Tayshaun "Princess" chant had me and my buddy laughing
Was excited to see real NBA action again.
West - Really pleasantly surprised. Loved his play, his hustle and his muscle. I hadn't seen him play to much and by the way people described his game I thought he would be purely pick and pop, but he is a great combination of physical and touch. Also, his knee didn't seem to be a concern at all. Excited he's a Pacer.
Hill - Actually really liked Hill too. Think between him and West we seriously upgraded the team. His defense was great and he seems to have some basketball savvy. Think when he gets more comfortable with the team he will be a serious contributor. Think him and Collison can play well together.
All the rest - Great to see everyone else back. I will admit I have a man-crush on Hans. The guy is a beast. DC looked more in control and I'm really hoping he becomes a guy who can run the offense. I think the addition of West and Hill will benefit Collison, especially their movement and passing. I thought Lance looked good with bad-@ss potential. When he brought the ball up on a break it was the first time I realized that he has some serious speed, and if he develops that post-up game he'll be a match-up nightmare. Also his defensive effort was encouraging. PG had a great stroke, but worried that when his shot's not falling, he will disappear from games. His handles aren't there. Actually, when PG and DG are handling the ball a lot, it always feels like we're flirting with a turnover.
All in all, really excited about the year, in large part due to the addition of Hill and West. They both seemed to do little things that make everyone else better.
Hey we're number one in the central now....championship
The defense certainly wasn't outstanding, and there were clear lapses, but on the whole I didn't think it was bad, either.
Positively outstanding atmosphere last night! I had so much fun. I felt like a kid again in "The Bank".
West is a monster; an absolute behemoth down low for only being 6'9''.
Roy is looking solid. average 12 and 12 with 2 blocks nightly from your 7'2'' Center? Yes, please. Now he just has to make it a reality.
Hans is just outstanding. I was a fan of the pick on draft night. I maintain that stance.
PG24 is a play-maker. His defense is refreshing.
It's time for Danny to realize he is not LeBron James. To me, that is a good thing. If Frank could tailor Danny's game to resemble 2005 Rip, Danny could once again become a revelation.
Yes, I agree that we could use a solid shooter. You know who intrigues me? Courtney Lee. He would be an instant fit on this team, in my opinion.
In years past when rotation mix up happened, no one would rotate out if there was a mix up.
The difference is in the effort, and it's clearly visible in the results. The Pacers now have a squad that's not only capable of providing a lot better defense, but the willingness to do so.
And to think we're only two years removed from Troy Murphy and Mike Dunleavy being two starters.
A) the Pistons suck, I almost felt bad for them. Stuckey is strong, but the rest is role players or worse. Big Ben shouldn't be in the NBA at this point.
B) DJones was a key factor in wrecking whatever flow the team had. His slipping defense is a lot more noticeable and of course except for every 8th or 9th game he just forces his offensive action and kills the scoring.
I pulled up the +/- in the 3rd to find out just how bad it was...he was the only Pacer in the negative.
C) Lance still is not playing that well. He keeps trying to make the hard plays and carries no sense of running the flow.
D) Adding West is monstrous, even with him missing a lot of putbacks or makeable jumpers. When he was in the team had a sense of direction, even when the plays weren't called for him.
E) Because of West and Tyler on the bench and the addition of Hill, you can run offense OFF OF (not "for") West, Roy, Danny, Paul and Tyler with DC and GH3 both being borderline self-creating. This means that the team should be able to field at least 2 ATTACK POINTS at all times.
Vogel sometimes went away from that and with Lance and DJones both in you really inhibit that, but I think he'll clear those kinks.
F) Vogel makes solid adjustments without yanking the leash on guys too quick. PG24 had been strong on defense all game, but down the stretch Stuckey started to get an advantage on him and the Pistons attacked it relentlessly. PG24 was given several trips to work on it (good) but was pulled before it got way out of hand and was replaced with Hill which presented a better quickness matchup (great).
This kind of support-the-player but recognize when it's gone too far type of adjusting is going to take this ball club a long way. It beats the crap out of the "you suck, into the doghouse" while another player can do no wrong approach that JOB took.
G) Hill is going to get better, he's obviously finding his role and Vogel is figuring out how he wants to use hiim. Based on how he handles the floor I think you'll see him running things for 20-30 minutes most nights by the end of the year, meaning even when DC is also out there.
