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Thread: Odd Thoughts: SUNshine of Pacer Love

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    Administrator Peck's Avatar
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    Default Odd Thoughts: SUNshine of Pacer Love

    All of those whose hearts jumped into their throats when they saw George Hill come up limping say ďAyeĒ all those who didnít reply ďNayĒ.

    The ďAyeísĒ have it, motion forwarded.

    Iím telling you guys I saw our season flash before my eyes when I saw George grab his hip & limp off of the floor. Iíll say this as simply as possible, we do NOT haven an adequate replacement for him if he goes down with injury or illness. Iím sorry but D.J. Augustine still looked like a flaming dung pile tonight, I know a lot of people donít like Ben & Iím not going to argue that he is ever going to be a solid NBA player either but I just see nothing from Augustine. Now to be fair to him he would have had two more assists if Mahinmi could have hit any of the wide open shots he got him but Iím telling you his defense is so bad that it takes anything away from whatever he brings on the offensive end.

    When Hill came back on the floor my heart returned to my chest.

    This was a trap game IMO, we were well rested (probably to rested) and facing a team who has been losing and coming off of a loss. Exactly the type of game that on occasion teams just get caught napping in and in the second half this became a little closer than I am sure all of us would have preferred. But to the teamís credit (and frankly some very odd coaching from Alvin Gentry) we did not collapse and held on to win and beat a team we needed to beat. That is the difference between now and the early part of the season, we are beating teams that we should. We still have yet to master the good teams but hopefully that will come. We have a very rough couple of games coming up with the Hawks & the Grizzlies but for now we can bask in the sunshine of a 4 game winning streak.

    Itís been awhile so letís revisit the grading system tonight.

    David West: B (A to end the game but really not much more than a D before that)

    Spent the first three quarters of the game being pushed from stem to stern by Louis Scola and throwing up nothing but one handed runners that just would not find the bottom of the net. In fact he really wasnít doing anything very well for those three quarters as his defense was suspect, his passing not bad but nothing special and frankly a couple of mental errors that cost the ball. But then came ďwinning timeĒ and the old war horse just took over once again. It has to be frustrating to teams to try and guard him in the crunch because heís not like a LeBron or Bryant who will slice you with a magnitude of different looks. He basically has one move, a stutter step to create space and then a face up jumper and Iíll be damned if Iíve seen anybody be able to stop it. Now having said all of that Iíll say this I donít think he should have played the entire 3rd quarter and then the vast majority of the 4th because Tyler was really killing them when he was in there and West up until the 4th struggled.

    Paul George: B

    Solid game, not one of his killer super awesome games that he has been having lately but this will do. He really needs to elevate I think when he goes in the lane for a layup because I think he draws a lot of charges by staying low to the ground, I just wonder if he wouldnít get the call or at least a no call if he was going up instead of just forward? Good solid defensive effort as always and he and George Hill were working on entry passes during a time out which I thought was a really cool thing to watch as both of them were sharing ideas. There was no argument about it, just two team mates trying to work on a rhythm.

    Roy Hibbert: B

    Some are going to say that this grade is too high but Iím telling you that defensively he was once again a juggernaut even though he doesnít have the blocked shots to prove it. When he was in the game the Suns resorted to mid range jumpers and on one occasion Telfair drove to the rack looked at the rim and saw Roy coming and instead of going up he passed it out between two Suns and right out of bounds. All created by Hibbert and his shot blocking ability. Yes we all know right now he canít shoot, Iím not sure what is going on there but on the other end of the floor he is giving you a lot. Now on a small note here & this is where I am thankful for Gentry being a horrid coach, but Jermaine was just abusing Roy in the second half and for whatever reason he was taken out to close the game. Iím not sure what would have happened had he stayed in. Also letís make sure to point out Royís 14 boards, very happy to get that kind of production from him. We just have to hope that the shots will come.

    Lance Stephenson: A

    3 missed free throws away from an A+. Who would ever have dreamed that Lance would be a steady stable offensive presence who also turns games around with his defensive prowess? In the first quarter when the Suns were on a run Lance turned the game around with steals leading to breaks for our team. Now in fairness he did have one really boneheaded play where he drove down court and then across the baseline jumping in the air without knowing what he was going to do and getting cut off forcing him to throw a crappy pass right to Gortat. But other than that he was golden all night long. Getting in with the starters is really a great learning experience for him & I wonder what will occur when he returns to the bench. BillS and I debated that tonight & Iím still not sure where I stand on what happens with him.

