Jun 3, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat power forward Udonis Haslem (40) drives to the basket against Indiana Pacers power forward David West (21) during the first quarter of game 7 of the 2013 NBA Eastern Conference Finals at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Indiana Pacers Player Recap: David West

May 24, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Indiana Pacers power forward David West (21) drives against Miami Heat center Chris Bosh (1) in game two of the Eastern Conference finals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Want to know who the heart and soul of this Pacers team is?  Just look at number 21 and you’ll see the name West.  David West.  This was such a huge pick up two summers ago, and it looks to be the top priority for this summer.  West is a guy that made the choice to come here to play for the Pacers, and fans have really embraced this guy.  You just know what you’re getting when West steps on to the floor.  Need that big basket?  Give it to West.  Need a strong rebound?  West will go get it.  How about solid defense in the post?  West is going to hold his ground.  How about coming to the aid of a teammate?  Talk to Roy Hibbert about that and the whole ruckus with Golden State.  West is a guy that just brings this attitude to the team, and this season he was even better than the previous one.

I thought this past season, he looked to be more aggressive, and looked fully recovered from the injury suffered three years ago.  He put up 17 points a game during the regular season, and around 16 points during the post season. But he did have those break out moments in the regular season.  He scored 30 points in a win against the Miami Heat.  Grabbed 16 rebounds against the Boston Celtics.  5 blocks in a game against Memphis Grizzlies.  This goes to show that David West would do whatever it takes to help this Pacers team.

He was a guy that you could give the ball to late in the game for a basket to go ahead, or keep the lead.  When he put his head down and drove to the basket, good things would happen.  Defensively, he was huge in the post along side Roy Hibbert.  Both those guys were just great down there on the block.

He could get to the foul line as well, which is always a good thing. Just everything about West’s game fits what this Pacers team wants to do.  So the biggest question is, will David West be back as a Pacer for the next few years? I believe that the front office will do what it takes to get West resigned, and he’ll want to get that done quickly, so he can focus on improving.  With his game next year, I wouldn’t mind seeing a more aggressive West at times.  Those moments when he wants the ball, get it right to the basket is my feeling.  I know he can score against plenty of power forwards as his game is that much better, so he’s got to step up at times.

The leadership aspect is huge for this Pacers team.  With such a young team, it’s great to have that voice of a guy who’s been around the block.  It will be year number 10 for West next season, that’s plenty of experience to give out to guys like Paul George, Lance Stephenson, Roy Hibbert, and even the newer guys like Jeff Pendergraph and Miles Plumlee.  If West can provide that leadership aspect, this team could do just as well this next season.  It will be such a great thing to see West back in that Pacers’ blue and gold.  I know he wants to be here, so now it’s up to the sides to agree on that ever important salary figure.  West has proven he’s worth the dough, so time to open the check book and sign his check.

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