NBA Off Season: Indiana Pacers Mail Bag 2

Looks like the mailbag feature of yesterday was a good hit as I got more questions on the facebook post, and here we go with another round of mailbag.

 

Mara L:

Will the Indiana Pacers accomplish  60 wins?

On paper, the Pacers look like a better team top to bottom, so you would believe more wins should come.  I think that 60 wins or more is going to have to happen if they want to keep pace with the Miami Heat for that number one spot. I can’t see the Heat dropping down into that 50 win range, so the Pacers have to take care of business and pick up plenty of wins.  They should beat the teams that know they can beat, and try to get even in some of those not as easy opponents.  But 60 wins seems like a doable prospect based upon what this team has done to get better.

Will Paul George emerge as MVP contender?

This is a great question because I do believe he will emerge as a better player, and more people will take note of that, so he could in fact be one of those contenders for MVP. But it’s probably Lebron James’ to lose for as long as he’s playing, so maybe George won’t get as many votes as fans would like. But I hope that he can cut down the turnovers and make smarter decisions, which will improve his game. This in turn makes him that all around better player and should get him some consideration for what he’s doing for the team.

 

Alexis R:

If you are to motivate this team/players what would you be telling them to inspire them to play at super duper high level to be able to reach the finals?

This is a hard question to answer because the obvious answer is that all players should be motivated enough to win that title.  They’re all at that high level of playing or else they wouldn’t be in the NBA. I think I would use that underdog mentality of the NBA not ready for this type of team effort to win the title.  Sure you have Paul George emerging as a Superstar. But I believe he’s not there yet, so you have to win with the all hands on deck idea.  You motivate each guy into knowing that they ALL can contribute to this team.  From #1-#15.  Each guy goes out and plays to their best and works for the betterment of this team.  I think if you want players to step up, you have other players motivate them. I look for David West, George Hill, Danny Granger, Paul George, and even Roy Hibbert all to voice their inspiration to this team.  If you have players telling you to get up for this, then I feel like they might use that to their advantage.

 

Erika J:

Follow up question…do u think a good player still needs to be motivated or it is their obligation to play well no matter what the circumstances are..

Good players should be motivated to be great players, so there’s that idea floating around. I am very curious what someone like Lebron James uses as his motivation other than he wants to continue to shut people up that he can’t win this or that. But now with two championships and MVP titles to his name, I would imagine it’s hard to get up for every single game. But I do know that if James put his mind to it, he’d probably average a triple double with points, assists, and rebounds.  Maybe that’s a motivating factor.  Every circumstance will dictate what that player wants to do to better themselves.  I’ll go to Paul George here in Indy as an example. I would think he’s going to be highly motivated this season to show he’s the guy for the Pacers.  He’s a better defensive player than people know. He’s a guy that has an all around game that if he continues to improve could make him one of the best players the Pacers have had.  That’s plenty of motivation for George to have, and hopefully his game will show that he’s got that in his head.

 

Rob S:

Do you think Miami is still as good as they were the past 3 seasons or some of their stars already fading a bit? In that case do you think this team is very much beatable now?

You want to think that all teams are beatable, but last season when it looked like the Pacers could handle their business, they faded away in that game seven. I know another year of the Big Three together should make people believe that they’ll just win it again. But you would have to also look at my answer to the question above.  What is the motivation for this Miami Heat team, other than winning again?  Which of course is the ultimate goal. But I feel like they could get lax, and the Pacers might be able to pull something off.  How awesome would that be to get past the Heat after knocked out the past two seasons by them?

As far as the stars fading, I’ve never believed in Chris Bosh, so he is what he is.  I think he’ll continue to regress in his game. But Dwayne Wade showed some flashes of old during that playoff series against the Pacers, so maybe he gets his injuries all sorted out, and actually looks better.  I think he’s still got some good game left in him.  So I don’t believe he’s fading quite yet.  And Lebron James, well he’s the best in the game, and I think he’s going to continue to work hard to show he’s the best ever, so no fading there either.

 

Francis G:

Do you think Greg Oden can really match up Roy Hibbert in the post?

This is a great question as well.  I believe that Roy Hibbert should be able to match up well against anyone in the post, and actually have the advantage over most centers. With Greg Oden, I feel like those injuries had to take a toll on him, and the fact that he’s not played in four seasons. It’s hard to see him matching up well with Hibbert if Hibbert has his confidence in that right place.  That’s the biggest deal with Roy Hibbert, it’s all about that head.  If he’s on his game and looking confident, good things happen. I don’t even know if we’ll see the Oden-Hibbert match up because I feel like the Heat are going to be very cautious with Oden because they don’t need to play him that much anyways.  He could get some minutes once he proves he’s ready to go, but even then, I question how much he will end up playing.

 

Bill M:

Many are saying the Indiana Pacers need a true point guard to make a championship run. Would it really matter?

I don’t think the true point guard thing is that important, especially if you look at the Pacers. The Pacers have George Hill at point guard, when he’s probably more comfortable in the shooting guard position. But I think he’s the best guy for that point position as he can really lead the team in that area.  He’s a guy that can make good passes, get his own baskets when needed, and shoot the ball well when he has to.  Therefore, he’s a point guard, but not that true point like Deron Williams and Chris Paul. But look at those teams, and you haven’t seen them make those championship runs, so is the point guard that important?  It practically leads to that question of do you need the “superstar” to win?  And sure, that might be important, but once again, you have a team like the Memphis Grizzlies, who made the Conference Finals without that pure superstar.The true point guard is probably in that same vein as a true center.  While it’s great to have, you don’t necessarily need it, if you have those right pieces anyways.

Topics: Greg Oden, Indiana Pacers, Miami Heat, NBA, Roy Hibbert

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