The Indiana Pacers are a team that has been on the rise in the NBA the last couple of seasons. Last year was their first year in the playoffs since Reggie Miller played in Indiana. The Pacers got the eighth seed in the playoffs and gave the Chicago Bulls a run for their money before finally succumbing to their obvious advantage in talent in the five game series.
This season they have seen much improvement in their record thanks to great drafts the last couple of years, some nice trades and some key free agent signings. They are currently in 3rd place in the Eastern Conference and have a date with the Orlando Magic in the first round of the playoffs. Pacers president Larry Bird is developing a team of basketball players, not athletic prima donnas looking for their next paycheck. This is evident by his drafting of UNC standout and all around hustle machine Tyler Hansbrough in the 2010 NBA draft. He also made a splash last year by trading the Pacers first round pick to the San Antonio Spurs for Indianapolis native George Hill who has seen time at both guard positions.
The team is young, talented and deep. But they could still seem some improvement on both sides of the ball if they want to compete for a championship in the coming seasons. Here are some possible options that the Pacers could go after in this year’s NBA draft if they are looking to take their team to the next level next year and compete with the likes of Miami and Chicago for an Eastern Conference championship. Here are a couple of areas where the team could look to improve:
- Point Guard – They have a bevy of great guards on the team. But, the one thing that they are lacking is a true point guard. This is something that every team needs if they want to compete for a championship. They don’t have to be the most talented person on the court. They just need to be able to run the offense and get the other players on the team the ball on the right spots on the court.
- A reliable wing scorer – Paul George and Danny Granger have been great on the wing for the Pacers the last couple of seasons. They still need a reliable scorer who can score crunch time points for the team at the end of games in a playoff series. George could very well develop into that player for the team but it may not hurt to take another chance in the first round on this kind of player considering the recent luck the team has seen drafting in the first round.
An improvement in either of these areas would definitely help catapult the team even farther up the standings in the East. The Miami Heat seem to fall apart every season at some point. The Pacers could take advantage of their falter and nab the 2 seed in the playoffs next year with improvements in scoring and running of the offense. Look for Bird to have one of these two kinds of players hiring Allied movers and getting a place in Indianapolis next season. He may even trade up using some of the assets they have on their very deep team to acquire a top flight prospect that will help the team for years.