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Why the Pacers will NOT compete for a championship in the next 5 years

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  • Why the Pacers will NOT compete for a championship in the next 5 years

    What you see is what you get. The Pacers will remain for the most part with the players you see now for the next 5 years and they will not compete for a championship. They have a ceiling below championship contention, and the Pacers front office doesn’t have the foresight to see our Pacers’ limited potential.

    Quick note- I don’t intend this as a negative outlook on the Pacers future. Believe it or not, I’m relatively happy with the Pacers’ offseason moves and I look forward to watching some of our young guys develop into real good players. However, that doesn’t keep me from seeing the cold hard truth, and that is this team’s talent level is not on a championship level.

    So just hear me out. No matter what I say in the following, I can promise you the next 5 years are going to be some of the most exciting times in the Pacers’ history and it will be a whole lot of fun to watch.

    It would be hard to look at all the improvement in the Indiana organization over just the last 3 years and come up with a conclusion that this team cannot or won’t compete for a title. But like most things, proper perspective can give us real insight into where this organization is heading.

    It all starts at the top. I don’t necessarily believe the Pacers’ brass aren’t intending on winning as much as possible. I think they very much so are doing everything they can to win. Kevin Pritchard has made some smart moves this offseason drastically improving the bench. It has nothing to do with desire, or a lack of an ability in our team’s front office. They simply don’t realize this team is severely lacking in some areas and unless they make drastic moves at some point in the next few years they’ll never truly compete.

    I’ve never really had a problem with how a front office operates. Whether they’re aggressive, conservative or maybe opportunistic. Whatever you want to call it. As long as they have an understanding of what it takes for a team to beat the absolute best, and the complete understanding that they cannot “sit back and evaluate” until they truly have a team that rivals the absolute best.

    But that’s what our front office has said. Kevin said the following:

    “Coach Vogel wants to keep this team together and see them grow,” Pritchard said. “We’ll look for deals and be opportunistic, but it’s not like we have to do something right now.
    “It’s never done,” he added, “but it’s time to sit back and evaluate where we are.
    I believe there are only three teams in the NBA that truly should simply be happy with the teams they have fielded. OKC, MIA, and LAL. Those three teams are stacked and are looking at an NBA Finals appearance. While OKC, MIA and LAL have different small issues they will be actively looking to fix if the right deals are coming along, all know they’re fielding top tier talent and until some glaring issues become apparent, no moves need to be made.

    This is obviously not the case with the Pacers and even the most positive thinking fellow on this board would agree this team isn’t where they need to be. But there lies the problem. Other than minor upgrades to the bench, the Pacers front office hasn’t made an attempt, or at least welcomed the idea that improvements need to be made for this team to compete.

    Many would argue that we have to allow the team to grow, and when the opportunity arises moves will be made. But again, the brass has clearly stated the starting five will stay as is for the forseeable future.

    This team’s starting five does NOT have a high ceiling. If we were the most positive and optimistic about this team’s future than this is the best we’ll see out of this team:

    George Hill could improve to a very solid starting point guard. Let’s say best case scenario Hill is a top 15 point guard. I mean that’s being honest. He’s not going to be handing out assists like Nash, and he’s not going to be exploding to the basket like Westbrook. He is who he is. A a solid defender, and a solid, reliable offensive player.

    Paul George could progress to a top 15 player, the second best two guard in the league. Again, that is probably overly optimistic. But let’s imagine he does. 20ppg, and top tier defense is a fair ceiling for PG.

    Granger simply cannot get better than he is now. He’s above average on offense and above average on defense. A real good player.

    This is West no matter how optimistic you are on his future: Average defense at best, poor rebounding and absolutely no shotblocking or protecting the rim. Let’s so he’s very good on offense. (that’s just absolutely inaccurate but we’ll throw him a bone)

    Hibbert is a shotblocker, protects the rim, plays solid defense and is a real good rebounder. He’s average on offense at best.

    That’s your team folks. That is the following, a real strong offense, a strong defense, and average rebounding. That’s pretty good. But bigger teams will out rebound us. Team’s with slashers will exploit our lack of an ability to protect the rim. Great offenses with all world superstars will simply beat our strong but not great defense. That is our team of the future. BEST CASE.

    Now compare that to any of the top three. Let’s go with LAL: They have twin towers protecting the rim, they have probably the best rebounding in the NBA, and they have Nash to help an offense that consists of Kobe, Pau and Howard.

    The only thing the Lakers lack is depth, and a perimeter defense that is probably not a problem considering Howard’s defensive prowess.

