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Has the Indiana Pacers’ championship window closed?

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  • Has the Indiana Pacers’ championship window closed?

    http://www.sheridanhoops.com/2014/07...window-closed/

    Have the Indiana Pacers already gone as far as they can go with this roster?

    It’s a question overlooked with all the big moves being made this offseason in the Eastern Conference, and the Central Division in particular. A quick synopsis, for those who watched the World Cup and forgot about basketball since the Finals ended:

    Cleveland signed LeBron James, drafted Andrew Wiggins and could trade Wiggins to Minnesota in a blockbuster deal for Kevin Love.
    Chicago got rid of Carlos Boozer and added Pau Gasol, prized European Nikola Mirotic and draft pick Doug McDermott. They could trade trade for Love, too, as SheridanHoops reported.
    Indiana failed to re-sign Lance Stephenson and replaced him with Rodney Stuckey and CJ Miles.
    The moves made this summer objectively makes the Pacers the third best team in their own division.

    Paul George has proven he can be a superstar player in flashes, but Stephenson provided really strong wing production at both ends and was consistent when Roy Hibbert was the exact antithesis of consistent since the All-Star break. David West is a really good player and George Hill is a good defender, but it just seems like the Eastern Conference is passing Indiana by.

    In a league where Avery Bradley and Channing Frye make $8 million per season, the Pacers’ best offer to Stephenson was reportedly five years and $44 million, just a shade under $9M per season. Charlotte got him for a relative bargain at 3/27, while Indiana could be saddled with regrets for a long time for not upping the ante for last season’s triple-doubles leader.

    Replacing Stephenson? Scoring guard Stuckey, a downright laughable downgrade who doesn’t mesh at all with what Indiana does best: rock solid defense and enough efficient scoring to get victories.

    Take a look at this comparison between the two players, and you’ll see how the Pacers got drastically worse at the shooting guard position:

    2013-2014 Stats FG % 3 FG % Points Rebounds Assists PER True Shooting eFG % TO % Usage Rate O Rtg D Rtg Net Rtg WS WS/48
    Stephenson 49.1 35.2 13.8 7.2 4.6 14.7 56.4 54 18 19.4 106 101 5 7.4 0.13
    Stuckey 43.6 27.3 13.9 2.3 2.1 14 51.6 45 11.3 24.3 105 113 -8 2.2 0.053
    DET_Stuckey_RodneyStuckey is older, started just five games for the awful Pistons last year and man was he inefficient. His field goal percentage was more than five percentage points worse than Stephenson’s, and his percentage from three was brutal for a Pacers team that already lacks in that department.

    The scoring is misleading, but the other statistics shine a light on the players’ differences. Stephenson averaged nearly five more rebounds and 2.5 more assists per game than Stuckey did last season. Stephenson’s net rating per 100 possessions last season was 13 (thirteen!) points better than Stuckey’s.

    The Pacers pride themselves on defense, and Stephenson gave up 12 fewer points per 100 possessions than Stuckey last season and had more than five more win shares than his replacement. Indiana was first in the NBA in defensive rating last year and second in points allowed per game. Will they be able to keep that up with Stephenson no longer on the club?

    Lance Stephenson and LeBron JamesAmong five-man lineups that logged at least 30 minutes for the Pacers last season, Stephenson appeared in the top three and five of the top eight lineups in terms of point differential per 100 possessions. And they replaced him with an average to below average player in Stuckey.

    This kind of move is made by a team whose window of opportunity has slammed shut.

    Paul George is one of the top five two-way players in the NBA, but now teams can focus on him even more without a viable threat on both ends like Stephenson on the wing alongside him.

    George Hill averaged just 3.5 assists per game last season for a team that ranked 27th in that category a season ago. With Stephenson’s distribution no longer there, Indiana could be in deep trouble in that department.

    Indiana led the league in rebounding last season, but will David West and Roy Hibbert be able to sustain that without Stephenson’s seven boards per game? Can Hibbert regain the form and consistency he once so prominently displayed?

    There are far more questions than answers for this Pacers team in Stephenson’s absence just as Cleveland and Chicago greatly improved their roster.

    So have the Pacers peaked? Based on a multitude of factors, there are indeed many reasons to believe that the best days for this Indiana Pacers team are already behind them.
    Sittin on top of the world!

  • #2
    Re: Has the Indiana Pacers’ championship window closed?

    But what about addition by subtraction! Right
    *removed* Just keep politics and religion completely out of it, please.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Has the Indiana Pacers’ championship window closed?

      I still think Stuckey was signed to come off the bench, and CJ Miles will start.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Has the Indiana Pacers’ championship window closed?

        A much debated question here, but ultimately no one knows.

