Thanks to some clutch play down the stretch from David West, the Pacers pulled out a close one on opening night yesterday. Although last year's team featured maybe one of six guys playing the star each game, West was consistent throughout. If memory serves, he averaged about 12 and 7 for the year. It got me thinking-- how dependent are the Pacers upon David West? Think about it:
1.) The Pacers had a breakout year last season, the only key additions being West and George Hill, and Hill came off the bench for most of the year. David West was the only free agent addition to our efficient starting unit.
2.) Roy Hibbert suddenly got a lot better last year. How much can we attribute to Roy, and how much can we attribute to having a true threat in the post?
3.) This is just my personal opinion, but when I heard Danny Granger was out, I didn't feel too worried. I love Danny and I'd prefer him being in the starting five, but we have other guys who can step up at his position. If David West or Roy Hibbert go down, we've got problems.
4.) Again, I'm going by memory here, but I feel like West was one of the few guys who really stepped up in the playoffs last year. If we make the playoffs again, I'd argue that he should be our go-to guy.
A full year removed from his knee surgery, David West showed us last night what he's capable of when he's really aggressive. When his contract ends at the end of the season, is he a guy we absolutely need to re-sign? We've added some depth at other positions recently, but PF talent has never been a strong suit for the Pacers.