1.) Granger's Defense: Pacer fans should send Team USA a big fat thank you note for sticking Granger on team USA. A couple of reasons, first Granger got glued to the bench for two things IMO, his defense and his passing. Well, these two things have been vastly improved this season. Now, why? Defense has to go back to Granger putting more focus on it, but I also want to point something else out, who was Granger likely matched up against in scrimmages for Team USA...Kevin Durant. What better way to improve your defense than playing against one of the most complete scorers in the NBA for the entire summer. Danny's passing has been a bit of a revelation, but overall I think the game has just completely slowed down for him ans he's seeing things before they happen.
He's an all-star right now without any doubt in my mind, and if his free throw attempts continue to go up, he'll be doing all this while still posting 25 PPG, and he's doing it more efficiently than he has his entire career.
2.) Roy Hibbert: I'm beyond pleased with his rebounding and defense, but I want to see him, dunk the ball like he did last night EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. Roy will almost always be the tallest guy on the court this season, he needs to throw it down like he did yesterday and not allow himself to miss the bunnies. I think he's figuring that out, and I'm excited to watch it unfold.
3.) Jim O'Brien: Everyone's favorite coach has been much better this season. Even as everyone has predicted that James Posey will move in front of Josh and Tyler in the rotation, JOB has stuck with it. Hans even remained the first big man off the bench last night after coming back from injury and Posey putting together some quality games. And while we've seen the small ball, we've also seen some big ball, Granger-Posey-Hans-Hibbert all on the court? Yes, please.
4.) TJ Ford vs. AJ Price: After the way JOB has been very fair with Hans, I must assume that Ford is playing above Price right now in an attempt to raise his trade value. It's not terribly upsetting because TJ has been better than you would expect, but I will still be excited if the day comes when Price is backing up Collison just because it looks like it could really be something else to watch.
5.) Finally, is everyone aware that right now the Pacers are giving up 98.6 PPG and that is good for 11th in the NBA? The best ranking O'Brien has had as the Pacers head coach. Our rebounding and scoring numbers are still solid as well.