With The Offseason Right Moves, Indiana’s Future Is Looking Bright

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MIAMIPaul George‘s season ended before the Indiana Pacers’ did, which was pretty ironic, considering how much shorter it would have been without him in his new and Most-Improved incarnation from November to June.

But George picked up his sixth foul with 7:43 left in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals against Miami. The young All-Star got slammed, competitively, by the defending champions: 2-for-9 shooting, seven points, hounded almost start to finish by LeBron James. And so did the Pacers, who had stayed within five points of the Heat through the series’ first six games, only to get beaten Monday by a disappointing 23.

Of all the players on the floor, though, from the Finals-worthy Heat to the summer-bound Pacers, none has a brighter future than George — the 23-year-old Scottie Pippen-play-alike whose reach has yet to exceed his grasp.

And given where other teams are at in their life cycles, none has a brighter future than Indiana. George’s breakout season and series sparked the Pacers as they pushed a team built around Hall of Famers that strung together victories at a historical rate to the max.

From Feb. 1 through the East finale, Miami went 42-2 against the rest of the NBA and 5-5 against Indiana. The Pacers are not going away.

“I’m proud of what we had this year,” George said in the tight visitors’ dressing room. “I don’t know, I just think what we had this year and going through what we did, gave us the experience. So us being in this situation this year and being young, I think this was what we really needed. … I don’t know what moves we need or what moves we’ll make, but we needed this to take that next step.”

Indiana has followed one of the NBA’s most time-tested blueprints, taking steps in each of the last three postseasons in building itself into a contender. Two seasons ago, it pestered Chicago in a feisty first-round series. Last year, Miami put the Pacers out in six semifinal games. This time, it took the Heat seven, with their veterans summoning all the desperation and will they could muster.

But they’d be kidding themselves if they thought that time and a good thumping one round later than a year ago would transform them. Indiana does have a future brighter than just about any other team – if it can address some key flaws.

Here are some areas for all of them – from basketball boss Donnie Walsh and GM Kevin Pritchard to coach Frank Vogel and the players – to address:

  • Maybe it will take stickum, Velcro, duct tape or staples, but the Pacers must find ways to take better care of the basketball. They had 15 turnovers in the first half — Vogel had hoped they might stay below that number for the entire game — and committed 121 in the series to Miami’s 83. That’s 46 percent more giveaways. Just as legendary coach Pete Newell ran an offseason camp for the game’s most dedicated big men, you almost wish someone would open up an immersion program for ball handlers and entry passing. They could make a fortune off the Pacers alone, considering how much that otherwise disciplined team struggles with those fundamentals. Granted, any team would have struggled against the blowtorch defense applied by the Heat Monday. “They pressured the ball real well,” George said. “They double-teamed constantly and made it tough for us to see the weak side. We know that’s how you beat this team. They just did a good job of making it hard to see the weak side and we just didn’t adjust to it.”
  • Danny Granger will be back from the knee injury all-but wiped out 2012-13. Many view the veteran small forward as a tradeable asset but the truth is, Granger would be as valuable to the Pacers as any other single piece. He was their leading scorer for years before George blossomed and Granger’s shooting range and accuracy on the weak side was what Indiana lacked. His failed attempt to return after the All-Star break lasted just five games, leaving a huge what-if in the Pacers’ season.
  • Granger would be just one piece, however. The Pacers need to be a deeper bunch, which means a bench worthy of their starters. Vogel took heat after Game 7 for trusting a largely untrustworthy group with pivotal minutes in the horrendous second quarter. But what was the alternative, playing five guys 48 minutes each? That probably would have been a better way to go, when you absorb this stat: When the Pacers’ starting five was on the floor together in the series, they were a plus-46 points on the scoreboard. When even one Indiana reserve broke up that group, they were a minus-74. Sam Young, Tyler Hansbrough, D.J. Augustin and Ian Mahinmi show up looking like Pacers, then check into the game as Bobcats. Walsh and Pritchard need to make some surgical additions to fix that.
  • Better bring back David West, too. The old-school power forward is a locker-room rock whose game shouldn’t lose much to age (he’ll turn 33 in August). There will be a market for him in free agency, but parties on all sides — West, Vogel, teammates — talked late Monday about how he helps set the tone for Indiana’s system. As for West, he didn’t seem worried about hurting his bargaining position when he said: “This group … gives me as an individual the best chance to accomplish the goals that I have left and that’s competing at this stage of the game every single year from here on out.”
  • Work on that pick-and-roll game. Neither member of the starting backcourt, George Hill nor Lance Stephenson, thrives or sometimes even recognizes the advantages available to them there.
  • George needs to match or top the strides he took this season. He talked again after Monday’s elimination about not fully preparing last summer for everything that got thrown at him this season — the scoring load in Granger’s absence, heavy minutes and leadership duties. George said that, whenever he heads to California after some brief stop back in Indianapolis, he’ll be in the gym one day after that, working on his conditioning, strength and shooting.
  • Gotta get an edge. Look, it’s laudable that the Pacers take their status as role models, particularly for young fans and especially in America’s heartland, so seriously. They don’t need Hansbrough getting all tattooed-and-Mohawked up. But Miami came out mean Monday night, aggressive physically and mentally in ways that made the Pacers shrink from their very important task. West is tough, but he doesn’t initiate things with the ball and works in a small area of the floor. Granger at least showed a knack for getting chippy in past seasons.

