We Survived. (Notre Dame Week 2 Recap)

Alright, Notre Dame beat Ball State 24-16. Let’s spin this.

It was clear after the first drive Notre Dame thought Ball State would fold over and just let it be easy. This wasn’t the case. Ball State came into this game motivated, and they played well against the Irish. Notre Dame’s defense is clearly elite, I think we can all admit that. Te’von Coney is the best linebacker Notre Dame has had since Jaylon Smith, and I’m not accepting another answer. DLine didn’t look like they played great based on stats but Riley Neal is extremely mobile, and from what I saw, he’s hard to bring down. The DLine didn’t play fantastic by any means, but they did force Neal to get out of the pocket and make tougher throws than he would have liked. Resulting in Jalen Elliott getting two INTS. Now, we all seen how the defense has played for 2 weeks now, so I’m not going to sit and bore you on that. The main topic of this blog is Brandon Wimbush.

BRANDON WIMBUSH IS FINE. BRANDON WIMBUSH IS FINE. BRANDON WIMBUSH IS FINE. BRANDON WIMBUSH IS FINE. BRANDON WIMBUSH IS FINE. BRANDON WIMBUSH IS FINE. BRANDON WIMBUSH IS FINE. BRANDON WIMBUSH IS FINE. BRANDON WIMBUSH IS FINE. Wimbush is fine. Yes, he did throw 3 INTS, but it happens. The second interception wasn’t his fault, and you can make an argument that the first one wasn’t his fault. Would we be discussing this if he threw one interception and still had 297 yards and completed 54% of his passes? No, so we need to relax. Yes, he missed on a few passes that he shouldn’t miss on but guess what? We don’t have Baker Mayfield, we have Brandon Wimbush. Chip Long didn’t allow Brandon Wimbush to run the ball. I don’t care what the press conference said, they told him not to run and work on throwing the ball as much as he can. (A blind person could have seen that) Wimbush is made to run the ball 10-15 times a game and throw the ball 22-28 times a game. He threw the ball 31 times and had 3-4 designed runs, why? We were playing Ball State that’s why. Brandon is fine, and he’s going to be fine. He played good against Michigan and struggled at times Saturday. Wimbush is our best option to win big games. That’s why you make him work on throwing against Ball State so that you have film on him doing certain things that he can improve on and so that you see what can be added to the playbook. I can’t be the only one with a working brain that is a Notre Dame fan. We knew coming into the season he would struggle at times. HE STRUGGLED AGAINST BALL STATE, THAT’S A BLESSING FOR THE IRISH. If he struggles like this against any big-time opponent, Ian Book will come in. Brandon Wimbush is 11-3 (counting LSU) in games he starts in, and Notre Dame fans think he can’t play. FUCKING INSANE. Most Notre Dame fans don’t understand that if Ian Book comes in the size of the receivers is wasted because he struggles to throw the ball down the field. Book is a good football player, but he isn’t made to throw the ball down the field, AT ALL. Brandon taking shots down the field with Boykin and Claypool is the best way to actually not waste their size. Sometimes throwing the ball down the field will result in 50/50 balls and Ball State won a 50/50 ball Saturday and that’s not the last time it’ll happen this season. If you want to complain about the offense complain about the actual problems, the OLine. They didn’t play great against Michigan which was expected knowing Michigan’s front 7. Weirdly, they performed worse against Ball State then they did against Michigan, and that doesn’t make any sense. I don’t have much to say about the offensive line, but if they want to talk about winning the Joe Moore, then they need to play like they give a fuck.

 

Side Story from the game: If the women that sat behind me and to the right is reading this, next game please just SHUT UP. This lady is lucky she brought her little kid with her because that was a shield from me explaining to her that she doesn’t understand a fucking thing about football. Every single incomplete pass she would say out loud ” We want Ian Book,” No bitch you want Ian Book, keep it to yourself the rest of us want to win this fucking game. Side note for all the ladies coming from the ladies man himself, if you don’t understand sports, it isn’t even slightly attractive if you yell in my ear about how much you think you know about sports. (She was yelling this stuff during the first quarter.)

