I personally won’t put much stock into the Pacers preseason here, which kicks off on Wednesday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves. There might be some good things to come out of it, but what will we learn about this team. That won’t be known until the season kicks off on Halloween Night against the Toronto Raptors up in Canada.
The Pacers can get some things done like giving time to the starters and letting them start playing together against some competition. There’s a chance that the bench will get more playing time as there’s new guys on this team that need to get acclimated to the team.
That’s what I want to see happen this preseason, letting guys like D.J. Augustin, Gerald Green, Ian Mahinmi, Tyler Hansbrough, and other guys fighting for that second unit work together. The starters for the Pacers will probably be called upon most of the regular season. But there are times a guy on the second line needs to step up. We know there’s some talent on this second unit, but will all it all come together? Working through this preseason could be great for them.
We need to see what another year will do for a guy like Lance Stephenson, who I feel is in a make or break season. I was willing to turn around my opinion on the guy after seeing him do some good things last season. I think he’ll have a great shot at becoming a key figure for the bench if he can improve his shooting. He has a way to find those guys in the right spot for a basket. He could become more aggressive and lead the way on that second unit.
Gerald Green is another guy to watch for the second unit. He came back last season to the Brooklyn Nets and had about 12 points per game. If he can get close to that type of production, this bench will be good. That’s the biggest question I have about the Pacers for the preseason, what will this bench be all about and what can they do?
If the Pacers can get some momentum going this preseason, sure that could carry over into the regular season. But if they end up winning half and losing half, is that a big deal? Just as long as guys stay healthy and improve their own game, that’s all we can get out of this exhibition time. It all starts counting the night of ghouls and ghosts against the Raptors.