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NapTonius Monk
08-29-2012, 06:44 PM
http://www.hoopsworld.com/nba-pm-the-nbas-toughest-division/

Pacers Ready To Contend?

"Ok, Ok, I know . . .I heard you. When I mentioned the likely contenders in the section above, Pacers fans jumped out of their chairs because I didn’t mention Indiana. See, here’s the reason – I was saving a whole section for you today!
So calm down, relax, here we go.

The Indiana Pacers have been one of the most impressive stories in the NBA over the last three seasons, as they have quietly gone from lottery team to playoff team and playoff team to possible contender. The management team of Larry Bird and David Morway did quite a job of overhauling the roster, setting up the incoming management team of Donnie Walsh and Kevin Pritchard to take the team back to prominence. They didn’t make any splashy offseason moves, which is why they are largely under the national media radar, but their OKC-like approach to building a champion in a small market could yield serious fruit in 2012-13.

The Pacers offer us another look at a small market team looking to make good in a league dominated by the large markets. The Pacers will not be a team that pays luxury tax, and they will not be a team that chases the big names in free agency. Instead, they will look to draft well, develop their young talent, and add a key piece here and there to make the mix just right.
Sound familiar?

We still have a couple of seasons before the worst (best?) of the new CBA luxury tax penalties hit, which is why we’re seeing power grabs in Los Angeles and Miami. They’re going to spend while they can, knowing that the days of simply outspending the rest of the league as a method of contending are about to come to a screeching halt. In the mean time, the teams that follow in the footsteps of the Oklahoma City Thunder, counting heavily on continuity and chemistry, will already be poised to compete in the new NBA economy.

Count the Indiana Pacers among those teams. If Paul George and Roy Hibbert, in particular, take the next developmental step, it could be enough to get the Pacers into the Eastern Conference Finals. From there, anything can happen."


I omitted the snippet they quoted from the Indy star, as there is a thread dedicated to that.

imbtyler
08-29-2012, 06:57 PM
I definitely enjoy the way we've been growing our team from scratch (draft), especially because OKC has found that to be a very good way to build a perennial playoff team. They luckily struck gold with drafting Kevin Durant (thanks, Portland), but from there, building around him was perfect. I think building this team around Danny Granger has been very valuable, adding a strong front- and back-court to support him. Now, we have Paul George (our own Kevin Durantesque steal), who we can easily supplant in Granger's place (when the time comes). I think our best days are ahead of us, and our future looks great.

We may be one piece away from contenders. But it was only one season between OKC needing one piece, and their Finals run. So hopefully we can see some good things happen, very soon.

yoadknux
08-29-2012, 09:25 PM
I definitely enjoy the way we've been growing our team from scratch (draft), especially because OKC has found that to be a very good way to build a perennial playoff team. They luckily struck gold with drafting Kevin Durant (thanks, Portland), but from there, building around him was perfect. I think building this team around Danny Granger has been very valuable, adding a strong front- and back-court to support him. Now, we have Paul George (our own Kevin Durantesque steal), who we can easily supplant in Granger's place (when the time comes). I think our best days are ahead of us, and our future looks great.

We may be one piece away from contenders. But it was only one season between OKC needing one piece, and their Finals run. So hopefully we can see some good things happen, very soon.
I'm not as optimistic. Our "one piece away from contenders" is a true superstar, a true #1 option. I don't think we're going to get one any time soon. Even if we do, with our cap situation, it will cost us some core players (Hibbert, Granger, West..) and then you need to add 2nd and 3rd options around that superstar, which is not that easy. The Cavs were unable to do it for example.

For OKC, their "missing piece", i guess was just waiting for their players to develop. But they have two young superstars and two other solid starters. Our situation is different. OKC Built their team by sucking for a long time and getting good picks. And these picks (#2, #4, #3) are now their core. We built our team over, what, #17, #17, #10... Which is why we can't compare ourselves to them.

With the way we spent our cap space this season, unless we blow this core up then we're going to remain an Atlanta-like team, that no one wants to face, that does a decent job during the regular season, but simply cannot handle teams with elite talent in the playoffs.

And I'm fine with that. Giving Miami a good fight in the second round is a whole lot better than getting a lottery pick.