Every year, General Managers are sent a survey asking about who will win this, what coach is good at that, and just questions to see where their heads are at going into the season. Your Indiana Pacers have earned some high marks in regards to this recent survey list. This just backs my point up that not just Indiana fans are thinking good thoughts for the Blue and Gold, but General Managers are believing strongly in this team.
You might glance over this survey, and see the Indiana Pacers pop up in the usual spots.
First off, there’s the who will win the NBA Finals?
Which team will win the 2014 NBA Finals?
1. Miami — 75.9%
2. Indiana and San Antonio — 6.9%
Also receiving votes: Chicago, L.A. Clippers, Oklahoma City
Last year: Miami — 70.0%
There is our Indiana Pacers being selected in that second spot with the San Antonio Spurs. Looks like many are counting on the Heat to continue to roll, but I like seeing the Indiana Pacers right there behind them as it’s probably been a good while since we’ve had some of those high expectations that this team could compete for the NBA Title, but now people are predicting that the Pacers could win the NBA Title. That just shows how far along in three seasons, this team has really come. Just think about that for a minute, and you have to appreciate all the moves made, and all the bad years, fans have had to endure.
Which team will win the Central Division?
1. Indiana — 51.7%
2. Chicago — 48.3%
Last year: Indiana — 80.0%
Not exactly a run away like last year, but then again, Derrick Rose wasn’t going to play last year, so that had to factor into that. This year around, I think the Bulls and Pacers will be neck and neck for most of the season and that could be even with some injury to a big time player. That’s how deep I think both teams can be. Sure, in a year or two, it could be other teams fighting with the Pacers and Bulls for the division, but right now, it’s those two teams.
Who is the best perimeter defender in the NBA?
1. Tony Allen, Memphis — 36.7%
2. LeBron James, Miami — 33.3%
3. Paul George, Indiana — 10.0%
4. Avery Bradley, Boston; Andre Iguodala, Golden State; Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio — 6.7%
Last year: Tony Allen — 33.3%
Who is the best interior defender in the NBA?
1. Dwight Howard, Houston — 46.7%
2. Joakim Noah, Chicago — 16.7%
3. Marc Gasol, Memphis; Roy Hibbert, Indiana; Serge Ibaka, Oklahoma City — 10.0%
Also receiving votes: Tyson Chandler, New York; Tim Duncan, San Antonio
Last year: Dwight Howard — 66.7%
Which is the best defensive team in the NBA?
1. Chicago — 43.3%
2. Indiana — 33.3%
3. Miami — 10.0%
4. Memphis — 6.7%
Also receiving votes: Oklahoma City, San Antonio
Last year: Chicago — 40.0%
More defensive stuff for a defensive team. Maybe the Indiana Pacers can be that team to break the mold of “defense wins championship” and it helps to have hard nose defenders on your team. I don’t think David West gets enough attention at times for his defense. You could even say Paul George and Roy Hibbert don’t get that much attention for defense because let’s face it unless it’s a block that makes a huge play, who’s paying attention? But there’s no doubt that this Pacers team can defend all around, and that’s why they like to grind out a game, and make the other team play the Pacers style.
I had to throw this in there just to show that David West does get some love every once in a while. I know that he’s someone when he gets that look in his eye, I would be getting out of the way. He’s that guy in that Golden State scrum last year that I’m surprised didn’t get any fine of sorts. But he’s someone you love on your team because you know what you’re getting every night. How many of those guys can you count on in the NBA?
Who is the toughest player in the NBA?
1. Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers — 31.0%
2. David West, Indiana — 13.8%
3. Nick Collison, Oklahoma City; Kenneth Faried, Denver; Kevin Garnett, Brooklyn — 6.9%
Also receiving votes: Tony Allen, Memphis; Matt Barnes, L.A. Clippers; Reggie Evans, Brooklyn; Udonis Haslem, Miami; LeBron James, Miami; Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio; Chris Paul, L.A. Clippers; Nikola Pekovic, Minnesota; Zach Randolph, Memphis; Metta World Peace, New York
Last year: Kobe Bryant — 26.7%