        Lance was a huge part of the system the Pacers ran, whether on offense or defense, and only the most unreasonable Lance hater would suggest that the Pacers aren't going to feel the impact of his loss.

        However, by necessity we'll have to install a new system that takes into account the new personnel, and the effectiveness of the system is obviously something that we can't know yet. In fact, several people on this board have been making arguments on how a different playing style can mitigate the loss of Lance, or even improve on the old system.

        I'm one of those who'd be happier if we had kept Lance, but he's gone and we just have to deal with it. We'll all just have to wait and see.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Has the Indiana Pacers’ championship window closed?

          What's your definition of a championship window? Some would say it was not yet really open if last year was the first "legitimate" year the Pacers were considered to be threats for the title.

          Real history shows that it actually takes a couple of years for a group to get settled in to have a consistent level. Would Lance staying have opened the window? Depends on which Lance played.
          BillS

          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...

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Has the Indiana Pacers’ championship window closed?

            2013-2014 Stats FG% 3FG% Points Rebounds Assists PER TS% eFG% TO% Usage Rate ORtg DRtg NetRtg WS WS/48
            CJ Miles 43.5 39.3 9.9 2.0 1.0 16.0 56.9 53.7 9.1 22.0 111 107 4 2.5 0.122
            Stephenson 49.1 35.2 13.8 7.2 4.6 14.7 56.4 54 18 19.4 106 101 5 7.4 0.13
            Stuckey 43.6 27.3 13.9 2.3 2.1 14 51.6 45 11.3 24.3 105 113 -8 2.2 0.053


            I noticed Sheridan left out CJ, which will more than likely be the starting SG. I wonder why that is? Probably undercuts his point a bit, considering the differences in advanced stats between Lance/CJ are pretty close. Rebounds/assists really the only two categories that will need to be filled by the group.

            EDIT: I wish it wouldn't screw up the formatting. I tried making it easier to read.
            Just because you're offended, doesn't mean you're right.” ― Ricky Gervais.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Has the Indiana Pacers’ championship window closed?

              I bet that 99% of Bulls, Heat, and Cavs fans are thrilled that the Pacers lost Stephenson and aren't buying the "addition by subtraction" spin coming mostly from fans in Marion County.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Has the Indiana Pacers’ championship window closed?

                Originally posted by Since86 View Post
                2013-2014 Stats FG% 3FG% Points Rebounds Assists PER TS% eFG% TO% Usage Rate ORtg DRtg NetRtg WS WS/48
                CJ Miles 43.5 39.3 9.9 2.0 1.0 16.0 56.9 53.7 9.1 22.0 111 107 4 2.5 0.122
                Stephenson 49.1 35.2 13.8 7.2 4.6 14.7 56.4 54 18 19.4 106 101 5 7.4 0.13
                Stuckey 43.6 27.3 13.9 2.3 2.1 14 51.6 45 11.3 24.3 105 113 -8 2.2 0.053


                I noticed Sheridan left out CJ, which will more than likely be the starting SG. I wonder why that is? Probably undercuts his point a bit, considering the differences in advanced stats between Lance/CJ are pretty close. Rebounds/assists really the only two categories that will need to be filled by the group.

                EDIT: I wish it wouldn't screw up the formatting. I tried making it easier to read.
                The flaw in these 13-14 stats is that people are using them as if Lance will be 13-14 Lance again next season. His 12-13 stats were pretty useless the moment the 13-14 season started because he improved so rapidly last season. Given that he will only be 24 next season and has only played two years of heavy minutes, I'll bet that his stats again make a nice improvement. Older players like Stuckey and CJ OTOH have pretty much hit their peak at this point.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Has the Indiana Pacers’ championship window closed?

                  Originally posted by Sollozzo View Post
                  The flaw in these 13-14 stats is that people are using them as if Lance will be 13-14 Lance again next season. His 12-13 stats were pretty useless the moment the 13-14 season started because he improved so rapidly last season. Given that he will only be 24 next season and has only played two years of heavy minutes, I'll bet that his stats again make a nice improvement. Older players like Stuckey and CJ OTOH have pretty much hit their peak at this point.
                  So when Sheridan uses those stats to prove his point, and I use those stats to actually show his point isn't as large, I shouldn't use those stats. Okay.


                  Whether or not Lance gets better really doesn't matter. Pacers need to replace what he did give them, not what he could give them in the future. Lance will give more in points, but I bet we'll see his effectiveness drop from it. The advanced stats are more about effectiveness, not his overall raw numbers.
                  Just because you're offended, doesn't mean you're right.” ― Ricky Gervais.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Has the Indiana Pacers’ championship window closed?

                    Originally posted by Since86 View Post
                    So when Sheridan uses those stats to prove his point, and I use those stats to actually show his point isn't as large, I shouldn't use those stats. Okay.