    Say what you want about the Lakers good fortune, or good market - whatever it may be, but the real problem is we have a front office that doesn’t at least want to TRY to beat that. No attempt at all.

    The funny thing is this has nothing to do with, as I alluded to before, our front offices general manner of doing business. Whether you refer to that as an aggressive or conservative office. It has everything to do with knowing who they are and the willingness to change it.

    Say what you want about Bird, who is considered much more conservative compared to Kevin Pritchard but Bird had the same idea each year: “Our team isn’t good enough as constructed, so we’ll do what we need to do to fix that.” Do you see how important that is? This could mean Bird, had he still been in charge, ends up making absolutely no big moves this offseason. This has nothing to do with doing a move, to do a move. This has everything to do with our front office recognizing a lack of talent and making it clear they will work to improve that until they can be happy with the talent level.

    I don’t believe it is impossible to compete with LAL, MIA, and OKC. I don’t. I think if you get creative with building a team you can come up with a team that could theoretically beat them. That doesn’t mean they actually end up doing it. But if you can at least field a team that can exploit weakness on those prior teams than you have a chance.

    I’m merely asking our office to have a goal they will work to achieve even if it never happens. I understand because of our market, because of luck or any other possible reasons that may be an impossible goal. Doesn’t matter. Aim for the sky, if you don’t meet it than so be it.

    I just don’t want to be told that the team I’m seeing has a chance to beat Miami, or OKC or LAL. Because they don’t. Plain and simple. And they won’t next year, or the year after, no matter how good Paul George gets. they don’t have that high of a ceiling.

    For those that don’t believe moves can be made to compete with the best, I’ll give you a fictional example of what I think could compete with every team in the NBA. I will not continue to trumpet this idea as if it is the only way to go, or as if this is the best possible example. This is nothing more than a vision I have, for a team that could be formed that would rival any other team in the NBA. Once again the point I’m trying to drive home is not, “Kevin Pritchard should listen to mattie, dumbass drunk boarder on PacersDigest.” It is, Kevin Pritchard should have visions of different scenarios in which a Pacers team could be fielded that can beat anyone.

    Here’s my simple thought- While gathering superstar talent went out of the wayside when the Pacers made no attempt to sign Deron Williams in the offseason, I could see how the Pacers could form an all defensive team that could matchup on any front with any team. A a team that could out rebound any team, protect the rim and make life miserable for guys like Wade and LBJ who’d like a nice free ride to the rim.

    I know the Pacers do have in place at least part of that puzzle. George Hill is a long physical defender at the PG position. Once Paul George puts on a little strength he’ll be an all world, long defender at the two. He’ll truly have the physical capacity to give any two guard in the league fits. Danny Granger is a very physical defender capable of forcing LBJ to settle for jumpshots just because of his strength and good footwork. Roy Hibbert is a strong rebounder and shotblocker able to protect the rim better than just about every NBA player except Ibaka and Dwight Howard.

    That’s a real core there. David West however is a major flaw in that plan. He cannot protect the rim, rebound or play anything above average defense. If David West’s valuable expiring contract is packaged with draft picks and or particular appealing bench players, he could bring back a starting caliber powerforward that could fullfill that necessary role.

    Forget David West’s supposed leadership. Focus what it would take for this team to keep Pau and Dwight Howard off the offensive boards. Imagine if this team had two frontcourt players that kept Russell Westbrook and James Harden from having easy layups and dunks. What would happen if Indiana faced Miami in the post season, and they left Shane Battier on our starting 4, and we beat them so bad on the boards Miami would have to play LBJ at the 4 allowing Granger to score at will?

    That fictional concept of a team could conceivably play against anyone. (In before ******* quotes the prior sentence and ignores everything else I said.)

    My idea as I’ve stated multiple times in various threads is since the rebuilding Hawks have lost out on the Dwight sweepstakes, offer them a package for either one of their 4’s, either Horford or Smith. Obviously Smith would be the best case scenario, but Horford would be amazing as well.

    The sheer size and athleticism and defensive ability displayed by our Pacers would allow us to truly play with any team in the NBA. That’d truly make them like the Pistons before. What people forget is that Pistons team was so great because they could defend ANYONE. They were that great. They didn’t have a superstar that could drop 40, but they could stop anyone, outrebound anyone and one year they were fortunate enough to outscore everyone because of all world defensive play.

    So I’d like to say one last time, I’m not really upset with how things are going. Watching the Pacers make it to the second round is going to be exciting. I think in the next few years Paul George is going to be a really good player. I think he’ll be an allstar. But that’s the teams ceiling.

