Pacers Close to Dealing Gerald Green for Luis Scola

UPDATE: This is a officially done deal, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.

 

A couple of weeks ago, Pacer GM Larry Bird mentioned to Grady and Big Joe that the Pacers were still hoping to make another move, but it would have to be a trade due to their cap situation. It looks like that deal might happen this weekend, with the news coming from an unexpected source.

Yeah, I can’t exactly read it, either – took French in high school – but the message is clear.

Juan Sebastia of scola4.com is reporting that Luis Scola is going to the Pacers, and the official announcement will come today (Saturday). From there, Marc Stein and Adrian Wojnarowski picked up the reporting, fleshing it out a bit, identifying Gerald Green as the main piece heading out.

Woj explains further in his piece on Yahoo!

The Pacers and Suns were finalizing the players and possible picks involved in the deal on Friday night, and front-office sources expected an agreement to be finalized soon.

While the deal was still being finalized overnight, the Pacers will minimally send the Suns a future first-round draft pick, as well as possible additional draft and cash considerations to go along with guard Gerald Green, sources told Yahoo! Sports.

If true, this is another example of Bird’s legendary patience paying off. It’s been no secret that the Pacers were looking to trade Gerald Green, who had been very disappointing after signing a three-year, $10.5 million deal last season. However, the general buzz was that there was no market for him. Now it appears that Bird as been able to move him and get a target “the Pacers have been pursuing for weeks,” according to Woj.

Of course, it looks like it will cost at least a first round pick, as well, but that may not be a bad thing.

From a talent perspective, this is a huge win for the Pacers. The 33-year old Scola is a savvy offensive player and a decent rebounder, who will help a bench that was laughably inept at scoring points last season. Scola is a pedestrian defender, but the Pacer team concepts should help cover that up.

Minute distribution will be interesting to watch for Coach Frank Vogel this season. The Pacers only gave Tyler Hansbrough – West’s primary relief – about 16 minutes a night in games where West played. Scola has averaged almost 30-minutes a night over his career – never less than 24 (in his rookie year). There are extra minutes to be found, though.

First, given the Pacers hopes of a deep playoff run, I’m sure they’ll be happy to reduce David West’s load from the over 33 minutes a night he clocked last season. It’s easy to see another 5 minutes a night coming by switching back to the 2012 distribution, when West averaged 29 and Hansbrough got almost 22 a game.

The second place is to see West and Scola share the floor on in short bursts on a consistent basis. This type of “Small Big” lineup was used only sparingly the last two years with West and Hansbrough. During the last two regular seasons, the two power forwards only played together for 395 total minutes, or a little under 6% of the available minutes. This approach met with mixed success, posting a +46 in 118 minutes last year, but -48 in 277 minutes in 2012.

However, Luis Scola is a pretty sizable upgrade over Tyler Hansbrough. A few minutes a night feature David West and Luis Scola make for some intriguing offensive opportunities, if Vogel and his staff can capitalize. However, it would mean significantly altering their signature defensive style on a regular basis. It’s an interesting conundrum. The Pacers defense got them to the Eastern Conference Finals, but their offense probably kept them from going farther.

The second area this complicates is the money side, and that’s where dealing a future 1st rounder may be of some benefit.

Scola is scheduled to make just over $4.5 million this season and little under $4.9 million next (next years. Gerald Green was to be paid $3.5 million in each of the next two seasons. (Source: Shamsports) The additional money this season (about $1.0 million) won’t be a problem, as the Pacers have about $2.7 million of room left under the tax threshold this season.

But, next season…

If the Pacers pick up Miles Plumlee’s third year option, they will be at $53.3 million, or $22.4 million under the projected luxury tax threshold – a figure they have said repeatedly, for years, they will not exceed. That sounds like a lot of money, until you realize what Indiana will likely have to spend to re-sign Paul George and Lance Stephenson.

It is an almost mortal lock that Paul George will command a “Max” contract beginning in 2014-2015. The standard 25% max available to 4th year players will put his pay for next season at over $14.6 million (estimated). However, if PG should get another All NBA nod – a very realistic possibility – then he would be eligible for the 30% max, potentially putting his 2014-15 salary as high as $17.5 million.

Lance Stephenson will command considerably less than Paul, but his raise should be expected to be substantial. If he performs as well this coming season as last, it’s reasonable to peg him at least at the Mid-Level, or about $5.3 million. It could easily be more.

You can see, $22 million doesn’t go as far as it once did. If the “future 1st” they’ve reportedly included in the deal is next year’s, then they’ll probably get about $1 million in extra breathing space to deal with the task of keeping the core together. Remember, the only thing guaranteed about a (likely late-) first round pick is the salary.

But, these are what they call one a them-there “good” problems to have. We still have to wait for this to become official, but until then I give you the thoughts of Luis Scola’s countryman – and friend to 8p9s – @gastonblanco17

 

 

Topics: Trade Talk

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  • NLP

    The 2012-2013 Pacers took 80.6 shots per game, here is what the current guys have taken during their last full season.

    15.2 Danny Granger
    14.9 Paul George
    13.8 David West
    11.5 George Hill
    11.2 Luis Scola
    10.9 Roy Hibbert
    7.7 Lance Stephenson
    6.8 Chris Copeland
    5.7 C.J. Watson
    4.1 Ian Mahinmi

    That’s 100.8 shot a game average for 10 players and if we roll with less than a 10 man rotation someone we just signed is going to be pissed and that also ends any PT hope for Plumlee, OJ and Solomon Hill if guys stay healthy.

    It going to be amazing to what how Frank pulls this off and keeps everyone happy.

    Danny is by default going to be forced to take less shots something he may not be too interested in with FA coming soon. PG will need to ball to keep developing and he is also looking to get paid so that dynamic will be fascinating.

    Then you have Roy who will need more than 10.9 shots a game as he enters his prime and then you still have West needing shots and Hill who isn’t a real passing PG so he needs his shots as well to be effective. The starters worked last year with lance in there taking limited shots unless he was hot but now you have 5 guys who all want and need the rock.

    2012-2013 PER36 FGA
    16.4 vs 9.5 for Granger over Stephenson
    15.1 vs 10.7 for Scola over Hansbrough
    15.9 vs 14.1 for Copeland over Green
    10.9 vs 8.6 for Watson over Augustin
    9.5 vs 7.7 for Stephenson over Young

    Going to be next to impossible for all these players stats not to regress in a big way.

    The main reason our bench has been so bad the last two years has been limited usage and now we have more guys than ever need shots, This going going to be crazy to see how it shakes out and then really wacky come the playoffs and the rotations tighten up on top of it.

    I wonder when we gave Copeland than mock ESPN the magazine with him being the future of Pacers basketball on the cover if it had a story about how his PT was going to drastically reduced before he even thought about going to camp?

    I have always blamed Frank and the way he uses the bench as the reason we’ve had bad second units and its made people upset but if this team which is over 10 deep has a bad bench again then there is no doubt he and the limited shots they get behind our starters kill bench players.

    • metalhead65

      for the money they make they will be happy playing or not, as long as they win there should not be a problem.

      • NLP

        I wish it was really like that but in real life it isn’t, these are a bunch of competitive young guys all who want PT and usage with many of them still fighting to get that real money or a next contract.

        • Bigm181

          Once again NLP using FGA as a way to judge and criticize players and coaches. Take your ridiculous arguments and Hands bro love to the Toronto boards. I’m sure he’ll get plenty of FGA this year. I’m sure he’ll be averaging 30 points a game. A lock for starting the All Star game. SMH.

          • NLP

            Wow you’re dumb as hell, last time i checked you have to get shots to score and we don’t have enough shots to support this roster and can bank of a massive drop off in production for all the new players.

            Scola played 26.6 a game last year which was the lowest since his rookie season and posted 12.8 and 6.6 what do you expect him to do losing over a quarter of his PT and likely a third of his shots?

            Then you have Copeland who will get killed by this move do you think he can still score 8.7 a game off our bench? What about Danny and Lance are they going to match what has been expected of them?

          • MaynMan

            Of course. This always happens when a good team gets good players from worse teams. Ray Allen’s production dropped when he went to Miami. That still seemed to work out for them.

          • NLP

            Well I hope you and everyone else remembers it when the season gets here and these guys see major dips in production. Last years bench would get crucified when they didn’t get any shots to put up points.

            Like I said above we shot it better than Miami in the ECF but all we heard is how they couldn’t score, but they could score just rarely got the chance too thus we got doubled up in bench points while shooting better than them.

          • The Real Nate

            David West. Production dropped significantly when he got here and yet for some odd reason he just signed a longer deal than his first one. Nobody thinks he’s playing worse. He was rewarded for having a team mentality. Players play. Winners win. Whiners whine.

          • NLP

            It dropped because he was coming back from a major knee injury, last year he return to top his career averages.

          • ConRich

            No, we got doubled up on bench points because D.J. Augustin turned the ball over every single time he got trapped. Same with Sam Young. If you shoot 51% and the opponent shoots 45%, but they take 10 more shots than you, you get outscored. Turnovers create the shot disparity, not raw bench usage.

          • NLP

            DJ had 3 TO in the series, they scored less because they took far less shots. We shot the bat 4% better than the Heat but were outscored 156 to 80 due to Miami’s bench getting 131 shots in the series to just 65 for the Pacers and many of those came in garbage time.

          • http://www.bryanpovlinski.com Bryan Povlinski

            The Pacers bench took far less shots than the Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals because they played far less minutes. The Heat bench played a total of 591 total minutes as opposed to 335 for the Pacers. So if you look at shots per minute the Pacers were barely below the Heat (Heat 0.22 FGA/min and Pacers 0.19). If you extrapolate that to 48 minutes it’s 10.9 shots for the Heat bench and 9.3 for the Pacers – that’s less than 2 shots a game.

            The reason the Pacers bench played so many fewer minutes is because the Pacers were so much better with their starting lineup on the floor than with any combination of bench + starters. The Pacers starters were +46 when those 5 were on the court and -71 when there was a lineup on the court other than the 5 starters. So I think there was some validity to Vogel playing the starters as much as he possibly could.

            Regardless of whether their individual stats decline, the additions of Watson, Scola, and Copeland and the return of Granger should allow the Pacers to better compete when the bench gets on the court – and therefore would allow Vogel to give more minutes (and more minutes = more shots) to the bench overall.

            Also, I think it’s very realistic that the FGA’s per game averages that currently add up to over 100 per game to get down to the 80 that make sense for an NBA game. Granger’s number is inflated because he took those shots as the only viable option in an offense that had no other scorers. Scola took his shots on a Suns team that was miserable and he had to be relied upon as one of their first options. Copeland bumped his averages up by being the primary scorer for the Knicks for the last week an a half of the season as they rested Carmelo and Chandler. Adjust those down like you’d expect and you get 80 shots per game. As to whether or not efficiency drops when a player gets less than 5 FGA/game, where is the evidence for that?

