Sweatin' Bullets

Sweatin’ Bullets is a recurring feature in which I provide general theories, observations and comments about the most recent game.

  • The Heat came into a potential series clinching game with three players suited up that can be considered either a power forward or center: Ronny Turiaf, Juwan Howard and Joel Anthony.
  • It absolutely seemed like Ronny Turiaf should have gotten a technical for bumping George in the first quarter.
  • Jeff Van Gundy clearly has never had a small soft ball for an ankle…
  • I usually tend to get tired of hearing people question Lebron’s heart. BUT if Lebron James had the mentality and heart of David West how man NBA Championships would he already have? I’ll set the over/under at seven.
  • I believe that it is the job of Tyler Hansbrough and Louis Admunson to be hated by their opponents’ fans. I don’t think we have to poll South Beach to find out if they are succeeding. Unfortunately they just weren’t competent enough to get heavy minutes.
  • The Tyler Hansbrough/Leandro Barbosa/Paul George/Dahntay Jones/Darren Collison lineup doesn’t seem to really fly in an elimination game .
  • If I have had one consistent sentiment all season concerning the Pacers it’s FEED THE BIG MAN. Hibbet has flaws, but what he’s good at and what he opens up for his teammates is enough for him to be a center piece of the offense.
  • Every time a Heat player not named Lebron James or Dwyane Wade shot the ball it felt like Christmas.
  • “…Wanted to dunk it, but he was too far away!” I’ll take quotes about Joel Anthony’s offensive skills for 500.
  • “I don’t know how they drive so fast without crashing.” Good point about NASCAR Jeff Van Gundy. I sometimes wonder how basketball players jump so high without tripping.
  • In the 2006 NBA Finals a legend was created and Dwyane Wade reached another level. That Dwyane Wade showed up to Game 6.
  • Double teaming Dwyane Wade is crucial. Mike Miller runners are ideal. And when Lebron James forgets to cut then he becomes a jump shooter out of Wade’s double team. When executed well it minimized the effectiveness of both Wade and James. (Pretty much just agreeing with JVG and the rest of the Twitter universe).
  • Dwyane Wade hits the kind of daggers that make a team want to give up.
  • How in the world did Wade score only five points in Game 3?
  • All season Pacer fans have been criticized for their poor attendance. Two nights ago Larry Bird criticized the team for being S-O-F-T. Both criticisms were fair, but the crowd and the team came out for Game 6 and didn’t leave anything on the table. Despite the outcome, both responded in my mind.
  • The Miami Heat had one more Lebron James and one more Dwyane Wade than the Pacers did and that is why they won. Those two men have a demeanor that may make them difficult to cheer for, but they are truly amazing basketball players.
  • Is having George Hill and Darren Collison like having two quarters when you really need a dollar? I really like both of them as point guards, but does Indiana really get as much out of Darren Collison as they should. Is that going to be the most obvious roster change?
  • Was that the last time we see Roy Hibbert in a Pacer uniform?
  • A great season. A truly great season. I’ve been known to be able to think of a poetic sentiment or two when I really put my mind to it, but I’m just going to wrap this one up with a quote from the crowd at Bankers Life Fieldhouse: “Thank you, Pacers.”

  • km

    I feel like you are going to get eaten alive for writing NASCAR instead of IndyCar.

  • Jonathan Auping

    @km That may be true. I was clearly not paying enough attention/know nothing about either. To be fair to an entire demographic I will leave it rather than edit it. Perhaps I deserve to be eaten alive…

  • Marcello

    I don’t feel like that it will be the last time we’ll see big Roy in a pacer uniform!
    He has expressed love for the the city, the team and the organization many times
    I think he’ll ask for reasonable money and this summer he’ll work his ass off to get better
    The point guard problem is a difficult one to solve, as well as the one of the 2 guard problem, we need someone who can create his own shot
    It’s gonna be an intriguing summer

  • Stevo

    Dear Indiana, you need a new coach.

