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Thread: Odd Thoughts: breaking the beaks of the Pelicans

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    Default Odd Thoughts: breaking the beaks of the Pelicans

    Probably the only people that are going to either understand or appreciate what Iím about to say are going to be either old or appreciate rock guitarist.

    Now after watching Danny play seven games and watching how he has progressed in each of the games, minus that dreadful performance in Brooklyn, it has become apparent to me that he is becoming the Eric Clapton of our team.

    For those who donít know Ericís nickname is slow hand (or God if you get the reference) and Iíll try and put it in comparison.

    He always hits the right notes, he always makes the right sound he just doesnít waste any excess energy in doing it and some donít like him because he doesnít burn up the strings with fast finger taps, hammer-onís and pull offís. In other words he is not Eddie Van Halen or Kirk Hammett. But what he is simply put is a maestro of the guitar.

    Danny in his short time back to me is strikingly similar. He is always in the right spot, he has only really taken the open shot and he has done a very good job of keeping the ball moving. On defense I think he has been almost amazing considering where his stamina and knee should be at. But have you watched his hands? I swear today he had at least 3 deflections on top of the one steal he was credited with. But the one thing that impressed me today was his rebounding and gaining position for his rebounds. There were a couple of times that he didnít get the rebound because the shot went in but his positioning was such that had the ball gone out the only person that could have gotten it was him.

    In short what Iím trying to say is that while Danny is not the flashiest he is a solid veteran who knows how to get the job done. Paul & Lance are the Eddieís and Kirkís of our team and they provide a lot of sizzle and show but it is almost a ridicules luxury to be able now to go to the bench and bring in a player of this caliber and oddly enough heís not even 1/8 of the player he used to be and still not probably Ĺ the player he can become again.

    I say all of that to say this.

    Our bench, which I was plenty pleased with prior to his return, is now almost obscene. Danny Granger & Luis Scola could be a starting front court for a lot of teams in the NBA, even good winning teams. They both are that good.

    Then throw in C.J. Watson, who is better than any starting point guard we have had on our team before George Hill and since Anthony Johnson and well you can see that we have gone from the worst bench in the NBA to one of the very best and like I said about Scola early in the season and was right, Danny Granger is only going to get better. Unless there is some medical set back you can see Danny getting better each and every game.

    Now is there a potential downfall to any of this?

    Yes.

    Lance has played very well, phenomenal in fact. Actually Lance almost by himself tonight in the 3rd brought us back in that game. Lance deserves his minutes.

    Lance also is a very emotional player and wears his emotions on his sleeves. He does not like being taken out of games and yes the other night when Frank put Danny in for that last second shot Lance was very upset on the bench about it, walked away from the huddle while it was still going on and had to be calmed by Rasual Butler.

    Well tonight Danny was playing very well in the first half and it came time for him to come out and much to my surprise Danny grumbled going to the bench to Frank.

    This is only after 7 games and he is not in anywhere near the shape he will be in. Come the end of February and he is back almost 100% what is it going to be like then. Now I did come to learn after the game that Danny is on a min. restriction so he may have been upset because he hit a time limit but even if he wasnít he had hit that time in the game where it was time for Paul George to come back.

    Now again understand I am saying potential, I am not saying there is a sure fire problem here.

    But we have several things going in our favor here.

    1. This isnít a bad problem to have really. We have so much talent that we have to make time.
    2. Trust in Frank, he has never steered this ship in the wrong direction
    3. Trust in the character or our players, this isnít the Artest & OíNeal Pacers this is the Stephenson & George Pacer with solid veterans to help guide the way

    Oh yea, also since Danny has been back Ian has been playing better. One probably has nothing to do with the other but so far itís just worked out that way.

    Moving on.

    I would just like to point this out for everyone. Al-Farouq Aminu was drafted # 8 in the 2010 NBA draft. Thatís right the same draft that saw Paul George go #10 and Lance Stephenson go # 40. Itís okay to laugh.