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What Does Tyreke Evans Mean for the Pacers?

 

A LOT. Not only can you make the argument that he is the most prominent free agent the Pacers have ever signed, but he gets buckets. The Pacers biggest problem last season was when Oladipo couldn’t get his shots no one could. The Pacers were a team with one superstar and a ton of role players. Don’t get me wrong, you need role players to have a good basketball team, but in this league, you need at LEAST two bucket getters. Tyreke is coming off arguably his best season yet, where he averaged 19.4ppg 5.2apg 5.1rpg and 1.1spg. Tyreke also shot 39% from 3, which is excellent for Tyreke. Tyreke Evans can play basketball, and that’s a fact.

What Tyreke does for the Pacers more than anything, is he actually provides late-game lineups that can succeed. In his career, he has played 3 different positions (1-3), which is enormous for a Pacers team full of role players. Tyreke now provides the Pacers flexibility where they can play the hot hands instead of being stuck with the same lineup no matter the circumstances.  I personally believe that if Tyreke can stay healthy and plays a majority of the games, then he helps the Pacers add between 5-7 wins just by himself. Now a different story, but if Myles Turner and/or Sabonis or even both finally figures it out, then we could be looking at 10 more wins than last season. I have EXTREMELY HIGH hopes for Tyreke Evans on this Pacers team. BRING ON THE 76ERS, that’s the last thing I’m saying.

 

Pacers Potential Offseason Free Agency Moves

Will the Indiana Pacers win the 2018-19 championship? Not a fucking chance. Can they compete at the highest level? Absolutely. The Indiana Pacers have no chance of signing an already developed superstar. (in all honesty, I thought if we made a push for Paul George then we could maybe swing him but no one would get on my #BringBackPG13 train.) The Pacers can win 55 games, and we still know that it would take a miracle to beat Boston. What does Indiana have on their side? A TON of cap space. There are a lot of moves this offseason that the Pacers should take a chance at, let’s dig into them.

Free Agents for the Pacers :

Julius Randle PF – 16.1ppg 8.0rpg 2.6apg

I love this fit for the Pacers. I feel like Julius Randle fits what the Pacers are looking for in a PF. Julius not being able to shoot isn’t an issue to me even the slightest. If they do take the route of signing Julius Randle, then they have to make sure they either draft/sign more shooters for this roster. Bojan and Oladipo can’t be the only capable shooters off of a Randle drive. Most Pacers fans may disagree, but I don’t believe in the starting two center theory with Sabonis and Turner. If the Pacers have the chance to pull the trigger on Randle at a reasonable price, (which I know is going to be high), then I think they should do it. He’s the perfect replacement for Thad Young.

Jabari Parker PF/SF – 12.6ppg 4.9rpg 1.9apg 

People aren’t talking about this one because it’s a little crazy, but hear me out. I still believe if Jabari can stay on the court, then he is a tremendous talent, that’s a big what if. Jabari didn’t fit into what the Bucks were doing anymore when he came back last season. Jabari would provide the Pacers with a better shooting PF if that’s the route they’re going to take, with even some lineups he can play SF. The only reason I would want the Pacers to take a chance here is if 1) he can pass a physical 2) they get him for dirt cheap on a two year deal with a team option for the 2nd year. Jabari has something left in the tank; he has to stay on the court to prove it.

Will Barton SG/SF – 15.7ppg 5.0rpg 4.1apg 

Pacers need to talk first and pull the trigger on Will Barton before someone else can. The Pacers are missing a Will Barton style player and whose better at being the “Will Barton” style player other than Will Barton? I believe this signing helps Bojan tremendously. I know it doesn’t make sense for a team to sign a player to play some of your minutes, and it benefits you, but in this case, I think it does. Bojan is a good role player for the Pacers, what the Pacers lacked was not having a role player that could make up for Bojan on bad shooting nights. A role player isn’t going to play 82 good games, that isn’t how they work, but if you have two similar role players, then you can hope in a majority of the 82 games one of them shoots half ass at least. Then when they’re on, on the same night, then the other team is in trouble from the start. GR3 didn’t provide this for the Pacers like they originally hoped. Just a personal preference, I think Bojan would be a tremendous 6th man.