          • NLP

            Like I’ve said for going on 3 years less PT, less shots, less production. Also don’t forget a big chunk of our bench shots came in garbage time.

            Once the playoffs get here we will ride the starters and once the bench comes in with the starters we will still lean on the remaining starters like before. As long as we have this starting 5 especially with Danny here we will never have a good bench as there just isn’t enough shots in a game to support a 10 man rotation.

          • NCPacer

            In the beginning of the season the bench got plenty of shots. They just couldn’t make them, so FV started using the starters with the bench. This year will be different as the second unit can hold it’s own as a unit. The Starters got an increased number of shots this year because the bench was just not that good at making shots. The Pacers are also a great “TEAM” and there aren’t huge egos to make them concerned with FGA each game. W’s matter most to them.

          • Bigm181

            So what are you trying to say? What is your argument trying to prove??? That the bench players won’t take as many shots as they are accustomed to? Again, who cares. A team averages what… 80 shots a game? I feel good about all the players on our team taking any of those 80 shots. No matter how many per player. Dumb argument. Go feed that garbage to the Craptors boards. I’m sure they’ll eat it up.

          • NLP

            That the bench can’t and will not be worth a damn unless you give them shots something we haven’t been doing or the same thing I’ve been saying for 3 years only to be proven right time after time.

            Our bench shot several points better than the Heat in that series but we got more than doubled up in bench points because they let them shoot.

            Since you keep bring up Toronto yes I’m very glad Tyler went there, and you should be happy he was rich before entering the NBA and his quest for shots led him to asking the Pacers to make him unrestricted and allowed this and the Cope move to happen. Now its on Frank to make it work something he has yet to shot he can do.

          • Bigm181

            Not sure what planet you live on but coaches don’t “give” players shots. Our bench was awful because of a couple things… DJ couldn’t get shots for the second unit and no one out there could create their own shot. Not Tyler, not Ian, not DJ. Arguably green aka chuck me was the only guy willing to put up shots but when you shoot 30%, that’s not going to work out well. There are guys making millions of dollars on the other side of the ball who are getting paid to not let our guys score. Our bench was just flat out bad. It will all even out. Every one can’t be expected to keep their same averages every year. It’s idiotic to expect that. Some will go up, some down. Check the rest of these replies. You’re in the heavy minority dude. And what does Tyler being rich before coming to the nba have to do with anything? His parents might have been rich, he wasn’t. Again, can’t wait for T to be the starting PF for the East All Stars this year because he’ll be getting more FGA.

          • NLP

            You must not have ever watch a single pacers game since Frank has been the coach? We have no bench offense its pass the ball to the starters and get out of the way its why our bench didn’t get any shots unless the got a rebound or it was garbage time.

            DJ is a better passing PG than Hill so the first thing you start with shows how dumb you are. I bet he puts up better numbers than Watson next year and I also will be Tyler has better numbers than anyone off our bench, heel even Green will do better than our bench getting off of it.

            I wish your Mom didn’t let her brother ejaculate inside of her because all that inbreeding has lead to you being a total Imbecile!

          • ConRich

            First of all, we’re discussing sports. Why the hell do you need to start insulting people?

            Second of all, you’re wrong on DJ. He may have had better raw passing skills, but he was too small to make shots at the rim at even a moderately passable clip, and never had a plan whenever he penetrated into the paint. That resulted in tons of turnovers or forced shots.

            All of that second paragraph is irrelevant. Tyler will start, so of course he’ll have better raw numbers. I also guarantee you our bench +/- will be much improved.

          • mike, prague

            He won’t be starting. But will definitely get more minutes than here. Hopefully he’ll get around 27 MPG . He could possibly start but I doubt that because Amir Johnson is a bit better.

          • NLP

            The point was DJ not being able to get people the ball, DJ can pass. Dude has a P36 average of 5.8 asist while Watson is at 4.5
            and Hill just 4.0 a game.

            If he is going to act like a retard first I will call him out on it every time.

          • mike, prague

            The Craptors that the Pacers could barely beat last year and lost 1-2 to … yeah. If players eff. drops when their FGA drops and a lot of players will demand a lot of attempts then logically the overall percentages of the team will take a hit. But in all seriousness this team is whacked-smackin awesome … just should be careful that it isn’t too good for it’s own good …

    • Jack Wright

      NLP, I think you’re pulling this concept of guys “needing shots” out of thin air. It’s basketball. They know how to play it. They’re not just taking turns “getting their shots.” That’s just a flawed way to view how to build a successful team.

      • NLP

        I think you should go look up and see how poorly NBA players shoot when not getting consistent shots and see how FG% go down with the shot totals. Unless you’re an exclusive dunker NBA players have a had time contributing with out getting shots off.

        Its the same reason guys like Tyler look terrible with sporadic shots but then shoot 50% as a starter.

        • ConRich

          “FG% goes down with the shot totals”

          James Harden’s shots went from 10 to 17 last year, moving from OKC to Houston. His FG% dropped from 49% for 43%.

          Al Jefferson’s have stayed between 49%-53% his whole career, despite fluctuating shot totals from 6.4 to 17.1

          Chris Bosh has been more efficient as his shots have gone down with the Heat, every year he’s been there.

          How about we don’t much erroneous, blanket statements? Generally, as usage decreases, efficiency increases. Efficiency’s what we’re looking for.

          • NLP

            Look what happens to NBA players when their shots total dip around 5 and under 5 a game, there is next to no shot at being consistent unless you live on the rim as a dunker.

        • Jack Wright

          I’m saying your overall outlook on offensive basketball is what is flawed.

    • ConRich

      I think you need to take a look at some +/- numbers. If our bench truly played better than other benches, they just didn’t get as much time on the court as they should, than our defensive and offensive ratings per 100 possessions shouldn’t have dropped as much as they did. Those ratings are more important than personal scoring averages, since they take the whole team into account.

      • Derek Cooper

        Actually the +/- would be exaggerated because each individual bench player played a lot with 4 other not very good bench players__imagine if an indiviual bench player played mostly in lineups with 4 or 3 starter his +/- would be perhaps better. So putting 5 subs at once does that. However I think NLP’s view is quite exaggerated but not totally irrelivant either.

      • NLP

        The way we use our bench is the main reason they end up with poor +/-. Everyone on earth knows when the bench plays with the starters they bench guys aren’t shooting unless the get a ball off a loose ball scramble, a steal or a offensive rebound. The Starters will shoot unless they get shut down and we end up with a kick out 3.

        Can anyone on this board name one offensive play we have for a bench play other than the lob to Green we used when he was in the rotation.

        Frank can’t coach a bench, he’s a great motivator but the extent of his good coaching is he has 5 good starters and goes tells them to shoot. This pisses people off but its fact until he shows otherwise, we’ve totally revamped the bench each year he’s been and and if they flop again he has to get blamed as he’s the one consistent thing about them,

    • AMF1322

      NLP, you’re not wrong. It’s true, this players are used to that. But I want to say 2 main things from your statements.
      First, you’re looking the stats in a too static way. Remember this are averages. But that doesn’t mean that every player will try that quantity of shots EVERY GAME. Just thinking in our bench, and if Danny is going to be the 6th man, in one game, Granger will attempt more shots; in other game, Scola will; in other, maybe CJ, or Copeland, or OJ will step up a little bit more. It’s good to see statistics, but you always have to transfer to the dynamics of the game.
      Second: many times, things like this depend in how players share the ball. The only real ball-hog he have (and this is with the 2011-2012 season image) is Granger. Scola has a higher IQ than it looks like, and a guy that knows (and if not, obeys) when he has to shot and when he has to share the ball. As an Argentinian, he’s one of my idols, I’ve seen him a lot with the National Team, so I know what I’m saying. If he sees that he’s cold, or someone is on fire (like in the National Team with Delfino), he’s going to pass. And many of this applies with Copeland, CJ, and even Danny! I think spending one season in the bench, looking games from outside of the court have made him smarter, and maybe he’ll pass it more, depending of how the match is developing.
      I agree with something: Vogel AND McMillan (who we should hope he learnt enough with Coach K in how to run an offense) will have to design a more-movement system where the ball gets fluid into the best option, kinda the SA system (kinda, I don’t expect the same results with only one summer of working). Or at least, a system that won’t give up so many turnovers that would be eventual shots, or at least possible off rebs (an area where Pacers were pretty good last season) that would give more possesions to shoot.

      • Jack Wright

        good post. I couldn’t put my finger on what NLP was doing, but ur right.. he’s using statistical averages as if they apply game to game.

      • Derek Cooper

        ..Good points_ well said with manners smarts and balance_I look forward to hearing an argentinan view on pacers ball hopefully. Also looking forward to having scola here+ getting to know his game more.

      • NLP

        Yes they are averages we have a average of shots we have available and they have average number of shots they are use to and we have 240 min a night to get them in.

        Everyone knows they aren’t hitting those each night and have ups and down in reaching, buts they had those same ups and downs in getting those averages to start with,

        If we roll 10 deep its impossible for them to get what they have been use to, they will need to sacrifice a ton and it gets into who should sacrifice? Do we want West or our stars taking less shots or someone else, the fact the ends up the bench loses those shots and then keep getting outscored each night.

        • AMF1322

          Without a doubt, I would reduce the starters minutes gradually until the bench solidifies. But I would expect that in december-january, the starters will play between 30 and 33 minutes per game.

          Also, I repeat, I think this stats would be much more significant with a roster with ball-hoggers (like the Knicks). But this team is built around peolple with certain attitude and values, people who would resign their shots if it’s necesary. I see a drop probably from: West and Hibbert (who will step up depending on the match); from Hill, who I think will become more selective with his shot; and from Scola, who is a humble, smart and obedient guy, who comes from teams where he was more asked for shoot than here. He will become our kind of Taj Gibson: a guy who’ll shoot only if the situation asks for it.

          I think Indiana had 3 majors unresolved problems after the end of last season. One: the bench PLAYERS. Two: how the bench should play. And three: Lance or Danny with the starters. We’ve solved the first one. And if you think about it, also the second. If we think the bench line-up, Pacers has: Mahinmi, who is kind of a Roy’s bad-man (in defense, at least); Scola, a guy who has a similar stile of playing compared to West (not so physical, but both guys who can play near the rim or shoot from mid-range); CJ Watson, a decent-to-good defender, and more of a shooting point guard than a pass first. What this all means? The bench will play (or try to, at least) a lot like the starters. Last year, every time DJ came in, Indiana had to change the whole phylosophy of their playing style: from not depending on our point guard to generate (w/GHill), to have a ‘brain’ (w/DJ). And that second style of playing sucked (Vogel and Shaw share the fault there). If Vogel and McMillan make an efficient and diverse playbook, that would make our bench took a lot of less damage. Even if it’s the same of last year with some changes and new plays, the bench playing a lot like the starters would also allow a smoother blend of starters and bench. Imagine the +- of the starters from this two last years, now cut it in half or in a third, and there you have a bench that may keep the same pace of the starters (so when the starters come in, they’ll the same pace before they went to the bench) and wont destroy our chances everytime it comes in. If different didn’t worked, try changing as little as posible.