    These next set of games scare me to death. We donít really face another major team until the Clippers in the middle of the month and now with Paul being gone I donít think you can consider them a major team either. It scares me because if we play this right we can put real significant distance between us and everyone else. But because we have started out taking these teams lightly or maybe they are just overly hyped to play us or a combination in between I canít say. But we only played a good second half tonight, played horrid in Toronto and played bad for 3 of the 4 quarters vs. the Cavs. We have got to start taking these teams seriously and put our foot on their throats early and put them to be by the 3rd quarter.

    BTW, I canít begin to describe how fun it is to be the team that now can look down at almost every other team other than elite teams and nobody is more elite than we are.

    One more thing that I want to point out. Sell out # 11 already. We had 10 all of last season.

    I know Iím all over the place with this. Letís do some grades.

    Paul George: A- How ridicules is it to say that a guy who scores 24 and grabs 10 boards and plays good defense and you can say that this wasnít one of his better games. Paul right now is in a shooting slump. It happens so we wonít harp on it but honestly that is why we have struggled a little the past few games, because shots that were automatic for him just a couple of weeks ago are now not finding their mark. No worries though, heíll get through it and weíll move on.

    David West: B Solid yet unspectacular. Davis is kind of a hard matchup for him, the same is true in reverse though as well. Davis length bothers West some and God knows that Westís physical nature bugs the crap out of Davis. I got to set in different seats tonight so I could see up close and personal how much West puts that forearm deep into the chest of Davis.

    Roy Hibbert: B- You know I appreciate the blocked shots, I do. But rebound the ball and for the love of God stop missing these damn bunnies at the rim. He played much better in the second half but that first half was brutal, he was totally outplayed by Ajinca. But then he hit a few shots in the second half and grabbed some boards.

    Lance Stephenson: A Ironically Tyreke Evans was the player I always thought Lance reminded me the most of, now Evans just dreams that he were half the player that Lance is. When he sets his mind to it he is virtually unstoppable going to the rim and tonight in the 3rd quarter he decided he was going to the rim. Heís kind of slipped a little the past few games on his defensive assignments but overall I will reiterate what I said above, he took over in the 3rd and willed us to the lead.

    George Hill: B Like West solid yet unspectacular. He held Holiday in check so he has that going for him and he was aggressive so there is that as well. Didnít really screw anything up but I wish he would have driven the lane a little more in an attempt to draw fouls, but when you have the leagues leading shot blocker there I can understand pulling up.

    Danny Granger: A- Considering where he is at in terms of his conditioning I think he played a pretty outstanding game. I like the fact that he is very selective in his shooting knowing that he is only taking shots in the flow of the game. I also love that he gets to the free throw line and then once there he makes them pay. His offense is a little ahead of where I expected it to be but his defense has been much higher than I thought it would be. He spent a lot of time tonight on Evans and that is not an easy task for someone with a bum leg. Did you see him reach in there and force that jump ball? That should have counted as a block but it didnít.

    Luis Scola: B+ My only complaint with Luis tonight was not with him but with Frank and itís not really a complaint but just a shrugging of the shoulders understanding that this is a problem we have. I think he should have played more min. but then I ask myself were should the min. come from? You arenít really going to take that many more min away from West so it is about were he is going to have to work with. His ability to hit that face up jumper has saved our asses so many times this season. His rebounding though has been superb lately.

    C.J. Watson: B+ There are guys that just know how to play basketball and right now our three main bench players all know how to play. The best compliment I can give him is that when Hill goes to the bench I donít even care. Watson has a very high basketball I.Q. and he shows it every game.

    Ian Mahinmi: B- Second best French player on the floor today. He didnít play bad at all really and he did a very good job of clogging up the middle. Now that Danny is here any offense you get from Ian is just gravy at this point so we really canít hold him just scoring 2 points against him.

    Now on to Cleveland for the kill storm 3000 game.

    Yes it is decided, we need to hear Kirk Hammett.



