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Thread: How do we reach the next level ?

  1. #1
    Draft Pick Rampart's Avatar
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    How do we reach the next level ?

    Is it furthering developing what we have ? If so who and in what ways - for instance Zion's defense, Kira gaining NBA size and experience.

    Is it a missing piece - if so is this coming via draft or trade ?

    Does SVG need more time or de we need a new coach ?

    Do we need a normal summer and a year where you can have regular practices (I read somewhere that teams can only rarely practice due to compact schedule and COVID concerns)

    Do we need to wait until our bevy of draft picks start paying dividends ?

    Compared to our history it looks like Bledsoe is our only really painful contract and that isn't for long. We have the start of something special with BI and Zion at the very least.

    It's frustrating seeing all our potential and still struggling for the 10th spot and a play in game.

    My gut tells me we (especially me) just need some patience.

  2. #2
    We got to starting to hit on our FA moves.

  3. #3
    A little bit from column A, a little bit from column B.

    What I mean by that is that we need a bunch of things.

    Development

    Yeah, we need development from the guys we have. We need Zion to continue on his current trajectory (improving as a handler and defender, maintaining interior dominance, etc) which seems like it will probably happen. We need Kira to make some improvements in terms of consistently, which do appear to have been happening over the last month or so. We need Jax to continue his improvement, again as we've seen over the last few months and more generally over his time in the NBA overall. So absolutely, internal development needs to happen.

    Talent upgrades

    Simply put, we need more real NBA players on the roster. Some of that may come from not-currently-NBA-players improving into real NBA players - that's where the development comes in. In general replacing Bledsoe, for example, with Real NBA Player Minutes would have a huge impact on the efficacy of our lineups, it would make rotations easier, et cetera. Talent can be upgraded in a number of ways, and internal development is absolutely one. Drafting is another way, of course, and if we end up with a top 10 pick in this draft then there are ways to add real talent there. The other major way is

    Trading

    We need a legit 3rd guy. Lonzo isn't it, Hart isn't it. Kira might be it but we absolutely have not seen enough to say that with any confidence yet. This is where trading for a guy comes in. Now, maybe we don't end up trading: maybe we finish with the 13th best lottery odds and get that 4.5% chance for the #1 pick and we draft Cade and there's another guy for a Big Three right there, but that's unlikely. What is the most realistic path to acquiring a guy like that is to move assets for one. Looking at who is most likely to request a trade in the next year or two, it's probably Beal or KAT. Either of those would be a good addition - personally I would prefer KAT, but either would be an injection of high end NBA talent. This is why you stockpile tons of draft assets like we have - it's not because you're going to make 3 first round picks every year (though I do think it's a good idea to maintain one FRP each year, for long term talent acquisition reasons), but it's because you can package them to acquire KAT when/if he hits the trade market.

    For me, what we need are:

    - Overall talent upgrades (which can come via internal improvement, drafting or trading) and that's it. More Real NBA Players.

    In particular, the players we need should be guys who can make an impact without the ball in their hands if they're roleplayers, and if they're on-ball guys they should be high level facilitators.
    Cade Cunningham/Usman Garuba/Scottie Barnes/Moses Moody/Corey Kispert endorser.

    Eye test people: analytics people watch more basketball than you do.

  4. #4
    By Player

    Lonzo: Develop as a finisher at the rim; create his own shot
    Kira: Physically Mature; DEFENSE, DEFENSE, DEFENSE
    BI: To the extent possible get bigger; DEFENSE, DEFENSE, DEFENSE
    Zion: DEFENSE, DEFENSE, DEFENSE; develop a midrange game; did I mention, DEFENSE, DEFENSE, DEFENSE. weight management; DEFENSE, DEFENSE, DEFENSE.
    Steven: Get traded
    Bledsoe: Get traded
    JAXSON: Develop midrange game and face up game; DEFENSE, DEFENSE, DEFENSE.
    NAW: Shot selection
    Hart: Stick to what he does best

    By Team

    Let's face it, if we could play a modicum of defense, we are top four in the west. That said....

    DEFENSE, DEFENSE, DEFENSE.
    Identify a complementary 'third' to Zion and BI, and judiciously pursue on our terms.
    Dump Adams and Bledsoe
    Land a 4/5 stretch ASAP (For instance, FA's: Kelly Olynyk, John Collins, Lauri, Markkanen, even Daniel Theis or Zack Collins)
    BPA in draft.
    DEFENSE, DEFENSE, DEFENSE
    Disclaimer: I would never denigrate or defame Zion Williamson as a man or as a basketball player; he will go down as an NBA great and perhaps a Top 10+ player of all time. Any inference derived from any of my posts to the contrary is your mischaracterization of my words, or a sign of insecurity on your part (perhaps both).

