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Thread: Odd Thoughts: 2011/12 season opener

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    Post Odd Thoughts: 2011/12 season opener

    Odd Thoughts: 2011/12 season opener
    Written by Peck

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    Letís blow the dust off of these posts and get the year rolling.*

    Opening night is always exciting, itís generally a sell out and usually most of the fans are there to see the home team. Tonight was no exception however I want to add that not only was the vast majority of the fans there to see the team they were there to root the team on. Very energetic crowd and a crowd that was very much into the game. In other words we had the die hard fans present but the band wagon fans that came on board for the night seemed to be a little higher caliber than the standard band wagon fan.*

    The introductions were nice and if you didnít get to see the pre game montage itís a shame because those were not only great videos of the past but it was set to very epic music to go along with them.*

    Boomer did something Iíve never seen before as well. Instead of descending from the rafters he actually arose from the court level all the way to the top of the building. It was quite spectacular to watch however I will admit to biting my fingernails until he was safely on the walkway.*

    I could not see it very well because of where I sit, but the intro to the players was done with them coming out of the tunnel. Which was a nice change & Iím not sure we have ever done that before. It definitely had an epic feel to it and when Frank Vogel came out he was smiling from ear to ear. This had to be a highlight for him and it was well deserved.*

    Loudest ovations for the players certainly were for Tyler Hansbrough & for George Hill.*

    Ok now to the game.* First and foremost it is important to remember this, we were not as bad as our pre-season made us look and we are not as good as the first game of the season made us look.* Detroit is nowhere near the caliber of Chicago.* But don’t discount the win either, to be a good team you have to beat the teams that are not as good as you and you sometimes have to do it in such a way as to make it not be a contest.* The team did the job tonight and still should be proud of the win.*

    Were going to do the good the bad and the ugly tonight just because I want to.*

    The Good:*

    David West in one game has already made me eat my words about not really caring that we got him. I didnít think any of the power forwards in this yearís free agent class were worth much. I was only vaguely familiar with Westís game and frankly my memory of him was that of a jump shooter, which of course did not thrill me.*

    Dude is strong, and I mean much stronger than I ever thought he was. He gave Jason Maxiell a forearm in the back and he moved him about 2 feet off of the block & Jason is not a small man. He also rebounds at a far higher rate than I ever dreamed of either, sure you can say it was the team they were playing but you can tell by watching him. He goes after the boards and has great fundamental skills in doing so.*

    So basically while I was never opposed to him, I never really wanted him, I now admit that I was dead wrong. He missed some easy bunny shots tonight that had he hit he would easily have had 18-20 points & I donít think heíll miss those in the future.
    Tyler Hansbrough, what can you say about the guy? If he truly will accept his role on the bench (and believe me I could understand why he wouldnít) then this guy has a very real legitimate shot at being the 6th man of the year and being a very special weapon for our club. In fact Iím trying very hard to think of a player who was the 6th man who was so dynamic on almost any club for the past few seasons.*

    Either way I know itís clichť to say but there is just no better way to say it, he just goes and goes all the time. His opponent never gets a break he never gets a rest, he just wears them down. Hard to imagine that tonight was his career high in rebounds and if he has improved his game over the summer I would say that this would be it. Even in the pre-season he was just going after every single board.*

    So in a nutshell our power forward play tonight was just out of this world good. Better field goal % in the future will be a must but if you get that kind of production not many teams are going to be able to handle it.*

    Roy Hibbert, for as bad as Roy looked in the pre-season he looked that good in tonightís game. It didnít hurt that he was playing Greg Monroe who seemed to be playing with all of the passion and urgency of a three toed sloth, but Roy did what he was supposed to do and then some. His work down low on the boards was the most impressive and he shot over 50% from the field which is always a good sign. He wasnít forcing things and seemed to move the ball at a much faster clip than he did in the previous games.*

    I know he didnít play much but in the few min. he was on the floor I thought Lance Stephenson did a great job. In fact that charge that they called on him appeared pretty bogus from what I could see and on the replay. It should have been an and 1. But he stayed in control and made a very nice pass for an assist.*

    I also have to give some credit here to D. Jones because Iím sure he will end up in the bad column a few times this season as well. But he was hitting his shots tonight so like he can shoot you out of games tonight he kept the flow rolling. Decent defense as well but nothing to shout about.*

    Team defense was great tonight as well. We got lost on a few rotations but overall we did a great job of staying with the shooter and cutting off the passing lanes.*

    Also isnít it a breath of fresh air to have the first few shots of the game all come right at the rim. I had almost forgotten that you could play inside out after the past few years.*

    The Bad:*

    Greg Monroe would have done more for the Pistons if he would have just stayed back at the hotel. I know he got in early foul trouble but honest to God this guy looked two steps slow and three less gives a crap all night long. This is sad for both him and me as Iíve done nothing but build the guy up over the past few days. I didnít get a chance to see him in the pre-season but for the Pistons sake they better pray that this was just an anomaly from Greg because if not itís going to be a long dry winter (which I have a feeling it will be for them anyway).*

    The ghost of Tayshaun Prince was in the building tonight. In almost 34 min. of time on the floor he did absolutely nothing but he was there. I really have to question signing him to a long contract because he may be the oldest 31 year old Iíve ever seen.*

    Not to be outdone by either Monroe or Prince in the Iíll play but Iíll produce nothing department was Jason Maxiell. He played almost 17 min. blocked a shot, had a shot blocked and committed one foul. That was it. If youíre a forward in the NBA and youíre on the floor over 15 min. shouldnít you at least accidently grab one rebound?*

    Detroitís team defense was just bad, period. Nothing else I can add to that. I donít know if it was the scheme, the players or a combination of the two but overall they were just horrid defensively. Itís lucky for them we were missing wide open shots or we would have won by 30 or more.*

    The Ugly:*

    Ben Wallace



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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: 2011/12 season opener

    Ive been a huge West fan for some time the guy is just tough and plays the game the right way on both ends of the floor. He has always been very underrated in my book.

