What a year! Even with the tough loss, no one can deny the success the Pacers had. They were one game from the NBA Finals with NO bench and NO Danny Granger. The future is bright fellow Pacer fans! So bright I gotta wear shades!
-George Hill: George is so underrated I can't believe it. The only time you see this guy's name in media is to say "WOW THAT TRADE WITH THE SPURS WAS GREAT FOR BOTH TEAMS!!!!!!!!!!" (If I hear this again I just don't know... WE GET IT! IT WAS AN EVEN TRADE). I thought George really did a good job during the regular season on PnR's (though those crazy behind the back and high passes to D West off the pick n' pop are dangerous. George was a very efficient shooter during the regular season (44% overall and 37% on threes is great for this squad) but really did not step up in the playoffs. He did not have any help from his backup, but none of the starters did. Overall, his stats were pretty much the same with the bumb in minutes taken into account. I like George and am a fan of him starting; I have a thing for combo guards.
-DJ Augustin: DJ... DJ... DJ? I wanted the Pacers to draft DJ back in 2008. Charlotte took him 2 picks ahead of us though, and I never got to seem him much in the NBA. But I saw him enough this year. I was really excited about the DJ signing at the start of the year and thought he had value at 3.5 million. BOY WAS I WRONG! DJ CANNOT GET A SHOT OFF INSIDE THE ARC! He's just too small! His 3 point shooting was supposed to be amazing, and I'll admit it was okay, BUT TOO STREAKY. I still have a place in my heart for DJ, but he obviously didn't work for this team. I'm just amazed that DJ was our 6th man for the playoffs and we WERE ONE GAME FROM THE FINALS! DJ has turned me off from small guards forever.
-Ben Hansbrough: Honestly... Psycho B wasn't as bad as many would think. He could not him a shot for his life but he had some size and played with "hustle." If he could've hit some shots off the perimeter I honestly think he could've supplanted DJ in the rotation. But if you are a point guard with no athleticism, you need a jump shot...
-Lance "Basketball-Pants" Stephenson: When Larry said Lance had the most natural talent on the squad a year or two ago, I could not believe it. I had faith in Lance's, but only as a slashing guard; I could not believe what he showed this year. Lance came in from no playing time to an everyday starter (after the GG starting experiment exploded after 2 games); the results were... much better than expected. Lance showed great speed, power, and even a little 3-point touch (which disappeared later on). The best thing about Lance is that he knew his role, something a player with the name "Born Ready" seems impossible. I thought at first he was going to act like he was the star, but he knew he was in there to facilitate, drive, and take the occasional open shot. Lance FORGOT his role in the playoffs though. WAY too many jumpers, and unfortunately even the good ones weren't going in. Work on the shot and you can be a very good player Lance.
-Orlando Johnson: I loved the Pulp pick; it was even better knowing all we gave up was cash for him! His summer league games worried me, but Pulp showed me he can be a good rotation player immediately. He could've seen some time in the playoffs, but I also have my reserves about rookies in the playoffs (especially a guy who didn't see a ton of time in the regular season).
-Gerald Green: Wow... we have Gerald for 2 more years. Stop saying we can trade him because we cannot. I can't explain it. I thought he had finally shaped up after his comeback in NJ. Nobody thought this would happen. DO NOT SAY YOU PREDICTED THIS BECAUSE YOU DID NOT! I have no idea how he can have such a good comeback year and then lose it all the next season. I honestly think it was partially the Pacers fault. We forced him out on the wing and he took his time out there to show off his new and improved 3 point shot! I don't want him on the team, but I think we can use him better next year; I think if he is out there, he should be bringing up the ball, or getting it at the start of the offense. I see the problem being a lot like how JJ Redick struggled in Milwaukee; with Monta and Brandon controlling the offense, JJ was forced to just stay on the perimeter. In Orlando, JJ was in control of the offense and he flourished. I have my doubts this will work with Gerald because he has such a low BB IQ. Oh well, at least we didn't pay an outrageous price for his work from last season.
-Paul George: What hasn't been said about Paul George? He was the MIP and 3rd Team NBA. Is there room for improvement? Yes! Our star did only shoot 41% during the regular season and was streaky. We haven't gotten to the point where we can depend on Paul to carry us game in and game out. The great thing is, this team is built so we don't have to depend on one player! Still, Paul has got to improve his shooting consistency and ball handling (though he did improve a ton on that last offseason). Paul is the face of the franchise and I would not have it any other way.
-Sam Young: Sam Young was okay... I guess. Sam is a poor man's Dahntay Jones. I would love Sam so much more if he could knock down that corner 3... but he can't. I think his D is very overrated. Seems like he was always a step behind and fouling. I miss Dahntay. I wasn't expecting much from him, and don't expect him back next year... I want Dahntay back.
-David West: David was our rock! When Paul and Roy were finding their footing at the start of the year, David was our superstore. He does so much for this team... the toughness, great play, and locker room leadership has brought this team together. He did have some unexpected struggles in the playoffs, which I was disappointed with. I think the Pacers would be dumb not to resign him (at the right price) but what he has done for this organization is beyond words. He also knocked out the cavs mascot... THIS GUY IS JUST THAT SCARY TOUGH
-Tyler Hansbrough: Tyler's jumpshot is completely gone. I have no idea how it disappeared... it's just gone. Tyler is a question mark. There are people that love his hustle, but hustle only gets you so far. Psycho T did improve on his decision making this year though. He was a black hole last year. You give him the ball YOU ARE NOT GETTING IT BACK. This year he was much better looking for other options... but with this year's bench he could've gone ahead and been a black hole. And what was with his end of year free throw shooting? Oh well... IDK what to do with him this offseason.
-Jeff Pendergraph: Remember when the Jeff was the first signing way back when we had camp room in the summer of 2011? Yeah... He did show some stuff this year though. He has an okay jumper and can play good defense if put on the right guy. Jeff did do good with the minutes given to him, but he is a tweener: too slow for SF, but too small for most PF.
-Roy Hibbert: Roy's first half of the season should be buried and forgotten in some far away corner of the world... I have no idea what was going on there. I'd much rather like to remember Roy schooling Miami and making Tyson Chandler his lil' b**** boi. Are these playoffs a good indicator for next season? Probably not. Roy will still have his struggles against some actual Centers, but I do think he can go 15 and 10 and shoot a little under 50%. Roy's defense was his staple this year, and he should have won DPOY in my opinion. How he finished 10th, I do not know... But accolades do not win games. As long as the verticality rule is still enforced, Roy has a chance to be DPOY for years to come. That first half of the season though... ugh.
-Ian "I have no hands" Mahinmi- Ian is another mystery. Ian was so impressive at the start of the year. We threw out one 7 footer in Roy, then brought in Ian, a more athletic, albeit less talented, version of Roy. Ian went MIA though. I was also expecting more of this so called "consistent 18-footer" that I heard about from Dallas fans. He's got to be more of a force at the offensive end. Having two 7 footers sounds badass... but not when one can't catch a basketball.
-Miles Plumlee: Miles was our first round pick last year. Management called him a Jeff Foster reincarnate. They then went and picked up Ian (signed onto a four year deal), making sure to guarantee the Miles pick was a waste. I'll be honest: even if Miles had gotten playing time, I don't think he could do much with it. He is just not that good of a player, though his hair is dashing.
Danny gets an incomplete grade. The season was exciting and much better than most could have expected without Danny. Overall I give this season a Grade of A-. I'm so proud of how this team preformed. It's hard to imagine that only a few years ago we were in the days of Ike Diogu and Travis Diener. GET PUMPED UP PACER FANS!