Monday, July 29, 2013

Picking Up The Pace(rs)

Here they come, Miami Heat. The bane of the Indiana Pacers last year was their anemic bench. The 29.8 ppg the reserves put up was a woeful 20th in the league, and the 40.5% they shot was 28th, ahead of only Cleveland and crappy Orlando. As great as Indiana's starters were, they're not toppling Miami with such little bench help.

Pacers' GM Kevin Pritchard is no rookie to the game, and reloaded brilliantly.
Enter 29 year old 2nd year forward Chris Copeland and cagey veteran power forward Luis Scola. Neither will ever be mistaken for Dennis Rodman defensively, but both can so one thing very well: get buckets. In only about 16 mpg for the Knicks last season, Copeland put up 8.7 ppg on a nifty 48% shooting. Maybe even more impressive was his 42% 3 point stroke, not bad for a 6'9" wing.

Luis Scola brings a whole Craftsman toolbox of fakes, feints, and scoop shots to the Pacers. The career 14.2 ppg, 50.4% shooter has the whole scoring arsenal at his disposal; he has excellent touch around the rim, is a knock down shooter from 16 feet and closer, and has a wealth of experience from years on the Argentinian national team. I mean...look at him. LOOK AT HIM.

Toss in new backup point man CJ Watson (6.8 ppg, 41% from 3 last year with the Bulls), and suddenly the Pacers reserves look downright formidable. If Indiana's coaching staff can convince oft-injured Danny Granger (career 18 ppg, 38.4% from 3) to lead the bench brigade, the Pacers enter the 2014 campaign with what looks to be a formidable bench attack.

Take note, Miami, Chicago, and Brooklyn. The Indiana Pacers have upgraded in the arms race in the East. Here they come.


Terrill the 6'3 said...

Pacers proved last year that they can hang with the best of them. The better teams win no matter what. They make the best of bad calls that go their way (Miami) and their coaches know how to seal the deal. Having a solid bench still wont make up for the Pacers not having a real "Superstar" on their team. Paul George is a first time all star and hardly a household name. I cant really count them as a championship ready team, but definitely a contender.

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