JJ Redick SG – 17.1ppg 2.5rpg 3.0apg 

This would be a weird fit but I think I can talk myself into it. This whole signing only works if they sign a PF. No Circumstance does this work with Sabonis and Turner on the court at the same time. The starting lineup would have to be without a true point guard. Vic would have to step up his playmaking ability. Oladipo, Redick, Bojan, ________, Turner/Sabonis would have to be your lineup almost unless you could talk Redick into being a bench player, doubtful since he’s in his prime. The Pacers would have to fly around defensively and beat everyone with the shooting. I love Redick and would love to have him as a bench player doesn’t seem like something he would sign up for right now, but it could always be worth a call.

Marcus Smart SG/PG – 10.2ppg 3.5rpg 4.8apg 

This signing would allow the Pacers to be one of the best crunch time perimeter defending teams in the league. Being able to have a lineup with Smart, Lance, and Oladipo in the game to get a stop is something that I can get behind. Marcus Smart is a glue guy, Lance and Marcus together is literally super glue. The thought of those two on the court together at the same time already makes me feel horrible for the other team having to deal with them both, and those two would fall in love with each other’s shenanigans. Marcus Smart seems like a player the Pacers really should pursue because I think he fits what the Pacers are trying to do but I’m not too sure the Celtics are going to let him walk.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope SG/SF – 13.4ppg 5.2rpg 2.2apg 

KCP is the definition of 3-and-D guy. After getting paid the way he did last offseason, and there are a lot better free agents this offseason I see KCP taking a major pay cut. His style of play fits the Pacers, and I think he can start alongside Oladipo and provide defense and floor spacing. He isn’t anything special; he is literally a 3-and-D guy. KCP is a personal preference; you are either for it or against, there will not be much in-between when it comes to him.

Wayne Ellington SG – 11.2ppg 2.8rpg 1.0apg 

He fits with what the Pacers have, but you won’t be signing a starter. Wayne Ellington can be a very crucial part of your bench if the Pacers decide Bojan should start. Ellington is a good shooter and can provide shooting during slumps. He shoots well, and he shoots often. I can’t tell you I’m sold on his defensive ability, I think with this signing you need to know you’re signing a shooter.

Luc Mbah a Moute SF/PF – 7.5ppg 3.0rpg 0.9apg 1.2spg 

The Pacers need to be 100% sure when signing Mbah a Moute that they’re not overpaying. He isn’t worth much, but what he does provide is Oladipo a break on defense, and he will space the floor slightly. Not a horrible shooter but not someone who is going to kill you either. Mbah a Moute to me is a last resort type of player. You know exactly what you’re getting when you sign Mbah a Moute. If the Pacers end up having to sign Mbah a Moute instead of other guys, then we failed. If we sign him cheap with other guys then I find that a win.

Joe Harris SG/SF – 10.8ppg 3.3rpg 1.6apg 

Joe Harris can’t be your sought-after player, but he can be a beautiful piece in a pool of players. If the Pacers go expensive on someone, then I would enjoy seeing a Joe Harris signing also to close up free agency. The kid is an excellent shooter, he started to develop last year, and he’s a very under the radar guy. Joe Harris can provide some real shooting off the bench which is something the Pacers could use. I also really like the fit with Joe Harris, he fits the “overlooked players” shadow that the Pacers have going on.

 

Should the Lakers even want Paul George?

Free agency 2018 could potentially mark the beginning of a new era in Los Angeles. With expiring contracts and the availability of big-name players this summer, the Lakers have the opportunity to become a playoff team. While there are plenty of options, Paul George seems to be the fan favorite in LA to come home and play alongside the young core of the Lakers. But should the Lakers want Paul George?