“Last year, Miami was in our way,” Granger said. “This year, Miami’s still in our way. So we’ve really got to get over the hump.

“Paul will have another year under his belt. [Hibbert] will have another year under his belt. Lance will continue to show improvement. Y’know, experience in this league wins. Just look at Miami. A lot of quote-unquote old guys, but they know how to play the game.

“We’re compiling our big moments. And once you get accustomed to them, you control your adrenaline a little more and you play a lot better. I think we’ll be there.”

Sooner rather than later, as long as they play the offseason better than they played Game 7.

120 Comments

  1. Mike Baker says:

    The only way I would trade Danny would be for Holiday.I’d like to see Andre Miller get picked up to calm the offence down he will not turn the ball over.

  2. Levi says:

    Good post. I absolutely appreciate this site. Thanks!

  3. CelticsFan says:

    Man I don’t just get these so called “heat fans”. Before the Miami-Indy series they were all calling “Heat in 4″, “Heat in 3″. Well the series went to game 7, and until that last game 7 they had ya’ll on the edge of your seats. So give the Pacers some respect, and hop of LBJ’s D, he doesn’t even know you guys exist lol.

  4. Rob says:

    The pacers should go for chris paul as a point guard, and trade george hill, i think they are a great team and with paul and west reuniting they can do something, and hibbert, george, and granger can be a strong 5 court to beat, the pacers should try to sign chris paul to have a chance of winning,

  5. Bubba says:

    Pacers bench like Bobcats. Priceless. When Paul George got fouled out, the game was over when Gerald Green checked in.

  6. charlie says:

    the pacers should take a leaf out of the spurs book. keep the core of this team together (George, hibbert, hill) for years to come and you will see turnovers fall and shooting efficiency rise. a good team is bought, but a great team is built..( 60’s Celtics, 80’s Celtics, 90’s bulls, 2000’s lakers)

  7. mintball says:

    paul george or granger must go and get a very good power forward

  8. markikoy says:

    They’re looking more like the 09-10 Grizzlies. No superstars, just good play. Hats off for a good season!

  9. Patty says:

    PAUL GEORGE WAS MORE INTERESTED IN BEING LEBRON JAMES’S FRIEND THAN WINNING A CHAMPIONSHIP.

    PAUL GEOPRGE SCORED 7 POINTS IN A GAME THAT WAS OF THAT IMPORTANCE.

    TRADE PAUL GEORGE.

  10. jonski22 says:

    Trade Granger and West for an All-Star like Love….and win championship next year..Indiana is a small market team…if Stephenson, Goerge, and Hibbert comes fully develop, big market team will lured them away….see what happen to Thunders with Westbrook, Durant and Harden…

  11. Aram says:

    CMON now MIAMI Fans, dont add insult to injury to the haters. Be friendly to them. Invite them to come over your house to celebrate :)

  12. Nash fan says:

    how about get steve nash?