    If you can’t see that double teaming wade is OBVIOUS after getting your a$$ handed to you in the last three games….you need a new coach. (Jeff Foxworthy voice)

    If you don’t train your guys to force Wade to dribble around the screen hedge instead of letting Wade split it EVERYTIME to the hoop….you need a new coach.

    If your guys go on record saying “Our gameplan isn’t really to stop LeBron” – Granger….YOU NEED A NEW COACH.

    Goodness sakes…there is ONLY Lebron and Wade. Double them…Wade isn’t even that great of a passer (except in the open court). OH NO don’t risk Joel Anthony airballing another dunk…lets play ISO. smh. The Pacers had their chance with Bosch out…heck even BOTH Haslem and Pittman were out and you still couldn’t win 2 on 5.

  • Pacer

    Wade got past four Pacer defenders and scored a heart breaking lay up in the fourth quarter. I new it was over at that time.

  • Really

    LeBron and Wade are just at a different level. Flat out. A level ton of the Pacers will ever see, period.

  • little B

    Frank Vogel is a young coach, just like this team is young. They will both make mistakes, but give both some time and they will be really good if not the best. There are maybe, maybe a handful of coaches in this league currently that could have done what he did with this team. You don’t get 3rd in Coach of the year for nothing. He has alot to learn, but already knows alot.
    ■”How in the world did Wade score only five points in Game 3?”
    You are crazy to think you can stop Lebron or Wade, if it happens you are amazing. Which the Pacers did one game, so they were amazing that game. So coaching a team you don’t say you want to stop James or Wade, you want to control them. If your team doesn’t have one mega superstar it would be horrible coaching to think you can stop James or Wade. Your strategy is most likely way off if you think you can stop one of those 2.
    I understand what you think: well if you think you can’t stop him then there is not chance you can beat them, or that your team is weak if they think someone is so good he is unstoppable. It is just being realistic and having respect for the opponent. But it doesn’t mean you can’t come up with a stratgey to beat them.
    @ Auping
    good bullets. Worst one but is so true and gut wrenching
    ■Dwyane Wade hits the kind of daggers that make a team want to give up
    How many comeback shots did he hit last night? F me. Around 75% shooting, I bet he doesn’t even shoot that in warmups. He dwarfed every Pacer story of the night. Danny coming out on fire 2 games in a row, West with 24, Hill shot over 50 percent and chipped in 18. Pacers played so good but Dwayne Wade just is a little bia that freaking wouldn’t miss. Stings Boys, stings, but better than how the Pacers went out last year. Hopefully next year they won’t go out at all. Go Pacers.

  • NoLookPass

    When you look at Dallas beating the Heat they had Dirk playing over 40 a game going 26.0 and 9.7 and did so while playing sick. They also had a defensive stud in Tyson Chandler who was playing around 40 a game even with foul trouble. Then they also had a 6th man sniper who would come in a score while playing 30+ a game in JET.

    Danny is our best player or at least used as our best player and he’s not even that much better than Jason Terry and he isn’t better than James Harden at all when you look at OKC. So while we have Danny in with our Bench other deep teams have Danny’s in with their superstars when the second unit plays.

    We tried to get a bunch of guys and give them equal shots off the bench rather than giving one guy a ton a letting him be our 6th and grow into the role. Seemed like that was what we were going to do with Tyler to start the year when he got so much 6th man love nationally but after 8 or so games he was down getting around 5 shots a game most nights with the occasional big double figure shot total mixed in and a usually those games were good.

    When Memphis made their run last year they sacrificed scoring from the starting lineup and put Mayo on the bench to be the 6th man and their team took off and if he didn’t vanish in these playoffs they could have made another run.

