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Thread: Odd Thoughts: Thunderstruck

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    Default Odd Thoughts: Thunderstruck

    Here is pretty much all you need to know about this game. In the last 5:30 we scored 2 points, both from the free throw line. This is a common theme with our club and has been all season long, we just go through such long extended droughts that I donít care how good your defense is you are not going to win games doing that.

    You wonít beat bad teams playing like that and you are lucky if you donít get a 20 point loss put on you by really good teams, which Oklahoma City is.

    There is no shame in losing to the Thunder, I think if we were all honest if we looked at the schedule prior to the season even with Danny here we all pretty much had this written off as a loss. But its games like this that make those Toronto, Minnesota & Charlotte games so hard to swallow.

    We have now dropped to 9th in the East and sadly two full games back of Chicago for the Central division lead. I know itís early in the season but we have to be mindful of our position if we want any kind of home court for the playoffs playing a lower seed instead of being the sacrificial lamb to one of the top 3 teams.

    There really isnít a lot to say about this game, we actually didnít play badly. I mean sure there were things I would like to have seen us do differently, like not benching Lance to end the game. But at the end of the day Durant & Westbrook just took over, like they do against several teams.

    Yes we all saw what happened to Roy, again. I was very surprised when Frank benched him for the rest of the game in favor of Ian. I wasnít opposed to it mind you but I was surprised.

    At this point in time the only thing we can do is wait for this to pass and just pray that this is not the new normal for Roy.

    Here is how pathetic our bench has been all season. I have to look at this 8 point game from Gerald Green and pretend like this was a good game for him. I mean in the grand scheme of things he didnít play poorly although I donít feel he did anything to merit playing at the end of the game. But I think the expectationsí coming into the season was a little higher than this.

    West was his usual problematic self for our club and Tyler was his usual ineffective self as well. This is a trend for both players with the later not being a good thing.

    Oh speaking of the bench did you know that Kevin Martin by himself outscored our entire bench? Itís true he had 24 and our entire bench produced 20 points.

    Tonight letís just do the good the bad and the ugly.

    The Good:

    David West once again produced for our club. He ran out of gas at the end of the day and only contributed 2 points in the 4th (I think) but OKC did a very good job of denying him the ball and when he did get it they rushed two defenders at him to make him give it up quickly. I have a real concern for the min. he is having to absorb right now, I canít blame Frank at all because honestly the guy is our only real consistent scorer and Hansbrough has been absolute garbage lately. But I just donít know how long he can continue at this pace.

    Paul George had another good night playing against one of the premier players in the NBA. I donít care that he got blocked by Ibaka, what I do care about is that he had the tenacity to drive and attempt to ram that down Ibaka throat. Itís the NBA your going to get blocked but more often than not you can end up at the line or if not you will have a spectacular dunk or miss either way. I know he is going to get a lot of credit for what he did on Durant in the first half and he should but there were a few times I saw Lance on Durant and it worked out just as well. BTW that fast break he ran with Lance was superb.

    Lance Stephenson had a really good game. I have no idea why he was not in there at the end instead of Green. We desperately needed someone who could make something out of nothing in that case and Lance is one of those types of players. Frank may have been afraid that he is also one of those types of players who will make a massive mistake as well but in this case I think the tradeoff would have justified it. Either way I was proud of Lance for recognizing that Martin is a horrid defender and attacked him whenever he could. Also as I said above there were a few times that Lance got Durant on a switch and honestly I canít think of one time Durant burnt him. Good overall game from Lance.

    The Bad:

    Tyler Hansbrough was just brutal. Last season they would let him and West play together so that often times Tyler had almost 20 in a lot of games. This year if he gets 12 heís lucky and often times we are not. I guess at the end of the day he is what he is and every so many games he will drop a gem of a game on you where he comes in and causes havoc in the paint and draws fouls. But those games are getting fewer and fewer and farther between games.

    By all rights I want to put D.J. Augustin here because once again he had 2-1 turnover to assist ratio. But he did manage to slop up a couple of Tyler type crap shots that went in so I guess for him that constitutes some form of success.

    The Ugly:




    I know that we all want to put DJ out to pasture but in all honesty I wonder if it isnít time to give Pendegraph or preferably Plumlee some run at the backup 4 spot for a few min. a game just to see what we can get. I know it will never happen but honestly Iím tired of waiting for consistency from Tyler.