  13. Wade Smock says:

    When KingGiddora rears its ugly head towns building and yes even the Pacers get leveled. Congrats Miami win it all for the east. Pacers fan but bball fan first. (Giddora the three headed monster)

  14. Wow Simply Wow says:

    Every time the Pacers get a contending team together, they always have to go through the best player in the game. In the 90’s it was Jordan and his Bulls. Early 2000’s Kobe and Shaq. Now its LBJ we cannot catch a break at the correct time.

    • Wade Smock says:

      Took some time to think about this one. Although you are right on the money, still it is so much fun seeing the underdog snapping at the heels of the big bad bullies. The Spurs came from the ABA and we Pacer fans the true bball fans remember them as one of us. Maybe they have a couple of rings on their hand but brothers I will always see them. If the Spurs win to tell you the truth, and you know its correct, the whole nation will see it as an upset.
      So let the chase begin. I can hear the barking in San Antonio, the dogs there have a bigger bite, a true pack leaded in Parker. The Monster better be focused or they will be bitten right in the…….

  15. calcius says:

    Jennings will be the solution and trade granger for salary cap
    sign some vet coming of the bench

    PG: Jennings
    SG: Hill
    SF:George
    PF : West
    C: Hibbert

    • Aram says:

      I totally agree dude! Granger is soft and since George stepped up, Jennings will be perfect for your Indiana team.

  16. claudia m batiste says:

    watch game 7 great game sorry we didnt get a win. wish i can get asign autograph or something for my 10 yr old grand son thanks and have a great summer looking forward to next season

  17. Carol says:

    Convert Orlando Johnson to a point ala Magic. Good size good hands with Stephenson off the bench. Take it to the next level.

  18. Eric Skinner says:

    GO SPURS! Oh and Damn Good season Pacers. Pacers for life over here

  19. Lance B says:

    Big Time Heat Fan: Congrats Heat and on the way to another Championship.

    What the Pacers need a a PG that can run the floor. Picking up CP3 would definitely make them a contender for next year and take the next step.

  20. ryu says:

    heat simply lacks a center…… a rebounder or defender, I would say a tyson chandler will be good for them next year.

  21. baboy says:

    the only reason the pacers looked strong is because miami has a huge disadvantage.. otherwise they are mediocre..

  22. Series says:

    Trade Granger, if they can for two good bench players. Hibbert and George are the next Shaq and Kobe.

  23. NBALogics says:

    Heat need an actual Center, the small ball lineup works only if your blitzing every time or your 3 point shooters are hitting shots.

  24. king says:

    trade granger for igoudala..

  25. baboy says:

    watch the pacers get knocked out by the bulls in first round next year..

  26. Frank says:

    Indiana did what the Knicks wouldn’t have done. That’s lose to the defending champions. I’m not saying the Knicks would be better off trying to beat San Antonio. But It was crazy watching Indiana make all those turnovers. I’m just tired and can’t wait for the season to end.

  27. los says:

    Pacers needs in order…1.lock up paul george for the next 5 to 6 yrs. 2.lock up west for the next 3 yrs. 3.a pure point guard (this would take the pressure off of g. hill…he’s better as a 2 guard who can move off the ball and handle it when needed. 4. Shooters…This makes room for west and hibbert to bang down low without having to be doubled the whole game. 5. some scoring off the bench, so when the starters need rest the drop off wont as drastitic. 6. the continued development of stephenson (offensive game) 7. develop ian mahimi and orlando johnson off the bench (offence or/and defence) 8.figure out what to do with granger…(personally i would trade him for the pg or shooter we need) 9.Better coaching from vogel (i hope b. shaw stays…but he is deservering of a head coaching position)

  28. Bulls4life says:

    I Feel like next season is going to be full of surprises. Not just for the Pacers, but for all the other teams as well. Especially the under rated teams.

  29. chiraq says:

    Pacers should shop for Cp3 in free agency

  30. Remy says:

    No question, the Pacers were the toughest team the Heat faced all season. Congrats to a great series and a well accomplished season.
    I do respect Paul, Roy and David for who they are, I don’t hate them for giving the Heat such a fight. And for all the James and Wade haters…. your childish attitude did not help.
    Go Heat

  31. Fefe (Nets) says:

    And a lot of people have short memory here. Granger useless??? We can really see that the majority of the comments made here are from so-called experts and die-hard fans but in fact just show that they don’t know nothing about the NBA.

    Granger is needed in Indiana.

