Alright, a lot has happened since my previous post, leaving a lengthy gap between articles but let me explain.
I recently started a new job! My hours sound like crap to the average person but working in television news, I’m working the best shift!
If I had to poorly describe my job duties I would say that I make sure the anchors read sentences while looking at the correct cameras also I make sure those cameras are at the right locations.
It has definitely taken time to get adjusted to waking up at 2:45-3:00 a.m. in the morning but I love what I do. Plus, I get the rest of my day to do whatever and I get free food on occasion. Who doesn’t love that.
And now for the main course…The Indiana Pacers.
Now that the defending champs (Cleveland Cavaliers) swept the Blue and Gold in round 1 of the NBA playoffs, I can now tell you what I think about this failed experiment that was the 2016-17 season.
I remember attending the open practice back in October thinking that this team needed a few more pieces to get back to where it was three years ago.
This season was based solely on the word “IF.” If, never became “when.” Ending the regular season at 42-40 was very disappointing due to the fact that they were the last team in the playoffs as the no. 7 seed. (Chicago secured the no. 8 seed by winning their final regular season game minutes before the Pacers beat the Atlanta Hawks.)
Larry Bird has frustrated me enough to the point where I want him OUT. Seeing the Pacers go from a win away from reaching the NBA Finals in 2013 to Sunday’s results is completely disappointing. Not making a move to get Paul George some viable help, really cost this franchise.
As for Paul George, I want the no. 24 version back! The no. 13 version has cried long enough for foul calls, as if he should be receiving some “superstar treatment.” Watching George play in person for 38 of the possible 43 home games is enough for me to warn L.A. fans of what is to come. I am not ready to call George a main character just yet. He’s more like Robin if Batman called in sick. Superstars have that “killer instinct” naturally. It’s not developed. George doesn’t have that.
For the love of everything that is sane, please cut ties with Monta Ellis and C.J. Miles.
I have had it with Ellis’ lack of defensive awareness and offensive consistency. There are only so many times you can drive to the bucket, be in arms reach of the glass backboard and pass the ball out of reach or directly to the opposite team. And furthermore, Ellis can’t guard a brick wall. The lack of defensive IQ and the age are enough for me to wave goodbye to no. 11.
I don’t know when it happened but for majority of the season, Miles had a severe case of “swamp knees.” That’s when you fail to move without the ball on offense and fail to keep up on defense due to poor foot speed. Great shooter, don’t get me wrong, I enjoy seeing that left-handed jumper go in but my patience is wearing thin.
Enough with the development of young players.
Sorry Rakeem Christmas, Joe Young and Georges Niang. It’s nothing personal but I am sick of seeing you guys keeping the seats warm and offer completely nothing to this franchise. Christmas gave the Pacers an edge before they re-signed Stephenson, which is crazy because all he literally did was scrap for loose rebounds. I am sneezing at the defense of Joe Young and I am sneezing at the athleticism of Niang. I’m all for getting veterans in here that have playoff experience.
This is where the angel pops up on one shoulder and the demon pops up on the other.
I am about as torn between McMillan and Bird as I was with Chuck Pagano and Ryan Grigson with the Indianapolis Colts. Ultimately, I wanted Grigson gone, which happened, and I think I feel the same way about the Pacers.
If we keep McMillan, it is imperative that he gets new assistant coaches. I don’t mean just one, I mean a whole new coaching staff down to the trainers. One more year is what the angel side says.
I am not sold on McMillan’s ability to draw up plays, his offensive schemes or his game management. He needs to go. There’s a reason why he did not last in Portland. Today’s game is predicated on pick-and-roll, spacing and three-point shooting. McMillan’s offense is “free-flowing.”
I’m glad that Indiana has a little over five months to recover this offseason because we are going to need it.
Here’s ultimately what I want to happen this offseason versus what I think might actually take place:
WANTS: First things first, I want Herb Simon to increase the payroll for this franchise. We cannot compete for a championship being cheap. The Cavaliers own the highest NBA payroll at $127 million, you see who’s on that team as well. The Pacers sit at no. 20 with $94 million.
Everyone not named Teague, Stephenson, George and Turner can have a safe trip leaving the city of Indianapolis. Resigning Teague is priority no. 1, but if we do not make any moves at getting George some help, I don’t know what else to say.
Bird to step down.
It’s about that time to call it quits for Larry Legend. I have lost complete faith in his ability to draft and to sign big-name free agents. We need to find someone who has a history of drafting good players.
What I expect to happen: Bird and McMillan stay for one more year. Don’t ask me why but the trend of mediocrity seems to be the case in Indiana.
I do expect the signing of an aggressive shooting guard (Caldwell-Pope from Detroit, Hardaway Jr. from Atlanta) and an athletic center to put Turner back at the starting power forward position. That would mean that Thad Young would come off the bench.
It’s purely speculation until the offseason is over but in order for the Pacers to go deep into the playoffs. They need to increase their spending and go after people that have been in the playoffs.