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Thread: 11/23/2012 Game Thread #14: Pacers Vs. Spurs

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    Default 11/23/2012 Game Thread #14: Pacers Vs. Spurs



    Game Time Start: 8:00 PM EST
    Where: The Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
    Officials: D. Crawford, S. Bolnick, J. Goble

    Media Notes: Indiana Notes, San Antonio Notes
    Television: FOX Sports Indiana / FOX Sports Southwest
    Radio: WFNI 1070 AM / WOAI 1200 AM, KCOR 1350 AM
    NBA Feeds:

    REMINDER: Per PD policy, please do not share a link to, describe how to search for, request a link to, or request a PM about streaming video of a NBA game that is not coming directly through the NBA. Not even in a "wink-wink, nudge-nudge, know-what-I-mean" round-about sort of way. Thank you

    Season Records: (W-L)
    Home: 4-1
    West: 3-2
    Away: 5-1
    East: 2-1
    Upcoming Games:
    Nov 27
    Nov 30
    Dec 01
    Dec 04

    Projected Starting Lineup:
    Projected Starting Lineup:

    Danny Granger - left knee tendinosis (out)

    Kawhi Leonard - tendinitis, left knee (out)
    Stephen Jackson - fractured right finger (out)

    Perpetually Disappointing to Trader Joe Minimally Relevant Video:

    Semi-Relevant Video:
    After two years of game threading, I still cannot find any video
    evidence on the interwebs of the Pacers beating the Spurs. So until
    the Pacers decide to beat the Spurs, I'll keep posting completely
    irrelevant and potentially disturbing videos like...

    Eight Points, Nine Seconds Review:
    Jared Wade: Who Wants to Watch the Mediocrity Treadmill?

    After nine games, Indiana has the second-worst offense in the league. Scoring only 92
    points per 100 possessions, the Pacers are only bested in impotence by the winless
    Washington Wizards. Things went from bad to worse this week, when the Pacers lost
    on their home floor despite holding the Toronto Raptors to five fourth-quarter points,
    then completely mailed in a game in Milwaukee.

    At a 2011 conference dedicated to sports statistics, Kevin Pritchard coined — or at
    least popularized — the phrase “mediocrity treadmill.” This NBA phenomenon, which
    in broad terms is created by the rules governing salaries and player movement, is
    something he suggested should be avoided at all costs. Its premise is simple: there is
    no point in trying to put together an average team, so if you can’t shoot for the stars
    then you should burn down your team and bury it underground.

    Try to be great or try to be horrible, those are the only two ways to compete.

    The problem with being average is that it is very expensive to do so and it
    necessitates locking many middling players into long-term guaranteed contracts. And
    in the process, you lose not only a legitimate shot to compete with the league’s elite
    teams but also all financial flexibility to improve your team. So if you can’t acquire a
    few truly great players who can carry you to a title, you should just liquidate the
    roster and stock up on draft picks and young, improving players on rookie contracts
    (which the collective bargaining agreement keeps artificially cheap no matter how
    talented they are). The salary cap just doesn’t permit you to sign enough middle-of-
    the-road, $8 million-per-year players to field a contender, so you need to bottom out,
    clear cap space and retool the roster around a few highly productive players who earn
    $15 million and a few more who make under $5 million.

    The Pacers, much to the chagrin of most national basketball writers I have seen
    discuss the subject, refused to bottom out. They have tried to take the mediocrity
    treadmill route. Rather than admit their early millenium run was over and falling to
    bottom of the standings — like the Heat, Nets Grizzlies and Timberwolves — the Pacers
    haven’t won fewer than 32 games in any season since 1989. (It should be noted that
    when Pritchard discussed the mediocrity treadmill at that MIT stats conference, he had
    yet to be hired by the Pacers in any official capacity.)

    One of the suspected motivations for the Pacers’ refusal to bottom out — and the one I
    subscribe to — is that the franchise quite literally couldn’t afford to. After the Brawl, the
    team’s fanbase was so turned off, so disgusted that those in power believed that a string
    of sub-25-win seasons might lead to financial losses so large that it might force to owner
    to sell. At worst, the result — especially if no Deron Williamses, Marc Gasols or Kevin
    Loves were acquired, which is always a risk — could be the end of the Pacers in Indiana.
    Or, less bad but still unacceptable, the franchise could get bad and stay bad for years
    while owner Herb Simon took eight-figure financial losses each year for a decade as he
    watched his team spiral the drain of irrelevance and futility.

    Thus, their decision was at least understandable if still unpalatable. The on-court result
    wasn’t pretty (Troy Murphy was second on the team in shots one year), but last year’s
    attendance figures did start to show that the team’s paying fanbase, many members of
    which swore off the team forever during the Jail Pacers era, was growing.

    Coming into this season with high expectations, it looked like the Pacers had outrun the
    mediocrity treadmill. Maybe they couldn’t beat the Heat, but they seemed to have a legit
    shot at making the Eastern Conference Finals, and they would certainly once again be a
    product worth watching.

    But something funny happened on the way to the bank: The Pacers may have become
    terrible...CONTINUE READING AT 8p9s

    48 Minutes of Hell Preview:
    Jesse Blanchard: Injuries and the wrong kind of small ball

    Size remains a premium in the NBA, even as the league trends smaller and quicker.
    Since their first round playoff loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, the San Antonio Spurs
    have been perceived as especially vulnerable to teams with large frontlines.

    While head coach Gregg Popovich continues to audition frontcourt partners for Tim
    Duncan—with Matt Bonner making a case for more playing time last night—the Spurs
    had quietly upgraded and deployed size in less obvious ways than bringing in another
    seven-foot shot blocker.

    In trading George Hill for Kawhi Leonard and bringing back Stephen Jackson, gone
    were the days of three guard lineups that stressed the Spurs defensive rotations
    against any team with even a modicum of size on the wings. With two oversized
    wings, the Spurs had an endless amount of roster versatility at their disposal and a
    framework for better defense.

    “With length at the two and three positions, often times can lend itself to a little bit
    better overall defense,” Popovich said a season ago. “More deflections, more
    contested shots, better rebounding, crowding the court a little bit more. All kinds of
    little things that add up to big things can happen with bigger people.”

    With Stephen Jackson out for a 4-6 weeks with a broken finger, and Kawhi Leonard
    expected to be out for two weeks, the Spurs figure to be hurting for size.

    “It’s difficult to lose any player, especially if you lost your starting small forward a
    couple of games before,” Manu Ginobili said when asked about Jackson’s injury
    after the game. “We’re going to be shorthanded for a while and we’ll have to figure
    it out. It’s going to be hard but it’s a good test for us.”

    Against the Los Angeles Clippers the Spurs failed that test. While the initial defense
    remained stout in the fourth quarter, forcing the Clippers into a number of difficult,
    contested shots, any defensive rotation from the frontcourt left the Spurs vulnerable
    on the glass—which the Clippers exploited to great effect.

    It remains to be seen what...CONTINUE READING AT 48 MINUTES OF HELL

    140 Characters of (Non-PD) Coverage

    Mike Wells @MikeWellsNBA
    Jared Wade @8pts9secs
    Tim Donahue @TimDonahue8p9s
    Tom Lewis @indycornrows

    Jeff McDonald @JMcDonald_SAEN
    Andrew McNeill @drew_48MoH
    Aaron McGuire @docrostov
    Pounding the Rock @poundingtherock
    Last edited by avoidingtheclowns; 11-23-2012 at 02:37 PM.
    This is the darkest timeline.

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