Get Ready For a Change in Indiana
No Roy Hibbert and no David West playing for the Pacers next season. Both of them chose to change scenario and headed for new teams. As a result, Indiana will be a very different team next season. The last campaign did not go so well for Frank Vogel and the Pacers because they could not make the playoffs even after a late push in the regular season. Nevertheless, some good things happened during Indiana’s disappointing campaign, mainly the return of Paul George on the court. The star forward suffered a gruesome injury during USA Basketball training camp and had to miss almost the entire year. George returned at the end of the regular season and looked healthy during the small amount of playing time he received.
Despite seeing key players leave, the Pacers managed to make some very good acquisitions – Monta Ellis, Jordan Hill and Chase Budinger. To start with, Ellis looks like a good fit on offense – Monta will play alongside point-guard George Hill, which will give the former Mavericks player the opportunity to be the primary ball handler and playmaker. However, he may be a challenge for the defense. Ellis is not one of those guys who can play intense. Coach Vogel is known for demanding all of his players to work harder on the defensive end. The fast paced guard could have some difficulties adjusting to the new system.
Another guy that could have problems adjusting is Paul George. Although he has not changed teams and the head coach is still the same, PG 13 may have to play stretch-four. The Pacers do not have a lot of big men to choose from, as rookie center Myles Turner and Jordan Hill are the only quality options in the frontcourt. George will most likely receive a lot of minutes at the power forward position, which will be something new and unfamiliar for him. If that would not work out, it can be very interesting to see how coach Vogel can find the right rotation.
The Pacers are expected to abandon their slow tempo offense and rely a lot more on fast breaks after the departure of West and Hibbert. It looks like a smart idea by Vogel to change the pace, but it is hard to predict whether it will be a success. Indiana will have to face a lot of problems during the next season – no bench depth, lack of quality role players and lack of veteran leadership. David West will definitely be missed in Indiana. The savvy power forward was the main leader of the Pacers, both on the court and in the locker room. Without him, Paul George will have to take his role and after a whole season on the bench, that could be a bit too much for the superstar forward.