March 23, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Pacers small forward Danny Granger (33) shoots the ball against Phoenix Suns small forward Grant Hill (33) at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Phoenix defeated Indiana 113-111. Mandatory credit: Michael Hickey-US PRESSWIRE

Indiana Pacers and Phoenix Suns: Preseason Preview

Indiana Pacers and Phoenix Suns

Phoenix Suns Off Season Recap

This Phoenix Suns team will look dramatically different with the loss of Steve Nash.  He was the face of that franchise, and I’m not sure who you would call the new face of the team.  There were some good signings that came along, but it’s going to be hard to replace what’s missing with Nash.  Phoenix made sure they got something out of trading Steve Nash, and what they got was 2013 and 2015 first-rounders, 2013 and 2014 second-rounders, $3 million and an $8.2 million trade exception, increasing its flexibility.  This could lead to something bigger in the future, but what about the present.  The Suns did what they could for the point guard position with the agreeing on a contract for Goran Dragic for four years, $30 million.  He’ll have to fill that void left, and we’ll see what he can do.  Phoenix also signed Michael Beasley, who’s never looked like the player he was coming out of college. Perhaps this is the team that gets his act together.  Jermaine O’Neal is coming to the Suns, and says he’s as healthy as he’s ever been.  Pacer fans have heard that tune plenty of times, so we’ll see how long Jermaine O’Neal ends up playing there.  The Suns also landed swing man Wesley Johnson.  Shannon Brown fills a void at shooting guard for the team.  Finally, end of the bench signing of P.J. Tucker gives the Suns a roster spot of a player who’s not played in the NBA for five years.  That’s an interesting signing.

All of these moves and maybe the Suns can sneak into the playoffs based upon some of the youth there.  More than likely, this is a team rebuilding and stocking up on some players for the next seasons.  If a guy like Dragic can get his game going, perhaps there’s a playoff berth.  The West is loaded with teams, so I don’t see that happening this season. It might be a few more seasons before we see the Suns back at playoff contention.

Indiana Pacers and Phoenix Suns Match Up

This is a match up the Pacers have to take advantage of as the Suns will be in rebuilding mode, and the Pacers are the better team.  It should interesting to see how Marcin Gortat and Roy Hibbert match up in the post position as last season those guys had a pretty good battle against each other.

Hibbert will definitely be looking to get more active against the better centers, and Gortat is a better center in the West.  It’s important for Hibbert to establish himself against the type of player, and show that’s becoming a top center himself.

I would look for Paul George and Danny Granger to have good games against the swing men of the Suns as they’re better players than those.  Defensively, they could step up their game as well, and lock down on guys like Wesley Johnson and Shannon Brown.

With the Suns going in the direction of rebuilding and the Pacers in the process of contending, I think the Pacers take the series and get a couple of wins against a Western Conference team.

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