One thing that’s been evident in games is the way the Indiana Pacers is that their passing is not always the best. I would think this is the biggest weakness that the Pacers need to correct if they want to contend. I like the way the offense is flowing now, and there are times that I love how a guy makes that extra pass to the open guy. But other times, a player will force a pass that doesn’t need to go there. If you want to point fingers, I would probably start with Lance Stephenson. I’ve been a big fan of his game this season, but he does make careless mistakes that can hurt his ability on the court.
Just take a look at that Detroit game a week or so ago. Lance goes for a between the legs pass, and ends up not making the best pass. What happens to Stephenson after that? He gets yanked to sit on the bench, and even he knew that he made a careless pass that he didn’t need to make. It’s part of the reason why I love Stephenson’s game as well is when he can find that open guy that I don’t even think the open guy knows he was open. This is something that I don’t know if you can truly correct for Stephenson. I think he’ll get smarter at times about it, but then again, he’s a playground guy. Those guys are always going to try those passes that probably have no business becoming a pass.
Also, I would think for Paul George is he could round out his game by becoming a better passer. Look at everything else he can do well. He can shoot, drive, dunk, play defense, and generally lead on the floor. But his passing is his weakness, and if he can turn that around, watch out. I think like Lebron James, who has definitely become such an impressive passer, George can do this and be that all around player the Pacers know he can be.
If the Pacers can cut back on the turnovers, then they will be right there in every game. Last night’s game really hit home that point to me that this team can’t afford to turn the ball over. If they don’t have as many turnovers in that first half, who’s to say they don’t have a comfortable lead with the way they were shooting. You do those careless mistakes in the playoffs, and you’re done for. Hence the need to correct this in the final 25 games of the season. Pass the ball around the right way, and this team will do something special that we all expect them to do.