Using 82games I wanted to post just a few statistics of the Pacers season just for fun and also to hopefully destroy a few common myths on this board.
According to 82games, George Hill was the best defender on the team.
His opponent PER was 12.2 on the season.
Of course to completely understand statistics we have to at least try to understand why the numbers show what they show. I think a big reason Hill had the best defensive numbers is not only is he a good defender of course, but the majority of the season he was playing with the second unit and had to defend lesser talent. I think that has a lot to do with it. It is worth noting though, that he does play good defense. I think he got a lot of criticism because he happend to have trouble with Jameer in the playoffs because it wasn't the best matchup for Hill, but he played well all season.
Who came in second? Danny Granger. Danny's opponent PER was 12.4 on the season.
Danny opponent PER was slightly higher (not as good) than Luol Deng's Opponent PER. I'm noting Deng because a lot of people love to rave about his defense, which is not entirely misplaced, but it can give us perspective. Danny Granger is a good defender folks. He had the best defense out of all the starters this past season. And yes that includes Paul George. One more comparison is Kobe Bryant who gave up an opponent PER of 12.4 as well this season.
I think we all know that Paul George will be a great defender. He is not one now however. He can't go through screens* and has given up some huge points to guys like JJ Reddick this season. That is not a mark of a great defender. We like to rave about Paul's defense because he can play excellent on the ball defense but he lacks two important ingredients that make a great defender: strength and the ability to get through screens.
The rest of the starters' opponent PER during the season:
According to simple rating (via 82games) in descending order the best players on the Pacers were as follows:
Danny Granger: 7.5
Roy Hibbert: 5.1
Paul George 4.3
David West 3.9
George Hill 2.3
Here is 82 games explanation of simple rating:
Simple rating cannot be used as a concrete rating system but I think it does give us a pretty good idea on who was the most effective during the season. I think this gives us a pretty good idea on who was the best player on the Pacers and where the rest of the starters fall in line. Though this shouldn't be a surprise, I must emphasize that despite what some on this board say, Danny Granger is the best player on this team. He is the best scorer and defender among the starters.The main components of the 'Simple Ratings' are a production measure (a variant of John Hollinger's PER rating) for a player's own stats versus the counterpart player on the other team while he is on the court, as well as a simple on court/off court plus minus.
For fun, here is a random list of players that had a lower simple rating than Danny Granger this season:
* Paul is NOT having trouble getting through screens because he's playing the two. Guess who sets screens for teams? Big men. Doesn't matter if he's defending the two or three, the same guy is setting a screen! Paul is having trouble getting through screens because he sucks at getting through screens not because he's defending OJ Mayo instead of Rudy Gay!
I'm going to add more stats to this and complete this post tomorrow but halfway through I remembered I haven't slept in a long time and I'm about to pass out. I can't hardly function. I'm certain there are many spelling and grammatical errors. I'll fix them. Just let me allow my brain to recuperate.