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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: Thunderstruck

    Peck, you use the term 'bench' when you could be saying 'the coach asserting that said player isn't contributing as strongly as the player finishing the game.' Nobody on this team gets benched. Frank needs to have the ability to experiment with lineups and make in-game changes that allow for the best chance to win without anyone getting their feelings hurts, players and fans alike. (Whether you agree with the coach's moves is entirely different, but I think that the term you use comes off as inappropriately harsh.)

    On that same note, I don't think Frank left Lance out for Green, but for Hill who played the whole second half. (He and West looked done by the end of the fourth. Not sure why Vogel thinks they can or should sustain those kind of minutes.) Green's D was unusually good, and he was playing offense with confidence. Hill, based on his play, did not merit being in the game, but Vogel obviously trusts him at the end of games. Lance being in probably doesn't change the outcome of the game either way, but that's way I read it.

    DJ actually had a pretty good game, in the limited minutes he had. Not sure on putting him in the 'bad' category.

    Agreed on Paul's D. He just needs to get a little stronger to deal with the bigger small forwards of the league.

    Lastly, Tina Turner or GTFO!

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: Thunderstruck

    I know that I have been beating a dead horse.... but I will continue to say that our bench is the stem of all our problems. Frank knew we had no chance of winning that game putting the bench in during the 4th quarter. Thus, we were forced to play the starters essentially the entire fourth and they were dead by the end of the quarter. There is just so many collateral effects from having this bad of a bench. It's actually pretty mind blowing how bad of a bench the powers that be put together.
    Last edited by rock747; 12-10-2012 at 05:26 AM.
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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: Thunderstruck

    I still think the block is not clean, nowhere near in fact, and even if it was anywhere near clean or judged to be so, the correct call would have been jump ball. but I guess in all it is easier to pile on Roy, like everyone does.

    What no one does is talk about the atrocious defence at times from West and the lack of any form of decent defence of HIll, I wont mention Hill calling his own shot way more than justified, considering he shoots a pathetic percentage for quite a while now.
    I can't believe we are end of 3rd and Hill has already heaved 7 of them up, between him and Paul they had a nice 10 - 29 let's point that out.
    Paul George played Hide and Seek, and lost, or hid himself to well.

    You mentioned Hans, it is beyond me why that guy still gets minutes, if what is left on the bench is even worse than i suggest we cut them all, swallow the salary and play a 3 man rotation up front. it can not be worse than it is.

    Roy is and remains even after this game, one of the most elite big man defenders in the NBA, he is very unlucky on his tips, which cost him "stat" points, but until he got slapped and his hook went way right he was shooting .500 or above.
    will his scoring come back? sure it will improve drastically but let's face it, he will have to get some calls going his way and some luck with his tips on the off-boards.
    and yes he gets fouled a lot and rarely goes to the line, because it doesn't get called.
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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: Thunderstruck

    Quote Originally Posted by Peck View Post
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    Here is pretty much all you need to know about this game. In the last 5:30 we scored 2 points, both from the free throw line. This is a common theme with our club and has been all season long, we just go through such long extended droughts that I don’t care how good your defense is you are not going to win games doing that.


    Oh speaking of the bench did you know that Kevin Martin by himself outscored our entire bench? It’s true he had 24 and our entire bench produced 20 points.
    Graph 1: Perhaps not quite as extreme, but definitely similar to the Nuggz game 4th qtr fade.

    Graph 2: Our main players off the bench average about 25 pts combined. We just don't have the kind of explosiveness you want out of an ideas sixth man. Yet they haven't got it done as a group either to this point. Last night was a pretty good game by our bench's standards and it still wasn't even close.

    Maybe Lance can become our sixth man once Danny gets back. I mean in terms of offering some type of spark and explosiveness.
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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: Thunderstruck

    Quote Originally Posted by Peck View Post
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    Lance Stephenson had a really good game. I have no idea why he was not in there at the end instead of Green. We desperately needed someone who could make something out of nothing in that case and Lance is one of those types of players. Frank may have been afraid that he is also one of those types of players who will make a massive mistake as well but in this case I think the tradeoff would have justified it. Either way I was proud of Lance for recognizing that Martin is a horrid defender and attacked him whenever he could. Also as I said above there were a few times that Lance got Durant on a switch and honestly I can’t think of one time Durant burnt him. Good overall game from Lance.
    I understand Vogel watching Green hit three shots in a row and deciding to ride with Green down the stretch. Don't agree with it, but I understand it. But, as you pointed out, we had no one to make something happen on offense when the Thunder clamped down. Lance has skills in those situations.