          Now, the last big question is: start with PG and Danny, with Lance and Copeland/SoloH coming off the bench?; or start with Lance and PG, with O.J. (Free The Pulp!) and Granger (as a 2nd Paul George)?. Also, consider that some of the guys, like SoloH, Sloan, even O.J., are only going to play if somebody gets injured. But, we’ll have to wait until October to find out. Until then, let’s just keep ripping each others heads in online debates!

  • TVC

    Gerald Green is a pretty good nba player, but he was never going to work with the Pacers. I think that the Pacers are pretty lucky if they get a good solid PF to back up West out of him. Larry Bird is a genius!

    • poot

      Green is a nice 11th man. he is a guy you put on your roster at the veteran minimum so when you are blowing out another team you have a chance to get some sportscenter highlights or keep the fans in the seats a little longer to up concession sales.

      a 3 year deal for him? way too long. $3.5M/year? way too much. neither really hurts, it’s just dead weight. you could bring in an equal quality or better player each offseason for 1 yr/$1M, so there is no advantage to locking a guy like him in.

      I hope he does well for the Suns. playing next to Beasley and Bledsoe (and I imagine Brown/Dragic/Goodwin and Gortat/Plumlee, all run well) there should be plenty of offensive highlights for the Suns, albeit a lot of highlights against their D as well. Green should be a regular on Sportcenter if he gets the PT

      but now the Pacers have OJ/Solo as their 11th/12th man. rookie contracts, a perfect fit. they can grow with the team, or if they don’t, there is the option to not pick them up another season or stash at minimal cap cost.

      The Bench 5 (gotta come up with a nickname for a lineup that good) is going to be well paid, but they will earn it.
      Ian – $4M
      Scola – $4.5M
      Cope – $3M
      Lance – $1M
      CJ – $2M
      Total $14.5M
      Worth it!

      Is Larry Bird a genius? I like to think so. He did so awesome with that late 90s Pacers team. he took them from:
      Smits / Dampier
      Dale / Antonio
      McKey / Ferrell
      Reggie / Askew
      Jax / Best
      to:
      Smits / Perkins
      Dale / Croshere
      Rose / McKey
      Reggie / Mullin
      Jax / Best

      he just attracts the good talent needed to round out a complete roster. i am so excited since this is the first time in so long that the Pacers have had a complete roster. i mean shit, even in their 61 win season this was their bench:
      Jeff Foster
      Austin Croshere (washed up)
      Jonathan Bender
      Fred Jones
      Anthony Johnson

      asides from Foster that was garbage bench. and they got 61 wins!

    • Bigm181

      Gerald Green can’t even make an entry pass into the post. He can light it up in garbage time but can’t produce in winning time. Oh, and I heard he can dunk.

  • Slap Dog Hoops

    Good trade for Indy in getting Scola, although it makes the team older and slower. I do not know if Scola’s appearance will improve the team because he does not fit Indy’s style of play where front court players are more of an afterthought than anything else.

    • ConRich

      “he does not fit Indy’s style of play where front court players are more of an afterthought than anything else.”

      You really can’t be serious. Our offense survived for long stretches on David West facilitating from the elbows and Roy Hibbert making jump hooks, especially as the league players more small ball and we have more match-ups to exploit inside. This team was built to play inside-out, if anything we put much more emphasis on the front court. Paul George was our best player, a budding superstar, an all-star, an all-pro player, and he played small forward, a front court position as well.

      • Slap Dog Hoops

        If that were trhe case, Indy would have had a better FG percentage than they did in the reguiar season. Their front court last season was not nearly as effect as it should have been because they had a ballhogginh point guard in George Hill who would rather jack it from three than pass the ball.

        As for Paul George, you are way off base. He was simply overrated from the get go averaging a little over 17 per game while shooting a very lackluster .419 from the field. If there were truly an inside an outside team, first of all players like Hibbert and West would have gotten the most touches, but that was not the case. In fact it was the complete opposite with George taking the most shoots and having a true shooting percentage of under .480 which is by far one of the worst by starters in the league.

        • ConRich

          Paul George is a member of the front court, as a forward. So, if he’s taking the most shots, that’s front court focused. West and Hibbert also took more shots combined than Stephenson and Hill combined. West’s FG% was good, and Hibbert’s was good after the all star break. You’re making claims with no basis.

  • poot

    OMFG AND THE CROWD GOES WILD

    i am in high heaven. am i dreaming? SCOLA!!!! and being able to dump Gerald Green! pinch me somebody, this is incredible!

    best bench in the league
    Mahinmi
    Scola
    Copeland / S. Hill
    Stephenson / Johnson
    Watson

    • Jack Wright

      No poot. There are not enough shots to go around. It’d be much better if we had worse players on the bench, so that the other players could get more shots. Addition by subtraction, if you will. (Which obviously makes perfect sense.) It’s all about quantity of shot attempts.. Quality, on the other hand, is irrelevant. Trust me on this.

      –NLP

      PS: You are an inbred bastard child because your uncle ejaculated into your mother.

      • NLP

        There is zero shot we have close to the best bench in the league unless Frank totally changes his ways or two starter go down. This is like how people got pumped for Barbosa, DJ and yes even Gerald and I was here saying it wouldn’t work with all 3 due to usage and no shots available..

        We only have one ball and around 80 total shots with 240 MP a night baring OT and 10 guys not counting OJ, S Hill and Sloan.

        Seriously we didn’t have enough bench shots to make them good last year without Danny. Now he’s back looking to fire and we add Cope, CJ and Scola to the mix and draft S Hill.

        I need someone to show just how they think we can keep 10 players deep strong in usage without taking away major shots from out best players? Also when the playoffs get here its going to be the same thing since we will ride the best players regardless and there will once again be no shots for the bench.

        • Jack Wright

          Dude, I honestly have no clue what the hell you are trying to say. Our bench is improved now, meaning they are better at basketball than our previous bench players. So, when the starters are resting at certain points in the game, we will now have better basketball players in the game to take their place.

          Whatever it is you’re trying to say.. It makes no sense.

          • NLP

            Its improved on paper just like last years and the year before was but when the game starts we still have just one ball. If the starters give up shots it automatically makes us worse and if the starters get theirs we have very limited shots for the bench thus still going to get outscored.

          • Jack Wright

            what basketball team in the history of basketball teams could you not say this about

          • poot

            dudebro, Tyler needed shots. not all players operate like Tyler.

            I think the Pacers had a big problem last year that nobody wanted the shot. DWest often had that look like “fine, I will just do it myself” because the team always “makes the extra pass” and no one is worried about putting up shots. all adding scoring options does is just that, give you more options. it will be a lot harder to defend the Pacers with Copeland instead of Young or with Scola instead of Tyler. Doesn’t mean the Pacer offense will be in disarray with Scola and Copeland fighting for the ball. it means Scola can work the paint and get Cope some easy looks.

            i get what you’re saying, devil’s advocate, but try to think about how this could HELP too. lot of good can come of this, some bad obviously, but considering the personnel on the team, which is more likely?

        • Derek Cooper

          I believe our efficiency could explode_in a positive way. I predict frank will trust thses reserves with more mins. It seems generally true that too few mins for some shooters can lower fg%. And that too heavy mins over a long season with nagging small injuries and fatighe can lower fg% as well. If our starters mins were reduced a bit RH from 29 to 27 DW who’s getting older from 33 to 27_PG 38 to 30_GH 35 to 30__then if granger starts to give spaceing for RH+DW and plays low mins since coming off major knee issues let’s say 20 mins. In this hypothetical scenario we’d have mins to give CjW 18 mins_Lance 25_Copland 16_Scola 24_ Mihini 15.__watson played 19 mins last yr+shot 41% on 3′s_Copeland played 15 mins or so last yr efficiently if I remember his mpg rite. Lance will be the main creator playing more with the second unit with some good shooters his pts+assists per min should go way up. Mihini gets close to the same mins as last yr and shouldn’t shoot a whole lot anyway. Granger with starters should improove eff. Because of his spacing for the post game and he gets looks if his man helps on our post guys. A healthy wristed RH improoves efficiency. mpg’s that are less physically taxing but allow for a decent rhythm+flow increases eff. Multiple serious offensive threats in the seconds units benifits everyones eff. That’s on the floor with them. I believe our team efficientcy will go way up.

          • Derek Cooper

            solomon hill likely plays if there’s an injury_until next year when granger probably signs elsewhere cuz of our financial situation_then a more developed hill likely has a major role. This yr is all about the title not so mmuch developeing rookies__tho I’m excited to see solomon play.

          • NLP

            You lost me in a scenario in which Roy see the floor less, especially without Tyler who from a story on his move to Toronto….

            “On the defensive end, Hansbrough posted some elite individual numbers in 2012-13, albeit in limited action (16.9 minutes per game). His overall defensive rating of 0.72 points allowed per possession ranked 14th in the NBA according to Synergy Sports, with his 0.58 points allowed per possession on post-up opportunities ranking eighth in the Association.”

            The less that starters play especially with no Tyler will just lead to more points given up, and even if these guys did score more with more PT they are also going to give up more as well.

          • Derek Cooper

            (Shrug) ok even if we didn’t shave a whole 2 mins off roys pt. My point was cj and cope played efficiently last year in 19mpg (cj) and 15 or 16mpg (cope)_and we can easily find similar mins here for them. Scola playing like 24 mins a nite is convinient cuz we played an aging DW 33mpg its helpful to cut him back abit to give scola serious mins to get a good rhythm. Danny coming off of major knee stuff may need lower mins. And id lance is the main creator with the second unit with more of a green lite to shoot+drive+dish etc iit seems like he won’t mind playing a few less mins_my hypothetical thing had him at 25__danny also has said he will be glad to share the scoring burden more now that he’s 30_most of our guys I think are pretty mature enjoy teamball and are happy to be able to compete for a championship. My big point here is a ten man rotation for the regular season seems very realistic and workable without causing problems with distribution of mins.+shots. You asked for some one to explain how it could work so there’s a bunch of reasons it can. Sure there could be problems I’m saying that’s definatly not for certain tho and maybe not even likely. Also if we try to increase our tempo a bit we can get somemore possessions. And I gotta believe we’ll be able to cut down our turnovers quite a bit if so that gives us several more shots a game as well.

