Jan 18, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Pacers center Ian Mahinmi (28) and guard Lance Stephenson (1) battle for a rebound against Houston Rockets center Omer Asik (3) at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Indiana Pacers: First Half of the Season Recap

Like Bon Jovi once sang “We’re halfway there”, and here we are at the half way point of the Indiana Pacers’ season.  You couldn’t ask for much more than first place in the Central Division and third place overall in the Eastern Conference.  How about 11 straight home wins?  How about 16-3 at home?  How about a league leading defense that’s allowing under 90 points a game?  How about the top rebounding team in the league?  Definitely some good things have happened by this point of the season.  We haven’t even talked about player performances this season, which I’ll bring up later.

Even without Danny Granger, who hasn’t played all season, this Pacers team has banded together and put together 25 wins and 16 defeats.  They’re on pace for 50 wins, which is probably just about where people expected.  They’re right there in the running for the top seed in the Eastern Conference, which would be a huge boost confidence wise for this team.  They’re just winning games with different guys stepping up. It’s one thing to say that Paul George has been a monster in some games.  Or David West is a double double machine. Or George Hill has stepped into the point guard position like he’s always played it. Or Roy Hibbert could swat away any shot that comes his way.  It’s another thing to say that this is a team effort, all guys have contributed something to this season. That’s what makes it so special to be a fan of the Pacers at this point. You know you’ll have that effort and hustle out there, and no one will be worried about their own stats.

I can only imagine that with the confidence that Paul George has now and if Danny Granger comes back with his ability, this team can only get better. It might take a few games to get the ball rolling, and that’s where having Granger back could be key. The offense is still a bit behind as it slows down at times, and struggles to even hit a basket.  Having Granger as a scoring option out there should help ease that out.  I think they need to be in the 95 point range to really have both sides of the ball covered.  Last night’s win was one of the few times this team has hit the 100 point mark. But the defense is key in that it doesn’t allow 100 points that often.  Plus, they’ve shown a real knack for bouncing back from a loss as they’ve not lost two games in a row since early December.

Look for more break down of the first half of the season to come as we look at player performances, good wins, bad losses, MVP for the Pacers, Most Improved for the Pacers, and other accolades to throw out there.

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