The Indiana Pacers had an epic downfall at the end of the 2014 season. There are likely bigger issues going on with the team, but you never know when a surprise later-round rookie from the 2014 NBA Draft could spark a fire and get the team energized to win again. With the Miami Heat vulnerable in the East, and very few other teams coming up in the ranks, the Pacers still have a great chance to make the NBA Finals.
The Pacers had a solid defense that was actually a great defense during the regular season. However, they always struggled to score. Sometimes that has a lot do with the point guard, even if the point guard isn’t expected to score. The distribution of the ball was lackluster for the Pacers, with trouble moving the ball and finding the open man against the Heat, despite Miami’s struggles.
In the 2014 NBA Draft, the Pacers should try to pick up a solid point guard who can also score. Russ Smith from Louisville has championship pedigree and outstanding basketball I.Q. He can drive into the paint, despite his size, and he can even finish at the basket. Smith is also a solid outside shooter and has good court vision. He has experience distributing the ball to good players in college, and playing team ball rather than star ball.
If Russ Smith is available in the second round at No. 57, and some mock draft guys even have him getting looked over in both the first and the second, he could end up being a steal for the Pacers.