Real problem with the Pacers, since the NBA trade deadline

Prior to January 30, 2011 the Pacers’ W-L Record was 17-27/.386.

After firing Jim O’Brien, however, the Pacers immediately began to play much better basketball.

January

Opponent

Result

Mon 31

 vs Toronto

February

Opponent

Result

 Wed 02

 @ Cleveland

 Fri 04

 vs Portland

 Sun 06

 Tue 08

 @ Miami

 Wed 09

 vs Charlotte

 Fri 11

 vs Minnesota

 Sat 12

 @ Milwaukee

 Tue 15

 vs Miami

 Wed 16

 @ Detroit

 Tue 22

 Wed 23

 vs Detroit

TOTAL

9-3, .750

Conventional wisdom says that this immediate uptick in performance was simply a temporary upsurge which typically occurs for a relatively short time-period, before regressing to the mean, based on the over-riding abilities of the players on their roster, rather than the abilities of their newly appointed head coach [i.e. Frank Vogel].

Then, when the NBA Trade Deadline came and went …

“Indiana Was Not Able to Get It All Together,” Says Grizzlies Owner About Failed OJ Mayo Trade

UPDATE: Larry Bird on Failed Trade: Deal Pulled Off the Table with Two Minutes to Go

with a failed effort to complete a three-team trade with the Memphis Grizzlies and the New Orleans Hornets which reportedly would have:

Cost Them

- Josh McRoberts/PF [starter]
- Brandon Rush/OG [back-up]
- Solomon Jones/PF-C [back-up]

while,

Netting Them

- OJ Mayo/PG-OG ['quasi' starter]

the Pacers subsequently crashed down to earth in their last 8 games:

February

Opponent

Result

Fri 25

 vs Utah

  L 84-95

 Sun 27

 vs Phoenix

March

Opponent

Result

 Tue 01

 Wed 02

 Fri 04

 @ Dallas

 Sat 05

 @ Houston

 Tue 08

 Wed 09

 @ Minnesota

TOTAL

1-7, .125

and are now, supposedly, experiencing a variety of internal problems:

Larry Bird Criticizes His Players: “We’re Just Not Getting the Effort”

that have caused their team to fail to compete on a game-to-game basis.

============================

Looking closely at what has happened with the Pacers this season, and especially since the events of February 24, 2011 …

Is a simple case of regression to the mean really what has caused this team to lose 7 of their last 8 games?

Mike Dunleavy’s Game Log for the 2010-2011 Season

PART I, Games played from October 27, 2010 to January 30, 2011 => 17-27
PART II, Games played from January 31 to February 23, 2011 => 9-3
PART III, Games played since February 24, 2011 => 1-7

Or, is there another equally simple but, possibly, even MORE plausibe explanation for this?

============================

When an otherwise solid NBA team – i.e. based on the relative quality of its player personnel - experiences a sudden and major decline in performance, it is frequently attributable to the absence of one [or more] key player[s] from their line-up, who is [are] primarily responsible for creating and minimizing a slew of individual mis-match advantages for their team when playing against average-to-above-average-to-very-good opponents.

As far as the Pacers are concerned, Mike Dunleavy is, in fact, this type of player and this corner would simply suggest that:

#1. Indiana has a much improved chance to play the type of game it wants to play under the direction of Frank Vogel … and win! … when it has a 6-9, 230 lb, relatively agile, multi-dimensional OG, like Mike Dunleavy, in its starting line-up, beside:

PG, Darren Collison [6-0, 160]
OG,
SF, Danny Granger [6-9, 228]
PF, Josh McRoberts [6-10, 240]
C, Roy Hibbert [7-2, 278]

[with a supporting cast of AJ Price, TJ Ford, Lance Stephenson, Brandon Rush, Dahntay Jones, Paul George, James Posey, Tyler Hansbrough, Jeff Foster and Solomon Jones] 

than it does when forced to play without him against the likes of Utah, Phoenix, Oklahoma City, Dallas, Houston and Philadelphia;

and,

#2. When Indiana tips-off against the Raptors later-on this evening, it should come as no surprise at all to see the Pacers get back in the W column, since some combination of Brandon Rush [6-6, 210], Dahntay Jones [6-6, 210], Lance Stephenson [6-5, 210] and Paul George [ 6-8, 210] should be more than capable of competing effectively, at the OG position, against Toronto’s troika of DeMar DeRozan [6-7, 220], Sonny Weems [6-6, 203] and Leandro Barbosa [6-3, 202].

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2 Responses to “Real problem with the Pacers, since the NBA trade deadline”

  1. jtshoopsblog Says:

    I disagree with you in terms of getting OJ Mayo. Larry Bird wants the Pacers to be more mature and responsible. The last thing he needed was a head case like Mayo who got suspended for breaking the banned substances code and sulked when he was taken off the starting lineup.

  2. khandor Says:

    jtshoopsblog,

    1. Welcome aboard! :-)

    2. Like you, I don’t think the Pacers should have tried to trade for OJ Mayo at the deadline … and, certainly, not at the cost of losing either McRoberts or S-Jones.

    IMO, another part of what is ailing the Pacers right now, in addition to the absence of Mike Dunleavy … which is simply huge … is:

    i. Their inability to get rid of TJ Ford;
    ii. Their inability to get rid of Stephenson;
    iii. Their inability to get rid of Rush.

    If, however, Mayo could have been acquired while one or more of these other 3 players was shipped out of Indiana … without sacrificing McRoberts or S-Jones … then, that would have meant overall progress for the Pacers the rest of this season and into the long term future.

    IMO, Indiana is on the right path to future success with players like Collison, George and Hansbrough.

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