Pacers’ George: Bulls’ Success Is ‘Jordan Era,’ This One Is Ours

VIDEO: Paul George leads Pacers to big win over the Bulls

INDIANAPOLIS – Lance Stephenson slammed in a dunk late in the Indiana Pacers’ 97-80 victory over the Chicago Bulls, landed in the paint below and threw back his head, baying at the moon or just going primal. It was his 17th shot and his fifth basket, a ratio that rattled around his head all night.

But never quite rattled him.

“Aw, man, I let out so much anger when I did that dunk,” Stephenson said later, the 5-0 Pacers’ status secure as the NBA’s last remaining unbeaten team. “I’m just happy I stuck with it … I watched film all summer and I told myself I was going to be aggressive, and ‘If I ever have an off day, I’m going to keep pushing, keep shooting.'”

Stephenson, Indiana’s irrepressible shooting guard, missed his first seven shots Wednesday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, going 0-for-the-second-quarter. He was 1-of-11 until he drained a 3-pointer from the right side with 6:58 left to put the Pacers up 70-69. At 5:16, he hit from four feet outside the arc to make it 77-69. He scored four more points after that, among his 12 in the fourth quarter, but Stephenson also missed a layup and a tip before that emphatic, cathartic dunk.

There were nights in the past when he would have gone off the rails. But this wasn’t one of those. There might be few this season.

“He should be in the conversations of Most Improved this year,” said Paul George, the Pacers’ All-Star wing who won that honor last season. “He’s really stepped up. He had the reputation of being an ‘and-1’ type of player. Crowd-pleaser, putting-on-a-show type of guy. But now he’s really being a professional. He’s ready when the ball is swung to him to shoot. He’s coming off pin-downs ready to shoot, ready to make plays.

“It’s a credit to him how much he’s worked…I stayed in his head and really told him, ‘You’ve got to move on to the next play. You can’t let one play drag you down. This is too special of a team.’ And we need him.”

The Pacers have him, just one of many differences in their club since the Bulls were the class of the Central Division. A lot of people in and around Chicago write off the 2012-13 season because of Derrick Rose‘s absence and, with the Bulls stepping on the floor Wednesday the healthiest they’ve been in years, some might expect – they might expect – that the familiar pecking order in the Central and in the East chasing Miami might snap back the way it was.

The Pacers see it differently. They stepped in for the Rose-less Bulls last season. They won the division. They were the ones, too, who pressed the Heat to seven games before relinquishing in the East.

So while November is too early for serious statement games, there was a little something-something involved that buoyed Indiana on the tail end of its back-to-back, after winning at Detroit Tuesday.

Rose scored seven of Chicago’s first nine points but just 10 of their final 71, having to cope with stifling traps and double-teams and at times the length and wingspan of George. By holding the Bulls to 80 points on 35.6 percent shooting, the Pacers tightened their defensive screws to 84.4 points allowed and a 37.5 percent defensive field-goal percentage. They have won three straight at home against the Bulls and four of the past five meetings overall.

“We want to step away from that shadow as the ‘little brothers’ of this division,” George told “Their success is the Michael Jordan era. This is a new age, this is a new team. It’s ours till they take it.”

Edgy? Good, that’s what the Pacers are going for. It’s why their record – they’re 5-0 for the first time as an NBA franchise, their only previous taste coming in the ABA in 1971-72 – matters, even though the season is 10 days old.

“5-0, that’s a good start. But how we’re playing is even more encouraging,” coach Frank Vogel said. “I think we have a championship-level defense. And we’ve got enough offensive pieces to put it all together on the offensive end. So it will be an exciting year.”

Some might see it as a grueling year, slogging through seven or eight months all for the chance to win one more game. Or, OK, five more games.

But the Pacers have made it clear that the process has value. All 82 games have value. Injured vet Danny Granger (calf) presumably will take his place in their deeper rotation. The overhauled bench will gel (it’s already an upgrade). George Hill‘s sore left hip will improve, and so on.

Throughout, though, Indiana will have its eyes on one specific prize.

“We’ve talked about competing for the ‘1’ seed from opening night,” forward David West said. “We feel like that’s a realistic goal. Obviously we understand there are some tough teams out there, some teams got better. Obviously Miami’s the defending champs. But we trust who we are. We believe in who we are.

“We’re working toward that. That’s our focus. I remember saying that after Game 7 last year, ‘It’s a totally different series if we’re on our home court.'”

