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    Default Jay's unpopular "midseason" (close enough) opinions

    Fair warning: If you're looking for Homer's Digest, this post may not be for you. Meanwhile, here are my key thoughts for the post-ASG stretch of the season.

    This could also pay homage to another of my infamous thread titles, as This Team Is Built to Play Miami in the Playoffs.

    When we drafted Paul George, I was looking forward to the day we could trade one of our two SFs for a shooting guard that can create his own shot off the dribble. Granger's injury now has me looking forward to just seeing how much better we'll be with both of our wings on the court, taking pressure off each other. Paul George has shown tremendous growth. His next challenge is to show that its not just because he's in the role of "best wing on the team" and that he can keep it up with the team at full strength. I think the next step could be challenge for him to as assertive on a team at full strength vs. stepping up on a depleted team. I think he'll get through this challenge, but with growing pains along the way. Probably more growing pains than PD overall is expecting.

    I thought Paul George's ASG appearance was impressive, but I think for different reasons than the rest of you. I now know exactly where I want Paul George when Hill and West run a pick and roll at crunch time. I want him on the weakside baseline for (1) spacing and (b) he's deadly there in a catch-and-shoot when the ball is reversed. I still think the play MUST start in Hill's hands as a Hill & West pick and roll is the offensive option in which all five guys are threats to make the last shot and must be played straight up defensively. And I still don't want him in a position where he has to put the ball on the floor.

    I'll go one step further, although I think I saw this somewhere else on the web yesterday. Paul George's performance was the best Pacers' performance in an ASG over the past 25 years. While Paul's offense is still primarily as a catch-and-shoot guy, he brought defense and wing rebounding to the second quarter of an NBA all-star game. That's a rare accomplishment.

    I'm looking forward to Lance with the second unit, becasue the second unit needs a go-to guy. A little concerned, though, that he'll act like Dhantay Jones with the second unit and hog the ball. He's really cut down on his, "what in the world is he thinking?" kind of mistakes. He's played well within in the team structure. We'll know soon if Lance is better as the fifth option with the starters or as the go-to guy with the bench. Either way, he's made so much progress that we could have two most-improved candidates right now.

    Was debating with a Bulls fan over the weekend... he said Miami would walk away with the East this year. I said, "No, they can't beat us." West and Hibbert together mean that Bosh is worthless, and while some of us (okay, maybe just me) may not have ever been believers in Bosh, they don't really have a better alternative. We are a matchup problem for them. Clearly our best hope is to chase down the #1 seed, but is that realistic? I don't know. I know Miami would rather play NYK than us.

    Hibbert's contract gets too much attention on here. There are two common and popular fallacies that keep appearing - (a) that there is a statistic that measures the "presence" of a post player and that (ii) compensation of an NBA center is tied to some metric or statistic. I know his FG% has been awful this year, but I can't imagine this team leading the Central Division right now with somebody else playing C, at both ends of the court. I hope over the second half of the year he rediscovers his shooting touch and crushes this silly conversation.

    And lastly, what this team really needs is Chuck Person.

    And I could use more confidence against a team like the Knicks, because I'm worried that we won't get to take our best shot at Miami if we end up in the 2/3 bracket against New York.

    There you go. Fire away.
    Why do the things that we treasure most, slip away in time
    Till to the music we grow deaf, to God's beauty blind
    Why do the things that connect us slowly pull us apart?
    Till we fall away in our own darkness, a stranger to our own hearts
    And life itself, rushing over me
    Life itself, the wind in black elms,
    Life itself in your heart and in your eyes, I can't make it without you


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    yawn cgg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jay's unpopular "midseason" (close enough) opinions

    NY struggles against teams that defend the 3 and have a player that can guard Melo 1 on 1. I'm not really concerned about them.

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    Default Re: Jay's unpopular "midseason" (close enough) opinions

    I think people vastly underrate what Hibbert contributes in terms of the overall effectiveness of the Pacer's defense. We're the #1 or #2 rated team in that category. That's not happening without Hibbert just basically "being there" in the middle. If all he does is keep us at the top of the league in team defense, then he's worth that contract, especially when you consider what legit 7'rs are paid.

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    Default Re: Jay's unpopular "midseason" (close enough) opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by indyaway View Post
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    I think people vastly underrate what Hibbert contributes in terms of the overall effectiveness of the Pacer's defense. We're the #1 or #2 rated team in that category. That's not happening without Hibbert just basically "being there" in the middle. If all he does is keep us at the top of the league in team defense, then he's worth that contract, especially when you consider what legit 7'rs are paid.
    I don't understand how people can watch LeBron James avoid driving at Hibbert, and then plow right into Mahinmi as soon as he comes in, and then dismiss Roy's defense.

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    Default Re: Jay's unpopular "midseason" (close enough) opinions

    That March 10th game at Miami will be telling. I hope both teams are healthy for that one. The Pacers are still a 11-16 team on the road, a really bad mark for a team this good. If they beat Miami on the road, that'll prove a lot more to me than the home wins, where the Pacers are virtually unbeatable.