  32. Boomergirl says:

    YOU ARE SUCH A HATER, You could not even find the muster to congratulate the HEAT or say anything about their game 7 win! Rather, you chose to write about the Pacers. News Flash…THEY LOST!! It is so obvious that you have a PERSONAL Hate of the HEAT. what has any of them ever done to you??? SHAME ON YOU! As a sports writer/commentator or whatever, you should be able to put your personal feelings aside and remain neutral. YOU SHOULD GIVE UP THIS JOB AND GO BE A monk where the public would not be subject to your hatred!!!!

    • Loki says:

      Yes because giving the pacers credit when we alread know every person pretending to be a fan of basketball is raving about the new trendy basketball team qualifies you to be just a hater. You are blinded by your lust for this team. You want them to be in the spotlight, to have every article! Well guess what, win or lose there are other teams in the NBA that deserve some damn credit. You can find information about the heat just being on a sports website and an ad pops up, so please shut up with your nonsense.

  33. Jerry says:

    If the Pacer’s only had a guard? I think they could be number 1 with the right choices made by management.

  34. LOLakers says:

    LOL!!! Pacemakers are finished!!! They have no chance!!! Might as well save your money and rebuild because Miami is going to DOMINATE you every year!!! Miami 10-peat!!!

  35. eo says:

    enjoy it while it lasts bandwagoners

  36. basketballfeverfromTurkey says:

    PG Hill
    SG Stephenson
    SF George
    PF West
    C Hibbert
    6th Man Granger
    A solid back-up PG who can take care of the ball and distribute ( Not DJ Augustin )
    A sharpshooter
    Mahinmi
    Tyler Hansbrough
    Orlando Johnson – he will be better next year -

  37. Love the Heat says:

    Paul George in Game 7, 7 Points, 7 reb. fouled out at 7.43 remain

  38. silencio says:

    didn’t they said the same thing about Oklahoma? that their future is bright. I think every team this year they had been posting articles about their bright future.

    • Game Time says:

      Steve just trying to divert the attention to Pacers after all those bias articles he wrote. Poor Mr. Ashburner lmao.

    • Larry says:

      @silencio- OKC is a great team and won the west this year. If Russell Westbrook had not been injured, you can bet your “behind” that they would have been in the finals this year too. OKC WILL be back with a vengence next year, so will the Pacers, and lets not forget about Los Bulls when D Rose returns…… And of course a revamped Kobe-Howard duo will make some noise too.

    • Larry says:

      OKC is a great team, they would have been in the finals this year again, had Westbrook not been injured. There are alot of great young teams with alot of prospects and great futures ahead of them. The Bulls will be back to challenge next year, and when Granger is back healthy, the Pacers will be a force to be reckoned with. Miami is actually at its peak right now, and the downhill slide begins next year. Lets not forget about my Lakers, who with a revamped roster, and a Kobe-Howard tandem looking for vengence, will make some noise too. The Warriors looked great and as Pop said, a few plays here and there, and Spurs could very well have lost to them. Memphis is another team that will be back with something to prove, and cant forget about the Clippers, who with a better coach, is in the mix too.

  39. Teon says:

    First of all, the Heat don’t have a Big Three, They have a Big 1(Lebron), An occasionally Large 2(Wade), and a Medium 3(Bosh). I wish people would stop saying Miami is loaded with superstars. A superstar has a bad game every so often…Bosh and Wade have Good games every so often and decent or bad games more often than not. Some changes will have to be made. Salary renegotiations or trades but you can’t get paid 14+ Million and tie the Heat up in salary then not perform. It’s ridiculous…either perform, get traded, or take less money or other teams will step up.

  40. Kevo says:

    Don’t know why everyone is writing off this series now that the Heat have won. The fact of the matter is they had to take it to a Game 7 to win. They’ll likely win this year, if they can get past Pop and the Spurs. They’re not winning again next year, mark my words.

  41. Schoowow says:

    Seeing one big contributor after another coming from Miami bench, brings me once again to a key question :
    How could this be in line with SALARY CAP ?
    Only their trio costs more than roster for Bobkes and / or Pelicans altogether.

