Let the games begin yet again. As previously mentioned, though, here's Part II of the "Wiles of Winning" series. Here's Part I in case you want to re-visit. I can't think of a more fitting dedication to the beginning of the end of the season than to keep the winning talk going. After the jump, winning items 1-5. As always, enjoy:
5. Winning Means Average Production is Trumped by Cagey Vettitude – David West was long anticipated to bring some veteran-powered professionalism to a professionally-defunct lockerroom. He’s done so with remarkable precision. And people are writing about it. David West was long anticipated to bring a 15-20 PPG scoring punch to an often offensively-defunct system. The scoring punch is severely lacking, but so are his scoring detractors. Why? Winning. Career lows in almost every statistical category are second fiddle to 21 early season wins. What if Indy sat at 12 wins instead of 21? My humble speculation: Daily questions would abound regarding West’s knee status. West’s relatively short contract would be a rosterbation centerpiece. West’s vocal leadership would be no match for offensive disappointment, and the press/blogosphere would prove it. West would be yet another faltering FA acquisition unable to live up to a hefty payday. But he’s not. He’s a vital lockerroom presence whose sage and cagey demeanor alone account for a large portion of team success. Perceptually, 21 wins may mean more to #21 than anyone else on the roster.
4. Winning Means Other Teams Hate You – Everyone knows how the reigning MVP feels about this rambunctiously confident group of Indiana Pacers. Kevin Love got so riled up by smash-mouth basketball that he not only sprung a cheapshot on Danny Granger, but decided to head stomp the NBA’s most mysterious physical presentation (Luis Scola) a few nights later for good measure. When the Pacers out-physical/win against other teams, they sveltely enact the aura of villains. So what causes such open disdain from MVPs who should be above such banter? What causes possibly the NBA’s best PF to promise glorious retaliation for perceived chippy play? It’s the same cause that made so many of the Pacers’ faithful hate the Knickerbockers from New York; the same cause that made an 80’s Lakers vs. Celtics matchup must-see-TV; the same cause that made every basketball fan outside of Chicago hate His Airness while simultaneously dropping their jaws at his every movement on a basketball court: Winning.
3. Winning Means You’re Never Out of a Game – So the Pacers were recently down by nine late in the first half against the Bobcats. Was anyone worried about the final outcome? No. Why? Well, for one it’s the Bobcats…for two? This is officially a winning assortment of Blue and Gold. Toss Indy out against any team outside of South Beach, home or away, and the Pacers are likely going to make it a game. It may be a game littered with offensive ineptitude that the likes of Keith Closs might heartily celebrate, but it will be a game nonetheless. They got down in Charlotte, they got down in Dallas, they got down in Chicago, and they came away winners in all three. Whether they did it by blowout, comfortable strike, or nailbiter, it didn’t matter. Winning slaughtered short-lived adversity. Maybe the best part of all, winning has supplanted all previous JOB-led perceptions; the most prominent of which being that once an opposing team pounced, the Blue-and-Gold would wilt away like a pre-2011-2012 Roy Hibbert after the month of November. No, no, the Pacers have legitimately become a four-quarter catch that looks like a surefire lock to bring its newfound competitive stamina to the 2012 playoffs.
2. Winning Means Some Pacer "Fans" are Exposed as Simply Larry Bird Haters – You know who you are. You know what you said. You know it’s why you currently hide in blue-and-gold abyss, unable to relish in the long-awaited Pacer revival. Your years-long Anti-Larry dispatch: Larry is too stupid. Larry only likes white guys. Larry’s obsessed with un-athletic, four-year college players. Larry needs to tank. Mid-round draft picks construct the path to perpetual mediocrity. Larry needs to trade Danny. Roy Hibbert’s too uncoordinated to be a starting center. Larry’s a trade failure. Larry will never convince a good FA to come to Indiana. Larry this. Larry that. Larry, Larry, Larry….
Larry’s so-far revenge: 21-12, 11-8 on the road. Danny Granger is the leading scorer on a winning team. One of the league’s most prized 2011 FA acquisitions, David West, is in a Pacers’ uniform contributing to a winning atmosphere. Roy Hibbert—who was had for basically a box of ravaged knees (JO)—is an All-Star Center. The antithesis to the un-athletic, and four-year college player excitedly plays the role of potential superstar (Paul George). Larry’s got a boatload of cash. Larry’s ready at any moment to supplement an already-winning formula. Larry’s in an office enjoying the wiles of winning redemption. His haters? Enveloped in the Sound of Silence.
1. Winning Means…To Be Determined
All comments are the opinion of the author and not necessarily that of the IC Community or SB Nation. All opinions of the author are subject to change based upon future team performance.