The Rules of Pacers Digest

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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:

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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.

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Brandon Rush to be benched? (Mike Wells blog)

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  • #61
    Re: Brandon Rush to be benched? (Mike Wells blog)

    Originally posted by D-BONE View Post

    I think a perfect role for Rush would be as a defensive player first priority who provided maybe no more than a fourth option offensively where consistency is required.
    The problem with this point of view is that Rush has shown so much damn potential at times. Even when he is off, he seems silky smooth on the offensive end and appears to possess an excellent jumper. I mean if he happened to be an absolute bricklayer like Bruce Bowen I could concede this point, but he appears to have so much more.

    I hope that Rush keeps getting some opportunities, even if it is within the window of less playing time. I still think he just needs to shoot his way out of this slump and learn how to find his bearings in an offense that really doesn't suit him.

    However I am very aware that JOB is not his ideal coach and I wonder if he'll ever just start going through the motions. For these reasons, I wouldn't be surprised if he was dealt at the deadline this year as a sweetener if the Pacers end up making any moves. Just throwing that out there, and may bump it early next year.


    • #62
      Re: Brandon Rush to be benched? (Mike Wells blog)

      Rush really blew it last night when he dropped that pass from TJ in the last minute. That was the heart of crunch time.

      It's not that he mishandled it. It's that tentative thing. He just didn't have any fire to grab the ball and do something with it.
      "Look, it's up to me to put a team around ... Lance right now." —Kevin Pritchard press conference


      • #63
        Re: Brandon Rush to be benched? (Mike Wells blog)

        If job and everyone else is looking for rush to be scoring as much as he did last year it's not gonna happen. Rush is a defensive player that can score 15+ on ocassion but for the most part will rebound the ball very well for a 2 guard.

        I see that he is struggling with his shot but he starts w/ granger, hibbert, ford, and now jones. Those guys are more of an offensive focus than rush his opportunities aren't going to be a whole lot to be a consistent 15ppg player.

        I don't see how starting another player that would be a higher offensive option than him helps, when they already have 3 other offensive weapons. He just has to learn when to take his good shots and keep playing the defense at a high level. He IMO helps balance out the starting5 w/ his defense first mentality and not needing touches.
        Last edited by ThA HoyA; 11-19-2009, 11:08 PM.


        • #64
          Re: Brandon Rush to be benched? (Mike Wells blog)

          Originally posted by pacergod2 View Post
          Buck.... I don't disagree with what the fan said being completely asinine. My problem is that no matter what level of frustration you get to, you don't allow a reaction to A FAN. We don't need to go back to the Brawl do we? I know... different circumstances.... but same aspect of professionalism. Fans are stupid. He is a professional coach. No fan's opinion or yelling should ever get a reaction from him.
          Explaining the situation and jumping up and putting the beat down on someone are quite different. These guys aren't polititians, or preachers, and yes FANS are real people just like they are and just like you and me. Why should Jim not be able to say what he wants to? As if there is some Imaginary Invisible curtain within 12 feet of the bench?


          • #65
            Re: Brandon Rush to be benched? (Mike Wells blog)

            Originally posted by tbabyy924 View Post
            I hope for the Pacers sake that O'Brien doesn't handle Rush like he did Joe Johnson in Boston in his rookie season.

            JJ was very inconsistent, like Rush is now. His shot was on and off, but he would still play solid defense. O'Brien made him the starter after the first few games of the season, but JJ would continue to see inconsistent minutes. One week he'd play 35+ minutes night in, night out and the next week he's looking at 10-20 minutes. As the season goes on, the minutes become more inconsistent, JJ's production really suffers. He shoots 1-5, 0-3, 1-7, etc. and this whole time he's still starting, but keep in mind one night he sees 30 minute, the next 15. By mid January OBrien gives up hope in JJ. Takes away his starting role, and JJ starts seeing single digit minutes. From end of January to mid February and the All star break, JJ becomes a complete after thought. His minutes are going to veterans, Erick Strickland and Eric Williams, whom OBrien places more trust in. Then, mid-February Joe Johnson gets traded, as a rookie nonetheless, who had games here and there where he showed some promise, to Phoenix where he goes on to start, get consistent minutes and make the all-rookie second team and from there it's all history.

