Our facebook page had a great question asked by Rob S, and I intend to give a great answer back to it. “What could be the Pacers biggest weapon for a strong run at the finals?” Sure, the easy answer is to say that the best player is the best weapon. So therefore, Paul George is the best weapon for the Indiana Pacers to make that strong run to the NBA Finals. But I want to say that the depth of this Pacers team COULD be that strong weapon. Yes, I am banking on the bench and the guys after Paul George to be a strong strong force. If you look at how this team is constructed, you could say they are built as two starting five units.
You have the regular guys in George Hill, Lance Stephenson, Paul George, David West, and Roy Hibbert who are currently the starting five. We’ve talked about the idea of Danny Granger inserted back into that starting five, and I would think that is where the ultimate plan is. So let’s just substitute Granger in there, and put Stephenson back on that bench. The bench is now C.J. Watson, Lance Stephenson, Chris Copeland, Luis Scola, and Ian Mahinmi. Solid role players that will all fill a need for this Pacers’ team that I believe will make them a stronger unit than last year as long as those new pieces fit. Luis Scola was a starting guy in Phoenix, so you know he should give you plenty of ability where he is. Chris Copeland came in and did nice things against the Indiana Pacers when he got some minutes in the playoffs. Ian Mahinmi is a nice sub for Roy Hibbert in the post. That wildcard could be C.J. Watson, who I am not exactly sold on yet as I’ve not seen enough of him. Then you throw in Lance Stephenson or Danny Granger as that big time sixth man, and the depth of this team should be something that most teams don’t have.
I think that will be the biggest advantage the Pacers will have over most teams. If this bench can improve from last season, the team should look better, and look how good they were without that much production last season. Most teams are so reliant on their starters, and the Pacers aren’t that out of the norm when it comes to that as I believe their starting five had the best production out of the NBA when it was listed. Someone check the stats on that for me. But overall, the best weapon will be this depth, and that should help make the run to the NBA Finals.