          • poot

            lets assume Vogel plays a standard C/PF/SF/SG/PG lineup 48 mpg, 82 games this season.

            last year this was the breakdown:
            C: hibbert 37, mahinmi 10, hansbro 1
            PF: west 35, hansbro 13
            SF: george 43, green 4, young 1
            SG: lance 35, green 6, young 4, johnson 3
            PG: hill 38, augustin 10

            the year before (with Granger) this was the breakdown:
            C: hibbert 36, lou 8, hansbro 3, pendy 1
            PF: west 34, hansbro 13, lou 1
            SF: granger 36, jones 8, george 4
            SG: george 29, hill 6, barbosa 5, jones 4, lance 4
            PG: collison 32, hill 11, price 5

            new guys minutes (2 yr avg)
            scola 29, watson 21, copeland 15, sloan 7

            my predictions on how this will work:
            C: hibbert 34, mahinmi 13, west 1
            PF: west 23, scola 22, copeland 3
            SF: granger 24, george 12, copeland 9, solo 3
            SG: george 24, lance 20, johnson 4
            PG: hill 32, watson 12, lance 3, sloan 1

            young starters hibbert, hill and george get reasonable minutes (32-36 mpg) this allows us to play our best players, get a lead and hopefully be able to rest a little more.
            old starters west and granger limit minutes during regular season (24 mpg) hopefully this keeps them fresh for the postseason when we need them most
            lance gets his minutes cut back but he should still be a key reserve along with scola (22-23 mpg) although their minutes drop, still get more PT than most reserves in NBA
            copeland, mahinmi and watson get reasonable backup minutes (12-13 mpg) fair amount for guys who are subs for our best players
            oj, solo and sloan chip in where they can (1-4 mpg) let them develop in blowouts or situationals

            it works good to me! and this is assuming everyone is 100% healthy all season. too much depth is not a bad thing when your team is full of good guys! and guys who can benefit from an extended breather.

        • poot

          man i have no idea who these people you are talking about are supposed to be. nobody was pumped for the Gerald Green signing. We all were thinking WTF?!?! especially at 3 yrs / $10.5M. ridiculous for a guy who had no place on the team anyway. and nobody was excited about DJ either. this came on the heals of giving away DC for nothing. everyone thought it was a downgrade and there was a lot of WTF?? same thing about Barbosa. i remember some disagreement about this one, but most people thought it was a downgrade to “nothing.”
          overall last year’s bench was a downgrade. DJ for DC. Green for Jones. Mahinmi for Lou and OJ for Barbosa were upgrades, but not enough to make up for the other two and missing Danny. not many people thought it was better.
          this year there is no doubt. Scola is far superior to Tyler in every single way. Copeland is a huge upgrade to Young. Lance going to the bench is a huge upgrade. CJ is better than DJ in almost every way. considering the 11th/12th man are OJ/S.Hill, that is about as nice as you get. i really cant think of a better bench. especially considering that the Pacers starting 5 always rank among the league’s best.

          • Joe Betz

            Yeah, for a small market team, I’m really impressed.

    • Derek Cooper

      Wow good stuff_ too bad we loose plum after he was one of the best in orlando summer league–if he’d proven himself in the 1st part of this reg season we coulda tried to ship mihini-(4mil each yr x3 more yrs) and used plum-(about 1mil) in his place..__but ultimately scola helps us compete for the title now_so that seems right.___________but plums was looking awsome+ no mihini hands situation with him…ah well_ maybe the mihini hands have improoved somehow over the summer. High speed oragami lessons/ compititions _racing to see who can fold 100 animals first vs. Some oriental oragami masters ____kidding :)

      • Derek U

        A big looking good in the summer league doesn’t mean much, it’s like playing college all over again. He was likely another year away from being a rotation player for the pacers.

  • Joe Betz

    Pacers win. That is all. You are looking to upgrade talent, and the Pacers have done this with every move this offseason. We can project shot issues, or we can understand that when bench players shoot, those shots will now come from more talented, consistent players without size disadvantages.

    • Jack Wright

      yea exactly

  • chetwalker

    Old(1980 birthday), slow, lacking on defense, for the sake of getting out of Green contract? Plumlee is a 2nd stringer, at best. The real meat of the deal is the draft choice. Phoenix, when they had a choice similar range (20-26) selected Rajon Rondo and traded him. Let’s see…..

    • Realist

      The guy has averaged 14 and 8 as a starter for the last 6 seasons, and we’re using him as our backup. What more do you want exactly

    • poot

      scola’s age won’t effect his game for at least another 5 years (well past his contract with the Pacers.) he has always been “slow” and couldnt jump. but he uses his body well and is super crafty around the basket and works great with his teammates, plus he is a winner. he may not have much in terms of defensive prowess, but he is not afraid to throw his weight around, and that’s all you really need from him. it’s not for the sake of getting out of Green, although that is a huge bonus, it’s because Pacers desperately needed a backup 4. If Scola would have been a free agent this summer he would have been among the top power forwards available (after Dwest and Milsap i’d say) I mean what a huge win. he’s an upgrade to Tyler in basically every way. The only way this could go sour is if he messed up the chemistry, and he really doesnt look like that kind of guy and he seems geniuenly excited to be a Pacer

  • NLP

    The funnest thing about our bench revamp is that Ian was -138 the 4 bench players that are gone were just -2 worse than his single total combined in far more MP and with the fact most of them had to play with him a most of the time and with a big chunk of that Sam’s -84 leaving the other 3 at -50 despite playing so much with the other two.

  • lil-bang

    1. The Pacers have only made a stronger team, and they were only 1 win away from going to the finals last year.
    2. The Pacers starting 5 matches and is possibly the best 1-5 in the league.
    3. We can argue shots but if Hibbert plays like he did in the playoffs, the Pacers will blow out alot more teams giving the bench more time and more shots
    4. We can argue shots but this bench appears to pack more offensive punch, allowing even more of a chance of creating a lead in games, setting up for more blow outs.
    5. We can argue shots but this team is so good all the way through that all it comes down to is if they pass the ball to the open shooter since this team is so hard to match up against. If players are greedy and look at how many shots they are getting and get upset by it, then this team will have a problem as any team would, but I don’t believe anyone on this team cares about that just as long as they are winning, and this team is going to win alot.
    Danny has already said he doesn’t want to be the #1 guy on the team. West and Scola just want to win a championship. Hibbert and Hill just signed their big contracts. George knows he is getting paid. Watson and Copeland have 2 years on their deals. OJ and Hill have plenty of time left on theirs. So that leaves Lance…Which we have already seen that Vogel will sit him if he fools around too much. But the main thing that I will repeat is if this team is winning, guys won’t care who is getting the shots, and if you’re winning that means you’re making your shots.
    6. Miami is the only team built to have it where 3 guys do pretty much ALL of the shooting, but as you can see they are an exception, an exception that the Pacers could never create. So the Pacers went the opposite route and created one of the deepest, strongest teams in the leauge. One that is built to last longer too.
    7. Finally, GO PACERS!!!

    • poot

      This is really great. I am thinking about how it works and it is just so so good. You want to rest DWest and Granger as much as possible given their injuries and that they are a little on the older side compared to the rest of the team. Having them at 100% for the playoffs would be such an advantage. So you want your two best bench players to be the two who fill in for them.
      Enter Scola and Stephenson. If one or the other or both leave together:
      Hibbert / Scola / Granger / George / Hill
      Hibbert / West / George / Stephenson / Hill
      Hibbert / Scola / George / Stephenson / Hill
      Need to add some shooting? Opposite going small ball and playing a stretch-4? Slide in Copeland where needed:
      Hibbert / Scola / Copeland / George / Hill
      Hibbert / Copeland / George / Stephenson / Hill

      It just works really well. As lilbang said, there is really no worry about ego and players trying to put up numbers. Everyone on this team just wants to win, and they’re locked into deals beyond this year. Except Danny (can you imagine Danny acting like that?) and Lance but he’s really matured and has seen what can happen and additionally having Bird back will keep him on best behavior. he knows he is a really big part of what this team wants to do.
      So the Pacers could stifle teams and get up big in games and be able to play the 12th man lineup a lot without being too bad:
      Mahinmi / Copeland / S. Hill / OJ / Watson
      that is a pretty nice end of the bench, that lineup can put up some shots and at least hang around on defense. plus it gives your top 7 a chance to rest. i will love seeing those guys play together.

      Pacers have a top starting 5 in this league. Some rival it: Nets (if you weigh resume over potential) Warriors & Bulls (health is a concern) and some are a little better: Clippers & Heat (if you give more weight to elite individuals Lebron / CP3.) but both have huge holes in their benches (Clippers frontcourt depth, Heat everywhere except guard) and none of the other teams are close in terms of bench:
      Blatche / Evans / AK / Terry / Livingston
      O’Neal / Speights / Green / Barnes / Douglas
      Mohammed / Gibson / Dunleavy / Hinrich / Teague
      on paper some decent makes but just think about all of them. maybe you can pick one guy out of each lineup who could supplant a Pacer bench player. but are any of them better overall than:
      Mahinmi / Scola / Copeland / Stephenson / Watson

      in my opinion, best C, best PF, one of better SFs, 2nd best SG, best PG
      i think it’s awesome.

  • Ian

    I think this is a good move for the Pacers who have to focus on the next couple of years. You never know how long your window will be open.
    But playing Scola with West would be a disaster. Scola is a poor defender, but really, really bad when having to play the 5. Scola with Mahinmi or Hibbert behind him should be ok.
    Now the Pacers have solid options across the entire bench. The big question is Danny Granger at this point. Not a lot of news on him and I think some are starting to doubt how close to %100 he will really be. If no news is good news, and Danny comes back healthy, then the Pacers will be a major force. Still good without him, but he’s the difference maker.

    • poot

      I think a big addition with Scola is that it allows the Pacers to literally rest DWest. I can see the Hibbert/Scola/Granger/George/Hill lineup getting a lot of run. DWest can stay super fresh and even miss a few games if he needs to without a huge dropoff (except maybe against the best teams.) think about how tired he was back in the playoffs like game 5 and 7 of the ECF. he was playing 33 mpg last season! imagine if he only has to play like 26-28 mpg. maybe he could be like duncan and also take 10-15 games off. be playoff fresh. that would be huge.

      also i remember people were not as excited about the DWest signing 2 years ago as i was. many said he was a bad defender, most just complained about his lack of ups and acl injury and how they would translate to defense. i think a lot of this came off his terrible playoffs back in 2009 when the Nene/Martin/Melo/JR/Billups Nuggets schooled the Hornets with an offensive blitz. they even gave the champion Lakers a tough time. i think DWest’s D was put in a bad light there, otherwise he’s been a fine defender, and now with Indy has elevated up to a really good defender.
      I think Scola actually is a fine defender. he is slow (just like DWest has no ups) and getting older (theme) but he is a really smart player and he is really tough. the combination of those two, along with playing alongside great defenders in great system, will actually make him look like a pretty good defender.

  • poot

    SF projections 2013-2014

    Doolittle put up on SF projections for 2013-14. normally a rational analyst, Doolittle has clearly fallen off. The former Allstar is now an undesirable free agent. Let’s call him Rip Hamilton.

    In Doolittle’s projections, he excludes Lebron and Melo, essentially referring to Granger and George as the #8 and #9 SFs in the league next year..

    There are so many things wrong with this, where to begin?

