The winds of change are beginning to blow for the Indiana Pacers, and hopefully it is coming at just the right time. Second-string point guard D.J. Augustin has been demoted to a deeper spot on the bench, in favor of point guard Ben Hansbrough. This move is possibly less of an indictment of Augustin’s play, as opposed to an indication of how suspicious the sub-par bench play of the Pacers has been so far this season.
The Indiana Pacers shocked the world last season, by acquiring the third-best record in the Eastern Conference. and the fifth-best record in the league. The Pacers put the eventual world champion Miami Heat on the ropes in the second round of last year’s Eastern Conference playoffs, but fell short in the long run, which was due a lot to the lack of scoring from their bench players.
The Pacers mortgaged their future during the off-season in order to keep their starting lineup intact. Aside from that, they made small trades, and picked up few free agents, to bolster their bench play. The Pacers chose to use this year’s draft to help bring in some bench help as well. Neither of the Pacers top-two draft picks are currently playing.
D.J. Augustin has played in every game for the Pacers this season, but is only averaging 3.2 points per game. Ben Hansbrough will join his brother, Tyler Hansbrough, with the second unit coming off of the Indiana bench. This move may be just the beginning for a team that definitely seems to need a wake-up call this season.