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Thread: Nate McMillan on the Pacers' Recent Play

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    Default Nate McMillan on the Pacers' Recent Play

    http://www.nba.com/pacers/news/q-and...rs-recent-play

    by Scott Agness

    With just 15 games remaining this season, I thought it was a perfect time to have an extended conversation with another key influence with the Indiana Pacers: Nate McMillan.

    The Pacers’ associate head coach has a wealth of experience and knowledge in the NBA. He’s been in the league as a player (1986-1998) or a coach (2000-present) for all but three seasons since 1986. This summer, he joined Frank Vogel’s staff when Brian Shaw landed a head-coaching job with the Denver Nuggets. McMillan’s primary role with the team is to help Vogel in managing the team and assist in player development.

    This is also McMillan’s first time on an NBA bench as an assistant coach after 12 seasons as a head coach. He has, however, served as an assistant with USA Basketball under Mike Krzyzewski.

    The Pacers earned their 50th win of the season Monday night and the light at the end of the tunnel — the playoffs — is in sight. Before he cleaned up and drove to the airport to catch the team’s charter flight to New York, McMillan talked about the team's recent play.

    What should be made out of their recent play? They’ve won four straight games, but it hasn’t been pretty.
    “Well, they’re wins. I don’t know if they’re ugly wins. We know we got to get better and we got to improve. Teams are playing better and we’ve been able to find ways to win games. I think that’s the most important thing, being able to adapt to situations whether you play four games in five nights or you’re struggling. Last night (a win over Philadelphia), we didn’t shoot the ball well but we had open shots and the defense was pretty good and in the fourth quarter, the defense kind of carried us long enough for us to start making baskets and winning that game.


    “We’re doing what we need to do to find ways to win ball games, and I think that’s the most important thing. We’re not dropping these games. We did drop four in a row a week ago but for the most part, the Detroit game, the Philly game, we didn’t drop those games.”

    On that losing streak, what concerned you about that stretch? Was there any one thing?
    “Kind of how we were losing those games and it started with Golden State, a team with speed and their ability to spread the floor and yet we were right in the game. We had the opportunity to win the game and then [Klay] Thompson makes a shot at the end. Then, we went down to Charlotte on a back-to-back and that’s going to be tough regardless of the way they’re playing this year. We knew that was going to be a tough game. And then it’s Houston. I think timing and teams playing well. … You drop four games in a week and you just have a week of bad basketball and that can happen.”

    The defensive numbers have improved in the last few games. But on the other side of the ball, what’s been the hiccup?
    “The thing is, we know we got to be better at both [ends]. Our defense has been the strength of this team for the last few years. Offensively, you don’t have one of the best records in the league if you can’t score. We know that we got to get better and each night out, you try to go out and do that. But we feel we’ve had some slippage at both ends of the floor.”

    Turnovers have been an issue all season. What do you think is the primary cause?
    “We have a lot of guys handling the ball and when you have a lot of guys handling the ball, sometimes that can lead to more turnovers. When we have Paul [George], and George [Hill], and Lance [Stephenson], and Evan [Turner]; there’s a number of guys that are handling the ball whereas I think a lot of times these low-turnover teams, there’s one guy handling the ball most of the times. There may be an opportunity where you’re going to have high turnovers.

    “We want to be aggressive and I think sometimes we get maybe too aggressive in a sense, playing in traffic, throwing in traffic, trying to make the home-run play as opposed to keeping the game simple. Instead of making the A-B-C pass, we want to make the A-C-F pass. Keep the game simple. It’s a simple basketball game and I think we’re still young and we still like to (make the flashy play).”

    Over the last month, the team has had to integrate three new pieces, dealt with injuries — (Andrew) Bynum in one night and Bynum out the other. Has that caused any difficulties or challenges?
    “I don’t think so. Those guys are pros. Evan [Turner], Bynum and Lavoy [Allen] are pros and I think Frank [Vogel] had done a good job to get them involved and clear up their roles, as far as what we expect from them and those guys have adapted to who we are, and what they need to do in order to play here.”

    What do you make of Roy Hibbert’s struggles in the last month (Hibbert is averagaing 8.6 points and 4.6 rebounds per game since March 1)?
    “The main thing is to get through the regular season. For us, we want to try and get home-court advantage, of course. We want our guys to be hitting on all cylinders when playoff time comes and Roy hasn’t had any time off. He’s played the whole season, and All-Star break. We think that has had an impact. We all know that we all have to get better and that’s the thing that we’re working on this last month of the season.”
    You think coach Nate was taking a subtle jab at Lance/Paul when he said "instead of making the flashy play" ? hummmm
    Last edited by BillS; 03-18-2014 at 08:16 PM. Reason: add author, take out accidental in-line comment from OP
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    Default Re: Nate McMillan on the Pacers' Recent Play

    Watching Indiana in the 4th quarter vs. Detroit showed me that when we want to we can rise to the occasion and play the lock down D we saw during the first two months. Maybe playing this level of defense is too exhausting to play every night, but it is still there when we need it.

