The Rules of Pacers Digest

Hello everyone,

Whether your are a long standing forum member or whether you have just registered today, it's a good idea to read and review the rules below so that you have a very good idea of what to expect when you come to Pacers Digest.

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Why do we do this? So that it's more difficult for spammers (be they human or robot) to post, and so users who are banned cannot immediately re-register and start dousing people with verbal flames.

Below are the rules of Pacers Digest. After you have read them, you will have a very good sense of where we are coming from, what we expect, what we don't want to see, and how we react to things.

Rule #1

Pacers Digest is intended to be a place to discuss basketball without having to deal with the kinds of behaviors or attitudes that distract people from sticking with the discussion of the topics at hand. These unwanted distractions can come in many forms, and admittedly it can sometimes be tricky to pin down each and every kind that can rear its ugly head, but we feel that the following examples and explanations cover at least a good portion of that ground and should at least give people a pretty good idea of the kinds of things we actively discourage:

"Anyone who __________ is a liar / a fool / an idiot / a blind homer / has their head buried in the sand / a blind hater / doesn't know basketball / doesn't watch the games"

"People with intelligence will agree with me when I say that __________"

"Only stupid people think / believe / do ___________"

"I can't wait to hear something from PosterX when he/she sees that **insert a given incident or current event that will have probably upset or disappointed PosterX here**"

"He/she is just delusional"

"This thread is stupid / worthless / embarrassing"

"I'm going to take a moment to point and / laugh at PosterX / GroupOfPeopleY who thought / believed *insert though/belief here*"

"Remember when PosterX said OldCommentY that no longer looks good? "

In general, if a comment goes from purely on topic to something 'ad hominem' (personal jabs, personal shots, attacks, flames, however you want to call it, towards a person, or a group of people, or a given city/state/country of people), those are most likely going to be found intolerable.

We also dissuade passive aggressive behavior. This can be various things, but common examples include statements that are basically meant to imply someone is either stupid or otherwise incapable of holding a rational conversation. This can include (but is not limited to) laughing at someone's conclusions rather than offering an honest rebuttal, asking people what game they were watching, or another common problem is Poster X will say "that player isn't that bad" and then Poster Y will say something akin to "LOL you think that player is good". We're not going to tolerate those kinds of comments out of respect for the community at large and for the sake of trying to just have an honest conversation.

Now, does the above cover absolutely every single kind of distraction that is unwanted? Probably not, but you should by now have a good idea of the general types of things we will be discouraging. The above examples are meant to give you a good feel for / idea of what we're looking for. If something new or different than the above happens to come along and results in the same problem (that being, any other attitude or behavior that ultimately distracts from actually just discussing the topic at hand, or that is otherwise disrespectful to other posters), we can and we will take action to curb this as well, so please don't take this to mean that if you managed to technically avoid saying something exactly like one of the above examples that you are then somehow off the hook.

That all having been said, our goal is to do so in a generally kind and respectful way, and that doesn't mean the moment we see something we don't like that somebody is going to be suspended or banned, either. It just means that at the very least we will probably say something about it, quite possibly snipping out the distracting parts of the post in question while leaving alone the parts that are actually just discussing the topics, and in the event of a repeating or excessive problem, then we will start issuing infractions to try to further discourage further repeat problems, and if it just never seems to improve, then finally suspensions or bans will come into play. We would prefer it never went that far, and most of the time for most of our posters, it won't ever have to.

A slip up every once and a while is pretty normal, but, again, when it becomes repetitive or excessive, something will be done. Something occasional is probably going to be let go (within reason), but when it starts to become habitual or otherwise a pattern, odds are very good that we will step in.

There's always a small minority that like to push people's buttons and/or test their own boundaries with regards to the administrators, and in the case of someone acting like that, please be aware that this is not a court of law, but a private website run by people who are simply trying to do the right thing as they see it. If we feel that you are a special case that needs to be dealt with in an exceptional way because your behavior isn't explicitly mirroring one of our above examples of what we generally discourage, we can and we will take atypical action to prevent this from continuing if you are not cooperative with us.

Also please be aware that you will not be given a pass simply by claiming that you were 'only joking,' because quite honestly, when someone really is just joking, for one thing most people tend to pick up on the joke, including the person or group that is the target of the joke, and for another thing, in the event where an honest joke gets taken seriously and it upsets or angers someone, the person who is truly 'only joking' will quite commonly go out of his / her way to apologize and will try to mend fences. People who are dishonest about their statements being 'jokes' do not do so, and in turn that becomes a clear sign of what is really going on. It's nothing new.

