Posts Tagged ‘Mike Dunleavy Jr.’

Larry Bird continues to re-build the Pacers into one of the best teams in the NBA

Friday, July 8th, 2011

Since taking over the operation of the Indiana Pacers, from Donnie Walsh [Mar-24-2008, on a full-time basis, Larry Legend has had to endure a great many insults from NBA observers - experts and non-experts alike - who have asserted that ... although he was an all-time great NBA player ... he was somehow in over his head, as a GM, and incapable of constructing a top flight franchise, based on the quality of his work in that capacity to that point in time.

Well ...

Anyone who tries to tell you THAT today, you should simply laugh at.

3 seasons ago the Pacers added Roy Hibbert [C, 1st Rd Draft Pick] to their roster.

2 seasons ago the Pacers added Tyler Hansbrough [PF, 1st Rd Draft Pick], AJ Price [PG, 2nd Rd Draft Pick] and Dahntay Jones [OG/SF, veteran FA] to their roster.

Last season the Pacers added Paul George [SF/OG, 1st Rd Draft Pick], Lance Stephenson [PG/OG, 2nd Rd Draft Pick] and Darren Collison [PG, 1st Rd Draft Pick/2009, from New Orleans] and James Posey [SF/PF, veteran FA] to their roster … and made the playoffs for the first time in 4 years.

This off-season the Pacers have added George Hill [PG/OG] to their roster, affirmed Larry Bird as the head of their overall operation, affirmed last season’s interim head coach, Frank Vogel, as their permanent bench boss, in addition to naming Brian Shaw his lead assistant … and now, it seems, have also hired Kevin Pritchard, as their erstwhile GM-in-waiting.

As has been mentioned in this space on different occasions over the course of the last 24 months, or so …

The Indiana Pacers are in the midst of performing a successful franchise re-build in a first-class way.

When a NBA team makes the decision to place their trust in someone with the track-record of Larry Bird … and, then, has the wherewithal to stick with him, come h*ll or high water … it will eventually be rewarded in a substantive way.

Kudos to, both, Herb Simon [Pacers owner] and Larry Legend!

Toronto Raptors Season Preview: Game 15

Friday, October 9th, 2009

re: How an astute NBA observer might expect the first part of the schedule to unfold for the Raptors this year

Game 15 – vs Indiana [Tue Nov 24]

 

RAPTORS

ADV

PACERS

PG

Calderon

=

PG

Ford

OG

DeRozan *

=

OG

Jones-D $

SF

Turkoglu $^

=

SF

Granger

PF

Bosh

=

PF

Murphy

C

Bargnani

=

C

Jones-S $

 

 

 

PG

Jack #

=

PG

Watson $

OG

Belinelli ^

=

G

Rush

SF

Wright ^

à

SF

Dunleavy ?

PF

Evans ^

=

PF

Hansbrough *

C

Nesterovic $

=

C

Hibbert

 

 

 

G/F

Douby

=

SF

Diener

PF

Johnson ^

=

PF

Foster

 

 

 

HC

Triano

à

HC

O’Brien

 

 

 

+0

OUTCOME

+2 [1-?]

Legend: ADV – Individual match-up advantage; * - 2009 NBA Draftee; ^ - Acquired via trade; # – Restricted free agent; #M – Restricted free agent, matched offer; $ – Unrestricted free agent; $R – Unrestricted free agent, re-signed; $^ – Acquired via Sign & Trade; Italics – Returning player; ? – Injured, status uncertain.

Even though the Raptors do not have an individual match-up advantage versus the Pacers in this specific game, they should still be able to get the W. Given the uncertain status of Mike Dunleavy [i.e. still recovering from knee surgery], it’s prudent to take a “wait-and-see approach” to Indiana this season. Jim O’Brien is a much more experienced coach than Jay Triano … but, he is not beyond making specific moves in a particular game which are somewhat-to-highly questionable that can jeopardize his own troops chances of winning. Facing the possibility of falling to 5-10 on the season, with a home-court loss to a middle-of-the-pack team in the EC, the Raptors should be highly energized for this game.

Raptors expected W-L Record: W, 6-9

Good news for the Pacers; bad news for the other Middle-of-the-Pack teams

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

Dunleavy in Pacers’ opener? Maybe
… Mike Dunleavy might be back sooner than expected, his coach said today.

“Our medical people are very pleased with his progression,” Pacers head coach Jim O’Brien said. “I’ve changed my view point to a pessimistic one from a standpoint of him being ready in the middle of the season to one that I’m hoping he’ll be ready to go for game one.”

———————————

If Indiana was to actualy have a 100% healthy Mike Dunleavy, Jr. back in it’s rotation from the start of the 2009-2010 regular season schedule … in addition to a 100% healthy Danny Granger … then, yours truly would definitely consider the Pacers as yet one more Tier 2A team in the belly of an ever-strengthening Eastern Conference.