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: 2011/12 season opener

    I have a feeling we are done seeing David West compared to Troy Murphy, for anyone who happened to be watching the game tonight. Guy ain't soft.
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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: 2011/12 season opener

    What's with the asterisk at the end of every paragraph?

    Anyway, good post.

    I had a feeling West would help a good bit, but I was pleasantly surprised at the solidity of his game, playing "the right way," knowing how to position himself on the floor, getting the right angles for rebounds, playing closer to the hoop than I had remembered and using the perimeter shot not as a first option, but as a weapon to punish those who collapse too deep in the paint.

    Mostly, I was impressed with his passing. He sees the floor well. He finds teammates, including other low post players. He is unselfish. I think it was the primary reason we had such a solid, well balanced victory. Not only does this help the offense tremendously, it will likely thrust him into the role of team leader, something we have desperately needed for several years.

    I know George Hill has not looked great, but I have no doubt he will soon rise to the top. He is a gamer, who played with the Spurs and Pop, one of the best in the business, and he was clutch, smart and effective in the final minutes of serious playoff games.

    But one thing I did notice with great joy. He knows how to feed the post. First time we've had a player do that with skill and efficiency since Mark Jackson, or, maybe good Tinsley.

    I think you have to give Vogel a lot of credit for the rebounding disparity. This guy is pushing for fundamental ball in key areas and is getting it. And Paul George is looking pretty special. And Tyler is looking like a beast. And Roy isn't forcing it.

    Is this real or what? Go Pacers.
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    ďPeople talk about how quiet he [McKey] is, but heís really been helpful. He gives a lot of insight to players in how to guard certain teams and what their weaknesses are. The whole team listens to him, and it makes my job a lot easier. Having players like him is what pro basketball is all about for me.Ē óLarry Brown

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: 2011/12 season opener

    The frontline BEASTED last night. Plain and simple. D-West is a freaking bargain!
    "Nobody wants to play against Tyler Hansbrough NO BODY!" ~ Frank Vogel

    "And David put his hand in the bag and took out a stone and slung it. And it struck the Philistine on the head and he fell to the ground. Amen. "
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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: 2011/12 season opener

    I'm guessing that David West's career rebounding numbers being lower than you'd expect after watching him last night is a function of playing alongside Tyson Chandler and Emeka Okafor for his entire career.
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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: 2011/12 season opener

    Quote Originally Posted by OakMoses View Post
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    I'm guessing that David West's career rebounding numbers being lower than you'd expect after watching him last night is a function of playing alongside Tyson Chandler and Emeka Okafor for his entire career.
    Called it. Tho i will admit he plays inside and tougher than i thought he would.. I knew he wouldn't be a bad rebounder like some were saying, but didn't realize he would be such a great prescence underneath. Love it.

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: 2011/12 season opener

    Quote Originally Posted by OakMoses View Post
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    I'm guessing that David West's career rebounding numbers being lower than you'd expect after watching him last night is a function of playing alongside Tyson Chandler and Emeka Okafor for his entire career.
    Possibly. The thing that came to my mind is that he's rebounding his own misses (like Tyler is sometimes seen doing), which would explain it pretty well.

    Of course, to me, that's not a bad thing, just "a thing", and I'm fine with it. It beats missing and not getting the board.

    I watched the game on DVR last night after I got home and what stood out that I somehow didn't notice live was how vocal David West is. He was talking to players in the middle of plays often. Encouraging Roy to finish, or Tyler to do this or that, and he'd be doing it on both ends of the floor. Liked seeing that.

    Most of all with him it's just reminding me how long ago it has been since we had such a solid veteran quality player on the Pacers. It reminds me of watching the 2000 team. That team had several players that you just knew would come in and more or less give you the same thing night in and night out. Smart, strong, tough, and skilled. Love that.

    Pray for his health, folks; he's a huge addition.

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: 2011/12 season opener

    I agree with Hicks (& several others today) that West being a veteran player has helped fuel the growth of this team.

    I think when you are trying to grow to many young players at once the overal team development suffers. But when you can add a mixture of youth with experiance & leadership I think it's the perfect mixture.

    Although he didn't add much to the box score last night, I think Hill will be a solid contributer this season as well & in fact he is one of those rare players who is both young & has some real world playing experiance.

    In fact if David West hadn't missed a wide open jumper to blow it Hill would have had the nicest assist of the entire night as he drew three defenders and found West for the dropoff. He'll hit it more than he misses in the future so it was no big deal, but it shows that Hill was contributing out there even though it didn't show up in the box score.


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

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: 2011/12 season opener

    Its early, but Hill has shown me more PG skills than I thought he had. This will be something to watch moving forward.
    "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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