    • ryu says:

      some people prefer to be called champions rather than earn lots of money. lebron, bosh, and wade all sacrificed money for this, to be champion. allen, is an old guy unrestricted and has the control of what he wants. rashard is another ring chaser and hoping to have one before he retires. miller is always looking for a winner. andersen is another hardworking and winner lover guy and competitive although I see him take some financial rewards. shane has been chasing the ring since he started in the nba but to luck until he joined the heat. I think you should give credit to miami’s GM for doing such a great work for gathering a crew to sorround their big 3. There are also teams that looks very over the cap not only the heat.

    • Shadowspinner says:

      It helps that in general the Heat are old. You talk about one big contributor after another, but the truth is that aside from Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis the Heat don’t have anyone really amazing coming off their bench, and neither of those two guys is anything near their prime. I love Ray, but he’s not the same Ray Allen that was one of the few offered an Air Jordan contract and he’s not even the Ray Allen that won a ring with Boston. Most of these guys you’re calling big contributors are ghosts of their previous selves. Andersen is a pleasant surprise, but he’s hustle more than talent and always has been. Battier is a solid defender and role player, but he hasn’t been considered a star since he left college. Chalmers is average at best despite what he thinks of himself. Haslem is another blue collar guy that helps hide how soft Bosh is, but he’s not someone anyone would drool over as a trade prospect.

      When you get right down to it, Miami’s big 3 eats up most of the Heat’s payroll and all three of those guys signed for less than they could have. What’s really sad though, is that aside from Lebron, Miami looks like it’s overpaying. Dwayne Wade has been wildly inconsistent, and if you want a wildly inconsistent spark plug Nate Robinson could fill the role at a tenth the price. As for Bosh . . . I have a hard time calling someone a power forward when their combined rebounds for a whole series barely beat any one game of Hibbert’s.

      Miami has looked vulnerable this entire playoffs. You’d have to be blind to ignore that. They managed to get wins in this series, but they didn’t dictate tempo to Indiana. They kept beating a crippled Bull’s team, but that Bull’s team was making them work. A win is a win, but some wins showcase championship heart and ability, and Miami hasn’t had many of those these playoffs.

  42. Yeszin says:

    Iniana Pacers have a new fan, ME!! What a great team, great players, great coach!! Too bad they lost Game 7. James did it again! Spurs and Heat haven’t played with their best 5 players against each other this season. It’s gonna be a great Playoffs Final!!! Let’s just enjoy the GAME!!!!

    • Matt says:

      I am exactly the same. I used to love the pacers as a kid but when my grandparents moved to Arizona I became an avid suns fan! However after watching that series I have come to love them again and will definitely be rooting for them next season.

      • jose says:

        Get ready to suffer next year babe!!!!LBJ seven or eight more years in charge.
        I recommend you much better to come to Miami arena next thursday . They are going to sell Caballo -Frito (Fried Horse)

  43. fV.geL says:

    Granger will not take a sidekick role. George is not a great player. He is a fan. Has no place inside the court and most importantly playing game 7s.

  44. MoFo says:

    how will they play george and granger at the same time, that is the real question

  45. fV.geL says:

    Pacers is simply not ready and George was missing and thinking of fishing while playing. He is simply a fan. Should be sitting at the bleachers. No way he will be a great player with the attitude he showed this game 7.

  46. Bullsfan says:

    The bench is very very bad despite the great starting 5 but if granger is back just move p george to the 2 and have stevenson as a sixth man

  47. JAMES6 says:

    They are destined to lose. George is simply no match. To weak.

  48. bmamba says:

    Pacers no poise. George no guts.

  49. eagle*eye says:

    P. George willnnever be a great player. No heart at all. He should have fought till the end instead of intentionally fouling to exit the game.

  50. germany says:

    Pacers are a very good team, the pushed Miami to game 7. Hibbert and West are very good players but what makes a great player, is also being a fair loser. Did you see how first West then Hibbert left the court without congratulating Miami? Vogel and the other players stayed on the court. Poor losers just like Boston. West and Hibbert showed their true colours. They have very little character Hibbert proved this in the press conference. Until you show good character you will never be a great player. Stein told Lebron this after Lebron left the court immediately after being beaten by Orlando, some years ago. Them leaving the court like that was very disappointing. We have to teach our children to be good sportsman even in the eye of defeat. Win you lose, lose graciously, without crying and except the other team was just better. Next year it will be another great series but let’s see where those 2 go with their character. Miami showed its character in Game 7, this year and last year. And like Lebron said, it’s just a game of basketball.