    Teams need set roles and this was my biggest grip with our team all year. We always knew Danny would get his shots no matter what each game but after that you had no idea how they were going to share the ball any single guy we played from out top 8 could have taken the second most shots on the team. That can fly in the RS when we play lots of bad teams and teams play a normal rotation but when its crunch time and the other teams extend their superstar players we’re left confused on who’s going to take shots out there and our best player isn’t even equipped to be the go to guy.

  • Jones

    Way to go Pacers, a marked improvement from last year. Resign Hibbert and this Pacers squad is a Eric Gordon free agent signing away from contention.

  • Stevo

    @Little B & Really

    I agree with you guys, I don’t think you are going to stop those guys but really…I would have at least tried. If you are playing a team with literally only 2 players (Chalmers is weak, Battier cant shoot and Miller can barely walk) I would defensively PLAN TO TRY AND STOP THE TWO GUYS. Granger said it himself on their team strategy “Our plan isn’t to stop Lebron” = fail and it showed.

    I don’t buy the young coach thing, these are obvious scouting reports and Vogel just ignored them and all the tape on Chicago vs Miami.

    1- They didn’t double Wade (he is double-able..lebron isn’t AS much) and he put 21 IN A QUARTER on them…good lord they still barely made an adjustment later.
    2- They still rarely ran the offense out of Hibbert which would exploit Miami’s obvious weakness (See Miami vs Orlando when Orlando wins). Going to Hibbert opens up the inside-out game (Hibberts passes well) which then breaks Miami’s rotation leaving Indy open for 3′s. This is how Miami loses.
    3- They didn’t run any double’s at Wade.
    4- They did a poor job at pick-and-roll defense. Just abysmal. Force Lebron and Wade to shoot. Beg them to kill you from 17ft and out. They didn’t. Lebron got the picks with little distraction and an easy full head of steam at the basket. Fail, and this is basic Lebron scouting report as anyone will tell you. ESPECIALLY when the guy making the screen is offensively WORTHLESS (Joel Anthony as Bosh is out). This really was the travesty of the night.
    5- Transition defense was weak sauce.

    Now, these things that I describe are standard scouting report strategies that every team knows about when playing Miami. Its not like the Pacers missed their shots all night and opened up the transition game AND they killed Miami on the boards. Just bad coaching decisions and execution. Not coaching skill…just obvious decisions that were passed up. Pacers play a lot like Chicago but are bigger and more talented and deeper (aside from Rose). Their defensive schemes were just poor, unlike Chicago’s second year coach…

  • Keep dreaming

    PG: Hill
    SG: Gordon
    SF: Granger
    PF: West
    C: Hibbert

    Intriguing line up – I’m just wondering how Granger and Gordon co-exist. They both take a lot of shots and both shoot a very poor percentage. Why not? I’m still not convinced a Pacers team plus Eric Gordon is enough against a healthy Heat team with Bosh or a healthy Chicago team with Rose.

  • Melon

    Paul George needs to go before he comes up for extension time in a year or two. Dude cant hack it. Pacers are in dire need of someone, ANYONE who can get to the rim and finish or draw fouls. Eric Gordon isnt the answer because the team already has too many jump shooters. If Hibbert wants more than $11 million/yr let him walk, George Hill should get no more than $6 million. Until this team gets an all star, A REAL All Star (not one who got selected as a result of injuries/team record) they are gonna be stuck between the 3 and 6 seeds for the next 4 years.

  • @Melon

    Ive been saying this for awhile and no Pacer fan wants to address it. 3-6 is for good, not great teams in the east. 1-2 are teams with superstars (Lebron, Wade, Rose, Dwight). The Pacers dont have one player near, NEAR superstar level. Problem is, when you are stuck between the 3-6 you cannot get a franchise player in the draft. Also, there are probably 5-10 players in this league that you want on your team that you need for a championship (the Kobe’s, Lebron’s, Wade, Rose, Westbrook, Dwight, Paul). So how do you get one? This ‘team’ thing works if you have a star, not Granger, West.

