Some of the wonderful things rattling around in this full brain 'o mine. UPDATED EVERY TUESDAY AND THURSDAY (or at least twice a week)

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Pacers Fire head coach Rick Carlisle

Rick Carlisle was fired Wednesday after four tumultuous years as Indiana Pacers coach, following a season in which the team did not make the playoffs for the first time in a decade.
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With my affiliation to a certain Detroit team (read: HUGE PISTONS FAN!!!), you wouldn’t think I would even care what’s going on at what was once our most hated of rivals: The Indiana Pacers. Unfortunately, Carlisle is a former Piston, and I just haven’t felt like Detroit has been the same since the Palace Brawl, even though the Pacers have definitely been affected more. Anyway, returning the Pacers to challenge the Pistons would just be another team to keep them on their toes.

Anyway, Carlisle was just let go by the Pacer organization. He’ll find a job elsewhere, that’s for certain. Unfortunately for him, coaches of his ilk are no longer in vogue as they were a couple of years ago when the Pistons let him go. He’s of the “Grind-It-Out” style, which has definitely lost it’s luster the last couple of years. Even though Detroit and San Antonio won championships in 2004 and 2005 with those type of styles, and Miami’s style last year was more an amalgam of styles. The pure “Grind-It-Out” style just won’t win anymore with the various rules changes on defense. As such, you’re going to see more motion styles (like Eddie Jordan, or Lawrence Frank) or straight up Run-And-Gun styles (Mike D’Antoni). There’s just not that many teams that lend themselves to the “Grind” style anymore. But, given Carlisle’s W/L record, someone will take a chance on him.

Fixing the Pacer team though, is a completely different issue. They need to set an identity and get a coach that fits that identity. With all the available candidates out there, they can go in a bunch of different directions. Let’s assume they want to emulate most of the other “In” styles of right now…the Motion style (since no one can really run the straight up Run-And-Gun besides the Suns and the Warriors). First choice should be to go with Suns Assistant Marc Iavoroni. Odds are he’ll end up in Toronto, though. Second choice should be Rick Adelman. He ran a very efficient offense in Sacremento that would work very well with the players on the Pacers. Third choice would be Sam Mitchell. Sam’s shown he can adapt styles if need be like he did this year with the Raptors.

Assuming they get the Coach they want, next they need a little turnover on their roster. Not too many tweaks, in the long run. First thing is to get rid of Jermaine O’Neal. Nice player, but he doesn’t fit the system, plus he’d do better on a team that he didn’t have to be the primary option. I propose you trade him to the Wizards for Antawn Jamison and Antonio Daniels. Daniels adds a nice proponent to run the type of offense you want, and he can still get it his own shot if need be, plus he’s a better shooter than Jamaal Tinsley. Antawn would do great in the offense alongside Troy Murphy and Mike Dunleavy. Next you turn around and trade Jamaal Tinsley to the Orlando Magic for JJ Redick and Carlos Arroyo. This would subtract Tinsley, who’s just never going to work out in Indiana, for an international flavor who can push the tempo in Arroyo, and a sharpshooter in Redick. If you can’t swing Redick, go out and get a sharpshooter (think Steve Blake or Jason Kapono). You need to have a couple of people who can hit something from outside. The final thing you need to do is get rid of Dunleavy. Trade him and Harrison to his Dad for Corey Maggette, or just dump him for hustle guys. Regardless, he shouldn’t be taking up shots from Jamison, Redick, Kapono or Murphy. Also, work out a deal with Seattle for Rashard Lewis. How bout Lewis for Daniels, Granger, and Diogu.

Making these moves, the opening day roster would look like this:

PG: Antonio Daniels
SG: JJ Redick
SF: Rashard Lewis
PF: Antawn Jamison
C: Troy Murphy

With backups:
Jeff Foster
Carlos Arroyo
Jason Kapono
Corey Maggette
Shawne Williams
Keith McLeod
Maceo Baston
Orien Greene
Rawle Marshall

That leaves enough room for a good draft pick or two. That would be a team that could contend in the East, with the right offense installed. I’m sure they’d be incredibly fun to watch as well. Plus, they’d be a good warmup for the Pistons to beat before they beat the Suns in the Finals next year. ;-)

1 comment:

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Go Indiana Pacers