[From the FanPosts, latrell spreewel looks into the Pacers offensive options for the pending season. -TL]
I can't stand another minute of this lockout talk, its ridiculously depressing. On a more optimistic outlook, the lockout could be over as soon as this week, in George Cohen we trust, and if so, the Pacers need a couple of big men to fill out the roster. There are a lot of rumors about David West being the most prominent target out there for the Pacers. Everyone already knows the down side and huge risk in giving a lengthy contact to West, but the positive side being that David West will contribute as an offensive player. But the question is do we need more offense? Not really.
The Pacers last year were in truly in their transitional year. It was the year that they brought in a new point gurad, a new coaching staff and finally cracked the playoff drought. The power forward spot was a tandem rotation of Mcroberts and Hansbrough, combine those two used up roughly around 17.2% of all the team field goal attempts, that's less than 1/5 of all the shots of the entire team. Now the key subtraction this year would be Mike Dunleavy since he was the starting sg for the majority of the time until the end of the season where PG took over. If Paul George is to ever succeed and develop, he has to get more touches.
Another player who needs more touches is Roy Hibbert, this is the Final year for Hibbert to show whether he is a household name or just another average paint filler. Hibbert is a skilled center and not an athletic big like Howard or Bynum, so naturally it will take longer for him to develop. Just look at a guy like Chris Kaman, another skilled center who's career path is a lot like Roy's first three years. Don't forget Roy only average 27.7 mins last season with exactly 11 fga per game, there is no reason with his MMA training last season and power training this summer why Hibbert should not get anything less than 32 mins this season or less than 14fga this season.
Danny and Darren's shot attempts should remain relatively the same, Danny will still be the main focus when he's on the floor but he now has a wingman who takes his job seriously with tremendeous work ethics and has HUGE Ambitions for himself in PG and not a pot smoking bum like Brandon Rush. Darren Collison's scoring per was not his problem last year, it was his play making abilities that were disppointing, but with Darren's quickness and his rookie resume, we should expect a much more lethal and precise Darren Collison.
The bench will also be vastly different, James posey, A.J. Price and T.J. ford took a lot of shots last season, but luckily with Vogel at the helm and T.J's expiring contract, those players will either be gone or have much reduced roles on the bench. I would expect however that the emergence of George Hill and Lance will take away nearly all of those shots and then some from Brandon Rush. The remaining touches will go to Dahntay and Jeff Foster. Now the question is how many shots is there left to go around for Hansbrough and the other power forwar rotation.
Here's my expected shot distribution table for next season Assuming Tyler will get his fair share of touches and Jeff will be back and Hill will get relative same amount of touches as he did with the Spurs.
Based on this estimate and projection, 95.5 is already 10.2 more shots attempted than last year's average. This of course is without considering the arrival of the rest of the roster. There's is no doubt that I probably over estimated the amount of shots given to certain players, but in my mind I think I was mostly fair in terms of using last year's data and taking in consideration of a player's development, style of play, potential and relation to Vogel. This leads to one conclusion, there is definitely not enough shots to go around for a player like David West who average 17 shots attempted at his peak and 15 last season. unless the pacers either turn into the Phenix suns run and gun offense, or they take the shots away from all of the following Hibbert, George, Hansbrough, Lance and GHill, there is not enough shots to go around for a power forward like David west.
Josh McRoberts is not a sexy name in terms of free agents, but he has everything the Pacers need if he can improve on certainly parts of his game. Josh is Athletic and can be a defensive presence on the weakside with a bit more experience. Josh's passing game and basketball IQ is also a huge reason. Looking at the list above, there's not all that many uber shot creators save maybe Lance Stephenson, So Josh's willingness to pass the ball and ability to move without the ball is a huge plus not to mention Mcroberts can score if push comes to shove. Given this labour dispute, Mcroberts will not be expensive at all compare to a guy like Nene or West, Josh is also very familiar with the current guys on the team. Josh fits the uber role player bill perfectly as long as he build a bit more strength and hone his rebounding skills.
Even given McRoberts, the Pacers still need another Big to back up Foster if Jeff has flare ups at time, I think a very cheap and quality defensive minded option is DJ Mbenga. Check out Mbenga's scouting report on DraftExpress from 3 years ago, http://www.draftexpress.com/profile/D.J.-Mbenga-3473/, again, not looking for offense, simple a big body that fills a role.
These two signings will give the Pacers a 14 man roster, more than enough leavinga spot open jsut in case a trade comes up to rid us of Possey. avoiding a big signing this year give the Pacers enough money down the line next year to extend the youngins down the line and allows the young players to fully develop from all the positive from last season. Making a big aquisition could be a huge step backwards.