    George Hill: A

    Until he came up lame I would have said that Roy or West was the MVP of our team. When I was very afraid that we might have an extended time without George it became very clear to me that he is the MVP of the team. We have a replacement for every position on the floor minus one. We do not have anyone who could step in and run the show if George went down. Anyway I think he went 3 quarters before he missed a shot and he was throwing up some really bizarre stuff. Telfair seemed to give him some problems, which I think is a pattern in fact. Not that Telfair gives him problems but it seems George does ok vs. the athletic big point guards but seems to have problems with the little water bug quick ones.

    Tyler Hansbrough: B

    In the first half he was the bomb. In fact I was stunned when Vogel didnít play him in the 3rd and then by the time he got in during the 4th he hadnít played in real time in over a half hour so while he didnít suck he didnít really do anything in the short time he played. But he really was a punch in the gut to Scola both figuratively and literally as Tyler was his typical physical self all night long with Louis and took him out of the game in the first half. He not only scored on him but took over rebounding as well. He also gave Jermaine a good pop in the chest with his forearm that caused me to grin and J.O. to grimace. This was a good game from Tyler.

    Gerald Green: C

    Meh, floated around the three point line to much for my taste. But I understand he did hit a couple of threeís so that helped the cause. Iím not sure though if I will ever be able to give him anything below a C for the rest of the season though after that dunk the other night vs. the Cavs. Iím still in awe of that dunk and stare down.

    Ian Mahinmi: C-

    Can we get him some stickum for when he is under the rim? Dear God Lance hit him in the hands with a perfect entry pass and he bobbled it out of bounds. Scott Pollard was even shaking his head on that one. Got to the line and did at least have the decency to hit the majority of his free throws. I donít know what happened when he was in there if it was him or someone else but it seemed like the Suns were able to penetrate at will during his time on the floor. Heís not a bad defender so I donít know for sure what happened.

    D.J. Augustin: C-

    Iím being generous here. To his credit he at least didnít lose the lead but other than that not much else. I hate his defense so much I could cry when he is on the floor. I know Ben wasnít the answer either but Iíd still much rather have him. I know Frank doesnít like Lance at the one spot but I swear that if Hill ever goes down I donít think we will win a game if we let D.J. get the majority of the p.g. min.

    Anyway we won, we are on a good winning streak and the photo the other day of Danny taking jumpers lifted my spirits even higher.

    Now the schedule gets a little tougher but thatís ok, if we are a good team we need to start beating good teams. That Atlanta game would be a nice start but Iím being realistic.

    Also as a side note.

    There is the P.T.O. Pacers Tailgating Organization which I know has a good pre game showing.

    I would like to invite everyone to join us later in the night for the P.T.T.S. Pacers Trash Talking Society. We meet immediately after every game outside section one right near the green trash can (hence the name Trash Talking). Weíve been doing this for a few years and we have our regulars but I wanted to let everyone know that you are welcome to come join in or just stop by and say hi.

    Anyway on to the Hawks.




    Basketball isn't played with computers, spreadsheets, and simulations. ChicagoJ 4/21/13

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    Jimmy did what Jimmy did Bball's Avatar
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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: SUNshine of Pacer Love

    Who would ever have dreamed that Lance would be a steady stable offensive presence who also turns games around with his defensive prowess?
    Larry Bird...
    Nuntius was right. I was wrong. Frank Vogel has retained his job.

    ------

    "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, thatís teamwork."

    -John Wooden

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: SUNshine of Pacer Love

    Agreed about Tyler. He didn't play at all in the 3rd and that was unfair cause he was just great in the first half and West wasn't good at all at the time.

    I also agree with you on D.J. I just don't wanna see him on the floor at any time because i can't watch him on defense. He is so bad at it that is unreal. Every single point guard in this league will have a field day against him. Get rid of him asap and hope the FO is already looking at alternatives. Bring back Ben despite his limitations. What is more, it's a bit unfair to lose his back up status after one bad game at New Orleans. Yeas I know it was not something permanent but Vogel should seriously think about it.

    Sorry but couldn't help but laugh how mad Lance was after watching his wonderful pass slipping through Ian's hands and going out of bounds. Lance was ready to assault him
    Lance is brilliant this season and there are still people who doubt he can play as a point guard? His vision is miles away from any other Pacer currently on the roster.

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: SUNshine of Pacer Love

    Lance was feeling it too, got cute on a couple of his passes, but they worked, and as always, him and Tyler work well together. Really solid game from both of them. I still hope PG works on his transition game. He can stop the ball and run the floor but has no idea what to do with the ball at the rim. Elevating more might alleviate some of that as you suggested but for someone of his athleticism, this seems like it shouldn't be too difficult of a fix.