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    Default Re: Jay's unpopular "midseason" (close enough) opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by ChicagoJ View Post
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    I thought Paul George's ASG appearance was impressive, but I think for different reasons than the rest of you. I now know exactly where I want Paul George when Hill and West run a pick and roll at crunch time. I want him on the weakside baseline for (1) spacing and (b) he's deadly there in a catch-and-shoot when the ball is reversed. I still think the play MUST start in Hill's hands as a Hill & West pick and roll is the offensive option in which all five guys are threats to make the last shot and must be played straight up defensively. And I still don't want him in a position where he has to put the ball on the floor.
    I thought "bingo" about 5 milliseconds after Paul's first corner three made it through the net. He is lethal in the corner, and he's quick/athletic enough to get to the rim before the defense adjusts on most teams. He's rarely in that spot on the floor for us, but I'd wager he'd be top 5 in the NBA in 3 pt % from the corner.

    The only problem with it is, if he misses, our best transition defender is the last person back, and we cannot afford to do that against teams like Miami in the playoffs (Knicks maybe, Heat no way). I don't know if the risks outweigh the rewards to put that in the regular rotation. It might be good to switch up in the playoffs, like a zone defense, from time to time.

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    Default Re: Jay's unpopular "midseason" (close enough) opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by imawhat View Post
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    I thought "bingo" about 5 milliseconds after Paul's first corner three made it through the net. He is lethal in the corner, and he's quick/athletic enough to get to the rim before the defense adjusts on most teams. He's rarely in that spot on the floor for us, but I'd wager he'd be top 5 in the NBA in 3 pt % from the corner.

    The only problem with it is, if he misses, our best transition defender is the last person back, and we cannot afford to do that against teams like Miami in the playoffs (Knicks maybe, Heat no way). I don't know if the risks outweigh the rewards to put that in the regular rotation. It might be good to switch up in the playoffs, like a zone defense, from time to time.
    I understand but I don't agree. If a long rebound, break opportunity is your concern you can go into a zone D immediately on the shot instead of crashing the boards. Good transition defense is a choice, and you deal with it by having the wings drop back instead of pursue ORs. If he releases immediately on the shot (which also precludes every shooter's favorite "stand there with your arm in the air showing off your follow-through for the cameras" pose, it should be fine.

    The strong-side wing would also release.
    Why do the things that we treasure most, slip away in time
    Till to the music we grow deaf, to God's beauty blind
    Why do the things that connect us slowly pull us apart?
    Till we fall away in our own darkness, a stranger to our own hearts
    And life itself, rushing over me
    Life itself, the wind in black elms,
    Life itself in your heart and in your eyes, I can't make it without you


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    Default Re: Jay's unpopular "midseason" (close enough) opinions

    Wheres the unpopular opinions? I was told there was going to be unpopular opinions!

    I WANT MY MONEY BACK!
    "Nobody wants to play against Tyler Hansbrough NO BODY!" ~ Frank Vogel

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    Default Re: Jay's unpopular "midseason" (close enough) opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by Sandman21 View Post
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    Wheres the unpopular opinions? I was told there was going to be unpopular opinions!

    I WANT MY MONEY BACK!
    Oh sure. Haters' gonna hate.
    Why do the things that we treasure most, slip away in time
    Till to the music we grow deaf, to God's beauty blind
    Why do the things that connect us slowly pull us apart?
    Till we fall away in our own darkness, a stranger to our own hearts
    And life itself, rushing over me
    Life itself, the wind in black elms,
    Life itself in your heart and in your eyes, I can't make it without you


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    Default Re: Jay's unpopular "midseason" (close enough) opinions

    Lance going from 5th option to #1 option off the bench just reeks of failure. Just don't think he's ready for that. I think Granger off the bench makes the most sense.
    With the #3 pick in the 2015 draft, your Indiana Pacers!

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    Default Re: Jay's unpopular "midseason" (close enough) opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparhawk View Post
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    Lance going from 5th option to #1 option off the bench just reeks of failure. Just don't think he's ready for that. I think Granger off the bench makes the most sense.
    Who says he's going to be the #1 option? There's not going to be a lot of minutes that don't have DG or PG on the floor.

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    Default Re: Jay's unpopular "midseason" (close enough) opinions

    All i remember is the Bulls swept Miami in the regular season year before last, then Miami swept them in the playoffs. Miami (particularly Wade and LeBron ) have that other notch they can take it to anytime they want
    Sittin on top of the world!

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    Default Re: Jay's unpopular "midseason" (close enough) opinions

    A midseason report from Jay? It feels like I stepped back to 2005.