    Next year when David West is a FA, he’ll be resigned and all of our starting five will be undercontract. DJ will be replaced by another backup point guard. Maybe a slightly superior one, maybe not. Lance could become an important contributor that is fun to watch, or he could go the way of Brandon Rush. You’ll see other various moves that change up the bench from year to year. But as said before, this is our team of the future and they aren’t getting much better.

    That is all.


    *Cliff notes

    The Pacers front office will not make any moves in the next 5 years to change the current starting lineup. The current starting lineup will never be good enough to beat the top teams in the NBA.

  • #2
    Re: Why the Pacers will NOT compete for a championship in the next 5 years

    You never know, we could make a big move if it presents itself in the next 5 years. I mean look at what Philly just did, I could see us do something similar at some point in the next 5 years if the team doesn't improve. Also, there is still a chance Larry comes back after this year sometime. Another thing is that you never know if one of the major teams in the league could lose a star player due to injury kind of like the Bulls this year. Heck, we don't even know if Dwight will be a Laker next year.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Why the Pacers will NOT compete for a championship in the next 5 years

      Again, I'll I'd ever ask for, and people who agree with me would ask for is some sort of vision. As an example the Colts in 99 2000 realized they have the QB of the future. Forgetting how lucky that is, they could have done very little and allowed Manning to have a Dan Marino like career. They didn't though. They fired their coach and hired the best defensive coach in the NFL. They had a vision. It worked. They were lucky. The point was they tried.

      The Pacers could make the same effort, and if we never win, that's life. But at least an effort is made.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Why the Pacers will NOT compete for a championship in the next 5 years

        Originally posted by PGisthefuture View Post
        You never know, we could make a big move if it presents itself in the next 5 years. I mean look at what Philly just did, I could see us do something similar at some point in the next 5 years if the team doesn't improve. Also, there is still a chance Larry comes back after this year sometime. Another thing is that you never know if one of the major teams in the league could lose a star player due to injury kind of like the Bulls this year. Heck, we don't even know if Dwight will be a Laker next year.
        True. I'm hoping I'm wrong, and we try something. Point is, based off of Donnie's expressed goal for the future. The team is staying as is.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Why the Pacers will NOT compete for a championship in the next 5 years

          The FO/ownership are fine with being good and not excellent. Most of the rumors about the departure of Bird say that our owner didn't want to spend. So I guess someone up there just wants us to make the playoffs and do what we can.

          I understand that you're not happy us being pretenders, but you can't have a "contend or bust" attitude. After sucking for so long, you just wanna build a team that would make the playoffs, give the state a show, and go home.

          You also have to understand that sometimes there are just no good moves out there. Maybe we did try to get Nash. Maybe we were working on a trade to get some point guard, but it fell apart. You can't know for sure.

          Taking the next step from here though, I don't think it's possible anymore. We don't have the cap space for it. I think we should have traded for a point guard, but instead we gave Hill his dream contract. The Smith/Horford deal you suggested isn't practical because 1) We don't have the money for it and 2) There's no real way to get them for free next to the other 4 starters.

          You just have to see how the current team goes. They probably won't contend, but hey, I'd take the #3/#4 seed over our #9-11 recent history.
          Originally posted by Piston Prince
          Bobcat fans telling us to cheer up = epic fail season
          "Josh Smith Re-building the city of Detroit one brick at a time"

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Why the Pacers will NOT compete for a championship in the next 5 years

            Originally posted by yoadknux View Post
            The FO/ownership are fine with being good and not excellent. Most of the rumors about the departure of Bird say that our owner didn't want to spend. So I guess someone up there just wants us to make the playoffs and do what we can.

            I understand that you're not happy us being pretenders, but you can't have a "contend or bust" attitude. After sucking for so long, you just wanna build a team that would make the playoffs, give the state a show, and go home.

            You also have to understand that sometimes there are just no good moves out there. Maybe we did try to get Nash. Maybe we were working on a trade to get some point guard, but it fell apart. You can't know for sure.

            Taking the next step from here though, I don't think it's possible anymore. We don't have the cap space for it. I think we should have traded for a point guard, but instead we gave Hill his dream contract. The Smith/Horford deal you suggested isn't practical because 1) We don't have the money for it and 2) There's no real way to get them for free next to the other 4 starters.