In any case, quite frankly, the overall quality and health of the entire forum's community is more important than any one troublesome user will ever be, regardless of exactly how a problem is exhibiting itself, and if it comes down to us having to make a choice between you versus the greater health and happiness of the entire community, the community of this forum will win every time.

Lastly, there are also some posters, who are generally great contributors and do not otherwise cause any problems, who sometimes feel it's their place to provoke or to otherwise 'mess with' that small minority of people described in the last paragraph, and while we possibly might understand why you might feel you WANT to do something like that, the truth is we can't actually tolerate that kind of behavior from you any more than we can tolerate the behavior from them. So if we feel that you are trying to provoke those other posters into doing or saying something that will get themselves into trouble, then we will start to view you as a problem as well, because of the same reason as before: The overall health of the forum comes first, and trying to stir the pot with someone like that doesn't help, it just makes it worse. Some will simply disagree with this philosophy, but if so, then so be it because ultimately we have to do what we think is best so long as it's up to us.

If you see a problem that we haven't addressed, the best and most appropriate course for a forum member to take here is to look over to the left of the post in question. See underneath that poster's name, avatar, and other info, down where there's a little triangle with an exclamation point (!) in it? Click that. That allows you to report the post to the admins so we can definitely notice it and give it a look to see what we feel we should do about it. Beyond that, obviously it's human nature sometimes to want to speak up to the poster in question who has bothered you, but we would ask that you try to refrain from doing so because quite often what happens is two or more posters all start going back and forth about the original offending post, and suddenly the entire thread is off topic or otherwise derailed. So while the urge to police it yourself is understandable, it's best to just report it to us and let us handle it. Thank you!

All of the above is going to be subject to a case by case basis, but generally and broadly speaking, this should give everyone a pretty good idea of how things will typically / most often be handled.

Rule #2

If the actions of an administrator inspire you to make a comment, criticism, or express a concern about it, there is a wrong place and a couple of right places to do so.

The wrong place is to do so in the original thread in which the administrator took action. For example, if a post gets an infraction, or a post gets deleted, or a comment within a larger post gets clipped out, in a thread discussing Paul George, the wrong thing to do is to distract from the discussion of Paul George by adding your off topic thoughts on what the administrator did.

The right places to do so are:

A) Start a thread about the specific incident you want to talk about on the Feedback board. This way you are able to express yourself in an area that doesn't throw another thread off topic, and this way others can add their two cents as well if they wish, and additionally if there's something that needs to be said by the administrators, that is where they will respond to it.

B) Send a private message to the administrators, and they can respond to you that way.

If this is done the wrong way, those comments will be deleted, and if it's a repeating problem then it may also receive an infraction as well.

Rule #3

If a poster is bothering you, and an administrator has not or will not deal with that poster to the extent that you would prefer, you have a powerful tool at your disposal, one that has recently been upgraded and is now better than ever: The ability to ignore a user.

When you ignore a user, you will unfortunately still see some hints of their existence (nothing we can do about that), however, it does the following key things:

A) Any post they make will be completely invisible as you scroll through a thread.

B) The new addition to this feature: If someone QUOTES a user you are ignoring, you do not have to read who it was, or what that poster said, unless you go out of your way to click on a link to find out who it is and what they said.

To utilize this feature, from any page on Pacers Digest, scroll to the top of the page, look to the top right where it says 'Settings' and click that. From the settings page, look to the left side of the page where it says 'My Settings', and look down from there until you see 'Edit Ignore List' and click that. From here, it will say 'Add a Member to Your List...' Beneath that, click in the text box to the right of 'User Name', type in or copy & paste the username of the poster you are ignoring, and once their name is in the box, look over to the far right and click the 'Okay' button. All done!

Rule #4

Regarding infractions, currently they carry a value of one point each, and that point will expire in 31 days. If at any point a poster is carrying three points at the same time, that poster will be suspended until the oldest of the three points expires.

Rule #5

When you share or paste content or articles from another website, you must include the URL/link back to where you found it, who wrote it, and what website it's from. Said content will be removed if this doesn't happen.

An example:

If I copy and paste an article from the Indianapolis Star website, I would post something like this:
Title of the Article
Author's Name
Indianapolis Star

Rule #6

We cannot tolerate illegal videos on Pacers Digest. This means do not share any links to them, do not mention any websites that host them or link to them, do not describe how to find them in any way, and do not ask about them. Posts doing anything of the sort will be removed, the offenders will be contacted privately, and if the problem becomes habitual, you will be suspended, and if it still persists, you will probably be banned.

