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Thread: The Core Problem w/the Pacers is their "Core" and Unit Cohesiveness

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    Default The Core Problem w/the Pacers is their "Core" and Unit Cohesiveness

    Coming into the 2012-2013 NBA season, I was both excited and cautiously optimistic about the team. I considered their 2nd-round debut after being out of the post season a number of years refreshing and couldn't wait to see how the team improved themselves this season. Like many other fans, I expected there would be some changes to the roster, but little did I suspect that one of those players no longer on the roster would be Darren Collison! And here is where the focus of this thread takes shape.

    While I expected team chemistry and cohensiveness would be problematic since so many new faces have been added to the roster, I did not expect to see this team struggle as much as it has since the season began. And like many fans, I've struggled to make sense of it all. However, I think George Hill provides the answer per this article from Pacers.com:
    [George]Hill, who led all scorers Tuesday with 18 points, but missed all four three-point attempts and had one more turnover (three) than assists, attempted to shoulder the blame.

    "As a point guard I have to figure a way to get everyone involved and in sync," he said. "I put that on my shoulders. I have to find a way to get Roy going, and Paul and D. West.

    "Right now I'm still learning as a point guard. I really never was a point guard growing up, so I'm learning every day. I have to take it like a man and figure out a way to do it."
    Did you catch that last part? If not, I think all Pacers fans, as well as Coach Vogel himself, needs to read that last paragraph again!

    I'm not calling for Hill to be benched nor do I believe he should be. IMO, he performed admirably last year both as the backup PG behind DC and as the starting PG when DC went down due to injury. So, I give him credit where credit is due. However, even Hill would tell you he's more of a Shooting Guard than a Point Guard. And that's part of the team's problem right now. Another is the fact that while Hill, by his own admission, is still in a learning phase so is our new backup PG, DJ Augustine.

    IMO, the Pacers made a huge mistake in trading away DC AND AJ Price. This left the team without a true PG! CORRECTION...a true veteran PG. As hard as this team is struggling to manufacture points while also addressing chemistry issues, they're also trying to bend the learning curve with their PGs - something that's extremely difficult to do for a team that IS expected to compete after that outstanding performance from last season. But as the team continues to struggle, it's becoming more and more apparant that Coach Vogel needs to make a line-up change (soon). I would suggest the following:

    C - Hibbert/Mahanmi
    PF - DWest/T Hansborough
    SF - PGeorge/Sam Young*
    SG - Stephenson/Green
    PG - GHill/B Hansborough/Augustin

    *Only while Granger is out due to injury.

    Once Granger returns, I would suggest going with:

    C - Hibbert/Mahanmi
    PF - DWest/T Hansborough
    SF - Granger/Sam Young
    SG - PGeorge/Stephenson/Green
    PG - GHill/B Hansborough/Augustin

    Why Sam Young at backup SF? DEFENSE, of course!

    Why start PGeorge at SG ahead of Stephenson particularly since Stephenson seems to have developed some confidence in his newfound role at the position? Chemistry among the starters! Remember: We retained our STARTING CORE for a reason - this group performed very well together last year. There's no reason to think they couldn't pick up where they left off once Granger returns (and he's able to get his legs back under him [re: "game shape"]). However, I do believe it would be tempting to keep Stephenson at his starting SG position and bring PGeorge off the bench ONLY because you want someone with expericne, the ability to score and take charge of the 2nd-Unit w/the reserve players. Vogel may have to go this route if he can't get more productivity from the bench.

    Why move Ben Hansborough ahead of Augustin? Not only is Augustin struggling to find his offense, he also appears to be struggling w/how to run the offense particularly when working against Zone defenses. I've watched Lil Ben [Hansborough] perform over the summer and in his brief stints of playing time not only does he seem to have better court vision, he also has the ability to create shots for himself. In other words, he has exhibited confidence in his game and his teammates seem to enjoy playing alongside him. Give it four more games and if Augustin hasn't improved his game play, I'd say it's time to yank him and play Ben Hansborough in his place.