    It's frustrating to be a fan. We're not always right but often we are. Last year, it was dozens of agonizing games where we pointed out Collison was liability compared to Hill before Frank figured it out. The digest was right about that one. In years past it's been about Murphy, or Posey, or others. This year it's going to take Frank over half the season before he finally realizes Lance is a gamer, has what it takes at the end of games, and needs to be in there. By the time he figures it out, Granger will be back and we'll probably have to go through it all over again.
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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: Thunderstruck

    I thought the Pacers, especially the starters played a very good game. Just wasn't enough against a team that is simply better than the Pacers.

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: Thunderstruck

    Trying to recall...Roy not only got rejected at the rim by by Westbrook. He also was sent toppling over like a fallen giraffe by Sefalosha on a post up, right?
    I'd rather die standing up than live on my knees.

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: Thunderstruck

    Quote Originally Posted by able View Post
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    I still think the block is not clean, nowhere near in fact, and even if it was anywhere near clean or judged to be so, the correct call would have been jump ball.
    The block looked perfectly clean to me. I don't see Westbrook even touching a piece of Roy. And it couldn't be a jump ball since the ball came loose from the force of the block.

    Call it piling on if you like, but the fact is our 7'2" All-Star center had his two handed dunk attempt emphatically rejected by a point guard. Sure Russ is an athletic freak and Roy has about as much physical coordination as a baby giraffe but this is still pretty unacceptable.

    I don't know what the audio is like on the video but if someone wanted to dub over the Mortal Kombat guy saying "Finish Him", it would seem appropriate.
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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: Thunderstruck

    Ben Hansbrough > DJ Augustin. Time to pull the plug on that experiment.

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: Thunderstruck

    Quote Originally Posted by BRushWithDeath View Post
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    The block looked perfectly clean to me. I don't see Westbrook even touching a piece of Roy. And it couldn't be a jump ball since the ball came loose from the force of the block.

    Call it piling on if you like, but the fact is our 7'2" All-Star center had his two handed dunk attempt emphatically rejected by a point guard. Sure Russ is an athletic freak and Roy has about as much physical coordination as a baby giraffe but this is still pretty unacceptable.

    I don't know what the audio is like on the video but if someone wanted to dub over the Mortal Kombat guy saying "Finish Him", it would seem appropriate.
    It's impossible to tell from the angles we have, but I personally thought it was a foul too. Westbrook came down as Hibbert's hands were basically level with the ball and then the ball drops out at the end. If you watch you can see Hibbert's right arm drops down a lot farther than his left. If he had come down cleanly on top of the ball it would have either immediately knocked the ball out or been a jump ball, depending on how exactly Hibbert was holding on to the ball. It was close though, and refs would have to have a clear view of it happening to call it a foul. Which they couldn't get on that play since it was so close to the rim and Westbrook was blocking the only side avenue.

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: Thunderstruck

    Quote Originally Posted by McKeyFan View Post
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    I understand Vogel watching Green hit three shots in a row and deciding to ride with Green down the stretch. Don't agree with it, but I understand it. But, as you pointed out, we had no one to make something happen on offense when the Thunder clamped down. Lance has skills in those situations.

    It's frustrating to be a fan. We're not always right but often we are. Last year, it was dozens of agonizing games where we pointed out Collison was liability compared to Hill before Frank figured it out. The digest was right about that one. In years past it's been about Murphy, or Posey, or others. This year it's going to take Frank over half the season before he finally realizes Lance is a gamer, has what it takes at the end of games, and needs to be in there. By the time he figures it out, Granger will be back and we'll probably have to go through it all over again.
    It isn't that coaches don't realize it, well maybe with JOB it was, it is just that coaches are so cautious about making a change it is frustrating.

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: Thunderstruck

    Quote Originally Posted by Eleazar View Post
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    It isn't that coaches don't realize it, well maybe with JOB it was, it is just that coaches are so cautious about making a change it is frustrating.
    However, following that line of thinking, Frank would be more cautious to replace Lance, who played very well for three quarters. It's one thing if he puts up a stink bomb.
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    ďPeople talk about how quiet he [McKey] is, but heís really been helpful. He gives a lot of insight to players in how to guard certain teams and what their weaknesses are. The whole team listens to him, and it makes my job a lot easier. Having players like him is what pro basketball is all about for me.Ē óLarry Brown

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: Thunderstruck

    I saw the same story we were just facing an elite team. Our bench still sucks and I don't see any rotation that fixes that. If Roy would get back to last years form that would change a lot of things for this team but that doesn't look likely. It's hard for Vogel to react to a poor play from a starter when he has almost nothing to turn to. The extra minutes given to Ian would have still served the team better if given to Roy because Ian did less with them.
    This team with Granger and last years team probably loses this game as well but that's not to say we should be happy with the changes that were made.
    Do the right thing and walk away Walsh.