    Miami will win in 7, again with home court advantage against the Spurs. The 66-16 was good for something or not??

  51. 216j says:

    Glad to see Miami moving on ! Hope dumb Pacer fans see that it takes more than bully ball to reach the finals ! Miami will make some changes this off season , hopefully trade Bosh, his lack of aggression puts too much pressure on Wade & James.

  52. STFU MORONS says:

    no doubt they’ll gonna be a greater team next season! thx for giving the heat a great series.

  53. Mwill says:

    Indiana played a good series what they need is a point guard that can handle the ball see the floor and make plays for the team like a Rajon Rondo who would blend well with this team. Trade George Hill and improve the bench with solid shooters and Indiana will be a team to be reckoned with next year.

  54. Can Miami survive another year? says:

    They barely escaped a series with a team that’s only getting better next year. ( Remember OKC)

    George and Stevenson are on the way up, and Granger is another 20ppg. Wade is clearly fading, Bosh is as soft as ever, Miller is beat down, and Ray is just old. Can Miami really ride Lebron for another season and playoff run? Judging from this series, that’s a HUGE gamble.

    Change the last play of game 1, and this series was over in 6 for the Pacers… so Yeah the future is bright.

    • Game Time says:

      Such a stupid comment “change the last play”. Ok Change the last foul call in that game and same outcome. If Indy was as good as you think then they should have done it in five. Oh wait that’s right they got blown out THREE times.

      • Sew says:

        Heat got blown out in Game 6. Why didn’t they finish the series in 6? Why couldn’t the Heat take out the “lowly” Pacers (without arguably their best player) in 4 games like Milwaukee, or 5 games like the hurt Bulls. I think it’s sad Miami didn’t sweep the first two, and win the Conference Finals in at the most 6 games. Give credit where credit it due.

  55. overrated says:

    i’ve said it before and i will say it again… if this Pacers team needs a clutch/another closer… trade granger to the Celtics for paul pierce and draft picks. it may not sound good trading granger but if it means going over the hump – championship swagger and all that would be pierce!!! not guaranteed contract if things doesnt work out = cap space for 2014, draft picks for another young project to add to this young core down the road

  56. bhimz says:

    it was great to see these Pacers compete this far in the playoffs, in games they won, it was truly a grind type of game where everybody excels in their roles. But in games they lost against the Heat, everyone was shooting poorly with exception of one or two Pacers. With Granger back next season, curious to see if Granger would take the sidekick role to George.

  57. LemW says:

    Pacer have a STRONG starting 5 but a WEAK bench. Fatigue took its toll and the Indiana Pacer ran out of GAS!

  58. george says:

    Swallow your pride now, Aschburner!

    • jose says:

      This Ashburner is a insensible HATER…
      Aschburner: Why don’t you join us down here in Miami t celebrate LBJ glory with some Caballo -Frito( Fried horse) , courtesy of the SAS?
      Come down here amigo , and burn your hatre…….By the way : How do you like it Grilled or Roasted?

      • Loki says:

        Anyone who gives another team that rivals Miami praise is clearly a hater right? Miami bandwagoner logic is beyond fail

  59. WALDOW says:

    The pacers will be a team to beat next year. they just have to keep west and move george to shooting guard. with their lineup, hibbert, west, granger, george and hill, these guys can score and defend. and probably hill needs to learn more on point guard position. but the heat will always be on their face…

  60. cesar says:

    yeah right future this future that…… BUT as long “LEBRON” play as good as GOD like paul gearge said and be a BEST PLAYER IN THE WORLD…. LIKE VOGEL said…. Heat will still reign in the east …. INDIANA? CHICAGO BULLS??? keep dreaming two to three years more…….AND to this bias writer “STEVE ASCHBURNER” Keep Hating….haha

    • Game Time says:

      Agreed. Lebrons time is 2-3 more years of total domination and I don’t see anyone taking them out in the east. We saw Miami at their worst with Wade and Bosh both underperforming and they still won the series. Next season we gotta drop Ray Ray and some others to get some younger guys.

