May 3, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; TNT broadcaster Reggie Miller during game seven of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs between the Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center. The Clippers defeated the Warriors 126-121 to win the series 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Best All-Time Pacers' Fantasy Team

So, it’s the offseason and while we wait with crossed fingers to see how the LeBron, Carmelo, and Lance sagas all turn out, I thought it would be fun to unwind and celebrate the Pacers’ organization, past and present.

What better to do do that than pick our own fantasy teams from Pacers’ history and argue about whose team is better?

The idea is simple. You are a fake GM and you have a fake bank account of 18 fake dollars. With your $18, you have to pick five players and a coach, each of which costs a given amount of money against your fake salary cap.

Because of the different styles of play that you may want to implement on your fake squad, there are six groups of players, one group for each of the regular positions but also a “Small-Ball Four” group. (This also helped showcase the glut of good players that Indiana has had over the years play at the small forward position, while also trying to distract you from the awfulness that is the Pacers’ history at shooting guard, minus one guy of course.)

Here are the rules:

  • You cannot go over $18 for any reason.
  • You cannot choose two guys from the same group. Yes, I know it would be sweet having a perimeter threesome of Jalen Rose, Reggie Miller, and Paul George. You can’t do it though — that would be circumventing the fake salary cap in unfair fake ways, hence making your fake team unfairly good in a fake sense.
  • You cannot pick a power forward AND a small ball four while choosing to eschew a center for reasons listed above.
  • While choosing your team, only consider the accomplishments the player made while playing for the Indiana Pacers. This means you aren’t getting the lights-out, 51% from 3-point shooting Detlef Schrempf from the 1995 Sonics (which came during thea shorter 3-point line era). Rather you are getting the more complete 1993 version that averaged 19-10-6 but shot less than 20% from deep.
  • Pick a team that would win in any game, in any era since 1985. This absolutely does not exclude greats like Mel Daniels and Roger Brown, as they would undoubtedly be good players in today’s league. But you may, perhaps, want to think about some of the other greats like Neto and Buse that might struggle with the athleticism of the modern game.
  • Post your team in the comment section with justification or tweet your squad along with hashtag #8p9sFantasy

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Just for a starting point, here is my team:

  • PG: 1976 Billy Keller – $3.00
  • SG: 1997 Reggie Miller – $5.00
  • SF: 2001 Jalen Rose – $3.00
  • PF: 2013 David West – $2.00
  • C: 1999 Antonio Davis – $2.00
  • Coach: 2004 Rick Carlisle – $3.00

My team will definitely struggle to guard other teams on the wing, even though Jalen Rose was a much craftier defender than people may remember – but don’t worry, I have two of the baddest dudes to ever play the game clogging the lane behind them while Rick Carlisle will orchestrate a defense to more than compensate for any weaknesses.

Most importantly, though, my team can flat out score. Billy Keller and Reggie Miller are two of the all-time great shooters the game has ever seen, and 2001 Jalen Rose will handle primary ball-handling and play-making responsibilities. With David West also spacing the floor, the Jalen Rose/Antonio Davis pick and roll will be a matchup nightmare for every team. If just one player helps off too far, an open jumper will likely be raining in from somewhere on the floor.

Combine the pick and roll with a steady dose of Reggie Miller scrambling around screens set by Antonio Davis and David West, and Reggie might not even have to worry about playing defense — as his defender will undoubtedly be worn out by the game’s end.

You may be able to craft your own fake team that will create matchup problems for my team (I’m thinking of lineup of Paul George, Lance Stephenson, Micheal Williams, Jermaine O’Neal and Brad Miller coached by Carlisle would give my team fits), but I’m not sure you will be able to field one that’s more versatile and able to play with a variety of opposing squads.

So who you got?

Make sure you let us know in the comment section!

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