Blog Entry

Theory and Proof: Pacers get worked in Miami

Posted on: January 4, 2012 10:16 pm
Posted by Royce Young

THE THEORY: The Pacers are just beating up on bad teams

THE PROOF: Miami drills Indiana 118-83

The Pacers started the season 4-1 and had the look of a team that could be flying a bit under the radar. So with a Wednesday night game in Miami the Pacers had a shot to make a statement.

And I guess they did. In the wrong direction though. Indiana might not quite be ready yet.

Blowouts happen in the league a lot. Good teams get ripped, especially on the road against a buzzsaw like th Heat. But this Miami team was missing Dwyane Wade and the Pacers were clearly keyed up at the tip. Dahntay Jones had some misguided quotes before the game about taking the game to the Heat and whatnot. The Pacers saw this as a shot to catch some attention.

Because let's face it, their 4-1 start really wasn't something to get that excited about. Wins over Detroit, Cleveland, New Jersey and Toronto really aren't all that impressive. And the loss was to the Pistons. So there was a big question mark for this Pacers team coming into their game against Miami. Beating teams you're supposed to is the sign of a solid group, but competing against maybe the class of the NBA would go a lot further in telling us where Indiana is at than a win over the Nets or Wizards.

To put it simply: The Pacers got streamrolled. LeBron James just stomped them. Indiana went 1-15 from the floor in the second quarter and turned it over 10 times as Miami outscored them 33-12 and basically ended the game there. By the finish line, Miami was the first team to crack a hundred on Indiana and did it with about eight minutes left in the game for a 35-point win.

Are the Pacers for real? I think it's way too premature to say either way. Their wins aren't really impressive and their losses are bad, in different ways. But it's early and the Pacers will have a lot more opportunity to make statements soon. In the next two weeks Indiana gets Boston, Philadelphia and Atlanta. They've got some very winnable games still mixed in that batch but the Pacers don't get to just keep feasting on bad or rebuilding teams.

But looking at the East, there's a good chance Indiana could crawl up to No. 5 or 6. The Knicks dropped an ugly game to the Bobcats and the Hawks are still a bit of a question. The class of the conference is clearly the Heat and Bulls, but Indiana could potentially slot itself in that second pack of New York, Atlanta, Orlando and Boston (yes, Boston).

The Pacers performance in Miami definitely didn't make the right kind of statement. It's going to keep most in the camp of thinking they aren't there yet, at least in terms of actually competing with the big boys. David West was a nice addition, but the Pacers are lacking consistent scoring options. Danny Granger is good in spurts, Roy Hibbert sometimes works well in the post and Paul George's 3-point shooting has been nice. But like the opening round series against the Bulls, sometimes the Pacers don't know where to get points from.

It's too early to cross anyone off any list (except for the Wizards and Nets), but the Pacers definitely got a wake-up call from Miami Wednesday. They aren't there yet and really, probably aren't as close as they thought.
Since: Jan 5, 2012
Posted on: January 5, 2012 2:45 pm
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Since: Oct 20, 2009
Posted on: January 5, 2012 2:19 pm

Theory and Proof: Pacers get worked in Miami

This team isn't as bad as their showing in Miami. West will become more of an impact as the season goes on. However, I think Danny Granger needs to go!

Since: Oct 16, 2011
Posted on: January 4, 2012 11:42 pm

Theory and Proof: Pacers get worked in Miami

The Pacers have a lot of really good talent, but is there anyone on this team that a defensive coordinator/assistant coach would stay up at night worry about in a playoof series? The Pacers should keep an eye out for stealing D Will if NJ can't keep him (yes they would have to sign and trade if you still can or trade away talent to open salary space). If that fails they need to think about trading for a stud that still has 2-3 years left on his contract. Indiana may not be the hippest area but it's also a pretty descent city in a great basketball city. So as far as places to live for a young NBA player it falls in the middle. If they can keep enough of their talent (they have a balanced roster) and then add a true franchise player they could win it all. A couple trips to the finals or a ring would then convince that stud player to stay put.

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