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I am not talking about making trades for players in this thread but what aspect of this team as they are now playing needs the most attention - ball handling, rebounds, defense, etc. My personal take is that while there is a lot that needs fixing the one thing that could be fixed immediately with the will from the players, the guts and determination, is the defense. That is one thing you can do even when your offense has tanked if you will and it is the one thing that could make this team a consistent winner again.
Don't get me wrong I love watching the Pacers play NOW. That is not something I could say a week ago. I want to now see them succeed so I am not getting down on them by any means. Some strong defense could make a big difference.
Move Dunleavy to the bench. IMO, George should be playing with the starting unit. I really like Dun, so don't take it the wrong way. I want George's length, defensive capability, and explosiveness on the first unit. We don't lose anything from a rebounding perspective, if anything I think George would improve our rebounding, which I also think is something we need to do a better job of. Plus, I would like to see George get acclimated to playing with the current starters, as I see that as his long-term spot.
Dunleavy can pair up with AJ, Foster, and Hans on that second team. I think our turnovers would really go down. AJ and Dun would play well together and we have a little more offense on the second unit. Brandon can come in and provide just about the same things as Dunleavy, but with better defense, which it will be important for him to match up with the other teams' scoring guard. Plus I really like the way Brandon and Mike play together, which would be great for down the stretch of the season. It gives us our 10 man rotation as well. If we keep Dunleavy around he will be a second unit guy anyway. Let's start establishing these roles now.
Maybe this doesn't need to be the biggest thing we fix. And maybe that is fixed by trading Dunleavy at the deadline, but I think we will end up keeping him, so I wouldn't let that hold me back from making this change.
The players just need consistency and a chance to gel together. Learn what works for them and what doesn't. When the game is on the line and you call a play, it's nice if you've run that play before and had success with it. That builds confidence. They just need time together.