Welcome to iPacers first biweekly wrap of the 2015-16 season. It’s been an interesting start to the season with two close losses to start against the Raptors and Grizzlies, followed by an embarrassing home blowout loss to the Jazz, but since the Pacers have rattled off 3 straight wins against Eastern conference foes (Pistons, Celtics, and Heat). The Pacers have played both big and small with mixed results for both of them early, but with a lot of success lately. A common theme early was poor second halves that haunted the Pacers in each of the first three losses, but they’ve managed to win two straight close games in the final quarter with great defense and just enough offense. Here’s some brief analysis and a grade for each player on the roster through the Pacers first six games:
The world lost a beloved man today. Pacers legend and Hall of Famer Mel Daniels died at the age of 71. On the basketball court, Daniels was one of the Pacers all-time greats. He averaged over 19 points and 16 rebounds in his six seasons with the team while winning 3 ABA Championships. Daniels was a 2-time ABA MVP, a 7-time ABA All-Star, and the league’s all-time leader in rebounds. He turned down a scholarship offer to play with another Indiana hoops legend, Oscar Robertson, at Cincinnati to be the first first-round draft pick to chose the ABA over the NBA. He’s one of only four Pacers to have his number retired by the organization. After his playing career was over, Daniels served many positions in the Pacers organization including assistant coach and scout and was an active part of the franchise even today. Here are reactions from all over the NBA:
Rejoice for the NBA season is here! The Indiana Pacers start playing again tomorrow night! Their first opponent is on the road against the Toronto Raptors led by Kyle Lowry (also featuring former Pacer Luis Scola).
There have been so many changes to the team over the offseason with nearly half of the roster from last season now playing elsewhere (David West, Roy Hibbert, Scola, Damjan Rudez, Chris Copeland, Donald Sloan, CJ Watson). New players came from free agency (Monta Ellis, Glenn Robinson III, Jordan Hill), the draft (Myles Turner and Joe Young), and via trade (Chase Budinger, Rakeem Christmas). Larry Bird and Frank Vogel are switching to a completely new style on the court this year, emphasizing the space and pace that has been all the rage lately in the NBA. Paul George is somewhat reluctantly trying a new position on offense while returning from a broken leg. The Pacers focus has been offense, offense, offense in training camp, which is strange after seeing Pacers teams built on “smashmouth” basketball with Hibbert and West. With so many new variables, it feels like this year just about anything could happen for the Pacers and all of their players. So, naturally, when the year feels especially unpredictable, I thought I’d give a few predictions for what I think is in store for the Pacers season:
In case, this is your first time here: Here’s the concept of This Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words: I take an interesting picture from the history of the Indiana Pacers from ABA glory to the modern era and literally write 1,000 words about the photo.
If you missed the first of the series: Here’s my analysis of Reggie-Miller-tortured Knicks fans.
My 1,000 words start now:
The Pacers ended their preseason with a 5-2 record and seemed to get more and more comfortable with each other every game: an important factor when nearly half of the team is new to playing with each other. Here’s some positive, negative, and in between thoughts on preseason and the Pacers hopes for this rapidly approaching regular season.
The Indiana Pacers announced their new training facility and partnership with St. Vincent this past week. Here are my immediate reactions to news of the St. Vincent Center: Continue reading Musings on the Pacers new training facility, the St. Vincent Center
Trying out a new blog post series today called This Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words. You can probably guess what this series will be, but here’s the concept: I find an interesting picture from Pacers history (from the way, way back in the ABA days to the glorious shots of the current team) and literally write one thousand words on it. This could be a disaster, but it should be a fun one.
