May 15, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade (3) drives to the basket as Indiana Pacers point guard Darren Collison (2) defends during the first half in game two of the Eastern Conference semifinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

Indiana Pacers New Look Bench - Part 1

Without a “Super Star” player it’s no secret that the key to the Indiana Pacers recent success is their depth. The key to depth is having a players coming off of the bench knowing their role and being ready to produce when they’re called upon. Coming into the 2012-2013 season the Pacers have managed to retain their starting lineup, but have completely revamped their bench. Six players that were on the roster at the end of last season are gone and have been replaced by new players who hope to be just as productive as their previous counterparts.

In this ‘Part 1’ we’ll take a look at the players that are no longer on the Pacers roster.

Part 2’ will feature the new members of the team and what they bring to the table.

 

Louis Amundson

There are some guys that a coach can put out on the court and no exactly what they’re going to get out of them day in and day out. Lou is one of those guys. Every team needs a big man that will bring the intensity and hustle every night and that’s what the Pacers had in Lou Amundson. He led the bench in rebounding after Jeff Foster went out due to injury. Those attributes, along with his signature ponytail, made him a fan favorite at home games. Lou was a free agent over the offseason and inked a deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

 

Leandro Barbosa

The “Brazilian Blur” has made a career out of scoring in bunches and blowing by helpless defenders with his incredible quickness. The 2007 Sixth Man of the Year was acquired by the Indiana in mid-March for a second-round draft pick.  He had some great nights and some off nights during his brief stint with the Pacers but was brought on to bring a spark off the bench during the Playoff run. As a free agent this offseason Barbosa chose to join a crowded backcourt and take his talents to Boston.

 

Darren Collison

DC was the team’s starting point guard for 56 of the 66 games played in last years abbreviated lock-out season. He lost his starting spot to hometown favorite George Hill after a late season injury. Darren led the team in assists with just under 5 a night, and also added 10.4 points per outing. With the emergence of Hill and Collison’s Playoff struggles it came as no great surprise to see Collison traded away to the Dallas Mavericks, who were in need of a starting caliber point after losing NBA great Jason Kidd and failing to lure All-Star Deron Williams during the off-season.

 

Kyrylo Fesenko

The 7’1” Fesenko was picked up by the Pacers after the retirement of Jeff Foster in order to bring another big body to backup Hibbert. This could have been critical if the team had to match up against Dwight Howard in the first round of the Playoffs but this was not the case and Fesenko compiled a total of 17 minutes in 3 games as an Indiana Pacer.

 

Dahntay Jones

Jones was included in the trade to the Mavs along with DC. The former Blue Devil played hard but had trouble getting into an offensive rhythm all season long, often forcing plays that weren’t there and completely dismissing the option to pass. He was held to a limited role, contending for minutes with Hill, Granger, Paul George and Leandro Barbosa. Jones’ perimeter defense off the bench will certainly be missed though.

 

A.J. Price

Out of all six players that were lost to trades and free agency this year A.J. Price is the only one that was actually drafted by the Indiana Pacers. The 2009 second round pick was never able to find a significant niche here with the team and Indiana is moving on in the point guard department this year. Fortunately, Price is still early in his career as he sets out to make his mark with the Washington Wizards backing up John Wall.

 

Again: ‘Part 2’ will feature the new members of the team and what they bring to the table.

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