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Both sides assumed a bit of risk in joining forces but none of those issues have arisen thus far (knock, knock...). West has not had any problems coming off of knee surgery, playing in all 31 games to date while averaging 12.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and just shy of 30 minutes per game.
West has also impressed by having a positive impact on team chemistry both on and off the court. So much so, Frank Vogel had to start demanding the West be a little more selfish on the court. His veteran, no-BS presence in the locker room has also helped transform the Pacers into a serious team with serious goals to make noise in the East.
Those are things that analysts can't quantify but nevertheless have a real influence. Center Roy Hibbert will be playing in his first All-Star game later this week and he openly credits West for helping him earn that honor with the impact he's noticed having West playing with him in the front court.
So David West has changed the game for the Indiana Pacers on the court with his strong play at both ends of the court and off the court by showing his teammates how to be a pro.
Plus, West has the most underrated scowls in the NBA.