Said George: “We know how big the No. 1 seed is. Come one game away and play Game 7 on the opponents’ floor, where they’re getting all the energy. And they just came out and played huge on their floor. That’s in the back of our minds and something that’s motivating us to come out and keep playing well.”

Flawlessly, unblemished, through five so far.


  1. Alex says:

    The thing with the knicks last year is they were one of the oldest teams last year! They relied on veterans they couldn’t keep consistent play due to those veterans getting injured! Everyone besides David west and like 2 other people on the pacers are 26 or younger! By far the best combination in the NBA of Youth Talent Speed Consistency And DEFENSIVE PRESSURE what young teams do you see forcing other teams at 83points per 100possesions. The pacers have a LEGITAMITE shot at an NBA title this year. Just going off how far tht got last year.

  2. Bob M says:

    “We want to step away from that shadow as the ‘little brothers’ of this division,” George told “Their success is the Michael Jordan era. This is a new age, this is a new team. It’s ours till they take it.”

    He said, the Bulls are has-beens since Jordan and we are the best until they can take it. That’s talking smack. Rose was the MVP and took the Heat to 7 in the Eastern Conference Finals the year before the Pacers. Are they has beens since Jordan?

    I said nothing about Brooklyn….. til now. They have a new team, a rookie coach, and older players. I say the Bulls and Pacers will have more success this year than the Nets.

    • crazymaso says:

      Took the Heat to 7 in the ECF? What..the..?

      The Bulls got absolutely smashed by the Heat, and the Heat won 4-1.

      I’ll say it again. The Pacers have had more success post-Jordan era (playoff wise) than the Bulls. The Pacers pushed the Heat to a very close 7 game series. The Bulls got punished over a 5 game series.

      So to back up what Paul George said, yes – the central division IS the Pacers until the Bulls take it from them.

  3. NBAfan says:

    It’s still very early. I don’t like it when players make comments that put down others because sometimes it seems to come back to bite them.

  4. Bob M says:

    Paul George is a great young player. However, his inconsistent play in the Eastern Conference Finals cost the Pacers a shot at the title. He shouldn’t be talking all this smack. What he will find is other players wanting to plant him on his back side and teach him a lesson.
    The Bulls have DRose getting back into playing shape and Noah has a groin injury. For Paul to pronounce the Pacers as the dominant team of the East is ridiculous. You have to win something first.

    • crazymaso says:

      “You have to win something first”

      Haven’t the Pacers made it further in the East than Brooklyn & Chicago?

      And yet, both those teams are apparently better than the Pacers.


  5. bossman k says:

    I dont even think Pacers will beat brooklyn in 7 game series. In my personal opinion, brooklyn is the most dangerous team that miami wil encounter in the playoffs. Pacers, are good but not the best team in the east. Miami is the best, then brooklyn, then chicago (when D rose comes back to his normal self) and then the pacers.

  6. Miami Blood says:

    Even the Pacers are looking good. The Miami Heat know how to beat them and with their acquisitions (Oden, Beasley and Mason) in the finals, Goodbye Pacers, goodbye………… King James will prevail !!!

  7. Game Time says:

    *Yawn* George thinks a bit much of himself and his team. I’m still not impressed with the Pacers. They have some young guys with the talent, but I’ve seen dozens of teams like this come, and go without winning it all. Good luck to them, but in a playoff series I’d say the Bulls would beat them.

  8. Husk3r23 says:

    Paul George is only 23!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SCARY as Hell!!!!!!

  9. Number 13 says:

    I made a prediction during the summer that the Pacers would be representing the East in the 2014 finals. Let’s see how it pans out.

  10. NBAfan says:

    Pacers have momentum, Bulls do not….that’s the difference. At the end of the day, Rose is a superstar and the jury is still out on George….exciting times and I like how George is out there to compete and not giving anybody anything…

  11. Dwade says:

    It all depends on the seeding comes playoff time……. If Indiana gets Brooklyn before they get to Miami then they are not winning … Simple as that , too much of a even Matchup for the pacers but the deciding factor would be PG play , which Brooklyn has

  12. Loki says:

    Lot of butthurt over what George said. This is 2013 people! The Chicago bulls have not won a championship since 1998, -FIFTEEN- years. The Lakers, spurs, mavericks, heat, celtics and pistons have all won championships between them. No one from chicago’s championship team remains. So spare us the pacers havnt won anything, it’s not like michael Jordan’s six rings are magical talismans that will infuse Derrick Rose with auto championship.

