Ash from Army of Darkness: Good...Bad...I'm the guy with the gun.
A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
Or throw in a first-round pick and flip it for a max-level point guard...
I totally agree with Peck here. I feel like this Miami game is the game of the year for us no matter what happens tonight.
Our guys are so obsessed with that team and it's been a long time since they got to see them up close. And with the way the Heat have been playing, we should have a great shot to win that game. Plus it's at home. The crowd will be ROCKIN.
What a shot in the arm that would be for these guys.
I really think we are just mentally fatigued right now. We've been in first place wire to wire, best record in basketball the whole year. There hasn't really been anything to play for other than maintaining that. We aren't Jordan's Bulls, we aren't the Heat, and we don't have a carrot to chase yet. We are a young team who probably doesn't feel anyone can beat them when it counts, except Miami.
The one thing I have noticed about this team, this year, is that they play better when their backs are against the wall. We have had a lot of comebacks this year and our defensive ability is unmatched.
I can't help but feel that when the time comes, our defense will rise to the occasion.
"Don't get caught watchin' the paint dry"
Thank you so much for coming back Peck!
Now for some random thoughts of my own.
So, the Pacers are showing outward symptoms of "O'B-itis" and Frank seems to have it, too. Perhaps it was simply in remission?
Obviously things are not that simple. Virtually every observation we are making as fans here of late have merit.
Young team with young superstars maximizes the impact of its immaturity by not learning from its mistakes.
Same immaturity leads to showboating and hero ball.
Also, the same immaturity leads to a lot of whining at the officials (not helped by the primary BB character flaw of West with his deer-in-headlights look a lot of times a foul is called on him) and losing the "respect" of the officials that they had at the beginning of the season.
Roy is upset because he doesn't get the ball often enough, yet he is ineffective at establishing position and our combos all recognize that getting him the ball is likely to be a poor decision for the most part.
Lance, being the most willing passer (though inclined to make the hero pass), recognizes this ineffectiveness the best and doesn't get Roy the ball. Conversely, Roy has probably subconsciously recognized that when Lance has the ball it is not likely to come to him, so possibly Roy (1) doesn't look to establish position (2) doesn't make good eye contact with Lance to let him know he wants the ball (3) when the ball does come to Roy, he is not as mentally conditioned to make good decisions based on where he is or (4) Roy has had such a difficult time when he finally does get the ball from Lance that he lacks confidence in finishing the play.
Our combos / wings are all players who love to create for themselves. They all feel, and rightfully so IMO, that they can exert their own will offensively when needed. Problem is that they are so driven by this that they often fail to recognize the value of purposeful player and ball movement instead of just looking to make a pass for the sake of making a pass without making the opposing defense work. It also leads to fewer quality touches for Roy in the low post.
Playing elite defense has proven to be increasingly difficult as the season has progressed, and shots are not falling like they were earlier, rendering the offense less effective than it was. The fatigue is showing, big time. So, Frank's "O'B-itis" manifests in his decision to both become more rigid with and shorten the rotation, likely due to feeling forced to as a result of (1) not having Danny (2) CJ's injury and the lack of an additional effective big who is actually available to play regularly. Frank is also likely to rely on advanced analytics when making his decisions, and analytics are, by definition, dependent on what has happened in the past regardless of whether they apply currently due to untrackable intangibles.
New guys coming in have also created additional competition for both Lance and Roy. Lance, even beyond wanting to be "the man", likely does want stats and highlights to be able to show his superiority over Turner as well as to increase the value of his next contract. Roy showed a lot of reservations when Bynum was brought in, and seemed to become even more dejected at his own poor performances, especially when Bynum had his high quality performance even on two bad knees. Ian responded well to Bynum's arrival, but I believe Roy has put even more pressure on himself to live up to his contract and become an offensive force.
Finally, other than during the early part of the brawl season, there probably has never been a Pacers squad / coaching staff that has faced the amount of media hype and overall level of performance expectation as this one has. Larry Bird is the only hope the Pacers have in managing the players sensitivity to these pressures because he has "been there, done that, got several t-shrts, and has worn them enough that the souvenier pictures / writing has started to fade and peel to the point of becoming illegible".
There is a lot more to it than even what I have included here, but suffice it to say that "It's complicated".
This too shall pass. Hopefully the Pacers learn to pass, and hopefully they learn to focus and simply let all of these stressors and pressure pass as well.
This makes me have a lot more respect what other elite teams and their coaching staffs have had to go through for extended periods throughout the history of the NBA.
You should have just blamed Jermaine O'Neal
So Peck, about the Chicago game... :P
The Lost Season
Quickly looking thru the suggestions and didn't see the one that Frank picked to fix the bench. Sit Lance and play Chris. Never saw that one coming. Never would have thought it would work. But nice job by Frank. Subtle, open up the court and suddenly the bench looks good. That is why he makes the big money and I don't.
I mentioned this in another thread, but Vogel said in the post game that Copeland played specifically because he wanted to see what Evan could do with better floor spacing (caused by Copeland). Evan had 7 assists tonight.