Pacers Make Another Sound Move

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HANG TIME WEST – This is how the Pacers do it: smart move after smart move, rarely splashy but almost always right, as history shows. Those two hand prints on the Heat’s chest, left from the hard shove Indiana delivered as May melted into June, show it too.

Acquiring Luis Scola from the Suns on Saturday for Miles Plumlee, Gerald Green and a lottery-protected 2014 pick is the latest. It won’t track well now on the Richter scale, a backup power forward coming for two players who made small contributions and a draft choice that will land in the 20s barring unexpected developments. It might not jump out as one of the altering moments from the offseason.

It could merely change the Eastern Conference.

The Pacers needed big-man depth behind David West and Roy Hibbert, after relying mostly on Ian Mahinmi and Tyler Hansbrough last season, and addressed it without removing much from the rotation. Now they have an offensive threat in the role, plus someone known as a positive locker-room influence, with the hope that Danny Granger will be a pseudo-addition. Forty-nine wins in the regular season, a Game 7 in the conference final, and Indy gets a double-upgrade.

Scola is no star, and his contributions will not be scrutinized in the way Granger will be watched coming back from knee surgery after Paul George took his job at small forward and his role as headliner on offense. In that role, though, and at that price to the roster, it’s hard to imagine the Pacers doing much better.

It’s a good deal for the Suns, as well: part of a continuing overhaul, giving them Plumlee, the No. 26 pick in 2012, as a potential piece for the future along with the potential of three first-round selections in what projects as a rich 2014 draft for Phoenix. But in the moment, the second-best team in the East just got better and addressed a particular need.

The Pacers saw the future with Frank Vogel, a relative unknown among coaching hopefuls, and were proven right by promoting him from assistant to the top spot. They didn’t pick higher than 10th and drafted George and Granger. They got Hibbert as the No. 17 choice. The biggest headlines were signing West in 2011, and that was at a very cap-friendly two years, and getting hometown product George Hill for the selection the Spurs used for Kawhi Leonard. Scola for Plumlee, Green and a first is right in line — smart move after smart move.

73 Comments

  1. kenny says:

    the heat will not make it threw the east unless the reffs help them just like they do every year the NBA is rigged for the heat to win no matter what

  2. Brenn says:

    Hibbert had an injury first half of last year that affected his shot and we lost Granger at that time our best shooter and still got 49 wins. Hibbert will start off better list year and Granger back and more better shooters on bench were acquired. Look out….We had the best defense and now with an improved offense no one will be able to beat the Pacers in a series in the playoffs.

  3. Brenn says:

    I agree with some of you. Do not underestimate the Bulls. they are very hungry. The nets imo have a great lineup on paper but I do not think they will come together with old players like everyone thinks. pacers really have the fewest issues as top contender. The best starting five with added granger. the best bench with adds-on there and Stephenson, the best defense. that is the combination to take it all from Miami. The fans may not be worried, but I bet the Miami coach and players are worried…..they had it tough against the Pacers big time last year. Remember the looks on their faces after the 6th playoff gane? I will never forget the look on LeBron’s face when he thought they were gonna lose. LMAO. WHEN can we get started. Cant wait….

    Easter Conference top 8:

    1. Indiana Pacers

    2. Miami Heat

    3. Chicago Bulls

    4. Brooklyn Nets

    5. New York Knicks

    6. Cleveland Cavs

    7. Atlanta Hawks

    8. Washington Wizards

    • kenny says:

      you and me have it about the same besides the heat and bulls why do you think the heat will be in front of the bulls

  4. crazymaso says:

    People really need to learn how standings works. It really shows the lack of basketball knowledge a lot of people have.

    It is impossible to have the Pacers & Bulls in the top 3 standings together. Same goes for New York and Brooklyn.

    The Division Champ is always guaranteed a top 3 seed, no matter what – when it comes to standings.

    A wild example to show how it works:

    1. Heat: 82 wins
    2. Pacers 81 wins
    3. Nets 50 wins
    4. Bulls 80 wins.
    etc

    In this example, if the Bulls do not have a better win/loss record than the Pacers, they will not be seeded above the 50 win Nets team.

