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Thread: Did Pacers push too hard, too soon?

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    Default Did Pacers push too hard, too soon?

    http://www.cbssports.com/nba/writer/...-hard-too-soon

    NEW YORK -- Before the Pacers played the Knicks on Wednesday night, I asked Frank Vogel what his team had cleaned up during a four-game winning streak that followed a four-game losing streak -- an uncharacteristic slide that either exposed their weaknesses or their inability to finish what they'd started in what has otherwise been a masterpiece of a season.

    "Offensive movement, screening, our ball containment, our transition defense, our defensive rebounding ...," Vogel was saying in the hallway outside the visiting locker room.

    "That's a long list," I said.

    "Yeah, we've been working on a lot of things," Vogel said.

    About an hour later, many of those familiar trouble spots resurfaced on the floor at Madison Square Garden in a 92-86 loss to the Knicks, who've won seven straight as they try to salvage an abysmal season with an improbable push for a playoff spot. Indiana's pick-and-roll coverage fell flat. The Pacers' offense was stagnant. All-Star Paul George looked tired and lacked lift on his shot -- not to mention accuracy. George was 4-for-17 on his way to a forgettable 17-point night. He was 2-for-9 from 3-point range, making him 5-for-22 from beyond the arc in his past three games.

    Two words: Tired legs. According to NBA.com's distance tracker, George has run the fourth-longest distance in the league this season -- 172.4 miles, or 6 1-2 marathons.

    Afterward, the frustration boiled over in the Pacers' locker room. George questioned his team's basketball IQ. Roy Hibbert and David West questioned their teammates' unselfishness.

    "We've got to be able to play at a higher pace and a higher IQ," George said.

    "We didn't play team ball at all," West said.

    Perhaps the Pacers, playing their fourth game in six nights, simply ran into a hot team on the road and didn't have the energy to keep pushing the buttons that got them back on track. It wasn't as bad as their brutal stretch earlier this month that included a 22-point loss in Charlotte and a 26-point loss in Houston, but it was disturbing enough to reverberate in the locker room.

    Every contender has its difficult stretches during the NBA's 82-game regular season marathon. To say the Pacers are no longer the dominant team that sprinted out to a 16-1 start and spent much of the season with the best record (and best defense) in the league would be an overreaction.

    But there is a dilemma that the Pacers may have to confront before it is too late. Indiana's Big Three of George, Hibbert and West have played in every one of the Pacers' 68 games this season. Not a single game off for any of them. This is in stark contrast to how Gregg Popovich has handled the Spurs for years. Erik Spoelstra has strategically scheduled nights off for his stars, too.

    Fans and TV networks hate it. Paying customers feel ripped off by it. But rest is paramount during the NBA's six-month, regular-season grind.

    With the older Spurs, and with the Heat's Dwyane Wade and, to a lesser extent, LeBron James, building rest into the schedule is a necessity. (Wade has missed 17 games this season, mostly to rest his ailing knees and keep him fresh for the playoffs. James sat out the Heat's loss to the Celtics on Wednesday night with back spasms.) Vogel has maintained that, with a younger team -- George is 23 and Hibbert 27 -- rest isn't required.

    "We keep an eye on our guys," Vogel said. "I agree with how Coach Pop handles his team, but we have a younger team. And the veterans wouldn't sit out if you put a gun to their head."

    Here's the problem: With their late-winter/early-spring swoon, the Pacers have squandered a chance to separate themselves from Miami in their all-out pursuit of the No. 1 seed and homecourt advantage throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs. With series-deciding losses on the road in two of the past three postseasons -- including a Game 7 loss at Miami in last season's Eastern Conference finals -- Indiana has kept the pedal down from start to finish in pursuit of a series-deciding home game if and when they see the Heat again.

    Miami has lost six of nine since March 3, and the Pacers (4-5 during that stretch) have picked up only one game in the loss column. Now, with only a two-game lead, the Pacers have little choice but to keep pushing.

    Asked about how he prioritizes securing the No. 1 seed and preparing for the playoffs, Vogel said, "Both are equally important in my mind. It's important to keep winning now; earning the [No.] 1 seed is still a priority of ours. But the bigger thing is making sure that we're playing at our optimal level."

    Of all the things that the Pacers worked on to try to get back on track, rest hasn't been one of them. And now, with two of their 14 remaining games against the Heat, there may not be time.
    I have suspected for awhile now that PG/Roy/West need some time off to rest and be healthy

    I would have ET take PGs minutes for a couple games and have either Scola or Allen take West's minutes and Ian take Roy's just for a couple games
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    Default Re: Did Pacers push too hard, too soon?

