What concerns me about West near the rim is that he did this same thing vs MIA in playoffs last year. His legs were clearly gone. I really think Frank just used him way too much this season.
One difference between the offense this game and the offense in other recent losses is the WAY we missed shots.
In the first quarter and definitely during the comeback in the second quarter, the offense was trying to pass and get the ball moved around. There was still some hesitation but it wasn't horrible. The turnovers came as much from trying to force ball movement as they did from anything else. Lance took 3s instead of closer shots, which I think is important because he isn't a 3 point shooter, but we had it under control once we settled off the TOs.
The shots not falling were going halfway down and back out, or around the rim and off. They weren't 10 miles short or so hard they clanged the back of the rim and caromed off. To me, I think those are harder to recover from as a shooter. It's not like you can do something different to get more length or less force - the ball is going where you want it, it just isn't going in. Which gets frustrating. Which leads to forcing things. Which leads to focusing on the offense instead of the defense. Which leads to the 20-point lead (which I will consider the actual margin since the cut down was in garbage time).
Had the defense been able to hang on once things really started going downhill, we might have been able to stay in it. But once again, an opponent found our weak point and hammered it in order to break things open.
Let's see where we are against the Cavs tomorrow.
"Every time I pitched it was like throwing gasoline on a fire. Pkkw! Pkkw! Pkkw! Pkkw!"
- Ebby Calvin "Nuke" LaLoosh
That was a great post. I disagree a little bit about Granger though. I think way too much emphasis is put on Granger from all directions. Some say that the team has crumbled because of the chemistry we lost after trading him. Others are implying that his comeback hurt the rhythm of a team that was the best in the league in the two months before he came back. I don't know, it just seems like there is way too much focus in all directions on a guy who wasn't even playing last year when we went to Game 7 of the ECF's. I don't think that Granger is why PG started to play bad. Hell, Granger has been gone a month now and PG over the last month has been complete crap on offense. It's because of his selfish style of play on that end.
We started out on a tear this season because we picked up right where we left off in the playoffs last year. The entire team was playing unified team ball and everyone was on the same page. We were a better team than last year because our two 23 year olds had made massive leaps, Scola was one of the better bench players in the NBA, and CJ Watson was a drastic improvement in the backup PG department. But now our two 23 year olds have been playing a lot of selfish ball lately, Scola has been crap over most of the last few months, and CJ hasn't played in weeks. The edge that we had at the beginning of the season isn't there now.
Paul George over the first two months of the season played the best ball of anyone in the Pacers' NBA history. He was a firm top 5 NBA player, and you could have definitely made an argument for him being the MVP of the league through the first two months of the league. He let the offense come to him through team basketball, was nailing good jumpers, and had awesome takes to the rack. But playing so great clearly began to get to his head. Around the new year, he began a trend of drifting away from letting the offense flow to him. He started forcing a ton of garbage ISO jumpers, his drives to the rack became forced junk that didn't convert, and his whining to the refs has just become annoying. There's been a max contract, Gatorade commercials, starting in the all-star game, and a ton of national hype......but there's also been way too many shooting nights of 6-22, 8-22, 4-17, 3-13, 4-14, 8-23, etc. He has a 3 month long pattern of shooting garbage percentages, and in a nutshell his offense has been way too selfish, forced, and inefficient. Against the Heat, he played smart team ball and let the offense come to him, but against lesser teams he thinks that he can go Kobe and win the game by himself with ISO jumpers.
Lance has also diverted away from the things that made him so great in the first two months of the season. In those first two months, he was a spectacular distributor who was a superior creator to anyone else on the team. He made great quick passes and led the team in transition, which made him one of the most dangerous assets in the NBA. He still does those things better than anyone else, but like PG, he also fell victim to his own hype. Against the Heat the other night, he did all of the things that made him so great at the beginning of the season, but against lesser teams he falls victim to trying to win games 1 on 1. There is too much dribbling, unpredictable passes, and lately his shot selection has been questionable.
Meanwhile, I don't think there's ever been a two time all-star in the history of the league who disappeared like a fart in the wind as frequently as Hibbert. There's just no excuse for disappearing as frequently as he does when you make that sort of cheddar, and I'm just not sympathetic to the Christmas list length of excuses that get made for him. He all too often allows guys like Sims on Philly to not let him get in position on the offensive end, has rebounded like crap lately, and way too often allows other big men to put up Garnett-like numbers on him. The game against Miami was great, but Miami has pretty weak post defenders. Any team with a body gives him trouble nowadays.
I would be scared to see what opposing point guards average against George Hill this season. Last weekend, I couldn't tell if I was watching Mike Conley or Chris Paul. In March, his shooting percentage has been crap too. He needs to play better.
This is the first major test for Vogel since everything started going so insanely smooth starting in 2011-12 when we became an elite team. His "rah rah fire em up" attitude was crucial in changing the culture of his team, and it's remarkable what he accomplished. That being said, we're in a different stage now and are at a point where we need to compete for a championship right now. Salvaging this season and getting this team to return to playing elite by the time the playoffs roll around is going to require some coaching strength. If he doesn't succeed in doing it, then he needs to be evaluated like any player would be.
I'm also worried that West is going to be tired by the time we get into the meat of the playoffs. We're going to regret not using Cope more this season.
Last edited by Sollozzo; 03-29-2014 at 02:34 PM.
We can hypothesize all we want about why this team is underachieving against average teams. But it doesn't matter. Great teams that actually win championships do not go on huge streaks of underachieving during the regular season. I seriously doubt the Heat or Pacers win the championship.