    Respectfully,

    AISI

  5. #5
    New coach.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by 13 - 3 View Post
    New coach.
    100%. The dude is a disaster.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Fedupfan View Post
    100%. The dude is a disaster.
    https://www.facebook.com/FIRESTANVANGUNDY/

    Quite a track record on blowing double digit leads

  8. #8
    New GM and Coach. Griff and Stan are likeable and talk good games. But the results are not there.

    Griff has drafted well with Hayes, NAW, Kira and possibly Didi. But some have argued that Trajan scouted those players. Outside of that every single move has been bad. Signing JJ, Meli
    Trading for Favors, Adams, Bledsoe. Extending Adams. Trading Kenrich. Hiring Stan.

    Stan has failed to make necessary adjustments. Given up so many double digit leads. He's supposed to be a defensive coach yet our defense is horrible. So many teams have had historic 3pt shooting nights on us and he hasn't adjusted the defense yet. Hes no different than Gentry, an old retread. How many times has he left Adams and Bledsoe in the game as they clogged up the lane and frozen our offense?

    The core of this team is solid mostly because it was gifted to us. Besides Kira, every other player in our team that's worth anything was gifted to us. From Zion to what we got out of the AD trade (Ingram, Lonzo, Hart, Hayes, NAW). We need better leadership and we shouldn't wait to Zion demands a trade to do so. If we screw this up we don't deserve a team. Accept the sunk cost on Stan and go get a better coach this summer. I would say a new GM as well.

  9. #9
    Freaking hilarious but almost sad about blaming it on a coach. He still doesn?t know what he has yet in terms of subs and who starts. At least i haven?t seen posts about his rotations like when Gentry was here. At least SVG?s rotations make some kind of sense. This is like a tryout year built around two all stars. You guys already forget about covid and what it did to sports?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Sleeper View Post
    Freaking hilarious but almost sad about blaming it on a coach. He still doesn?t know what he has yet in terms of subs and who starts. At least i haven?t seen posts about his rotations like when Gentry was here. At least SVG?s rotations make some kind of sense. This is like a tryout year built around two all stars. You guys already forget about covid and what it did to sports?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Thanks Stan!

  11. #11
    Stan,like every coach in the league, needs a really talented roster to carry them and sometimes their bad decision. We don't have that because the people in charge of that have been awful at roster construction and acquiring the right veteran free agents. On the development side, I am actually very surprise and encouraged of how our players grow with a 1 week training camp and a few months of the season. He came in here trying to teach fundamentals as much as he is allotted. I think he's done a good job with the improvements in rebounding, Point Zion, and getting some players to develop new skillset.


    We know SVG isn't the guy, but until our Core plateaus or regress. I'm fine with him.

    Griffin is on the hot seat for me.
    Last edited by Taker597; 04-06-2021 at 11:42 PM.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Sleeper View Post
    Freaking hilarious but almost sad about blaming it on a coach. He still doesn?t know what he has yet in terms of subs and who starts. At least i haven?t seen posts about his rotations like when Gentry was here. At least SVG?s rotations make some kind of sense. This is like a tryout year built around two all stars. You guys already forget about covid and what it did to sports?
    I actually agree with you, just for the record.

    Stan has not been a great coach. He has not been a guy who can power a team through any adverse circumstance. But I think he's been generally fine. There are complaints I have with him, definitely, but I have complaints for literally every coach in the NBA, including the elite ones like Nurse, Pop, Snyder, etc. It's easy to pick faults from a distance, I get that.

    Overall I think he has adjusted a few things well, the re-focusing of the offense to be Zion-centric is a bit late imo but it's still the right adjustment to make. Giving NAW and Kira more minutes as the season has gone on, again, a wise move. I don't know whether it was SVG or the FO who decided on benching Redick before the trade or if it was a mutual decision but if it was SVG it was a good move, again. The defense had started improving over the month of March (I think we had the 22nd rated D during March? can't remember), and the offense was elite, until injuries hit. He can't control that.

    Of course he could do better, he has been far from perfect, but I think just blanket blaming him for everything and saying all we need to level up is to get a new coach is nonsense, frankly. We need - first and foremost - more talent on the roster. A great coach can only carry a trash roster so far, but a great roster can carry even a pretty bad coach to a ring: see, Steve Kerr for evidence of this.

  13. #13
    Draft Pick Rampart's Avatar
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    I wonder if the push to make 3pt harder (they may push them out 1-3') as they are unbalancing the game might be a bigger difference for us than most others as it is a weak point defensively.. That and looking to change the shooting foul rules where you flail into your opponent.

    I know SVG is an easy target, but a new coach in a Covid year with limited prep and in season practice and a very young team who lost its leader . . . that is setup for issues. I hate saying next year after our past decade but how have comparably young teams like us with a new coach and loss of veteran leadership done this year ?

