I have said it before and I will say it again. The Indiana Pacers are making some significant improvements this offseason. Improving our bench was one of extreme importance as it was a very notable downfall for us during our match-up against the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals. Re-signing David West was of the upmost importance. We were able to make that official today with the deal being for three years and reportedly worth $36 million overall.
David West has been very special for our team and not only on the court. A leader in the locker room and active in the community West is a perfect example of what it means to be a professional athlete.
That being said I would expect the organization to work on the depth at his position, which currently goes no farther than him.
There are always options. The easiest option would be to pull players out of their natural positions when David is on the bench. I am not a favorite of this idea. I believe that puts all players on the court at a disadvantage because of the obvious limits on both ends of the court. Whether you go with a center or small forward it is almost always going to favor the other team. The small forward is going to have trouble defending the post-up play and the center will have a hard time being able to keep up with shifty moves and penetration.
Last year one of the unique aspects to Pacers was their size and more often than not opposing teams had trouble defending them. For that reason I don’t like the idea of the smaller line up. I have enjoyed watching their defensive minded style of basketball and really appreciate that they are keeping team basketball alive. I don’t want to see them stray from this by lining the floor with various small forwards and guards during starters rest periods in an attempt to shoot their way out of losing a lead.
I think it will be very important for Indiana to find a formidable and legitimate power forward to come off the bench and give David West peace of mind as well as physical rest. I know that there are financial situations and only so much money to go around, but after extensively expanding our depth at the three I would only hope that we can find the money to give one of the most important players on our squad the support he deserves while maintaining the style of play that has excited Pacers fans all over the state.