            You just have to see how the current team goes. They probably won't contend, but hey, I'd take the #3/#4 seed over our #9-11 recent history.
            The difference between Horford or Smith's contract and West is 2million. As long as their plan is load up draft picks and get rid of one of their redundant 4's, it'd be quite easy to make the salaries matchup. If they wanted another expiring and lots of draft picks they could dump Horford on us and refuse to resign West in the offseason. It's possible.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Why the Pacers will NOT compete for a championship in the next 5 years

              Interesting post, and in many ways I agree with you. The big problem is that there are a lot of teams in the league, and very few have the chance to get good enough to compete for the title. Defense may be the way to go, but I think the Pacers need to ensure they have flexibility to be able to morph parts of the team. Two things happened this off-season I didn't like because they seem to cement us to mediocrity: drafting Plumlee (who could end up being a good value pick and contributor, but the pick also doesn't have the chance to seriously improve the team. We picked a guy we think will be our third string center for the next FOUR years.) and signing Hill (have no problem signing him, don't even really mind overpaying him, but wish the contract was not five years. that's to much money tied up for too long.)
              Danger Zone

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Why the Pacers will NOT compete for a championship in the next 5 years

                This team can do it and I feel sorry for you because you don't believe in our team.

                Go Pacers
                Garbage players get 1st round picks, (WTF)! All of the NBA must hate the Pacers! LOL

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Why the Pacers will NOT compete for a championship in the next 5 years

                  You know who else won't win a Championship in the next 5 years? At least 27 other teams, potentially/probably less.
                  https://www.twitch.tv/xxSnEaKyPxx
                  https://www.youtube.com/xxSnEaKyPxx

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Why the Pacers will NOT compete for a championship in the next 5 years

                    Originally posted by Dr. Awesome View Post
                    You know who else won't win a Championship in the next 5 years? At least 27 other teams, potentially/probably less.
                    I said compete. not win. Compete. There is a huge difference. Considering how close the Pacers are, if they had the right mindset they could compete. We've already seen the Pacers in the last 15 years compete for three championships. That Doctor, was awesome.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Why the Pacers will NOT compete for a championship in the next 5 years

                      My first reaction is to say 5 years is a long, long time to predict anything. And I'd be shocked if the pacers or any other NBA team has almost the same starting lineup 5 years from now as they do today. Go back 5 years ago and tell me any team that has the same exact starting 5. How about 4 out of 5 same starters. I doubt more than a couple teams have 3 of the same starters.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Why the Pacers will NOT compete for a championship in the next 5 years

                        Originally posted by mattie View Post
                        I said compete. not win. Compete. There is a huge difference. Considering how close the Pacers are, if they had the right mindset they could compete. We've already seen the Pacers in the last 15 years compete for three championships. That Doctor, was awesome.
                        I am curious to know what you see as competing for a championship. What threes years did the pacers compete for one? what do you have to do to be in the classification as competing for a championship

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                        • #13
                          Re: Why the Pacers will NOT compete for a championship in the next 5 years

                          Originally posted by Unclebuck View Post
                          My first reaction is to say 5 years is a long, long time to predict anything. And I'd be shocked if the pacers or any other NBA team has almost the same starting lineup 5 years from now as they do today. Go back 5 years ago and tell me any team that has the same exact starting 5. How about 4 out of 5 same starters. I doubt more than a couple teams have 3 of the same starters.
                          Last year was Boston's 5th year with Rondo, KG, Allen, Pierce at their core. I know exception to the rule but it does happen.


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                          • #14
                            Re: Why the Pacers will NOT compete for a championship in the next 5 years

                            By the way I'll list people who fielded teams JUST last year who could have conceivably won: Memphis, Chicago, San Antonio, LAL, Miami, and OKC. That's just last year. Every team I listed had something they brought to the table that could exploit any other team. Memphis had defense and a dominate front court. LA had three superstars, OKC and Miami both had their big three, San Antonio had one of the most explosive offenses ever. Chicago had defense and Rose.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Why the Pacers will NOT compete for a championship in the next 5 years

                              And if you want me to be really honest, the Pacers will probably never win a Championship. Why? Because we are now playing in a league where if you aren't a big market team no one cares. Mix that with the fact that our front office refuses to lose(which is good and bad) and we don't have a shot. Even if we did luck out and land a superstar in a draft(which wouldn't be for a while if ever), he probably would just pull a LeBron, Dwight, Deron, Paul, ect who couldn't win Championships with their original teams.

                              So why am I a Pacers fan? Because I have some masochist type of loyalty to the teams I love and I love the Indiana Pacers. And if that day ever comes, where we by some miracle and against all odds do win the Championship, it will be that much sweeter. To say we stuck with them through everything only to finally see them come out on top. That's the dream, hopefully we all get it someday. Realistically, I don't see it happening though.
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