The legal means of watching or listening to NBA games are NBA League Pass Broadband (for US, or for International; both cost money) and NBA Audio League Pass (which is free). Look for them on

Rule #7

Provocative statements in a signature, or as an avatar, or as the 'tagline' beneath a poster's username (where it says 'Member' or 'Administrator' by default, if it is not altered) are an unwanted distraction that will more than likely be removed on sight. There can be shades of gray to this, but in general this could be something political or religious that is likely going to provoke or upset people, or otherwise something that is mean-spirited at the expense of a poster, a group of people, or a population.

It may or may not go without saying, but this goes for threads and posts as well, particularly when it's not made on the off-topic board (Market Square).

We do make exceptions if we feel the content is both innocuous and unlikely to cause social problems on the forum (such as wishing someone a Merry Christmas or a Happy Easter), and we also also make exceptions if such topics come up with regards to a sports figure (such as the Lance Stephenson situation bringing up discussions of domestic abuse and the law, or when Jason Collins came out as gay and how that lead to some discussion about gay rights).

However, once the discussion seems to be more/mostly about the political issues instead of the sports figure or his specific situation, the thread is usually closed.

Rule #8

We prefer self-restraint and/or modesty when making jokes or off topic comments in a sports discussion thread. They can be fun, but sometimes they derail or distract from a topic, and we don't want to see that happen. If we feel it is a problem, we will either delete or move those posts from the thread.

Rule #9

Generally speaking, we try to be a "PG-13" rated board, and we don't want to see sexual content or similarly suggestive content. Vulgarity is a more muddled issue, though again we prefer things to lean more towards "PG-13" than "R". If we feel things have gone too far, we will step in.

Rule #10

We like small signatures, not big signatures. The bigger the signature, the more likely it is an annoying or distracting signature.

Rule #11

Do not advertise anything without talking about it with the administrators first. This includes advertising with your signature, with your avatar, through private messaging, and/or by making a thread or post.
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Odd Thoughts: 2019-20 20 game review

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  • Odd Thoughts: 2019-20 20 game review

    Let's establish this right up front. We are going to have to do this all over again whenever Victor has been back for 20 games and even then depending on his health and availability we might even have to do it again.

    Second let us also establish right up front that the Pacers have had the easiest schedule in the NBA so far. At present we have only played what I would consider two upper tier teams (Philly & Milwaukee) and one high end playoff team (Utah) and then a few maybe low seed East playoff teams and then a bunch of bottom feeders. So we are about to embark on a portion of the schedule where we shall be truly put to the test. So 20 games again may not really be all that relevant.

    Thirdly let us also establish that we have been decimated by injuries this season. I think we have only played a total of 7 games where the projected starting 5 were on the floor to start the game. So again, its really going to be hard to truly evaluate how this team has progressed.

    Now having said all of that let's go ahead and look at what we've seen in those 20 games.

    I want to just go ahead and rip the band aid off so to speak and deal with the elephant in the room right up front. Let us begin our 20 game evaluation by reviewing Myles Turner.

    I have gone out of my way this season to really not talk about him much other than try and be complimentary and focus on the positive things he brings to the team. There are a couple of reasons for that really. First he is no longer in the way. I make no secret of this, last year IMO he was in Sabonis way. Domas was outplaying him in virtually every game and at one point it was so bad that I actually started to believe Gamble's theory that the Pacers were actually doing this to keep his value manageable. Not sure if there is any basis of truth in that but at some point it was the only thing that made sense. But Myles and Domas play together now so technically he is no longer in his way and since they let Thad walk there is nothing other than his own foul trouble staying in Domas way for getting minutes. The second reason I have laid off is that I am perfectly comfortable with the role that he is playing, I'm still not convinced that they work all that well together but so far I have yet to see any one particular match up that has been so obvious that it would not work.

    Myles by the numbers

    12.2 ppg 6.0 rpg 1.1 apg 2.3 bpg 44.9 fg% 40.0 3% 71.4 ft%

    Other than 3 point % these are all below his career averages, although not by much.

    Let us establish what he does and does well. Even his most ardent critics will admit his is a supreme shot blocker. I made a post last season and I'll say it again. He is the best shot blocker in the Pacers history and that is actually saying something as we have had some very good shot blockers in our history. However as good as he is at shot blocking he is also at the very least equally effective as a rim protector. There are stats that will back this up I'm sure but I'm not going to do it because there are also a lot of times that someone drives on him and does not take a shot because he is there and really there is no way to quantify that (that I know of anyway) other than the eye test and believe me I've seen a lot of games and I can tell you right now there are times that people don't even challenge him. This is a highly valuable tool to have in our defensive arsenal and you can see why the team tries to build our defense around this. Whether or not he should have been the DPOY last season is debatable, you could make an argument either way. But even I would say that he should have been in the conversation.