    These athletes are paid millions of dollars to be in shape. I will never be fine with a professional player using tiredness as an excuse for poor play when being in shape is part of his job description.

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    Default Re: Did Pacers push too hard, too soon?

    Quote Originally Posted by croz24 View Post
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    These athletes are paid millions of dollars to be in shape. I will never be fine with a professional player using tiredness as an excuse for poor play when being in shape is part of his job description.

    I can't thank this post enough. Exactly the way I feel. The whining, the tiredness/b2b excuse. It's got to stop.

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    Default Re: Did Pacers push too hard, too soon?

    Quote Originally Posted by presto123 View Post
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    I can't thank this post enough. Exactly the way I feel. The whining, the tiredness/b2b excuse. It's got to stop.
    Their bodies shouldn't be tired because they are paid millions of dollars? Great logic that completely ignores biology.

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    Default Re: Did Pacers push too hard, too soon?

    The only way to get a one seed is to push hard, particularly when your main foe is a two time defending champ with one of the greatest players ever. There's no such thing as pushing hard in our case.

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    Default Re: Did Pacers push too hard, too soon?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eleazar View Post
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    Their bodies shouldn't be tired because they are paid millions of dollars? Great logic that completely ignores biology.
    Their bodies shouldn't be tired because they are paid millions of dollars to keep them in shape. Basketball is not one of the more physically demanding sports and even at the high school level you'll have double headers or 3-4 games in one day at the AAU level. We just watched college teams play back to back to back to back in the conference tournaments. And NOBODY on the Pacers even ranks top 20 in the NBA in minutes per game. This sport has been played for a long time, and rarely have I heard as much excuse making as I have from this group. If we are truly physically tired, then these guys better spend the entire offseason getting their lazy asses in shape. We are simply a mentally weak team.

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    Default Re: Did Pacers push too hard, too soon?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eleazar View Post
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    Their bodies shouldn't be tired because they are paid millions of dollars? Great logic that completely ignores biology.
    Didn't say that. Every team deals with it. If you can't handle it as well as other teams then look in the mirror. You are not in the shape you need to be in or eating right or getting enough sleep to tackle the season. That's what we pay you the big money for.

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    Default Re: Did Pacers push too hard, too soon?

    Quote Originally Posted by presto123 View Post
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    Didn't say that. Every team deals with it. If you can't handle it as well as other teams then look in the mirror. You are not in the shape you need to be in or eating right or getting enough sleep to tackle the season. That's what we pay you the big money for.
    But ... wouldn't that be why at this point in the season all the teams pushing their regular players the whole time seem to be in a slump while the ones with players coming back from reduced minutes or from getting blown out night after night seem to surge?
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    Default Re: Did Pacers push too hard, too soon?

    Quote Originally Posted by presto123 View Post
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    Didn't say that. Every team deals with it. If you can't handle it as well as other teams then look in the mirror. You are not in the shape you need to be in or eating right or getting enough sleep to tackle the season. That's what we pay you the big money for.
    That is assuming everyone's body reacts the same way, and that everyone is playing similar minutes and pushing their bodies equally as hard. All of which we know for a fact are not equal, hence the question "Did the push too hard too soon?" It is like in a long distance run someone sprints out of the gates and tries to go full speed the whole time, while others pace themselves. By the end those who paced themselves end up winning because the sprinter didn't have enough left in the tank to stay ahead of them. The suggestion is that the Pacers were the one who sprinted out in front, and now don't have enough left over to finish strong. It doesn't mean they aren't as conditioned, it just means they took a bad strategy.



    Also, yes you did say that. You quoted a post that said that, and said you agree completely.

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    Default Re: Did Pacers push too hard, too soon?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eleazar View Post
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    That is assuming everyone's body reacts the same way, and that everyone is playing similar minutes and pushing their bodies equally as hard. All of which we know for a fact are not equal, hence the question "Did the push too hard too soon?" It is like in a long distance run someone sprints out of the gates and tries to go full speed the whole time, while others pace themselves. By the end those who paced themselves end up winning because the sprinter didn't have enough left in the tank to stay ahead of them. The suggestion is that the Pacers were the one who sprinted out in front, and now don't have enough left over to finish strong. It doesn't mean they aren't as conditioned, it just means they took a bad strategy.



    Also, yes you did say that. You quoted a post that said that, and said you agree completely.

