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Thread: Beyond the Midseason Grade

  1. #1

    Default Beyond the Midseason Grade

    So yeah, the Pacers deserve the collective A- (give or take) for the season thus far. And I'm a believer in enjoying the here-and-now. If you don't like a good young team working hard to get better... Well, you aren't reading this. Never mind.

    But what about the next step? Joining the title contenders and all that.

    The missing piece is a go-to scoring alpha dog. Now before you bring out the last Pistons title team, or even the late 90's Pacers, remember that those teams had high efficiency scorers in Rip and Reggie, plus capable and efficient secondary scorers. So even if you look at anomalous contenders, we don't have that makeup.

    As an aside, I'm not bagging on Danny Granger. He takes a lot of darts from fans because he just isn't what we hope.

    So where does this scorer of the future come from?

    Candidates

    Roy Hibbert. Putting his name here would have been sarcasm 3 months ago. Now, his upcoming contract will be less than Kevin Love's, but in that zip code.
    He has a back to the basket post game, a good midrange shot, and is a willing passer. Nonetheless, it's a long way from 14 ppg to alpha dog scorer. Roy is far more likely to be an excellent complementary player. But I'm not putting a ceiling on him. I would've told anyone that rebounding is like an runner in football -- you know right away, you've either got in or you don't. Well, Roy has gone from Riklike rebounding to 9.6. Is Rik really Roy's ceiling? I say no. Not as an all around player.

    Paul George. Ah, so golden. Not unlike Granger in his early career, lol. But those tools... Danny was never so smooth. Should be called the big tease, because he shows it all in flashes. We have to remember that he mostly looked uncomfortable as he loitered on the perimeter last year. He's taken a big step, but not THE big step. And that is not inevitable. He needs a better handle, more aggression, and a stronger body. Not in that order. He's just a maybe for the role.

    Eric Gordon. I don't usually focus on outsiders, because the last great scorer we traded for, or signed as a free agent was... Hoo boy. Let's not go there. But Gordon is a special case with local ties, and the Pacers have a good cap situation. Thing is, Eric is the real deal as a scorer. Just one year of college, then 16 plus as a rookie, 22 plus as a sophomore, and he plays hard on both ends of the floor. Oh my. No teasing there. The warning flag of the moment is a "bruised" knee that did not seem anxious to heal and eventually required surgery. But that doesn't seem to have damaged his stock. He's only a restricted free agent next year, but if he doen't want to stay, the Hornets will want to get something for him this offseason. I can dream, can't I?

    And... That's about it unless something unprecedented (for the Pacers) happens.

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    Member BobbyMac's Avatar
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    Default Re: Beyond the Midseason Grade

    We don't need another player who can't play a whole season...Let EJ stay away.

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    Pacer Junky Will Galen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Beyond the Midseason Grade

    Quote Originally Posted by danman View Post
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    Eric Gordon. I don't usually focus on outsiders, because the last great scorer we traded for, or signed as a free agent was... Hoo boy. Let's not go there. But Gordon is a special case with local ties, and the Pacers have a good cap situation. Thing is, Eric is the real deal as a scorer. Just one year of college, then 16 plus as a rookie, 22 plus as a sophomore, and he plays hard on both ends of the floor. Oh my. No teasing there. The warning flag of the moment is a "bruised" knee that did not seem anxious to heal and eventually required surgery. But that doesn't seem to have damaged his stock. He's only a restricted free agent next year, but if he doen't want to stay, the Hornets will want to get something for him this offseason. I can dream, can't I?

    And... That's about it unless something unprecedented (for the Pacers) happens.

    Gordon isn't really a candidate. The Pacers just are not going to go after a player that appears to be injury prone and that has already turned down more money than he's presently worth. Especially since we have someone at his spot that as a soph already gives other teams match up problems.

    The rest of your post is good though. We need to just stay the course and be patient, like Bird is doing and hope to get a break, meaning like you said
    something unprecedented (for the Pacers) happens.

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    Default Re: Beyond the Midseason Grade

    Roy Hibbert is a good center, but I don't see him turning into a dominating center. Which is why he can't be that #1 option alpha type.
    Paul George has good tools and is showing some nice sparks, but other than that it's too early to tell whether he's going to be a good #1 option. He's young and still got a long way ahead of him, I'm just happy that he showed improvement from last year & hopefully he could turn into an all-star.
    Eric Gordon isn't on this team and nothing indicates he's going to be a part of it.

  8. #5

    Default Re: Beyond the Midseason Grade

    Hmm. I'm not usually on the fantasize on trades bandwagon, but I think we've got a shot at Gordon.

    Dunno about his knee injury. It doesn't appear to be significant enough to hurt his stock. Or put another way, he's supposed to return this year. If he looks the same, there will be a line of suitors.

    Not saying he's coming here, mind you. But... It's intriguing.

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    Default Re: Beyond the Midseason Grade

    In the 'possible' category: can lance become that guy? It would be the approach of a patient person to see what he can become before risking the FA/trade route with a core which genuinely seems to play well together. Lance becomes the guy, and we upgrade at back up center. Believe it makes for a better defensive team - which needs more work than our offense - to get to contender consideration.