    Let us also establish that for a big man he has a very unique shot that allows him to be a good three point shooter. He puts such an arc on his shot that often times you can change your mind about whether or not his shot is going to go in 2-3 times before it falls. This is also a valuable skill to have. How valuable is also up for debate but I will always say this. It is better to be able to hit a shot than not hit a shot and whenever Myles fires up a three I don't cringe and pray as though it were Zan Tabak throwing up a three. However while this is a valuable tool I am not going to say that it is an invaluable tool. I honestly do not believe that it really opens up the floor the way people think it does. I do not believe other teams often rotate their big man/rim defender away from the basket to guard him. I believe most of the time they just switch and a wing or even a guard takes him. Now you can make the argument that this is still spacing and you would not be wrong, however if the idea is to open up space for slashers to work at the rim I don't believe it works that way.

    His rebounding is still a mixed bag of nuts however you want to look at it. IMO even though his rebounding numbers don't show it I do believe he has gotten a little better at it this year. There have been several times where he has gone up in a crowd of people and come away with the ball. There are times he boxes out but there are still times he gets caught out of position and because for whatever reason you want to believe just can not establish the position himself. Domas is gobbling up boards at a phenomenal rate so there just aren't that many left to get and yes because of where he plays on offense sometimes he just isn't there by design. Also if we are all honest even the most ardent Myles supporter has to admit he is just not an instinctual rebounder.

    Now what he is not great at. Offense or defense in the low post or defending low post players. I am grouping them together because I feel the problem is the same thing for both sides of the ball. He just does not have great core strength. Probably what makes him a great shot blocker (timing and upper torso length) is what also makes it difficult for him down in the box. He just does not have the ability to bend his legs and lean into anyone and have his way with them. However the really bad thing about Myles is that it not just other centers that do this to him. Virtually any player that has a good low gravity of center ability is going to be able to stop Myles from back them down or conversely stopping them from backing down. I do not believe for one minute that Myles would be able to get off any low post offense with Marcus Smart and he is a good 5-7" taller than him.

    Now good things that I have seen on the offensive side from him over the past few games is diversity. I've seen him call for and actually complete and alley oop. I've seen him do his turnaround jumper over players, now typically this is not a shot you love however this is not like Jermaine O'Neal's fade away jumper of days of yore, he just turns around and jumps straight up with it and for him its a good shot. It might not be a good shot for most people but just like a 35' shot is okay from Trae Young this shot is good for Myles.

    So with all of that in mind I have been very much okay to even pleased with Myles in this role this season. I still don't know long term if this is the best but I'm willing to watch it play out and know that at the worst we have one hell of a trade asset going forward.

    Now here is where the problem takes root. While I'm okay with him in this role, while the vast majority of the poster on this board are okay with him in this role (we know who you are who are never going to be okay with him) I am not convinced that Myles is okay with him in this role. As our fearless leader Able (who stole my thunder) so aptly put it in the Myles social media thread, he was anointed the face of the franchise out of desperation when Paul bailed. Thus I am not sure that he is going to be okay being the 3 and D center or as some have noted the upgraded John Henson. I think Myles views himself as a star player, he made no qualms about being upset at not being the DPOY. Yes that interview had a both a bad look and a bad feel to it but it in and of itself was no big deal. However taken in context with cutting off his social media after being outplayed (again) against a big name player and well honestly some bench things that I just haven't mentioned as to not feed what was already a smoldering wild brush fire. Let's just say that those who point out that there might be some issues with Myles beyond the court wouldn't be entirely wrong. Most of us, not all of us certainly, would concede that right now out of the starting 5 he is probably the 5th option to run an offense for. I am not sure Myles sees himself as that.

    But overall for his 20 game review for his on court production I say he has done what I have wanted him to do and hope that as the season goes along he embraces his role.

    Domantas Sabonis by the numbers

    18.4 ppg 13.0 rpg 3.8 apg 0.5 bpg 51.4 fg% 23.8 3% 80.2 ft%

    All are above his career avg minus the 3 point %.

    Would it be appropriate to just send Sam Presti a Christmas card and be done with it? IMO Sabonis straight up for Paul George still works out in our favor considering Paul bailed on them as well and he wanted out of here. Throw in Victor and this wasn't only a win for our team as a trade it was a downright steal.

    Legitimately right now Domas is in the all star conversation. I don't know if he will get it but you would at least have to think someone should consider him. He is putting up these kind of numbers on a team that is winning and the true star of the team hasn't played a single game. I love Domas but I will also try and be objective here even though I believe he starts every day by hurling a lightning bolt down from Olympus.

