Indiana Pacers: What Has Been Each Starter’s Best Game So Far This Season?
Each Starters Best 2013-2014 Game So Far
We are one-fourth of the way through the NBA season and by now, most of the players who start have had at least one great game. For the Indiana Pacers, it’s hard just to pick only one game for each of their starters, but that’s what I set out to do.
Many thought Danny Granger would replace Lance Stephenson in the starting lineup, but a calf injury and swollen knee has kept him out of the regular season thus far. His absence allowed the Pacers' starting lineup to remain the same as last year, which set the scene for their chemistry to continue to blossom.
The Pacers have bum-rushed the entire NBA by starting 18-2; Paul George is beginning to look like a legitimate MVP candidate, Stephenson has matured beyond belief and Roy Hibbert has made his defensive presence known nationally.
Each starter has managed to play multiple games where they were the star -- something that is hard to do with MVPG on the squad. From triple-doubles to 40-point games to teaching young guys to keep their mouths shut, the Pacers' starters have dominated the NBA landscape.
So which game is going to be considered the best for each player? Which triple-double wins out for Stephenson? Was George’s 43-point game his best of the year? Click through to find out and let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.
George Hill vs Minnesota Timberwolves
George Hill came out slinging against the Timberwolves by scoring 12 points and dishing four assists in the first quarter. He would go on to finish tied with Paul George with a game-high 26 points and seven assists, but everyone will remember that game as Hill's best of the year so far.
Lance Stephenson vs Memphis Grizzlies
Lance Stephenson has so much energy that he ends up all over the court. The Pacers' big men don't get a lot of rebounds because Stephenson is usually the one slipping in to steal them. His dribbling skills get him by most defenders which gives him the opportunity to repay his big men with a wide-open shot. Those two skills along with his matured shooting all came together against the Grizzlies for Stephenson's first career triple-double. He finished with 13 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds. Oh, and he completed the feat again just a week later. It's like he's channeling his inner Oscar Robertson or something.
David West vs Los Angeles Clippers
There are certain players you do not talk trash to in the NBA and David West is one of them. Blake Griffin made that mistake when the Clippers hosted the Pacers last week. After listening to Griffin, West decided to teach the young guy a lesson and put up 14 more points after the fact, all while leading the Pacers to victory. West finished with 24 points and 12 rebounds and possibly the respect of Griffin.
Roy Hibbert vs Milwaukee Bucks
Roy Hibbert has been a defensive menace all season, but it was his game against the Bucks that showed what he could do when his game was clicking on all cylinders. Up to this point in the season, Hibbert had some good games, but nothing really memorable. Against the Bucks, Hibbert put up 24 points, 10 rebounds and eight blocks, nearly completing another Pacers triple-double. Hibbert put himself on a pedestal that night, which he's not been able to live up to lately, but this game will be his for the rest of the season.
Paul George vs Portland Trail Blazers
Paul George isn't a player who needs to take 30 shots a game. He's very team oriented, which causes his attempted shots to stay low, his scoring to stay static and the Pacers stay winning. But against the Trail Blazers, those rules changed. While George didn't need to take 30 shots, his teammates kept looking for him to take the big shots when needed and he obliged them. As the Pacers fell behind by seven with three minutes left, George began a three-point barrage that immediately sent Pacers fans into deja vu mode. George went 5-of-9 from long range including stealing an inbounds pass and almost replicating the famous Reggie Miller game. He finished with 43 points and made the entire NBA nation take notice that he was the real deal and a legitimate NBA MVP candidate this year.
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