    As for pacers only relevant thanks to Rose being out.. Need I remind you all that In Rose’s MVP year Miami slaughtered the bulls in 5 games while the Pacers pushed Miami to the limit while Rose was out? Bulls don’t even have the depth they had in 2011. The spirit of Jordan and Pippen is not going to enchant The 2013-14 bulls with wins, they gotta earn their own era

    • Game Time says:

      I’m not a Bulls fan but don’t think anyone’s butthurt. It just sounds very stupid for a player to claim it’s his teams era when they haven’t even won the east in regular season. It’s great to think the best of your squad, but as of right now it’s all talk and nothing has been proven. Kinda like Miami a few years ago. Now that was when people got butthurt.

  13. fourputter says:

    As a spurs fan I say “welcome” to indiana. I’d enjoy an indiana spurs final series. I do find it entertaining that the pundits and bloggers all talk about OKC, the Clippers, the Heat, the Bulls, etc. These teams are good, but so is Indiana. Really good as a matter of fact. Playoff basketball good. I’ll watch when granger returns and I hope he fits in and plays up to his former self.

  14. u cant handle the lies! says:

    The 2014 NBA finals will be Indiana vs Golden State! thats my dream anyways

  15. Ice says:

    They’re not going to win anything with their other star conning off the bench. They shouldmove George to the 2 and start Granger at the 3. Then they will be a serious contender.

  16. Lee Jackson says:

    Keep playing D and stay Hungry!

  17. Antonio McWhorter says:

    What era are the Pacers in then? Reggie Miller? Who by the way won nothing.

    • 31for3 says:

      …yeah, i think that’ Paul George’s point. It was the Jordan era then, so no one else won. Now it’s the Pacers’ turn.

  18. Drose fan says:

    Paul George has waken up the beast and the Bulls will take this as motivation. Is he right about the Jordan thing? Yea. But Indiana was built by the success of the Reggie Miller era as well so he shouldn’t really talk. Even though the Pacers may have had a solid team in the mid 2000s with Jermaine Oneal, Ron Artest and Stephen Jackson…those guys were the jail blazers of the East.

    November 16th. Pacers will play the Bulls in Chicago. I’m predicting the Bulls will win by at least 15 pts that game. Roy Hibbert is not the best big man in the NBA. Roy Hibbert would be considered a 2nd teir talent in the 90s like a Vlade Divac or Bryant Reeves, Danny Granger doesn’t look like he’ll be the same, Stephenson is like Nate Robinson — he’ll have his good days and his bad days – live by his shot and die by it….that’s Lance for you. The bulls are a more well oiled machine and once reality kicks in and they get their in check, let’s see if there’s this talk still.

    • crazymaso says:

      Oh gee…another person who makes comments about things they simply have ZERO idea about.

      Lance – “live by his shot and die by it”

      Sorry, but 42.42% of Lance shots are in the paint..That’s not exactly living and dying by a jump shot.

      For the record let’s have some fun. The Indiana Pacers have made it further than the Bulls in the playoffs ever since D.Rose came to town. Ouch.

  19. Erwin says:

    I’m a huge Bulls fan, but the Pacers are just stacked and have the best shot against the Heat..The Bulls are gunna be as good as Derrick Rose gets…The Pacers are only getting better with their young stars…

  20. Lawrence says:

    Smh this guy..the Bulls have beat the pacers consistently since he’s been in the league…the ONLY reason anyone paid them ANY attention was because rose went down for so long…they beat the bulls with rose JUST getting back from a season ending injury and NOW he’s talking this noise? Smh right ok

    • Loki says:

      I’m aware of that, but they haven’t yet. George did say until the bulls take it. They haven’t yet, so yes the pacers are on top at the moment. At the moment I said, and I honestly don’t see te bulls taking it. Rose hasn’t played in over a year, that’s a lot of rust. IMO Chicago as a whole has got some glaring weaknesses that need to be addressed while Indiana has shown monstrous improvement, just need to fix their turn overs as a whole. Rose on the other hand has looked sloppy during parts of games that are crucial to a win. He’s gotta get back to his MVP form and while I know he will I don’t think it’s something that’s going to happen for a bit.

      • Game Time says:

        You were the same guy years ago saying how Miami couldn’t beat Chicago. now cheering for Pacers and saying Bulls can’t do it.

  21. Jeremy says:

    What success? It’s the first week of basketball..