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: Thunderstruck

    Quote Originally Posted by D-BONE View Post
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    Maybe Lance can become our sixth man once Danny gets back. I mean in terms of offering some type of spark and explosiveness.
    Maybe, but can the Pacers wait 25 games or so for Granger to come back? A sick anything needs help, and this applies to the Pacers as well.

    I know this is blasphemy, but I'm not sure the Pacers can wait around until Granger gets back and still make the playoffs. That would just be disastrous considering the team Walsh inherited from Bird, which is just the opposite of what Bird inherited from Walsh. Walsh is making Bird look like an Allstar Executive of the Decade. I truly wonder what Bird would have done to make the Pacers better this past off season. Whatever it would have been I have to believe it would have been better than what Walsh has done, and this comes from one of Bird the FO guy's biggest opponents.

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: Thunderstruck

    [QUOTE=McKeyFan;1543527]

    It's frustrating to be a fan. /QUOTE]

    You are talking to the choir. I'm more frustrated now than I was with Jimmy's 36,36, and 32 win seasons. To go from last years success to what's happening now just makes me sick. It's like a bad dream that I can't wake up from to get out of the bad dream.

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: Thunderstruck

    Quote Originally Posted by McKeyFan View Post
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    I understand Vogel watching Green hit three shots in a row and deciding to ride with Green down the stretch. Don't agree with it, but I understand it. But, as you pointed out, we had no one to make something happen on offense when the Thunder clamped down. Lance has skills in those situations.

    It's frustrating to be a fan. We're not always right but often we are. Last year, it was dozens of agonizing games where we pointed out Collison was liability compared to Hill before Frank figured it out. The digest was right about that one. In years past it's been about Murphy, or Posey, or others. This year it's going to take Frank over half the season before he finally realizes Lance is a gamer, has what it takes at the end of games, and needs to be in there. By the time he figures it out, Granger will be back and we'll probably have to go through it all over again.
    Though I agree with you, there have been times when Lance has burned us in crunch time (hawks game, against Andre Miller and Den) so it's not like he hasn't gotten his chances to close games

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: Thunderstruck

    I rarely question Frank Vogel, but I do wonder what he needs to do with the bench.

    I think he needs to make a decision fairly soon - as in the next couple of weeks. Either decide he is sticking with the bench through good times and bad (which is basically in general what he has been doing - alkthough he might need to commit to it even more). And what I mean is to give the 4 or 5 players off the bench regular and consistant minutes every game - if that means it costs us a few games, so be it. The idea is they will come around - sort of like Carlisle does and he always has one of the best benches in the NBA and I do think part of the reason why is the way he uses the bench players.

    Or Frank needs to decide that we need to win games now, that we cannot try to force the bench to either play better or lose games, that isn't fair to the starters. So if he decides to do this Frank needs to scrap a regular rotation and use a more situational substitutional pattern. That mnight mean some fo the bench players might not play every game, or in each half. Ride the starters and rest them as much as you can and wait for Danny to come back and then see how the bench looks.

    I do think he needs to do one or the other. Stick with them and sacrifice a few wins, or scrap his current approach and use a situational pattern

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: Thunderstruck

    Quote Originally Posted by Pacerized View Post
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    I saw the same story we were just facing an elite team. Our bench still sucks and I don't see any rotation that fixes that. If Roy would get back to last years form that would change a lot of things for this team but that doesn't look likely. It's hard for Vogel to react to a poor play from a starter when he has almost nothing to turn to. The extra minutes given to Ian would have still served the team better if given to Roy because Ian did less with them.
    This team with Granger and last years team probably loses this game as well but that's not to say we should be happy with the changes that were made.
    Do the right thing and walk away Walsh.
    We did beat this team last year with Danny. Oobvioysky we don't know what would've happened but I do think we would have had a better chance to win down the stretch. But hey, any time your 7'2 Max C gets blocked by a PG that's almost a foot shorter than him, you know all you need to know about the way the 4th qtr was going.

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: Thunderstruck

    Peck mentioned something I've been thinking about lately, and that is letting Plumlee play. I wasn't happy about Bird drafting Plumlee at the time, but with this bench situation I'm all for giving him a shot. Hansbro, another of Bird's picks I wasn't excited about, isn't getting the job done, so let Plumjam have Hansbro's minutes. Ian can slide over to the 4 when they are playing together. Shake it up, and see what happens.

