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Thread: Our signings thus far have been excellent but not exactly strategic

  1. #1
    Intuition over Integers McKeyFan's Avatar
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    Default Our signings thus far have been excellent but not exactly strategic

    Bird has brought in, mainly, George Hill and David West.

    I love both signings. I would be upset, in hindsight, if they didn't happen. I applaud Bird.

    That said, I don't see either major signing directly helping our most strategic needs as a team. Perhaps indirectly, but we'll see.

    These (in my opinion) are our three most strategic needs:

    1. The "X-man" 4/5.

    Neither Hibbert nor Tyler are stellar at defense or rebounding. A 27 year old Foster would be perfect for this team, but his reliability is questionable.

    West will add rebounding and toughness and leadership, so we will make a few strides here. But this strategic need is still there.


    2. An end of the game finisher.

    The Bulls series brought to light what we saw all year: we don't have a player who can create his own shot at the end of games. We need one.

    George Hill can be clutch. I like the signing. I don't think he can create his own shot that well, so I don't think he directly addresses this need. Same with West. However, the fact that Granger, West, and Hill will all be on the floor in the final minute will greatly improve this problem.

    Also, Paul George and even Lance could make strides in this area. Those two probably have the most potential of anyone on the team to create their own shots. Nevertheless, this year, we may still be one player away from finishing games. I would like to have seen a Crawford or Billups, etc., added to the roster for this purpose, but I guess you can't have everything.


    3. A pass first point guard who plays defense.

    I listed this third, but in my opinion it could be number one, but I know not everyone agrees with this need or they believe Collison could be the answer.

    I am very interested in seeing how George Hill does in this regard. There seems to be a lot of mixed opinions. I will be disappointed if those who claim he can't see the floor very well are correct.

    Again, Lance is a long shot, but I don't count on him for at least a year or two.

    This may be the most difficult need for Bird/Morway to address, as good pass first point guards who play decent defense are pretty hard to come by. So, I'm not scolding TPTB or giving out a bad report card. I'd give them a B+ or even A- . Actually, if you factor in what was possible and available, they may have given us an A+ performance.

    I just think our most significant needs weren't directly addressed. Rome wasn't built in a day, and more trades may come between now and the deadline. Next year, key pieces could be added to an excellent core. Or, potentials like PG and Lance could emerge or we may find Hill, West, Granger, and Hibbert capable of things they couldn't do before in different circumstances.

    So I still believe the strategic needs may be addressed.

    Regardless, kudos to Pacer management and let's see how this thing is looking so far.
    Last edited by McKeyFan; 12-14-2011 at 07:55 AM.
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    Default Re: Our signings thus far have been excellent but not exactly strategic

    While I agree that West wasn't the best answer, especially with pairing with Hibbert, we at least have valuable pieces. We can always make a trade if needed to pick up what we do need.

    Having said that, I'm very happy with the team that we have. Let's see how they work together before making too many judgements.
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    Default Re: Our signings thus far have been excellent but not exactly strategic

    Great post.

    The West signing was very good for the price, but I don't think he necessarily fills a void. He's a really good player, and because of that he'll make the team better, but I don't see it as a next step move. I'm surprised that he didn't want to go play for a contender, but if his health holds up, he'll be the consistent scorer the team needed to complement Granger.

    The George Hill trade is pretty similar. He'll help, but he doesn't exactly fit the biggest need on the team. Like you, I think we need to get a defensive point guard who is able to distribute the ball around. I think he'll be an improvement at point guard, and I think he'll start, but I don't see him as the long term answer. Perhaps he can get there, but he's not there yet. He's definitely a massive improvement on the defensive end from Collison, and by at least slowing down some dribble penetration on the perimeter, the team's defense should be much improved over last year. He might actually be able to do it this year, however, until he proves that he can be a better distributor and get the ball in the right spots, I still consider this position the biggest position of need.

    I think the best lineup will be:

    Hill
    George
    Granger
    West
    Hibbert

    Collison and Hansbrough will be offensive sparks off the bench. Brandon Rush is the forgotten man, but he's still a very valuable piece. He should play a much bigger role than people are counting on him for. I have my doubts about Foster being anything more than a bonus due to his age and health. I think they have to get another center, because counting on a 34 year old with a bad back is playing with fire. This condensed schedule is going to be a killer for him. He'll miss all the practice days that he used to sit out and recover. Maybe Pendergraph is that guy, but I have to think Bird has something else up his sleeve.

