November 19, 2012; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards shooting guard Jordan Crawford (15) handles the ball between Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert (55) and Pacers power forward David West (21) in the first half at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-US PRESSWIRE

David West: Indiana Pacers' Leading Man

This week, our spotlight for the Pacers shines on David West.  He’s been a huge pick up from a year ago, and this season he’s really showing his worth.  His consistent play on the court is helping keep the team afloat and in games.  But I like his leadership aspect for this team just as much.  You get the sense that he wants to mold these guys into something more, and I like the intensity he brings that should show the team what they can be all about.

It all started back last season during the Miami Heat playoff series, when the Pacers beat the Heat, but started a small celebration on the court, West was out there barking to the guys to get back to the locker room.  He wasn’t ready to celebrate a championship and knew there was work to be done.

This season, in Danny Granger’s absence, he’s looked to pick up his scoring.  He is right around 17 points a game, which is higher than the 13 points he averaged last season as he recovered from the previous season injury.  Now David West looks to be fully able to go, and that’s showing through the games he’s producing.

He put up a season high 30 points in Washington D.C. last Monday and concluded the week with a 22 point effort in the loss to the San Antonio Spurs.  He looks to be a guy that wants to hit a shot to keep the team in the game or give them a lead, which is great to see.  He can get around the basket and grab the rebound the Pacers need to keep the offensive possession alive.  He’s right around 9 rebounds a game.  He even blocked 4 shots in that same Washington Wizards game on Monday night.  He’s looking to do whatever he can for the Pacers.

That’s the sign of a leader in my book.  You know what you’re getting from West, and the rest of the team should model after that.    A guy like Roy Hibbert should benefit from playing alongside West as he can see what it takes to become that type of leader.  What it takes to improve your game and give the team all you have.  What it takes to get a good shot in the post area.  These are things that West excels at, and it’s a great thing to have him on the team right now.  It will be an interesting discussion this summer to see if the Indiana Pacers will look to keep West around, and if he wants to stay around.  I know the team would benefit greatly from having him around, and hopefully he is convinced this is the team to continue playing for.

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