    I really don't think there's anything else that can be done to improve team performance beyond coach accepting a dose of reality and making some minor lineup changes. If the team continues on its current trejectory, the former 2nd round contenders who nearly took the Miami Heat the distance may find themselves out of the playoff hunt this year. And that would be a damned shame.

    Make the adjustments, coach! Do it quickly before things get so far out of hand the team can't recover.

  2. #2
    George Hill Apologist mattie's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Core Problem w/the Pacers is their "Core" and Unit Cohesiveness

    Several problems I have with your post. Adjust these and I'll come back with a more meaningful response.

    First, you ask why PG starts at the two over Lance. Well, news flash, Lance is starting at the two.

    Also, Hill is the only one playing well right now. Just because he admitted that he was never a point doesn't change the fact that he seems to be developing into a damn fine point guard. By the way - if you were to ask Hill if he'd rather develop into a point guard and be a legitimate starting point worthy of a long as successful career, or just a backup guard, or 7th man what do you think he'd rather be?????

    Lastly, DC was definitely a shootfirst point even moreso than Hill, and AJ flat out sucked.
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    When George Hill is above 15% usage we won 73.5% of games. Below 15% usage we won 61.9%

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    Default Re: The Core Problem w/the Pacers is their "Core" and Unit Cohesiveness

    I'm not trying to be rude, but your "major lineup changes" are swapping about 10 minutes each between Young/Green and Ben Hansbrough/Augustin. That's not gonna affect the outcome of games.

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    Default Re: The Core Problem w/the Pacers is their "Core" and Unit Cohesiveness

    Just a thought....but do you think that if we went back to an "egg timer" lineup where we have distinct 1st and 2nd units where 5 Players come in and 5 Players come out would make a difference in creating more Chemistry among the Players?

    Given the multitude of lineups that we run with Granger out and the "mix and matching" that has to go on....you have to wonder if that is causing issues with "cohesiveness" among the Players.
    Ash from Army of Darkness: Good...Bad...I'm the guy with the gun.

    This is David West, he is the Honey Badger, West just doesn't give a *****....he's pretty bad *ss cuz he has no regard for any other Player or Team whatsoever.

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    I'm on a MAC! graphic-er's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Core Problem w/the Pacers is their "Core" and Unit Cohesiveness

    You guys are way over thinking the problem and solution. The problem is no Danny Granger to keep the defense honest. With out Granger the opponent's defense does not have worry about us going nuts from 3pt range. Even though Granger is not considered a marksman from 3. He has a solid reputation as a good shooter who will make you pay. Pacers did not even take that many 3's last year compared to previous seasons. But no team is gonna cheat off Granger to double team Hibbert or West. They no longer have to worry about that. They can double at any time from any position on the floor now.

    The only solution to this is for Hibbert and PG to step it up, make better decisions. Score more points.
    Augustine has to start attacking like DC did last year. I dont even know if he is capable of it, but the last thing we need is for Augustine to sit back and shoot 3's. We no longer have a reliable perimeter shooter / threat , so we need to get more drive and kick sets going. Pick and pops with West.
    You can't get champagne from a garden hose.

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    Default Re: The Core Problem w/the Pacers is their "Core" and Unit Cohesiveness

    I think that many of us thought that this would be the year that Paul George would step up and become a star player and a big 3 point threat for us. But it hasn't happened.

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    Default Re: The Core Problem w/the Pacers is their "Core" and Unit Cohesiveness

    Quote Originally Posted by graphic-er View Post
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    Augustine has to start attacking like DC did last year. I dont even know if he is capable of it, but the last thing we need is for Augustine to sit back and shoot 3's. We no longer have a reliable perimeter shooter / threat , so we need to get more drive and kick sets going. Pick and pops with West.
    Lance is good at attacking the basket
    Ash from Army of Darkness: Good...Bad...I'm the guy with the gun.

