Apr 24, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Indiana Pacers forward Luis Scola (4) talks to a teammate against the Atlanta Hawks in the second quarter in game three of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Playoffs Are About Experience, Attitude


Apr 9, 2014; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Indiana Pacers guard C.J. Watson (32) shoots the ball around Milwaukee Bucks forward Jeff Adrien (12) during the fourth quarter at BMO Harris Bradley Center. The Pacers won 104-102. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The 2014 NBA Playoffs are in full swing, with already a number of exciting games and interesting outcomes. Among those outcomes, one might find the Indiana Pacers involved, while not so much in terms of exciting games.

Theories, predictions and conclusions can all be made in the postseason, no matter the sport and no matter what level. Here at 8 points, 9 seconds, we drew up our own theories and predictions for the Pacers’ first round playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks.

Opinions aside, each season brings new opportunities for every franchise. Successes are fun and failures can be devastating, but what counts the most is performance and determination. At the professional level, the feeling is different because salaries are involved and franchises might take risks and put it all on the line.

That last phrase is key, “put it all on the line.”

It’s especially familiar because it might just refer to an Indiana Pacers team from 2014. When team president Larry Bird sign the players in the offseason and made roster moves in February, it was to field a better team for a deeper playoff run.

Now April, things have become more serious, and more critical, for Indiana Pacers head coach Frank Vogel and Co. In order for the team to achieve its goals that it set out for in October, to achieve the successes every professional athlete deems to achieve some day, the right players must be in place.

A couple of those players were acquired in the offseason by Bird — Rasual Butler, Luis Scola and C.J. Watson. All three have playoff experience and the trio play with the right attitude one must possess in the playoffs.

Over the last two games, Scola has been red-hot, scoring a combined 37 points on 16-25 shooting from the floor. The Argentinian forward has NBA playoff experience and international experience with his native country, Argentina. As I’ve explained before, Butler has the tools every playoff team desires, which include the aforementioned experience and attitude, as well as maturity.

Watson has played on two hard-nosed playoff teams in seasons past with the Chicago Bulls and Brooklyn Nets. He has a nice history of performing well in the postseason, thus making a strong case for more minutes with Indiana right now over starter George Hill, who finds himself swimming against the current.

Again, the playoffs come down to having determination and an attitude that speaks, “We want this more than our opponent.”

The three offseason acquisitions (Butler, Scola, Watson) have made their case to Vogel for playing time and extended game action, at that.

Your move, Frank.

Tags: C.J. Watson Indiana Pacers Luis Scola Rasual Butler