  22. eastbrook russell says:

    Paul George is an intricate case in the MVP discussion. Even if he continues to play on the same level for the whole season, we have every justification to say that he and Hibbert are equally important to this team (take one out, and the Pacers are a very subpar team). For example, look at Durant: without Westbrook they are still a playoff team, arguably and toughly even 2nd round, but with Durant out and Westbrook in they aren’t even close to making the playoffs. Lebron? We all know what these Heat would look with only Dwade and Bosh, and we have also been shown that the Heat are still formidable without Wade. Any way you see it even in teams with two-three superfriends, there is one player that makes them the beast that they are. In Indiana that’s not the case. Hibbert is the heart, soul and body in the paint, George is the go-to guy and perimeter locker. It’s always tough to consider someone in that place for MVP as good as George is.

    • champkobe says:

      Didn’t OKC’s disastrous offense demonstrate that OKC would have a horrible time making the playoffs without Westbrook? I’ve been following OKC closely with and without Westbrook and boy, their offense is horrendous without him.

  23. dcooph says:

    Seems a wee bit premature to be making such bold claims for a team that is still maturing… hold your heads up on the win but please understand the NBA season is a marathon and you’re only as good as your last game. Meanwhile, yeah, the Bulls are finally healthy. What that means is that they are still meshing; learning how to play together and off each other. The coach understand this and is pushing his team to get to this point – not necessarily the immediate victory. Accordingly, it is also premature to write off the Bulls.

  24. NBAFan says:

    Paul George is the most Hyped up player…he never plays defensively…just saying Paul George Paul George doesn’t mean he is great…

    FMO – Miami will end up being top seed in east and will play NBA finals this year as well.

    • Udont Needakno says:

      Nah. Pacers will get them this year. Im willing to put my money on it. Why? Because Miami had something that the pacers didn’t have last year. A bench. Now they are equal. And Indy’s bench can play defense. Unlike Cole and Jones. Haha. And im pretty sure Indy won’t be giving away any games this year.

    • rjyoung317 says:

      Lol do you know anything about the NBA. PG is widely considered one of the top defensive perimeter players in the league. His superstardom relies on his offensive game maturing not his defensiven. Already this year Tim Legler said he will be in a three way race for mvp with lebron and cp3 . Bill Simmons and Zach Lowe essentially agreed that he is the third best forward behind lebron and KD.

      He may not be great yet, but he is quiclky approaching an elite level.

  25. JustTheStr8Facts says:

    Pacers are the real deal.

  26. Pacer-fan-since 80s says:

    Pacers are not arrogant. They are confident. Don’t get arrogance and confidence confused. They’re mentally setting a tone for their team. We have a goal and we are going to get there, there’s no reason why our goal can’t be accomplished.

    • H2O says:

      Yes Pacers fan, there is a fine line between arrogant and confident. It’s good to pump up your team and think positively but do not be over confident, that’s what makes them arrogant. It’s FIVE games for F’s sake. Lastly, yes there ARE reasons why your goals can’t be accomplished, Let’s see, Miami, Chicago, Brooklyn, New York? sound familiar? I love how the Pacers play but come on now, I’d rather see them WALK THE TALK.

      • U a foo says:

        You are an idiot, the bulls and Knicks have no chance at beating the pacers and Knicks and they have proved the last 2 years they have been clear the second best team in the east, the only team in the east that has pushed the heat to the limit 2 years in a row, you are an idiot. Even the heat acknowledge that, the FA adquisition was only made to match the pacers, there is a reason for that cuz they are the only team that can stop them on the east.

      • rjyoung317 says:

        I agree you are an iddiot. The pacers won the central last year. It isn’t fair to compare the bulls v pacers in recent years. No rose last year and paul george may be a budding superstar. Pacers didnt have that two years ago.

        The pacers play the best defense in the league and were one game from the finals, sound familiar, if they didn’t believe they could be the league’s best team that would be a problem. So far so good.

        Btw the Pacers were missing two projected starters last night. Right now they are better than the Bulls. Their statements acknowledge the season is a grind but setting goals of being the conference’ best team is exactly what they should do.

      • H2O says:

        Oh for F’s sake! none of your comments corresponds to what i’ve said. First, it’s the first-second week of the season? Second, who is comparing which to which? im simply saying there are other teams in the conference that can compete and saying “Oh no! that’s disrespectful to compare them to the pacers!” is idiocracy.

        “The pacers play the best defense in the league and were one game from the finals, sound familiar, if they didn’t believe they could be the league’s best team that would be a problem. So far so good”

        By the way, need i remind you that it’s a new season and anything can happen? well i guess they’ve figured it out in 5 games? remember 2nd round in 2012? IND up 2-1 and they went crazy about it, guess what happened? MIA won the next 3 straight games. sound familiar? I’m not hating on the pacers, I’m just saying can’t celebrate til ball game is over.