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    Default Re: Beyond the Midseason Grade

    A go-to alpha dog is the missing piece on a lot teams. There just aren't many players in this league that can put a team on their back and carry them to a W. We would be much better served upgrading PG and trying to win with a well-rounded/deep team (Pistons, Mavs, etc).

    I like DC, but I just don't see him carrying us to contender status. If I'm Larry, I'm making a run at Rondo, Ellis, or Steph Curry. Rondo would be the ideal candidate, however I still think Ellis or Curry would be an upgrade over DC despite their shoot first mindset. In no way would I want either at SG (which has been tossed around this board before).

    Put DC, cap space, and 1st rounders in play (even include Hansbrough if Rondo is the incoming player). I would hate to give up Hans, but I think we could get a good bench big for a salary dump and future pick - maybe Hickson, Odom, Bass, etc.

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    Default Re: Beyond the Midseason Grade

    Quote Originally Posted by danman View Post
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    Hmm. I'm not usually on the fantasize on trades bandwagon, but I think we've got a shot at Gordon.

    Dunno about his knee injury. It doesn't appear to be significant enough to hurt his stock. Or put another way, he's supposed to return this year. If he looks the same, there will be a line of suitors.

    Not saying he's coming here, mind you. But... It's intriguing.
    Gordon will cost us Granger - we just can't afford them both with Hibbert, West, Hill, etc., on non-rookie deals. That substitution doesn't make us better IMO. Gordon is hurt half the time and our defense would be terrible on the wing. Not only is Gordon a suspect defender at SG, but PG would slide to SF and I'm not certain he is quite ready to man that position - much better suited defending quick guards.

    We need a starting PG first and foremost.

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    crazy shinaniganz BringJackBack's Avatar
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    Default Re: Beyond the Midseason Grade

    What would get us to the next level? A point guard. We are 28th in the league in assists per game, and our transition game is a joke. On top of that, the point guard defense is borderline abysmal compared to how much effort DC was putting into it at the beginning of the season.

    DC is a fine player. His role is best as a bench guy who can really look for his shot, or someone who is a focal point of offense and not a 'floor general'. Who available could ail our offensive and defensive woes at the one?

    Raymond Felton- He's had a bad season, but he plays very good point guard defense and he has good court vision as well as some experience. He is still trying to find his niche in the NBA, as he's been a stable for the Charlotte playoff team, then a 19 and 9 guy in New York, followed by stops in Denver and Portland. If we give him the keys and time to be our point guard I think that he could be a keeper and he can have a stable role. He is certainly attainable... If we can't get him for a first round pick, we can get him for DC for sure.

    Steve Nash- Steve Nash would do wonders for our offense as not only is he a playmaker, but he's also a guy who can score. There's no doubt that he'd get us over the hump, but for how long and is it worth it?

    What else do we need to get to the next step of contention? We need another scorer at the 2 or 3 who can play 30 mpg either off the bench or in the starting lineup. Eric Gordon would fit that role well, but we have to be willing to take that chance, and we have to take that chance... However if his offer is matched, there are other options out there.

    MarShon Brooks- This guy will be a very good scorer for sure, and if we help facilitate a trade to get Dwight to New Jersey, we could possibly pick him up. He is going to be a guy who can consistently get score the majority of our points, and if we can pick him up we should and never look back... Very talented scorer.

    Ray Allen- He'd be a guy who's a veteran and would bring things similar to what David West brings, and he's really having a great year. The questions here are how much does he have left and will he be able to get points if we don't have a point guard who can get him the ball..

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    Default Re: Beyond the Midseason Grade

    I like your thoughts regarding Nash and Felton. Although Hinrich is having a tough return from his shoulder surgery, I would consider him as well. The difference is that Felton is not as proven and would cost us a pick or a primary player, whereas we might be able to snag one of the other two near the trade deadline or as FAs this summer.

    I like both Brooks and Allen and think either would help, as would Chandler, although he will probably be too expensive upon his return from China.

    I totally agree with Will regarding Gordon. Way too much buck for the bang when you factor in the risk of future injury. If healthy, he is exactly what would benefit the team and the fans. But with the latest injury, it's like the straw that broke the camel's back, not even as remotely as bad as Oden's situation, but there is just no way the Pacers roo the dice and spend big bucks on Gordon.

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    crazy shinaniganz BringJackBack's Avatar
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    Default Re: Beyond the Midseason Grade

    I really like the slim possibility of MarShon Brooks... He is really going to be a very good scorer in this league. Now we don't know how much of it will come in the flow of the offense, but a shot-creator is needed nonetheless. He's more likely to become a Jamal Crawford or Stephen Jackson type talented scorer but not in the flow of the offense, but there is an off chance that he becomes as offensively talented as say a Joe Johnson...

    Now Raymond Felton to me is the go-getter. He's shown that he can put good numbers up on a playoff team, and if he finally has a stable role for the first time since his New York days and has time to acclimate to the team and get in better shape, we could have a two-way player at the one for a long time.

