If you’re a glass full kind of person you can hang your hat on the fact that had we made just two of the free throws we missed in Charlotte we could be 3-0. You could even make the point that you are still 2-1 with your best player out with injury and your starting point guard injured while you are trying to integrate several new players into your system.
If you’re a glass half empty person you will say that if it weren’t for a heroic effort by David West to lead a come from behind win you could easily be 1-2 with the one win being a double over time win vs. an 0-3 team. You could further state that the it wouldn’t matter how many people you were trying to work into the system because our offensive system is non functioning and is just a differing isolation play each time down the court.
You would be right either way and thus we have the state of the Pacers 3 games into the season.
I’m not going to lie, I see this as troubling. We have played some less than stellar teams so far & unless some miracle happens on Monday I fully expect a beat down of biblical proportions from the Spurs. In fact if we lose and lose less than double digits I will probably consider it a victory.
Our offense is just a mess right now. There is no other way to say it, it is horrible & we are relying on one on one greatness to get us over the hump. Or at best we are trying to run a two man pick & roll game which other teams have scouted and are denying. Also it doesn’t help that we don’t really have any great one on one players out there either.
I don’t want to belay the obvious but we miss Danny Granger far more than I ever dreamed we would. I mean he makes us a totally other team or at least he makes the starting five a different team.
Can’t say that I’m thrilled with Frank so far this year. I want him to do well so bad that I am really going out of my way to not be overly critical but his offensive system is just abysmal so far.
Also I know they are new and all but are Sam Young & Gerald Green the two single dumbest passers you’ve ever seen? I mean between Green throwing it between the players legs and Young thinking that an opponents arm & hand being in the way is no reason not to pass into an area we have been treated to some of the dumbest passes I’ve ever seen. EVER!
Ok Paul George had a very good statistical game & yes he played superb defense to close out the game. But am I the only person who wonders if maybe he would play just a little better every now and then if he got angry? I mean in all of the games he’s played I’ve never seen him get upset about anything and I think it would do him a world of good to every now and then get offended by a hard foul or something. I mean Danny enters a game ready to fight, David West looks like someone spit on him every single min. he is on the floor even Roy on occasion gets fed up & gets emotional in a game. There just never appears to be any real fire there, maybe it’s just me. I mean I love the fact that he is rebounding at a very high level but I guess I just thought with Danny out he would somehow get his points up to the mid 20’s, maybe that’s just not his game and it may never be.
Mahinmi played a total of 09:53 in a double overtime game. Not sure what I should think about that.
Even more puzzling to me was that Gerald Green played a total of 24:18 in double over time when he appeared to be finally getting over the hump? He was taken out for Lance and never came back. This is kind of puzzling.
Before I move on let me just say that Marcus Thornton is a far more sedate human being than I would be. If it were me & I hit that big three pointer in the corner with a man running at me to send the game into a second over time I'm afraid I would have have to tell everyone in the arena about it and do some form of dance at the mid court circle. Dude just ran off like it was nothing, he blew a real chance to self promote there and who would have blamed him.
Anyway let’s just do grades tonight and move on.
Gerald Green: C+
He finally scored from the field after he decided to quit settling for the jumper and driving the baseline. But defensively he was having trouble & was getting into foul trouble. He did cut down on the dumb turnovers tonight. Not really sure why he was relegated to the bench for good in the beginning of the 4th quarter but I have a feeling Frank was testing the water to see how Lance fit in with the starters. Honestly I can’t say he was any better or any worse than Gerald but I think Gerald does not fit real well with the starting five. Not sure if Frank will make the switch but I wouldn’t be surprised either.
David West: A
Atrocious from the field for most of the night but once again when it counted he hit some big shots. But the most important thing he did all night long was block a three point shot attempt by Marcus Thornton sometime in the 2nd overtime. Also he took over the glass, which he should do on far more occasions than he does (no I don’t expect 18 every game but 10 would be nice). Very decent game from him.