    • eo says:

      don’t worry james help is fading wade is a disgrace now not even a top 20 player it will be Cleveland all over again soon and by the way spurs in 6 they will school the queen and she wade

      • Game Time says:

        Keep hating loser. We’ll see ya’ll next year, with another ring for the King.

      • Aram says:

        You haters make LeBron all the more improve his game. So just keep on hating and it’s your loss not his. #HeartAttack

  61. Drago says:

    I said this was going to happen and sadly I was right.Indiana is not better than Miami you just cant beat 3 superstars in 7 games that is the bottom line.Indiana needs 3 superstars of their own and they need even more bench players that shoot well and play mean defense.San Antonio is not going to do any better unless Popovic locks down those 3 just like he did with Memphis.

    • jose says:

      Popovich was able to anchore two big fellas that barely move.
      SAS is a bunch of dinasaurs , ready to be slaughtered by the Miami-Cuban Boys
      Los tres amigos…

      Nous aurons les champions pour la troisieme foi!!!!!!!!!!

  62. anon. says:

    indiana has been found wanting from a coaching perspective throughout the east finals series. there had been a lot of bad decision made by the coach starting from the dying seconds of game 1. the two blow out loses against miami seem to indicate the team was not well prepared for the game, and thats the responsibility of the coaching staff. during crucial stages in the game, the coach was not able to adapt or make adjustments on the fly. sometimes it feels like they dont even have a game plan.

  63. Jumppong says:

    Say good bye to Danny Granger cause Paul George Will be the face of the Pacers.

  64. J says:

    awesome article!!!
    trade granger and hill
    get more depth
    a good sixth man
    3 keys to the pacers

    what about golden state they have a bright future

  65. Shane says:

    Thanks for your insight Steve! Why don’t you coach the Pacers next year. Nobody cares about Danny Granger or what the Pacers need to do next year. Heat Won!! End of story.

    • realist says:

      all you heat fans are lucky granger was not in the game. guess you all forgot about the two 20+ point beatdowns miami got when the pacers had granger. mark my words, miami will not make it next year. also, they are not beating the spurs. 4-0. get ready.

      • Game Time says:

        Pacers never beat Miami by 20pts this year. Also Granger was out for both of the wins Indy got on Miami in regular season. You fail, now stop crying and get over it.

      • jose says:

        No, of course…I tink that is going to be 4-1 : HEAT champs.

      • Aram says:

        LOL. Granger is soft dude! Last year he got a dose of his own medicine when try to be physical with LBJ. LMAO

  66. James Cornish says:

    The bench is the real key factor here and an offensive presence. The defence is the best in the league but there are no weapons. Having Granger back will help, but bringing in another shooter will really help. Get rid of Hansborough/Young and trade them for shooters, the defence is already top notch, now its time to work on offence.

    • jose says:

      Well, it looks like every team we beat will get better next year…and how about us?
      P-Riley migt be thinking also in bringing a seven footer.Al-Jefferson,,,Chandler…Tabeet…Hamilton the rooky.
      That is going to shut Hibbert the NO-HO…..and the King James is going to forge the no2-no3-no4…well you know what I am talking about

      • BlueandGoldblood says:

        Miami has 12 players and $86 million already dedicated to next season (not including Birdman who will need a pay raise). As long as they are paying Bosh and Wade each $20 million a year they can’t afford any of the players you are mentioning… Well maybe Thabeet (but if he’s your savior you’re in trouble lol). The most they can offer is the rest of the mid level exception they have left over from signing Ray Allen last season which is roughly $2.5 million, not to mention the Suns own their 1st round pick this year and they still owe Cleveland 2 first round picks over the next 4 seasons from the Lebron trade. That championship window tends to close quickly, especially with older overpaid “superstars”. Just hope LBJ doesn’t leave Miami high and dry after next season BTW (he owns the early termination option) while still owing Cleveland those picks (where a lot of people speculate he might end up).

  67. bulbulito says:

    NO COMMENT!

  68. jerry says:

    pacers is still a good team eventhough they lose to miami

    • Muhammad Ali says:

      Pacer does not have the “X” factor. They did not play like a championship team. Heat will win the championship. No doubt about it.