            I'm not saying Rush has Joe Johnson potential, but the similarities are there. Learn from your history OBrien.
            1. That was one season
            2. O'Brien had no control in whether or not JJ would be traded.
            3. That season they went to the Eastern Conference Finals- and JJ was playing on a terrible team in Pho.
            4. Rush has been getting more minutes and has been the starter and has a much longer leash.

            Originally posted by BlueNGold View Post
            This excerpt tells it all. JOb is stroking Ford because otherwise it's Tinsley II. Ford could be as frustrated as he wants to be and D Jones' mother is still a better basketball player. D Jones has earned enough rope where you just let that one go. What a joke!

            ...and JOb claims he benched Rush for Earl Watson...a veteran presence. Well, that conversation ignores the fact that TJ does less to win games than either Watson or Rush.

            Here's the grade card:

            Defense: C Offense:C

            Defense B Offense F

            Which grade card to you want? Neither player is very good right now...but many people including JOb...sorry but it's true...are more focused on offense.
            Fixed. In the situation where our team defense was at a C and our team offense was at an F in the knicks game- its a no brainer.

            I don't know where you get off on how our defense is terrible and our offense is great- but it's not, our offense is below average (we are 24th in the LEAGUE in offense! WHAT?)

            Offensive Rating: 102.9 (24th of 30) ▪ Defensive Rating: 101.8 (9th of 30)

            I rest my case.


            • #66
              Re: Brandon Rush to be benched? (Mike Wells blog)

              Originally posted by gummy View Post
              We need more offense from Rush than he is providing - that's clear. On the other hand, I think Rush is having a big impact as a key part of the improved defense this year. I'm a little worried about what happens to our perimeter D and our overall defensive cohesion if/when his minutes get cut significantly. I guess we'll find out!
              Totally agree! What will happen is what has happened for the last three years. There is not one player in the league who is a consistent jumpshooter night in and night out, ecspecially from three point range. So they need to look at what Rush is doing well out there and grade him on that, and not pull him everytime he's cold.
              Protect the Promise!!!!


              • #67
                Re: Brandon Rush to be benched? (Mike Wells blog)

                I'd be interested in us treating Rush like the Nuggets treated Dahntay last year. Start him for his defense, take what he might give you offensively, but then unless you're getting beat badly on D, give most of the minutes to a more offensively-inclined backup swingman. In their case, that was JR Smith. For us, it will be Dunleavy in another week or so.


                • #68
                  Re: Brandon Rush to be benched? (Mike Wells blog)

                  I don't usually post without reading what's said in the thread, but my lunch break is very short and I don't have time to do it right now. Brandon Rush should be benched - despite the fact that I believe he plays the best defense on the team. Last year, I was very critical of O'Brien's decision to bench Rush, but it turned out to be the best thing for him. So, in rare praise of the coach, I support the decision (if he makes it) to put Brandon back on the pine. The guy does need to choose his spots offensively - he just doesn't look fluid.


                  • #69
                    Re: Brandon Rush to be benched? (Mike Wells blog)

                    I'm not on board with benching Rush yet. Yeah, his offense sucks and he is extremely frustrating because he has the talent and the tools to be a lot better than he is, but defense is half the game, and he is our best defensive player. We came into the season completely fine with the fact that Dahntay would be a plus defender and someone you avoided on offense. I'm not saying we should avoid Rush on offense, but I think his defense is good enough to keep him in the games for now.


                    • #70
                      Re: Brandon Rush to be benched? (Mike Wells blog)

                      Originally posted by BlueNGold View Post
                      Let me try to be as precise as possible. There are two main reasons:

                      1) He does not make the guy he defends uncomfortable at all. He allows the opposition to move freely, make cuts and make plays.

