Everyone expected the Indiana Pacers to emerge as one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference this season. However, even the most optimistic fan of the team couldn’t imagine such a magical start in the 2013-2014 campaign. 10 games into the season, the Pacers have only lost once, from the Chicago Bulls and they are still playing without their former best player, Danny Granger. So, things could get even better for Indiana as the season moves forward.
The most impressive and optimistic fact for Frank Vogel and his team this season is that they play world-class defense. The Pacers now rank 1st in the league in points allowed with just 86.3 per game. Their defense is a big factor why they have the best record in the entire NBA, 9-1, together with the San Antonio Spurs.
In addition, the team is enjoying a superstar-caliber performance from Paul George. After emerging as a dominant player during the latter half of the 2012-2013 season and also the playoffs, the 23-year old star is showing more of his abilities this season. Pacers fans have all the reasons to believe their favorite team has found the next big thing in the NBA, a player who can establish himself in the elites, together with LeBron James, Kevin Durant and James Harden, if he continues to deliver with the rates he has been as of lately. George is now averaging 23.3 points per contest, 7.0 rebounds and 3.2 assists. His shooting is also in a very good level. He is shooting 46.5 percent from the field this up to now and also 36.5 percent from three-point range.
Lance Stephenson is also gradually emerging as a solid contributor. He is now averaging 13.7 points, 5.2 rebounds and 5.0 assists per contest in Indiana’s first 10 games. He is also shooting 45.8 percent from the field and 45.0 percent from downtown.
The twin towers of the team, Roy Hibbert and David West are doing their job, locking down the paint and cleaning the glass on the defensive end. They are also contributing with 11.7 and 11.5 points per game on the offensive end to complete Indiana’s weapon array.
If there’s one aspect of the team that has been drastically improved from last season then that’s bench production. The acquisitions of C.J. Watson, Luis Scola and Chris Copeland added a much needed depth to the Pacers. Now Frank Vogel can rest assured that he will get production from his reserves, once his starters are on the bench. The three of them are combining for 18.2 points per game up to this point in the season.
No one can really know how things will turn out for Indiana once Danny Granger gets back. Paul George’s outputs may be affected. Or Granger might boost Indiana’s scoring even more. The certain thing is that at the moment, the Pacers are showing their teeth and they definitely deserve the characterization as one of the strongest favorites for the NBA title this season.
Ron Leyba is the content manager of Fantasy Basketball Money Leagues – premier source of fantasy basketball updates, rankings and rumors. His latest blog post discusses the fantasy basketball sleepers of 2014. For more of his fantasy basketball updates, follow Fantasy Basketball Money Leagues Google+ account.Powered by Sidelines Follow paulmbanks