  • Thoughts

    I don’t want be a negative Nancy, but I don’t think one, two, three more years of experience will take the Pacers to Miami’s level. They didn’t have Bosh and beat us in 6… LeBron and Wade are at a level none of our players will ever see (everrrrr).

    I heard Pacers fan’s predicting Pacers in 6, 7 with Bosh!?!? How could an intelligent person predict that? If Bosh plays, this series maybe goes 5. LeBron is only 27, Bosh 27, Wade 30, they are still coming together.

    Past 12 NBA Champions best player: Dirk, Kobe, Kobe, Pierce, Parker, Wade, Duncan, Billups, Duncan, Shaq, Shaq, Shaq

    Pacers don’t have one player near the same level as these players. Our best two players are 29, 31. At some point you need to take the next step – I don’t see the next step for West, Granger. Chicago is a way better team than plus has a superstar.
    Also, good luck Miami vs. Boston (assuming Rondo shows up). The Heat are beyond talented. I sat there and watched LeBron and was like:
    LeBron averages more points than any Pacer player (by 9 points)
    LeBron averages more assists than any Pacer player
    LeBron averages more steals than any Pacer player
    LeBron averages .9 less rebounds than Hibbert (7’2’’)
    LeBron plays perimeter defense better than anyone since Pippen.
    I’m convinced if you switched Granger and LeBron, the Pacers are a final team. Be grateful of him. Good luck!!

  • Melon

    It should be noted that there is no team in the league that can boast the amount of success the Pacers have had in the last 20 years despite a lack of young talent coming to the team. The Pacers haven’t picked inside of the tenth pick (Paul George) since 1989 (George McCloud). I dont think any other team can say that they have avoided high draft picks for that long. I cant decide if thats a good thing or a bad thing, but the Pacers do have a pretty good reputation of getting alot of value for mid round first round picks.

  • @Melon

    So indy wins the value draft the past 10 years (actually probably not, OKC has drafted really well). Congrats, it is better to have a superstar. Im just as frustrated because Indy isnt a destination these guys are looking at. Hey it is what it is! But I still stand by the statement that if you switch Lebron with Granger, Indy could win it. Thats how good Lebron (makes everyone better) is, thats how average Granger is.

  • Melon

    But none of that really matters, because its entirely hypothetical. The Bottom line is the Heat have two players on their roster that are better than the best player the Pacers have ever had. The Pacers have never had a true franchise guy. You could argue Reggie was (and god knows I love him). But the franchise has never had a perennial top ten player in the NBA on the roster. And that isnt going to change anytime soon. I think with the new CBA theres a chance that we could see some teams in the fashion of those Pistons teams that were effective without a superstar again. But I would still rather have 1 guy who could sell tickets, get fans excited, and close out games by scoring, even if it is inefficiently. I’m not arguing with what you are saying at all, I just dont think that it really matters.

  • @Melon

    I think we agree on almost everything. I would give Granger, West, etc. whatever the package is for a Lebron, Kobe, Durant, Wade. Thats how you win in the NBA. However, we can still root!

  • James

    I appreciate David West’s game. I think he is a solid guy and I root for him. After seeing the last 3 games, It is hard for me to understand why you would say “BUT if Lebron James had the mentality and heart of David West how man NBA Championships would he already have? I’ll set the over/under at seven.” Against an undersized Heat squad and with a 2-1 series lead, West gets 6, 4, and 5 rebounds in three losses. But somehow he has heart and LBJ doesn’t??

  • Ronal Eugene is Right!!

    Eric Gordon is not the answer. The difference maker is not someone who can’t get off the bench because he’s injured all the time. He is way undersized, and I know no one who constantly posts sign Gordon actually watches him play because he’s in the west, but he can’t guard bigger guards. If he was truly a great player the Clippers would have made the playoffs last year. They didn’t come close, 14 games out. Just because he played for IU doesn’t make him the answer. Also a not to IU guy, don’t wear your IU gear to a game when the opposing teams colors are red. Especially don’t refuse to put on the free gold shirt so that people can see your IU gear. You look like an ass hole.

