I like many pacer fans am enjoying the teams current success. However, I would like to discuss the outlook for this team long term. Going farther than 5 years is out is probably a bad idea. But basically, how good can this team be and for how long?
Many here and elsewhere were very critical of the 3 year plan that Larry Legend had in place. It’s the main reason I created a post right after Obrien had been fired with a declaration that Larry Legend would win Executive of the Year (had no idea it would be so soon). Many were down on re-signing Obrien, which I don’t understand since no one worthy of replacing Obrien would have been willing to coach the team the offseason Obrien was extended. I boldly claimed that Legend’s 3 year plan would net this team an average of 50 wins over 5 seasons. At the time many on here thought I had lost my mind.
Unlike many of the so-called experts who were very critical of Larry Legend here and elsewhere; I on the other hand humbly took a look at the long term and what Larry Legend was building.
We got lucky to some degree acquiring David “BAMF” West. I don’t think that would have been possible without Legend in the FO.
2 seasons ago after the firing of Obrien I posted that Legend would win EXEC of the YEAR (complete) and that his 3 year plan would lead to an average of 50 wins over 5 seasons (TBD).
Regardless of the EXEC of the YEAR Award which I bet Legend doesn’t really care two hoots about. Can this team win 50 games on average for the next 5 seasons? Many on here (would have to pull post) said I had lost my mind. And that it was nearly impossible for a team to complete such a difficult task. In fact, very few teams ever achieve this mark. The Spurs I believe are one, and I know the 94-03 Indiana Pacers as well averaged 50 wins for over 5+ seasons.
Can this current Pacers team do the same.? And if so, how long can this team compete. PACERNATION I do not believe this team has peaked. I know salarly structure etc may become an issue. But the teams’ core intact should give this Franchise the opportunity for an NBA CHAMPIONSHIP.
With that said: How long can this team compete for a Title.
I believe these players are apart of the core and going nowhere:
David West – He will be re-signed
Iain Mahinmi – reasonable 4 year contract for a backup PF/C
These players I hope to see become apart of the core:
Danny Granger – not sure about the knee but it will affect his market value
Lance Stephenson – we need to re-sign this kid to a deal comparable to George Hill at some point. Not anytime soon, he still has maturity issues but if he continues to improve he is going to become a very good starter in this league.
These 7 players are the core (* Danny)
Granted Paul George will get paid but he is also blossoming into a player whose # same day may be retired at the Fieldhouse.
Key Role players:
Tyler Hansbrough – I believe every championship caliber team should have a Tyler Hansbrough
Orlando “Pulp” Johnson – cant help but like this kid, and he looks like a legit player off the bench. Great 2nd round pick.
Plumlee – who knows.
Not part of the core:
Augustin, Greene, Pendergraph (though he is a nice 12th man off the bench).
I realize Miami is the team favored in the East and will continue to be for some time. However, Paul George and Hibbert still have room to improve. West is well a … BAMF with likely 3-4 very solid seasons still remaining. Hill is solid.
I have a strong conviction that a new era of Pacers Basketball is about to begin that will potentially rival the dominance of the 94-03 Indiana Pacers.
I would like to add I believe Frank Vogel is going to become one helluva a coach for this team and is already making his mark in the league.
The 3 year plan Larry Legend asked fans to be patient with is now in full effect and I believe the end result will be a BANNER hanging from the rafters of the Fieldhouse.
Not only has Larry Legend given PacerNation a team they can be proud of.. he may indirectly saved this state its NBA Franchise in the process. I truly believe with a solid deep run this postseason Pacer basketball will be back. The fans are already starting to attend more games.
We have Larry Legend to thank for all of this. Ten years from now when this team has won an NBA Finals and the Fieldhouse is rocking I hope we all can look up to the rafters and right next to the NBA Banner see a banner for Larry Legend who is the only Coach at this time to lead this Franchise to the Finals and the GM who led this team out of the dark ages and possibly even saved the Pacers for the state of Indiana.
With all that said:
How good can this team become and for how long? Is this a one year fluke or do you expect the Blue & Gold to compete for a championship for the next 5 seasons?