    Your post would make sense if the Pacers had a bunch of guys leading the league in minutes played. Also, this team is playing horrible even when they have a few days rest between games. I don't buy the fatigue factor at all. It's an excuse and a sign of a mentally weak team.

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    Default Re: Did Pacers push too hard, too soon?

    I missed the part where George questioned the teams I.Q.

    This seems weird as he has the lowest basketball I.Q. on the team.

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    Default Re: Did Pacers push too hard, too soon?

    These guys may be tired, but they shouldn't be. No one is averaging even 36 minutes per game. Great players in the past have averaged over 36 mpg and were still playing well at the end of the season.

    Wilt AVERAGED 45.8 mpg for his CAREER.

    I know Wilt was an unusual athlete, but here is a short list of other players and their career average mpg:

    Bird 38.4
    LeBron 39.5
    Kobe 36.6
    Carmelo 36.5

    And some real old timers:

    Havlicek 36.6
    Russell 42.3
    Oscar 42.2

    This time of year on a contending team, great players figure out how to keep playing at a high level whether they are tired or not.

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    Default Re: Did Pacers push too hard, too soon?

    The Pacers have a 3 game lead. That makes a huge difference. Good article nonetheless.

    I don't think tiredness is what the problem is. George and Stephensen are 23, and Hill and Hibbert are what 27? Why isn't Kevin Durant tired? He's practically cared OKC on his back all season.

    The tiredness excuse is lame. They're just not playing as well as they played at the beginning of the season and as Paul George said, every team in the league knows the Pacers offense now. The offense is predictable and pretty easy to stop when they decide to play isolation ball instead of inside out. They need to get back to using dribble penetration and swinging the ball from side to side to get better more open shots. Oh, and Paul George needs to start knocking down his open shots and shoot less threes. Maybe he needs to add that tape back to his finger. He seemed like he was hitting everything when he wore that.
    Quote Originally Posted by vnzla81
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    Larry is not coming back, he didn't have a meeting with Orlando for not reason, yeah he is coming back to the NBA but not to the Pacers, the notion that he is a taking a year off and then come back is absurd.
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    Default Re: Did Pacers push too hard, too soon?

    Quote Originally Posted by naptownmenace View Post
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    The Pacers have a 3 game lead. That makes a huge difference. Good article nonetheless.

    I don't think tiredness is what the problem is. George and Stephensen are 23, and Hill and Hibbert are what 27? Why isn't Kevin Durant tired? He's practically cared OKC on his back all season.

    The tiredness excuse is lame. They're just not playing as well as they played at the beginning of the season and as Paul George said, every team in the league knows the Pacers offense now. The offense is predictable and pretty easy to stop when they decide to play isolation ball instead of inside out. They need to get back to using dribble penetration and swinging the ball from side to side to get better more open shots. Oh, and Paul George needs to start knocking down his open shots and shoot less threes. Maybe he needs to add that tape back to his finger. He seemed like he was hitting everything when he wore that.
    Totally agree with your comments on the offense. I keep seeing teams in this year's NCAA tournament that have much better ball movement than the Pacers. I thought to myself.....if only the Pacers moved the ball around like that.

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    Default Re: Did Pacers push too hard, too soon?

    We will not know the answer to this question until the playoffs start....

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    Default Re: Did Pacers push too hard, too soon?

    Quote Originally Posted by sav View Post
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    These guys may be tired, but they shouldn't be. No one is averaging even 36 minutes per game. Great players in the past have averaged over 36 mpg and were still playing well at the end of the season.

    Wilt AVERAGED 45.8 mpg for his CAREER.

    I know Wilt was an unusual athlete, but here is a short list of other players and their career average mpg:

    Bird 38.4
    LeBron 39.5
    Kobe 36.6
    Carmelo 36.5

    And some real old timers:

    Havlicek 36.6
    Russell 42.3
    Oscar 42.2

    This time of year on a contending team, great players figure out how to keep playing at a high level whether they are tired or not.
    It is much tougher to play 34 minutes going 100% all the time than to play 36 minutes going 80% the majority of the time.

    I'm not saying they are tired, I don't know how hard they push themselves out there from game to game, but to dismiss it out of hand is just ignorant of reality. Being young doesn't mean you don't get tired, in fact in Paul's case being young might be part of the problem as he hasn't had the chance to build up his long term endurance with his current role.

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    Default Re: Did Pacers push too hard, too soon?

