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Thread: Our two starting guards and offensive firepower

  1. #1
    Intuition over Integers McKeyFan's Avatar
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    Default Our two starting guards and offensive firepower

    How have we solved last year's biggest problem of not having offensive flow and firepower because we could not get the ball to our solid scorers in the post? We haven't.

    This year we will find the same problem as last year in the playoffs--no one can get Roy the ball and West gets it way out on the peremiter. Hill was better than Collison, but Hill still is weak in this area.

    So, for me, the most intriguing development for next year will be to see how we find some offensive power and lubrication, particularly in the back court. Our problem now, it seems to me, is our two best defensive players play together (Hill, George) and two offensive-minded players play together (DJ, Lance). We may need to do some mixing and matching all year long until we find just the right mix. This could also be solved by Hill suddenly improving in distribution or PG suddenly improving his playmaking ability and offensive production. I am not holding my breath just yet.

    So, come playoff time, the following are all possible options:

    1. Hill
    2. PG (current)

    1. DJ
    2. Hill

    1. Hill
    2. Lance (or vice versa)


    I don't see Hill being benched at the end of games because of his veteran savvy, great defense, and clutch play. PG still could find the bench, because he is young and still makes strange mistakes. But what is more likely is that PG gets moved down to the three and Granger plays 4, but that puts either Hibbs or West on the bench, so that's doubtful as well.

    But, my point, is that unless we see significant improvement from our two starting guards, they won't have what we need offensively to make things happen in big games.

    Lance developing to such a point is still a long shot. DJ Augustin providing the much needed distribution is more of a possibility, but what we would give up on the defensive end would be significant. He would have to be a truly impressive improvement to find himself playing down the stretch.

    But that's what I will be watching. I'm glad Barbosa and Dahntay are gone (both of whom I liked), because neither of them have even the potential to help with this problem. Lance and DJA do, but it's a long shot.
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    Default Re: Our two starting guards and offensive firepower

    I agree with it being one of the most important things. I rewatched the Miami series over the summer and found that Paul George was a huge part of what they were trying to do, the link to almost everything. It could be coming off the pick and roll or the post entry pass. Moreso than Danny, by far imo, in that series. Danny often was relagated to the BRush role almost, standing and waiting. Paul was uneven, understandably, being guarded by DWade. It goes back to what I alway think about Paul, he can and does do everything pretty well, just not consistently or as cleanly as he could/should. I think if he's matured and improved he's right there in being a lynch pin in making it all work much, much better. Vogel has the foresight to put him in that position last year and hopefully we see results this year. Better reads, tighter handles, more of the ability to take on that responsibility that its his role to be a main cog. Is it scoring? Yep, but not just that. It's making the whole greater than the sum of its parts. I think he will improve this year, how much will see if its an answer to your OP.

    Geroge Hill is the best defensive point guard they've had since well, I really don't know who, Earl Watson maybe.... It's time to recognize this and what value this has to the team concept. It's easy to forget how poorly DC played the Pick and Roll in the recent past. So, I like how they look coming out of the gate with his length and athleticism to not be at a crazy disadvantage in that regard from the opening tip. Also, George Hill can score. The biggest challenge for George Hill is to now be a point guard, the straw that stirs the drink, like Mark Jackson would say. It's a completely different mentality. In San Antonio Pops wanted him to be the scorer he was coming out of college and show that aggressiveness coming off the bench for the Spurs. The Pacers need him to now run the team. It's a different skillset, but moreso a completely different mindset. He has to know his mismatches in a game, but also on a given play. He has to hvae his finger on the pulse of the team and know when a guy has it going or might not be feeling engaged and bring him into the fold. It's a tough thing to teach, its a tougher thing to understand. Some players are just this way by nature, CP3, Kyrie Irving, Mark Jackson, etc. It's more about elevating your team than it is about stats or specifically assists per game. In fact, I'm not sure how his assists can get over 7 or so a game, just by the low post nature of what Frank runs. Frank has this one right too, he told George Hill to focus on being a point guard this summer. That's what they need, someone at the wheel, both literally and in a bunker mentality leadership way. Will George Hill provide more scoring, maybe, but it's more important that he elevates the team as a Point Guard in the old school way, then the overall offense will fall into place.

    Augustine is a shot maker and actually can run a fast break intuitively. Both big needs for a team missing both. Playoff games you see offensive schemes fall apart. One was to score easily is in transition, Augustine can bring this. Something DC or anyone on last years squad honestly could NOT do. He is also not afraid to take a shot with the clock running down. Often, in playoffs, the Point Guard gets stuck with the ball in his hands as the shot clock runs down. Augustine can get a decent shot off in this situation, in spite of his poor FG% last year.