                    Whether or not Lance gets better really doesn't matter. Pacers need to replace what he did give them, not what he could give them in the future. Lance will give more in points, but I bet we'll see his effectiveness drop from it.
                    Just making a general point that 13-14 stats can become pretty useless quickly.

                    We'll see what happens. Statistically, players like Evan Turner, DJ Augistin, and Gerald Green should have been nice additions. But it's not as easy as saying, "we lost player x who averaged this, but player y has similar averages, so we won't lose much of anything." We know that Stephenson succeeded well here, and despite his antics, he still had an opposing team willing to pay him more than we'll be paying for Miles and Stuckey combined next year. That has to say something.
                    Last edited by Sollozzo; 07-25-2014, 10:31 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Has the Indiana Pacers’ championship window closed?

                      Originally posted by Since86 View Post
                      2013-2014 Stats FG% 3FG% Points Rebounds Assists PER TS% eFG% TO% Usage Rate ORtg DRtg NetRtg WS WS/48
                      CJ Miles 43.5 39.3 9.9 2.0 1.0 16.0 56.9 53.7 9.1 22.0 111 107 4 2.5 0.122
                      Stephenson 49.1 35.2 13.8 7.2 4.6 14.7 56.4 54 18 19.4 106 101 5 7.4 0.13
                      Stuckey 43.6 27.3 13.9 2.3 2.1 14 51.6 45 11.3 24.3 105 113 -8 2.2 0.053


                      I noticed Sheridan left out CJ, which will more than likely be the starting SG. I wonder why that is? Probably undercuts his point a bit, considering the differences in advanced stats between Lance/CJ are pretty close. Rebounds/assists really the only two categories that will need to be filled by the group.

                      EDIT: I wish it wouldn't screw up the formatting. I tried making it easier to read.
                      When posting stats like that put it within a [CODE] tag. It keeps the formatting, although it will take a bit of trial and error to get it right.

                      Code:
                      2013-2014 Stats FG% 3FG%  PPG  RPG APG PER  TS%  eFG%  TO% Usage ORtg DRtg NetRtg WS WS/48
                      CJ Miles        43.5 39.3 9.9  2.0 1.0 16.0 56.9 53.7  9.1  22.0 111  107   4     2.5 0.122
                      Stephenson      49.1 35.2 13.8 7.2 4.6 14.7 56.4 54    18   19.4 106  101   5     7.4 0.13
                      Stuckey         43.6 27.3 13.9 2.3 2.1 14   51.6 45    11.3 24.3 105  113  -8     2.2 0.053

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Has the Indiana Pacers’ championship window closed?

                        Originally posted by Sollozzo View Post
                        Just making a general point that 13-14 stats can become pretty useless quickly.

                        We'll see what happens. Statistically, players like Evan Turner, DJ Augistin, and Gerald Green should have been nice additions. But it's not as easy as saying, "we lost player x who averaged this, but player y has similar averages, so we won't lose much of anything." We know that Stephenson succeeded well here, and despite his antics, he still had an opposing team willing to pay him more than we'll be paying for Miles and Stuckey next year. That has to say something.
                        It's not as easy as saying "look these players don't compare so the Pacers will lose a lot" either. There's both sides of the coin here.
                        Just because you're offended, doesn't mean you're right.” ― Ricky Gervais.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Has the Indiana Pacers’ championship window closed?

                          Originally posted by Since86 View Post
                          It's not as easy as saying "look these players don't compare so the Pacers will lose a lot" either. There's both sides of the coin here.
                          I agree, all we can do is wait and see. I've never been doom and gloom to the extent that I think that the Pacers will be bad next year. In fact, I still think that we'll be good next year and can make playoff noise again. I wanted Lance because I felt he could be a long term core piece with PG and hopefully a rejuvenated Hibbert. I think Stuckey is a bargain for the vet minimum and Miles is a nice player, but they don't have the core piece potential that Lance has. Bird will have his work cut out for him once West gets old/leaves.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Has the Indiana Pacers’ championship window closed?

                            IMO the championship window opened during the 2013 ECF, started to close during the late season collapse in 2014 & slammed shut this offseason. Hope the team surprises me but this may be a league record for narrow "windowness".

                            On the positive side this is still a rock solid NBA organization. Paul George is young, has the potential to be a top 5 player and is starting a long-term deal. If Bird & Company draft well and then play the Hibbert & West situations correctly over the next two years it is very possible the window opens up again very quickly.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Has the Indiana Pacers’ championship window closed?

                              I'm hoping a move is still in the works for a starting pg. So I still have some hope for this team to improve. It is summer. I keep my fingers crossed.
                              Garbage players get 1st round picks, (WTF)! All of the NBA must hate the Pacers! LOL

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