    What he does well. God where to start but let me just start with the one thing that I personally love above all other things. He is physical and by physical I mean as in Thanos whipping the crap out of the Hulk with the infinity glove physical. To begin every game I look forward to him putting a shoulder into an opponents chest and the look on their faces as they are either sent flying or called for a foul themselves. I want to stand at attention and sing the Lithuanian national anthem whenever he does this even though I am an American. But then I remind myself he was born in Oregon so I break out into the star spangled banner instead (tee hee that was some good natured fun at our Lithuanian friends as I'm sure Domas considers himself Lithuanian and not American which he is technically both).

    He is a brilliant passer, not Jokic level of fancy per se but every bit as effective IMO. We literally can run our entire offense through him and I will argue till I die that while we might still have lost that Philly game he would have made those last two minutes of offense much easier and less chaotic.

    He is a God of rebounding. If there is a rebound available he is going to get it unless he is either held, fouled or he fouls someone. In a scrum he is going to come away with it more often than not.

    His screen setting is outstanding, however not perfect which we will talk about below. But when a guard runs into one of his screens our guards have time to shoot, pass, play poke man go, or in Aaron Holiday case shoot twice.

    His low post offense has improved tremendously, while he still depends on his left hand a little to often he has diversified substantially from the past.

    Now what he is just good at. His ability to hit from deep has dropped a lot, unlike Myles I don't feel great when he let's one fly. He had a brilliant game from the mid range vs Memphis the other night and I say that shot spreads the floor as well as any shot does.

    What he is not perfect at is moving while he is setting a screen. He picks up two dumb fouls a game because he turns before the guard clears the screen and the refs catch him all the time. Often its not a big deal but the last two games those are two fouls that he could have avoided and not fouled out.

    While he is a good low post defender there just are not a lot of low post players so that means he is often facing player who like to play face up to him and while he is not a defensive sieve he is not a stopper either. He just needs to keep working on his defense and stay solid, as good as he is at everything else he doesn't have to be brilliant at defense he just has to be good.

    His 20 game review is about as good as it can be.

    Malcom Brogdon by the numbers

    19.4 ppg 4.9 rpg 8.0 apg 0.9 spg 48 fg% 32.9 3% 95.5 ft%

    All above career avg minus fg and 3 point field goal%, which in typical Indiana Pacers form someone comes to Indiana and shoots worse than they normally do.

    I had no idea he had the ability to get to the rim as easily as he does. I mean he makes it look effortless. He is a big guy however he seems to avoid contact which might mean that is why he is able to get to the rim as easily as he does but it does also mean he doesn't shoot free throws as often as you would like and shooting 95.5 from the line means I would like him to shoot all of the time.

    While he is not dropping 11 dimes a game like he did early in the season 8 is nothing to sneeze at. He gets the ball to the right people at the right time and in a position to score. That's what you want from your point guard.

    He is a solid shooter from distance even if his numbers are down a little this year and he is good at moving positions to get to the open shot. Honestly either he is perfect for Nate's offense or Nate's offense is perfect for him I'm not sure which.

    Solid if not spectacular defender. Doesn't fight through screens as well as you'd like but then he's not Collison going 5 miles out and around a screen either.

    What he is not great at is chasing little guards. Trae Young just lit him up, no shame as he does that to a lot of people, but Malcolm just could not do anything with him.

    If he wasn't a trade he would be on his way to displacing David West as the greatest free agent signing in Pacers history, but as it is he will just have to be one of the better trades.

    His 20 game review is outstanding.

    Jeremy Lamb by the numbers
    16.9 ppg 5.7 rpg 2.9 apg 49.0 fg% 29.5 3% 86.1 ft%

    All above his career averages minus 3 point fg %.

    This might be the most overlooked signing of the off season by any team anywhere. It was not thought of much by anyone anywhere when we signed him other than just an "oh yea, he's an okay player" and it has turned out to be one hell of a gem of a signing. You need a bucket? Jeremy can get it. You need a defensive stop? Jeremy is capable of that as well. You need a rebound? For a guard he is one hell of a rebounder.

    Think about all of the times in the 4th quarter this guy gets you a bucket. Now his long distance shooting has been off, because well of course he's a Pacer now. But other than that, this guy has been a God send. Think about all of the times over the years we suffer from entire periods of offensive drought? We still have some but not nearly as often and while he is not the only reason for this, he sure as hell is one of the bigger reasons.

    All of this and remember, he's ultimately supposed to be coming off of the bench. Now honestly I'm tempted to say play him at the three and let Warren be the second teams leading scorer but I'm not sure what we will do there. But either way I fully anticipate Jeremy being a huge part of our success going forward.