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: SUNshine of Pacer Love

    I'm really, really pleased with the season Lance is having.

    Say what you will about Hibbert's defense. There are some ways to measure it, but its largely subjective. On the offensive end of the court, however, he is simply not cutting it. I don't see how his teammates aren'tgetting really frustrated with his lack of production. The only word for his offensive game is PITIFUL.

    Last season the squad started hot and then had a bit of a slump about a month or so into the season. This year the slump was at the begining of the year and now they've hit their stride. Things can only get better with Granger's return and the possibility, though marginal, of Hibbert returning to offensive form.

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    Intuition over Integers McKeyFan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: SUNshine of Pacer Love

    Quote Originally Posted by Peck View Post
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    I wonder what will occur when Lance returns to the bench. BillS and I debated that tonight & I’m still not sure where I stand on what happens with him.
    Can you expand a bit on this, Peck?
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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: SUNshine of Pacer Love

    Quote Originally Posted by Peck View Post
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    We do not have anyone who could step in and run the show if George went down.
    Well, I disagree with this.

    We clearly do. It is Lance. In fact, Vogel has given him the keys to the team for two games in a row on the final possessions. Hill has simply handed the ball to Lance at the top and he has run some beautiful pick and rolls with West.

    Don't tell me Lance can play Ginobli for us when it really matters but can't start the offense with a pass in the first quarter.
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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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    Come Home Lance! BlueNGold's Avatar
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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: SUNshine of Pacer Love

    When Granger returns, we simply see less of Augustin and Green. Lance will continue to get big minutes IMO.

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: SUNshine of Pacer Love

    Quote Originally Posted by McKeyFan View Post
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    Well, I disagree with this.

    We clearly do. It is Lance. In fact, Vogel has given him the keys to the team for two games in a row on the final possessions. Hill has simply handed the ball to Lance at the top and he has run some beautiful pick and rolls with West.

    Don't tell me Lance can play Ginobli for us when it really matters but can't start the offense with a pass in the first quarter.
    I expect Lance to takeover the backup PG position when Granger returns. He may ultimately become a 6th man combo guard or he may one day be the starting PG. What I am sure about is that Lance will be on the floor more than Augustin and Green...and some of those minutes will be at PG because Granger's presence will dictate that move.

    Edit: I find it amusing that a guy like Collison was considered a PG, yet Lance is not. Collison was a great backup SG IMO. I liked what he brought the team. But like Pacer management, I knew he wasn't the answer at PG.
    Last edited by BlueNGold; 12-29-2012 at 10:40 AM.

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: SUNshine of Pacer Love

    Anybody still hesitant on giving Lance 6 mil per? He has grown so much and has been solid. We better extend him soon, trade Danny, or get back a haul for this kid. Hope we extend him. I would really hate it for Lance if he has to play the next 2 years on a < 1 mil deal. If anyone on this team is GROSSLY underpaid, its him. PAY THE MAN!!!

    On a side note, I hate to call anyone who makes 850,000 a year, grossly underpaid. But he is way more underpaid than Roy is overpaid.

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: SUNshine of Pacer Love

    Quote Originally Posted by *astrisk* View Post
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    Anybody still hesitant on giving Lance 6 mil per? He has grown so much and has been solid. We better extend him soon, trade Danny, or get back a haul for this kid. Hope we extend him. I would really hate it for Lance if he has to play the next 2 years on a < 1 mil deal. If anyone on this team is GROSSLY underpaid, its him. PAY THE MAN!!!

    On a side note, I hate to call anyone who makes 850,000 a year, grossly underpaid. But he is way more underpaid than Roy is overpaid.
    We he's making over 900k this year and next. But if we give him a new contract, it will add on to the end of his contract. No reason to pay more than he's already signed up for, even if he deserves it.

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: SUNshine of Pacer Love

    Someone just needs to explain to DJ that in this offense, the good pass is the open pass. It's like DJ thinks he has to set everyone up for a score when he's on the floor, and just dribbles until it happens. Does nothing but run back-to-back PnRs that don't make the defense to rotate at all.

    I really don't understand how a guy can be so clueless about a ball rotating offense.

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: SUNshine of Pacer Love

    Quote Originally Posted by Since86 View Post
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    Someone just needs to explain to DJ that in this offense, the good pass is the open pass. It's like DJ thinks he has to set everyone up for a score when he's on the floor, and just dribbles until it happens. Does nothing but run back-to-back PnRs that don't make the defense to rotate at all.