First of all, let’s talk about who can’t be signed to new contracts for the Lakers for this summer to be a success. Brook Lopez, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Corey Brewer. These 3 combine for nearly $50 million in the last year of their current contracts. None of these guys deserve the money they are making now and are not essential for the Lakers that are clearly building for the future. Julius Randle, who has been in trade rumors for what seems like forever, is on the last year of his contract, making about $4 million. However, Randle is only 23, and he will have a solid career as a power forward in the NBA. The Lakers need to seriously consider trying to keep him around.

Now, this is where the other options come in to play for the Lakers. There are two players that I see fitting in best with Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, and Julius Randle. Those players are none other than Demarcus Cousins and Avery Bradley. But why pursue Avery Bradley and not Paul George? The answer to this is simple. The Lakers are arguably always the center of attention in the NBA media. I can already imagine all of the stories and articles regarding the tension between Paul George and Demarcus Cousins. I just don’t see these two working well together. If George plays for his hometown Lakers, he will want to be the leader, and to be honest, I wouldn’t blame him. I don’t see Cousins taking the backseat to Paul George.

Avery Bradley and Demarcus Cousins just make sense to me. Lonzo and Cousins seem like the perfect match. Lonzo will create on offense and Cousins will feed off of it like we’ve never seen from him before. Bradley, a great defender and good scorer, will also fit in naturally. If they can keep Randle, I like the potential that the Lakers would have, while also being a strong team in the bottom half of the playoff picture in the West. But no matter what happens, the Lakers cannot mess up this summer. The money they have available can be spent poorly in free agency. We see it all the time, teams overpaying players is the trend. The Lakers need to be aggressive with the better free agents and make something happen. There is only one name that could POTENTIALLY (I’m not sure I see this) complicate things for the Lakers: LeBron James. If he shows any interest in the Lakers, they don’t have any other reasonable option other than making it happen.

Is Trae Young Worthy of the #1 Pick??

The most electric player in college basketball since Jimmer Fredette (who was the 10th pick of the 2011 draft). Trae Young an absolute electric factory. The true freshmen averaging 29.1pts 10.1ast and 3.8rebs a game at the age of 19. Everyone comparing him to Steph Curry because of the way he plays. Constantly hitting 3’s that most people wouldn’t even attempt. But the big question, is he worth the first pick? My opinion yes and no. Seems like I’m taking the easy way out there but I’m actually not. We are just going to base this off of the bottom 5 teams in the league because we never know who is going to get the 1st pick but I would really hope he goes in the top 5.

Atlanta Hawks – If I am the Atlanta Hawks, I truly would not draft Trae Young. They have the young Dennis Schroder. They wouldn’t benefit as much off of Trae Young as they would someone like Marvin Bagley. If they did draft him, I wouldn’t be surprised but it would be a better option to not draft him.

Orlando Magic – IF I AM THE ORLANDO MAGIC, I DON’T EVEN THINK TWICE. I WON’T EVEN WASTE ANYONES TIME ON DRAFT NIGHT TRAE YOUNG WILL BE MINE. This of all the shitty teams in the NBA this is by far my favorite fit for Trae Young. Also if I am Trae Young this is where I would want to play. Why the Magic are bad I’m not even sure. Their roster really isn’t that bad. Trae Young would look good in blue.

Sacramento Kings – This would be the hardest decision of all the teams. This truly depends on if you want to try to play two point guards or if you believe one of your talented young bigs actually pan out. (I don’t think there is a fucking chance they do) If I am the Kings, I think I pass on Trae Young and draft Marvin Bagley. Having a 1-2 piece of Bagley and Fox sounds a lot better than a 1-2 piece of Fox and Young. That would be a horrendous team defensively if they drafted Young.

Memphis Grizzlies – This is also tough. You have Mike Conley but do you really believe in Mike Conley at this point? Truly if I am the Grizzlies on draft night I trade Mike Conley and draft Trae Young. It is time for the Grizzlies to just blow it all up. They were like right there for so long but we knew they weren’t actual contenders. It is time to just blow it the fuck up. Draft Trae Young this year suck next year and draft another talented player early in the draft. Memphis it is time to just trust the process.