I'd like the idea of starting Turner at PG for the remainder of the season. I think Evan's passing ability will be better for our bigs and our guards. Plus he has more offensive talent than George Hill. Bring Hill off the bench. Get LaVoy in there over Ian. For God's sake, Ian missed a point blank dunk vs. Miami. Let Rasual or Solo back up Lance at the 2. Let Copeland and Scola back up West and PG.
Copeland really should get minutes over Scola unless they are playing big.
I've been thinking about this since the game last night and I've kind of changed my tune a little bit. I am actually proud of this team. Not for their play recently, but for what they have accomplished in the big picture. Maybe it's time the tater gets some positivity in his life and appreciates what he has. We have a great young team. I think we all need to take a step back, maybe a deep breath or two or three, and stop letting our emotions take our sense away. What are we really complaining about here?
I think most people are just flat out over analyzing this teams performance and wanting to blame player a or player b, but I think that's the worst thing we can do as fans. It shows no respect for how hard it is to win an NBA title. We have a great young team and people want to break it up because they don't get what they want, when they want it. Just relax. Enjoy this teams journey. Because I believe we have a young nucleus who is capable of winning MULTIPLE titles, as long as they are allowed to mature and grow as a team. Our offensive struggles will disappear as Lance and PG age. I am confident of that.
Our two most talented players are also our two youngest players, and that is our biggest problem. They are probably not ready to win a title yet, they only have a combined 6 years starting experience. And there is nothing wrong with that, honestly it's wrong of us as fans not to recognize that and just accept it. We want it now. Well that's fine but we are probably gonna be disappointed in the end. The key is, we can't lose sight of the fact that we have a great young core, we got to continue to build on it and stop with the thoughts of trading one of them away. That would be a huge mistake.
How long did it take Lebron to win one, how long did it take MJ? There were times when people said they never would win it. There were times people said they were too selfish, or didn't have the killer instinct. How many guys have led their teams to titles at 23? Not that many. So why do we expect this right now? They are the only two on the roster with the talent to do it, but they have to be ready for it, and they are not. We are damn good and have been all year, but that doesn't mean we have what it takes to win it. Because in all honesty, even if we beat Miami and make it to the finals, I feel like whoever comes out of the west will likely lay a serious beat down on us, or Miami for that matter. I'm just not sure we can bring our a game on the biggest stage at this point.
My dad always used to tell me that to see what team is a true title contender, look at their record ON THE ROAD. And I believe that with all my heart. It tells you all you need to know about a teams maturity. Every playoff team can win at home. But at some point in time, you are gonna have to win at least 1, maybe 2 on the road against a great home team. And this team doesn't have it yet. It will come with time. So let's stop blaming 23 year olds for being 23 year olds and just be patient. Hopefully this year we can make it the finals, which I think is an attainable goal even with our recent play, and at least get a taste of what it's like. If we play our best ball, who knows? But even if we don't, let's not throw the baby out with the bath water. Let the young bucks learn and grow. And come back next year with a vengeance.
Respect the process.
"Don't get caught watchin' the paint dry"
Agreed. There isn't a dominant team in the entire league this year...so any team with LeBron will have a really good chance.
But I am not optimistic. I have serious doubts that our team gets to the ECF this year because we are not playing well against most teams and I don't think this team is nearly good enough to just turn it on when they want to win. I don't think we match up that great against several decent teams and if they are hot we may not face Miami this year.
Not only do I wanna THANK this post a 2nd time , but I wanted to quote it for people to read again.... This right here is honestly POST OF THE YEAR material...
I am frustrated with everyone on our team including the coaching staff... These are growing pangs... Things happen for a reason, I fully believe that... I also don't believe we will win it all this year.... and quite honestly I never really did.. Yea of course , after our RED HOT first half of the season I was starting to believe it possible... But I have said back 3 years ago, exactly how this team would be layed out over the next few seasons until we ultimately DO win a title... First we had to make it TO the playoffs... CHECK..... Then past the 2nd round of playoffs... we DID that CHECK.... The next year we made it to ECF taking Miami to 7 games.... DID THAT .... CHECK .... NEXT , we are at the very next stage THIS year, which is making it PAST, the ECF winning the EAST ..... I think that is what will happen this year....
But we will get beaten by a more seasoned Westcoast team ... such as the Spurs or OKC ... Don't get mad, this is natural progression and we are going to be right on schedule....
After feeling the sting of getting our asses handed to us by OKC or the Spurs , this next season, we will actually gain consistency with our offense...because our Defense is already there and the best in the league ... and I believe we will win it all next season.... provided that we keep our core together...and that includes Lance Stephenson...
I am gonna be honest, Lance is my favorite player and has been for some time... He is just so damn young, and we are having to witness his growth as a player... which includes all the on-court maturing process as a player... Bar-none , Lance is the most fun exciting player I have seen grow and get better on any Pacers team thus far ... it's kinda funny cause my mom absolutely LOVES Lance and his on court swagger.. LOVES IT! ... Believe me, my mom is very picky about who she likes... she is the type of fan who yells at the tv at everyone like a drunk sailor when they mess up during a game... she calls em out haha...
But yea all we are seeing with this Pacers team, is the stuff that is ultimately gonna make us better in the longrun, having been through it... It's just we picked a bad time to hit that contender "brick wall" that a young team goes through before they become seasoned from these experiences enough to actually win a title..
Just have fun and enjoy the ride folks...