  • Pat

    Need a true point guard. I’m not ready to give up on DC yet because he is still very young and the dude came up huge when it mattered several times. Paul George is also very young and i think he’ll grow into the player we’ve seen glimpses of. Wish he would’ve been a little better against the heat…

    The starting front line is solid but we need some talent on the bench to improve hanbrough and amundson. They might piss people off, but it shouldn’t be pacers fans because they can’t score.

    Hill is gone. Barbosa is gone. Roy stays.

    If they add a true point guard i think it fixes problems a lot of problems. but how do you get a guy like Deron Williams to indy?

    Larry please stay.. and hypnotize Deron Williams or something to get him here cheap.

  • @pat

    He won’t go to Indy. A trade for Pau is realist which would send him to LA. Also, he could join up with Dwight in Orlando. Also, he could go to Dallas where Dwight could join him in a year. I just don’t think he would come – no disrespect to my team – but there are more inviting offers (and popular). We unfortunately live in Indiana – it’s not LA, Miami or even Dallas. Also, if New Jersey can bring in a piece, he wont leave. Also, its not a sure thing Larry Lengend stays. He has offers else where.

  • little B

    Championships are won with veteran players simple as that. Didn’t it take Jordan 7+ years to win a championship. Lebron has been around what 9 years and no ring. Pacers are young. So most of you say trade away our youth to go get a “superstar”. Teams have to have guys like West and Granger to win. Do they need more that that, yes that is obvious. Problem is West is the biggest name the Pacers have gotten in a long long time from FA. He chose Indiana over Boston, unheard of. Just imagine if Boston had West, wow. If the Pacers keep doing better than maybe that could change. Main thing is Pacers can’t go get a superstar right now, they have to draft/build one. That takes time.

  • little B

    @ No look Pass, I completely disagree with your statement as comparing Danny to Jason Terry or James Harden. If you put Danny on OKC right now, that team would win the finals. Better defender than both of those guys and just as good of a shooter if not better.

  • little B

    @ Pat,
    I like your idea and I think that would be the only key out (reasonably) that the Pacers could get and be immediate contendors next year. Hill out Dwill in, some magic for that to happen, but you never know.
    @@Pat is most likely right though with the options for him to choose, but Steve Nash is out there and whats the difference between Dallas and Indiana. Dirk?
    Probably won’t have the money for anybody “super” after they sign Hibbert.

  • Pat

    @little b

    was just thinking about Steve Nash as well. Don’t know if he wants to go back to dallas, especially when they just regressed last year.

    I would like to think he would prefer an up and coming team that he could possibly push over the hump.

    Hard to say what he’ll do especially if miami loses. He’s looking for rings so we just have to hope roy doesn’t empty out the wallet and maybe add another supporting guy to get us there

  • @pat

    @little b
    I respectfully disagree. KG (16/8/1 w/ 50%/85% splits) is by far better than West (13/6/.8 w/ 49%/80% splits). Better numbers and a top 5 defensive player in this league – wrong.
    I have couple more issues as well. I think Harden is flat out better than Granger. Harden shoots 10 times a game to get 16.8 PPG. Granger shoots 15 times to score 18 PPG. Harden plays less minutes and passes the ball A LOT better.
    Also, Steve Nash isn’t going to Dallas. He needs to win now, he’s 38! (Up and coming team isn’t what he wants) He will end up with a better team (Heat, Lakers or contending (not eastern semi’s) team).
    Also, FYI Pacers fan – Hibbert isn’t worth 8 figures. If he gets that, uh-oh.

  • Leonard

    The Pacers need a superstar player or several players with above average talent that can fit a role. Hibbert is solid but can he get you 30 and 15? That is the type of performance that extends series to Game 7. West had a clear advantage the entire series, did he give up any game close to that? The writer questions Lebron’s desire and heart, compares it to West. What series did you watch? I like Granger but if he is your best player, then be happy going to the second round for the next 3 years.

