The Indiana Pacers are currently half a game ahead of the Derrick Rose-less Chicago Bulls in the NBA‘s Central Division, which isn’t nearly enough. This is a team loaded with young talent, yet they just haven’t been able to start dominating weaker opponents and consistently competing with the league’s elite team. If the playoffs started today, the Pacers would be the third seed in the Eastern Conference, which is great, but they need to be a third seed that scares the top two seeds, not a third seed that’s basically third wheel.
The meat of the Pacers’ lineup is as follows:
This doesn’t include role players like Gerald Green, but the talent on this team is too passive. These guys are all ready to become stars, but it’s like they’re too scared to take that big step. Hibbert and Hansbrough were both superstars while in college at Georgetown and North Carolina respectively, and both have had standout games in the pros, but neither has been consistent.
Granger, George, Hill and West are all in the same boat–each have had big moments in the sun, but then they disappear in the following games. If Pacers head coach Frank Vogel isn’t going to push the envelope, Indiana needs to bring in someone who will. Larry Bird was the NBA Executive of the Year last season, so he’s not ignorant of the situation, but he can’t wait around. The Pacers’ time is now, so waiting even a minute might be too long.