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Thread: Taking Stock: George, Augustin, Granger, Schedule

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    '12 PD Sunshiner awardee Kemo's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Taking Stock: George, Augustin, Granger, Schedule

    Taking Stock: George, Augustin, Granger, Schedule

    by Mark Montieth | askmontieth@gmail.com

    January 3, 2012, 12:51 AM


    http://www.nba.com/pacers/news/george-22-year-old-beast




    George is a 22-year-old “Beast”

    The fundamental rule of journalism is that any information confirmed by two sources is safe to report. Therefore, we can officially pronounce Paul George to be a “beast.”

    Pacers coach Frank Vogel said so after Wednesday's 89-81 victory over Washington, and so did Wizards center Emeka Okafor.

    “Paul George is becoming a beast of a player on both ends of the court,” Vogel said after George scored 29 points, grabbed 14 rebounds and turned in another sterling defensive effort. “Just flat-out becoming a beast of a player.”

    Said Okafor, from the Wizards locker room: “He had a beast of a game. Everything he was putting up was going in and he showed great effort on the boards.”

    Such games are becoming routine for George who has produced six double-doubles this season, four in the last eight games, and has scored in double figures in 15 straight. The offensive production, however, tends to overshadow his defense. George always takes the opponent's best wing scorer, and more often than not excels there as well.

    The Pacers have rarely had as good a two-way player. Ron Artest was for one season (2003-04) when he was voted Defensive Player of the Year and averaged 18.3 points. Jermaine O'Neal also was capable of dominating both ends in his early seasons with the Pacers. George leads the team with 47 steals, well ahead of second-place George Hill (30), and also has been its best three-point shooter much of the season. He's currently hitting .387 from the arc, one miss behind Lance Stephenson (.390).

    He's getting to like the idea of doing it all.

    “One thing I've struggled with is guarding guys and being able to score,” he said. “But now I feel I have the legs to do it on both ends. So the defense is what I'm keyed on.”

    Of all the positive numbers George can put on his resume, here's the one Pacers' fans should appreciate most: He's 22 years old. In many ways, he's just catching on to this NBA thing.

    “I'm able to pick and choose when to be aggressive, when to look for teammates, when to be a playmaker, when to score,” he said. “It just seems the game is starting to come to me.”

    So, if a player is a beast at 22, what does he become at 30?

    The Pacers will be eager to find out. But it will cost them.




    Granger's Coming Return



    With George's ongoing emergence headed for a collision with Danny Granger's return, the question of how they'll interact becomes all the more relevant. Granger led the Pacers' scoring the past five seasons. David West is the current leader (17.2) but George could very well be the leader by the time Granger returns.

    Can they co-exist? Granger has yet to speak with the media since his surgery on Nov. 7, but George and Vogel are optimistic.

    “When I went through my slump, Danny was the first one to coach me through it,” George said. “I know he knows, when he comes back, we have a chance to do something special.”

    Vogel sees George providing a crutch for Granger as he re-acclimates himself to the lineup.

    “It's going to take pressure off Danny when he first comes back,” Vogel said. “We have other guys who are creating offense for themselves and teammates, so when Danny comes back it's going to be the type of deal where he can allow his teammates … to set him up the first week or two. When you get five guys who can create offense or score the ball like we will when Danny comes back, with the way we'll be able to defend, we have a chance to be special.”







    Pacers' Schedule Gets Tougher Now
    It also gets easier.


    They play at Boston on Friday. The Celtics have a losing record, but the Pacers have lost eight of their last nine games there. The Pacers then have home games with Milwaukee, Miami and New York – all playoff teams. Given their 3-10 record against teams currently in the playoff picture, it figures to be a revealing stretch.

    “It's going to be an exciting test the next few games,” Vogel said.

    While the remaining part of the schedule contains a higher degree of difficulty, it's balanced by favorable geography. Of the Pacers' remaining 50 games, 27 are at home.