    His 20 game review is outstanding.

    T.J. Warren by the numbers

    17.8 ppg 3.4 rpg 1.1 apg 50.3 fg% 41.3 3% 81.3 ft%

    Everything is above career avg other than rebounding which is down a little.

    This guy is odd to judge because there are games where he just looks unstoppable and then there are times you forget he is out there. There are times he is brilliant and then there are times he throws away a pass in traffic that gives the other team a fast break.

    What he does and does better than almost anyone on the team is score baskets from anywhere. Off balance, wrong foot, between two big men, 35' while falling away? He can hit any of these shots. Shots that have no business going in are shots that he makes his money off of.

    He is also a great free throw shooter which I'm telling you as a team has been one of the great improvements and really a valuable upgrade. We just have to get there more often.

    He has very active hands. He slaps away a lot and I mean a lot of balls. A lot of the times he gets them out front giving either himself or a team mate a fast break.

    While his rebounding downturn can be attributed to his position on the floor, Domantas Sabonis existing and other factors, let's just admit he is not what you would call a physical rebounder at all He's typically not going to go in there and battle the giants for the ball.

    While he has improved at defense and is good at deflections his man to man footwork looks like it could use some improvement. My thought on that though is that it will come with time as he did waste away for years on a team that defense was just something that was mentioned whenever someone said "what is lacking on this team".

    His 20 game review is very good.

    T.J. McConnell by the numbers

    6.8 ppg 2.8 rpg 4.6 apg 50.9 fg% 33.3 3% 88.9 ft%

    Mostly what he has done over his career except shooting %. Unlike most people coming to Indiana his shooting has actually gone up.

    I am going to sound corny has hell here but culturally was there a bigger off season signing by any team anywhere? This guy was born to play this position here in Indiana. He plays the way people in Indiana want you to play. With passion, fire, determination and yes some flash. He is Lance Stephenson without the boneheaded plays and this should make Bill S happy. If he only had a three point shot he would be this generations version of Billy Keller.

    What he does well. Distribute the ball to the right person at the right time. He makes the offense go.

    He knows his limitations and sometimes to a fault won't shoot a shot he doesn't feel like he could hit. However he is brilliant about finding a seam on the defense and making them pay buy hitting what seems like 80% from about 5-7'. How many times does he go and roll off 6 points in a row because they aren't even following him.

    He's a solid defender. No glaring weakness but not what I would call DPOY worthy either.

    He has one true weakness and that is in this day and age a guard in particular has to be able to step outside and hit a wide open shot if they have it and he's just not worked on that enough to be able to do it. Or conversely he has worked on it and its not happening so this is why he is a career backup and not a starter. I'm not sure which.

    He is not a down grade to Cory Joseph which is saying something because at one point we were all convinced Cory was the best backup point guard in the league.

    His 20 game review is very good as well.

    Justin Holiday by the numbers

    8.0 ppg 3.8 rpg 1.7 apg 41.9 f% 39.8 3% 82.6 ft%

    field goal% are up everything else is about the same give or take.

    What have the Pacers desired for a long time? A 3 & D player. What is Justin Holiday? A 3 & D player. I had zero clue he was as good of a defender as he is. His defense in the second quarter vs Donovan Mitchell a couple of games ago was breath taking. He is going to give Victor a run for his money in being the best wing defender on the team.

    He is also a deadeye shooter from three. I don't expect him to keep hitting at 40% a game but I don't expect him to drop to 30% either. However unlike some 3 & D guys he can also get his own shot and put the ball on the floor.

    May not be the greatest passer who's ever lived but hardly a fool either.

    For what he is, I'd say he's damn near perfect. The fact that he is only signed for one year is troublesome though. I already know I want him back next season.

    His 20 game review is outstanding

    T.J. Leaf by the numbers

    4.1 ppg 3.8 rpg 0.4 apg 44.8 fg% 45.5 3% 62.5 %

    His stats don't really matter.

    He's had chances and once again just has not been able to be consistent enough to earn a place on the team. As it stands now, he is out of the rotation again. You could say its because Goga has improved and deserves time on the court and you would be right. However it is also because he has not played well enough to earn a place on the floor.

    Let's be honest here, where he is at in his career if he was ever going to be a rotational player he would be would be doing it now. At one point we had both Domas and Myles out and he did have a great game but again just no consistency.

    What he does well. Honestly in a total reversal of what he was drafted for he is an excellent low post player. He actually has decent footwork around the basket and a good back to the basket game. He was supposed to be a stretch player, he's really not.

