I know we are very early in the season, and we've been riddled with injuries, but I really am starting to feel the opposite of how I felt in the summer. Most people close to me know that I've supported Jim O'Brien as a good coach for this team.
Call it the lack of Mike Dunleavy (or any healthy player) on the floor, the over-abundance of poorly-judged jump shots, but I'm starting to feel that this team cannot make it very far with O'Brien at the helm.
You can label me as a flip-flopper all you wish, but I don't feel like when the game is getting out of control you leave your guys out there to get their faces mopped up in their own failure. You talk it over. From a team that blew a 26 point lead in a game with a worse record, to a team that was destined to hit twards the bottom of the Eastern Conference, I just don't see it.
Yeah, we're going to lose some games. Like the Sixers game Friday, I felt like that was one I just didn't want to talk about. I still don't. This team has shown that it can win (or at least compete) against tough teams.
I know, a lot of that can't be blamed on coaching, but for the past two games the Pacers have looked lost on the court. (With the exception of the first quarter Friday evening.)
Coming into this season we set our expectations low. This was a re-building year. Then the team that showed up on the floor on October 29th had something different to say. You can call it what you want, but I really don't see that Jim O'Brien has what it takes to rebuild a team into a contender.
From decisions like keeping Tinsley in the game last year against Phoenix, to letting Jeff Foster and Marquis Daniels throw up heavily contested jump shots, O'Brien is not focusing on the fact that he has plenty of players that could simply drive to the basket and score, or even draw a foul.
Sure, we have some all around shooters. But talk about inconsistency. Call it a drought, we've been there, done that. I keep telling myself, "When Mike comes back...when Mike comes back." What if he doesn't come back? Don't get me wrong, up until Friday night I've been enjoying what I've been seeing. But deep down I feel in denial.
I'm not giving up on this team by any means. It's still too early, and I've never given up on any iteration of a Pacers team.
What if JOB is not who the team really needs to lead this team back into the playoffs? Who would be capable of leading this team? I wish I knew.