    That's a team that can win a lot of games. I'd say 45-50 in a regular 82 game season. They aren't as good as Miami, Chicago, or Boston. I still think New York and Orlando (with Howard) are better, and the Hawks are pretty comparable.

    We should be in contention for a 5-6 seed. If things shake out perfectly, I could see us sneaking into the 4th seed over New York and Orlando, but I really think New York is a much better team. I think the ideal scenario is trying to get into that 4 vs. 5 match-up and hope you're playing the Knicks. That's the only way I see this team having a shot at making it to the 2nd round. Baby steps.

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    Default Re: Our signings thus far have been excellent but not exactly strategic

    I think our additions will have a strong secondary impact. That being, some of the guys we've been leaning on a bit too heavily will now be pushed to the bench, where their impact will be greater. I think everyone wants to see how these players do under this coaching staff. Maybe what we're looking for will manifest itself down the avenue of clearly defined roles. Plus, I think West fits this team perfectly. Nene would have been a bigger splash, but West is a better fit imho. We needed backcourt and frontcourt help, and we signed one of the top frontcourt players, and a strong backcourt player with homecourt ties. They were targeting Mayo/Crawford for that clutch scoring role, even though it didn't work out with us signing them. I'm not sure where they were lacking in strategy. It seems to me they had a well laid game plan, and pursued it aggressively. Very happy with our front office direction.
    Last edited by QuickRelease; 12-14-2011 at 08:52 AM.

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    As far as a guy that can create his own shot, I think Collison is probably the best on the team! He broke Rose's ankle multiple times before hurting his own. I do think PG and Lance will improve in this area too.

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    Default Re: Our signings thus far have been excellent but not exactly strategic

    I generally agree with you about the needs of this team, however, I feel like there was a bigger need than all 3 of the ones you mentioned: In order to win consistently, the Pacers needed to raise the overall talent level of the team. Bird has done a fantastic job of that.

    The Pacers have a lot of young guys with potential, but Hibbert, Hansbrough, George, Collison, Stephenson, etc. are at least a couple of years away from being key players on a truly good team. I agree with you that we are still searching for the pieces to go with those guys, just as we are still waiting to see which of those youngsters will develop into foundation pieces moving forward. Bird wants to win games while he watches those young guys develop.

    What he's done with the Hill and West acquisitions is added 2 new players to the top 3 players on the team. He has unquestionably raised the talent level. The Pacers are probably the only team in the NBA that's entering next season with new 2nd and 3rd best players. That's something, especially when you consider that the only guys we've lost we're rotational players who are probably not good enough to start for any team.
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    Default Re: Our signings thus far have been excellent but not exactly strategic

    While I don't think we addressed all our needs perfectly I think this team will be much better than last year not only due to the added players.

    I believe Collison will step up his game because of the stability of the coach and the system and the competition level from his back ups.

    I think the young guys George, Hibbert, Hansbourgh, Stephenson and Collison, will benefit greatly from the fact that the lockout added an extra few months to the off season. Effectively they gained an extra 1/2 of an off season which would have allowed 50% extra work than they normally would have had.

    I believe their development will benefit greatly!

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    Default Re: Our signings thus far have been excellent but not exactly strategic

    Quote Originally Posted by Mackey_Rose View Post
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    The West signing was very good for the price, but I don't think he necessarily fills a void. He's a really good player, and because of that he'll make the team better, but I don't see it as a next step move. I'm surprised that he didn't want to go play for a contender, but if his health holds up, he'll be the consistent scorer the team needed to complement Granger.
    Consistent scorer to complement Granger was a void that needed to be filled as desperately as any on the roster.

    Also, I love everything I've read about West's level of leadership and professionalism since he signed. It seems that fans in New Orleans are truly sorry to see him go. I think his locker room presence will also help fill the leadership void.

