So this is not the best time to be talking about the future, amidst a playoff run and all, but I'm all depressed over Hill's injury and our ****** bench that I'd like to think about happy thoughts for a moment. So I'm gonna.
The Pacers 13/14 campaign looks bright as hell. I mean super awesome. This coming from the same guy that really thought the Pacers were not going to be able to compete with the unit as is, but I'll admit I was wrong. Way wrong. I think if the Pacers keep everyone they'll be more talented than any team in the league.
My initial future forecast was under the presumption that West would never contribute on defense, (making the Pacers interior defense a potential weak point) along with the idea that PG might not really be a star. Under those circumstances I would have been right. Well I was pretty off.
Roy Hibbert has become a defensive stud, PG is a defensive God, Lance has become a solid starter, West has proven he can box out and defend well, which has basically removed any ceiling this team has.
Next year the Pacers lineup, so long as we sign David West at all costs, will feature defense and huge size advantage at every position. The defense was already the best in the league this season. Next year? Even better.
We have to remember that last year, Granger was probably the Pacers best defender. The numbers certainly backed it up. He nullifies the post game of every three in the game (PG's lone weak point on D) which allows him to defend any of the superstar three's in the league, Durant/LBJ/Melo. This allows the Pacers the following luxuries: They can use PG at various points in the game to switch over and defend any three if they're scoring well. But it also allows the Pacers to use PG as sort of a wild card, throwing him on the point guards and making their lives living hell as they bring the ball up the court. You know how hard it is to run an offense when the opposing team puts a devastating defender on the point? Hill can defend any two in the league so in no way does this suddenly open up a matchup for the opposing team.
Other than Hill, who I would argue is roughly the 12th best point in the league, the Pacers will be starting an all-star or borderline all-star at four positions. Talk about talent. That's absurd.
Other than West, the Pacers would be starting a top five defender at every position. Other than Hill, the Pacers would be starting a top five player at every position.
In real world application, I think the Pacers will defend the point position better than any team by far. The opposing team in the playoffs will either have average points defended by Hill, or stars having their souls crushed by PG.
People talk about "team play" versus "superstars" but the truth is, that the best teams both play together and have the most talent (See: the Heat). Well, the Pacers next year, if all goes well, will not only play together well as they do (meaning they reach their potential) but they'll also have a shitload of talent in their starting five.
I think the Pacers next season could sport the best defense ever (in NBA history, emphasis on could), and depending how much better on offense PG gets, they could be a hell of an offense team as well.
Anywho, I can't wait. I wanted to post all this excitement over next season because I don't want to think much about the moment until I hear Hill is playing, and the Pacers are ready to send the Knicks home for good.