    Gerald Greene can guard other wings well, run the break, and hit the spot up jumper. All 3 are exactly things needed from your first wing off the bench. I feel like he has 'potential' to even get better than last year, even though his path has been unique to the NBA. If Danny has lingering knee problems, which he does seem to, GG could have a huge impact.

    As for Lance, I'm not sure what he brings. His handles and court vision are truely remarkable, imo. Its getting that very good skill harnessed while being consistent with everything else, aka defense, shooting, turnovers.

    Overall, I like this group alot, mainly because of they are more complete players than the Pacers have had in recent past. Dunleavy, Dahntay, DC, Barbosa, all had one or two things they were good at and then a few other things they were bad at. This group still has some discernably very good skills, but not the glaring weaknesses. It's discouraging thinking about a game in the past, knowing you have to compensate for Dunleavy's one on one defense or Dahntays offense. I don't feel like that's the case now.

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    Default Re: Our two starting guards and offensive firepower

    Really, a lot depends on PG if we are going to make the next step. But we all knew that. Maybe more depends on Hill?

    I was thinking about this last night, our top four players can't dribble.

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    Default Re: Our two starting guards and offensive firepower

    Quote Originally Posted by billbradley View Post
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    Really, a lot depends on PG if we are going to make the next step. But we all knew that. Maybe more depends on Hill?

    I was thinking about this last night, our top four players can't dribble.
    It depends on PG
    "We want Miami"

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    Default Re: Our two starting guards and offensive firepower

    The problem isn't that we don't have anyone who can get the ball to Roy or West in the post, the problem is that we don't yet have the dynamic perimeter player that every contender has. It is almost impossible to get a post player the ball in decent position late in games especially playoff games, so that is why every contender needs a point guard, shooting guard or small forward who can create something out of nothing. We do not have that, and that will be the reason why we lose when we do

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    Default Re: Our two starting guards and offensive firepower

    Can Green dribble/create?

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    Default Re: Our two starting guards and offensive firepower

    Quote Originally Posted by billbradley View Post
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    Can Green dribble/create?
    I don't know. My sense is he is more of a finisher than a creator - but I have not seen enough of him to know

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    Default Re: Our two starting guards and offensive firepower

    Against the Pacers he frustrated Danny initially with his very good D. Danny went to the bag of tricks got a couple of fouls on him, IIRC, and that hampered Green's ability to defend, a bit. I remember him setting up in the high post/wing area and looking comfortable there, a couple of times. As for beating a guy face up off the dribble, not that I remember. Small sampling, all from memory. I do remember thinking that he looked pretty good all the way around, but my expectations were low, probably.

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    Default Re: Our two starting guards and offensive firepower

    I know that I may get flamed for this comment, but what is the possibility that we see Augustin running this team from the point midway through the season? With Hill being a combo guard with more of a scorers mentality, wouldn't that benefit our second team more giving a much needed threat off the bench? I would think that Augustin's ability to distribute the ball and make plays for others would benefit our first team more than the second team...

    Maybe my view is skewed on this due to the fact that we have lacked a good distributing 1 for a while, and now that we have one, it doesn't sound as if he will be utilized to his fullest....

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    Default Re: Our two starting guards and offensive firepower

    Quote Originally Posted by billbradley View Post
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    Can Green dribble/create?
    According to Hollinger, probably not.

    GERALD GREEN, SG

    Scouting report
    + Athletic, explosive leaper with ideal size for a small forward. Ridiculous dunker.
    + Strong 3-point shooter. Ball skills only adequate, and prone to turnovers.
    + Lean build. Defense, basketball IQ and decision-making still are question marks.
    http://www.pacersdigest.com/showthre...own-our-Roster

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    Default Re: Our two starting guards and offensive firepower

    Here's the box score from the game I mentioned, a 84-100 loss to the Nets.

    http://www.nba.com/games/20120328/IN...#nbaGIboxscore

    Green had 14 pts, 4 rebs, 3 stls, 1 blk, 2 to, 4 fouls in 28 mins, was 6-10 FG and 2-4 from 3.

    Danny had really maybe the worse game box wise I can remember, I have no idea how much Green guarded him, but I do remember he did some.

    Granger 21 mins, 5 pts, 3 boards, 4 tos, 6 fouls. Yikes!

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    Default Re: Our two starting guards and offensive firepower

    Quote Originally Posted by ejwallace View Post
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    I know that I may get flamed for this comment, but what is the possibility that we see Augustin running this team from the point midway through the season? With Hill being a combo guard with more of a scorers mentality, wouldn't that benefit our second team more giving a much needed threat off the bench? I would think that Augustin's ability to distribute the ball and make plays for others would benefit our first team more than the second team...