  5. kenny says:

    the east as I see it now will go pacers,bulls,heat,nets,knicks,cavs,hawks,wizzards

  6. heatnation says:

    all this player movement and acquisitions don’t mean anything if they don’t gel and work together under a great coach. pacers nets knicks and even the cavs have formidable starters but people fail to realize that it takes a helluva coach to steer players to the ultimate goal. red auerbach, pat riley, chuck daley, phil jackson, gregg popovich and probably in the same breath erick spoelstra had the daunting task of placating swelling egos and came up victorious more than once. and more often than not, the system in place more than compensate for the presence or absence of any star players. and if you look back, familiarity with the system almost always brings championships. it doesnt hurt of course if you had a chamberlain, jabbar, magic, bird, thomas,mj, kobe, duncan, wade and lebron in your team to dominate the game.

  7. lee says:

    your all crazy it will look more like this
    bulls
    heat
    nets
    pacers
    knicks
    pistons
    wizards
    cavaliers
    clevland washington and detroit are toss ups the can alternate in anyway but i think all of them have a legetimate chance at getting their the east is deff stronger this year way stronger i think the bulls will return to themselves though i think the nets pacers bulls have the best chance of dethroning the heat i like what the bulls did but if the nets can rebound well and stay healthy i give them the best chance of beating the heat in the east finals

    • lee says:

      mainly i just dont think the pacers have a good back up center behind hibbert and the shouldve went strong after jarret jack because george hill is not a great pg he is more of a sixth man in this league and a good clutch shooter but he doesnt make plays for teammates or play d i think pg is their biggest weakness the only thing the really did was ad scoring but the pg is still a huge weakness

  8. Richard says:

    the pacers now have the BENCH to match up with any team in the league,When the starters are resting the bench can come in and scorea and keep the leade or move them ahead. I suspect that late next may or early june the eastern finals will come down to THE HEAT VERSES THE PACERS. I just hope the PACERS GET GAME 7 AT HOME!!!! If the had game 7 at home this year they would have been in the NBA Finals!

  9. ac says:

    Good move for Indy. Scola is definitely on the decline in his career but they gave up virtually nothing to get him and he along with Copeland will give them good offensive punch off the bench. Question marks for both players are on the defensive end. As an NYK fan I loved Cope last year but his defense was so bad it was actually funny at times. I’m sure with Vogel it will get better, but him and Scola are both old enough that it’s hard to see how much better they really can get. It will be interesting for sure.

  10. William says:

    They where great last year! It’s all uphill from here!

  11. sam says:

    love it just like my dream,~!!

  12. Nelson says:

    2013 Brooklyn Nets = 2012 LA Lakers
    Clash of giant egos will make the team self destruct
    Do you think KG will take a backseat to D-Will as the team leader?

  13. Dave says:

    This how a small market, none desired destination for the mega-stars and Hollywood wanna-bees has to do it. Have you ever noticed how many most improved players the Pacers have had in the last 10 years or so? Lessons learned after the “Axis of strip club hopping, 9mm popping and going into the stands and not stopping” crowd left. Bottom line, we’ll need home court and George to check Lebron to grab the O’Brienin June.

  14. james says:

    I can care less about what record is or standing. as long as pacers are hoisting the hardware, I am happy

  15. george miller says:

    the pacers looked better than they actually are playing against the heat. like mr. barkely said ” a 7’2″ guy playing with a bunch of 6’6” guys is like a man playing with a bunch of kids”, with this being said one might infer why hibberts’ blocking and rebounding numbers were so prodigious in the eastern conference finals against the heat. regardless the pacers did make a very sound decision in picking up scola. i’ve always like the high basketball iq that scola plays with. he has always given david lee fits when he plays against my warriors. i can definitely see problems for the heat if they do not upgrade their front court with some serious and aggresive big men.

  16. TOP 8 IN THE EAST!

    BULLS
    CAVS
    WIZARDS
    NETS
    CELTICS
    KNICKS
    PACERS
    HEAT

    GO BULLS!

    WILD GUESS..I GUESS…

  17. Don’t count the Knicks out I think they can go top 3 in the east.

    • dontae bulls#1 says:

      Dont sleep on the bulls..with rose back looking to prove a point its gone good…i mean the bulls got all the way to the second round with becnch player..nw jus think with everyone heathly plus rose…yes the east has gotton better its gone b a fight..but chicago is still dat team!!!