    Starting Agrees with D.J. Augustin.


    He scored a season-high 17 points in his first start against Memphis on Monday, and had 18 on Wednesday, when starting point guard George Hill sat out a second straight game with a bruised thigh. Augustin's point total was boosted by late free throws, when Washington had to foul – six in the final 1:11 – but it erased the memory of his slow start to the season, which led to him being bench for five games.

    Augustin had made it clear he struggled off the bench earlier because he wasn't accustomed to playing in short bursts after starting in Charlotte the past two seasons.

    “I'm feeling comfortable right now,” he said. “When you're playing less minutes it's harder, but … hopefully it works out. I'm just going to keep playing hard.”

    These past two games could be seen as a turning point at season's end. Augustin's production could convince Vogel to play him in longer stretches off the bench, which would boost Augustin's confidence and ease the burden on Hill's legs.





    Good Starts Are Important?

    The next time you hear an analyst talk about the importance of an NBA team getting off to a good start, feel free to laugh.

    The Pacers proved once again the folly of that cliché. Usually, teams that take a quick double-figure lead give most or all of it back, and often lose. The Pacers won a game in New Orleans on Dec. 22 after falling behind by 22 points late in the first half. Wednesday, they jumped to an 8-0 lead and led by 17 on George's three-pointer with 5:49 left.

    The Wizards, however, were within three points midway through the third quarter, and had the ball with a chance to get closer.

    “That can be the worst thing for a team,” George said. “It does relax you. You think you've got the game won. You think you can't do no wrong. They come back and now you're talking a close game.

    “It's easier to play from behind. You know you have to go all out.”

    Sounds like a plan. Let's see which coach has the courage to tell his team to get off to a bad start, to help the players focus.





    Note: The contents of this page have not been reviewed or endorsed by the Indiana Pacers. All opinions expressed by Mark Montieth are solely his own and do not reflect the opinions of the Indiana Pacers, their partners, or sponsors.

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    Last edited by Kemo; 01-03-2013 at 07:27 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by naptownmenace View Post
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    Plumlee reminds me of a young Dale Davis. Good rebounding and he contests shots well on defense and his offensive game is very raw just like DD's was coming out of college.
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    White and Nerdy Anthem's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking Stock: George, Augustin, Granger, Schedule

    Thanks Kemo. I was particularly interested in this part:

    Quote Originally Posted by Kemo View Post
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    Granger's Coming Return


    With George's ongoing emergence headed for a collision with Danny Granger's return, the question of how they'll interact becomes all the more relevant. Granger led the Pacers' scoring the past five seasons. David West is the current leader (17.2) but George could very well be the leader by the time Granger returns.

    Can they co-exist? Granger has yet to speak with the media since his surgery on Nov. 7, but George and Vogel are optimistic.

    “When I went through my slump, Danny was the first one to coach me through it,” George said. “I know he knows, when he comes back, we have a chance to do something special.”

    Vogel sees George providing a crutch for Granger as he re-acclimates himself to the lineup.

    “It's going to take pressure off Danny when he first comes back,” Vogel said. “We have other guys who are creating offense for themselves and teammates, so when Danny comes back it's going to be the type of deal where he can allow his teammates … to set him up the first week or two. When you get five guys who can create offense or score the ball like we will when Danny comes back, with the way we'll be able to defend, we have a chance to be special.”
    Interesting that they both used the same phrase there. Also it definitely seems to be a "when-not-if" situation, at least in the mind of Vogel and Paul George.
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    Default Re: Taking Stock: George, Augustin, Granger, Schedule

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthem View Post
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    Thanks Kemo. I was particularly interested in this part:


    Interesting that they both used the same phrase there. Also it definitely seems to be a "when-not-if" situation, at least in the mind of Vogel and Paul George.

    Yep, our players frequently echo Coach V's phrases. I'm sure he's been laying the psychological groundwork for Danny's return for some time now. Seems he still has their ear.
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    Default Re: Taking Stock: George, Augustin, Granger, Schedule

    Regardless of the outcome the rest of the season should be interesting!

