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Thread: The 2002-03 Pacers collapse (similarities to 13-14)

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    NaptownSeth is all feel Naptown_Seth's Avatar
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    Default The 2002-03 Pacers collapse (similarities to 13-14)

    Since I've used this example in a couple of threads regarding chemistry and how teams can fall apart with issues, I thought it might be worth revisiting this case study.


    On Jan 31 of 2003 the Pacers were at 33-12, coming off a home loss 2 nights before to the Spurs (who were 4 games behind them at the time). They flew up to Toronto to face a dreadful Raps team and lost to them by 12. But they came home the next night, beat a modest Boston team and made that loss look like a blip, layover from the SAS perhaps.

    They are 2nd in the NBA with a 34-14 record.

    They get 2 off days before playing a .500 Lakers at home (home for Bos, off, off, LAL) right before the AS break. They are upset by 3 in that game. Worrying but perhaps they are looking ahead to the break.

    For the ASG Isiah is the head coach, JO starts and is a guy starting to show up in MVP discussions, and the team's starting center Brad Miller is named AS reserve. One Pacer is annoyed by his ASG game snubbing - Ron Artest (and a year later he would be an AS and DPOY).

    They come back from break and beat a horrible (#1 draft pick Lebron will come this summer) Cavs in Indy, but then also beat a solid NO Hornets team on the road. The Cavs game is way too close given a 35-15 type team at home vs a 10-40 team (11 pts), but wins are wins.

    Then on Feb 14th they have to go to OT vs a poor Atlanta Hawks (19-33) team in Indy with a day's rest and your eyebrows go up a bit. And in OT they only win by 1. But at 37-15 they still lead the East and have the #2 record (Dallas) despite looking vulnerable for the prior 2-3 weeks.



    And then....

    2 nights later they have a rematch in Atlanta and lose by a fair amount (13) which is not a fluke win. The Hawks led the whole way.

    2 nights later they play in Memphis. So again you had a free day to go from Indy to ATL (Hawks traveled too), and a free day to go from ATL to MEM. This is a baby road trip without having to play back to back nights.

    And they lose that Memphis game in OT to a team at 16-36 after the win. So now it's starting to seem problematic. It's only the 3rd time all season they've lost 2 in a row, and these are games they should clearly win.

    Next comes critical matchups on the road vs NJ and SAS, both rivals for the NBA's top record. If you can only win this NJ game it will offset some of the sting of those last 2 losses (ahem, think Houston game last night).

    It is Feb 20th when they lose to the Nets in NJ, marking their first 3 game losing streak of the year.


    Now at this point if you aren't freaked out by the similarities in OUTCOMES ONLY, setting aside whatever you think about the personalities of the 2 teams and focusing only on the types of games they are losing and the timing of those losses, then I can only think you are in denial.

    The loss @HOU last night mirrors the circumstances almost precisely of what was going on as the 02-03 team came into NJ, right down to it being the first 3 game losing streak, being just a bit after the AS break, and coming off a road loss to a poor team in the Carolinas/Georgia.

    My brain sees this and screams "W T F IS GOING ON!?!?!?!" It's crazy in similarities.


    So the sad tale is that much like losing in HOU is followed by a trip to a good Texas team for an attempt to stop the losing streak, that NJ loss was followed by a trip to a great Texas team (SAS) who promptly beat them to send them to 4 straight losses and full-on panic mode. S*** was getting real by this point.

    Those Pacers got 2 days off before a home game vs a sub-500 Wiz team, and then lost that game at home for #5 in a row.

    Then it was back on the road to face a strong Boston team and the Pacers were held to 14 1st qtr points and 15 4th qtr points for a final score of 69-71. REGGIE MILLER went 2-14 in that game on Feb 26 (cough...Paul George...cough).

    The losing streak ended at home on Feb 28th when they beat a 500 Bucks squad. Ron was back and went 7-10 and despite the horror of a 6 game losing streak you could almost think that finally they'd solved the problem.



    And then they lost another 6 straight to make it a 1-12 record.