    First he assumes that George will be the starting SF and Granger will back him up. While the alternative (George starting SG, Granger starting SF) is much more likely, it’s still TBD so I will give him a pass on this one.

    Then he has George ranked #9 (#7 w/o Lebron/Melo.) He states he believes George should be ranked higher, but his analysis does not take playoffs into account. Either way, he is content leaving George out of the top 5.

    Then he explains Granger is ranked higher than he thinks should be because his model has Granger reverting to pre-injury form. He doesnt think this will happen, citing Granger moving back to the bench and that he is “getting old.”

    OK this is a good jumping off point. In the same article he says:
    ” Even without the injuries, Granger is getting on in years as he hits 31 near the end of the season.”

    and
    “…at 36 years old, [Pierce] may not have many more [contract years.] He’s aged remarkably well…”

    OK so Pierce is 36, and has played 93% of games in his career.

    and Granger, at 30, has played 92% of games in his career prior to his first real injury.

    Yet Pierce (ranked #2 SF by Doolittle) ages well and Granger is getting on in years…
    Pierce’s PER and WinShares/48 have tumbled each of the past 3 seasons. PER took a 3% hit, WS/48 is down 33%!!!
    Grangers PER and WS/48 increased in his past 2 full seasons. PER rose 4.5%, WS/48 rose 29%!!!

    So Granger (36mpg) has BECOME MORE efficient and translated that efficiency to winning
    better than Pierce (33mpg) who was playing on a stacked team and has had his rest time managed.

    and yet as Pierce aged he is expected to improve? while Granger, who is coming back to a deep team which will allow his rest time to be managed, is expected to fall off?

    as reference, these were the guys ranked around Granger/George:
    Batum, Kirilenko, Korver, Parsons, M Barnes, Dudley, Delfino

    really? Granger and George are on-par with unproven starters and role players/bench guys?

    so much wrong with Doolittle’s work. Really a Rip like performance. in trying to give him the benefit of the doubt, you have to assume that Doolittle is betting that Granger’s injury was more severe than the Pacers have allowed us to believe, possibly career threatening. Sure that theory doesn’t make sense with the fact that Granger played pre-season last year and in the 5 games he came back, he actually looked good in a few of them. and that by all accounts DG could have played out the season, but opted for surgery in favor of risking further damage.

    what i really think is that Doolittle looks at guys like Derrick Rose and says “freak athlete, common injury, he will bounce back fine.” and then he looks at DG and says “solid player but extremely human, unusual injury with limited info available, likely a career killer.”

    I really don’t get what he sees Granger coming back as?
    Slow? unable to move laterally?
    if not, he should still be able to play solid D given his length and bball IQ
    useless on offense because he can’t blow by defenders?
    that’s not his game really, especially with PG/Lance. he’s a floor spacer.
    frustrated by not being a star anymore and unwilling to play 4th wheel to PG/West/Hibbert?
    Does that sound like a DG that anyone has ever heard of????
    how was this bad attitude implanted as part of Granger? this guy has always been team first, and he has some important roles on this Pacer team.

    anyway, shame on Doolittle. George not being ranked #2 or 3 (even including Lebron/Melo) is a travesty.

    But his analysis on Granger? pedestrian and lazy.
    If i found a person who had NEVER heard of Granger before and said “this guy is 30 and used to be the star of his team before missing a season with a knee injury. his team got farther in the playoffs that year than ever before with him. describe his next season with the team.”

    you’d still probably get something better thought out that this drivel…

    • Realist

      The dude is trying too hard to be the next Hollinger, which ESPN sorely misses. Hollinger was awesome cause he balanced his stat heavy analysis with plenty of observation. This guy is a joke. Kyle Korver lol.

      Hollinger is a badass:

      • poot

        well that’s why Hollinger is employed by the NBA and all these ESPN guys are employed by Disney.

    • Realist

      Also, just put Melo and Lebron as small forwards for god’s sake. Positions in basketball are really only a label, anyone can do whatever they like on the floor, there are no rules bound to their “position”. Just because some teams play two small forwards, and some teams don’t play a center, etc. etc. doesn’t mean Lebron is a power forward or some crap like that, regardless of whether or not he could be.

      p.s. Duncan is a 5, long live Hollinger

  • poot

    OFF TOPIC

    the doldroms of summer. not much to do now except speculate on the coming season. the “experts” are all weighing in, so our job is to dissect their analysis and question how they ever made a career of it.
    so let’s get off topic, I am wondering if anyone has thoughts on a few things that perplex me still.

    Today’s topic: DIVISIONS
    i am confused as to why there are divisions in the NBA?

    looking at the other sports, there is a logic to it:
    NFL – only 16 games. ensures a balanced travel schedule, builds rivalry as 6/16 (38%) of games are against the same 3 teams every season. other teams are played at most 1 time per season, most 0 times (0-6% each.) only 12/32 teams make the postseason, 8 (75%) of those being division winners.
    MLB – 5-6 games per week, so travel is a big issue. builds rivalry too as 72/162 (44%) of games are against the same 4 teams every season. other teams are played 3-10 times per season only (2-6% each.) only 12/30 teams make the postseason, 8 (75%) of those being division winners.

    Now look at the NBA
    82 games, of which 16 are played against division teams (19%)
    compare that to the 38% for NFL or 44% for MLB

    non-division opponents in the NBA get played 2-4 times each (0 to 1 less game for non-division conference foes, 2 less games for out of conference)
    compare this to 1 to 2 less games for NFL, or 8-15 less games for MLB

    16/30 teams make the postseason, 6 being division winners (38%)
    again, compare to 75% rate of NFL/MLB

    this doesnt even go into the fact that NFL/MLB seeding gives much heavier weight (byes, etc) to division winners than NBA (top 3 seeding but not necessarily home court)

    so my question is:
    WHY are there divisions in the NBA?

    is it only so there can be a “division champ?”
    -this is my theory, much like the 55 college football bowls, everyone gets a chance to have some “sense of accomplishment – we won the division!”

    it’s not travel based (see Minnesota to Portland: 1400mi, Miami to Washington 950 mi, etc)

    does it build rivalries?
    in theory… but no. Lakers/Celtics, Bulls/Knicks, Pacers/Knicks, etc.
    rivalries between teams like the Knicks/Nets or Lakers/Clippers or Bulls/Pacers will exist even if you put them in different divisions, or none at all.

    is it time to do away with divisions entirely?
    I say yes
    thoughts?

    • Realist

      Yes. Long been a believer that divisions don’t do anything except complicate the playoffs seedings.

      When I check the standings, I default to conference view, never bother with divisional. I don’t understand what purpose they serve either.

      • poot

        me too.
        i mean, it’s nice that the Pacers won the division last season, but to hang a banner which says so?
        to me it feels like having a trophy room filled with “participant” ribbons or “good effort” trophies
        i’d rather just have an empty room until i get my first meaningful title

        although i do appreciate the pacers 3 EC champion (1 of them co-champ) banners, the division ones do nothing for me.

  • poot

    OFF TOPIC

    who is your favorite west coast team?

    I used to live in SoCal a few years back, greatly admired the dedication and tenacity of Kobe, the genius/zen of Phil, then they traded for Pau (one of my favorite players at the time) and i was hooked. so much bball IQ on one team, the triangle offense, fun players like odom and ariza, it was a good show. i went to about 20 Lakers games, my only regret being not buying a sect101 row6 ticket to game 7 against Boston for $900. seemed too pricey at the time. considering i won more than that betting on LA & Boston in that game alone (Boston to cover, LA to win) it was a dumb move. but just could not risk paying $900 to watch Lakers get blown out while losing hundreds more on the bet. hindsight!

    since Phil left I lost interest. when Dwight joined i was intrigued by the lineup, but it was mostly due to Nash. if Pau and Nash could have put together a full season, who knows, but what they gave, steered me away probably for good.

    now the team i am most interested in is probably…. the Blazers.

    I know the popular picks likely will be Golden State, maybe the Clippers or even the Rockets. or Thunder are still relevant.
    But i can’t wait to watch some Blazers games. they have interesting players at every position:
    center: Lopez & Leonard – both young and raw, but big bodies. Lopez proven to be efficient at least, Leonard has potential
    power forward: Aldridge & Robinson – LMA is proven AS, one of the few PFs i’d rank ahead of West. Robinson could be a huge steal, too too early to call him a bust. could make LMA expendable even (also have Freeland, some potential there too)
    small forward: Batum & Wright: Batum is one of the more interesting and better all around players in the league. plus he throws a mean nut-punch. (http://youtu.be/Y7tBGg5YLr0 – nasty!) Wright can drill 3s all day (also have T.Harris, who has some potential)
    shooting guard: Matthews & McCollum – Matthews is underrated and very solid at SG. McCollum can fill it up, lots of potential (also Crabbe, another great shooter with lots of potential)
    point guard: Lillard & Williams – Lillard looking to improve on ROY season, Williams probably best backup PG in the league. (also Watson and Barton, Watson the consummate lookerroom guy, Barton tons of potential)

    just a good looking young team built around a dominating offensive big man surrounded by defensive big bodies. around him tons of shooters and a point guard capable of breaking down D and playmaking. tons of future potenial, with vet influances. should be fun watching them grow this season. i think they will make the playoffs, though likely as an 8 seed.

    Who do you like to watch out west?

    • Realist

      poot should just do a podcast, and I’ll be the main guest.

      I hate the Lakers more than any other team in the world. A few reasons, such as a the money/market and how it’s not a level playing field. Bring on the hard cap I say. Even then they’ll still be Los Angeles competing for free agents with Charlotte, Milkwaukee and Memphis.

      Also, Kobe Bryant. The dude is a gun, obviously, but he’s the biggest tool walking the face of the Earth. Dude openly whines about having a crappy team, despite single handedly getting rid of Shaq and despite taking up a ridiculous percentage of the team’s salary cap.

      The Pau trade, turned out that Marc Gasol was pretty good, but at the time it gave the Lakers Pau for practically nothing. The trade was disgusting for many reasons though. Namely, it gifted the Lakers/Kobe the perfect player – one who was good enough to contribute to a championship(s) and yet, not good enough to threaten Kobe as the alpha dog. Puke.

      Kobe always drawing comparisons to MJ. More puke.

      And of course, Ron Ron. The douche who almost detonated our franchise, when we were looking at being the #1 seed again, in 2004-05, Reggie’s final season. More puke.

      [Aside: I had big money on Boston to win the 2008 Finals, at $2.60, which I'm told is +160 for non-decimal odds folk. I couldn't work out why the Lakers were so heavily favoured. Always bet on defense, imo. Happy days]

      So yeah. The Lakers generally come in at #1 on my Hated Power Rankings. Can’t wait to see some sort of lottery bound “rebuilding” process for them. Such joy.

