplay Al Horford, Danny can score over Joe Johnson and he or Brandon can lockon defend him.

    The main issue we have is matching up with Josh Smith, but I think Tyler who is our best defensive option and player at PF can defend him in the post well. Both guys are the same height too and play above their size.

    Tonight we should win. If we lose then that's a disgrace.

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    Default Re: A playoff team in name only (Indystar)

    Quote Originally Posted by Trophy View Post
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    Tonight we should win. If we lose then that's a disgrace.

    You mean like the last time in Philly? The Pacers are in 7th place and 13.5 games out of ist with "3" teams at 14 games and only a half game behind the Pacers. If the Pacers lose this game and some upcoming games to good teams they'll be playing, you can kiss the playoffs off, if you haven't already done so.

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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: A playoff team in name only (Indystar)

    Yeah a zone has been sucessful against the hawks in the past. but the pacers never practice zone, so I don't think it is smart to play zone in a real game unless you practice it first

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    Default Re: A playoff team in name only (Indystar)

    "We're a little angry to be 14-20," he said. "We should be a better team and that's my job; 14-20 is not very good. It doesn't matter whether we're seventh in the East or 10th. We are not playing the type of basketball that allows us to be anything other than 14-20."
    H3ll has officially frozen over, Jim has criticized himself
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    Default Re: A playoff team in name only (Indystar)

    Jim I commend you for finally admitting you have failed

    Please do the next commendable thing and resign

    Yours Truly,

    Every Pacer fan in the world not named Flox, Bill S, or UB



    Im joking so please dont be offended
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    Default Re: A playoff team in name only (Indystar)

    Playoff Team In Name Only - would that be a PlTINO?
    :

    "Defense doesn't break down on the help, it breaks down on the recovery." - Chuck Daly

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