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Keeping JOB for the 3 years plan has made the 3 years 6 years, thanks Larry and Jim..........
Ultimately, this was the BIGGEST mistake in the entire plan. I pretty much like all the players that we have. Now, if we can just find a coach to make it work. IMHO, Indiana needs to make trades to shorten the roster. To me, our biggest need is PG and starting SG.
But that was part of Bird's 3 year plan implementation. That's the problem. You can't pull one part to the side and ignore it.
If Bird was trying to assemble a bunch of young pieces for future development then he made a massive mistake of hiring JOB, a biggest mistake to keep him, and a monster mistake by extending him.
You lost your shot at Tom Thibideau and Doug Collins, just for starters. You wasted years of player development time.
Luckily there's tons of evidence for this. And of course by rock bottom you mean "kinda just below the middle sorta".
Sixers lost more games and are now winning more games. Took about one summer and a good coaching hire. It's not even their top draft pick that's doing this for them.
Magic were a playoff team, then won 21 games and fired Rivers. After 2 more seasons of 36 wins (oh no, stuck in the middle without a really high pick, they are doomed) they won 40 and made the playoffs...for Bob Hill no less.
The Heat were a .600 ball club. Fell to 36 and then 25 wins, and then returned to the top of the pile. Then had one 15 win season, and climb right back in the middle of things yet again.
And still managed to also clear the cap space for last summer even while making back to back playoff runs.
That doesn't qualify, that was when Wade was injured off and on
I say the team's fans that are left at this point are hard core enough to understand a rebuild and you wouldn't see a mass exodus at the gate.
These, for the most part, are fans that understand the NBA's CBA and understand the lottery system.
When you have what ultimately have been season upon season of 'lost' seasons eventually you have to ask what if we would've just played the younger players, taken our lumps, got them experience, and gotten a couple of high draft picks in the process during one or two of those seasons?
Would the casual fans have cared any less if the team had won 5-10 less games? Plus, you get some good PR with a top pick. Besides giving the hard core fans who understand the rebuilding process something to watch and cheer for hoping to see the development of the team as they play together, you also have the chance of landing casual fans to see this newcomer with all the accolades bestowed upon him.
Personally, I believe the hard core fans are turned off by mediocrity as much as the casual fans because the hard core fans understand being middle of the road tends to lead to a middle of the road pick and little chance of finding that star player the team needs. You at least stand a chance of energizing the hard core fans with a high draft pick and the opportunity to watch young players develop... rather than just creating apathy...
The problem with the O'Brien years was we had young players not developing nor getting consistent roles AND nothing but mediocre records and lost seasons to show for it either.
IMHO the 3 year plan should've been accepting we weren't going to be very good for much of that, shedding salary and making shrewd deals, developing young players, trying to win with the young players that we felt were part of the future (or could be part of the future), and collecting top draft picks. ....and maybe we catch lightning in a bottle and make the playoffs in there somewhere. ...and if not... well hindsight tells us we didn't make the playoffs anyway.... (of course I'm thinking this is year 4 of the 3 year plan... if you started the clock 3 years ago then maybe we do reach the playoffs in the 3rd year...)
My complaint over the last 5 years has been our complete shortcutting/Managements complete denial of just how bad this roster situation was/is.
If we would have admitted the issue back in 2005-2006. We could have bottomed this out. Had a REAL youth movement with REAL upside prospects and correctly built.
Unfortunately now we've put a glass ceiling on what this "core" can really even become. We have to hope and pray that 2 guys better than anyone on this roster magically appear over the summer? Possible? Sure. Probable? No evidence to support it to be....