This week's power rankings took notice of the success of the Indiana Pacers out West, where they just completed a four game sweep of their Western Conference foes. While most don't take into account the Clipper game yet, there's a lot of reason to be on board with what the Pacers have accomplished, and has national writers once again sitting up and taking notice of Indiana.
The Pacers not only won four road games out West, improving their record to .500 on the road (18-13 after their 1-6 start), but have done so with offense, quietly becoming the tenth most efficient offensive team since the calendar year turned. Early in the year, Indiana's defense garnered the attention, many wondering if they could muster up enough points nightly to compete, and while they can certainly struggle to get points on the board some nights, they've found themselves at the century mark for a season high, five straight games, all wins, while reaching 100 in seven of their last nine contests.
A Pacers team with offense is going to be a tough opponent to match up with, especially when you consider the defense has still been playing at a high level. Not only was it pointed out in last night's game that the Pacers are 23-6 when Roy Hibbert can get to 12 points (a number he reached in the first quarter last night), but Marc Stein shares Indiana's 11-1 record when Paul George scores 25. The Pacers have won 16 straight games when they reach the 100, allowing opponents to that mark just four times in that 30 game stretch.
NBA Basketball Power Rankings - National Basketball Association - ESPN
Indiana is at No. 5, Marc Stein bringing up the Pacers success when Paul George scores 25+ points, while wondering if Danny Granger being shelved for the year could still cause problems down the road.
Despite the comical and unnecessary need to pay attention to a team out of the postseason with less than ten games to go, John Schuhmann had nice words for the #5 Pacers after Roy Hibbert's harsh words following the win against Atlanta, crowning Hibbert the Plus-minus Stud of the Week, even before his Monday night performance.
Indiana sits at No. 4, Kurt Helin feeling the team is getting into a playoff groove with their West Coast performance.
NBA Power Rankings - Top 30 NBA Basketball Teams - FOX Sports on MSN
Sam Amico feels that despite 7th ranked Indiana's team-wide success, there will still be a necessary reliance on George in the postseason.
Top O' The World, Ma! - David Aldridge | NBA.com
Indiana moves up to 7th, Aldridge feeling the Granger loss will haunt Indiana in the postseason.
2012-2013 Hollinger Power Rankings - ESPN
Indiana moves up to #5 after their win against the Clippers, and while the margin of victory shrinks, the wins continue, a wonderful sign for Indiana's close game struggles.
Jeff Sagarin NBA ratings - USA TODAY
Indiana is at 5th, one of only three teams to have less than 10 losses against current top ten teams.