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Rampart View Post
    I wonder if the push to make 3pt harder (they may push them out 1-3') as they are unbalancing the game might be a bigger difference for us than most others as it is a weak point defensively.. That and looking to change the shooting foul rules where you flail into your opponent.

    I know SVG is an easy target, but a new coach in a Covid year with limited prep and in season practice and a very young team who lost its leader . . . that is setup for issues. I hate saying next year after our past decade but how have comparably young teams like us with a new coach and loss of veteran leadership done this year ?
    Untill the NBA revenue starts to shrink... I don't think they'll implement rules to limit scoring.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Taker597 View Post
    Untill the NBA revenue starts to shrink... I don't think they'll implement rules to limit scoring.
    They have actually already said they're going to look into the foul drawing nonsense for next season. Whether that results in anything or not is a different issue but they have said they're going to look into it.


  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Pelicanidae View Post
    They have actually already said they're going to look into the foul drawing nonsense for next season. Whether that results in anything or not is a different issue but they have said they're going to look into it.

    Remember when NBA was gonna fix flopping. What a farce...

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Rampart View Post
    I wonder if the push to make 3pt harder (they may push them out 1-3') as they are unbalancing the game might be a bigger difference for us than most others as it is a weak point defensively.. That and looking to change the shooting foul rules where you flail into your opponent.

    I know SVG is an easy target, but a new coach in a Covid year with limited prep and in season practice and a very young team who lost its leader . . . that is setup for issues. I hate saying next year after our past decade but how have comparably young teams like us with a new coach and loss of veteran leadership done this year ?
    Chicago, New York and Indiana all young teams who have a new coach this season and have performed better than us with less talent and significantly more injuries. The injury bug just bit us within the last 2 weeks. We've been healthy all season.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by HoustonPelicans View Post
    Chicago, New York and Indiana all young teams who have a new coach this season and have performed better than us with less talent and significantly more injuries. The injury bug just bit us within the last 2 weeks. We've been healthy all season.
    I don't think most of those teams have less talent than us. This team is significantly less talented than a lot of people seem to realise. We have two (that is 2) solid guaranteed NBA starters. That's it. We've had to rely for large parts of the season on guys who are not NBA players: we gave 600 minutes to this year's version of JJ Redick. Nicolo Melli got 300 minutes for us. Even now, we're having to rely on giving minutes to Isaiah Thomas - a guy who had not played in the NBA for well over a full year before last game - to field even a ramshackle guard rotation. Eric Bledsoe starts for this team.

    You might argue that there is a more talented team than that hidden in the roster - that we should have been giving those Redick minutes to Kira earlier, for example - and I would agree with you on that but the actual team we were playing the majority of the season is just lacking talent and skill all around.

    Has Chicago performed better than us? They're 20-28, a slightly worse record than us, and they play in the East for god's sake.

  19. #19
    Give SVG a raise.
    Praise Steven.
    Carry on.

    This is the way.
    Just another Kiwi basking in the reflected glory of Steven Adams....bask bask...

  20. #20
    Hope NAW, Jaxson, and Kira keep developing into starting NBA players and possibly even Allstars. Those three are the key to where this team as currently constructed can go.

    We know we have two Allstars on our roster and that can even get better considering they are both young in Zion & BI. My only question is the fit and can BI be good with being the #2 guy behind Zion.

    Adams and Bledsoe are two vets to help with the youngsters, but haven?t been the players we thought they would be this season. Starting to have buyers remorse with both those guys cause moving them could be hard especially Bledsoe. I just hope both of them are good mentors for both Hayes & Kira.

    Lonzo is the toughest decision of the bunch. Going into the year I said Lonzo would need a most improved player of the year kind of season to warrant a new deal here in NOLA. He started off the year playing pretty terrible, but his 3 point shot improved substantially IMO. Once we made it known that Lonzo was on the trade block he started playing great, but he still doesn?t look like a good point guard in the half court. I think he would be better off being a 3 & D wing and secondary ball handler, but he has made it known that he is a point guard. It hard to fine guys like Lonzo, so maybe we end up matching an offer for him to stay in NOLA. I just hope it?s not a substantial one.

    We need to bring Josh Hart back for sure. He needs to be our 6th man from here on out. He plays good defense and is one of the best rebounding guards in the league. He can also get you tough buckets and hit a 3 on occasion. Billy Hernangomez has been one of the rare bright spots this year, so he may have to be brought back as a backup big. I like what I?ve seen from James Johnson, who we got back in the JJ/Melli trade. I?ve been saying we need a decent vet backup 4 for Zion to learn a few things from. I like the addition.

