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How much blame does Nate McMillan deserve for the Pacers game 1 performance?

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  • #46
    There is some good stuff in this thread.

    As someone who is not a big Nate fan, I'll say this:

    -Nate's done a great job of coaching our team. There is little doubt, imo, on that.

    -Our team has overachieved and lacks offensive talent, despite our high FG%.

    However, I also believe the following:

    -Nate cannot take us to the promised land, even if we are supremely talented.

    -No lack of talent should result in an 8 point quarter, especially against a slow footed team that's missing their best defender.

    -We literally avoided the paint in the first 6 minutes of the 3rd quarter. Our closest shot was > 15 feet.

    That's terrible offense, imo, even if the shots were open. The players need to play better, but the coaching needs to be better as well. It's a shared responsibility.

    Adjustments and strategy are keys in the playoffs, but I don't think those are strengths of Nate's. He's elite in other areas and our players are bought in, so maybe we can bring in an assistant who can help out with that.

    Comment


    • #47
      Didn't most everyone in this forum say the exact same things about Frank. Can't make adjustments and can't run an offense. I'm starting to wonder if that is just what every fan base complains about across the NBA. In fact I would bet almost every fan base complains about poor offense, not playing those players who don't get much playing time and lack of adjustments. I know Brad Stevens gets a lot of criticism in Boston about his offense.

      Well at least we don't have a coach who can't keep a 31 point lead in the third quarter of a home playoff game against the 8th seed. Thank God we don't have that coach.

      Comment


      • #48
        Originally posted by Unclebuck View Post
        Didn't most everyone in this forum say the exact same things about Frank. Can't make adjustments and can't run an offense. I'm starting to wonder if that is just what every fan base complains about across the NBA. In fact I would bet almost every fan base complains about poor offense, not playing those players who don't get much playing time and lack of adjustments. I know Brad Stevens gets a lot of criticism in Boston about his offense.

        Well at least we don't have a coach who can't keep a 31 point lead in the third quarter of a home playoff game against the 8th seed. Thank God we don't have that coach.
        BTW, damn have I missed you on here Uncle Buck. There is no one person who is more vital to the life flow of this board than you.


        Basketball isn't played with computers, spreadsheets, and simulations. ChicagoJ 4/21/13

        Comment


        • #49
          Originally posted by Peck View Post

          BTW, damn have I missed you on here Uncle Buck. There is no one person who is more vital to the life flow of this board than you.
          Thanks I feel a little rusty - but it is the playoffs. .

          Comment


          • #50
            This probably isn't totally on topic, but I'm going to post it anyway. The discussion popped it into my head.

            Nate was brought in to instill discipline and change the culture. As near as I can tell he did that well. I suspect the front office felt that was a more immediate need than finding an innovative coach. Yeah, it would have been nice to find a coach that was both a disciplinarian and an innovator but maybe that wasn't available.

            The Athletic had a poll of NBA players last week that had an interesting result. They polled 127 players (they claim that's more than 25% of the NBA). Only 52 chose to answer the following question, but look who came in 4th.

            11. Which coach, aside from your own, would you not want to play for?
            (52 votes)
            1. Tom Thibodeau (34.6%)
            2. Jim Boylen (21.1%)
            3. Igor Kokoskov (11.5%)
            4. Nate McMillan (5.7%)
            5. Stan Van Gundy (4.8%)
            6. Gregg Popovich (3.8%)
            7. Lloyd Pierce, Quin Snyder, Erik Spoelstra, Rick Carlisle, Nick Nurse, Alvin Gentry, Luke Walton, Steve Clifford, Scott Skiles (2%)
            8. Jeff Van Gundy (1%)
            That means that 3 non-Pacers have a negative opinion of Nate.Of course that's not a huge number but I suspect some of the players voting for Thibs or Boylen probably would not want to play for Nate for similar reasons. Is that perception of Nate going to affect the Pacers ability to attract free agents this summer? Possibly.

            I'll also note that Nate got 0 votes in the question "10. Which coach, aside from your own, would you want to play for?" 121 players chose to answer that one. (Congrats to Gregg Popovich with 40.9% of the vote).

            It's possible that the Pacers are going to change a third of the roster this off season. I imagine they're going to need Nate to stick around to maintain the discipline and not allow the new players to wreck the chemistry.

            https://theathletic.com/909752/2019/...t-in-the-game/
            Last edited by Strummer; 04-16-2019, 03:16 PM.

