Indiana Pacers’ Improved Offense Massive in Early Success

Roy Hibbert Pacers offense

Gary A. Vasquez – USA Today Sports Images

Normal
0

false
false
false

EN-US
X-NONE
X-NONE

/* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
{mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;
mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
mso-style-noshow:yes;
mso-style-priority:99;
mso-style-parent:”";
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-para-margin:0in;
mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:12.0pt;
mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:”Times New Roman”,”serif”;
mso-bidi-font-family:”Times New Roman”;
mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;}

When the Indiana Pacers and the San Antonio Spurs took the court on Saturday night, the matchup really could have been billed in a couple of ways. First, you could have simply said that this was a matchup between two of the best overall teams in the NBA. Second, you could have said that we were about to get a gritty game between the two best defenses in the league.

The Spurs have long been a solid defensive team under Gregg Popovich, but the Pacers have been absolutely elite in that department this year and in years prior. If you were previewing the matchup, the likely expectation would have been a war of attrition between these two teams trying to grind out a victory over another top-tier opponent.

However, the defenses were far from the story in this one as the two teams combined for 211 points, with Indiana coming out on top by a score of 111-100. While the Pacers’ defense couldn’t wholly contain the machine that is the Spurs’ offense, what was most impressive from their victory was how good they were offensively.

On their way to 111 points, the Pacers had seven players finish with 12 points or more while David West and Paul George both notched 20 or more. Moreover, Indiana as a team shot a fantastic 53.5 percent from the floor and 47.7 percent from long-range while also knocking down a near-pristine 26 of their 28 free throw attempts on the evening.

While their defense remains their catalyst this season, it’s hard not to look at this team’s offense this season and not be wholly impressed with their improvements. Last year, the Pacers put up 101.6 points per 100 possessions, had the fifth-worst team field goal percentage at 43.6 percent, and were in the bottom 10 in the league in three-point percentage at only 34.7 percent.

This season, though, their offense has been noticeably more productive and efficient. Through 20 games the Pacers are averaging 102.7 points per 100 possessions while shooting 45.3 percent from the floor and 36.5 percent from three as a team. Yes, their defense has also been five points per 100 possessions better this year as well, but their offense is a much more telling sign of their growth.

In the Eastern Conference Finals last season against the Miami Heat, the Pacers played solidly offensively, but one of the things that caught up to them was the fact that  their offense didn’t seem to have an extra gear, like the one we’ve all seen the Heat switch to time and again in big situations. This season, though, that looks like it’s no longer the case. With the way George has performed and the supporting cast has fallen beautifully into place behind him, this team is even better than the team that almost made the Finals last season.

Obviously there is still over three-quarters of the season left to play for Indiana which means there is room for regression, but I’m not necessarily seeing something that makes me think they’re going to regress. This team isn’t playing over their heads or hitting on an astronomical percentage of their shots; the Pacers are simply more comfortable, more mature and more equipped offensively and the results have shown that. If for some inexplicable reason you aren’t believing in this Pacers team this season, you’ve probably already missed the train.

Normal
0

false
false
false

EN-US
X-NONE
X-NONE

/* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
{mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;
mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
mso-style-noshow:yes;
mso-style-priority:99;
mso-style-parent:”";
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-para-margin:0in;
mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:12.0pt;
mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:”Times New Roman”,”serif”;
mso-bidi-font-family:”Times New Roman”;
mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;}

Cody Williamsis a Senior Writer with Rant Sports. Follow Cody on Twitter @TheSizzle20, add him on Google and like his Facebook page.

 

When the Indiana Pacers and the San Antonio Spurs took the court on Saturday night, the matchup really could have been billed in a couple of ways. First, you could have simply said that this was a matchup between two of the best overall teams in the NBA. Second, you could have said that we were about to get a gritty game between the two best defenses in the league.

The Spurs have long been a solid defensive team under Gregg Popovich, but the Pacers have been absolutely elite in that department this year and in years prior. If you were previewing the matchup, the likely expectation would have been a war of attrition between these two teams trying to grind out a victory over another top-tier opponent.

However, the defenses were far from the story in this one as the two teams combined for 211 points, with Indiana coming out on top by a score of 111-100. While the Pacers’ defense couldn’t wholly contain the machine that is the Spurs’ offense, what was most impressive from their victory was how good they were offensively.

On their way to 111 points, the Pacers had seven players finish with 12 points or more while David West and Paul George both notched 20 or more. Moreover, Indiana as a team shot a fantastic 53.5 percent from the floor and 47.7 percent from long-range while also knocking down a near-pristine 26 of their 28 free throw attempts on the evening.

While their defense remains their catalyst this season, it’s hard not to look at this team’s offense this season and not be wholly impressed with their improvements. Last year, the Pacers put up 101.6 points per 100 possessions, had the fifth-worst team field goal percentage at 43.6 percent, and were in the bottom 10 in the league in three-point percentage at only 34.7 percent.

This season, though, their offense has been noticeably more productive and efficient. Through 20 games the Pacers are averaging 102.7 points per 100 possessions while shooting 45.3 percent from the floor and 36.5 percent from three as a team. Yes, their defense has also been five points per 100 possessions better this year as well, but their offense is a much more telling sign of their growth.

In the Eastern Conference Finals last season against the Miami Heat, the Pacers played solidly offensively, but one of the things that caught up to them was the fact that  their offense didn’t seem to have an extra gear, like the one we’ve all seen the Heat switch to time and again in big situations. This season, though, that looks like it’s no longer the case. With the way George has performed and the supporting cast has fallen beautifully into place behind him, this team is even better than the team that almost made the Finals last season.

Obviously there is still over three-quarters of the season left to play for Indiana which means there is room for regression, but I’m not necessarily seeing something that makes me think they’re going to regress. This team isn’t playing over their heads or hitting on an astronomical percentage of their shots; the Pacers are simply more comfortable, more mature and more equipped offensively and the results have shown that. If for some inexplicable reason you aren’t believing in this Pacers team this season, you’ve probably already missed the train.

Normal
0

false
false
false

EN-US
X-NONE
X-NONE

/* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
{mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;
mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
mso-style-noshow:yes;
mso-style-priority:99;
mso-style-parent:”";
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-para-margin:0in;
mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:12.0pt;
mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:”Times New Roman”,”serif”;
mso-bidi-font-family:”Times New Roman”;
mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;}

Around the Web