  18. chetwalker25 says:

    Scola is 33, his shooting pct has been going down for all 3 yrs in NBA, slow, lacking on defense (so Hibbard is gonna have to be out there w him) and affordable contract.

  19. james murray says:

    I am a Miami Heat fan who now leaves in Indy. While the Pacers have gotten stronger, the second unit, they still have aways to go. Hibbert and George must become more consistent, some games they both seemed lost. (game 7). And don’t forget Miami was playing with wade about 50 %.

  20. Jay C says:

    1 Heat
    2 Nets
    3 Pacers
    4 Knicks
    5 Bulls
    6 Cleveland
    7 Pistons
    8 Hawks

    Good move for Phoenix …

  21. gold_swagger says:

    The only PIECE what that the Pacers need now is a RING in their hands!

  22. gold_swagger says:

    Indiana
    Miami
    Brooklyn
    Chicago
    New York
    Cleveland
    Toronto
    Washington

    Detroit
    Milwakee

  23. Spurs Fan says:

    Easter Conference top 8:

    1. Miami Heat

    2. Indiana Pacers

    3. Chicago Bulls

    4. Brooklyn Nets

    5. New York Knicks

    6. Cleveland Cavs

    7. Atlanta Hawks

    8. Washington Wizards

  24. DEAL WITH THE TRUTH says:

    It’s going to be a great ECF. Heat in 6 :)

  25. Thaddeus says:

    Larry Bird’s contract as a GM is priceless. They could be a consistent Danny Granger away from a championship

  26. James says:

    What’s funny about what’s going on and what’s going to get a team like the pacer in trouble, is that teams are trying so hard to beat the heat, that their forgetting about how much improved the other teams are… Smh

  27. Mitra says:

    Though I am Heat supporter, I have a lot of respect and appreciation for Pacers especially after their champion-like performance in the last two seasons.

    I indicated before, Pacers were a heart-beat away from wining Eastern conference in the last season, and Heat was a bit lucky to snatch the series.

    But now for the upcoming 2013-14 season, Heat will need to take a hard look at its roster especially for the role players. LBJ can’t bail them out for ever. But apparently, Heat management looks like okay with the current one with inconsistent and overpriced CB and 50% Wade and older role players (without Mike Miller). This is like Big one and half with some older guys trying to win another title at the end of their careers.

    There is more than 50% chance that Pacers will carry Eastern Conference this time with Bulls and Nets following very closely. Heat will exit in the play-off semi-final. Paul George will establish himself in the super-star category (he was a super-star in the making in the last season).

    Mitra

  28. tanibanana says:

    Pacers are really looking great to get the #1 spot for the East,
    And honestly, i sense that they will finish next season as #1 seed.
    I am just not confident they will end up as Eastern Champs,,.
    But nonetheless, Heat needs to prepare for them way better.

  29. J says:

    what a terrific move by Indiana. scola is a good replacement for hansbrough

  30. B Radd says:

    I like the two headed monster bit of Luis Scola and David West at the PF position and being Long time veterans help out with a very young squad of Hibbert, George and rising star, young Lance Stephenson. This guy is a baby version of Tony Allen. Hope Danny Granger can be healthy so he can help lead this team back to the Eastern Finals and hopefully to the big dance. I’m dieing to see Paul George and KD square off.

  31. kenny says:

    What about Detroit?? No love

  32. Pau Gasol says:

    ignorant people who still couldnt believe that the heat already repeated as champions, still crying under their blankets, still living in their make believe world that everything the heat got is handed down to them, helped by the league, by david stern blah blah, at the end of the day Heat are the champions and they repeated and you are not. hahaha,

    • B Radd says:

      Wow, you are blind. Professional sports is a business and LeBron is the face of the NBA.

  33. Whatever... says:

    i like the heat and i have to say: if the heat do not improve, the pacers WILL beat them. However, you also can never be sure since the heat have lebron.

