NBA Roundtable

Pacers Notes

In General NBA on October 2, 2009 at 9:05 pm

Luther Head

It looks like Luther Head will get some minutes in the wing rotation while Mike Dunleavy is out injured at the start of the season.

The competition is fairly weak for the backup point guard minutes — Earl Watson + Travis Diener — Head should have a shot of earning some minutes there once Dunleavy returns. Having a good jump shooting point guard (not Earl Watson) is useful in that gun-slinging Pacers offense … Deiner and Head should battle that one out … although I expect the minutes are unfortunately going to be handed to Watson.

Solomon Jones

On another note, Solomon Jones has been impressing the Pacers coaching staff with his athleticism and activity. They’re loving his shot blocking ability. He started the first pre-season game tonight and could be threat for substantial minutes this year.

Ten Man Rotation

Jim O Brien intends on using a ten man rotation to wear down opposing teams.

  • Starting Five — Ford + Jones + Granger + Murphy + Hibbert
  • Bench — Watson + Rush + Dunleavy + Hansbrough + Foster
  • Others — Diener + Head + McRoberts + Jones

I think this is a good call by O’Brien.

So long as he intends on using Dahntay Jones for 15-20 minutes a night, then he is forced to go with four wing players in order to get Dunleavy and Rush (two of their better players) minutes. Since none of them is a suitable point guard — Jones could defend the position but I’m not sure any of them can run it offensively, maybe Dunleavy? Not fully convinced though — the team would have to go with a backup point guard also.

I consider Troy Murphy the only big man on the Pacers roster who’s proven himself worthy + capable of playing big minutes, with the others more in the twenty minute range. So they’re best off going with four bodies a night in order to make things work there too.

I like Jim O’Brien’s decision to go ten deep here. That, combined with their fast paced offense, should help the Pacers punch a little bit above their weight.

Granger @ PF

There’s talk from the players and the coaching staff about using Danny Granger as a power forward in some small ball lineups this season again this season. By doing so, the Pacers will be able to put two of their three other wings (Dunleavy, Rush, Jones) on the court alongside Danny.

When the Pacers use that smaller lineup they become a lethal offensive team. However, their flaws defensive plus on the glass, wipe out the benefits offensively and hurt the team.

Also, the problem with using a non-offensive player like Dahntay Jones in this small ball lineup is that the opposing team can put their power forward on Jones and keep their best wing defender on Danny. Limiting the matchup advantage on the offensive end. It really needs to be Dunleavy and Rush alongside Granger for the plan to be it’s most effective (still a poor plan).

Chicago vs Indiana

I only watched the third quarter of the game tonight but the Pacers were poor. Offensively they were rusty, making poor decisions, and turning the ball over right and left (TJ mostly) … but it’s the first game of pre-season so that doesn’t worry me … what does worry me was how poor they looked defensively against the Bulls starters.

Not a good early sign.

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