I know it's impossible not to worry when your favorite team is making questionable offseason decisions. I went through the same pessimism when we picked up Plumlee. But I want you guys to take into consideration that we've only officially had these guys signed for, what, 24 hours? I feel you should have more faith in this team, more faith in our new players, more faith in our front office, and most importantly, more faith in our coach, that they will be able to work together and produce as well, if not better, than they did last season.
If Coach Vogel gives the role of distribution to DJ Augustin, you have to believe that Augustin is a good enough player, and professional, to play the way his coach wants him to. Yes, he can score. Yes, he can shoot. Yes, he averages around 6 assists on a bad Bobcats team with mediocre jump shooters. You should trust that, with our coaching staff, he's going to get time playing with the starters, and he's going to make the whole team better when he's on the court. That's something DC didn't do: look to make his teammates better instead of trying to carry the team with his penetration and floaters. It's about them having a different mentality, not the fact that they're the same height, or play even close to the same kind of basketball.
I know Lance Stephenson, Gerald Green, and Orlando Johnson may not look like much as a backcourt rotation. Lance is in his third year, and has had enough time to progress, work with the team, mature, and actually BE ready for the NBA, rather than just being Born Ready. Gerald Green still underwhelms many of you (to the point where my constant support of and campaigning for him has caused others to think he's now overrated), but the fact of the matter is, he still has a good offensive game. He CAN score, more than just dunks, more than just lucky penetration moves. He shoots, inside and out. And yes, Orlando Johnson is definitely underwhelming in Summer League. So did Paul George, and look at how he's developed in the time he's played. I know TraderJoe particularly thinks that he won't even earn a spot on the roster, which may be the case. But if the FO and coaching staff see something in him (and any of the other guys), you have to trust that they know more about basketball than you do, otherwise they wouldn't be getting paid "bookoo bucks" to do their jobs.
Now to Mahinmi. We can all agree that paying DJ and DC to get Mahinmi was a little overkill. To only receive a long, athletic, shot-blocking, defensive center in return for a veteran wing and a point guard (who plays like a shooting guard, wanted to start, and wanted to get paid Hill money to do so) is a little disappointing. But clearing up the cap room from DC's and DJ's contracts (as well as avoiding having to pay DC in the future) was the main point of that trade. Is 4yrs/16m too much for him? You can go ahead and say yes, because you haven't seen him play. I'm sure more than half of you haven't even seen any highlights, nor lowlights, nor any gameplay whatsoever, to make your decision; but you're going to think it anyway. For a bunch of people who know nothing about him (especially how to pronounce or spell his name), you're not giving him the light of day that he might ACTUALLY contribute to this team.
Ah, Miles Plumlee. Yeh, we could have had Perry Jones. I'm sorry guys, but wasn't I the one who, for like two years, was praying we had some chance to pick PJ3 in the draft, even though it was almost unanimous that our pick would be too low? Well, we passed by him for Plumlee. Do you know why? Not because of Perry's knees, not because Bird loves white guys. Maybe because Pritchard thought he was a pussy (@SlikSmits). But it was because Pritch, Vogel, and many other Pacers officials loved the comparison between Miles and Jeff Foster (including Foster himself). They were looking for a particular player, found him, and picked him. Who else were the Pacers going to pick that low? Arnett Moultrie, maybe. Marquis Teague, now not necessary with DJ Augustin. Look at the team we have now, and who would have supplemented better than a dirty-work 4/5 big man? For those of you saying he'll play third rotation at center, what's to say he can't play the 4? How gifted and intelligent are we to just assume where Plumlee can play on the court? The jury is still out on Plumlee (Summer League is no indicator of his skill), but we'll have to see what kind of impact he'll make in a place where guards and wings don't try to dominate the floor.
GUYS! We have to get it together!
All this calling for FO firing, and selling the team, and who sucks, and who doesn't, and how bad we're gonna be, and how there's no way we'll compete against anyone.
Don't you think that Vogel and the veterans can rally this team into working together, and playing the best basketball AS A TEAM as possible (something that all the Big 3 teams out there can't come close to doing). The main point of this offseason was to re-solidify our starting 5 (which we did), and make our bench deeper than it was last year (something that we thought we had, but didn't; but now we do). These guys are a TEAM. What do we have this year that we didn't last year? A full, non-rushed offseason, summer league, preseason, and plenty of practice time to make them better AS A WHOLE.
There's no reason to blow up this team. We've only had this team, officially, as it currently stands, since 4pm on Friday. And a lot of these posters are acting like we just turned INTO the Cavs after LeBron fell off. Or the Hornets after CP3 dodged out. Or the Bobcats, Wizards, Jazz, etc. Weren't we third in the East last year? Fifth in the league? All league problems aside (D-Rose getting injured, Bosh injured during the playoffs, etc.), we still kicked a lot more *** last year than ANYONE on this board thought we would. How did we possibly get worse in the last few days? DC, Dahntay, Lou, Fes are out. Augustin, Green, Plumlee, OJ, Mahinmi are in. We're bigger and more skilled in the post, we've got shooters on the bench, our starting five is intact.
All the wisdom I want to bestow on you readers is that we should be patient. Our summer league run is over, our roster will soon be solidified, practices can start, our team can build and learn and mesh, and we'll soon come together and prove the haters wrong. Please have patience, and have faith in this team, the players, the front office, the coaching staff, everyone. They're not stupid, they're not ignorant, they know what they're doing. Let them do their work, and trust that we'll come out of this offseason with fervor, intensity, and amazing chemistry.
I have a lot of faith and trust in this team. I will always support this team, no matter what they do. Now is not a time to turn your back on the Pacers. It's a time to be proud of what we've accomplished (who else led the Heat 2-1 in the playoffs? Boston? that's good company). Let's all join together, be strong, and look on the brighter side. We're Pacers fans, not bandwagon Heat fans. I'm not trying to call anyone out in any way. I just want us all to come together, be proud of what we have, and have faith.
Thank you for your time, and I'm happy to be in the same category of fandom as a lot of you.
I love you all. Good night.