Wow. I, for one, did NOT see this coming at all. The Indiana Pacers have not lost a game this season. They are a perfect 9-0 on the season, facing teams like the Cavs, the new look New Orleans Pelicans, the Chicago Bulls and the Brooklyn Nets. The Indiana Pacers have surprised the world with the performance they are putting on against EVERYONE! For me, I think it is for two main reasons: defense and the bench.
First and foremost: of course, their defense. The Indiana Pacers are putting on a defensive clinic against every single team that they faced. Granted, the teams that they have played are not all very good, but this team can truly shut off an offense in minutes. With Roy Hibbert finally coming to know his true talent, he is manning the paint and handling all the other centers in the league. His ability to literally be a wall in the paint helps the team not only get turnovers, but then the other teams lose their aggressiveness and take jumpers. He goes straight up, not taking a foul which is the most important. Also, if he can continue this stat line: 11.4 ppg, 9 rpg, and 5 bpg, he can easily be defensive player of the year. The one thing that I want to see him work on is his ability to rebound. He is over seven foot and quite honestly, in this day and age, it is unacceptable to not have over 10 rpg if over seven feet tall. Furthermore, if he can score a little more, he will be one elite center. Besides him being the centerpiece of this defense, EVERYONE around him also helps the game. The one thing that I admire about this team is that they had to grow in to one another, not just start out excellent, and that is what sets them apart from each other. They are like the Heat in that sense, they mesh so perfectly with one another which helps them with their offense and defense. Frank Vogel did an excellent job instilling defense first, then offense, because like everyone says, 'defense leads to offense.'
Secondly, the Indiana Pacers made key pick ups which leads to greater success. The three big ones that I saw were CJ Watson from the Nets last year, Chris Copeland from the Knicks and Luis Scola from the Suns. First CJ Watson. With this acquisition, he really spreads out the floor for the Pacers when he plays. As seen against his former team, Watson is capable of passing to his teammates as well as finding the open three to quiet down the opponents. Secondly, Chris Copeland. Although he is not getting much playing time, we saw what he can do offensively when he played for the Knicks last season. He succeeds in his mid range and has a presence from three point territory. The only reason I wouldn't play him is because he doesn't have any defense. If he could improve on that he would be a solid bench player. And lastly, the most important player is Luis Scola. Luis Scola is old and a veteran in the game, but nonetheless he has everything that the Pacers need. Coming off the bench, he can score, get boards and defend which is the most important. He has that ability to provide a spark for the offense and defense and light up the floor if the team is struggling.
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