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mattie
02-06-2012, 06:27 PM
http://www.hoopsworld.com/nba-pm-time-to-fear-the-indiana-pacers?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=nba-pm-time-to-fear-the-indiana-pacers&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter


The strength of the Pacers over the last 10 games has been the team’s depth, which is particularly beneficial in this season’s condensed schedule.

“I definitely think we’re deeper,” Granger said. “We’re probably eight or nine deep talent wise as far as we’ve got guys that would start on other teams coming off the bench for us, so I think we’ve done a good job of drafting because right now we’ve got a lot of guys for cheap and that’s the way our team has been built so far.”

90'sNBARocked
02-06-2012, 07:41 PM
http://www.hoopsworld.com/nba-pm-time-to-fear-the-indiana-pacers?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=nba-pm-time-to-fear-the-indiana-pacers&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter


There’s a reason the Eastern Conference elite should be scared of the Indiana Pacers, and it’s not because Frank Vogel’s team is off to a 16-7 start.

As dominant as the Chicago Bulls and Miami HEAT have looked so far, they’ve arguably been playing their best basketball. Perhaps the HEAT could tweak their defense (although they presently rank eighth in defensive efficiency in the entire NBA), but the point is, these are known quantities throughout the league.

The Pacers, meanwhile, rank just 19th in offensive efficiency, which means any further offensive development by swingman Paul George, point guard Darren Collison or center Roy Hibbert turns Indiana from a fourth-seed threat, into a second or third-seed contender.

“We definitely can,” swingman Dahntay Jones told HOOPSWORLD. “I think we’re one of the better teams in the East and we just have to keep getting better on a daily basis.”

The challenge doesn’t come on the defensive side of the ball, where Indiana ranks fifth in defensive efficiency. The Pacers are even making 37.5% of their 3-point attempts (tied for eighth in the NBA) on the offensive end.

The problem is that Indiana is hitting 43.5% of its 2-point field goals, which ranks dead last in the NBA.

So what can the Pacers change to revitalize their interior and mid-range games?

“I would like to say our offensive execution,” forward Danny Granger told HOOPSWORLD. “It’s what we probably need to improve on the most. We don’t execute right now at the level that we would like to. It’s definitely our offensive execution. We’re the top team in defense right now, so that’s carrying us right now but we still need to execute on the offensive end better and I think we’ve been growing that over the past month or so.”

Granger has a point. Since January 20th, Indiana has averaged 95.7 PPG during a 7-3 stretch that included road wins over the Los Angeles Lakers, Bulls, Orlando Magic and Dallas Mavericks.

The strength of the Pacers over the last 10 games has been the team’s depth, which is particularly beneficial in this season’s condensed schedule.

“I definitely think we’re deeper,” Granger said. “We’re probably eight or nine deep talent wise as far as we’ve got guys that would start on other teams coming off the bench for us, so I think we’ve done a good job of drafting because right now we’ve got a lot of guys for cheap and that’s the way our team has been built so far.”

And the players aren’t just carbon copies of each other. The Pacers have versatility in Granger—who can play both forward spots—power forward/center Tyler Hansbrough and George, who is as tall as some centers while moving better than most shooting guards. That means Vogel can utilize both big and small lineups.

“(It’s) a huge advantage because, like I said, we can adapt to other teams and it’s hard for other teams to adapt to us,” Granger said. “We can go big and other teams can’t match up with us and then if we have to go small, we have that ability to and I think that’s a huge advantage.”

The Pacers even have an advantage at point guard where Vogel can pick his poison with Collison (who Granger describes as a “facilitator”) and George Hill (who Granger says is more of a “scorer”). While Indiana’s point guards might not stick out on a roster sheet, they do have a 2.0 Player Efficiency Advantage over opponents’ point guards (according to 82games.com), which is a stathead’s way of saying that Vogel gets more out of that position than his adversaries do.

Indiana’s greatest advantage, however, remains its defense.

Opponents are hitting just 41.7% of their field goals against the Pacers while attempting just 23.2 free throws per game.

“We played (solid defense) right before the playoffs of last year,” Jones said. “We’ve been doing a solid job on our defense and growing as a defensive unit and we just carried it over to this year.

“We take pride in being a defensive unit, everybody knowing where their next man is going to be, where the help is going to be and trusting each other,” he added.

Nothing happens overnight in the NBA, but the Pacers are dangerously close to joining the league’s elite, whether the HEAT and Bulls are ready to believe it or not.

“We have so many young guys and if we keep getting better I think we’ll be able to compete with anybody,” Jones concluded.

Found the bolded part rather interesting

CableKC
02-06-2012, 08:00 PM
I still think that we should improve our depth at the Wing rotation...but I can live with what we have once GH gets healthy. But I feel that if we are able to somehow improve the Frontcourt PF/C rotation....I feel that we can really compete against ANY Team in a 7 game series. As many have pointed out...in a shortened season...our depth could get us past the 1st round....how far beyond we get beyond the 1st round is dependent on what ( if any ) moves the FO makes.

