Saturday, June 16, 2012

How Can I Help You? Indiana Pacers

Granger would like to stand over LeBron permanently. 
The Pacers are evolving rapidly, taking big steps in the playoffs. Last year as an eight seed, Indiana pushed the Bulls more than many expected. This year, they pushed the Heat more than anyone thought they could. Being the #3 seed in these playoffs, the Pacers earned the title of the best in the East besides Miami and Chicago. But they want more than that. They want to be the best. Period.

The team is very young and not short on talent. They're looking to add a piece that will fill up one of the few holes on the team.

They have two key free agents in George Hill and Roy Hibbert who were starters last season. Larry Bird and head coach Frank Vogel have both expressed their extreme interests in resigning the two. Louis Amundson and Dahntay Jones are two other restricted free agents who will probably be brought back. Leandro Barbosa is unrestricted and he'll likely move on elsewhere.

Indiana has a spectacular duo at point guard with Hill and Darren Collison. When Collison was injured last year, Hill stepped up into the starting role. When he excelled, Collison took a bench gig upon his return. Instead of being unhappy and disgruntled, he embraced it and the PG position became one of the biggest strengths for the Pacers. Paul George is an explosive shooting guard who starts alongside Hill. The backcourt is very good for the team.

Danny Granger is the starter at small forward and Jones backs him up. Granger brought defense and attitude to the playoffs against the Heat and proved to be one of Indiana's most valuable players. David West and Hibbert make up the team's impressive frontcourt with Tyler Hansbrough and Amundson backing them up. All together, the team is deep at every position. So what do they need?

The best bet for the Pacers, whose only pick is #26, would be to draft a wing player or defensive center with size and length.

Taylor's explosiveness would fit well with Indiana.
This situation is similar to the one that I just covered with the Grizzlies. Indiana's choice of a SF will likely come down to who's left out of Moe Harkless, Jeffery Taylor, Royce White, and Quincy Miller. I think they go with Taylor, who is the best fit. Taylor plays hard, runs the floor well, and can score in a variety of different ways. His versatility is similar to that of Granger's or George's, and he should be able to improve his game under them.

Once again, Festus Ezeli should be the only man really worth drafting at the center position at this point. His size would be greatly appreciated behind Hibbert, but small forward is the bigger need. If Fab Melo is still available, however, that would give the Pacers a tough call to make. Melo's high level defensive abilities may be what this team needs to get over the hump.

In the end, Taylor would give the team just what they need on the wing and help improve the team as a whole.

Next up is the Miami Heat. They're currently trying to win a title, but this postseason has shown us that they've got a lot of work to do in terms of making their team complete.

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