Alexis R with another great question for the site: “Indiana is a young inexperienced team, is this right? Are they still?”
There is young talent on this team yes, but as far as the experience of playing together, they’ve had two full seasons, and two playoff runs that resulted in being the eventual champions the Miami Heat. That will toughen you up real quick, and make you look at what needs to be done around here to compete. I would say that alone gives them experience that can’t be used an excuse anymore. Three years ago, maybe you could have used the term “young team”, but not now. When you consider guys are going into their four and fifth year of playing, that’s more than enough experience to step up the label.
This is a team that has the parts in place for the young and the old. You have the veterans in Danny Granger and David West, but Roy Hibbert, Lance Stephenson, Paul George, and George Hill all make up the “young guys” that have now had that high level of playing experience. Two seasons of Hill, Stephenson, George, Granger, West, and Hibbert all playing together at some point. Two playoff runs, one ending in the conference semi-finals, and one ending in that second round. Like I said both ended by the Miami Heat. That’s why last season why important in my mind as the Pacers had to show that this core group of guys could do something special. Getting to a division title and the Conference Finals was a huge step in that direction. That is also why this season is going to be full of expectations. How will the Indiana Pacers respond with that target on the back, we will have to see.