Roy Hibbert: B+
Frank has got to figure out a way to get Roy some more shots. Dude was 6-11 from the field and whenever he put a move on Cousins it was more often than not a success. Also 6 blocked shots is huge but I don’t think he played as well defensively as he could have against Cousins.
Paul George: A
Again I am going to give him an A for the actual game he played but once again he has yet to show that he can impose his will on a game on the offensive end. In fact he played the entire 1st quarter without scoring a point. But I don’t want to be unfair either. Anytime you grab 17 rebounds and your team wins you have done a good job. Also he did play killer defense to close out several Kings breaks in the over time periods. BTW I’m not trying to be unfair to Paul, I just think that we are looking for him to show us he is the next alpha male not just another good/great player on a very good team.
George Hill: A-
I can’t fault him for our lack of offensive cohesion because he is running the plays Frank is calling from the sidelines. He played much better tonight than he did vs. the Bobcats and while he may have gone over board with the shooting attempts in the O.T. periods what I like about him is that he has the mind of a killer, if not the talent of one. He is not afraid of big moments and frankly I can’t say that about all of our players. He didn’t let Isiah Thomas abuse him with speed like I was afraid he would either.
Sam Young: F
Just horrible all night long. Bad shot selection, stupid idiotic passing and defense that was some combination of tae kwon do and convulsions. Honest to God he passed the ball inbounds directly to a King player and acted surprised when he didn’t pass it along to the Pacer he intended to pass to. I want to like Sam but nights like this make it very hard.
Tyler Hansbrough: B
Why is it that Tyler is the one player this season who has not disappointed me? I think it’s because I had such low expectations of him that if he comes into the game and doesn’t proceed to throw his own defecation at his team mates I am happy with him. However not only has he not done that he’s been surprisingly active on defense and rebounding this year. His offense is about the same but God love him for making his free throws.
D.J. Augustin: C-
Meh, I’m not sure what to say about him. I guess at least he isn’t A.J. Price (sorry Sookie) but I’m not sure what else to say. He only merits 13:21 in a double over time game? Makes me think that Frank doesn’t have a lot of faith yet.
Ian Mahinmi: D
Ugh, this is not what I saw in pre-season at all. Frank obviously lost all faith in him tonight and went back to his security blanket of David West at the 5 for awhile. This is not good, not good at all because isn’t that what people wanted to eliminate from last year? At least he hit his free throws but that’s about all he did.
Lance Stephenson: B+
Watching Lance & Evans play against each other was fun to watch because he is the person I most closely associate Lance with body wise and even somewhat skill wise. I wonder if Lance isn’t being set up to move into a role with the front five? This really scares me because that might mean that Danny is out for a long time but if he is I’m not sure if I don’t think Lance wouldn’t be better with that unit where he can facilitate the offense and not be forced to try and be it with that second unit. He had a nasty habit of cherry picking on defense tonight creeping back to try and get a fast break when everyone else was still defending. It cost us a couple of rebounds probably but he did manage to get one break out of it.
Ok one more overall complaint I have before I go and this one comes from Diamond Dave who complained the entire game about this.
Our team sets faux screens & picks and other teams have this scouted and stop the action almost every time.
In other words Tyler or David will come out and set a pick and then immediately slip the pick to get into shooting position without ever making contact with the defender and thus never giving the ball handler the clear space he needs to make a play. We need to just go out & set a solid pick and then see if they can get into position after contact has been made.
Again I’m not going to complain to much several teams have lost to other teams that they weren’t expecting to so far this year. But we have to be very careful if we want to win the central because we have a very limited room for error because even though the Bulls lost tonight I don’t think they will fall to far and I still believe Rose will be back sooner than we think and if we don’t have a cushion between us I would be very afraid of what they will do once he is healthy.
Oh well off to the Alamo to face Tim Duncan and Davey Crockett