    Another point is that, if you listened to the 8p9s podcast, you heard Tim talk about how well Collison and West have worked together in the past. We now have 2 PG's who are good PnR/PnP guys and a PF who's one of the best in the league on those plays. I love his idea that we're too conditioned to look at how a PF/C combo works together, and that we often forget to see how they fit with the rest of the roster.

    One final point, I think that West will really help Tyler develop. Though they have strikingly different demeanors, they have very similar abilities and skill sets. They're undersized 4's with good jumpshots who lack the ability to play above the rim. In addition I think they're both really smart, tough, hard-working guys. Playing with West may be the best thing that ever happened to Tyler from a developmental standpoint.
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    Default Re: Our signings thus far have been excellent but not exactly strategic

    Quote Originally Posted by OakMoses View Post
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    Consistent scorer to complement Granger was a void that needed to be filled as desperately as any on the roster.

    Also, I love everything I've read about West's level of leadership and professionalism since he signed. It seems that fans in New Orleans are truly sorry to see him go. I think his locker room presence will also help fill the leadership void.

    Another point is that, if you listened to the 8p9s podcast, you heard Tim talk about how well Collison and West have worked together in the past. We now have 2 PG's who are good PnR/PnP guys and a PF who's one of the best in the league on those plays. I love his idea that we're too conditioned to look at how a PF/C combo works together, and that we often forget to see how they fit with the rest of the roster.

    One final point, I think that West will really help Tyler develop. Though they have strikingly different demeanors, they have very similar abilities and skill sets. They're undersized 4's with good jumpshots who lack the ability to play above the rim. In addition I think they're both really smart, tough, hard-working guys. Playing with West may be the best thing that ever happened to Tyler from a developmental standpoint.

    I agree with this completely. Coming out of college, D.West was very similar to Tyler, an energy player who could hit the open 15 footer, and played below the rim. He worked hard and became one of the best high-post 4's in the league. I think Tyler will learn a lot from him.

    I agree we still need a one on one shot creator, but we'll have to run with what we have and make judgments after the first 20 or so games into the season.

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    Default Re: Our signings thus far have been excellent but not exactly strategic

    [QUOTE=McKeyFan;1318611]Bird has brought in, mainly, George Hill and David West.

    I love both signings. I would be upset, in hindsight, if they didn't happen. I applaud Bird.

    That said, I don't see either major signing directly helping our most strategic needs as a team. Perhaps indirectly, but we'll see.

    These (in my opinion) are our three most strategic needs:

    1. The "X-man" 4/5.

    Neither Hibbert nor Tyler are stellar at defense or rebounding. A 27 year old Foster would be perfect for this team, but his reliability is questionable.

    West will add rebounding and toughness and leadership, so we will make a few strides here. But this strategic need is still there.
    QUOTE]

    I agree with everything you're saying about needing a pass first pg, and finisher. I think you're being too kind regarding West. He'll add a much needed second scoring threat but I don't think he defends the post and he's a poor rebounder for his position. We still need a traditional big man who defends the post and rebounds.
    I'm glad we kept Foster and he still has it when he's healthy but while he's still a great rebounder he never has been a post defender. His D has came from his hand speed more then post strength. I hope Bird will pursue these needs in the coming days even if it means some of our guys take on lesser rolls to improve the team.

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    Default Re: Our signings thus far have been excellent but not exactly strategic

    Don't know if anyone caught the ESPN NBA preview show last night but of course everything was about the big names and top teams. Except.... when asked who made the best off season moves Chirs Broussard said the Indiana Pacers and predicted a 5th or 6th seed.
    You know how hippos are made out to be sweet and silly, like big cows, but are actually extremely dangerous and can kill you with stunning brutality? The Pacers are the NBA's hippos....Matt Moore CBS Sports....

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    Default Re: Our signings thus far have been excellent but not exactly strategic

    I think we need to remember that sometimes a team improves by NOT making big moves, especially young teams. I think allowing this group to continue to grow together is the right move. This group, in a lot of ways, reminds me of the early 90's Pacers that added a couple of veterans to a young core and was a perennial Eastern Conference contender.
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    Default Re: Our signings thus far have been excellent but not exactly strategic

    You have to think though, that Bird didn't feel like a direct "strategic" upgrade has really been available. But, think, maybe these signings have a more direct impact on our "issues" than we've thought.