  34. Ray says:

    Remember the Heat may not be the best team on papers and have a lot of gaps but they are the 2 time defending champs and for the person that said the bureaucrats wanted the Heat to win? Get real the refs we’re giving the majority of the calls to The pacers and spurs, never have I seen the best player in the NBA get so little calls, seems like every time Jordan got up and missed a jump shot the ref blew his whistle

  35. RealBeast says:

    Man between Indiana and Brooklyn the east is going to be very interesting. Cant forget the bulls either

  36. heat says:

    your a moron the pacers got some of the most ridiculous calls and are lucky they lasted 7 gamea against the heat

  37. Game Time says:

    VERY good move. Miami is really going to need a 7 foot center this coming season. Maybe they could pull some strings to get Mullens from the Clippers.

    • nathanbaker1985 says:

      Your answer to the Heat’s need to combat the legit centers in the east is to bring in Byron Mullens? You must have never watched basketball in your life.

      • Game Time says:

        Yes that would be my answer. Just like people didn’t believe Mario Chalmers could be the starting PG for Miami. Mullen’s numbers aren’t that far away from Hibbert’s numbers, and I’ve watched him enough to know he could work in Miami’s system.

    • nathanbaker1985 says:

      Your answer to the Heat’s need to combat the legit centers in the East is to bring in Byron Mullens? Have you ever watched basketball?

  38. Unkle Daddy says:

    With the current roster (healthy) their is not doubt the Pacers take the east, as long as the Bureaucrats who run the NBA don’t get involved so that the Heat can three-peat, like they did so they could repeat.

    • Pakyaw says:

      Action speak louder than words… Until they don’t knock out the heat, Miami still on top and team to beat.. That’s the reality!

      • Jack says:

        Until they don’t knock out the heat? What does that even mean? They are already at the point where they did not knock out the Heat. Beautiful contradictio in terminis, dude.

    • Kei says:

      nah, I smell 3peat. didn’t you forget the lakers? They bend all the rules to make sure kings and blazers disappear. Can you Imagine stern’s face if that portland Jailblazers team won?

    • B Radd says:

      I stinks, I know. There are city’s around the country that want in the NBA but the league refuses to expand because they would have to share the profits with these expansion teams.

  39. celtics1 says:

    Eastern conference final 8
    1. Miami heat
    2.brooklyn nets
    3.indiana pacers
    4.chicago bulls
    5.new york knicks
    6.cleveland cavaliers
    7.milwakee buck
    8.toronto raptors or atlanta hawks

    • B Radd says:

      Your nuts thinking the Nets will be #2 because that is reserved for the Pacers…

      It’s looking more like:

      1. Miami heat

      2. Indiana Pacers

      3. Chicago Bulls

      4. Cleveland Cavaliers

      5. Brooklyn Nets

      6. New York Knicks

      7. Detroit Pistons

      8. Atlanta Hawks

      The Wizards are one more draft pick away and one more year of maturity to make noise in the 2014-2015 season.

      • ls1kid says:

        Sorry Radd but your line up is impossible, those top 4 teams come from 2 divisions and as it states all 3 division leaders are guaranteed at least a home series in the first round. Plus I highly doubt the cavs would even be in the top 5
        So the realistic in my opinion would be
        1 Heat
        2 Pacers
        3, 4 & 5 Knicks, Bulls or Nets, Either Order. I personally dont think Bulls will start of that great for the fact Rose still has to get some gametime under his belt since the injury but I do believe they will finish strong. As for the Nets they may start out strong but they are in fact old and for some reason I dont think Pierce will be able to co-exist with Deron but idk and as for the Knicks it’ll be up and down but really just depends on Melo if he plays same or better than last season they’ll have another 50+ wins, if he doesnt than they wont have a home series at all
        6 & 7 should be Cavs and Wizards, edge to Cavs
        8 lastly will be a fight between the Hawks and Pistons, Raptors could possibly be here but I doubt it and Bucks went into rebuilding mode so they’re out

      • lol says:

        wow what about the celtics? scumbag much?

      • The Worm 91 says:

        celtics are rebuilding…are you not updated?