    He is a good rebounder. Get's balls that he should get, has and instinct for the boards.

    He's a better shot blocker than you think he would be. He has long arms and has a decent instinct for where shots will be.

    He however is not a good defender. Gets blown by more than an ill fitting turn style.

    Honestly I'm disappointed because he had real chances this year due to injury and did not earn his place. Not sure he will be here beyond his rookie contract, not sure he will be in the NBA beyond rookie contract.

    His 20 game review is disappointing

    Aaron Holiday by the numbers

    9.3 ppg 2.6 rpg 3.0 apg 40.1 fg% 38.9 3% 90 ft%

    If I could find a drawing of a cowboy riding a tornado this is what I would use to describe Aaron's game. Looks cool as hell at times and can be devastating, but to who and which team is often the point of speculation. He is just as likely to shoot you into a game as he is to shoot you out of a game. I can't remember which brilliant poster called him the dollar general Westbrook but he was both a profit and a poet and none of us are worthy of such eloquence.

    What he does well. He shoots. Sometimes its good sometimes its bad but by God he will get up a shot no matter who is in his way.

    He moves quick with the ball. That's not as important as it was last season but it still helps.

    He is a plus defender which will help him stay in the league and have a place on a rotation.

    He is this teams version of Forest Gump box of chocolates, you just never know what you are going to get. The very sad thing for him is that with the addition of Malcolm Brogdon he is never going to be the front line point guard on this team barring injury. The other sad thing is that with T.J. McConnell he is not really going to be the backup point guard either. The good news is that he really isn't a point guard. However I am not sure what place we will have going forward for a sub 6' shooting guard. He has already had a spectacular game of 24 points and 13 assists however he has also had an 0-6 performance with terrible turnovers and idiotic defense. Ultimately I think Aaron may be that trade piece we package with someone else to get rid of some depth and obtain a higher level player.

    His 20 game review is mixed but satisfactory.

    Doug McDermott by the numbers

    8.5 ppg 2.7 rpg 1.1 apg 43.5 fg% 42.7 3% 83.3 ft%

    Basically around his career averages down a little fg% up a little 3 point %.

    This season Doug has been tasked to play a lot of the stretch 4 position. I hate it but I don't blame him and well frankly I can't blame Nate all that much because neither Leaf nor Alize Johnson have earned the spot. Jakaar Sampson did but whatever he did to his back has messed him up and sadly for him he has probably lost his spot.

    What Doug does well. If Uncle Buck is reading my answer is nothing, he does nothing well. For everybody else I will say he is a decent shooter and he moves fairly well without the ball.

    He is decent about at least trying to rebound, he's not great at it but its not for a lack of trying.

    What Doug doesn't do particularly well is defend. I don't give two craps about "team defense" that is often used to describe players who can't defend but go through the motions and look like they are trying (think Mike Dunleavy Jr.) Our good friend Mckeyfan described him best when he said as the son of a coach he knows exactly what good defense is supposed to look like, he knows the stances, how to move, all of it. He just can't do it effectively.

    However I will give him this. He is not nearly as invisible as he was last season. That could be not having to play with Tyreke Evans, who knows.

    I'll give him a solid average (or if we were grading a C) for his 20 game review.

    I'm not doing Johnson, Sampson or even Sumner because they are all incomplete.

    As a team, and I'm running way out of time here, I will say this.

    For where we started what we expected and ultimately where we are I give us two thumbs way up for the first 20 games. We are now going to be playing a stretch of very solid teams so we will see how it goes but I for one look forward to it.

    P.S. I started working on this earlier today and had to take a break to go buy a Christmas tree and put it up so I'm getting this out just before game 21.

    P.P.S. Crap I forgot to do Goga

    Goga Bitadze by the numbers

    4.7 ppg 3.3 rpg 0.9 apg 1.2 bpg 47.3 fg% 33.3 3% 73.7 ft.%

    Obviously a rookie so these are his numbers.

    As is always with almost every team the player they draft is the exact player they wanted, thought about trading up to get him, surprised he was available when they picked, every other cliche you can think of. Well here is the deal, this is the one case where it looks like they aren't just blowing smoke up our butts.

    Was thrust into the lineup early on due to injury and it may have been the best thing that ever happened. For one thing he didn't look foolish and in fact for a couple of games looked brilliant. Second of all it forced Nate to play him whether he wanted to or not. He has already started to wean down his playing time. He's still getting a few second quarter developmental minutes so as long as he gets those it won't be a lost season.

    He is big, I don't mean overly tall, I mean he is thick. His torso is solid and he is very hard to move. He is already a fairly skill rim protector and shot blocker. He has a good shot and is not a bad passer.