            Comment


            • #51
              Originally posted by Strummer View Post
              This probably isn't totally on topic, but I'm going to post it anyway. The discussion popped it into my head.

              Nate was brought in to instill discipline and change the culture. As near as I can tell he did that well. I suspect the front office felt that was a more immediate need than finding an innovative coach. Yeah, it would have been nice to find a coach that was both a disciplinarian and an innovator but maybe that wasn't available.

              The Athletic had a poll of NBA players last week that had an interesting result. They polled 127 players (they claim that's more than 25% of the NBA). Only 52 chose to answer the following question, but look who came in 4th.



              That means that 3 non-Pacers have a negative opinion of Nate.Of course that's not a huge number but I suspect some of the players voting for Thibs or Boylen probably would not want to play for Nate for similar reasons. Is that perception of Nate going to affect the Pacers ability to attract free agents this summer? Possibly.

              I'll also note that Nate got 0 votes in the question "10. Which coach, aside from your own, would you want to play for?" 121 players chose to answer that one. (Congrats to Gregg Popovich with 40.9% of the vote).

              It's possible that the Pacers are going to change a third of the roster this off season. I imagine they're going to need Nate to stick around to maintain the discipline and not allow the new players to wreck the chemistry.

              https://theathletic.com/909752/2019/...t-in-the-game/
              Was there a culture problem and a need for discipline under Frank? I find that hard to believe. I thought the problem was with offense back then as well.


              Basketball isn't played with computers, spreadsheets, and simulations. ChicagoJ 4/21/13

              Comment


              • #52
                Originally posted by Peck View Post

                Was there a culture problem and a need for discipline under Frank? I find that hard to believe. I thought the problem was with offense back then as well.


                I found this article back when Tyreke got suspended for being late. I was wondering what the history of dealing with lateness was. According to this article Frank was pretty lenient to put it mildly.

                Doyel: Pacers hearing Nate McMillan’s new voice

                Gregg Doyel, gregg.doyel@indystar.com Published 11:09 a.m. ET Oct. 25, 2016 | Updated 6:06 p.m. ET Oct. 25, 2016

                It was a hard and regimented practice, as they always are under Nate McMillan, but an unusually sloppy one. The Indiana Pacers were coming off their first loss earlier this preseason at Chicago. They were running a shooting drill, timed and using all 94 feet of the court, and shots were not falling.

                Players were looking down. Heads were sagging. McMillan was blowing his whistle and gathering his $85 million roster into a circle and talking about the weather.

                “Sunshine,” McMillan was yelling, “or rain? Who are you going to be?”

                McMillan went on to explain: Shots will not always fall. Calls will not always go your way. This game, it won’t always be easy. You can react with sunshine and stay positive, or you can react with rain — and make a bad situation worse.

                Now McMillan is bellowing.

                “Are you going to be sunshine?” he yells. “Or are you going to be rain?”

                This is a new role for Nate McMillan to have, and a new voice for the Pacers to hear. When Pacers President Larry Bird replaced coach Frank Vogel in May with McMillan, Vogel’s assistant since 2013, he said he wanted a new “voice.” It did not make sense then.

                It makes sense now.

                Nate McMillan doesn’t sound anything like Frank Vogel. He doesn’t even sound like Nate McMillan, at least not the McMillan this roster had been hearing for three years. That McMillan worked for Vogel, one of the nicest, sunniest coaches in professional sports. And so McMillan was sunny as well.

                “That was my job,” he says. “Frank was positive. He was just a positive guy. My job was to assist Frank, and not become or try to become that main voice that these guys heard.”

                He has a new job now, a new voice, a new atmosphere. McMillan, whose team opens the season Wednesday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse against Dallas, isn’t an assistant anymore. He’s still sunny, certainly sunnier than the drill sergeant nicknamed “Sarge” when he coached Portland from 2005-12.

                But the Pacers know the forecast can change in a moment.

                * * *
                Everyone had to sit in the high chair. Even Larry Bird.

                This was Bird’s rookie season with the Boston Celtics, Bill Fitch was the coach, and Fitch tolerated no foolishness. He didn’t care who you were — role player, veteran, historically good rookie out of Indiana State. Screw up in practice, and he had a spot for you.