    This ended after game 65. The team was now at 38-27. From there on they actually got back over 500 and finished 10-7 to hang on to the 3rd seed. It wasn't elite ball but they'd weathered the storm perhaps and were figuring out what to do with their issues and how to win games again.


    Then the 6th seed Celtics beat them 4-2, Isiah was fired and Carlisle was about to take them to a franchise high 61 wins (despite losing Brad Miller)




    BTW look at playoff game #1. At home vs Boston ALL the starters played well. Ron was back and playing well too. The starters were 28-52 FG shooting, and as a team they outshot Boston, outrebounded Boston and shot/made more FTs than Boston.

    But Boston went 9-23 from 3 (39%) while Indy went 5-21 (24%) and those 4 extra points plus a 15 to 10 TO advantage got Boston the win.

    The Indy bench went 4-20 and 0-8 from 3 (Harrington, Croshere and Bender mostly). Reggie was 1-5 from 3. Tinsley and Artest went 4-8 from 3 and Tins had 9 assists too.


    I guess we just had bench shooting issues (not scoring cause Boston only got 7 bench points) and they just "hit tough 3pt shots".

    That statement in no way sounds like any recent statements I've heard in Pacers post-games.
    Last edited by Naptown_Seth; 03-08-2014 at 03:02 PM.

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  3. #2
    Can see thru wooden doors dal9's Avatar
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    Default Re: The 2002-03 Pacers collapse (similarities to 13-14)

    hopefully vogel is less incompetent than thomas?

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    Default Re: The 2002-03 Pacers collapse (similarities to 13-14)

    We're going to finish with at least 62 wins, just watch

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    Can see thru wooden doors dal9's Avatar
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    Default Re: The 2002-03 Pacers collapse (similarities to 13-14)

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueCollarColts View Post
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    We're going to finish with at least 62 wins, just watch
    including playoffs?

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    Default Re: The 2002-03 Pacers collapse (similarities to 13-14)

    Quote Originally Posted by dal9 View Post
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    including playoffs?
    No

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    Default Re: The 2002-03 Pacers collapse (similarities to 13-14)

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueCollarColts View Post
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    We're going to finish with at least 62 wins, just watch
    This is irrelevant to me. I just want to be playing good ball come playoff time. The way things are going that doesn't look promising.

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    Default Re: The 2002-03 Pacers collapse (similarities to 13-14)

    I believe we went into last seasons playoffs playing bad basketball right?

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    Default Re: The 2002-03 Pacers collapse (similarities to 13-14)

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueCollarColts View Post
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    I believe we went into last seasons playoffs playing bad basketball right?
    1-5 to finish the year.

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    Default Re: The 2002-03 Pacers collapse (similarities to 13-14)

    Quote Originally Posted by BenR1990 View Post
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    1-5 to finish the year.
    Exactly that's why I'm not worried yet

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    Default Re: The 2002-03 Pacers collapse (similarities to 13-14)

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueCollarColts View Post
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    I believe we went into last seasons playoffs playing bad basketball right?
    .....and we ended up getting knocked out. That is not the goal this season, right?

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    Default Re: The 2002-03 Pacers collapse (similarities to 13-14)

    Quote Originally Posted by joew8302 View Post
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    .....and we ended up getting knocked out. That is not the goal this season, right?
    Yeah, after winning two series and taking the eventual champions to 7 games. I think the point he was trying to make was that we turned things around significantly after going through a massive slump to end the year.

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    Default Re: The 2002-03 Pacers collapse (similarities to 13-14)

    Quote Originally Posted by joew8302 View Post
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    .....and we ended up getting knocked out. That is not the goal this season, right?
    My point was we struggled mightily during the season last year, but turned it up for the playoffs

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    Default Re: The 2002-03 Pacers collapse (similarities to 13-14)

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueCollarColts View Post
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    We're going to finish with at least 62 wins, just watch
    You think we are going to go .800 with our remaining schedule?