I can’t think of a better way to start than with my favorite sports photo of all-time as seen above. Here we go, exactly 1,000 words starting now:
Continue reading Reggie Miller at the Garden: This Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words #1
Roy Hibbert has a knack for saying the wrong thing to the media. There was his dumb “no homo” joke in the playoffs and the “selfish dudes” comment pointed towards unnamed teammates in the midst of the great collapse of 2013-14. And, now, here’s what Roy had to say in a Q&A with David Aldridge:
— Scott Agness (@ScottAgness) July 27, 2015
“Hibbert said what? Now he’s bashing Frank Vogel on his way out? Man, I’m so glad he’s gone. What a cheap shot. No respect.” This was the general reaction by Pacers fans and the local media. Here’s a sampling of what I saw on Twitter within a couple hours:
With the Pacers signing of Glenn Robinson III to a 3-year deal and acquisition of Rakeem Christmas via trade, the Pacers have quickly filled up their roster with 15 players now under contract. Only 8 of the 15 were on the Pacers squad last season, as 7 were either not resigned (Luis Scola, Chris Copeland, Donald Sloan, CJ Watson), were traded (Roy Hibbert, Damjan Rudež) or simply opted out of their contract to sign elsewhere (David West).
Which former Pacers player will you miss the most? pic.twitter.com/Sx3CqAQ3Sq
— iPacers (@iPacersblog) July 25, 2015
So, with nearly half of last year’s roster out of town. Here’s what the roster looks like when divided up into three different position categories:
Diving through a transaction web and seeing all the moves that had to happen in order for a team to get a certain player can be mesmerizing at times. I was thinking about this the other day and found one web that will go back nearly 30 years by the time it comes to fruition. It all boils down to this: The Pacers traded Dale Davis for a 2019 2nd-round pick. Confused? Well, let me explain:
George Hill made the announcement on Twitter a little over an hour ago:
— INDIANA GEORGE HILL (@George_Hill3) July 21, 2015
Maybe, the most important part of this announcement is that we finally know why George Hill went blonde. It’s so his hair would match the Hickory Pacers uniforms. I must say, George, it’s a nice touch.
Paul George has been in Manila, the capital of the Philippines, for last few days. He’s setting the internet on fire with this dunk that happened less than a year after his horrible injury. Continue reading Paul George in Manila [WARNING: The following dunk is rated PG-13]
SIGNED PHOTO GIVEAWAY DETAILS
GIVEAWAY: Win a Joe Young signed photo! Must RT & Follow this account to enter. Winner selected & DMed on 7/26! pic.twitter.com/Hn8b2RDGhS
— iPacers (@iPacersblog) July 19, 2015
Tell me what you think about Joe Young and leave a comment on this page for 5 additional entries into the raffle.
And now for the post:
If you missed the post on Myles Turner’s performance at Summer League click here.
After missing his first game due to illness, Joe Young had a tremendous Summer League as he was the leading scorer in Orlando with 22.5 PPG. So, how will his game translate once the games start to matter? What does he still need to work on? Here’s an overview of what we saw at Orlando.
Zach Lowe from Grantland with the reporting:
Cap minutia: league has temporarily disallowed Monta Ellis’s contract w/ Pacers; team ran out of room, just has to re-order transactions.
— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) July 17, 2015
In other words, Monta will sign w/ Indy. Things will be fine. DEN got slammed for screwing up Faried’s contract, but it happens to others.
— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) July 17, 2015
So, no real cause for concern, Monta Ellis will still be an Indiana Pacer, but it is a little embarrassing that the Pacers cap team managed to screw this up. Let’s try and take a rough look at why this may have happened:
The Orlando Summer League ended over a week ago, but the Pacers draft pick performances deserve recognition and analysis. While the Pacers squad only won a single game of their five in total, Myles Turner and Joseph Young were two of the top three scorers at Orlando, and each were named to NBA TV’s All-Tournament Team along with Russ Smith of the Grizzlies, Aaron Gordon of the Magic, and Stanley Johnson of the Pistons. Here’s a look at the stats for the Pacers picks:
Myles Turner: 18.7 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 4.3 BPG, 61% FG in 3 games
Joe Young: 22.5 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 3.3 APG, 51% FG in 4 games
I’ll talk more about Joe Young in my next post (EDIT: Available now), but here’s some analysis on Mr. Turner:
Those Pacers teams that gave the Heat so many problems in the playoffs for 3 straight years, but never quite enough of them have been dismantled and only a collection of (mostly) fond memories remain. Goodbye, Blue Collar. And (please, please, please, finally) goodbye, Gold Swagger.
Continue reading Goodbye, David West-era Pacers.