      Approximate hate power rankings:
      1) Lakers
      2) Heat (self explanatory)
      3) Bulls (I don’t live in Indiana, or even USA for that matter, so I don’t live the cross-the-border rivalry as much you lot, but the sheer arrogance of Bulls fans on various noticeboards, oozes through my computer screen. Not to mention Rose thinking he’s all that, when apparently all you have to do is put a Lebron (or a Paul George hopefully) on him, and the Bulls can’t do anything in crunchtime. And that he cheated on his SATs.
      4) Knicks (self explanatory)
      5) Pistons

      In answer to your question, who do I like out west. Well, my “second team” if you will, has always kinda been Dallas, actually. A distant second of course, that I couldn’t really give a stuff about, but I’m quite the Dirk fan and I was fairly happy to see them win in 2011 (probably clouded by a lot of anti-Heat joy though).

      Cuban messed it up royally though. Never seen a guy so eager to bust up a championship team. And for what? Deron Williams? Dirk probably doesn’t sniff the playoffs for the rest of his career now. Oh well. They got their one ring. The difference between one and none is the only one that really matters.

      • poot

        well i think there really should be an open forum on this site. not rocket science. either give us articles to comment on or leave an open forum to start discussions, post our own editorials. instead it’s going to be maybe one or two more articles until training camp starts, at which point there will be 9 in one day

        i won’t say i’m a Kobe fan, would never pick him over MJ, but much like PG does, i admire his work. unlike Lebron or Shaq, Kobe isn’t physically dominating. it’s been years since he had a physical advantage over any opponent, and yet he continues to beast. Lebron does amazing things that are subdued because “well look at him, what do you expect?” but Kobe just keeps pulling it out of nowhere. like last season when they were down 25 in the 4th to the Hornets. Hornets did choke, but hard not to tip your hat to Kobe’s heroics. especially considering every single defensive scheme down the stretch against LA is always the same “stop Kobe from getting a shot off.”

        Miami is above LA in poot’s hatred Power Rankings. LA built their team legit (despite all the drama) – like you said they had to give up Marc Gasol to get Pau, Bynum was a huge risk when drafted (turning into a bigger risk when traded for Dwight), they gave up Shaq to get Odom, bringing in RonRon, old Nash and co. as free agents were by no means “adding stars.”
        Miami was built as if you were having a pickup game and had 2 captains picking teams, 1 of which knew that 2 of the best players were “hiding” away from guys to pick. so your team is picking guys legit, then the other guy says “I pick the dude behind the tree over there” who just happens to be better than any of the players on your team. then he does it again with the guy under the bleachers. it’s BS, but you suck it up and play anyway.
        1. Miami
        2. Knicks
        3. Nets (this hatred will dissipate as the hype dies down)
        4. Bulls
        5. Celtics (only team to beat us thrice last season)

        I like Dirk too. loved him in the 2011 Finals too, what a performance. but Cuban screwed that team over. he was right to try to rebuild immediately, but his method was foreign. his 2011 team was built on trading for underrated/injured players:
        Tyson for Dampier/Najera
        Marion for Stackhouse/George
        Butler/Stevenson/Haywood for Gooden/Josh Howard
        Kidd for Harris/Diop/picks
        Terry for Delk/Walker
        and under-the-radar free agent signings:
        Barea and Peja

        then Cubes ditches that plan to go all out on MAX free agents? of course when you whiff on Deron and Dwight you are screwed. he would have been better off trying to S&T some of those washed up guys like he did before (look at the garbage he gave up to get that 2k11 team!) i mean imagine what he could have gotten for all of these guys coming straight off of a championship.
        if Cube’s plan is to load up with “tradeable” assets and try to pull off a 2011 plan again next year, that’s one thing. but this team as constructed, i doubt they make the playoffs.

        the difference between one and none is all that matters.
        Pacers 2014…. let there be ONE

  • poot

    POPEYE!!!!

    anyone remember popeye jones? he was a handsome dude. now he is on the Pacers bench. awesome.

  • poot

    Top U-25 teams (per ESPN)

    1. OKC (Durant, Westbrook, Ibaka, 7 other guys who aren’t good)
    2. Pelicans (Davis, Holiday, Evans, Gordon, 5 other not good)
    3. Jazz (Favors, Hayward, i guess Kanter, Burkes’s and Gobert have potential)
    4. Cavs (Kyrie, then Bennett, Waiters, Thompson and Zeller have potential, 2 more)
    5. Bulls (Rose, Butler, 3 more)
    6. Rockets (Harden, Parsons, 7 more)
    7. Warriors (Thompson, Barnes, 4 more)
    8. Pistons (Jennings, Drummond, Monroe, 3 more)
    9. Blazers (Lillard, Batum, then Robinson and Leonard have potential, 4 more)
    10. TWolves (Love, Rubio, 5 more)
    11. Wiz (Wall, Beal, 5 more)
    12. Clips (Blake, 3 more)

    13. Pacers (PG, Lance, 2 more [OJ & Solo])
    “George cemented himself as perhaps the best young two-way player in the league as a long, rangy defender with explosive athleticism and scoring ability. He hasn’t been extended yet, but the expectation is that this will be a formality.
    After George, however, Indiana’s young talent pool drops considerably: Stephenson has developed into a solid scoring guard, but he’s probably better suited coming off the bench (something which might happen this year with the return of Danny Granger from injury); Johnson was used in spot situations as a big combo guard who has some promise from a versatility standpoint; and Hill, who projects at best to be an eighth or ninth man, won’t play much this year. The Pacers’ lack of young talent is indicative of the all-in approach they’ve taken with a roster that is built to compete now.”

    OK I can buy that explanation. Lance is a question mark, but look at the list above him. Are guys like Parsons, Jimmy Bulter, Beal, etc. any better than Lance? On crap teams last year they looked great, probably would not have looked so good if they were on a team that was actually competing last season.

    i think U-25 is too arbitrary of a ranking system. Elhessan explains that players under 25 are becoming increasingly more valuable and argues that teams with more of these “assets” will have some advantage going forward.
    if this is his argument, then a 23 year old player is twice as valuable as a 24 year old player. a 19 year old player is six times as valuable. a team with 5 24 year olds is no more valuable than a team with 1 19 year old.

    just pointing out how absurd the exercise in ranking these guys is. also just because a guy is under 25 doesn’t mean he’s any good (anyone want Austin Rivers? no? how about Miles Plumlee? whaaaat?)

    So I went through his list again, and weighed down teams that were ranked high because they had a 24 year old super star and the rest only “potential” guys (Bulls, Clips, TWolves, even OKC gets a bump)
    Also had to downgrade teams lacking in talent. it’s nice to have young guys, but if they aren’t even sniffing All Star or All NBA or even All D, then you can’t put them on par with guys who are and are also young. this weighs down teams with U-25s who have yet to prove anything (Jazz, rest of Bulls, Warriors, Pistons, Blazers, rest of TWolves, Wiz, rest of Clips)

    time for a re-shuffle:
    1. Pelicans (Holiday 23/AS, Davis 20, 7 more)
    2. OKC (Durant/Westbrook 24/AS, Ibaka 23/AS, 7 more)
    3. Cavs (Kyrie 21/AS, 6 more)
    4. Rockets (Harden 23/AS, 8 more)
    5. Pacers (Geroge 23/AS, 3 more)
    6. Bulls (Rose 24/MVP, 4 more)

    7. TWolves (Love 24/AS, 6 more)
    8. Clippers (Blake 24/AS, 3 more)
    9. Wiz (Beal 20, 6 more)
    10. Pistons (Drummond 19, 5 more)
    11. Warriors (Barnes 21, 5 more)
    12. Blazers (8 guys)
    13. Jazz (6 guys)

    i rank Pelicans ahead of OKC because next year both will have 1 U-25 AS, but Pelicans will also have 21 yr old Davis.
    i rank them, along with Cavs and Rockets, ahead of Pacers because of volume (and out of those top 5 Durant is best player, even at 24, debatable #2 between PG, Kyrie and Harden. then Westbrook, weighed down for age)

    looking at the top 10 of these, the contenders are OKC, Rockets, Pacers, Bulls and Clippers. Good company. Especially considering next season, OKC, Bulls and Clippers will fall dramatically on the rankings.Teams that are great now and built to be great long term, seems like Rockets and Pacers are leading the pack

    • poot

      FUNNIEST PART

      who should be ranked dead last? who is the WORST TEAM EVER as far as youth goes? surprise! this guy did not rank the heat last!

      bottom 5:
      26. Knicks
      27. Nets
      28. HEAT
      29. Mavs
      30. Lakers

      LOL. here is the explanation for the Heat:
      “Given their track record, it’s easy to forgive them for being shortsighted. Cole is a solid backup point guard as a one-on-one defender and improved 3-point threat. If Ennis can make the roster, he might be able to eventually develop into a 3-and-D wing who can contribute.”

      1. Cole turns 25 in TWO MONTHS (before the season starts) – - for some reason that’s worth more than the Mavs have TWO 20 year olds.
      2. James P. Ennis is a JOKE. why is Ennis the most over-hyped #50 draft pick in NBA history? because he is the Heat’s first rookie in 3 years, 2010′s Pittman. ESPN is like “3&D!!! he is perfect for that! he will be such a great asset for Miami, that’s why 49 other GMs passed on him…” OH yeah and now that Oden is signed, Ennis is not even on the roster. by the time he has his chance to play his first minute as a heat, he may very well be over 25.

      Elhassen ranks Mavs behind the Heat because he doesn’t see much potential in their two 20 year olds. He sees more potential in Norris Cole and James P. Ennis? still laughing

      Finally the Lakers ranked last. they only have Sacre (24) Elias Harris (24) and Ryan Kelly (23)
      I’d say deciding who is better between those three and the heat’s two would make a great debate. Heat have the worst players under 25, and by the time the season starts, they will likely have no one under 25 on their roster. in fact, asides from the “one-on-one improved 3 point threat” (Cole), and Mr. Glass (Oden) no one will be under 28. compare that to Lakers who have U-28s Farmar, Hill, Johnson, Meeks and options on Goudelock, Ebanks, Morris. all garbage i know, but at least they’re not over the hill…
      ESPN: always going the extra mile to make the Heat look better

  • Realist

    Also, Roy Hibbert projected to be the 16th best center in the league in 2013-14. Nice.

    • poot

      DOO little? more like DOO a lot! inside his brain…

      he actually predicted Roy outside of the top 15. that means he could be anywhere from 16th to dead last. all we know for sure:
      guys like Drummond, Monroe, Cousins, Javale Mcgee, Jefferson, Horford, Varejoa and DeAndre Jordan are going to be better centers than ROY FUCKING HIBBERT this season. hilarious.
      OK i get Horford better all around, though he SUCKS as a center. Jefferson is better on offense, but that defense should eliminate him from serious discussions. Varajaos best years are at PF too. also has Bosh and Pau ahead, though they are not centers. the other guys are all potential guys, so i guess they have a better chance of finally putting it together this year than the guy who actually showed it in the playoffs.

      almost as bad as the PF list that has West outside of the top 15 too. i get the skew by including Lebron/Melo/smoove as PFs, but even then, ranking guys like anthony Davis, ryan anderson, faried, ibaka, milsap, lee, garnett and favors ahead of him? what a joke. if you were competing for a championship next season, who would you rather have: david west or anthony davis? not over the next 5 years. NEXT year (2013-14 as his article is titled.) what a joke. then he says “oh crap west is 33 so he is going to regress big time” in the same breath he says “tim duncan may be 37, but he will hardly regress this season, if ever.” nice logic.
      guys like Blake and Love, ok they are young and could be better than DWest this season. but the rest are jokes.