                      2) He gets weaker on offense just when you need to get stronger. He is the anti-Reggie Miller.

                      Otherwise he does lots and lots of good things, but the two items I list are recognized at least intuitively by his detractors. They overwhelm his positives at the very worst time of the game.

                      The fact we went on a winning streak without him and had a better record last year without him are merely signs that can be written off. If you don't see these issues as huge, you will never agree with his detractors.
                      I disagree with your first statement. Sure he would allow that many times last year, but against Atlanta, one of the few games he played in this season he was playing very good defense, he stayed in and out in the PF zone and he was putting some pressure on the ball.

                      He definitly looks much better on the defensive end and I think as the season goes on, many people will appreciate his work.


                      • #71
                        Re: Brandon Rush to be benched? (Mike Wells blog)

                        I had posted this earlier in another thread as a response to Speed, but it really belongs here.

                        I think that last year Brandon finally got going when he was given minutes without the threat of being benched due to making mistakes or missing some shots. The difference this year is that we have other more viable options than we had at nearly any point last year.

                        That threat has increased significantly this season with the arrival of Dahntay and the impending return of Dunleavy. Couple that with O'B coming right out and stating that he benched him in favor of Watson down the stretch against the Knicks where Brandon's defense could easily have made some difference due to his ability to cover more space on the floor defensively than Watson can and Brandon is likely to continue his regression in my opinion.

                        Brandon is, I believe, an extremely motivated individual who takes everything to heart and actually tries to do his best most of the time. When he tries too hard his shots don't fall because he loses his touch and rhythm. O'B (and most other coaches would as well) tries to push Brandon to shoot the ball to get through his slump. Then, when his shots from the perimeter (generally catch and shoot threes) aren't falling, Brandon is supposed to dribble penetrate and score that way. Other teams know this and are waiting for it and stop his drives, causing him to be a poor finisher. Brandon then reads both himself and the defense on the floor pretty well due to his instincts and becomes passive due to recognition that there are other better scoring options on the floor than he is and defers to others. This infuriates O'B and causes our pg's to not wat to include Brandon in the flow of the offense. Then, he is either taken out of the game entirely or the guards pass to whoever else (this year Dahntay) would ordinarily be asked to do the same thing because they are correctly looking for the best option to pass to.

                        Now, Brandon also sees poor decision making being rewarded pretty consistently by O'B, where Dahntay receives the ball and bulls into the lane hoping to draw fouls but at times making shots that he probably will be less and less effective at finishing as the season progresses and opponents decide to shut that down, while Brandon tries to show at least some patience and not force things when he doesn't feel like his shot is falling. Also, taking chances on defense and going for stops and being a ball hawking defender, which is what Dahntay pretty much does most of the time, got Brandon benched last year for being a poor team defender instead of being hailed as a defensive savior of some kind. This has to truly confuse Brandon, because last year Brandon was benched for similar play, at least in his mind, early in the year before O'Brien had no alternative but to play him when Dunleavy, Marquis, and Danny were not available for a long stretch.

                        I believe that O'Brien benching Brandon early and often last year has led him to more of a mistake avoidance mindset, which is about the worst possible thing that can happen to a shooting guard who is expected to score as his primary function on our offensively oriented team. Brandon has to be feeling more pressure and confusion at this point in his young career than he ever did last year due to the competition from Dahntay and now the likely insertion of Dunleavy into the rotation which should basically wipe out whatever minutes Brandon would have gotten. This pressure basically has re-frozen Brandon this season, and it is hurting the overall performance of both Brandon and the Pacers.

                        What should be done at this point to sort things out? I really doubt that anything short of a mind reset by either a sports psychistrist or a trade would change the cycle and behavioral pattern of Brandon in his current situation. For the good of the team, I can see why Brandon taking on the role that quite a few thought Dahntay would have is the best decision for the franchise in the near term -- Brandon being a defensive specialist who shuts down the opponents best scorers (though that is plainly not what O'B thinks) without worrying about scoring himself.