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    Default Re: The 2002-03 Pacers collapse (similarities to 13-14)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mad-Mad-Mario View Post
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    You think we are going to go .800 with our remaining schedule?
    yes

  21. #15

    Default Re: The 2002-03 Pacers collapse (similarities to 13-14)

    Thanks Seth. I was really trying to put that 02-03 season out of my mind.


    Crazy comparison with some definite similarities.

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    Default Re: The 2002-03 Pacers collapse (similarities to 13-14)

    Quote Originally Posted by dal9 View Post
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    hopefully vogel is less incompetent than thomas?
    He's not incompetent. He's just stubborn and vanilla. There's a dif. Some people screw up because they're just dumb and not too bright. Others are quite intelligent, but their stubborness doesn't allow them to change course when the ship is headed for a whirpool. Vogel is the latter.

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    Default Re: The 2002-03 Pacers collapse (similarities to 13-14)

    good lord how long did that post take to formulate OP?

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    Artificial Intelligence wintermute's Avatar
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    Default Re: The 2002-03 Pacers collapse (similarities to 13-14)

    Quote Originally Posted by ReggiesUncle View Post
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    good lord how long did that post take to formulate OP?
    Hmm, it's like you've never seen a Naptown Seth post before. Post more often Seth, people have forgotten you

    Anyway, I'm not sure I buy the comparison. This team had already reached 03-04 level of postseason success last year; to think that they've regressed to 02-03 form all of a sudden doesn't seem understandable to me. In contrast to the 02-03 team, this bunch is a lot more proven.

    So, sure it's a possibility I guess. But not one that I think is very probable.

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    Default Re: The 2002-03 Pacers collapse (similarities to 13-14)

    Nice to see Seth posting.

    Didn't 2 or 3 or so of the Pacers teams (not by Seth, or rather I don't recall who all that did) get compared to the 93-94 team at some point during the year, only those turned out to be some of the bad mid and late 2000's teams?

    I guess I appreciate the similarities here but I don't view it as a prophecy.

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    The light, not the lie. kester99's Avatar
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    Default Re: The 2002-03 Pacers collapse (similarities to 13-14)

    Every time one of our guys gets chosen for the post-game interview, win or lose, they all have the party line down pat.

    What do we need to do to ensure a better showing against our next tough opponent? 'Get back to trusting each other, ball movement, focus on defense, take care of the ball...'

    They all say it. The coaches preach it. When the players actually do it, we shine. We get out to a lead, or we make a 15-point run to get back within a point or two...then it's right back to I-must-save-the-day isolation moves, jacked up threes, dribbling into traffic, panicky passing out of the crowd, and turnovers or contested jumpers to beat the shot clock.

    I don't think lack of flexibility or bad schemes are Coach's problems. Getting our stars to stick with the program under pressure, and not just render lip service post-game is a problem.

    The coaches, DWest...Rasual??...some combination of those has to get out the stick and keep the kids in line. Bench them if that's what it takes. See if Copeland, Butler, etc can stick with the game plan better. The affected players might wake up.

    ***************

    Good piece, Seth.
    [~]) ... Cheers! Go Pacers!

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    Member Phree Refill's Avatar
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    Default Re: The 2002-03 Pacers collapse (similarities to 13-14)

    Our offense has been very disjointed the last 15 games. This puts a lot of pressure on our defense when teams are fast breaking off of long rebounds or attacking immediately after a miss before our defense gets set. If Frank can evolve the offense a little I think things will be just fine.

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    Default Re: The 2002-03 Pacers collapse (similarities to 13-14)

    So we have the first three game losing streak of the season (after a 5 game winning streak) and we're all of the sudden similar to an immature team that had the most epic collapse in franchise history? That 03 team was an immature squad built on a foundation of sand with a ton of issues that at that point had never even won a playoff series together. The 2014 Pacers OTOH took the eventual champs to 7 games last year.