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

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: breaking the beaks of the Pelicans

    Missed the game so thanks for the excellent follow up.

    I'll accept your guitar metaphor. I've Seen EC at least three times and some people can't understand why I love him so much.
    Maestro indeed. You don't need a lot of flash when you are god-like in your control.

    To expand your idea that is much the identity of our team too. We do not need some spectacular offensive firework display. We play best when we just settle into a nice offensive rhythm, and take control on defense.
    Execute and throttle.
    Or as you said "step on their neck".

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: breaking the beaks of the Pelicans

    Quote Originally Posted by Peck View Post
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    Now again understand I am saying potential, I am not saying there is a sure fire problem here.
    For sure. This is the very reason all those "Danny-Lance" threads have been taking place since before the season began. It was quite predictable.

    As a Lance advocate, you know where I fall on the debate. Lance should get full starter minutes and finish the games. However, I'm not ready to agree with Lance that he should be in on the last shot. Not until he improves his free throw shooting (although it does seem to be getting better).
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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: breaking the beaks of the Pelicans

    I went to the game after the Colts game but it was almost over and I spent the entire time on my phone because I was in so much shock. Thank you for the recap as always! Last night was an excellent for Indy sports. IU, Colts and Pacers all had sellouts. Is there any city with each a pro football team and an NBA team that has more combined wins?

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: breaking the beaks of the Pelicans

    Good write-up.

    One way for both Scola and Danny to get at least a couple more minutes per game would be for Frank to pull the starters earlier in a blowout. We were up 16 and had a timeout at the 2:56 mark and Frank put the starters back in. Baffled me.
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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: breaking the beaks of the Pelicans

    Yeah I heard about the minutes restriction thing yesterday(I forgot about that) and I can see a problem coming up, where are those minutes coming from? Vogel would have to be stupid to **** Lance or PG by reducing their minutes even more, lets hope that Vogel knows how to deal with those egos.

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: breaking the beaks of the Pelicans

    Quote Originally Posted by vnzla81 View Post
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    Yeah I heard about the minutes restriction thing yesterday(I forgot about that) and I can see a problem coming up, where are those minutes coming from? Vogel would have to be stupid to **** Lance or PG by reducing their minutes even more, lets hope that Vogel knows how to deal with those egos.
    This team has bragged about there being no ego's in the locker-room and how nobody is bigger than the team. This may get put to the test to a slight degree. I don't think it'll be a huge problem but somebody grumbling a little bit about reduced playing time could have an effect on chemistry. It's a good problem to have especially if you look at a team like the Bulls who have a ton of talent but Tibs played their guys a lot of minutes and they seem to always have injuries.

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: breaking the beaks of the Pelicans

    Quote Originally Posted by Believe_in_blue View Post
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    This team has bragged about there being no ego's in the locker-room and how nobody is bigger than the team. This may get put to the test to a slight degree. I don't think it'll be a huge problem but somebody grumbling a little bit about reduced playing time could have an effect on chemistry. It's a good problem to have especially if you look at a team like the Bulls who have a ton of talent but Tibs played their guys a lot of minutes and they seem to always have injuries.
    Vogel is watching this closely I am sure. If necessary, the Pacers will move a player if they need to do it. Me-first attitudes will not be tolerated.

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: breaking the beaks of the Pelicans

    Hopefully it was just disappoint from Danny, about having his first pretty good game back and then having to come out. It's not a new experience, but it's not something that's happened to him for almost a decade. Last time he played regular minutes, he was the guy, now he's just a guy. I'd imagine it takes a bit of getting used too.

    With that said, Lance or Danny was a valid question at the beginning of the season, but not almost half way through. I think Danny will cope with it pretty well, Scola has which has been really nice and should be considered a luxury in today's ego-driven era, but if he doesn't then he either needs to or you actively start shopping for any kind of deal and hope it comes with a SF bench piece, or a more scoring center type player, you can use.