    I really don't understand how a guy can be so clueless about a ball rotating offense.
    If he would move the ball, and aggressively attempt to score off these pick and rolls, it would open things up for his distribution. Right now, teams are playing him for the pass so his only option is the high pick & roll-- pass to the big for a 15 footer. We can get that ANY time I feel.

    I agree he needs to move the da*n ball, and shoot when open. Nothing more is necessary at this point

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: SUNshine of Pacer Love

    Quote Originally Posted by Since86 View Post
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    Someone just needs to explain to DJ that in this offense, the good pass is the open pass. It's like DJ thinks he has to set everyone up for a score when he's on the floor, and just dribbles until it happens. Does nothing but run back-to-back PnRs that don't make the defense to rotate at all.

    I really don't understand how a guy can be so clueless about a ball rotating offense.
    You've described a pretty common problem in basketball. And humanity. It's simply wanting immediate gratification instead of longterm results requiring discipline. Solid players are willing to make the pass that leads to the assist.

    DJ's not clueless. He's undisciplined.
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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: SUNshine of Pacer Love

    Just a thought about DJA. I didn't see him play that much at Texas, but with the Hornets and IIRC in college, he was a give the ball to DJ and get the Hell outta the way guard. I don't think he understands yet that he needs to run plays for the other teammates. He is no longer alone on the floor and if he ever catches on to that, he may be pretty good. Hope that happens some time soon or else somewhere else.

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: SUNshine of Pacer Love

    Quote Originally Posted by McKeyFan View Post
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    Well, I disagree with this.

    We clearly do. It is Lance. In fact, Vogel has given him the keys to the team for two games in a row on the final possessions. Hill has simply handed the ball to Lance at the top and he has run some beautiful pick and rolls with West.

    Don't tell me Lance can play Ginobli for us when it really matters but can't start the offense with a pass in the first quarter.
    More than having someone to "run the show", we would miss Hill's clutch shooting and veteran smarts (even though a young veteran) and calming presence.

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: SUNshine of Pacer Love

    As far as Walsh getting another b/u PG for the rest of the season, don't count on it. The problem with that is "if" Hill should go down and Stephenson takes over as the starting PG, the Pacers are still w/o a decent b/u PG as neither DJ nor Ben qualifies as a quality b/u PG. Walsh will just stay the course and do nothing while hoping nothing happens to Hill. Then in the off season look for a quality b/u PG while betting his doing nothing b4 the trade deadline works out.

    I'm in the camp that when Granger comes back that Stephenson stays with the starters and Granger comes off the bench. Somewhere between half and 2/3 of the season will have passed by that time, and I see no reason to mess up the team play and chemistry by pushing Stephenson to the bench to let Granger start. What's best for the team comes Ist. If it's best for the team for Stephenson to start, then that's the way it should be. Granger hasn't played all season and shouldn't expect to start just b/c he's back. TEAM 1ST has to be the top priority.

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: SUNshine of Pacer Love

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom White View Post
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    More than having someone to "run the show", we would miss Hill's clutch shooting and veteran smarts (even though a young veteran) and calming presence.
    Yeah, he's become as much clutch as West. It's not like he didn't have that to his game in SAS really, but here in Indy he's had the chance to make more of it.


    I think you guys are putting a bit too much on Lance. What he's been is BIG for a backcourt player, so he can bang for rebounds and get physical in the lane on defense. Another strength is that like Hill he's really driven and able to drive the ball upcourt in a hurry. But he's still a little out of control once he gets to the other end and often drives himself into trouble. His vision is good but not great IMO, and I don't think he's showing more PG vision than Hill at this point. Or maybe it's just that Hill is more disciplined in the offense.

    So I don't see Lance as a star player, but clearly you need to have him playing the backup PG instead of DJ once Danny gets back. Lance and Hill as a combo gives you two guys who can dribble drive up the court and initiate attacks so you can still work him in with the starters in all sorts of variations. He could be pushing into a good 6th man role but I'm not sold that he's that dialed in yet, just like Tyler hitting some jumpers doesn't suddenly undo what his game has been up till now.

    Lance has progressed though and that's a huge positive. Also Lance is probably the best transition passer we've had in awhile. He's been good on getting other guys shots on the break while forcing the defense to commit to him before making the pass.




    Mahinmi - his footwork and butter hands sure do tell the tale of his soccer upbringing. This is why he looks so smooth moving around the post but is so bad with fumbling passes. I wonder how fixable that is because it's the only thing holding him back.
    Last edited by Naptown_Seth; 12-29-2012 at 03:44 PM.