H) Danny is coming around I think, he's just got a lot of JOB mentality to shake off. I think he's already better than he was last year at both ends.
I) Hopefully nearly everyone has seen me admit that I was wrong about Tyler. I was right about what type of game he has (not really power or above the rim gets rebounds on hustle, sloppy/scrappy offensive moves that relies on fouls to score) but I was wrong about how well that would work in the NBA (ie, I thought it wouldn't).
It's remarkable how identical his game is to his college game, right down to drawing fouls. Everything he does seems like it shouldn't work, like it is the game of a "nice try kid but the NBA isn't for you" player, but he does it at an elite level.
He's a very unique player, it's not just hustle because that's not enough. He's got a gamer's sense of the court and now that he's getting better about sharing the ball he's really dialing into what the team needs.
Kravitz is right about this chances as 6th man. He's going to stuff the points/rebounds from the bench (12/8 seems very attainable).
J) Roy got knocked to the floor at one point and got SUPER PO'D, I mean just ranting and yelling. Jeff was laughing about it even, laughing at how fired up Roy was. I kept watching him on the bench just fuming. I tried to get some photos but the player huddle blocked my view most of the time.
I'm not sure exactly why this had him so upset, if he thought it was intentional or too hard or just an uncalled foul.
Final word - the team has great balance. The Pistons made things look better than they should have, but regardless I don't see a spot that I think the team can't attack from. On any given night they can go at the other team from the 1 to 5 positions. No team should have them outclassed at every spot, or even 4 spots.
It might be close at all 5 positions, but the Pacers should always have a legit chance to get advantages and runs going without the help of flukes, bad plays or 3pt chucking.
And if these guys can get the offensive roles on the same page, get to know each other better, they could have the best Pacers offense since 2000.
"...Lance is a long-term project who will probably get more minutes as the season wears on. Right now it's more important for our team to get George Hill into a groove - that will make a bigger impact on us this year."
I want to see Lance get more minutes - and yet I totally support playing George Hill as much as we can to get him more comfortable (and since he can play multiple positions I think the coaching staff needs time to try things out and better define his role too). If Lance continues to perform in practice and limited playing time I think we'll see his role evolve during the season. I was pretty pleased with the rotations during the game in terms of balancing stability with experimentation and letting players make mistakes while not letting a terrible match-up problems persist for too long.
"Freedom is nothing else but a chance to be better." - Albert Camus
"Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well." - Voltaire
Michael Pina, Red94: "There are so many different ways the Pacers can beat you. They have an All-Star scoring threat, imposing figures on the front line, steady point guard play, and most importantly, a defense that'll choke the life out of just about every offense that crosses its path."
No, no really.Naptown_Seth: Hopefully nearly everyone has seen me admit that I was wrong about Tyler
I'd rather die standing up than live on my knees.
79 points was a franchise low for Detroit in a season opener in the shot clock era
Can you tell which part I thought was the most important.
This actually needs to be the slogan at the top of the Digest. My God how good is it to actually have a coach talk about defense and mean it as opposed to one who talked about it and meant it, unless you could shoot the three then it didn't really matter.
How many times over the years did we see Troy Murphy do a ballerina pirouette on defense only to stay in the game min after horrible min. while Roy would make a wrong defensive stance and be yanked from the game.
Three bonus points to Seth for nailing this.
Consistency and fairness is of important in any form of leadership
Pistons or not.. How many times did the Pacers hold a team below 80 points last year or the year before?
This team should be pretty consistent offensively this year with West , DG , PG , Hansbrough , Roy all capable of having large outputs.
I actually liked the West , Hansbrough combination .. West even assisted Hansbrough on a kick out. Sure you lose shot blocking but thats isnt all there is to defense.
1). I thought he looked MUCH more in control & did some nice things. He still has work, yes, but this was a good start from him IMO.
2). Offensive "Flow" may mave been lacking, but I saw a big change in his on-court flow. His natural ability was evident. He made a few nice passes that did not result in assists, but they should have.
3). How can you judge his "sense of running the flow" when he is on the court with D.Jones. I have not see any NBA player master that.
"Larry Bird: You are Officially On the Clock! (3/24/08)"
(Watching You Like A Hawk!)
"A man with no belly has no appetite for life."
- Salman Rushdie
For those wondering, we held one team under 80 points last year. Anyone wanna guess who?