Blogtable: Larry Legend’s next move

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes across the globe to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.

BLOGTABLE: Indy’s big challenge | Wish he was here | Runaway Thunder

Indy's basketball braintrust: Larry Bird (left) and GM Kevin Pritchard (Kevin C. Cox, NBAE)

Indy’s basketball braintrust: Larry Bird (left) and GM Kevin Pritchard (Kevin C. Cox, NBAE)

> You’re Larry Bird. If the Pacers-Heat series ends up like it looks now — any doubts? — how can you get Indiana past Miami next season?

Steve Aschburner, If I’m Larry Bird, one of the most deft passers in the NBA, I want to throttle several Pacers over the casual, even reckless way they pass the basketball. Whether getting the ball out of traps or delivering entry passes to the post, Indiana often looks amateurish — and has so for years. That’s a change from within (intensive training camp time), most likely, because who swaps out the roster for more accurate passers? But the Pacers need better perimeter shooting, too. And they have to find ways to better utilize Roy Hibbert offensively — if that’s not in the low post, then he has to sharpen up his shot repertoire.

Fran Blinebury, Convince LeBron to go back to opt out and go back to Cleveland. Otherwise, you don’t. Will Bird really keep this team together? Does he overpay for Lance Stephenson? Does he find any way to regain trust in Roy Hibbert? Sometimes the door just closes.

David West, Roy Hibbert (Ron Hoskins/NBAE)

David West, Roy Hibbert (Ron Hoskins/NBAE)

Jeff Caplan, No doubts here that the Heat take the series and likely tonight in Game 5. How does Larry get the Pacers by the Heat next year? Hope LeBron James opts out and leaves, or better yet retires. Beyond what Bird can bring in (maybe one or two more veteran heads would help), he needs his high-dollar core guys — namely $29 million to Paul George and Roy Hibbert next season — to grow up.

Scott Howard-Cooper, I’ve got big trouble. I have huge money invested in a center I needed to be THE difference-maker against a Heat team who was most vulnerable inside, and got a good- to very good regular season from Roy Hibbert … and then the guy went over the handlebars. My chances of getting someone better at the position are basically nonexistent. If I know where the regular-season Hibbert is hiding, getting him back is my offseason priority. That’s the only way I get the Pacers past the Heat next season, under the premise Miami stays together.

John Schuhmann, The Pacers obviously need more offense, off the bench in particular. I would bring Lance Stephenson back and keep that starting unit intact (unless a point guard upgrade is available), but I’d try to use my mid-level exception on playmaking and/or shooting off the bench. Then, I’d encourage coach Frank Vogel to get a little more creative with the offense and to take a more Popovich-ian approach to playing time, so that when the chips are down, the starters are fresher and the reserves are more trusted and empowered.

Sekou Smith, I don’t have any doubts that this series ends with the Heat on top, if that’s what you mean. Making offseason moves to maneuver past the Heat will prove difficult because I’m not sure what moves the Heat will make. I don’t think this team, in its current form, is the one the Pacers and everyone else in the Eastern Conference will have to go through. I could stay the course with my current core and see if the Heat take a step back when and if Chris Bosh bolts for a max deal and his own seat in the No. 1 chair elsewhere. But I’d much rather shop Roy Hibbert and see what I can get for him (I never wanted to pay him what the Trail Blazers forced us into to keep him a couple years ago) and take my chance with Paul George, David West and Lance Stephenson as the core group of three stars to build around. I need to upgrade there and at point guard. And as much as I need star power, I need dependable guys who won’t shrink when the moment overwhelms them, guys who do what Marcin Gortat (a free agent this summer) did against Hibbert in the conference semifinals.


  1. jdub455 says:

    get rid of george hill… there’s a a of players on that roster that can be given up to make lance stay… bj lance can be shifted to the PG position, evan turner in SG and PG in the SF (or vice versa)… i think more time with the current lineup will be better esp on the defensive side… although the bottom line is, the HEAT is just too good… they got 3 HOF players, a solid all star in bosh, a great coach and unselfish supporting cast… talent is not the only ingredient necessary to win a championship… larry legend knows this… the lakers team during his time were more loaded with talent and yet they won 3 championships bec of teamwork,,,

  2. pacers fan says:

    1. they need to grow up.. watching them for stretches is unbearable since the movement is so sloppy. plus the body language from everyone shows they are frustrated with each others lapses.
    2. move on from hibbert’s offense. stop forcing him to score against miami. i know it’s ideal if he can score more but pounding the ball inside through someone without offensive moves will just make your offense stop to a halt.
    3. get an offense minded point guard. someone who can create their own shot. great as paul george and west on offense are, they are not able to carry the load using isolation and pick and rolls alone. they need someone who can break down defenses regularly and push some blood into their stagnant offense.

    all in all, they’d be lucky to reach game 7. even without lebron for most of game 5, they barely made it out..

  3. drago says:

    They should be gratefull to be in the ECF that is a good season for any team.Miami has 3 All Star players they all always the favorites in any matchup in the NBA they bought that star power and now it’s paying off.

  4. asdfgh says:

    Pacers need a point guard who could distribute and shoot well. It’ll be great if they could acquire dragic for Evan turner and an additional player

  5. Titus says:

    Try to get Eric bledsoe or Kyle lowry

    Let Stepenson go to Free Agency(hawks)

    Pick up a good young shooting guard

  6. WooBad says:

    If I was Larry Bird, I would sue LeBron James. Or maybe file a complaint with NBA Officials. The Miami Heat is just a great team.

  7. Sneak Diss says:

    Lol im pretty sure Sekou was saying that the only reason Bosh would ever leave Miami was for a max deal which isnt happening

  8. okc2014 says:

    I don’t think Larry Bird coaching is the way to go. Hibbert is key here. Maybe they can start by fessing up that they snagged Andrew Bynum just for greed purposes?