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    Default Re: Taking Stock: George, Augustin, Granger, Schedule

    Blargh, I hate Augustin's comments. I've got a terrible feeling that he has been pouting this whole time coming off the bench.

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    Default Re: Taking Stock: George, Augustin, Granger, Schedule

    Quote Originally Posted by Trader Joe View Post
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    Blargh, I hate Augustin's comments. I've got a terrible feeling that he has been pouting this whole time coming off the bench.
    The last Pacer guard who had a problem with coming off the bench got traded....

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    Default Re: Taking Stock: George, Augustin, Granger, Schedule

    Quote Originally Posted by Trader Joe View Post
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    Blargh, I hate Augustin's comments. I've got a terrible feeling that he has been pouting this whole time coming off the bench.
    I dunno, I don't really see it as pouting, just struggling to adjust to a role he's never had basically ever in his life. He's always been the lead guard, best player on the team (even in the NBA a lot of the time, sadly). I don't mean to make excuses for him, he's clearly played like crap 95% of the time, but it really does have to be a hard thing to adjust to. Completely different role, new teammates, new city, all that stuff. It happens so often in sports we don't really care but uprooting your life's a pretty big deal. Also doesn't help that pretty much no one on the bench does crap to help anyone else, it's such a rag tag group w/o any cohesiveness.

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    Default Re: Taking Stock: George, Augustin, Granger, Schedule

    I have been thinking about this some time now, but with Vogel saying Danny will just play off the rest of the team... it will better suit him and his efficiency probably. The last couple of seasons the efficiency went down and I can still remember all the moaning about us not having a player who could create off the dribble and in iso situations. Danny took that upon himself, though it did not really work out at times. It figures that Paul has been able this season to do the creating off the dribble, so Danny can be less of a volume shooter and focus even more on defense and rebounding.... count me in the believers group!
    Yay, I don't know if we're going back to the play-offs!

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    Default Re: Taking Stock: George, Augustin, Granger, Schedule

    If Danny can return to full strength by the end of the season then I also believe we can be very dangerous. I don't buy into the notion that Paul and Danny can't play together. If anything I think they'll complement one another on the wings better than any other 2-3 combination in the league.

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    Default Re: Taking Stock: George, Augustin, Granger, Schedule

    "So, if a player is a beast at 22, what does he become at 30? "

    Well apparently he will be washed up and not worth his contract. Duh!!!!

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    Default Re: Taking Stock: George, Augustin, Granger, Schedule

    Quote Originally Posted by Trader Joe View Post
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    Blargh, I hate Augustin's comments. I've got a terrible feeling that he has been pouting this whole time coming off the bench.
    I watched him make these comments, as well as similar ones after his first start. He wasn't pouting or particularly petulant. It just seemed to me he was giving straight answers to the questions - which tended to be the same question asked several different ways. He is much more comfortable playing extended minutes. Some players are like that. They have to work their way into the game, or else they tend to either force things, or feel like they're forcing things. Vogel's been saying that since early in the season, and he seemed genuinely unsurprised by the difference in play by DJ in the two roles - at least before the game on Monday.

    I think Augustin wants to start, but I think he understands it's Hill's job, and that's that. I'm sure he's surprised at how much he's struggled playing the backup minutes, but his answers were sensible and reasonable - even if the unsaid meaning is that he'll probably struggle once he goes back to the bench. It's not a situation where you'd expect anyone to be particularly happy.

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    Default Re: Taking Stock: George, Augustin, Granger, Schedule

    Quote Originally Posted by count55 View Post
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    I watched him make these comments, as well as similar ones after his first start. He wasn't pouting or particularly petulant. It just seemed to me he was giving straight answers to the questions - which tended to be the same question asked several different ways. He is much more comfortable playing extended minutes. Some players are like that. They have to work their way into the game, or else they tend to either force things, or feel like they're forcing things. Vogel's been saying that since early in the season, and he seemed genuinely unsurprised by the difference in play by DJ in the two roles - at least before the game on Monday.