    Now this years draft looks to be one of the best in a long time. I rather not fight for one of the last playoff spots. If we can get a top 8 pick than we could possibly get our 3rd piece to build a championship contender.
    Last edited by DaPelFromHell; 04-07-2021 at 04:26 AM.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Pelicanidae View Post
    I don't think most of those teams have less talent than us. This team is significantly less talented than a lot of people seem to realise. We have two (that is 2) solid guaranteed NBA starters. That's it. We've had to rely for large parts of the season on guys who are not NBA players: we gave 600 minutes to this year's version of JJ Redick. Nicolo Melli got 300 minutes for us. Even now, we're having to rely on giving minutes to Isaiah Thomas - a guy who had not played in the NBA for well over a full year before last game - to field even a ramshackle guard rotation. Eric Bledsoe starts for this team.

    You might argue that there is a more talented team than that hidden in the roster - that we should have been giving those Redick minutes to Kira earlier, for example - and I would agree with you on that but the actual team we were playing the majority of the season is just lacking talent and skill all around.

    Has Chicago performed better than us? They're 20-28, a slightly worse record than us, and they play in the East for god's sake.
    We have 2 Allstars. Bledsoe and Adams have been starters their entire careers. Chicago and New York are 2 teams who wanted Lonzo badly as their starting PG and will try to sign him in the off-season. We are more talented than those teams. And you have to consider that those 3 teams all significant injuries all season. While we've played with a full roster for majority of the year. JJ, Meli, Adams and Bledsoe were all significantly better under a different coaching system last season. Thats more of an indictment on the coach than a pass for him, no?

    No way should this team be 7 games under .500. Again we have 2 legitimate allstars that have been healthy and engaged all season. One who is literally on a historic scoring streak. And Chicago swept us in the season series. Considering their injury woes this year. I would say they've out performed us with a less talented and younger roster.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by HoustonPelicans View Post
    We have 2 Allstars. Bledsoe and Adams have been starters their entire careers.
    Be honest with yourself for just a moment.

    Have either of those players actually played start quality basketball on any sort of consistent basis this season. I don't care what Bledsoe was doing in 2018-19 or what Adams was doing in 2014-15 or what Isaiah Thomas was doing in 2016-17. This year, now, right now, with the data we have, have they been consistently starter calibre players?

    No. So that's why I said we have two surefire NBA starters, in Ingram and Zion. Adams might start on some teams but not on others and definitely not with his current level of play. Same is true of Bledsoe. Note, by the way, that it's not true that they've both been starters their entire careers; Bledsoe, for example, has played 680 games and has only started 517 of them: almost a quarter of his career has been off the bench.

  23. #23
    Adams earned a starter role in his rookie year, has played as a starter ever since, and been to the playoffs six times in seven years. He's 27 years old.

    I think the compressed format this year has been a bit detrimental to him because he's a big unit playing such a physical role, he takes a lot of contact so his teammates don't have to, but eventually it wears on him. I think next year will be different especially as Jax and hopefully Billy improving and on board can play more minutes spreading the load.

    Jaylen Rose said Adams plays like an offensive linebacker, clearing the way for Zion. He creates space not by his shooting prowess but by physically taking other players out with legal screens, box outs and muscle. He also dominates the offensive glass, helping Pels to lead the league in second chance points. Who else do we have that can physically match up with bigs like Joel Embid, Rudy Gobert, Brook Lopez or Boban ? Zion is strong enough but too short. Adams earned his status as toughest player in the NBA according to GMs. Adams wouldn't start on every team but he is a starting calibre player in my opinion. I believe he can be the anvil to Zion's hammer but the whole team is still very much a work in progress .
    Last edited by KoMikaera; 04-07-2021 at 07:08 AM.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Pelicanidae View Post
    Be honest with yourself for just a moment.

    Have either of those players actually played start quality basketball on any sort of consistent basis this season. I don't care what Bledsoe was doing in 2018-19 or what Adams was doing in 2014-15 or what Isaiah Thomas was doing in 2016-17. This year, now, right now, with the data we have, have they been consistently starter calibre players?

    No. So that's why I said we have two surefire NBA starters, in Ingram and Zion. Adams might start on some teams but not on others and definitely not with his current level of play. Same is true of Bledsoe. Note, by the way, that it's not true that they've both been starters their entire careers; Bledsoe, for example, has played 680 games and has only started 517 of them: almost a quarter of his career has been off the bench.
    However you want to look at it, Bledsoe and Adams would be starters on New York and Chicago so we're still more talented than those teams. And you're talking about what they did 4 years ago is deceptive. They were significantly better players just >Last Year<. Which means we have to question the coaching. There's no way this team should be 7 games under .500. I don't think we should waste this teams youth giving Stan another chance. Go get a real coach for these players to play under. Can you give reasons why Stan should be kept as coach that aren't excuses? What are his positives?

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Pelicanidae View Post
    and they play in the East for god's sake.
    Glad you pointed that out, because I was thinking the same.

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