                        All in all, I can see a tiny amount of value in benching him at this point, even though it will only serve to reinforce all that is currently wrong with him in my opinion. The team will likely adjust and flow better due to having a more balanced scoring attack despite being less effective defensively, especially once Dunleavy returns. In the meantime, double point guard lineups will be utilized with an alarming frequency as we have seen before, with TJ being utilized as a dribble penetrating 2 on offense and a point on defense, and Watson being the point on offense and a woefully undersized 2 on defense.

                        And so, the rollercoaster ride continues. Whee.


                        • #72
                          Re: Brandon Rush to be benched? (Mike Wells blog)

                          I think it all boils down to the fact that we just signed better players. They are outperforming last years team and its only a matter of time before Ford and Rush get benched. I get the sense that this team is very dysfunctional when Ford is in the game late. Ford is not someone that you want on the floor when you are trying to protect a lead. Sure he's great in the first half, but when you need someone to drive the lane on a consistent basis in the forth to draw fouls, it becomes very apparent that Ford is not our guy. TPTB need to face it, Ford is flashy but there is no substance to his game. Earl needs to be given a shot and Luther needs more playing time. just my


                          • #73
                            Re: Brandon Rush to be benched? (Mike Wells blog)

                            Originally posted by dcpacersfan View Post
                            The problem with this point of view is that Rush has shown so much damn potential at times. Even when he is off, he seems silky smooth on the offensive end and appears to possess an excellent jumper. I mean if he happened to be an absolute bricklayer like Bruce Bowen I could concede this point, but he appears to have so much more.

                            I hope that Rush keeps getting some opportunities, even if it is within the window of less playing time. I still think he just needs to shoot his way out of this slump and learn how to find his bearings in an offense that really doesn't suit him.

                            However I am very aware that JOB is not his ideal coach and I wonder if he'll ever just start going through the motions. For these reasons, I wouldn't be surprised if he was dealt at the deadline this year as a sweetener if the Pacers end up making any moves. Just throwing that out there, and may bump it early next year.
                            It was the same way with McKey. I remember a game against Phoenix, when Barkley was still there. Derrick lit Barkley and AC Green up. I mean, we kept feeding him the rock, and they couldn't do anything with him. And you look at that and think, why don't you do that more? But he just wasn't wired like that, and it appears neither is Brandon. He has the tools to do it though.


                            • #74
                              Re: Brandon Rush to be benched? (Mike Wells blog)

                              i just cant help but notice the similarities between mike conley and brandon rush. they both struggle when they are looking over their shoulder and both finished the year great last year. does anyone else see this?


                              • #75
                                Re: Brandon Rush to be benched? (Mike Wells blog)

                                Originally posted by QuickRelease View Post
                                It was the same way with McKey. I remember a game against Phoenix, when Barkley was still there. Derrick lit Barkley and AC Green up. I mean, we kept feeding him the rock, and they couldn't do anything with him. And you look at that and think, why don't you do that more? But he just wasn't wired like that, and it appears neither is Brandon. He has the tools to do it though.
                                Was McKey a Starter on the Team?


                                Did he fill more of a Backup "1st or 2nd" GF off the bench that came in to fill a specific role ( provide defense ) but not depended on to score ( but can when the opportunity arises )?

                                I'm guessing that unless BRush ( or JO'B ) finds some magical switch to have him play like he did after the ASB last season.....and what we see of BRush now ( on and off offense coming from a defensive minded Backup GF )....then we should just slot him into that role and not expect him to put up double-digit scoring all the time.

                                I'm beginning to think that we are going to have to reset some of our expectations for BRush....especially with the slow realization that Inferno may be a much better Starting SG option then BRush and Dunleavy is. Instead of thinking he's going to be our Future Starting SG...maybe it's best to think of him as a 6th to 8th rotational GF that is better suited to be a Defensive minded roleplayer that can ( but won't always be called upon to )provide some scoring.
                                Ash from Army of Darkness: Good...Bad...I'm the guy with the gun.