  9. Bala says:

    Get P. George counseling that he is not a star like Kobe or Lebron and move the ball around if he want to be, I wud rate Gud on S.Curry and Dragic over his diminishing skills. Hibbert does MMA workouts, I bet he can’t do 36″box jump: drop him out.

  10. Unkle Daddy says:

    First off, who in their right mind is giving Bosh a max deal. He’s a good player, but he is not a real-good to great player. Too many max deals being handed out in the NBA. Is somebody giving Wade a max deal somewhere, too… Although I wanted the Pacers to win, just because I dislike Miami, I don’t think anybody thought they could win it all after they just fell apart. They remind of the 90’s Knicks they got something, but it ain’t IT.

  11. MoCity Mike says:

    I think that Roy Hibbert should be shopped for a big and a pg. The guy plays like his feet are in quick sand and his offensive prowess is subpar at best. His inability to take advantage of bigs that r half a foot shorter is sad and pathetic!!!

  12. g says:

    first,stephenson is not a star.
    second indy is fine the way they are.
    only move for them is to get a sixth man worth getting awarded sixth of the year.
    deeper bench would be a bonus. then guys gotta get along too… its their biggest problem this team seems divided if they cant correct this bird might as well trade to rebuild anew. they played well in game 1 and first half of game 2 vs miami and then collapsed. even though miami @ 3-1 now they could have gave a better performance but team sprit just isnt there

  13. jashon says:

    KG and Pierce should sign there in the offseason and they should trade Hibbert and Stephenson for Rondo and avery bradley

  14. Gagan Diwan says:

    Get rid off Roy Hibbert.

  15. Chris Terrence says:

    Well, seeing how it’s pretty apparent that he is not going suit up to go back and play for Boston again, or even coach there, then I think he should retire. Larry is one of the greatest players that ever was and it must be tough on him dealing with what he sees from so many of the modern day players (see Pacers, among others). I saw him at some of the games this years and it looked like it was taking it’s toll on him, and that’s because he knows what “team” is all about.
    One more thing if I may. I read that Van Gundy is being considered for the Grizzlies coaching job. Oh please, oh pretty please, oh pretty, pretty please, make that happen. ANYTHING, to get him off the air.

  16. Titus says:

    Keep West. Get rid of Vogel
    Keep George. Get rid of Hill
    Keep Hibbert. Get rid of turner

    *Bring in a true PG
    *Keep Lance if u dont have to overpay for him…He’s a FA

    *shouldve kept Danny Granger

  17. Bye bye hibbert says:

    Pacers need to just get rid of hibbert. He’s to inconsistent. Amnesty him or trade him to rebuilding team like Boston. Offer hibbert and Evan turner for Avery Bradley and an expiring contract. Bradley adds to the defense on the perimeter to lock in on ray Allen and the guards of Miami. Paul George on lebron pick a PF in free agency who can spread the floor and also defend the outside to cover bosh. Get DANNY back as well.

  18. Txema says:

    I would fire Vogel and coach the team myself.

  19. OffensiveCreativity says:

    As far as I can see, the biggest thing the Pacers need to work on is offensive precision and creativity. The Heat already have guys like Lebron, DWade and Allen who just do their thing night in and night out. The Pacers have less offensive talent and that’s what kills them. Heat have the talent to constantly make plays, Lebron and Wade work around great defense by hitting amazing shots.
    Pacers defense looks good, but they need to match Miami’s energy. I don’t think this is the fault of Vogel, hiring a new coach might improve their offense, but sink their defense. It could be a tradeoff for the worst.

    I’d have to agree with Guy’s post, they need a true point guard to make better offensive plays and get the ball into the paint.

  20. timmy21 says:

    Why do people tend to see George Hill as a bad guard? He was the only one who has shown at least some consistency…he’s not putting big numbers but he’s doing all the little things the team needs. I mean, look at his game this year vs the Blazers. He got the ball more and he was expected to score and he delivered. Both Hill and West need more opportunity to score. George and Stevenson are spending time arguing the calls and talking about getting to somebody’s head instead on focusing on how to get to the Finals.

  21. Jr. Samples says:

    Not sure if they could get anything for Hibbert in the off season. Contract too high production too low. Time to ditch “Born Loser” once and for all. The Bird experiment is over. Bring in a real point guard and slide Hill to the off guard spot where he is more natural. Should had never traded Granger. You know Bird is thinking the Same thing. Granger isn’t the total answer but it was steady production off the bench. Evan Turner? No resign. He showed nothing. Start Mihimi. over Hibbert. At least he hustles.

  22. Idan says:

    It is amazing that none of you guys even mention a word about Vogel’s performance. To me, him and his crew have been taken to the cleaners by Spoles crew!! I see Vogel’s energy, or lack of…in the Pacers players, flat out. He is not a motivator. Your question should have been this: If another coach was in Vogel’s place what would the outcome be, lets hear your thoughts on that!!!

  23. Richard Clark says:

    The Pacers refuses to play to there strengths which is going to the post.Slow the game down stop turning the ball over at the top of the foul line which the Heat turns into easily points.Stay on the 3 point shooters.The center on the Pacers must protect the paint at all cost..Also must make Lebron James and Wade play low post defense.

  24. Bilal says:


  25. Bilal says:


  26. Guy says:

    A real point guard is what the Pacers need most.

  27. Game Time says:

    Looking at what Miami has done in the past 3 games, I finally see what they used Oden for. They used him in practices to get used to Hibbert. I mean it’s like he’s not even there compared to last ECF when Miami was getting out rebounded 40 to 20.