    I agree with you about the Hibbert contract. Knowing what we know today, I would still give him that contract without hesitation. I think virtually every GM in the league would too. The offensive troubles are indeed frustrating, but you can't put a price on the rebounding and defensive presence. It's not just the blocked shots, it's also all of the ones that he alters. That being said, it would be nice to see some Smits-like offensive production. I'm not saying that he should have the same skill set as Smits, just that it would be nice if he had the same sort of efficiency, i.e. 15-17 ppg a game on 50% shooting. We could certainly use an offensive boost from him.

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    Default Re: Jay's unpopular "midseason" (close enough) opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by Sollozzo View Post
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    A midseason report from Jay? It feels like I stepped back to 2005.
    Jay, that single set of footprints in the sand from 2005 until this week is when a few of us diehards on the forum carried you through the storm.
    .

    .

    .

    .


    “People talk about how quiet he [McKey] is, but he’s 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.” —Larry Brown

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    Default Re: Jay's unpopular "midseason" (close enough) opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by McKeyFan View Post
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    Jay, that single set of footprints in the sand with the parallel deep trenches from 2005 until this week is when a few of us diehards on the forum dragged you kicking and screaming you through the storm.
    fixed
    BillS

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    Default Re: Jay's unpopular "midseason" (close enough) opinions

    I see the standings at the top remaining fixed: Miami #1, Knicks #2, Pacers #3. Melo will beast down low; Chandler will outplay Roy. Problems, problems.
    "I'd run through a brick wall for that man."
    - Roy Hibbert on playing for Coach Frank Vogel

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    Default Re: Jay's unpopular "midseason" (close enough) opinions

    First off, great writeup ChicagoJ.

    While I agree about LBJ and DWade turning it up in the playoffs, we just flat out cause them problems. Whether it's Roy and David West(they have NO ONE to guard him) or PG guarding one of the other two. Add in the fact that our team is not scared of them at all and that we've beat them multiple times both regular season and post season. Which I think can be attributed to #21 and our bench . They bring that toughness and swagger. I'm almost to the point where I'm ready to guarantee beating them in the playoffs.

    The Knicks scare me a little though. Tyson Chandler causes problems and I don't think we have an answer defensively for Melo. He's too big for PG/DG and too quick for David West. There just one of those teams that I'd rather not see. Can we beat them? Yeah but I think it would be a long, tough series.

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    Default Re: Jay's unpopular "midseason" (close enough) opinions

    Melo was 9-22 against PG earlier in the year. They're 7-12 in games where they don't make 10 threes. The Pacers have given up 10 or more threes in only 4 of 53 games.

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    Default Re: Jay's unpopular "midseason" (close enough) opinions

    This is a fair weather write up.

    “WE NEVER SURRENDER, WE NEVER GIVE UP, WE KEEP ATTACKING”- Frank Vogel
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    Default Re: Jay's unpopular "midseason" (close enough) opinions

    Haven't we played them twice? Like we got dumptrucked once in NY and we poured it on late here in Indy right?

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    Default Re: Jay's unpopular "midseason" (close enough) opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by Mo Tibbs View Post
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    Haven't we played them twice? Like we got dumptrucked once in NY and we poured it on late here in Indy right?
    We lost in November before we were playing well, in a weird daytime Sunday game.

    Still held them to 36% shooting.

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    Default Re: Jay's unpopular "midseason" (close enough) opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by Mo Tibbs View Post
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    Haven't we played them twice? Like we got dumptrucked once in NY and we poured it on late here in Indy right?
    Carmello was suspended, we won by 5, outscored them 23-16 in the 4Q.


    http://www.nba.com/games/20130110/NYKIND/gameinfo.html

    I'll take the win. And sure, we were missing Granger. But to read PD on a regular basis, we weren't even "missing" Granger (ha!).

    But I'm not using Granger's absence from that game as a basis to feel good about our matchup with them when they have Carmello.

    They give us the same front court problems we give Miami.
    Why do the things that we treasure most, slip away in time
    Till to the music we grow deaf, to God's beauty blind
    Why do the things that connect us slowly pull us apart?
    Till we fall away in our own darkness, a stranger to our own hearts
    And life itself, rushing over me
    Life itself, the wind in black elms,
    Life itself in your heart and in your eyes, I can't make it without you


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  37. #23
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    Default Re: Jay's unpopular "midseason" (close enough) opinions

    I may have to change how I view the Knicks then. Cant wait to see how we play them tomorrow and to see the Pacers again. The ASBreak is too long.

  38. #24
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    Default Re: Jay's unpopular "midseason" (close enough) opinions

    All I can say is that when Jay's "not a homer" post is more optimistic than the crop of "Danny's going to destroy the team when he comes back" and "Danny's really had a career-ending injury" and "No one will ever beat LeBron and Wade because they goof off all year and then become the Wonder Twins in the playoffs", I worry.
    BillS

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    Default Re: Jay's unpopular "midseason" (close enough) opinions

    Oh and Carmelo "greatest scorer of all time" Anthony is shooting 56.4 TS%

    Danny Granger's career TS% is 56.4%

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