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    Default Re: Nate McMillan on the Pacers' Recent Play

    Quote Originally Posted by joew8302 View Post
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    Watching Indiana in the 4th quarter vs. Detroit showed me that when we want to we can rise to the occasion and play the lock down D we saw during the first two months. Maybe playing this level of defense is too exhausting to play every night, but it is still there when we need it.
    I was thinking that too. I know it makes sense to go after the number one seed, and with the exception of West , our main players are young, but at what point to you give Lance/Hill/PG/West a little rest?
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    Default Re: Nate McMillan on the Pacers' Recent Play

    Quote Originally Posted by 90'sNBARocked View Post
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    I was thinking that too. I know it makes sense to go after the number one seed, and with the exception of West , our main players are young, but at what point to you give Lance/Hill/PG/West a little rest?
    Its tough to give Hill much rest with CJ being hurt. That said it looks like in the minds of the Pacers the number one seed is much more important than rest and we are going for it. We shall see how it goes.

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    Default Re: Nate McMillan on the Pacers' Recent Play

    Quote Originally Posted by joew8302 View Post
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    Its tough to give Hill much rest with CJ being hurt. That said it looks like in the minds of the Pacers the number one seed is much more important than rest and we are going for it. We shall see how it goes.
    Is there really much drop off from CJ to sloan?
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    Default Re: Nate McMillan on the Pacers' Recent Play

    Quote Originally Posted by 90'sNBARocked View Post
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    Is there really much drop off from CJ to sloan?
    IMO yes.

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    Default Re: Nate McMillan on the Pacers' Recent Play

    Quote Originally Posted by 90'sNBARocked View Post
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    Is there really much drop off from CJ to sloan?
    Simply... Yes...

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    Default Re: Nate McMillan on the Pacers' Recent Play

    I love how all the coaches and players are openly talking about how they've been playing poorly and need to step their game up, but when a poster says something along those lines everyone jumps down their throat.

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    Default Re: Nate McMillan on the Pacers' Recent Play

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Awesome View Post
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    I love how all the coaches and players are openly talking about how they've been playing poorly and need to step their game up, but when a poster says something along those lines everyone jumps down their throat.
    1) not everyone.

    2) disagreeing isn't "jumping down" someone's "throat". Really, neither is pointing out the record. Even Nate is saying "we didn't drop those games".
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    Default Re: Nate McMillan on the Pacers' Recent Play

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Awesome View Post
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    I love how all the coaches and players are openly talking about how they've been playing poorly and need to step their game up, but when a poster says something along those lines everyone jumps down their throat.
    I really don't think it's when a poster says something but when that poster say's it over and over and over and over that gets other posters upset.
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    Default Re: Nate McMillan on the Pacers' Recent Play

    Yeah, I think our guys are tired and a bit worn down, but we have to keep our foot on the accelerator. This is where we could use some of our bench guys like Turner, Scola, *Bynum, Watson, and Mahinmi to try to take some of the load off of our starters.

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    Default Re: Nate McMillan on the Pacers' Recent Play

    Quote Originally Posted by Alabama-Redneck View Post
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    I really don't think it's when a poster says something but when that poster say's it over and over and over and over that gets other posters upset.
    Its more like when a poster goes out of their way to come and post something negative about the team immediately after a loss or a poor outing, but is conspicuously absent when the team or a certain player plays well... Its not at all the general poster being upset/realistic about something... At least this is how I feel...
    Last edited by bballpacen; 03-18-2014 at 10:00 PM.

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    Default Re: Nate McMillan on the Pacers' Recent Play

    Guess I missed where Nate said the Pacers will be lucky to get out of the first round, Since we're comparing things Nate said to what's said here.
    Just because you're offended, doesn't mean you're right. ― Ricky Gervais.

    What if someone from a school of business or management school were to ask, How did you do this? How did you get the Pacers turned around? Is there a general approach you've taken that can be summarized?

    Larry Bird: Yeah, patience.

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    Default Re: Nate McMillan on the Pacers' Recent Play

    This quote really sums up a great deal of what is wrong. Along with being bored and tired of the regular season. And having just ONE effective offensive threat
    in the middle. Bynum is the answer for the last problem when he is able to play.

    We want to be aggressive and I think sometimes we get maybe too aggressive in a sense, playing in traffic, throwing in traffic, trying to make the home-run play as opposed to keeping the game simple. Instead of making the A-B-C pass, we want to make the A-C-F pass. Keep the game simple. Its a simple basketball game and I think were still young and we still like to (make the flashy play).
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    Default Re: Nate McMillan on the Pacers' Recent Play

    At times it makes me wonder if a few of our guys are coasting at times thinking they need to preserve their energy for the playoffs or have they gotten bored with the regular season games. Hopefully they are not gassed and if they are, the coaching staff needs to recognize that and get them more rest during the games. I know that is a little difficult right now with the injury bug hitting a little bit now.

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