(Paul George and Roy Hibbert show emotions after game 7 loss to Miami)
Let me start off by saying, congratulations Indiana on a great season, as a life long fan of them, I am truly happy about what they accomplished this season. There were some predictions by so called experts at the start of the season saying that we wouldn’t even sniff the 8th seed, but we managed to get the 3rd seed. We didn’t have our leading scorer in Danny Granger, so pretty much everything was a toss up. I knew we would make the playoffs judging by the landscape of the Eastern Conference and I knew we would be a top 5 team in the East. This season was full of it’s ups and downs, but it’s great to truly witness a team show so much growth in one season. Last year everybody was writing off Granger, and that Paul George should be the new face, but to me he wasn’t ready last season. At the start of this season, as a fan watching, you can see how much we missed Granger out there, everybody was lost. Everybody who was hyping Paul George up as the future of the Pacers started to have doubts because he couldn’t deliver. But he kept working, and working, and all of a sudden, he turned the corner, and now has the template to be a complete player in this league. With Lance Stephenson, you could see his growth as a player starting last year, even though he played limited minutes, you can see he was trying to clean up all the street ball moves to a more professional game. This season benefited him a lot, because he was called upon to play extended minutes, and even won the starting spot. Once he fully matures, he can definitely start getting some nods in the league. I call him the Brooklyn Bully when he’s on his A game, can’t wait to see what he works on this summer.
Overall as a team, the bench needs work, I like Hansbrough, and sometimes Mahinmi, but the bench lacked scoring punch. Gerald Green really didn’t contribute much, I don’t think he played to his strengths by settling too much for jump shots, DJ played well in stretches, but for this team’s identity, he’s too small, which makes him a liability on defense. Jeff Pendegraph showed flashes on what he can do, if he can hit that mid-range jumper consistently while bringing that energy, he could play a bigger role next season. Orlando Johnson, to me should have played more minutes over Sam Young in the playoffs. I wasn’t a big fan of Young on the team, Johnson can definitely shoot the ball better than him, but Young had more size on him for defense which is why he got more minutes. I just don’t think we would have had problems getting the ball up to the rim with Johnson on the floor. Next season we really need a consistent bench.
I didn’t talk too much about George Hill, Roy Hibbert, and David West, and I don’t really need to, they did their job in maintaining our team’s effectiveness, we’re a much better team with them on the floor. I want George Hill to work on his handles in the off season, he has to learn how to break the Full Court Press and not turn the ball over on occasion. Matter of fact, the whole team needs to learn on how not to turn the ball over, talk about frustrating (lol). But this is a learning process, no team wins right away, even the Miami Heat had a few 15 win seasons before LeBron got there, I’m just glad we’re doing it the way it’s supposed to be done. Once a strong foundation is laid, success will follow, and I will continue to follow this team on their quest to their first ever NBA Championship.
I’m going to wait until the playoffs are over, to write an article on what the Pacers should consider doing, but I’m going to leave it at that!!!
Until Next Season, But All Day Everyday It’s GO PACERS!!!
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