      • Realist1234 says:

        Sorry, did you read the article? The Pacers starters were fantastic, the bench was horrible. With Danny Granger coming back, that pushes Lance Stephenson to the bench, and Orlando Johnson will get more playing time as well. Indy needs to shore up their bench frontcourt, but they’re going to be scary. “When the Pacers’ starting five was on the floor together in the series, they were a plus-46 points on the scoreboard. When even one Indiana reserve broke up that group, they were a minus-74.”

      • Shadowspinner says:

        Didn’t have the “x”factor? Really? If you look at this series on a minute by minute basis Indiana dictated tempo for the majority of the series. The vast majority of the series to be honest.

        That’s not to say that Indiana doesn’t have weaknesses or that Miami didn’t win it. There’s a 2 minute stretch in game 1 that Indiana is looking to with regret though.

        Indiana lacks the ability to put together scoring bursts and that is something they will have to address. Depth is another issue. For everyone saying let West walk . . . bad idea. If they let go of West they really need to get another big body that’s talented. This isn’t going to be the Clippers or the Heat, this is going to be a blue collar team and they need to add to that, not take away from it just to run up and down the court. They need to add 2 or 3 bench players that can play defense but still put the ball in the basket. They need to get more consistent backcourt play in multiple areas (limiting TOs, consistent shooting, better overall decision making). What they don’t need to do is change what makes them good. They need to keep the defense and keep the big bodies and physicality. West is a key part of that.

  69. pattymillsmvp says:

    I wouldn’t be so sure about their future. my cousin works at front office Heat headquarters and apparently there will be a trade in the offseason – Hibbert to go to heat for Mike Miller and James Jones. Apparently the deal is already done. Not a good deal for Indiana I reckon. New lineup for Heat:

    PG Chalmers
    SG Wade
    SF James
    PF Bosh
    C Hibbert

    Miami looking dangerous.

    • Lebumjames says:

      your thinking way below average for dogs. NOT GONNA HAPPEN IDIOT

    • KMB says:

      UMM…weren’t you the same person that stated that Dwight Howard to Miami was a done deal b/c you have family that works in the admin office… You do realize that Hibbert is a Center as well right?? Keep you story straight guy cuz Im sure as I read another article you gonna say that another trade is already that done in Miami favor too… Miami can’t have everyone let alone pay for all these people… but hey your family works in the admin office so Im sure you already knew that too

    • Muhammad Ali says:

      I agree with you Patty. Good Pick. But I think Ray Allen should play more instead of Hibbert. Heat is going to be champion this year anyway. Heat is on Fire – baby. lol

    • jose says:

      Yeah!!!and P-George for Juwan Howard

  70. johnny dawson says:

    Stephenson made huge strides in his career. He was solid in Game Seven, and he knows how to rebound.

  71. Gillsy says:

    Maybe the Pacers can move George to the 2 and play both small fowards

    • GJ Wheeler says:

      The Pacers can let West walk, keep Paul George at the 3 and start Granger at the 4…… West was really exploited in the Miami series. He turned the ball over so many times, he showed he has no hustle when it comes to chasing down loose balls, and when the game gets tough he seems to just throw the towel in and just stand around instead of staying on defense. I like West, but I don’t think the Pacers should pay him big dollars to stay. Let him walk and save that money.

    • Realist1234 says:

      Paul George played SG his first 2 years. I really don’t think that will be a problem.

  72. […] off to Finals, Beat Pacers 99-76 in Game 7ABC NewsHeat, Spurs to play for NBA titleKansas.comNBA.com (blog) -KARE -messenger-inquirerall 2,723 news […]

    • Muhammad Ali says:

      In my Opinion David West should leave for practical reason for Team Pacer. Everybody is very young and moves faster. he is slow. He is like two Celtics veteran. Pierce and Garnet. We love them just like we love West. A team will not do better if we take it emotionally. All these legends must make space for younger generation for their beloved team.

      • If granger was healthy…and stephenson gets better…they should be on the finals next year

      • jose says:

        No HATER…you are everywhere ..but I follow you mice: Is like Lebron after your KOBE-MAMI mamba……Hater
        You suffer now since once again .like BULLS and PACERS got kicked by LBJ, your King .
        By the way , hater , any news about your KOBE-MAMI deal?…Did he finally paid for her new little home….HATER?
        Get your butt ready againg, since here we go after those bunch of dinasaurs SAS