      • Peter says:

        The Nets’ roster is AT LEAST a match for Pacers…

        PG: Deron is far superior to George HillJoe Johnson is superior to a Danny Grandger coming off injury
        SG: Joe Johnson is at least on par with Danny Granger (probably better since Granger is injured)
        SF: Paul Pierce is just as productive as Paul George (check the numbers)
        PF: KG is as at elast as good as David West (17 and 8 plus superior defender)
        C: Lopez is on par with Hibbert

        If you look at the bench the Nets have Livingston, Terry, Kirilenko, Evans and Blatche which is hardly chop liver.

        The difference here is that the Net’s starting 5 have something like 35 combined All-Star appearances. Pierce, KG, Terry and Kidd (coach) also all have champion ship rings and know what it takes to win it all. Nobody on the Pacers team on the other hand has ever been past the ECF.

        .

      • Peter says:

        In fact I think Miami’s reign as the East champions is over this season.

        A hobbled Boston team almost knocked them off in 2011 – 2012, then the Pacers almost knocked them off in 2012 – 2013. Now Wade has shown signs of decline, Bosh has proven once again that he can’t handle playoff pressure, and yet the Heat have made no upgrades to their roster.

        On the other hand Indiana has improved with Watson and Scola, Chicago improves by getting Rose back from injury, and the two guys who torment Miami more than anybody (KG and Pierce) just joined forces with Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez in Brooklyn. Did I mention Miami struggles against big teams? Well Brooklyn’s new starting 5 (6’3″, 6’7″, 6’8″, 7’0″, 7’1″) is about as big as it gets.

      • chigchig says:

        @ls1kid says:

        Hawks lost smoove which is painful, but got back milsap who should fit better and give horford and teague more ball.
        i still think they make the playoffs.

        Bucks lost monta and JJ red and got back a rookie and OJ mayo.. pretty sure they are as good as last year..
        Just the other teams (Cavs and Wiz) will be better probaly

        im only taking cavs 6th if the chips fall there way.. that team is very injury prone (kyrie, bynum, verajao) and so are the wiz.. they could potentially be playoffs or be 9th-12th place and it wouldnt shock me.

      • Kenny says:

        I understand the thought of the Nets being a contender for the East, however, it seems that many have forgotten that we are going into the 2013-2014 season. Meaning- Garnett, Pierce, and even Johnson are still highly skilled, however not extremely quick, and them matching up with some of the younger running teams is going to expose their age and loss of athleticism. To clarify, I am not saying that the Nets won’t make the playoff’s, but I don’t think they will be the formidable opponent for the top teams in the Eastern conference come playoff time.

      • akeem says:

        Couldn’t hold in the laughter on that one. The Nets #5 ?? Wow. They were only 1/2 a game behind the Pacers last year, who they swept in the regular season. The Pacer’s upgrade is not quite as good as the Nets upgrade.

        1, Heat
        2. Nets
        3. Pacers
        4. Bulls
        5. Knicks
        6. Wizzards
        7.Cleveland
        8. Pistons

  40. Bubba says:

    Forgot to mention. Copeland is a reliable back up to George than Green.

  41. Bubba says:

    Great move. Scola can score with his smart low post moves. He will be a significant upgrade over Hansbrough. Second unit is looking good with Watson, Granger if healthy, Scola, Ian, and whoever.

    • Scott Seabolt says:

      Granger will be a starter not a bench player, bird has already said this so lance moves to the bench

      • Bubba says:

        If Granger does become the starter at SG or SF if healthy, then Stephenson on the bench makes a lot of sense. Granger should play SG because of his knees, while George mans SF. George is way more athletic and a budding young star. This lineup will give the Heat and Nets problems.

      • Kenny says:

        My bet is that Granger will be the starting SF, and the younger more athletic Paul George will be the Shooting Guard. This will allow him to play with the ball more and allow Granger to work himself open off the ball. Not to mention, forcing some difficult match ups on their opponents. How do you guard Paul George with a shorter defender? He can shoot over them, take them to the post and score at will, and force switching and double teams that will just lead to more easy Pacer buckets.

      • akeem says:

        SG, SF …it doesn’t matter on offense. They do the same thing. It’s just a matter of who they match up with on defense. Great pick ups with Scola , Copeland and Watson. Don’t know if the Nets will sweep them again this year.

  42. Lean_PH says:

    Go Pacers! Beat the Heat!