Finally having rid themselves of the debilitating Jamaal Tinsley [PG] situation, while adding [i] a low-cost veteran PG [low cost free agent], [ii] a hard-nosed defensive-minded, rebounding, non-shooting role player on the Wing [low cost free agent], [iii] a high motor, physical front-court player [Mid 1st Round Draft Pick], and [iv] an under-rated shot-blocking, non-scoring role playing back-up Center [low cost free agent]:

STARTERS
1 TJ Ford [PG]
2 Dahntay Jones [OG]
3 SF/Danny Granger [SF]
4 Troy Murphy [PF]
5 Roy Hibbert [C]

KEY SUBS
6 Watson [PG]
7 Brandon Rush [OG/SF]
8 Mike Dunleavy, Jr. [OG/SF]
9 Tyler Hansbrough [PF]
10 Solomon Jones [C]

RESERVES
11 Travis Diener [PG]
12 Jeff Foster [PF/C]

EXTRAS
13 AJ Price [PG]
14 ?
15 ?

this would be the type of diversified line-up necessary to compete for a #6-8 playoff spot in the EC from beginning to end.

Valuable stuff that’s missed by those who rely too heavily on stats

Monday, July 13th, 2009

While there is much to be gained from understanding how statistical appraisals of real life players can sometimes unearth information which is not readily discernible by the naked, untrained eye so, too, is it the case that an over-reliance on number-crunching of this same sort can obscure the clear view of what a specific player brings to the court in a NBA game.

Such is the case today with the following observations made by Yahoo! Sports’ Kelly Dwyer, regarding the skill-set and functionability of Dahntay Jones, outlined in the bolded text of the following quotation:

———-

The Pacers hold off rebuilding for another year
The latest move has been the push to pay Dahntay Jones through his prime kicking and pushing years. It’s an awful contract, even at the cheap price of four years and $11 million, because what Jones does is so utterly replaceable.

He gets the reputation as a defensive stopper, but last year’s Nuggets were actually better defensively with him off the floor (and way better offensively). George Karl just liked the idea of starting the tough guy over the mercurial J.R. Smith, so he kept up the charade

———-

In sharp contrast to Mr. Dwyer’s perception of Mr. Jones, as a “cookie-cutter” defensive player who isn’t worth his weight in gold … or the free agent contract he is reportedly set to sign with the Indiana Pacers tomorrow … yours truly has a very different understanding of what DJ brings to the table every day that is most definitely NOT easily replaceable by any Tom, Dick or Harry culled from the NBA’s scrap-heap.

At 6-6, 210 with a well-developed physical [and somewhat dirty mean] streak in him … Mr. Jones is one of the VERY FEW players in the entire NBA with the “capacity to neutralize” an extraordinary offensive talent like Chris Paul [PG], as he did this past season in the 1st Round of the Playoffs.

You can search high and low, naming every supposed defensive stopper across the breadth of the League … i.e. including Shane Battier, Tayshaun Prince, Bruce Bowen, Kobe Bryant, James Posey, Shannon Brown and Lindsay Hunter, etc. … and you will not find a single player with the combination of skills, physical attributes and attitude, that it takes to do what was done to CP3 in 4 of those 5 games.

Chris Paul’s Game Stats vs Denver [1st Round Playoff Series]

G

MIN

FGM-A

3PM-A

FTM-A

OREB

DREB

REB

AST

STL

BLK

TO

PF

+/-

PTS

1

34

7-19

2-5

5-5

2

3

5

11

2

0

4

2

-21

21

2

38

5-11

0-1

4-4

2

2

4

13

0

0

5

2

-15

14

3

46

11-20

2-6

8-9

0

5

5

12

1

0

6

1

+3

32

4

36

2-7

0-1

0-0

0

2

2

6

2

0

6

0

-38

4

5

46

5-16

1-3

1-3

0

6

6

10

3

0

3

3

-21

12

The fact that Denver’s offensive & defensive team “productivity numbers” both went down when Mr. Jones was on the floor is not an accurate indicator of his personal level of proficiency as a high end defensive role player in the NBA who is capable of checking the opponent’s #1/PG, #2/OG and #3/SF.

When you then combine what Mr. Jones brings to the table defensively with the way in which he plays offense … i.e. as a low-volume shooter who is comfortable when playing within a highly defined role for a team that’s founded on the principles of teamwork & physical/aggressive play at both ends of the court, and in terms of rebounding … he becomes a highly valuable commodity in today’s NBA … especially for an outfit like Indiana that features a mostly finesse line-up like this:

PG – Jarrett Jack or TJ Ford 
OG – ??? or Brandon Rush [SF-?]
SF – Danny Granger or Mike Dunleavy [OG-?]
PF – Troy Murphy or Tyler Hansbrough 
C – Roy Hibbert or Jeff Foster

———-

Q1. Will the Pacers win the NBA Championship this coming season?

A1. No they will not.

 

Q2. Will they compete for the #6-8 playoff spots in the EC, after missing out the last two seasons?

 

A2. Without a doubt … if they decide to match the contract offer that the Raptors made to Jarret Jack this past weekend.

 

———-

 

Under the leadership of Larry Bird and David Morway the Pacers are attempting to climb out of a significant hole, while re-building their franchise without ever sinking to the bottom of the NBA.

 

If they can make the playoffs this season, it will be a major accomplishment, and provide another checkmark along the way back to respectability for this once proud team.

 

———-

 

PS. In fact, once the Pacers can rid themselves of the $7.0 M/yr contract they have tied up with Jamaal Tinsley they will be right back in business, as a legitimate contending team in the EC … with a player like Dahntay Jones defending for them at the OG position, beside Danny Granger & Co.