It’s Over. Remember those times when it was shocking to beat an above .500 team? Well kiss those days goodbye. After the Pacers last few games it’s obvious, we’re the big dogs now. Not only a win to Golden State and the Lakers, but the loss to the Kings made it most apparent of all. Sacramento fought as hard as they could. They were the team that wasn’t supposed to win, but did so with scrappy play. So, take that weight off of your backs Pacers fans. Doesn’t it feel good?
I compare us to the NFL’s San Fransisco 49ers. A team that has been stuck in the purgatory of a mediocre-to-bad team for years. Both previously bludgeoned by bad coaching and crippling roster moves, they have each made resurgences. Lead by coaches with positive messages, have come in with a fighting mentality and plan to win with toughness, defense, and heart. These moving ideas have taken to the soul’s of their players and winning is right alongside. Here’s some things to watch for the Pacers going forward:
Danny Granger’s Play: I don’t want to jinx this….. Danny’s playing great. His defense has looked superb and since he’s started shooting during the rise of his shot, not on the descent, jumpers have been falling much easier for him.
Roy Hibbert’s toughness: I’m going to say this with all the love in the world to Roy. He used to be pushed around way too easily. Not just physically, but emotionally as well. He’s improved incredibly in both aspects. This is leading to an All-Star type season. Now, Roy’s production did dip after having great numbers at the beginning of last year, though I don’t see this happening again. Roy is stronger in every way and is even running offense through the post. Roy is the Sledgehammer (He needs a nickname and I’m sticking to this one).
Extending 4th year players: George Hill and Roy Hibbert fit this criteria. Roy wants to stay, his agent seems to be pulling the strings though to get Roy a better deal. That part is a nightmare for the Pacers. As much as Roy deserves to get paid handsomely, paying him what some centers in the NBA are getting (Tyson Chandler and Marc Gasol make around 15 mil. per year) could cripple the Pacers’ future. I could see George Hill making around 5 million a year and rumors are the two sides are talking. Keeping George could be huge if he keeps playing like has of late. The deadline to re-sign them is this Wednesday (Jan. 25th) and if the Pacers don’t sign them by then they become restricted free agents next year, so we can match any offer made to them.
Area 55 NOTICE! Smitshappens.com has decided we are going to put cotton or kleenex in our nose as a salute to our beloved Roy Hibbert and his effort against the Lakers. You are encouraged to bring portable kleenex or cotton to the game and SHOW YOUR SUPPORT!