    But I was with Anthem, I figured Frank would allow the bench to close out the game considering they were on the first night of a back to back in a blow out. Not to mention that the bench played well last night. I know he's trying to get other guys some minutes, but I think you hope you can put away the Cavs and get starters and your main bench unit some rest there.
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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: breaking the beaks of the Pelicans

    Quote Originally Posted by McKeyFan View Post
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    As a Lance advocate, you know where I fall on the debate. Lance should get full starter minutes and finish the games. However, I'm not ready to agree with Lance that he should be in on the last shot. Not until he improves his free throw shooting (although it does seem to be getting better).
    Although I now like Lance, I don't particularly label myself a Lance advocate.

    But I will take exception to your comment. The ball absolutely should be in Lance's hands at the end of each quarter. And I'll tell you why.

    If the Pacers come up the court with less than 24 seconds left on the game clock and the ball is in Paul George's hands, no one else is going to see the ball, and far more often than not George is going to miss a poorly taken shot.

    In the same situation with the ball in Lance's hands, with the instruction from Vogel for Lance to do whatever the hell he has to do to get us a score, probably 8 times out of 10 the ball will end up in someone else's hands with a pretty darn good shot at the basket.

    Personally, I think the Pacers are more likely to get quarter-ending points with the ball in Lance's hands than with the ball in the hands of any other player on the roster. The only disclaimer is that Vogel must assert to the team that it is Lance's responsibility to make certain that the team scores and that Lance will be held accountable for creating a good scoring opportunity.

    I think the days of wasting nearly all of our quarter-ending scoring opportunities should have been long gone by now. Although Lance may not be consistent or steady enough to handle this responsibility throughout an entire game, there is no one else on our roster that would be more reliable to handle it for one trip down the floor when we want or need points.

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: breaking the beaks of the Pelicans

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthem View Post
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    Good write-up.

    One way for both Scola and Danny to get at least a couple more minutes per game would be for Frank to pull the starters earlier in a blowout. We were up 16 and had a timeout at the 2:56 mark and Frank put the starters back in. Baffled me.
    It's easy to boost the # of minutes for Granger. Granger is averaging 20 mpg now. Lance and PG24 are averaging 35 mpg.....Personally, I think that both of them playing 35 mpg is too much over the long run. As you said...pull them out earlier and reduce their payload of minutes to 33 mpg ( a difference of 2 mpg for each of them ) and Granger is up to 24 mpg.....reduce them to 32 mpg and Granger goes up to 26 mpg.
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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: breaking the beaks of the Pelicans

    Quote Originally Posted by Believe_in_blue View Post
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    This team has bragged about there being no ego's in the locker-room and how nobody is bigger than the team. This may get put to the test to a slight degree. I don't think it'll be a huge problem but somebody grumbling a little bit about reduced playing time could have an effect on chemistry. It's a good problem to have especially if you look at a team like the Bulls who have a ton of talent but Tibs played their guys a lot of minutes and they seem to always have injuries.
    Danny might grumble a little, but I highly doubt it will actually turn into any kind of chemistry problem with him. Lance is the one I would worry about since he is a much more emotional individual.

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: breaking the beaks of the Pelicans

    This is probably going to derail the thread, but what if we can't afford Lance without decimating the team, and Granger is willing to sign for 4-5 mil? Is that [signing Granger] the best move to keep a 2-3-4 year window open?

    Also, along the same lines, it is becoming clear that this year is the single best chance for the Pacers to win it, no matter what happens going forward.

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: breaking the beaks of the Pelicans

    Quote Originally Posted by beast23 View Post
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    Although I now like Lance, I don't particularly label myself a Lance advocate.

    But I will take exception to your comment. The ball absolutely should be in Lance's hands at the end of each quarter. And I'll tell you why.

    If the Pacers come up the court with less than 24 seconds left on the game clock and the ball is in Paul George's hands, no one else is going to see the ball, and far more often than not George is going to miss a poorly taken shot.

    In the same situation with the ball in Lance's hands, with the instruction from Vogel for Lance to do whatever the hell he has to do to get us a score, probably 8 times out of 10 the ball will end up in someone else's hands with a pretty darn good shot at the basket.