IMHO...the depth that we have is what will carry us through the Playoffs.

Eleazar
02-06-2012, 08:03 PM
I still think that we should improve our depth at the Wing rotation...but I can live with what we have once GH gets healthy. But I feel that if we are able to somehow improve the Frontcourt PF/C rotation....I feel that we can really compete against ANY Team in a 7 game series. As many have pointed out...in a shortened season...our depth could get us past the 1st round....how far beyond we get beyond the 1st round is dependent on what ( if any ) moves the FO makes.

IMHO...the depth that we have is what will carry us through the Playoffs.

There is no need to make any moves to get past the second round.

Who does this team have to beat in order for it to get even the most diehard fans to believe in it?

daschysta
02-06-2012, 08:19 PM
Miami scares me, but I honestly believe we would have a real shot at Chicago in seven games, particularly if they are dinged up. George is an excellent weapon vs. Rose, and if George continues to improve we honestly may have the advantage at 4 positions vs. them.

Rose>>>>>>>>DC
George>Rip
Granger>Deng
West>Boozer
Hibbert>Noah

pacerDU
02-06-2012, 08:51 PM
Miami scares me, but I honestly believe we would have a real shot at Chicago in seven games

I definitely agree with this. Miami could pose a problem, but I think Chicago is somewhat overrated. They're obviously a very good team but to be honest I really don't see them as being any better than us. Plus we match up very favorably with them.

I don't think this team needs any major additions/changes this season, unless it's an absolute no-brainer. If we could get Kaman on a half-year loan for just cap-space and maybe a first I'd be up for that. Otherwise I don't want to see any major disruption to what we have. We should have some nice caps-space for next season to sign another big contributor.

PacersHomer
02-06-2012, 08:55 PM
Bulls aren't mentally tough either as Rose showed to the world by complaining about cheering.

pacerDU
02-06-2012, 09:17 PM
Well... Rose is the one guy on the team that actually does scare me, for obvious reasons. He can pretty much get his whenever he wants. The other guys I feel we can handle sufficiently.

Pingu
02-06-2012, 09:49 PM
Let's not forget how the Noah vs. Hibbert match up played out in last year's playoffs. Also, Rip, Deng and Boozer are pretty good players.At this point I wouldn't say that George, Danny and West are clearly better than these three guys.

PacerPenguins
02-06-2012, 10:02 PM
D west will be huge if we play the bulls in the playoffs again...

Naptown_Seth
02-06-2012, 10:17 PM
There is no need to make any moves to get past the second round.

Who does this team have to beat in order for it to get even the most diehard fans to believe in it?
I'm already on the wagon, and normally I lead the darksiders/realists. This feels legit, I can see the path to their success on a regular basis now. I can see how Roy can score one night and West on another as a way to keep things rolling. And they play serious defense with real effort.

Ace E.Anderson
02-06-2012, 10:30 PM
There is no need to make any moves to get past the second round.

Who does this team have to beat in order for it to get even the most diehard fans to believe in it?
i think the pacers season can easily be seen through two extremes. The extremely positive side could look at our record and think we have arrived as legit contenders, or you could look @ the extremely negative side and say that we dont have too many quality wins (lakers and mavs are old, the bulls were w/o Deng and Gibson, the magic have beaten us 2 our of 3 games, and the heat absolutely mopped the floor w/ us W/O Wade)

Obviously its somewhere in between, and may be even closer to the positive example. In all honesty however, I don't think there is a single regular season win that could be had to make most people think we could beat the bulls, heat or maybe even the magic in a 7 game series with our current roster makeup. I think we're a solid 4th, potentially 3rd seed in the east. Though I think we could go 7 games with the bulls, idk if we beat either of the top two in a seven game series. Esp MIA

jeffg-body
02-07-2012, 01:39 AM
I can see us as the team no one wants to play in the first round or maybe even the second round. Miami and Chicago seem to be the major hurdle for us right now, but at the end of the season who knows how well DW and GH will have improved and become even more comfortable with playing with our guys. Add in the fact that we could possibly pick up another good player at the deadline and we could really put the scare in Chicago and Miami.

PGisthefuture
02-07-2012, 01:56 AM
I think we could get Kaman or J.R. Smith for the right price without giving up anything serious besides a first rounder for Kaman. One guy I wish we could get, but I don't know if it is a real possibility would be Marcin Gortat. He would be exactly what we need at the backup C.
This plus a pick or two: http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=7qjwtn4
We would obviously have to find a guy for our backup wing, but it's just an idea.
It's a real pipe dream, but could you imagine how good we would be?