    Maybe my view is skewed on this due to the fact that we have lacked a good distributing 1 for a while, and now that we have one, it doesn't sound as if he will be utilized to his fullest....
    I think that is a real possibility. I could see late in some games where Augustin is running the point and Hill is playing shooting guard. We'll have to see how it develops

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    Default Re: Our two starting guards and offensive firepower

    Our problem wasn't Hill's post entry passing. That is actually one of his best qualities as a perimeter player. Our biggest problem is not being able to attack the weakside when they bring the double team pressure. We didn't make the other team pay for doubling down on Hibbert. Paul made a lot of mistakes in that regard. if the ball needed to get passed on to Granger on the far side, it didn't happen. We made a lot of bad cross court passes that could easily get picked off. We need Hibbert to establish himself earlier in order to get him the ball prior to the the help coming. That, and if the double comes, Hibbert needs to be quicker with getting the ball rotated to catch the doubling player out of position. I think our biggest problem, was not feeding the post at all. It was the lack of ball movement that allowed teams to double us effectively. PG was the biggest culprit of not being able to truly feed the post. Most of our turnovers in this area had more to do with him than any other player. I think Granger did a poor job from the weakside of moving into a passing lane for an easier pass. When they double down two things need to happen, the point player needs to move towards the strong side to allow a potential pass from the big down low, to bail out the wing with the ball, and to bring his defender away from the weakside wing who can't then cover either player as easily. We didn't do this very well and DWade and Battier easily rotated defensively, which hurt us. Granger/the weakside wing needs to find a passing lane as well or make the decision to fill the most open area inside the arc, which helps him get a closer open shot. Another thing we could have done more of, is pick the weakside doubling defender with our PF. Get in his way and then run Granger off the pick toward the high post making his defender make the decision to either follow his man or double. Granger typically sat behind the three point arc and played patty cake as he watched his man double down.

    I guess this is a long-winded post as I am accustomed to, but we had sooooo many more issues with feeding the post than Hill. Hill was the lone bright spot IMO, but he takes the fall as the PG. Paul George and Danny Granger need to get MUCH better with their wing play in feeding the post. Not only with the ball in their hands, but without it in their hands. We need all five guys being more proactive in order to feed the post instead of standing around waiting for a pass to happen against a defense that we allow to set itself up for the double team.

    And no, Augustin won't be starting at any point this season, unless there is an injury to Hill. Hill fits exactly what we are trying to do. Augustin will play plenty of minutes though.
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    Default Re: Our two starting guards and offensive firepower

    Quote Originally Posted by Speed View Post
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    It's easy to forget how poorly DC played the Pick and Roll in the recent past.
    Forget? I still have nightmares where I think DC is coming through my living room on his way around the pick to catch up with the ball handler...
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    Default Re: Our two starting guards and offensive firepower

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    I think that is a real possibility. I could see late in some games where Augustin is running the point and Hill is playing shooting guard. We'll have to see how it develops
    If Danny starts the season with a sore knee, I could see this tried sooner rather than later. Either way, we should know fairly early in the season how this works out.

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    Default Re: Our two starting guards and offensive firepower

    Quote Originally Posted by BillS View Post
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    Forget? I still have nightmares where I think DC is coming through my living room on his way around the pick to catch up with the ball handler...
    I can't think of a worse nightmare, DC and a young Roy guarding a Pick and roll.

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    Default Re: Our two starting guards and offensive firepower

    You can't say Hill was the reason we didn't get past Miami. Hibbert needs to have another All-Star season, Granger needs to step up, and PG needs to become the primary threat on the team for the Pacers to be an East powerhouse
    "We want Miami"

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    Default Re: Our two starting guards and offensive firepower

    Quote Originally Posted by billbradley View Post
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    Can Green dribble/create?
    I have league pass, and with D-Will being my brothers fave player, we watched a lot of Nets games last year.

    Green is good in ISO situations, but he's not going to create for other players. He's big enough to play in the post against shorter players, yet athletic enough to drive and get all the way to the basket. He's also a pretty good shooter (from the 15 games or so that I saw him play last year)

    He wont be a "give me the ball and let me create" type of guy. But he's a good "give me the ball and I'm going to score" type of guy. He does have problems with turnovers, but they are the exact OPPOSITE of PG turnovers. Green's turnovers are from him being aggressive trying to get to the basket.

    I don't expect him to average nearly 13 ppg like he did last year, but I think he could be a double figure scorer for us this year...ESP if DG starts the season injured.

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    Default Re: Our two starting guards and offensive firepower

    Quote Originally Posted by pacergod2 View Post
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    Our problem wasn't Hill's post entry passing. That is actually one of his best qualities as a perimeter player. .
    Hill was drafted by the Spurs at a time where there was a post entry pass to Duncan at least once nearly everytime down the floor. I feel that Hill is underrated on here because he isn't a facilitator like most PD members would like at the PG position. Of his few weaknesses, post entry passes arent one of them. In fact, I think he looked to the post a tad TOO often (often times forcing the ball into West) when he could have looked for his shot a tad more.

