Throwback Thursday: Indiana Pacers’ Point Guards of the Past

Jan 1, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Indiana Pacers point guard C.J. Watson (32) brings the ball up court during the fourth quarter of a game against the Toronto Raptors at the Air Canada Centre. Toronto won the game 95-82. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

If there’s one position of the Indiana Pacers that just seems to lie under the weeds, it’s the point guard. This season, it’s been talked about in regards to whether George Hill is the right man for the job. Short answer, he is in fact right for the job. You look over the years, and the Pacer have had their fair share of point guards.

The running joke recently is that we inherit point guards with abbreviated names like C.J. Watson, A.J. Price, T.J. Ford, D.J. Augustine. All guys that were here for a short time, but guys that liked the letter J. Right now, C.J. Watson is the guy running back up, and I would have to say that in that group of point guards, he’s been the best out of the group. He’s a solid player all around that has been bringing some great energy to that second unit when the team needs it. He’s a guy that can be count upon for some points and his ability to control the floor. Therefore, he’s been a great fit for the team this season. What other abbreviated player with the letter J in their name is up next?

You go back further in the history of the point guards around here, and we have had our fair share of ball dribblers until the clock was down to 5 or less. I’m looking at you Travis Best. I do recall he had a great series against the Milwaukee Bucks in some playoff series. But he was most known for his dribble, dribble, dribbble, dribble, oh no the clock is down, take a shot. That sums up his time spent playing the point guard position.

I put Haywood Workman and Vern Fleming in the solid guys category. Nothing too fancy about their games. You could get something big here and there, but overall just fine players for their time with the Blue and Gold.

When it comes down to it, who would be the best point guard the Pacers have had? That’s just a hard question to answer because this position is one of those that never gets the attention. If I look around the past, I would say that Mark Jackson’s name would probably top the list. He was a guy that played well out there in the time he was here. He was part of that late 90s run that was full of veterans who meshed so well. They got to the NBA Finals and probably gave the Lakers their toughest challenge during that three peat. He had some flair for the game, but still made it all about the teammates around him.

To me, his name is there for top point guard of the Indiana Pacers. But look out because I do believe as well that George Hill is quietly carving out his own legacy here. I think being from the city of Indianapolis automatically gives him a leg up as people around here love seeing our basketball guys in town and doing well. He’s a guy that’s a quiet leader on the floor, but his actions speak loud.

Want that big shot late in the game? He can do it. Want to find that open man? He can do it. I feel like I have to defend Hill, but shouldn’t have to do that based upon his play. People will come around on him and see what a fantastic player we truly have here running the point.

Topics: C.J. Watson, George Hill, Indiana Pacers, Throwback Thursday

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