The NBA season has begun reaching its halfway point around the league with the Indiana Pacers tipping their 40th game later tonight. Holding the league's best record through the first 39, the Pacers are becoming the toast of the NBA and are set to be major players in the 2014 All-Star Game next month. The Pacers notched their 32nd win of the season on Saturday against Los Angeles Clippers, a win total they reached at last year's All-Star Break when they entered 32-21.
The defense is still the league's stingiest, though somehow improved over last year's, but they've managed to build the league best record thanks to their improved offense, especially thanks to what Danny Granger has brought the Pacers, with David West calling him the blowout machine. While the Pacers mastered the art of the ugly win last season, this year, their improved offense (thanks in no small part to the emergence of Paul George and Lance Stephenson) has made them close to unbeatable.
So it's no surprise they're a unanimous #1 around NBA power rankings after posting a 4-0 home stand before heading out on the road for a five game Western road swing. It's difficult to find things that give the Pacers problems. But they're running along a 2-4 record in road games dating back to their blowout loss in Oklahoma City. No surprise three of those losses were road back-to-backs (although, both wins were as well...who makes this schedule?), but it'll be something to keep an eye on as they tip off against the Golden State Warriors.
NBA power rankings 2013: Pacers keep on rolling, Grizzlies move into top 10 - SBNation.com
No words are necessary. Paul George's dunk will do the talking.
Pacers making history at midway point | NBA.com
Indiana's defensive numbers might be ridiculously good, but being 2-4 in their last six road games is less so with their Western road trip opening up tonight.
Power Rankings: Indy reins supreme - ESPN
If you're wondering why Indiana has been the #1 team on Marc Stein's rankings for nine out of 12 weeks, look no further than their dominating home play and their league high double digit victories.
Pacers, Blazers dominating in very different ways - NBA - SI.com
Matt Dollinger has no doubt who the top team in the NBA with their 3-0 week, beating those teams by an average of 22 points.
NBA Power Rankings: Heat continue to drop - Yahoo Sports
Marc J. Spears shares Indiana's four game winning streak and 8-2 record in their last ten.
PBT NBA Power Rankings: At season midway Pacers, Portland on top (not exactly Stern's dream finals) | ProBasketballTalk
Kurt Helin feels it's time to retire the "nobody respects us" card with Indiana's impending All-Star Game representation.
Midseason NBA Power Rankings: Pacers, Blazers best at half - CBSSports.com
At the halfway point, Matt Moore believes Indiana's title chances are in good shape being led by Paul George and their defense.