    Quote Originally Posted by presto123 View Post
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    Your post would make sense if the Pacers had a bunch of guys leading the league in minutes played.
    Paul is 2nd in the NBA in miles ran. If Paul is playing less minutes, but running further, it would mean his work output is higher than pretty much the entire league. I don't think his tired legs give him excuse for his sloppy turnovers, or whining, but I do think it explains his poor shooting.
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    Default Re: Did Pacers push too hard, too soon?

    People are really over analyzing everything right now. I'm content with just sitting back and watching what happens in the playoffs. I've got confidence in our guys.

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    Default Re: Did Pacers push too hard, too soon?

    Yeah!!! Because LeBron plays every game, and Wade plays every game, the Spurs never rest their starters, Westbrook never sits...I honestly think it's something the Pacers should look at more often.
    "It's just unfortunate that we've been penalized so much this year and nothing has happened to the Pistons, the Palace or the city of Detroit," he said. "It's almost like it's always our fault. The league knows it. They should be ashamed of themselves to let the security be as lax as it is around here."

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    Default Re: Did Pacers push too hard, too soon?

    Quote Originally Posted by croz24 View Post
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    These athletes are paid millions of dollars to be in shape. I will never be fine with a professional player using tiredness as an excuse for poor play when being in shape is part of his job description.
    Im sorry,but to think an athlete can get tired because their paid millions" to me is just ridiculous

    No matter how great off shape your in, you will eventually tire ad have a greater risk of injury

    no offense at your point, just my view
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    Default Re: Did Pacers push too hard, too soon?

    Quote Originally Posted by 90'sNBARocked View Post
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    Im sorry,but to think an athlete can get tired because their paid millions" to me is just ridiculous

    No matter how great off shape your in, you will eventually tire ad have a greater risk of injury

    no offense at your point, just my view
    The point is about excuse making. I don't recall Jordan every using being tired as an excuse while he led the Bulls to 72 wins in a season. Or Bird *****ing about his back while he was leading the Celtics to a sweep over the Pacers and averaged 20-10-7. Reggie did more running than anybody and yet I rarely recall him using his tirelessly running off screens as an excuse for poor play. If you are an athlete and physically tired, you either work harder in the offseason to get yourself in the shape you need to be in to sustain, or you adjust your style of play to suit your physical capabilities. The LAST thing you do is use it as an excuse for poor play.

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    Default Re: Did Pacers push too hard, too soon?

    I remember us finishing last season this way also, the guys will get it together.
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    Default Re: Did Pacers push too hard, too soon?

    I think this upcoming game with Miami is exactly what we need. They seem to bring out the best in us and it's clear the team is obsessed with beating them. If that game doesn't do it, I don't know what will.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again. This tough stretch is exactly what this team needed. They were way too cocky, and it's better to get this over with now, than in the first two rounds of the playoffs.

    Btw I think when people say tired, they don't necessarily mean physically. When you're mind is sluggish, the body will fallow its lead. So while you make look "tired" physically, it is more mental fatigue that is the issue.

    This team has been thinking about Miami for almost a full year and I think they are just worn down by that combined with the grueling season. Hopefully they will get their second wind, and soon.
    Last edited by Taterhead; 03-21-2014 at 04:47 PM.
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    Default Re: Did Pacers push too hard, too soon?

    Don't the Pacers lead the league in back to back games? Also, I wonder how many miles the entire team has ran compared to the rest of the league? Stephenson probably leads the league in fastbreaks initiated after securing a rebound. Hibbert leads the league in the number of shot attempts he faces and still manages to lead the league in low FG% by the opponent. The team is putting in work on BOTH ends of the floor with the least amount of the recovery time and time lost to injury, yet some of you want believe they're superhuman due to being paid millions of dollars. SMDH.

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    Default Re: Did Pacers push too hard, too soon?

    Quote Originally Posted by Taterhead View Post
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    I think this upcoming game with Miami is exactly what we need. They seem to bring out the best in us and it's clear the team is obsessed with beating them. If that game doesn't do it, I don't know what will.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again. This tough stretch is exactly what this team needed. They were way too cocky, and it's better to get this over with now, than in the first two rounds of the playoffs.

    Btw I think when people say tired, they don't necessarily mean physically. When you're mind is sluggish, the body will fallow its lead. So while you make look "tired" physically, it is more mental fatigue that is the issue.

    This team has been thinking about Miami for almost a full year and I think they are just worn down by that combined with the grueling season. Hopefully they will get their second wind, and soon.
    I agree. If anything makes us want to play with energy, it's facing Miami.

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