While national writers aren't seeing the Indiana Pacers as closely as those of us who watch the team every night, they're not coming from a foreign place in their analysis of Indiana and where they've been as a team as of late. In fact, the overwhelming sentiment in this week's rankings has been in Indiana's poor bench play, the obvious dropoff in productivity when the team goes from a capable starting five even without Danny Granger to a bench that is lucky to pool together in a game the amount of points Granger has averaged in his career.
Whether Frank Vogel's decision to give Ben Hansbrough minutes over D.J. Augustin will be an improvement is anybody's guess, but it's not working and little Hansbrough can't make any less of an overall impact than Augustin has made to this point.
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Seth Rosenthal notes the heavy role the Pacers starters have had to play to keep the team competitive, despite expected losses. They come in at #19 with a subtle nod to Paul George's week.
NBA Basketball Power Rankings - National Basketball Association - ESPN
Pacers jump to 16th, but Marc Stein is preoccupied with St. Elmo's selling their famous shrimp cocktail sauce online. I guess...if you can't say something nice...
John Schuhmann finds some optimism for the 16th ranked Pacers' starters production, scoring a +26 in the losses to Denver and Oklahoma City. Time to turn fatigue off in the settings until Granger comes back.
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The highlights of the bench struggle are the focus of Kurt Helin's take on Indiana sitting at #19.
NBA Power Rankings - Top 30 NBA Basketball Teams - FOX Sports on MSN
Sam Amico sums it up well: Sure the No. 19 Pacers are expected to struggle without Danny Granger, but Granger wasn't coming off the bench.
2012-2013 Hollinger Power Rankings - ESPN
The Pacers improve to #16 in Hollinger's rankings, with a slight uptick in their overall rating.
Jeff Sagarin NBA ratings - USA TODAY
Indiana sits at 16th, note at how quickly the schedule rank has risen to the top part of the league.