                “We had a stage on the side of our court where we practiced,” Bird was telling me Monday at practice, chuckling as he looked off into the distance — past the Pacers in 2016, back to Boston in 1979. “When Fitch grabbed a guy, the guy would have to go up there on the stage and sit down. Fitch would stand up and look them right in the eye. We always called it the ‘high chair.’ And every one of us was in that high chair.

                “I loved it.”

                Bird believes players crave discipline. He craved it, and he was the best player on almost every floor he ever played on. He won’t say it — he likes them both, and he will not compare McMillan to Vogel — but structure is clearly among the main reasons he made the move to McMillan.

                Players loved Vogel, but he wasn’t tough on them. Maybe because he wasn’t tough on them. He didn’t yell, not even when they showed up late to practice. Which they did, apparently, from time to time.

                “Frank’s a good coach,” says second-year guard Joe Young, “but everybody’s late, and he wouldn’t say nothing. Coach Nate doesn’t play by none of that. He wants everybody on time. He’ll call out PG (superstar Paul George) if he wasn’t on time.”

                Give me an example, I ask Young. He nods. He won’t name names, but he tells this story from a few weeks ago.

                “There was a vet late for practice,” Young says, “and Coach Nate was like, ‘Nah, we can’t have that.’ He was about to put us on the line and make the whole team run! It’s just a whole different atmosphere here.”

                Young is smiling. Maybe he’s wincing. Hard to tell, but for sure he’s shaking his head. So I’m asking him: Do players like this new atmosphere?

                No, he says.

                “We love it,” he says.

                * * *
                McMillan is working on being nicer.

                He doesn’t agree with my sun versus rain analogy — he won’t like that last sentence, either, about trying to be nicer — but this is what I see: Vogel had the spotless mind of the eternally sunny coach, whereas McMillan’s disposition is more like Indiana weather — give it 10 minutes; it could change.

                And he wants to soften up his storm clouds.

                He knows he has to be different than he was in Seattle from 2000-05, where his roster had youth, and in Portland, where his roster had knuckleheads. In the Pacific Northwest he was “Sarge.” Here in Indiana, with a mostly veteran roster of almost entirely strong character — and in an evolving NBA era where power resides with the players — Sarge can stand easy.

                It’s a work in progress.

                “I’m not a guy who likes to play games,” he says. “I like to come in, get our work done. I think it’s fun when you're working hard and winning. I’m not a fun guy to be around if we’re losing. Everybody wants to win, I know, but I have to really work on losing.”

                Has to be nicer, sounds like. But Bird didn’t promote him to be Vogel 2.0, nice ol’ Nate McMillan who for years was the good cop to Vogel’s good cop. Bird wanted a new voice, a different voice — more Bill Fitch, less Frank Vogel, somewhere in between — and in Nate McMillan he found it.

                “Sometimes he motivates, and some guys respond to that,” says nine-year veteran Thaddeus Young, acquired this offseason from Brooklyn for the Pacers’ 2016 first-round pick. “Sometimes he yells and throws out things like ‘sunshine and rain,’ and guys respond to that. And sometimes we think it’s funny. But it’s been very, very good so far with the different methods and techniques he’s used.”

                McMillan is partly cloudy, in other words. At times, sunny. Other times, something darker. Those are my words. These are his:

                “I wouldn’t agree with that,” McMillan says of my weather forecast. “You can be a disciplinarian and still be sunshine. My role is to come out and coach them and challenge them. If I’m just a hard-*** 24/7, then that’s a little different. I haven’t been that kind of guy (here), because I think you have to communicate with players a little different than I did in the past.”

                Indeed, he has weekly, one-on-one meetings with key rotational players — and not just to tell them what he thinks.

                “I want to know what they think,” he says.

                But sometimes, unlike the Pacers’ previous coach, McMillan thinks his players need a good tongue-lashing. Last week in Milwaukee he entered the postgame news conference with the game’s box score, with key statistics — ones he won’t tolerate — highlighted in yellow. Earlier that night, McMillan had stunned his team during a timeout when he lit into them for playing selfishly.