    He is not an instinctual rebounder and as with any big early in their career he fouls easily (pssst often times its not the rookies fault its just easy for refs to assign it to the rookie).

    I had as much if not more skepticism as anyone about him coming in. My Pacers PR BS detector was at full strength here. But I am more than happy to say that I hopefully am wrong about him.
    Last edited by Peck; 12-04-2019, 08:01 PM.

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

  • #2
    Not much to disagree with here. We've seen a bit less of Myles and Lamb than the others you've reviewed due to injury. Hopefully Myles has more to bring (and I think Vic will help there as we'll have 3 guys in Vic, Brogdon and Sabonis that demand a LOT of attention defensively)....and conversely I hope Lamb is exactly what we've seen so far.

    "man, PG has been really good."


    • #3
      Can I critique your post? Just one thing. Bold the lines with the player names in the sections headers. It'll make the sections more obvious. (e.g. T.J. Leaf by the numbers)

      I still haven't given up on Leaf. He's shooting 45% from three this season, the highest on the team. That's one of the things we were looking for him to improve over last season.

      In his last rotation game (Orlando) he played 7 minutes, got 4 boards, and scored 8 points. That's great production. But somehow Nate didn't like it. And Leaf's plus/minus in that game was +14. So even if he made some mistakes (did he?), his play didn't get us killed. By all the box score metrics he was outstanding. But Nate's response was to bench him (garbage time and DNPs the next 5 games).

      I still think Leaf can play but I'm not sure Nate will ever let him.


      • #4
        Originally posted by Strummer View Post
        Can I critique your post? Just one thing. Bold the lines with the player names in the sections headers. It'll make the sections more obvious. (e.g. T.J. Leaf by the numbers)

        I still haven't given up on Leaf. He's shooting 45% from three this season, the highest on the team. That's one of the things we were looking for him to improve over last season.

        In his last rotation game (Orlando) he played 7 minutes, got 4 boards, and scored 8 points. That's great production. But somehow Nate didn't like it. And Leaf's plus/minus in that game was +14. So even if he made some mistakes (did he?), his play didn't get us killed. By all the box score metrics he was outstanding. But Nate's response was to bench him (garbage time and DNPs the next 5 games).

        I still think Leaf can play but I'm not sure Nate will ever let him.

        I think Nate's reason here is whose minutes are we going to sacrifice giving them to Leaf?


        • #5
          Great write-up.

          When Aaron Holiday would check in last season, I would see if I could hold my breath until he took his first shot.

          He's somehow shooting at the same rate this season, but the eye test says he's more conscientious about finding his teammates.


          • #6
            Originally posted by imawhat View Post
            Great write-up.

            When Aaron Holiday would check in last season, I would see if I could hold my breath until he took his first shot.

            He's somehow shooting at the same rate this season, but the eye test says he's more conscientious about finding his teammates.
            I think it is because he is spending a LOT less time as the primary ball handler, so we don't think of him as holding on to the ball but as completing the play.

            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...


            • #7
              If you didn't know the Holidays were brothers, is there any way you could tell just by watching them play? They are about as different as any two players on the entire roster.

              As much as I love the Brog - Domas pick and rolls and as effective as they generally are, I do worry that they aren't effective against the really good defensive teams - The Sixers and Bucks took us out of that play. Quinn likes to say on the broadcasts that Domas has trouble with size - I would correct that he has trouble with defenders who are tall and strong. Once again - the Bucks and Sixers.

              I am trying to figure out if Brogdon struggles against double teams or if the Pacers as a whole do.

              If McConnell was a really good three point shooter, he would be a starting caliber point guard.

              As fun as the first 21 games have been, we won't know what we really have until Vic comes back. I wonder if we might see a backcourt of Vic and Lamb on occasion. Lamb needs and deserves 25 minutes min per game.

              Warren - when he goes to the free throw line late in a close game, I have every confidence in the world that he will make both.


              • #8
                Below is a good indication of how our guys are performing, I'm hoping it loads.



                • #9
                  You have to be happy with the record through 20. I would expect some regression as the schedule begins to toughen up. Maybe more like a .55 vs. a .65 winning percentage. Maintaining this rate of success would be a massive success. I'm thrilled with the 3 offseason FA/trade acquisitions. See how they do moving forward. The Vic reintegration variable looms large.
                  I'd rather die standing up than live on my knees.

                  -Emiliano Zapata


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by festar35 View Post
                    Below is a good indication of how our guys are performing, I'm hoping it loads.

                    I really dislike how these charts use intervals of 5 for offense and intervals of 10 for defense. It makes it look like those who are strong defensively are contributing less.