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: SUNshine of Pacer Love

    Glad Lance has one more team option year. Still, I hope they give him an extension while he'll likely still be somewhat cheap. I think $3M/yr for a few years should work just fine.
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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: SUNshine of Pacer Love

    Quote Originally Posted by Naptown_Seth View Post
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    I think you guys are putting a bit too much on Lance.
    Former detractor here. He was not Born Ready. But he's ready now for 6th man.

    More important of all, I see him using his head out there. Playing smart as well as instinctive basketball.

    He's even shooting from distance which I did not believe he could do. Very impressed.

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: SUNshine of Pacer Love

    Quote Originally Posted by Naptown_Seth View Post
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    Yeah, he's become as much clutch as West. It's not like he didn't have that to his game in SAS really, but here in Indy he's had the chance to make more of it.


    I think you guys are putting a bit too much on Lance. What he's been is BIG for a backcourt player, so he can bang for rebounds and get physical in the lane on defense. Another strength is that like Hill he's really driven and able to drive the ball upcourt in a hurry. But he's still a little out of control once he gets to the other end and often drives himself into trouble. His vision is good but not great IMO, and I don't think he's showing more PG vision than Hill at this point. Or maybe it's just that Hill is more disciplined in the offense.

    So I don't see Lance as a star player, but clearly you need to have him playing the backup PG instead of DJ once Danny gets back. Lance and Hill as a combo gives you two guys who can dribble drive up the court and initiate attacks so you can still work him in with the starters in all sorts of variations. He could be pushing into a good 6th man role but I'm not sold that he's that dialed in yet, just like Tyler hitting some jumpers doesn't suddenly undo what his game has been up till now.

    Lance has progressed though and that's a huge positive. Also Lance is probably the best transition passer we've had in awhile. He's been good on getting other guys shots on the break while forcing the defense to commit to him before making the pass.




    Mahinmi - his footwork and butter hands sure do tell the tale of his soccer upbringing. This is why he looks so smooth moving around the post but is so bad with fumbling passes. I wonder how fixable that is because it's the only thing holding him back.
    I'd say give him time with Reggie Wayne catching footballs out of the throwing machine. Should help some. If he can catch a small oblong shaped ball at high speeds, he can catch a basketball.
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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: SUNshine of Pacer Love

    Mahinmi - his footwork and butter hands sure do tell the tale of his soccer upbringing.
    Lol blaming soccer for somebody bad hands, I guess Hakeem, Nash, Scola, Ginobili have(had) bad hands too.

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: SUNshine of Pacer Love

    Quote Originally Posted by Naptown_Seth View Post
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    I think you guys are putting a bit too much on Lance. What he's been is BIG for a backcourt player, so he can bang for rebounds and get physical in the lane on defense. Another strength is that like Hill he's really driven and able to drive the ball upcourt in a hurry. But he's still a little out of control once he gets to the other end and often drives himself into trouble. His vision is good but not great IMO, and I don't think he's showing more PG vision than Hill at this point. Or maybe it's just that Hill is more disciplined in the offense.
    Agreed. From the perspective of a PG, Lance has nowhere near the vision of the court that Hill has. But even more limiting, he does not have Hill's experience nor his ball IQ. What both can do is to work a PnR and also penetrate to create for themselves and another player.

    But, I think where Hill's experience and IQ comes better into play is that he is better able to see possibilities for his own pass leading to a second pass that becomes the assist. I just don't see Lance completing many of these plays... yet. Lance pears very good at creating for himself or directly for one other player though.

    Just expressing my own preferences, I prefer Lance at SG because that gives you the advantage of having a very good stop gap for continuing or also initiating plays and also gives you a second player that is just as quick and adept as your PG in pushing the ball up court. I would much rather have Lance being a sub to play off of Hill or as a member of the second unit playing off of a PG like Jarret Jack.

    For me, Lance is beginning to display enough "utility" type skills that I would rather he be a. "facilitating SG" where he is more likely to use them.

  35. #24
    yawn cgg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: SUNshine of Pacer Love

    Quote Originally Posted by vnzla81 View Post
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    Lol blaming soccer for somebody bad hands, I guess Hakeem, Nash, Scola, Ginobili have(had) bad hands too.
    He's not blaming it for his bad hands, he's crediting it for his good footwork.

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  37. #25
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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: SUNshine of Pacer Love

    Mahinmi's hands are strange. It seems like he fumbles about 1/4 of the passes he receives regardless of how difficult a catch it is. I've seen him make great catches this year but also mess up simple ones. Maybe he just needs to put extra focus on the catch before he decides what to do with it.

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