Conrad Brunner has been around the Pacers for a long time. He, more than most, can tell you what types of things matter in the preseason and what is just noise. Check out his preseason progress report to get the latest on the revamped bench, rookies, Paul George, and the team’s health.
Gerald Green has been spectacular at times, invisible at others, but certainly is a better option than the man he replaced, Leandro Barbosa. He is similarly streaky but does more things well and his athleticism is electrifying.
The revelation of the bunch has been Ian Mahinmi, who has been very, very good. For a 7-footer, he moves extremely well, has a face-up game that must be respected and attacks the hoop with vigor. It will be difficult to keep him off the court.
Of the holdovers, neither Lance Stephenson nor Tyler Hansbrough has demonstrated much individual growth. This is more distressing in the case of Stephenson, who is in a make-or-break year. Hansbrough remains one of the best hustle players around but he no longer looks like a possible long-term answer at power forward.