Los Angeles Lakers – If I am the Lakers, I would see what it would take to make Lonzo a shooting guard instead of a point guard and then I would draft Trae Young. LeBron is coming to town this off-season anyways so zero reason to draft a forward. Based on trades in the past there is a good chance the Lakers won’t even have this pick. If they didn’t pick Trae Young then I don’t know who they would pick. I don’t think the Lakers will take this pick.

These are the 5 favorites to have the top pick. Trae Young is electic and he has the talent to contribute immediately but he isn’t the kind of player that you select 1st pick no matter what. He needs to fit your roster for it to work. He isn’t worth in most situations to just blow your team up.

Time to Eliminate NBA All-Star Fan Voting.

With the new vote count among Eastern Conference guards, it has become clear that fan voting has turned into a popularity contest. I could go on and talk about why Ben Simmons isn’t a top 3 guard in the East, but I’m going to dismiss that for now. Dwyane Wade and Isaiah Thomas are actually in the top 10. Yes, I already checked if you were wondering, this is indeed the voting for this year. Dwyane Wade, who doesn’t start, and Isaiah Thomas, who has played 3 games, are ahead of Bradley Beal. I honestly don’t give a shit about Bradley Beal, but he sure as hell deserves to be in the all-star game above those two, as he averages almost 24 ppg. Unfortunately, most of the fan voting occurs on social media, which allows people to simply retweet to vote for undeserving players. Obviously, there are more Cavs fans due to LeBron James and their recent dominance of the Eastern Conference than there are fans of Bradley Beal.

The fans have officially made a joke out of what it means to be an all-star in the NBA. Luckily, fan vote does not solely determine who makes the all-star game. There is plenty wrong with the current vote count, and if this is any reflection of who ends up making it, things are going to get bad for the NBA. It’s time for the NBA to realize fans can’t even handle the ability to vote for players that deserve all-star status.

And also, if you think Ben Simmons is a top 3 guard in the East, please seek help.

Paul George trying to ruin the Pacers?

Did Paul George try and ruin the Pacers? Many Pacers fans have reason to believe so. Lets date back to early February 2017 when the rumors that in 2018 Paul George was going to sign with the Lakers. These rumors sent all Pacers fans into a panic because now you’re faced with what to believe with these rumors. Was Paul George really going to turn down more money to play in LA? Are these rumors real? Where did they come from? Many of these questions  went through all of the Pacers fans minds and plenty more. So plenty of Paul George trade options start surfacing especially with the Celtics. (the team that had the most to offer) The Pacers front office was then stuck on the fence on what to do because they aren’t sure if the rumors are true just like everyone else. But to stop all rumors Paul George comes out and says that he wants to win in Indy(completely lie to shut up all of the press). The trade deadline finally passes Paul isn’t dealt, leaving the impression to a lot of Pacers fans that Paul George is the man for the future for the Pacers. Fast Forward to April Pacers are now in the playoffs and George plays outstanding against the defending champs(Pacers arguably giving the Cavs the best competition in the playoffs other than the Warriors). After that series Pacers fans seem happy with the decision to not deal George. Jump 2 months to mid June and Paul George comes out and says that he is not resigning with the Pacers in 2018 and plans to sign with the Lakers. (complete cock move by the way) Now after that comment his trade value drops tremendously. Teams are only willing to give role players and no draft picks for George because they see him as a one year rental unless you’re the Lakers. Which the Lakers came out and said that they will give up no young talent for George but would give either Clarkson or Randle and a late first round pick for George. (which would go down as one of the worst trades in NBA history) Boston tried to draw the trade out as long as they could because they preferred Hayward over George and didn’t want to ruin their chances with Hayward. (good decision by them) OKC jumps in and offers the Pacers Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis (no draft picks) for George. Which the Pacers received to mediocre role players(in my opinion) and the Thunder dumped salary to get what some consider a top 10 player in the league. Now in July, Paul George reportedly has the nerve to come out and say “interest in Lakers has “been overstated” could stay with the Thunder” via Bleacher Report Twitter. Does he just want to be the most hated Pacer of all time?