    DWest, second scorer, hell he may wind up primary scorer. He had great chemistry with Collison. I believe he's going to make Collison, Hill look better distributing. Defensively, I'm still worried about Collison, but if he finds the shooting stroke from his rookie year that will lessen the impact a bit.

    Though, look at the point guards on the top teams in the east. You have the Knicks rolling with Bibby and Douglas, the Heat have Chalmers, Orlando has Jameer Nelson, really the only player on a contender that should really expose Collison defensively is Derrick Rose.

    We have some solid defensive wings, not to mention George Hill, so our defense against that kind of point guard should be decent.

    Player X is a problem, make no mistake, but Nene's not that guy. To make our player X dream come true, he'll have to be close to an all-star player. Rebounder, defender, not a jeff foster offensively. But with adding West, Hibbert has the opportunity to become a VERY good player. Focus defensively, and rebounding instead of trying to simply score points. And Roy's skill as a passer is gonna be huge this year.

    End of game finisher, that guy might be on the roster. Whether it'll be Hill, George, Granger, West or Collison, with the right coaching, chemistry and players stepping up that won't be a problem.

    Mackey's thoughts are pretty similar to mine. I was thinking, top end in a normal season is 50 wins. The future is bright though, we have assets, these assets are going to come into play in the next year, via trade or players stepping up, and we'll have an opportunity to be even better. We're like Atlanta in some ways, without the cap issues, and more depth.

    The most important thing? The moves Bird's made haven't worked towards closing our opportunity as a contender. The roster's still flexible, still changing, and with good management, within the next couple years we can be there.

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    Default Re: Our signings thus far have been excellent but not exactly strategic

    Quote Originally Posted by McKeyFan View Post
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    3. A pass first point guard who plays defense.

    I listed this third, but in my opinion it could be number one, but I know not everyone agrees with this need or they believe Collison could be the answer.

    I am very interested in seeing how George Hill does in this regard. There seems to be a lot of mixed opinions. I will be disappointed if those who claim he can't see the floor very well are correct.

    Again, Lance is a long shot, but I don't count on him for at least a year or two.

    This may be the most difficult need for Bird/Morway to address, as good pass first point guards who play decent defense are pretty hard to come by.
    Ya, this was my top priority. It seemed last year that our biggest issue was having a "creator" on offense. Our O could really bog down in the half-court. I've had Rondo as my top acquisition target for awhile now. I've been hoping so much that all these rumors would actually land him for us... I'm still holding out hope, but I think that guy makes us a *serious* contender.
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    Default Re: Our signings thus far have been excellent but not exactly strategic

    Needs... or wants? Multiple ways to win basketball games. Generally speaking the more talent you add (that are on the same page and have good chemistry), the more likely it is that you'll win. With the talent we have, we can find ways to win a lot of games. I'm confident Vogel/Shaw/Boylen/Burke are organizing this thing appropriately and it will lead to effective results. Just because it's not our ideal combination of players and strategy doesn't mean it won't work. Not to say I'm necessarily a part of that group, btw. I like pass-first point guards as much as anybody (comes with growing up with Mark Jackson on my TV screen), but I'm cool with alternative approaches.

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    Default Re: Our signings thus far have been excellent but not exactly strategic

    I think they are in good shape, you didn't sign a shot creator who takes minutes at the small wing slot, but you did leave open an opportunity for Paul George to get a full shot of minutes and grow. Also, you have a rotation that allows Lance to make a place for himself and if that doesn't work, I think you have minutes open up for AJ Price.

    I see this as very positive from a strategic standpoint. Those 3 guys could not be up to the task/minutes, but I want to know, I want to see it.

    If DC is as improved/more comfortable, whatever you want to call it. George Hill is a player who can score, maybe in crunch time. Granger proved his mental toughness to me, in the Chicago series. West has been here before and not afraid to take and make a crunch time shot (did it to the Pacers not long ago).

    Then maybe you are way better served to go with those fellas and maybe you have something.

    My point, I honestly don't see not getting Crawford/Mayo as a negative, necessarily. We'll see.

