David West is averaging 1.2 bpg and 1 steal a game. He is a much better defender than some will give him credit.
Plus he needs 3 more points to score 11,000 on his career
David West has settled into a very comfortable position on the team. Against sub par competition, he allows the other 4 starters to sort of "do their thing", while leaving himself available for 15-17ft jumpers. But then against the good to elite teams, he exerts his will a little more and becomes that number two scoring option he was for years in N.O. It's beautiful to watch him pick and choose his spots while allowing his younger teammates to get their collective touches.
But when push comes to shove, that Hill/West P&R/P&P gets us a good shot 95% of the time.
The thing about West is this is only his third year, and he is already in a pantheon of sports lore for me. He is the definition of professional and the ability to rely on him in big games to produce has just been so refreshing. Obviously Hill has been consistent as well, and Paul and Hibbert are developing the ability to be consistent and arguably there now.
But when Mr. West is in the building so to speak, there are few players in my Pacers history that compare. And you KNOW when Mr. West is in the building, I think his first shot last night was blocked by Jordan right in front of the Clipps bench, West recovered the ball and instead of looking to pass got this look in his eye like OK that's how it's going to be, and he drove on him and then worked him over with a beautiful step back fade away jumper.
He is simply the greatest free agent signing in Pacer history. I guess that most would say that JO is the greatest acquisition in Pacer history, but you could probably start to make a case for West. JO will always beat him on stats and all star appearances, but West changed entire culture of our team and his arrival immediately made us one of the best teams in the NBA.
There are obviously lots of reasons for this team being great right now. PG has become a top 5 player in the league. Born Ready has turned into Magic Stephenson. Roy Hibbert is one of the most suffocating post defenders in NBA history. Hill is clutch. Scola has been an awesome bench addition. But to me, this current team's rise to greatness started the day we signed West. No single event changed the attitude and culture of this team more than when we brought in this guy to show the young guys how a true NBA professional acts. We had tons of young talent at that point, but we needed an old vet like West who could show them the ropes. Oh, and he's a pretty damn good basketball player too. He made an argument for himself to be an all star last year with his spectacular play, and I think that his defense just gets better and better.
Like I said earlier, he just gets this nasty edge to him when we play great teams on the road. I love it and I can't wait to see more of it tonight. I want some more nasty jumpers with some jawing afterwords.
West made Griffen look like a little boy. Right after the foul on west where Griffen started acting tough is when he really turned it on. He really showed the world last night that Blake Griffen is by no means a superstar.
I know Hill is a good defender but Paul made him look foolish last night. I know he is the best PG in the league but at some point you have to man up and take a foul against the pick and roll. He got to what ever spot he wanted and made our defense overload which got his team what ever shot they wanted time after time.
Hibbert was Hibbert.
PG is falling to in love with this 3pt shot again. He seems to do this time and time again. Especially when he makes a few early, he then seems to find a way to force a few more which make you smack your head and say really?
Crawford was his normal self. He reminds me alot of a JR Smith where one second you hate him and then the next he gets you back in the game. Then once again you hate him because he cannot turn off chucker mode.
Scola looked WAY off last night. Even his nice calm collected jumper he has was forced without defense even on him. Not sure what was going on in his head but you could tell something mental was happening.
I have a question for some of you stat guys. Where do you find their points per 100 possessions on the game or something similar?
But let's get some perspective here: who turned the franchise around? It LITERALLY turned around the day Frank Vogel was named coach. David West wasn't on the team yet.
I would put David West in my top 5 favorite Pacers of all time. In fact probably top 3 alltime. I know his stats are down this season, but there is no doubt in my mind that ewhen we need him he'll be there like he was last night and like he has been against the better teams. (not to suggest he is a superstar capable of taking over games like Lebron) but only to suggest that when we really need him to score points most of the time he'll be there.
No surprise that he had his best game so far this season in the most difficult game we have played yet.
Having said that Frank is a huge reason we are where we are. So not really disagreeing with you, perhaps just clarifying
It was the additions of West and Hill in the 2011 off-season that took our team from good to elite. That's when we went from a team who could make the playoffs as a low seed to one that could be expected to make the Conference Finals and challenge for an NBA championship.
Over 82 games, that would be an improvement from a 32 win team to a 43 win team. or an 11 win improvement.
The next season with West and Hill they improved to a 52 win pace over the shortened season, or a 9 win improvement.
In other words, they were both huge steps to get to where we are today.
Yeah, but Vogel made them a competitive .500 team with Hansbrough and McBob at power forward. A painfully raw PG at the two, a pretty painfully raw Hibbert at the 5 and Darren Collison. That's pretty impressive to me. That team offensively a lot of times was basically Danny Granger and 4 dudes.
All of this "top PF in the NBA" talk is a little short on Kevin Love.
Also, the "ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?" game-winner pose is the best one in sports right now.
I like Kevin Love as much as the next guy but that team has really petered out after their fast start.
They are just a terrible road team that has played a lot of road games recently.
Sure West is a leader but at the end of the day he isn't the coach. He doesn't set the plays, make the rotations or design the defense. That's all coaching. The fact that David West totally has bought in and is leading the team is a testament to both his willingness and abilities however it is equally a testament to Frank Vogel being legitimate (there's that word again) because you are not going to be able to B.S. a player like West and West would not buy into something he didn't believe in.
I also think West is vital to our club and I'm going to go ahead and say that he is the best NBA power forward we have ever had (Big Mac is from a different era) but to me him being here would not matter nearly as much if we were coached by a "system coach" who makes players adapt to their style and can't/won't fit the style to match the players.
BTW using losing 1-4 to the Bulls in the playoffs (on paper it looks bad but that series was much closer believe me) to explain how this wasn't turn around is about like those who would use the fact that Danny Granger didn't play much on team USA as an excuse to tell us why he was a bad player. In other words it doesn't work.
The same team with the same players made the playoffs when Satan in all of his years here never once sniffed the playoffs and this team was well below the playoff threshold when Frank took over.
No, the more I think about it hiring Frank Vogel may go down as one of the single most significant acts in Pacers history.
I would be curious to hear from some of the older fans (ie before 93-94) is there another free agent signing as big as David West? I can not for the life of me think of one. Every single good player we have had up until now has either been someone we traded for or drafted.
I know Barkley said he regretted not coming to Indiana and a few others have said the same but none actually did before West.
I prefer a PF that plays both ends of the floor, Kevin Love has yet to prove he's more than an ultra-morphed super Murphy, especially defensively. (He's a top 3 PF still but not #1, I'd take Anthony Davis if I had my choice).