  • IU Fan

    @Jones and @KeepsDreaming

    PG – George Hill
    SG – Eric Gordon
    SF – Paul George
    PF – David West
    C – Roy Hibbert

    I’m not completely familiar with the payroll and free agency market, but if Gordon for Granger is a fair economical deal, it’d be a huge win for the Pacers in defensive intensity, offensive fire-power, and seat-filler. I’d also really like to see a three and four guy who can shoot lights out from three coming off the bench.

  • havoc

    @ little b & pat
    nash has already stated his preferred destinations are phoenix (1), mia (1a), dallas.

  • @havoc

    Thanks for some back up! haha, it is nice to have someone who understands the Nash situations – not COME TO INDY! UP AND COMING TEAM!

    What do you think a Pacers vs. Boston Series would be like? Just interested!

  • NoLookPass

    @little B

    Danny isn’t better than James Harden now and James is 22 going on 23 so replacing him with Danny makes them or any team a worse team. If Granger was on any other team nobody here would care about him but since he’s our guy he’s looked at in a better light. If every team in the NBA could choose between the two players all things equal they all would take Harden.

    Danny took 5.1 shots a game just to score 1.9 more PPG this year and Harden had more way more assists.

    DG had18.7 PPG on 15.2 shots per game with

  • tideofunc

    in reply to NoLookPass :
    “We tried to get a bunch of guys and give them equal shots off the bench rather than giving one guy a ton a letting him be our 6th and grow into the role. Seemed like that was what we were going to do with Tyler to start the year when he got so much 6th man love nationally but after 8 or so games he was down getting around 5 shots a game most nights with the occasional big double figure shot total mixed in and a usually those games were good.”

    this is the best explanation of TYLER’S woes i’ve seen in reading numerous blogs. i have wondered all year what necessitated the change in his role. by the end of the season, he was like the 9th player off the bench. did he enter vogel’s “dog house” for something, which i doubt due to his team first attitude? did he have problems season-long w/his shin-splint problem? was it a chemistry problem? whatever it was, the change as manifested by diminished playing time and lack of touches resulted in a promising player being lost. as an extreme fan of TYLER, i think the best that could happen for him is to be traded to another team which appreciates and utilizes what he has to offer.

  • NoLookPass

    I think Tyler and most scorers who shoot a lot of jumpers need tons of shots to be successful. Its hard to find your groove getting 5 shots a game how many times do you see star players start out slow then get it going and roll.

    He shot 49.9% over 30 games as a stater in this league so he has shown when given the ball with a supporting cast that he can score it and as poor as he shot this year at 40.5% overall in RS he was at 45.7% or 91-of-199 when getting 9 or more shots this year more inline with 6th man type players,

    In games where he took less than 6 shots this year he shot 26-of-88 or 29.5% and if you include the PO where he had a 4-for-5 game into that its 38-of-123 30.9% with 5 or less shots this year making it painfully clear he needs his touches to be effective.

    We needed to commit to him over the first half of the season and let him sink or swim being the 6rh man role feeding him 6th man shots to see what we had and if he failed add a scorer at the deadline like we did with Barbosa.

    But what we ended up doing is having too many shooters and not enough shots and it hurt everyone we had a killed the bench players. When Hill went to starting and getting his shots his percentage spiked we added Barbosa and as he loss shots his percentage dipped.

    We had the perfect storm to make for poor shooting team. No real offensive system, no real PG, no set roles for our players and 8 deep on score first players and guys like Lou and Jones who aren’t shy about jacking up a shot.

    We were the worst shooting team in the RS to make the PO and it fell 2.9% in playoffs and have tons of talent, but the problem might we we have too much talent for only one ball and need to thin it our some in favor of players with set roles rather than a bunch of score first players getting in each others ways and stepping on each others toes.