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    Default Re: Our signings thus far have been excellent but not exactly strategic

    I didn't see how numbers 1 and 3 could be solved with this years FA class. A tough rebounding big man and a pass first pg who plays did is pretty rare and its not like you can just trade for them without giving up significant pieces in return.

    This years draft I think we go after a pg depending on how Collsion is doing and a tough rebounding center. Those would be my top priorties in this talent loaded draft class.

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    Default Re: Our signings thus far have been excellent but not exactly strategic

    Quote Originally Posted by Speed View Post
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    I think they are in good shape, you didn't sign a shot creator who takes minutes at the small wing slot, but you did leave open an opportunity for Paul George to get a full shot of minutes and grow. Also, you have a rotation that allows Lance to make a place for himself and if that doesn't work, I think you have minutes open up for AJ Price.

    I see this as very positive from a strategic standpoint. Those 3 guys could not be up to the task/minutes, but I want to know, I want to see it.

    If DC is as improved/more comfortable, whatever you want to call it. George Hill is a player who can score, maybe in crunch time. Granger proved his mental toughness to me, in the Chicago series. West has been here before and not afraid to take and make a crunch time shot (did it to the Pacers not long ago).

    Then maybe you are way better served to go with those fellas and maybe you have something.

    My point, I honestly don't see not getting Crawford/Mayo as a negative, necessarily. We'll see.
    I think Chauncey Billups would have solved a lot of problems for us: good distributor, leadership, clutch shooter at end of games, great defender.

    I wished we'd have thrown up to $10 million per year at him for a year or two. That addition could have allowed us to compete for a conference championship, imo.
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    Default Re: Our signings thus far have been excellent but not exactly strategic

    Quote Originally Posted by McKeyFan View Post
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    I think Chauncey Billups would have solved a lot of problems for us: good distributor, leadership, clutch shooter at end of games, great defender.

    I wished we'd have thrown up to $10 million per year at him for a year or two. That addition could have allowed us to compete for a conference championship, imo.
    We could only offer him a one year contract since he was a amnesty player. The problem with Billups is that he only sovles the pg problem for one year and his getting old. At max I see him having 2 more years as a starter then he will be like Fisher (to slow to guard anyone).

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    Default Re: Our signings thus far have been excellent but not exactly strategic

    Quote Originally Posted by Gamble1 View Post
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    I didn't see how numbers 1 and 3 could be solved with this years FA class. A tough rebounding big man and a pass first pg who plays d is pretty rare and its not like you can just trade for them without giving up significant pieces in return.
    And I think we tried to snag this with Rondo too but it just wasn't in the cards .

    All in all, if all we do this off-season is sign a tough, All Star PF who already works fantastically with our current PG; A defensive minded, tough as nails guard, that backs down from no one, from a veteran team who can play both the 1 and 2; the best possible assistant coach known to bring discipline to a squad whom Kobe credits as helping him develop and is also from a winning franchise and a contract to a young coach who re-instilled confidence in our Blue & Gold...

    Well then to me, this has to be a success.
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    Default Re: Our signings thus far have been excellent but not exactly strategic

    I'm with you but from a different angle. I'm happy that the FO is doing steady, reasonable moves considering the market but I don't see anything so far that was a big curve ball genius move.

    You needed more PF/C help, scoring preferred, and you had Nene, West and Chandler as the main FAs on the market. That's not a tough line to draw there.


    Hill was a bit more of a surprise in that it was available but it's not mind blowing either.


    And most notably, the idea that it's "great work" to simply let Dun and TJ walk as FAs or to amnesty Posey for cap space/roster spot (if you use it) is just wrong. That's the old Chris Rock "people want credit for something they are supposed to be doing".

    It took long enough to stop piling on bad deals and letting JOB run the team that maybe it feels like a victory now that its over, but this is just what rational, smart FOs are doing.



    My main credit to the FO this year goes to only doing 2 years with West for now just in case and for (so far) not going money crazy in a FA market that's not that good.

    The team had a lot of potential and to me Bird started letting that come through by finally moving Troy and then not doing deals that would have brought more contracts back that the team couldn't handle. And then finally removing the coaching issue which was really hurting (and was allowed to go on too long).

    Maybe he went too far in trying to insist that Memphis take Rush, but at least that's got a logic to it which is "no more salary just because we have room".

