At the halfway mark of the season for the Pacers, how would you grade this team so far? I'll simply grade them on offense and defense, or somebody can make an elaborate grading of their own (starters, bench, home, road, etc.). Here are my takes:
It's been a struggle all season long so far, and it has been a problem not only of the bench but by the starters as well. 2nd worst offense overall will need to be fixed if this team needs to go full throtle in the playoffs. We are starting to get some production from PG, but it's practically being offset by Hibbert's poor offensive outing most of the time. Danny may fix the current offensive woes somehow, but we still need to see some consistency from our current starters.
I can't say anything much as it was already said by many, but the Pacers are the biggest surprise in defense this season. Sure, they have been great last season, but nobody thought that they'll have the superb and elite defense that once owned by the likes of Chicago and Boston in the past few years. I can say it has been an improvement overall by everybody from the starters (special mention: PG and Hibbert) and the bench (special mention: Mahinmi), and a wonderful job by Vogel and company.
Defense is at playoff level at this stage. No question about it. Just needs to keep this up and improve further to get the wins and possibly end up getting the rings. But offense is still left to be desired. Better FG%, even better FT%, less turnovers, and better control of the pace will do wonders for this team.
It's still a long ways to go and anything can happen, especially with the tight race in the East. A loss or two can easily put this team from third to 6th. But keeping up the wins and we maybe surprised to be sitting at the top after 82 games. Our boys just needs to keep the consistency and defense and hopefully once Granger comes back this team will improve further by a notch or two.