Indiana Pacers Round table: First Half of the Season Analysis

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1.  How would you assess the first half of the season?

Andy Miller, Staff Writer:  

The first half of the season has been an emotional rollercoaster for Pacers fans. Just days before the season was set to begin, Danny Granger announced that he would be out “indefinitely” with a sore knee. It’s one thing to lose a leading scorer. It’s another thing to lose a leading scorer with no time to install a backup plan. The team that we witnessed for the first couple weeks of the season was a team that was trying to find an identity during the season. With games every couple of days, it’s hard for a team to find time to gel and become a cohesive unit. Thankfully, the Pacers decided to hang their hat on defense, and have pulled themselves off the ground and are back in contention.

 It has been refreshing, as a fan, to see this team prosper. Coming into the season, expectations were high, and the Pacers are living up to those expectations. Frank Vogel has proven he’s the man for the job in Indiana and turned this collection of 12 large men into a basketball team. Sure, Paul George has earned an All Star nod, but he’s not a superstar by any means. This squad plays the best team basketball this side of San Antonio. The Pacers’ success is a product of the system Vogel has installed. Unlike teams whose success hinges on the efforts of a singular superstar, the Pacers are able to ride the hot hand. If one player is having a strong game, the Pacers let him take over. The strategy has paid off thus far, and doesn’t show signs of tapering off.

William Rettig, Staff Writer:  

The Pacers did an excellent job of recovering from a sluggish 4-7 start to the season and boasted a 25-16 mark through 41 contests. The math suggests that Indiana posted a 21-9 clip over the last 30 games to take control of the Central Division. Much can be said about the effort Frank Vogel and his staff have put forth to help the Pacers have success, especially on the defensive side of the ball. This Indiana Pacers team could go down as one of the best defensive squads the NBA’s modern era has seen. It is also worth pointing out that we now know the future of the franchise will be built around the likes of Paul George, George Hill and Roy Hibbert.

Stephen Ajamie, Editor:

I think both guys have hit this on the head.  This team probably wasn’t expected to prosper once they lost Danny Granger.  That has been a blessing in disguise as they’ve now seen what Paul George can do.  Other than that goose egg in Golden State, George has put this team on his back at times, and really carried the Pacers to a good record in the Eastern Conference.  Coming in, we fans knew this team had something special as they were able to resign Roy Hibbert and George Hill to keep this starting line up in tact.

You have to give the team a passing assessment for the first half to be right there in the top half of the Conference and with a great shot at taking the division.  When it comes down to it, winning the division would be such a great thing for this Pacers team to get some of that old school feel to a young team.

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