                This season, this Nate McMillan era, it starts Wednesday. Let the sun shine. But know this: Clouds may form in the distance.
                https://www.indystar.com/story/sport...oice/92716872/

                Comment


                • #53
                  Originally posted by Strummer View Post
                  That means that 3 non-Pacers have a negative opinion of Nate.Of course that's not a huge number but I suspect some of the players voting for Thibs or Boylen probably would not want to play for Nate for similar reasons. Is that perception of Nate going to affect the Pacers ability to attract free agents this summer? Possibly.
                  Based on those numbers 2 non-Spurs wouldn't want to play for Pop, who got the most votes as the guy they WOULD want to play for.

                  The raw numbers don't tell us much other than Nate isn't on the radar as a destination coach.

                  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


                  • #54
                    Originally posted by Strummer View Post
                    This probably isn't totally on topic, but I'm going to post it anyway. The discussion popped it into my head.

                    Nate was brought in to instill discipline and change the culture. As near as I can tell he did that well. I suspect the front office felt that was a more immediate need than finding an innovative coach. Yeah, it would have been nice to find a coach that was both a disciplinarian and an innovator but maybe that wasn't available.

                    The Athletic had a poll of NBA players last week that had an interesting result. They polled 127 players (they claim that's more than 25% of the NBA). Only 52 chose to answer the following question, but look who came in 4th.



                    That means that 3 non-Pacers have a negative opinion of Nate.Of course that's not a huge number but I suspect some of the players voting for Thibs or Boylen probably would not want to play for Nate for similar reasons. Is that perception of Nate going to affect the Pacers ability to attract free agents this summer? Possibly.

                    I'll also note that Nate got 0 votes in the question "10. Which coach, aside from your own, would you want to play for?" 121 players chose to answer that one. (Congrats to Gregg Popovich with 40.9% of the vote).

                    It's possible that the Pacers are going to change a third of the roster this off season. I imagine they're going to need Nate to stick around to maintain the discipline and not allow the new players to wreck the chemistry.

                    https://theathletic.com/909752/2019/...t-in-the-game/
                    This poll means nothing without knowing the reasons why.


                    Remember when we could have gotten 1-2 solid players and a possible Top 3 draft pick in the 2017 NBA Draft by trading away Paul George?

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Originally posted by Unclebuck View Post
                      Didn't most everyone in this forum say the exact same things about Frank. Can't make adjustments and can't run an offense. I'm starting to wonder if that is just what every fan base complains about across the NBA. In fact I would bet almost every fan base complains about poor offense, not playing those players who don't get much playing time and lack of adjustments. I know Brad Stevens gets a lot of criticism in Boston about his offense.

                      Well at least we don't have a coach who can't keep a 31 point lead in the third quarter of a home playoff game against the 8th seed. Thank God we don't have that coach.
                      Frank needed an offensive assistant after Jim Boylen bolted for San Antonio, but Frank was a master at adjustments and strategy. There are things that Nate does much better than Frank, but I believe both would've benefited by giving the reigns to an offensive assistant. Heck, Frank would've benefited by giving the offensive reigns to Nate, who is a much better offensive coach, imo.

                      I get your point about singling out one game, but our anemic offense was a struggle for the last 15 or so games. Game 1's problem wasn't new.

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Originally posted by Strummer View Post



                        I found this article back when Tyreke got suspended for being late. I was wondering what the history of dealing with lateness was. According to this article Frank was pretty lenient to put it mildly.


                        https://www.indystar.com/story/sport...oice/92716872/
                        This was a great find. Thank you.

                        This quality of Nate's is probably the main reason I like him and support him. I definitely saw and sensed Frank's inability to keep discipline within the ranks. It was a main reason for the implosion, in my opinion. I was Nate was more of a tactician, but he does build a solid foundation. It was weak with Frank and that weakness showed itself when things got tough.
                        "Look, it's up to me to put a team around ... Lance right now." Kevin Pritchard press conference

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                        • #57
                          Originally posted by Peck View Post

                          Okay I agree with virtually everything you have typed here.

                          Now here is the problem I ask you. I know you are one of the ones (like myself and others) who do not believe in tanking. However we both know that Indiana is not a free agent destination. We can want Kevin Durrant and others all we want but they are never going to come here. So instead of the A list players we end up with castaways like Rodney Stucky, Monta Ellis and Tyreke Evans just to name a few. I know people are having large expectations this coming off season and at the very least are expecting Kemba Walker. But you and I both know we will resign our own free agents and fill in the rest with most like a DeMarre Carroll or the like.