  • Philip Tarrant

    We have too deep of a bench! Everybody panic!

  • poot

    ESPN predicted heat get 60 wins this season

    in other words: ESPN predicts Wade plays 69+ games, Bosh plays 74+ games, Lebron plays 76+ games and Allen plays 77+ games. And that Oden plays, and not just plays, but contributes.

    i think Pacers can handle Heat this year even at full strength. Take last year’s ECF teams, subtract Mike Miller and add Oden’s corpse, make Wade & Allen & Battier a year further past their primes and more beat up, then add Granger, Scola, Copeland and Watson to Indiana, and give PG & Lance & Hibbert & Hill & Ian & even OJ another year toward their prime. Don’t adjust for Miami’s lucky run of health.

    what do you have left? Two teams that were previously evenly matched (from a collective standpoint,) Indiana’s starters proving to be superior, able to dominate tempo, with Miami getting weaker and the Pacers addressing their only weakness against Miami, bench.

    Can Miami win 60 games again? NO.

    Will Indiana win 54 games? probably. i’d bet more money against the heat winning 60 than the Pacers winning 54, but that does sound like a nice goal to me, especially factoring in time to rest DWest and Granger for the postseason.

    • poot

      they give BROOKLYN 53 wins??? if that is the case then Indiana should win 83. i mean that is crazy. the “fan comment” is that brooklyn should be ranked higher than Indiana because they have a great bench. hold on let me pick myself off the floor.

      first we will do the starters
      Roy vs Brook – even
      Brook is a year younger and has better PER. however, this is the same guy who averages 6.3 rebounds the past 3 seasons. NOT a typo. +1.7 blocks is nice, but compare to roy’s 8.2 / 2.1. One of these guys is a center, the other is a “big” player. Roy also does it big in the playoffs. Brook can’t even get past Noah on one foot. I think the clear advantage is to roy, but i will call it a push to be nice.

      DWest vs KG – Pacers
      based on resume, of course you pick the former MVP, DPOY, etc. Based on what they can offer next year? you go with the better player. KG is now a shell of his former self, and it is sad to watch. who is better after 7 days of rest? maybe KG can gut out something more. but in a playoff series? see: last year. I agree, an ancient KG can edge off most PFs in this league based on heart, but DWest is one of the few men in the league who is already up there with KG.

      Granger vs Pierce – even
      Granger, 31, is coming off an injury. Pierce, 37, is coming off several seasons of being past his prime. the question mark is Danny, and what will he come back as? if he comes back 100%, this is no contest, Pacers by a landslide. if he can’t come back, obviously Pierce (although PG then slides to the SF spot and this is a different debate.) if Granger comes back 70%+ he should be able to produce similarly to Pierce. which is no knock on either player, but both have certainly seen better days.

      PG vs Johnson – Pacers
      this is an easy one. JJ is a nice player, and certainly earned his 8 figure contract. but since then he has been worth nowhere near that. he is a nice 3rd or 4th piece, but more will be expected of him next to the aging KG/PP. Can he carry the team in the reg season? Will having KG/PP next to him allow JJ to regain his all star form? Even if so, he’s still no Paul George.

      Hill vs DWill – Nets
      Dwill is one of the top point guards in the league. Hill is a great fit for the Pacers, and among the better half of starters in the league, but Dwill is a game changer. if he can stay healthy this season, he is the difference maker on that team.

      STARTERS: even, Pacers, even, Pacers, Nets. ADVANTAGE: Pacers

      bench:
      Ian vs Blatche – even
      Ian gives you a big body who can move and play some D. he has decent touch and doesn’t disrupt the offense. Blatche, meanwhile, plays no D and can severely disrupt an offense. get can also light it up at time (rarely.) so the question in consistency. I’d take the more consistent guy, but the argument for the higher ceiling makes this a push.

      Scola vs Evans – Pacers
      best backup PF in the league makes this an easy one. while Evans plays better D than Scola, and is more of a rebounder, his offense is so bad it makes Gerald Green look efficient. Evans is among the better role playing bigs in the league, but comparing these two is just a joke.

      Copeland vs Kirilenko – even
      this is one that everyone seems to have their heads on backwards about. they think of the NAME “Kirilenko” and picture the Jazz player from 2004 who was putting up multiple 5X5 games (5+ pts, reb, ast, stl, blk.) 2004 is a long time ago, and since then he has been battling injuries and played in russia. as the star player of the TWolves (Love, Pek, Roy, Bud, Rubio all missed tons of the season) he did not produce. does that mean he is garbage? no of course not. does it mean he has more to offer than a dead eye 3 point shooter? Nets may argue they have enough of those already and need someone who can back up both forward spots. it’s a lot of pressure on a guy who’s been on the decline, including 29% 3pt shooting. Copeland won’t have much pressure on him, as part of a great bench he can let it fly. i think he will have a much better season, but i am willing to give a push.

      Lance vs Terry – Pacers
      Lance is erratic and a question mark headed to the bench. Terry has proven to be a good option off the bench, except last season when he was awful. Terry has gotten to the point where he cannot offer much outside of 3pt shooting, no D, can’t dribble, not a playmaker. Lance is the opposite basically, except he has shown signs that his 3 is improving. if they were the same age i could argue even, but given that one is an improving 22 year old and the other is part of a draft class where everyone (except Brand, Marion, MWP, AK, and Dre Miller) are unemployed, it’s easy to see who has potential to improve more. and that’s from already being better last year.

      CJ vs Livingston – Pacers
      Livingston is garbage. he is like DJ Agustin except worse. all you need to ever know about him is that he was the backup PG on the bobcats. enough said. CJ is better than DJ in every way. he may not be a stud, but he’s no shaun livingston.

      Solo & OJ vs Plumlee, Anderson, others – even
      none will get playing time when it matters

      BENCH: even, Pacers, even, Pacers, Pacers ADVANTAGE: PACERS

      Coach:
      Vogel vs Kidd – Pacers
      L. Frank will be a nice support system for Kidd, but McMillian is even better. Take them away and what do you have? Proven coach vs rookie. Good luck rookie

      summary:
      Nets advantages: Deron Williams
      even push: centers, small forwards
      Pacers advantages: power forwards, shooting guards, backup point.

      Does DWill outweight DWest/Scola/PG/Lance/CJ?
      maybe to a Nets fan… but probably not to them either…

      • Realist

        imo…

        62-20 Indiana
        57-25 Miami
        55-27 Chicago
        50-32 Brooklyn
        48-34 New York

        don’t care about the rest

        • poot

          i see Miami as a low 50 win team. i have no belief that Wade/Bosh/Allen are getting through the season unscathed again.. when they each miss a sig portion of time, this team is still good, but not that good. and who knows, maybe even lebron might have his first career injury (not including the bruised ego that did him in while a cav)
          i think they’ll get 51, 52 wins tops. Indiana and Chicago each get more wins. Brooklyn is high 40s, maybe 48 or 49, new york just behind them.

          pacers 63-19
          bulls 56-26
          heat 51-31
          nets 48-34
          knicks 47-35
          rest under .500

          • Realist

            I’ll take either.

  • poot

    POOT’s WORLD FAMOUS WEIGHTED TEAM AGES

    a prevailing trend in football analytics is “snap weighted age.” This gives you an idea of the age of the team as far as the product they put on the field. Most “statisticians,” cough espn cough, do a simple average. i.e. if there are 2 players on a team, one is 20 and plays 100% of the time and the other is 40 and misses the entire season, ESPN will give that team an average age of 30. “SWA” will give an average age of 20.

    yet this has not carried over to basketball yet, where youth holds an even higher premium than in football. Enter Poot.

    below are the current “minute weighted average ages” for NBA teams. because the season is yet to start, not all free agents are signed, and rosters/PT are not set, a few assumptions had to be made:
    1. Players will continue playing same minutes as prior season
    2. Players who sat out 2012-13 will come back to play equal minutes to their last season. (this effects: Rose, Granger, Bynum, Frye and Oden. Assuming these guys have to play FEWER minutes, these teams will see an increase in average age: Bulls, Heat. Decrease in average age: Pacers, Cavs, Suns.)
    3. Teams will scale back minutes proportionally across the board for new arrivals
    4. Rookies cannot be included, default to 0 minutes per game in rookie season

    NOP: 24.07
    UTA: 25.16
    CLE: 25.44
    WAS: 26.20
    POR: 26.20
    ORL: 26.22
    CHA: 26.22
    MIN: 26.25
    TOR: 26.29
    HOU: 26.31
    PHI: 26.33
    DET: 26.49
    MIL: 26.57
    GSW: 26.70
    DEN: 26.75
    PHO: 26.89
    BOS: 26.99
    SAC: 27.03
    OKC: 27.20
    ATL: 27.51
    IND: 27.72
    LAC: 27.89
    MEM: 28.09
    CHI: 28.82
    SAS: 28.96
    NYK: 30.25
    DAL: 30.44
    MIA: 30.83
    LAL: 31.20
    BRK: 31.24

    Observations:
    Last year Pacers were among the youngest contenders (after only DEN and OKC, barely) and one of the younger teams in the league. The return of Granger, as well as swapping in Scola, Copeland and Watson (all 29+) has pushed the Pacers into the top 10 oldest teams. However their average age is still 3+ years younger than the Nets, Lakers and Heat. Therefore the Pacers have a window that extends 3 years beyond these “rivals.”

    Dallas will have one of the oldest teams in the league this year. Yet they are in a “rebuild” with a team few think can even squeeze into the playoffs (the ESPN heads project them #9 in the West.) Unless they get career best efforts from all their players and try to win it all this year, that team is going to be blown up again really soon, maybe even as early as the next trade deadline.