    Personally, I think the Pacers are more likely to get quarter-ending points with the ball in Lance's hands than with the ball in the hands of any other player on the roster. The only disclaimer is that Vogel must assert to the team that it is Lance's responsibility to make certain that the team scores and that Lance will be held accountable for creating a good scoring opportunity.

    I think the days of wasting nearly all of our quarter-ending scoring opportunities should have been long gone by now. Although Lance may not be consistent or steady enough to handle this responsibility throughout an entire game, there is no one else on our roster that would be more reliable to handle it for one trip down the floor when we want or need points.
    I think you overestimate how often Lance would pass it, and underestimate how often Paul would pass it. Lance would probably pass it more often, but not by much. The difference between the two is Lance is more likely to try and get a shot at the rim, while Paul likes to settle for 3's and long 2's.

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: breaking the beaks of the Pelicans

    Quote Originally Posted by dal9 View Post
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    This is probably going to derail the thread, but what if we can't afford Lance without decimating the team, and Granger is willing to sign for 4-5 mil? Is that [signing Granger] the best move to keep a 2-3-4 year window open?

    Also, along the same lines, it is becoming clear that this year is the single best chance for the Pacers to win it, no matter what happens going forward.
    In such a situation it would be highly unlikely there would be a better option than Granger. $7 million is a more realistic number though.

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: breaking the beaks of the Pelicans

    Quote Originally Posted by vnzla81 View Post
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    Yeah I heard about the minutes restriction thing yesterday(I forgot about that) and I can see a problem coming up, where are those minutes coming from? Vogel would have to be stupid to **** Lance or PG by reducing their minutes even more, lets hope that Vogel knows how to deal with those egos.

    I completely disagree with you on this.
    PG has played 37 min. the last 2 games and taken too many shots. I'm not down on Paul nor am I blaming the Toronto loss on him, but the team would be better off in reducing his minutes and seeing a few of those shots go to other players. We are in this for the long haul. If or when Granger is ready for a bigger role the team would be better off in playing PG/Lance/Granger almost equal minutes. That's the way to get the most out of our sg/sf rotation. I don't think Granger is to that point yet but he's ready for more minutes then he's had the last 2 games.

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: breaking the beaks of the Pelicans

    Quote Originally Posted by beast23 View Post
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    Although I now like Lance, I don't particularly label myself a Lance advocate.

    But I will take exception to your comment. The ball absolutely should be in Lance's hands at the end of each quarter. And I'll tell you why.

    If the Pacers come up the court with less than 24 seconds left on the game clock and the ball is in Paul George's hands, no one else is going to see the ball, and far more often than not George is going to miss a poorly taken shot.

    In the same situation with the ball in Lance's hands, with the instruction from Vogel for Lance to do whatever the hell he has to do to get us a score, probably 8 times out of 10 the ball will end up in someone else's hands with a pretty darn good shot at the basket.

    Personally, I think the Pacers are more likely to get quarter-ending points with the ball in Lance's hands than with the ball in the hands of any other player on the roster. The only disclaimer is that Vogel must assert to the team that it is Lance's responsibility to make certain that the team scores and that Lance will be held accountable for creating a good scoring opportunity.

    I think the days of wasting nearly all of our quarter-ending scoring opportunities should have been long gone by now. Although Lance may not be consistent or steady enough to handle this responsibility throughout an entire game, there is no one else on our roster that would be more reliable to handle it for one trip down the floor when we want or need points.
    I agree with this. I am just saying that, currently, Lance is a liability in situations where we are simply going to get fouled and go to the free throw line. In any other situation where that is not the case, we need Lance in at the end.