    Maybe give Ben some minutes at PG too. As much as I've ragged on Hill and his output, he can't be worked to death like a borrowed mule. He needs less PT and more rest to be able to play his best. It's hard to play well when one is constantly tired. I'd have to believe rest would have to help his atrocious shooting %. Give him some rest, so he can have a chance to be successful.

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: Thunderstruck

    Quote Originally Posted by Ace E.Anderson View Post
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    Though I agree with you, there have been times when Lance has burned us in crunch time (hawks game, against Andre Miller and Den) so it's not like he hasn't gotten his chances to close games
    I respectfully disagree. I can't remember the Hawks, but with Denver he was not the primary problem down the stretch. Sure, he should have made the foul shot to put us within two, but you could also argue that if he had not been aggressive and made something happen, we wouldn't have even been within one possession at the end. Defensively, here's what I wrote in the post game thread:

    Last five minutes of Denver game:

    - Miller tries to penetrate and Lance keeps Miller from shooting
    - 3:00: Lance gets a steal
    - 2:44 Miller draws a foul against PG and makes two free throws
    - 2:30 Miller scores on fast break layup. Lance barely reaches him in time and pushes him toward DWest at the basket who does nothing. This break was the result of GHill's early 3-pointer that caroomed off the rim while Lance was on the baseline. The fast break was Hill's fault, not Lance's, and Quinn even said as much.
    - 2:00 Miller scores on an easy shot from the foul line. You could argue this one was Lance's fault. Except that he got screened by Javale freaking McGee, so he switched, which makes sense. Unfortunately, it was Roy's job to come up simply to the foul line to cover Miller, but speedy Hibbert did not even make the attempt.
    - 1:45 ish: Miller tries to penetrate. Lance plays solid D and prevents any shot attempt. They call a foul on Lance. Not a shooting foul. No big deal.
    - 1:30 or so: Young replaces Lance. Miller immediately gets wide open to make a 10 footer. Lance back in.
    - 1:00 or so: Similar play. Lance switches again, which he should have. This time, however, the switcher is GHill who does play defense and Miller misses the 15 foooter.
    - I don't think Denver scored again.
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    ďPeople talk about how quiet he [McKey] is, but heís really been helpful. He gives a lot of insight to players in how to guard certain teams and what their weaknesses are. The whole team listens to him, and it makes my job a lot easier. Having players like him is what pro basketball is all about for me.Ē óLarry Brown

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: Thunderstruck

    If it's all about earning minutes as Vogel says it is, then why isn't Tyler benched and Plumlee getting in there to earn some playing time. Vogel can be pretty frustrating. I can see sticking with DJ cause no way would Ben be any better, but Plumlee is already better than Hans. Pends probably is too.
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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: Thunderstruck

    Quote Originally Posted by McKeyFan View Post
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    I respectfully disagree. I can't remember the Hawks, but with Denver he was not the primary problem down the stretch. Sure, he should have made the foul shot to put us within two, but you could also argue that if he had not been aggressive and made something happen, we wouldn't have even been within one possession at the end. Defensively, here's what I wrote in the post game thread:
    The Hawks game he actually played well, but turned the ball over once or twice down the stretch as the Hawks were making their comeback. He also lost Korver for the go ahead 3 (if i remember correctly)

    The foul that Miller drew on PG was because he beat Lance (although there was no foul there to be called)

    He def shouldn't have switched simply because we all know that the guard is going to score when Roy is switched on him

    Don't get me wrong, as I stated in my previous post--I think Lance should finish games. I actually think he could stand to take a few FGA from GH and Roy as well. I was just saying I know he's been in down the stretch of a few games, DEN and ATL came to mind.
    Last edited by Ace E.Anderson; 12-10-2012 at 12:21 PM.

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: Thunderstruck

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    I thought the Pacers, especially the starters played a very good game. Just wasn't enough against a team that is simply better than the Pacers.
    My thoughts exactly. Wasn't particularly angered by this loss.

  34. #25

    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: Thunderstruck

    I was not so susprised to see us lose to the Thunder at their house. They are one of, if not the best team in the league and teams like that are hard to beat at home. The play and/or rotation on our 2nd unit however, is really starting to worry me. Long playing time in every game makes injuries easier to get. We are an injury to David West from hopeless, IMO. Donny and Pritch may have done the best they could in the off season, but losing Danny has taken a large toll. Is it time to start looking for some serious trade talks? And what are the chances Donnie will pull that trigger?

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