Thursday, August 2, 2012

Indiana Pacers Preview

The Indiana Pacers are a curious team. They should have finished off the Heat in the second round of last years playoffs, but eventually fell in six games after poor tactics involving Roy Hibbert, their 7'2 center. Here's a look at how the Pacers would stack up against the C's.

PG: Hill/Augustin
SG: George/Stephenson/Johnson
SF: Granger/Green
PF: West/Hansbrough/ Pendergraph
C: Hibbert/Mahini/Plumlee

The Pacers have very strong depth in their team all across the board. The point guard spot is fortified with George Hill, a solid player whom the Pacers massively overpaid at 4 yrs/40 million. The Pacers expect him to take the reins from Darren Collison last year, and have a bigger all around impact on the game. Indy brought in DJ Augustin in free agency to back up Hill, and I like this move a lot. Augustin has NBA experience starting for the Bobcats, and is a solid distributor who can also put in around 10 points a night.

The Pacers shooting guard position has the potential to be stacked, or could end up being a complete flop depending on the young players and how they fare this season. Paul George has the tools and the build to be the next big superstar in the NBA, but so far he has somewhat underachieved. George is extremely lengthy for a shooting guard at 6'10, and he also possesses the ability to shoot the three ball. If George can turn into the stud that he is meant to be, the Pacers will have a legitimate superstar who can carry the team through the playoffs. Lance Stephenson and Orlando Johnson are both promising youngsters, especially Stephenson who was one of the leading scorers in summer league this season. Look for Stephenson to get some decent minutes off the bench.

Danny Granger has always been a *good* scorer for the Pacers, but he has definitely lost a step, his points were one of his career lows at 18.7 points a game. That's down from the 25 he was averaging two seasons ago. Granger is a very strong shooter, and also a solid defender, but he needs to regain his confidence to be able to score late in games. A theory for why his points dropped was because the Pacers were a very good team last season, so others were able to take some of the load. That being said, there are times when Granger will be needed to be selfish and take it upon himself to carry the team. The Pacers dipped into the free agency market and acquired the services of Gerald Green, a 5th year 6'8 swingman from the Nets. Green will likely get a good amount of minutes to spell Granger, and will be asked to go for 10 to 15 points off the bench.

The Pacers are deep at power forward with two reliable options: one with veteran David West, and two with the tenacious and intense Tyler Hansbrough. Hansbrough has come a long way from when the Pacers selected him in the first round three drafts ago, and will hope to become a key cog in the Pacers machine this upcoming season. West is a veteran and a large contributor on both sides of the ball.

The Pacers are strong in depth at center after re-signing Roy Hibbert and trading for Ian Mahini. Hibbert continues to improve after being named to his first all star team this past season. Mahini is a solid back-up to Hibbert and will not be expected to produce any big numbers, aside from rebounds.

Looking at the Pacers roster, and the fact that they have a good coach in Frank Vogel, it all comes down to the development of a key group of their players. If George takes the leap that he is capable of and Granger gets to 20 points a game than this team will be scary good. While they still lack experience that comes with going deep in the playoffs this team plays fantastic defense and has eight or nine players who are double digit scoring threats on any given night.

The Pacers stack up quite well against the C's, they are two somewhat similar teams in that they play tough D. The one big advantage for Boston is that they have Rajon Rondo and Indy doesn't. Rondo is a playmaker especially on the offensive side of the ball and he would likely take George Hill to school in a best of seven series.

If you have any questions or comments, please leave a comment in the comment box below or email me at My next team preview will be of the New York Knicks.


  1. Roy hibbert may give the pacers the edge unfortunately. I'd be interested in reading about what u have to say about the knicks

  2. Hibberts a very good player still developing, Pacers need to work him the ball more though for him to be a star. And yeah the Knicks are a really interesting team.

  3. I started following your blog after seeing you post a comment on espn and I must say your writing style is very good and I enjoy it thoroughly!