                          Now having said that and I agree with you about our talent level let me ask you this.

                          How the hell do we ever get out of this. We are going to be drafting 18 which is better than 23 but its a hell of a lot worse than 8. In other words whoever we draft may or may not be a rotational player maybe someday down the road.

                          Now see I think Pritchard has had a very mixed tenure so far. I agree the Oladipo and Sabonis trade for Paul George was great. However let's not kid ourselves the T.J. Leaf draft was a mistake. Here he is completing his second season in the NBA and he can not even crack the regular rotation. Is it his fault or the coach's? It doesn't matter. I don't think any of us are looking to next season expecting Leaf to be a real contributor to the team. Ike is already gone. Now you can argue that its safe to assume second round picks are a crapshoot and you would be right. I like Aaron Holiday, which surprises even me, but others really do not. Is he a big contributor next season? I hope so but I have no idea.

                          I say all of that to ask you how do we get to where we can get talent and not go through another Danny Granger experience with Victor. In other words played his career with zero help until the end and by then his career was over. How do we not waste the next 3-4 years of Victor's prime by pairing him up with the Darren Collison and Tyreke Evans of the world?

                          IMO we have very few trade-able assets. We have our pick which won't be worth much because its low and we have our future picks which none of us want to trade. Then we have Turner & Sabonis and you could get some return for them, how much I'm not sure but you could get a decent haul I suspect. Then you have Holiday and Leaf and that is it. I'm not sure you could even get low first round picks for either of them at this moment, maybe you could but I'm not guaranteeing it.

                          So how would you rebuild the team, because you and I both agree that is what it is going to take. It may not take a massive rebuild but we have to do something.
                          I think I have the answer. Trade Myles Turner. Hes still young, he has potential, he lead the league in blocks, and hes well liked around the league. The player you trade him for is Anthony Davis. Its going to take a lot without getting a guarantee that AD wants to stay past his final season but a swing for the fences move like that is necessary. Youre gonna lose Myles, Holiday, McDermott, and the 18th pick. Cut bait on all the current Pacers free agents and see if you can sign Kemba Walker into cap space.

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                          • #58
                            Originally posted by imawhat View Post
                            Heck, Frank would've benefited by giving the offensive reigns to Nate, who is a much better offensive coach, imo.
                            I would completely disagree, at best it is a wash. Nate has benefitted from having better offensive talent, but he has done almost nothing to actually take full advantage of that talent.

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                            • #59
                              Originally posted by naptownmenace View Post

                              I think I have the answer. Trade Myles Turner. Hes still young, he has potential, he lead the league in blocks, and hes well liked around the league. The player you trade him for is Anthony Davis. Its going to take a lot without getting a guarantee that AD wants to stay past his final season but a swing for the fences move like that is necessary. Youre gonna lose Myles, Holiday, McDermott, and the 18th pick. Cut bait on all the current Pacers free agents and see if you can sign Kemba Walker into cap space.
                              I think you are on to something here. Neither free agency nor draft position are likely to yield top-shelf talent. The only way to potentially get it is to give up one or more of the true assets we have - Myles, Domas, Vic. Not sure Vic's age, contract, and injury history make him that attractive. I also think Myles is probably your most marketable piece. I don't know if it's for AD or what, but it just seems like our options are limited to try and get the needed talent infusion.
                              I'd rather die standing up than live on my knees.

                              -Emiliano Zapata

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                              • #60
                                Originally posted by D-BONE View Post

                                I think you are on to something here. Neither free agency nor draft position are likely to yield top-shelf talent. The only way to potentially get it is to give up one or more of the true assets we have - Myles, Domas, Vic. Not sure Vic's age, contract, and injury history make him that attractive. I also think Myles is probably your most marketable piece. I don't know if it's for AD or what, but it just seems like our options are limited to try and get the needed talent infusion.
                                Sometimes, I wish I could sit with NBA Players, so I could ask them the direct question of...."What is it specifically that you don't like about Indianapolis from a free agent perspective?".
                                Last edited by ksuttonjr76; 04-17-2019, 09:08 AM.


                                Remember when we could have gotten 1-2 solid players and a possible Top 3 draft pick in the 2017 NBA Draft by trading away Paul George?

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