    Tanking by design. Look at the youngest teams in the league: Pelicans, Jazz, Cavs, Wiz, Blazers, Magic, Bobcats.
    of these, the Jazz, Magic and Bobcats are tanking in accordance with the new-era gameplan: collect young talent on small contracts, hope some develop into starts eventually while trying to strike lottery gold.
    the Pelicans, Cavs and Wiz are taking a less orthodox approach: collect young talent (regardless of contract size) and hope they grow together to make a team that is better than a sum of its parts.
    Teams that are tanking without design: Kings, Celtics, Suns. these 3 teams are in the older half of the league. Yet none of them have a shot at sniffing the playoffs, nor would they want to. One can argue that they will play their rookies a lot, thereby bringing down the average age. Fair enough. but they’re also being propped up by older players, like GWallace/Bogans, Butler/Gortat/Frye, and Salmons/Landry/Hayes. in all likelihood, these players will be on the trade block this season. watch out for older teams with championship aspirations to try to swipe some of them up.

    windows:
    assume that having an weighted age of 32 is pretty much “last chance” at a title run. this is a conservative adjustment as my date does not find any team over 31.5 winning the title. last few winners:
    Miami: 30.16, 28.69, 29.33
    Dallas: 31.42
    LA: 28.84, 27.25, 28.14, 28.46, 29.13
    Boston: 28.89
    San Antonio: 30.74, 28.64, 27.47, 30.16
    Detroit: 27.36
    so as we see, teams over 32 are not winning the title. my data only goes back so far, but i dont believe you will find a counterexample.

    Teams who, if they don’t win this year, better blow it up:
    Nets, Lakers
    Teams with a 2 year window:
    Heat, Mavs, Knicks
    Teams with a 4 year window:
    Spurs, Bulls, Grizzlies
    Teams with a 5 year window:
    Clippers, Hawks, Thunder, Kings, and youuuuuuuurrrrr Pacers
    Biggest windows:
    Pelicans (8yrs) Jazz, Cavs (7 years)

    any thoughts from Poot fans out there?

  • poot

    LOL

    i love these ESPN forecasts, they are funnier than the comics page.

    So far we’ve seen the Pacers ranked 3rd in the East, only 1 win ahead of the Nyets.
    We’ve seen Paul George finish 9th overall in MVP voting (4th overall from East teams)
    We’ve seen Solo get 0 love for ROY
    No Pacers were among worst additions. However only Scola made it for Best additions, 10th place behind TWO Nyets and TWO pistons. That’s right.

    Some of these are legit. Most of them are laughable. Close but no cigar.

    Now we get to this. Team Turnaround…..
    Pacers rank… duh duh duh duh…. N/A!

    That’s right, in team turnaround, Pacers get ZERO votes.

    12 teams received votes, 4 of them playoff teams, 2 of them made it to their conference semi-finals
    OK Cavs, Wiz, Pelicans, TWolves, Pistons, Blazers I get. They were bad, injured, and went and added talent this summer. They can’t get worse, so by default they belong on the list.
    Mavs, i am convinced they got worse, but whatever, it’s debateable.

    So that leaves us with Rockets, Bulls, Nets and Warriors.

    These teams have a lot in common with the Pacers.
    They went to the playoffs. They won many games. Some won a series.
    Then
    They added a former all star (Dwight, Rose, KG/PP, Iggy, Granger) and some even added another good player (not the Rockets, Dunleavy, Kirilenko, not the Warriors, Scola.)
    They did this without losing stars, although most had to sacrifice good/promising players (Thomas/Nate Robinson, Belinelli, Wallace/Brooks, Landry/Jack, not the Pacers)

    So how is it that Rockets (100) Bulls (46) Nets (35) and Warriors (8) each get more votes than the Pacers (0.0000)??????

    Is it that the Pacers are sooooo good that they can’t improve? Wouldn’t that logic also apply to the Bulls or Warriors?
    Is it that Granger/Scola/Copeland for nothing is really that much less than the other lineup changes?

    I mean the Rockets were good. The Warriors were really good. The Bulls& Nets were the best “other” teams in the East.
    and they are going to “Turn it around” this season?? Moreso than the Pacers? Of those 189 votes, none of them thought “man the Pacers really improved. They could make the Finals this season. That would be a huge step!”
    or maybe they did think that then came to “well, not as big a step as going from First round to Second round.”

    Come on Man!!!!

    Too funny. this is horrible work, but i love it. Pacers are under the radar to no one anymore, yet ESPN still tries to suppress them for the bigger markets (Houston, Chicago, NYC, SFBay… nah those are nothing compared to Indiana!)

    LOL x2

    • poot

      well at least the Pacers did not receive any votes for team Turmoil

      in fact, of team turmoil and team turnaround (feel free to check) only 3 teams did not make either list:
      Indiana Pacers
      Orlando Magic
      San Antonio Spurs

      what does that say?
      are these teams expected to stay exactly the same?
      or are they complete mysteries?

      For the Spurs and Pacers, it may be a combination.
      What would be a turnaround for these two teams? A championship, a Finals appearance at least.
      What would be turmoil? Not making it to the Finals?

      Both have a good shot at making the Finals. It’s kind of expected of them, but requires improvement. I guess it’s too many ifs to decide.
      And the Magic. when you press ‘delay’ for one year you clearly arent turning it around. but having a team full of expiring contracts and young really good players on rookie contracts and a high pick in loaded draft, you arent in turmoil either.

      Can’t wait for the “who wins the East” today!

      • Realist

        Trust me. We will be flying under the radar even when we’re the 1-seed. Even when we’re 3-2 up in the NBA finals. It’s fine with me.

        • poot

          Total % of votes (% of votes from higher ranked team)
          Miami: 51.5%
          Indiana: 25.9% (50.3%)
          Chicago: 13.8% (53.4%)
          Brooklyn: 8.8% (63.7%)
          New York: 0.0%
          Field: 0.0%

          So just over 50% of the ESPN brains got Miami repeating in the East. of the other half, just over 50% of those pick the Pacers to go to the Finals.
          it’s strange, but it means the Pacers are given a better chance than every other team combined (except Miami)
          and the brains can’t make up their minds between Miami and the field.

          I love the comments that ESPN shows for each selection. Miami’s:

          Horsetooth man says: “heat rule as long as lebron is healthy and in his prime”
          Poot responds: “isnt this what they said about lebron teams the first 8 years of his career? in 2010 lebron made it clear that he needed a “team” of support to win. what has happened in the past 3 years that suddenly makes us think that lebron is capable of going at it alone?”

          celtics fan says: “no one will get past the heat until they prove they can get past them, not just get close.”
          Poot responds: “welcome to logic 101. spot will not be running until spot begins to run. see spot run. run spot run. by this guy’s logic, the same team would win the championship every single year. coming close proves your team is right there, and that the next year is very much in question, especially with how close those series were.”

          Bulls:
          poindexter says: “bulls are easily the best when healthy, look at the core of noah, rose, deng and boozer.”
          Poot responds: “look at the core of hibbert, george, west, granger, hill, stephenson, scola. now look back at the bulls core and laugh. bulls have never been healthy and never will be due to Thibs coaching style. Pacers are finally healthy. unless Rose has his best season ever (AP style) i doubt it will be so easy..”

          old time NPH says: “if DRose plays like an MVP and Bulter becomes an all star, no team is safe.”
          Poot responds: “if George plays like an MVP and Lance becomes an all star, no team is safe. if Al Jefferson plays like an MVP and Kemba becomes an all star, no team is safe. wow it works for any team.”

          boyfriends says: “bulls are getting back MVP and have a top 3 coach. ”
          Poot says: “love how Thibs is a top 3 coach. i count Pop, Adelman and Rivers instantly better. then you have debateable guys like Carlisle and Vogel. top 10? for sure, but come on, dont act like you have the secret sauce, an upper tier coach helps but it’s not going to seperate you. it didnt last year. Pacers have a budding MVP candidate too (PG #9 in ESPN voting, only 21 votes behind #4 DRose who was 327 votes behind Lebron) except he isnt coming off a devestating injury”

          Brooklyn fans:
          silent…

          love it.

  • Realist

    1
    Miami Heat
    353

    2
    Oklahoma City Thunder
    185

    3
    Indiana Pacers
    70

    4
    Los Angeles Clippers
    63

    5
    San Antonio Spurs
    40

    ESPN votes for the title. Not so under the radar hey. At least no one voted for Brooklyn (sanity restored).

  • Realist

    Also, what’s going on 8p9s? Can we get some content? Anything? Not even the annual is-now-a-good-time-to-trade-Paul-George article?

    We’re starvin’ here

    • poot

      well said.

      have you seen the new installment of ESPN expert analysis? “Dr.” David Thorpe, aka “Mr. I watch only one team until the playoffs but consider myself an expert on the league as a whole” has polished a fine turd:
      “How to beat the heat”

      i want to spare you all the pain of reading these articles. they are clearly written by a nincompoop. they are a painful read so here i go into the digest:

      Part I – - “Be like the Pacers, but not the Pacers”
      Thorpe rambles on about the Pacers creating a blueprint but not being talented enough to follow it through. He talks about other teams building their team similarly and running the same systems, claiming they will capitalize where Indiana failed, because, the Pacers lack the 3 point shooting to finish the job. Well Indiana added a ton of 3 point shooting to a team that shot under 35% last season: Granger 38%, Copeland 42%, Watson 38%. Why not the Pacers, Thorpe?

      Part II – - “You need a superstar to beat the Heat”

      Thorpe says Dallas had Dirk, but OKC’s Durant wasn’t ready and SA’s Parker/Duncan/Manu were past their primes. He says a star in his prime is required. He thinks Paul George is another one of those “not ready” guys, and argues he may never be a star. An article 99.9% fluff, Thorpe cites an age old cliche “starpower” and banks on it the same way a troll would.

      Part III – - “You have to surprise the Heat”
      Thorpe thinks that the reason Hibbert, George, Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green were so effective against the Heat is because “they sucked during the season and came out of nowhere.” Basically he argues that if you give the Heat time to prepare they will be ready for anything and that you should slow play your hot hand, or hope to have a young guy blossom out of nowhere. Genius level insight Thorpe. Sneak attack & secret weapon… you sure you didnt steal these from the Mighty Ducks movies?

      Overall Synopsis:

      Thorpe preaches the team blueprint Pacers and Spurs used to funnel heat players to the rim. Then he says the team also needs a superstar. The salary cap is $58M Thorpe, do you want a superstar or a team of players?
      Then he says the Pacers can’t make 3s and you can’t beat the Heat trading baskets because they are too prepared.

      It’s a garbage article. Here’s how you beat the Heat:

      Step 1: Wait for them to get old (check)
      Step 2: Make Lebron do everything
      Step 3: enjoy the win.

      • Realist

        “Thorpe rambles on about the Pacers creating a blueprint but not being talented enough to follow it through.”

        Yeah, just be the best team in the league in defense, and just be the best team in the league in rebounding. But, you know, do it better.

        Where is the blueprint for this, exactly? Maybe Mike D’Antoni can draw it up.

        gtfo

  • Realist

    Interesting to read that Ivan Johnson is off to China for part of the year. Also, good to see that we were one of the teams interested in him before that.

  • Cameron

    This is great. Minute distribution we can all fight over as much as we want, but our bench is better, and our starters could get usefully longer breaks. As long as we are healthy around playoff time we can make a deep run. I also like the experience and leadership Scola will help bring to the bench. Also, some of you guys should be a bit nicer to each other, we are all Pacers fans.

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