    He's valuable as a shooter and scorer at the 1, and I think he should exploit that a little more.

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    Default Re: Our two starting guards and offensive firepower

    Quote Originally Posted by Coopdog23 View Post
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    You can't say Hill was the reason we didn't get past Miami.
    Mind you, I am a big George Hill fan.

    He, alone, in the abstract, is not the reason our offense bogs down. It's not that he lacks being an elite distributor. A lot of point guards out there like that. It's that his two can't create and distribute. Neither can his three.

    GHill is an average distributor. He can get the job basically done. But if you don't have another guard or small forward making things happen, then the point guard needs to be elite at distribution.

    I'm not picking on GHill. I'm saying that our current mix won't work unless we make a change or one of our perimeter players suddenly improves. Couple GHill with Ginobli, DWade, or a Paul Pierce or even lesser tier creator type and he is golden.
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    Default Re: Our two starting guards and offensive firepower

    Quote Originally Posted by billbradley View Post
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    Really, a lot depends on PG if we are going to make the next step. But we all knew that. Maybe more depends on Hill?

    I was thinking about this last night, our top four players can't dribble.
    What they need is Paul using other players and screens better and Hill improving his feel for feeding Roy or West in posts and then Danny and Paul on catch and curls. I think Vogel can fix tons of things with some playbook tweeks, they don't really need to rely on dribble breakdowns. And if they need dribble breakdown style plays they have DJ now.

    Apart from DJ and West what I really like is the ability to play physical, intimidating defense. Not in a push you around thug style but in the covering space, good reach, good hops smothering way. They can generate a ton of offense out of that. 12-16 points out of TOs a game can do wonders for offensive lulls, and then West/Roy post can carry them through a lot of the other struggles.

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    Default Re: Our two starting guards and offensive firepower

    Quote Originally Posted by Naptown_Seth View Post
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    What they need is Paul using other players and screens better and Hill improving his feel for feeding Roy or West in posts and then Danny and Paul on catch and curls. I think Vogel can fix tons of things with some playbook tweeks, they don't really need to rely on dribble breakdowns. And if they need dribble breakdown style plays they have DJ now.

    Apart from DJ and West what I really like is the ability to play physical, intimidating defense. Not in a push you around thug style but in the covering space, good reach, good hops smothering way. They can generate a ton of offense out of that. 12-16 points out of TOs a game can do wonders for offensive lulls, and then West/Roy post can carry them through a lot of the other struggles.
    I skimmed through some of the long posts, sorry guys... But I was pretty much looking for someone to say that a lot of the responsibility for our offensive struggles MUST fall on Vogel. With the lockout, then the injury to DC, and Hill taking over late, plus the fact that DWest may not have been 100% until late in the season, our offense had a lot to deal with IMO. Not wanting to make excuses for it, because it simply has to get better. But given the full off-season, the addition of some more dynamic offensive players, and the continued improvement (we hope) of Paul George, this offense has to improve or it's absolutely on Vogel.

    I think now we actually have the depth we were looking for last year. With the athleticism and depth of this team, added to the lack of "go-to playmaker," this offense should rely on constant movement, passing, and smart play. We don't have to match Lebron's explosive offense, we just have to play smart and play together -- then play extremely tough defense. I believe we have the ability to do that.
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    Default Re: Our two starting guards and offensive firepower

    Its not really fair to blame Vogel for that though. If it continues this year, then the blame goes to Vogel.

    It will be interesting to see how this team looks after a full preseason to work on their offensive plays. Not to mention time during the regular season to work on and improve aspects of their game.

    I think we should be fine.

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    Default Re: Our two starting guards and offensive firepower

    Quote Originally Posted by Mad-Mad-Mario View Post
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    Its not really fair to blame Vogel for that though. If it continues this year, then the blame goes to Vogel.

    It will be interesting to see how this team looks after a full preseason to work on their offensive plays. Not to mention time during the regular season to work on and improve aspects of their game.

    I think we should be fine.
    Yeah, but it can't be ignored. I am cautiously optimistic about Vogel, but his improvement could have the biggest out of everyone.

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    Default Re: Our two starting guards and offensive firepower

    Quote Originally Posted by Mad-Mad-Mario View Post
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    Its not really fair to blame Vogel for that though. If it continues this year, then the blame goes to Vogel.

    It will be interesting to see how this team looks after a full preseason to work on their offensive plays. Not to mention time during the regular season to work on and improve aspects of their game.

    I think we should be fine.
    Everyone in the league had the same "issue". I'm not blaming Vogel for us losing, but I hope he comes up with a more cohesive, and less predictable offensive strategy this year. I think the fact that we retained Shaw will help big time.

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