May 30, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Indiana Pacers small forward Paul George (24) brings the ball up court against the Miami Heat during the first half in game five of the Eastern Conference finals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Indiana Pacers: Not Who Starts, but Who Finishes

I was thinking more about this starting five and who should be in that place of the fifth starter, which ultimately comes down to Lance Stephenson or Danny Granger. Right now, it’s looking like it’s Lance’s job as Danny Granger is sitting out this week, and who knows if he’ll be fully ready to go come next Tuesday. But when it does come down to it, it’s not who starts, but who finishes. That’s where the Pacers have seemed to falter as they’ve not had that go to guy at the end they can call upon. This season, there’s definitely a few options, and one probably stands out the best.

You look at those options, and you wonder what would be the ideal one? It’s pretty easy, who’s your best player? It’s the guy that got his new deal done before the season start, and someone who made a huge leap last year. Paul George. George is that guy that I believe if you want someone to be your go to man has to step up into that role. The Pacers haven’t really had someone like that since Reggie Miller was draining three’s back in the day. But now, with Paul George’s skill set, you have someone that could fill that void.

He’s a guy that can work off a screen for a shot. He’s someone that can get into the lane and finish at the rim. He’s someone that could bring a double team, and find that open man. He’s definitely going to have the ball in his hands at some point late in a game. It might not be that “game winner”, but something that at least gets you a win. To me, if Paul George becomes that type of guy, then he’s worth all the investment.

But I also contend that you could go other ways at the end of a game. Maybe you have Lance Stephenson out there for that extra bit of energy to finish strong. How about a line up where David West and Luis Scola are playing at the 4 and 5, it’s a smaller line up, but Scola is someone you could play the ball through. If Granger is healthy, he could be out there for a scoring option. I’ll even say again, that if George Hill wants to be that more aggressive player, the end of a game would be a perfect time for that.

It’s a nice problem for the Pacers to have, these different options at the end of a game. I think we all want to see Paul George be the man at the end, but I’ll say that as long as the Pacers get a win, whoever scores the basket, I’m happy for.

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