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So we sit at 5-0 right now, only undefeated team in the league. Obviously I realize it is five games and there is a long season ahead. I completely acknowledge that there will be bumps in the road. But letís have some fun and enjoy this. Cause guess what? Weíre really freaking good.
1. Iím sorry Miss Jackson, Paul George is for real.
25.8ppg, 8.2rpg, 4apg, 1.8apg, 48 FG%, 44 3FG% No those arenít LeBron Jamesí numbers. That is our very own Paul George. Those are jaw dropping numbers. Those are MVP numbers. Those are superstar numbers. I always thought PG could become a fantastic player, always thought of him like T-Mac in his prime on offense. And while not a perfect comparison, heís showing why more than a few people drew the comparison. He just has such a complete game and makes it look so effortless. He can legit score from any point on the court. Great range on his 3 point shot, can get to the rim, his mid-range game has improved to a scary level. He just will hit jumpers that most NBA players have no business taking, including the PG of last year. Heís a playmaker on offense. Fantastic passer, gets everyone involved.
Oh and did I mention he could win Defensive Player of the Year? We are being spoiled by this young man right now. The level he is playing at, I personally have not seen from a Pacer before (I am 23 and started following the Pacers in the mid-late 90ís). And quite frankly, the level he is playing at right now is probably only matched by Durant and LeBron in the NBA.
Oh and heís only 23.
2. Deep Blue & Gold
We arenít even at full strength right now and its clear as day that the bench is vastly improved. Watson and Scola were fantastic additions. Watson has seamlessly filled in as the starter. Also nice to have a back up PG that can defend. Scola is still getting used to everything, as to be expected. Players are still getting used to him as well, as to be expected. But you could see it tonight, what this guy brings. Also:
When George Hill and Danny Granger are back, this is actually just a stupid scary line up. Seven players who can go off for 20 points any given night. What is that even? How am I supposed to sit here and be calm at that thought? What a fantastic roster the front office has put together. Thank you Larry Bird and Kevin Pritchard.
3. Roy Hibbertís Block Party
Five games, 26 blocks. Thats just ridiculous. Heís leading the league at 5.2 bpg. Anthony Davis is second at 4.0 bpg, also ridiculous. But Davis is playing 8 minutes more a game. Hibbert is averaging over 5 blocks per game in under 30 minutes per game. Thatís just bananas. Tyson Chandler, regarded as one of the best defensive big men in the NBA was playing similar minutes and was averaging less than half the amount of blocks Hibbert is right now.
11 times a game players are meeting Roy at the rim and heís only letting them score 31.8% of the time. NBA players are only scoring at the rim 31.8% of the time because of Roy. This lets our perimeter defense be so aggressive. I absolutely love when an opposing player gets the ball on the wing, and PG just feeds him into the Great Wall of Hibbert. Its so satisfying to watch. Roy wants DPoY. And right now he is running away with it.
4. Lance Stephenson is That Guy
A lot of teams have a guy that teams just hate to play against. Bulls have Noah. I canít stand the guy. I donít care how good he is. I hate everything about that guy. He gets under my skin. Heís probably the player I hate the most.
Lance Stephenson is that guy for the Pacers. He chirps and barks at you on the court. He screams after he makes a play. He pisses opponents off. He pisses opposing fans off. And I ****ing love it! We finally have that guy. A lot of people classified Tyler as that guy, but he couldnít back it up like Lance does. I donít think he trash talked nearly as much either. Lance has always talked. Hell, he was throwing the choke sign at LeBron before he even played meaningful minutes. But now heís out there, straight up killing people on the court. Heís backing it up now. Heís talking smack and then burning you.
Lance is gonna **** off a lot of people this year. And I will love every minute of it.
5. This team SHOULD win the NBA Championship
We have the best starting 5 in the NBA and with the additions of Watson and Scola, we have one of the best benches in the NBA. Regardless of who starts between Granger and Stephenson, those statements will still hold true. We have a superstar in Paul George. Yes, heís there. Iíve seen enough. This young man is just a beast. He has elevated his game to a level only few play at. We play as a team. Its not about one guy getting theirs. Its about winning the game. And thats how our guys play. We have the best defense in the league. Our length, athleticism, our anchor in Hibbert, its unmatched.
We are 5-0. Sure its five games. But itís more than that. Its that we were one game shy of the NBA Finals last season and the team has made improvements to the roster and players have improved individually. Best starting five in the association sees big improvements to PG, Lance and Hibbert. Best starting five in the association adds Watson, Scola, oh and Danny Granger.
This team has the talent, the coach, the depth, the determination, and everything else needed to win it all. Not only do I think we can win it, I think we should. Yeah the Heat are a great team. So is San Antonio and OKC. But I am picking us to win a seven game series against any of them.