At this point in the season, prior to the trade deadline, there are only 5 teams with a realistic chance to win the championship: The Thunder, Heat, Spurs, Trailblazers, and Pacers.
So what improvements do the Pacers need to rise above the other 4 contenders? Let's looks for potential improvements using meta-stat analysis. (I'll limit this analysis to only 2 meta-stats. If you know of other helpful ones, feel free to post them.)
Hollinger Team Statistics:
Offensive Efficiency and Defensive Efficiency
Oklahoma - Off: 5; Def: 3; Total: 8
Miami - Off: 2; Def: 7; Total: 9
San Antonio - Off: 7; Def: 2; Total: 9
Indiana - Off: 16; Def: 1; Total: 17
Portland - Off: 1; Def: 22; Total: 23
Obviously the Pacers need to improve their offense more than their defense.
Now let's see which position the Pacers need to improve the most.
Pacers PER vs. Opponents' PER:
Net Production by Position
(Includes offense and defense for starters and backups.)
Obviously the Pacers weakest position is point guard. Combining the team's low offensive efficiency with the low point guard production, it appears the Pacers need a better offensive point guard.
It's unlikely the Pacers could trade George Hill's $8 million contract. So that leaves them with Hill, Watson, and Stephenson. Who among those 3 has the most potential to improve the offense? By far, Lance!
Lance's passing is better than Hill or Watson. But his concentration and consistency are questionable. Yet he appears to have turned a corner the last few games by playing very consistent.
Several forum members have complained about Hill's inability to stay in front of opposing point guards. So my question is, who could guard the point better: Hill or Lance?
P.S. Maybe Hill would guard the SG, or he would move to 6th man while Granger would start? The big debate here has been who should start: Danny or Lance? Maybe a better question is, "Who should start: Hill or Danny?"
P.P.S. Congrats to Paul George rated #1 in the NBA On Court - Off Court Simple Ratings. (These ratings favor teams with winning records.) http://www.82games.com/1314/ROLRTG8.HTM