    Oh, and Shaw. The Shaw hiring is huge.


    My only concern remaining currently is if Bird is banking too much on Lance, which should be considered a cheap gamble rather than a big potential win. I hope that's how he's viewing it rather than thinking that's an issue that's been addressed and solved (playmaker PG).



    Bottom line from all this now is that the team is in a position that it should ONLY be dealing from a strategic on-court view now. Nothing needs to be forced, salaries don't have to be dumped or swallowed, and nothing has to be done "right now". For the next few years it should only be the kind of adjustments McKeyFan is getting at.

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    Default Re: Our signings thus far have been excellent but not exactly strategic

    Quote Originally Posted by Naptown_Seth View Post
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    I'm with you but from a different angle. I'm happy that the FO is doing steady, reasonable moves considering the market but I don't see anything so far that was a big curve ball genius move.

    You needed more PF/C help, scoring preferred, and you had Nene, West and Chandler as the main FAs on the market. That's not a tough line to draw there.


    Hill was a bit more of a surprise in that it was available but it's not mind blowing either.


    And most notably, the idea that it's "great work" to simply let Dun and TJ walk as FAs or to amnesty Posey for cap space/roster spot (if you use it) is just wrong. That's the old Chris Rock "people want credit for something they are supposed to be doing".

    It took long enough to stop piling on bad deals and letting JOB run the team that maybe it feels like a victory now that its over, but this is just what rational, smart FOs are doing.



    My main credit to the FO this year goes to only doing 2 years with West for now just in case and for (so far) not going money crazy in a FA market that's not that good.

    The team had a lot of potential and to me Bird started letting that come through by finally moving Troy and then not doing deals that would have brought more contracts back that the team couldn't handle. And then finally removing the coaching issue which was really hurting (and was allowed to go on too long).

    Maybe he went too far in trying to insist that Memphis take Rush, but at least that's got a logic to it which is "no more salary just because we have room".

    Oh, and Shaw. The Shaw hiring is huge.


    My only concern remaining currently is if Bird is banking too much on Lance, which should be considered a cheap gamble rather than a big potential win. I hope that's how he's viewing it rather than thinking that's an issue that's been addressed and solved (playmaker PG).



    Bottom line from all this now is that the team is in a position that it should ONLY be dealing from a strategic on-court view now. Nothing needs to be forced, salaries don't have to be dumped or swallowed, and nothing has to be done "right now". For the next few years it should only be the kind of adjustments McKeyFan is getting at.
    He went out and got George Hill. A player in the exact same position as Lance (SG, trying to convert to PG) Then he went out and got Darren Collison's basketball soul mate.

    Despite what Larry says, his actions show he's not banking on Lance being the team's future at PG.

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  36. #23
    Feed the big fella. Infinite MAN_force's Avatar
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    Default Re: Our signings thus far have been excellent but not exactly strategic

    I wonder if the "guy who can get a shot at the end of games" concept has been overrated a tad. Not that it isn't great to have that guy, but I think its possible that there are more ways to score at the end of a game than running an iso play.

    Who was that guy on the 90s Pacers? We had to run Reggie off screens to get him shots, essentially, the whole team was working at the end of games to get a shot.

    I think it was someone in another thread who said something about "Keeping the defense honest". If you have guys 1-5 who are all true threats to score, all you may need is a well designed play to get that end of game shot. All you really need is enough talent to prevent the opposing defense from completely loading up on one or two guys.
    "As a bearded man, i was very disappointed in Love. I am gathering other bearded men to discuss the status of Kevin Love's beard. I am motioning that it must be shaved."

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  38. #24
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    Default Re: Our signings thus far have been excellent but not exactly strategic

    I don't really see a need for another "scorer". As long as we have ball movement and player movement there isn't really a need for someone to create their own shot.

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  40. #25
    the goat Haywoode Workman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Our signings thus far have been excellent but not exactly strategic

    Sure we didn't get the "create his own shot at the end of games" guy , but we do have now 5-6 guys who can ALL hit a big shot and force the defense to stay honest. Dc, gh, pg, dg, dw, and Roy can all score. I think that's more important than having one "guy".

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