    This is David West, he is the Honey Badger, West just doesn't give a *****....he's pretty bad *ss cuz he has no regard for any other Player or Team whatsoever.

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    Member naptownmenace's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Core Problem w/the Pacers is their "Core" and Unit Cohesiveness

    Quote Originally Posted by graphic-er View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    You guys are way over thinking the problem and solution. The problem is no Danny Granger to keep the defense honest. With out Granger the opponent's defense does not have worry about us going nuts from 3pt range. Even though Granger is not considered a marksman from 3. He has a solid reputation as a good shooter who will make you pay. Pacers did not even take that many 3's last year compared to previous seasons. But no team is gonna cheat off Granger to double team Hibbert or West. They no longer have to worry about that. They can double at any time from any position on the floor now.

    The only solution to this is for Hibbert and PG to step it up, make better decisions. Score more points.
    Augustine has to start attacking like DC did last year. I dont even know if he is capable of it, but the last thing we need is for Augustine to sit back and shoot 3's. We no longer have a reliable perimeter shooter / threat , so we need to get more drive and kick sets going. Pick and pops with West.
    I agreed with everything you posted except that part about Danny not being known as a marksman from 3. That's exactly what he's known for. He's a career 38% shooter from 3 and has had a couple of seasons of 40% shooting. He's a deep threat that moves well without the ball and has to be accounted for on the perimeter because of his ability to catch and shoot with that quick release of his.

  10. #9

    Default Re: The Core Problem w/the Pacers is their "Core" and Unit Cohesiveness

    Mattie,

    My question as to "why starter PG over Stephenson" was rhetorical. Still, I suggest you re-read the section of my post that starts with "Once Granger returns..." then take another look at the recommended lineup. Perhaps my commentary will appear more rational to you then.

    aamcguy,

    You're right! Playing our bench 10-12 mins really doesn't allow enough time for players to get acquinted with offensive schemes or develop unit cohesiveness. Furthermore, Vogel really hasn't utilized Lil'l Ben or Sam Young that much this young season. So, it's difficult to guage with any real sense of certainty how effective these guys can be. But what we do know is although Gerald Green can shoot the ball pretty good and has "Ups!", his defense needs work. One thing I do like about his game is he runs baseline screens better than any Forward/Guard I've seen since Reggie Miller, Rip Hamilton or Mike Dunleavy. Vogel needs to put him in position to do that more often. I do think, however, that because Green is playing out of position (SG, not SF) it's affecting his game. There's a clear learning curve he will have to get over before we start seeing any real improvement from him. Let's just hope he's a quick learner because the Pacers are going to need him.

    As for DJ Augustin, as the team's only real PG w/NBA experience, he really should be performing much better. My choice would be to bench him, get him into the practise gym and keep him there until he shows marked improvement in his passing game and his command of the Pacers' offensive schemes. Until then, he rides the pine and give Ben Hansborough his minutes OR Vogel could go with a 3 PG rotation.

    CableKC,

    I would never suggest rotating players unilaterally unless it was absolutely necessary (i.e., you're only down to 10 healthy bodies and all are deserving of playing time), but I do get your point which is pretty much the same as aamcguy - our bench has seen limited minutes. Right now, Vogel is relying heavily on the starters, particularly Hill and DWest, but that's because our bench has under-performed so far. Somehow, someway our reserves AND Hibbert and PGeorge needs to step it up!

    graphic-er,

    You've hit on the biggest problem facing this team right now as far as defenses collapsing in the paint and the Pacers' inability to spread the floor - they don't have their marksman out their and it's hurting them bad! So, again, unless Hibbert, DWest, PGeorge, Stephenson or somebody particularly among our Guards become deep ball threats, defensive will continue to throw Zone defenses at us and force our Bigs to beat them...a losing strategy for sure!

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