    Who else remembers when we lost 5 of 6 to finish the season a year ago? Remember when OKC came here on a Friday night in early April and DRILLED US, then the very next night we got smoked by the Wizards in the District. Then the next Friday the Nets came in here and clowned on us. Two days later the Knicks run all over us in the Garden. It was just a hideous stretch to finish the season....much worse than what's going on right now. Heck, we also looked pretty bad in those two games in the ATL when the Hawks tied the series up on us. Only after that point did we finally get it all together and go on our tear that took us to Game 7 in South Beach.

    Very few teams make it through an entire season without a rough stretch like this. I think that it's good for them. They can iron out some issues and it will remind them that they can't be so cocky. I still have complete faith in this team and will be shocked beyond belief if we aren't in the ECF's again.

    The near perfect start to the season was bad in that it raised expectations to unrealistic levels. This is not a perfect team and they were bound to go through a rough patch at some point. They will be fine when all of the chips are on the table.
    Last edited by Sollozzo; 03-09-2014 at 02:38 PM.

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    Default Re: The 2002-03 Pacers collapse (similarities to 13-14)

    Quote Originally Posted by Phree Refill View Post
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    Our offense has been very disjointed the last 15 games. This puts a lot of pressure on our defense when teams are fast breaking off of long rebounds or attacking immediately after a miss before our defense gets set. If Frank can evolve the offense a little I think things will be just fine.
    Frank does need to evolve the offense. We have so many weapons it's insane. Frank is under-utilizing this roster.

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    NaptownSeth is all feel Naptown_Seth's Avatar
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    Default Re: The 2002-03 Pacers collapse (similarities to 13-14)

    Quote Originally Posted by imawhat View Post
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    Thanks Seth. I was really trying to put that 02-03 season out of my mind.


    Crazy comparison with some definite similarities.
    I mean I'm not trying to be a d*** and bum everyone out, and I'm not trying to be overreacting. But GD, this looks REALLY familiar. Like when you went to see Airplane 2 and it felt really familiar.


    The next week or so has a lot of crap teams so the wins are sitting right there for the taking. But this hasn't been a run of bad luck close losses, this has been a run of both wins and losses where the team looks borderline incompetent and definitely not playoff caliber.



    Looking back we know Ron being weird was a big problem and JO vs Ron was a big problem. But Carlisle was able to come in and fix all those issues at least through 61 wins, 6 games of ECF and an awesome start the next year until the brawl. So it wasn't like Isiah shouldn't have been able to salvage something out of it. That team that fell apart was built with the exact same guys that won 61 games the next year, minus AS Brad Miller.

    So it wasn't really obvious or inevitable for them to fall apart that year. Like I said, Ron even played some damn good games after his flame out and all his techs. Nothing about the situation was a lost cause.


    The chemistry and/or strategy just fell apart and fell apart hard and quick. (TWSS) Is that not what this looks like right now? Freaking weird. I honestly never thought I'd see a Pacers season like that one ever again. Just being the top team in the East is rare enough, but to then have 2 all-stars, one in the MVP discussion and starting and the other your center, to have Lance in the Ron snub role, and then to see it start to crumble vs bad teams and then explode into full-on disaster. That s*** just doesn't normally happen.



    By the way, having a bad final 5-7 games isn't the same, and it's not just as simple as the losses. The 2 MIL wins looked terrible. And the Denver win featured a Nuggets team missing it's top 2 guards, on the road and just a clusterf*** themselves. Ditto LAL. This is about struggling a bit with bad teams and being dominated by anything better than that. It's about feeling lucky when they get back into games like GSW or even Dallas. It's that odd feeling that a team has gone from dominating, really dominating, to just helpless and lost and have done it without a ton of clear issues like a major injury (ignoring behind the scenes issues we know about now from 02-03).

    I honestly don't know what to think, except no way in hell they are winning 62. I would never put money down on them doing that, and I couldn't in good conscious take money from an optimistic Pacers fan either.

  35. #25
    Believe in Roy! boombaby1987's Avatar
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    Default Re: The 2002-03 Pacers collapse (similarities to 13-14)

    The past literally has no bearing on the future in this case.
    @qandrews9428

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