    I think Augustin wants to start, but I think he understands it's Hill's job, and that's that. I'm sure he's surprised at how much he's struggled playing the backup minutes, but his answers were sensible and reasonable - even if the unsaid meaning is that he'll probably struggle once he goes back to the bench. It's not a situation where you'd expect anyone to be particularly happy.
    That's too bad... as it's unlikely that he'll find a starting PG position in the NBA next year.

    Hopefully, he'll learn to embrace the "leader of the second team" role, and the whole "everyone plays their part" credo.
    Last edited by docpaul; 01-04-2013 at 09:36 AM.

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    Default Re: Taking Stock: George, Augustin, Granger, Schedule

    Quote Originally Posted by Kemo View Post
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    Good Starts Are Important?

    The next time you hear an analyst talk about the importance of an NBA team getting off to a good start, feel free to laugh.

    The Pacers proved once again the folly of that cliché. Usually, teams that take a quick double-figure lead give most or all of it back, and often lose. The Pacers won a game in New Orleans on Dec. 22 after falling behind by 22 points late in the first half. Wednesday, they jumped to an 8-0 lead and led by 17 on George's three-pointer with 5:49 left.

    The Wizards, however, were within three points midway through the third quarter, and had the ball with a chance to get closer.

    “That can be the worst thing for a team,” George said. “It does relax you. You think you've got the game won. You think you can't do no wrong. They come back and now you're talking a close game.

    “It's easier to play from behind. You know you have to go all out.”

    Sounds like a plan. Let's see which coach has the courage to tell his team to get off to a bad start, to help the players focus.





    Note: The contents of this page have not been reviewed or endorsed by the Indiana Pacers. All opinions expressed by Mark Montieth are solely his own and do not reflect the opinions of the Indiana Pacers, their partners, or sponsors.

    Have a question for Mark about Pacers past, present, or future? Email him at askmontieth@gmail.com for a chance to be featured in a mailbag article.


    According to the stats from NBA.com the team leading at halftime wins 75% of the time. Team that leads after 3 quarters wins 84% of the time.

    so good starts are extremely important.
    Last edited by Unclebuck; 01-04-2013 at 09:59 AM.

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    Default Re: Taking Stock: George, Augustin, Granger, Schedule

    Quote Originally Posted by Heisenberg View Post
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    I dunno, I don't really see it as pouting, just struggling to adjust to a role he's never had basically ever in his life. He's always been the lead guard, best player on the team (even in the NBA a lot of the time, sadly). I don't mean to make excuses for him, he's clearly played like crap 95% of the time, but it really does have to be a hard thing to adjust to. Completely different role, new teammates, new city, all that stuff. It happens so often in sports we don't really care but uprooting your life's a pretty big deal. Also doesn't help that pretty much no one on the bench does crap to help anyone else, it's such a rag tag group w/o any cohesiveness.
    While I agree with your overall point that he's had trouble adjusting to his new role and a new team. He has been a player coming off the bench before in his career. He's been in the NBA 4 full seasons.


    2009 - played 72 games, started 12
    2010 - played 80 games, started 2
    2011 - played and started 82 games
    2012 - played 48 games and started 46


    So his first two years when the Bobcats were pretty good (Larry Brown coach) he rarely if ever started


    0.893 0.2 1.6 1.8 3.5 0.6 0.0 1.65 1.94 11.8
    09-10 CHA 80 2 18.4 0.386 0.393 0.779 0.1 1.1 1.2 2.4 0.6 0.1 0.93 1.59 6.3
    10-11 CHA 82 82 33.6 0.416 0.333 0.906 0.5 2.3 2.7 6.1 0.7 0.0 1.89 1.85 14.4
    11-12 CHA 48 46

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