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    crazy shinaniganz BringJackBack's Avatar
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    Default Re: Beyond the Midseason Grade



    I mean, the things he can do as a rookie is remarkable... And if they trade for Dwight, we should really do all we can to help facilitate so we can get this guy. This is the exact reason we have attained all of this cap space, and this would be theft.
    Last edited by BringJackBack; 02-27-2012 at 06:45 AM.

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    Play McRoberts and Price! BRushWithDeath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Beyond the Midseason Grade

    Quote Originally Posted by purdue101 View Post
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    A go-to alpha dog is the missing piece on a lot teams. There just aren't many players in this league that can put a team on their back and carry them to a W. We would be much better served upgrading PG and trying to win with a well-rounded/deep team (Pistons, Mavs, etc).
    The 2011 Mavs had Dirk ****ing Nowitzki!

    The 2004 Pistons were an exception to a rule which has been proven for decades. They had a very well-rounded/deep team full of All-Stars. But that method has never been duplicated since the first finals in 1950.

    You are right in that there just aren't that many players in the league that can put a team on their back and carry them a W. Which is also why it isn't a coincedence that the teams which do have those alpha dog stars have won the championship 60 out of the last 61 years.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Ru...e_Player_Award

    Hell, look at this list every NBA Finals MVP since the award was first given in 1969. 42 awards have been given. Only 27 people have ever won it. 20 of them are retired. Of those 20, 17 are Hall of Famers. One of the three who isn't is Shaq who isn't yet elgible but will waltz in on the first ballot. The other two were Cedric Maxwell and Jo Jo White of the Celtics. Their teams featured Larry Bird and John Havlicek respectively so those teams aboslutely had stars. Of the 7 active players who have won the award, 5 (Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, Paul Pierce, and Dirk) are sure thing Hall of Famers. Tony Parker has won the award and he'll have a shot at the Hall but he still had an superstar teammate in Duncan.

    Of the 61 NBA Champions, 60 have featured a star player. That doesn't appear likely to change this season. I would rather try to build a team under the same general principle that was used by the vast, vast majority of the championship teams than the one exception.
    Last edited by BRushWithDeath; 02-27-2012 at 11:40 AM.
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  21. #14

    Default Re: Beyond the Midseason Grade

    Trivia question. What was the last time the Pacers signed or traded for a player who averaged 20+ points the previous year for another team? My best guess is Adrian Dantley. That can't be right. That would be the 1978-79 team. Lol

    But who was more recent?
    Last edited by danman; 02-27-2012 at 12:38 PM.

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    Default Re: Beyond the Midseason Grade

    Quote Originally Posted by BRushWithDeath View Post
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    The 2011 Mavs had Dirk ****ing Nowitzki!

    The 2004 Pistons were an exception to a rule which has been proven for decades. They had a very well-rounded/deep team full of All-Stars. But that method has never been duplicated since the first finals in 1950.

    You are right in that there just aren't that many players in the league that can put a team on their back and carry them a W. Which is also why it isn't a coincedence that the teams which do have those alpha dog stars have won the championship 60 out of the last 61 years.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Ru...e_Player_Award

    Hell, look at this list every NBA Finals MVP since the award was first given in 1969. 42 awards have been given. Only 27 people have ever won it. 20 of them are retired. Of those 20, 17 are Hall of Famers. One of the three who isn't is Shaq who isn't yet elgible but will waltz in on the first ballot. The other two were Cedric Maxwell and Jo Jo White of the Celtics. Their teams featured Larry Bird and John Havlicek respectively so those teams aboslutely had stars. Of the 7 active players who have won the award, 5 (Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, Paul Pierce, and Dirk) are sure thing Hall of Famers. Tony Parker has won the award and he'll have a shot at the Hall but he still had an superstar teammate in Duncan.

    Of the 61 NBA Champions, 60 have featured a star player. That doesn't appear likely to change this season. I would rather try to build a team under the same general principle that was used by the vast, vast majority of the championship teams than the one exception.
    My point was never that a deep team is better than having an "alpha dog." My point is that "alpha dogs" are very limited (maybe 5-7 in the league), and almost impossible for small markets to attain (unless you draft them). Therefore, we should go the alternative route. At this point, with low draft picks in our cards, we are better served looking to win with a deep team, which is what Bird is doing.

    Everyone of those MVP's in the past 20 yrs, with the exception of Billups (whom I'm advocating that approach), was a superstar and A.) either drafted by their team or B.) signed as a FA and the team was a large market (Shaq to LA as an example). My point is simple, an "alpha dog" like Dwight Howard is not going to just stroll on into Indianapolis. It has never happened and will never happen. Sure, we could hope we draft one, which I'm all for and never disputed, but it's much more difficult to trade or sign one, which was what the original poster was advocating.

    I would much rather go the Chauncey Billups route, which we can definitely do w/ a Rondo, Ellis, Curry type trade, then twidle my thumbs waiting for Lebron, Wade, Howard, Durant, Kobe, or Chris Paul to demand a trade to Indy.

    And FWIW - the 2004 Pacers team was modeled similar to Detroit and could have won that year minus the injuries.

  23. #16
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    Default Re: Beyond the Midseason Grade

    Eric Gordon is a monkey's paw, my friends. Be careful what you wish for.

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