    1. Thanks a bunch! Ive been writing about sports since I was 8 years old, and now, 7 years later, I tried the blog and I love it! Thanks so much for the support!

  4. Hi Jack,

    This is the first time I have read your article and I must say it's a very good read. I am a basketball rarity in that I am a fan of both the Pacers and Celtics. Just one issue with your Indy preview. You said that Rondo would take Hill to school but are you assuming that Boston would beat Indy? Just asking.

    Keep it up.

  5. Hi Sir,

    I'm a lot like you, I'm from Indiana and lived there for 11 years so I like the Pacers, while Kevin Garnett is my favorite player and helped me adopt the Celtic way when he was traded to Boston.

    I think that the Pacers and C's are both similar teams in that they play strong defense and rely on themselves as a group more than one star player such as a Lebron or Kobe. I think that in a 7 game series Boston would prevail because of experience, and mainly the Rondo vs Hill skill differential. That being said, if Paul George develops into a star, that would provide a mismatch because of how much taller George is over Bradley; this would also provide the Pacers with the star player than they need to become one of the leagues elite, and therefore I believe they would beat Boston (if the circumstances are met).

    What do you think? If you email me or keep commenting I would love to talk about it!

    1. Thanks for your reply.

      I agree that Rondo is the biggest advantage the Celtics have over Indy. Come to think of it, he's the biggest advantage the Celtics have over most teams. Very few teams can negate his effectiveness and efficiency. He just finds ways to be productive. That being said, I think a Bos-Indy series would go the distance. The key in my opinion though is the bench. If only our bench showed up in the Miami series, Lebron would still be ringless. Against the Celtics though, I still think the Celts would win only because of their experience.

    2. I agree, and I think Rondo still has his best years ahead of him. If he can find the scoring touch that he tends to in the playoffs, I think he could have a serious shot at MVP. I would love to finally hear some MVP chants in the garden!

      And I think that C's and Pacers both have quality benches. Hansbrough, Green and Augustin are all proven guys who can go for double digits at any time. I also think Stephenson has a chance to be a solid scorer this year. That being said, I don't think that they compare to Boston's bench of Green, Sulley, Lee and Terry.

      It'll be a very exciting season this year!

    3. Here's hoping the Pacers meet the Celts in the ECF.

    4. Would love to see it...give us a break from those Miami clowns and their "fans".

      What do you think of the blog? Are there any blaring issues that I could improve?

    5. Pictures would be nice.

      Also, I frequent the Pacers blog more often than the Celtic blog. I wouldn't have seen this if I hadn't checked I suggest you try being a member of all the NBA team blogs (SBNation in particular) and posting your team previews there without comparing them with the Celts. I actually posted your Pacer preview there a couple of days ago and judging by the replies, you may have new potential followers. Check out this link:

      You have to forgive me if I was not able to give you proper credit there. I was in a hurry so I just mentioned that it was an "outsider's take."

    6. No problem, thanks for helping me get some exposure! Good Advice all around! Thanks for the help!

    7. Gern geschehen.

      Hope I spelled it right.

    8. Perfect German ^

      Hey I got a warning for posting a Knicks preview on their SB nation blog, did that happen to you when you posted mine on the Pacers forum?

    9. No. What kind of warning? Where did you post it anyway?

    10. Is this where you posted it?

      Can't seem to find it there.

      Did you post it as a fanpost?

    11. Yeah I posted it as a fan post, and it said "no posting full content, this is for original content, you've been warned". I'm not sure why?

    12. That's odd. Never encountered that before but hey, that's a NYK blog and you know how whiny their fans are. Kidding

    13. Haha, true true ^

      Stay tuned I'm working on a Brooklyn Nets Preview at the moment, should have it done by today.

    14. Great.

      When you're done with the big eastern ones, would love to see how you rank them from 1 to 8. Post it on SBnation.

      By the way, you want me to post your knicks preview for you?

    15. Yeah sure, that would be great, thanks man!