    What we really need is Lance to practice his foul shots more and concentrate more when he goes to the line. He's getting better. If he's not improved a good bit by playoff time I will be irritated.
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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: breaking the beaks of the Pelicans

    Quote Originally Posted by Pacerized View Post
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    I completely disagree with you on this.
    PG has played 37 min. the last 2 games and taken too many shots. I'm not down on Paul nor am I blaming the Toronto loss on him, but the team would be better off in reducing his minutes and seeing a few of those shots go to other players. We are in this for the long haul. If or when Granger is ready for a bigger role the team would be better off in playing PG/Lance/Granger almost equal minutes. That's the way to get the most out of our sg/sf rotation. I don't think Granger is to that point yet but he's ready for more minutes then he's had the last 2 games.
    Agreed, when Granger is able to go 30+ minutes the minutes should be divvied out based on how well each one is playing that particular game. At the beginning of a game the mindset should be Paul gets 36 minutes, Danny and Lance get 30 minutes. Then you adjust based on how they are playing. If Danny and Lance are playing better than Paul then maybe Paul is the one getting 30 minutes while those two get 33 minutes. Hopefully such a situation would give Paul a little bit of a humbling experience too. Something that people have been saying about Danny since the summer is that he doesn't need to go out there is score 20+ a night, well the same is true for Paul (and every player on this team). He doesn't need to score 20+ every night. Sometimes it is going to be better that Roy,West, Danny, Lance, or Hill is the one who scores 20+ that night. Paul needs to focus on defense, and just let the offense come to him. If he is having an off shooting night, he needs to learn to defer to someone who is shooting better.

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: breaking the beaks of the Pelicans

    Quote Originally Posted by Pacerized View Post
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    I completely disagree with you on this.
    PG has played 37 min. the last 2 games and taken too many shots. I'm not down on Paul nor am I blaming the Toronto loss on him, but the team would be better off in reducing his minutes and seeing a few of those shots go to other players. We are in this for the long haul. If or when Granger is ready for a bigger role the team would be better off in playing PG/Lance/Granger almost equal minutes.That's the way to get the most out of our sg/sf rotation. I don't think Granger is to that point yet but he's ready for more minutes then he's had the last 2 games.
    Nope it won't be better off no team is going to reduce their super star minutes and give a bench player equal minutes just because, that is not smart, I'm glad we won't have this argument because Vogel is smart enough not to do that.

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: breaking the beaks of the Pelicans

    Vogel had a game today. They had to travel and play today. No reason those starters were in as late as they were. None.

    Lance player well in the 3rd. I really like him on the block and Danny on the wing feeding the post.

    The offense needs more movement and it appears that the offense gets locked up sometimes with the starters.

    I wish Hill would be more decisive when he dribbles to the free throw line. Watson is better off of the dribble there. Is it bizarre that the worst passer/decision maker in our starting unit is Hill?

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: breaking the beaks of the Pelicans

    Quote Originally Posted by CableKC View Post
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    It's easy to boost the # of minutes for Granger. Granger is averaging 20 mpg now. Lance and PG24 are averaging 35 mpg.....Personally, I think that both of them playing 35 mpg is too much over the long run. As you said...pull them out earlier and reduce their payload of minutes to 33 mpg ( a difference of 2 mpg for each of them ) and Granger is up to 24 mpg.....reduce them to 32 mpg and Granger goes up to 26 mpg.
    I agree with this. I think you'd want to gradually increase Granger's minutes so that he would be able to play 28-30 minutes if we ever had to have that many minutes out of him.

    I'm not a proponent at all of keeping primary players in a game if a lead is obviously beyond reach of the opponent. Heck, if we are up by 20 going into Q4 (against most teams), I wouldn't expect to see any of the starters for the rest of the game. And I'd probably only play Scola, Granger and Watson for 4-5 minutes of Q4 as well. I'd give those three guys a taste of playing against the opposing starters, but I wouldn't want to risk injury to them much more than to the starters.

    If Lance or Danny or anyone else had a problem with it, I'd remind them what the end goal is. The healthier and rested your primary players are for the playoffs, the better off you are going to be. And, the more experienced your 9-13 players are, the stronger and deeper your bench is going to be.

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