David West has been Mr. Reliable all season for the Indiana Pacers. But they’re going to need him to be even more than reliable when they open the playoffs Sunday against the Atlanta Hawks. The key in the NBA playoffs is not necessarily that one team has a player that gets red hot, although that helps.
What’s essential is that no key player gets cold during the offseason. That’s usually a fiasco for the team that was relying on that particular player to have a good series.
The Pacers have had their struggles late in the season but part of that was due to injuries and fatigue. The 82-game season was taking its toll on the Pacers, and West is hopeful the playoffs will re-energize his squad. Obviously, the Pacers need something. There is a fear the Hawks could pull off the biggest first-round upset. The way the Pacers have played lately, it would not necessarily be an upset.
West just has to play like he has all season in which he’s averaged 17.1 points, 7.7 rebounds and 2.9 assists, and has shot 49.8 percent from the floor. He’s averaging 33.4 minutes but should be ready to put in some more time. The playoffs can bring out the best in a player like West.
The Pacers will probably need him to stay on the court as long as he can during the playoffs. It’s been his best of two seasons in Indiana. Now West is hoping to have his best ever playoffs. If he does, the Pacers have a chance to make plenty of noise the next few weeks.