Basically to my point of Paul George trying the ruin the Pacers. Imagine the Pacers getting some real starters and draft picks which is what the value of George was not just one mediocre starter and a unproven bench player for what some consider a top 10 player in the league. Also imagine how terrible Paul Georges legacy in Indy would be if the Pacers improved or even stayed just above .500 because they were given a good trade for him. Do I think Paul George purposely tried to tarnish the Pacers to save his ego/legacy? Yeah, I do believe that. In the order of how he did everything just doesn’t make sense. Did Paul George know the Pacers were going to get snubbed because he claimed himself as a rental? Obviously unless he doesn’t have a brain. Thunder traded for top 10 player in the league and dumped salary with nothing to lose(knowing they aren’t going to beat the Warriors or the Spurs next year). Did I just write a whole conspiracy theory on why Paul George is a asshole? Pretty much.

Pacers 2017-2018 Outlook

Free agency is winding down, so let’s look ahead at the Indiana Pacers outlook for next season.

Additions

  • PF TJ Leaf (via draft)
  • C Ike Anigbogou (via draft)
  • PG Edmond Sumner (via draft
  • SG Victor Oladipo (via trade)
  • F/C Domantas Sabonis (via trade)
  • PG Darren Collison (via free agency)
  • SF/SG Bojan Bogdanovich (via free agency)
  • PG Cory Joseph (via trade)

Losses

  • SF Paul George (via trade)
  • PG Jeff Teague (via free agency)
  • SG Monta Ellis (waived)
  • PG Aaron Brooks (expired)
  • F CJ Miles (via trade)
  • F Lavoy Allen (expired)

Obviously the big takeaway here is that the Pacers lost Paul George. They got at least one mid-level starter out of it, but it is definitely a rebuilding year. The Pacers have a little bit of a log jam in the front court as they have loaded up on bigs. Expect Anigbogou, and Sumner to spend the season in the D-League, and possibly TJ Leaf as well, if Thad Young remains on the team throughout the season. The addition of Collison was just to get a serviceable point guard and to add veteran leadership. This signing will probably keep Lance coming off the bench next season. Getting Cory Joseph for CJ Miles was a nice pickup as CJ was bound to leave anyway. This shows that the Pacers don’t believe much in Joseph Young yet. Bogdanovich is probably better than Glenn Robinson III, but he is better suited to play the role of a bench scorer, as he averaged 14 points per game off the bench last season. Overall, the Pacers got considerably worse.

Predicted Lineup (bench player)

  • PG Darren Collison (Cory Joseph)
  • SG Victor Oladipo (Lance Stephenson)
  • SF Glenn Robinson III (Bogdanovich)
  • PF Thad Young (Domantas Sabonis)
  • C Myles Turner (Al Jefferson)

This Lineup doesn’t look awful on paper until you really dig into it. Collison is a high end backup at point guard at best. Cory Joseph is a solid backup. Oladipo will be a good defender and a decent second scoring option behind Myles, and Lance will provide a huge spark off the bench. GR3 started a lot of games last year when PG was hurt and did a decent job, he’ll provide decent defense and spot-up shooting. Bogdanovich is a good shooter and playmaker off the bench. Thad Young is an aging but still productive player. I don’t see Thad being on the roster by the time the first game comes around but if he is, he will start and be a low double-digit scoring guy. Sabonis off the bench will be a nice spot-up player. Myles is the guy now that PG is gone and he’s going to need to rebound better, but he will protect the rim and lead the team in scoring. Al Jefferson is aging but can still contribute a little off the bench. He’s a skilled post scorer. All in all, the East is weaker than ever, but a team with no star power will have a hard time competing in a star-driven league. Look for the Pacers to be in the lottery next year.