  27. Richard says:

    Pacers are too confident. They are countin’ the chicks from eggs that were yet to hatch.. Playing’ just 6% of the entire games for this season and yet their prediction of overcoming all the great teams pumping up huge volume of air into their heads… there are a lot of better teams from west that they should conquer first aside from the dominant Miami. George is equally arrogant, how sure he is that they will defeat the bulls on their remaining games? Too early to make this kind of prediction, just shut up and just play the game…

    • phillyboy88 says:

      Easy homey. What do you really expect him to say? Something that may make him look a litlle more humble? Bump dat! I want my guys to be confident, I want them to SAY it! If he doesn’t believe it who will? Too many times we mistake confidence for arrogance. If its easy for anybody who knows anything about basketball and this league to see that the Pacers are loaded, don’t you think HE knows it too? They know they’re loaded! And yeah, teams coming to play us better strap it up. Because we’re comin’ at’cha! Period.

      • Udont Needakno says:

        True some people do confuse that. Like they did when Rose said he was the best player. It may not be true but at least they believe that.

        But what I think Richard is trying to say is that was kind of a cheap shot to say the bulls time was in the Jordan era, 20 years ago as if if the bulls team was mediocre or bad this year or as if that game last night could not have gone either , until the last three minutes.

        I say if he’s going to say something, then be confident about “yourself”. Don’t bring other teams into the mix. Because, to Be honest, that makes teams want to beat you.

    • Loki says:

      He said “it’s our era until they take it back” how is this arrogant? Last year they took the division title, Rose or not and Chicago failed to beat them last night.

      Sounds like he’s open to the possibility of accepting a Chicago come back but the pacers really are the central champs until Chicago does something about it, and right now Chicago is 1-3.

      • Udont Needakno says:

        Who cares that they are one in three. Early season records aren’t forever. Just like five and zero aren’t forever.

        And yeah they may have won the division “last year”. But Let me give you an example San Antonio. Memphis Grizzlies and Rockets are all in the same division. They will all be good teams this year. But somebody has to win the division. Chicago and Indy are both good teams. Somebody has to win the division. So it isn’t about who wins the division sweetheart. Because either of those teams I named can beat each other on any given night.

  28. No 1. Aussie says:

    Pacers will beat the Bulls 72-10 record this year. I’m thinking 74-8. They will win the East but lose to Timberwolves in Finals in 7.

  29. ricz says:

    Do something about the TO
    and becoming no. 1 is a piece of cake (if the ind keep on playing the way they are nao)

  30. kikurt says:

    Fearless forecast. Pacers will not go through to 2nd round in the Playoffs.

  31. Storm says:

    It’s not like tomorrow’s the playoffs PG. Many things can happen yet. U’re starting to get much air on ur head dont u?

    • Game Time says:

      Yeah Pacers are gasing themselves up. I think their team is the 2nd strongest in the east, but they still don’t have what it takes to beat Miami in 7 games. Not at this point anyhow. We’ll see how the teams look going into playoffs but for now I think he’s kinda getting ahead of himself.

  32. Boyaa says:

    The Pacers are a great threat to the Heat, simply because no one is big for roy hibbert except Oden, but we know not to rely on him. I have a theory that the Indiana give Heat the most problem but i dont think Indiana with a healthy Dr Rose can beat the bulls, im not sure. And we all know the narrative with the Heat and Bulls. One thing Vogel has to watch out for though is not labouring too much for the number one seed and when you get to play the Miami heat In the COnference finals you are worn out. 2010-2011, Bulls played hard out all year and when they got to the heat, inter alia, they looked tired. But in my opinion the East pecking order will be DETERMINED by the health of DWade. 90-100% Wade = Championship for Heat. 70-80% might make it to the finals, and anything below that (like last year) they are not going anywhere past Indiana or maybe Chicago.
    Out West, the Clippers are all hype. Doc Rivers is great but 70% of their offence relies on pick and roll, without a secodn option of pop. In a playoff, the goods teams are going to trap CP3 90%, and Blake doesnt have a reliable if any midrange.
    The Rockets, i think are all hype aswell. I dont think playing Asik with Howard will win you a championship. I suggest they trade for a 4 who shoot the midrange and rebounds, Scola would be perfect by now.
    Thunder are still thunder. The only achilies is Westbroook being Westbrook.
    The Spurs, i am not even going to try say they are not going anywhere because we all underestimate all the time.
    GSW, i dont buy the hype. Unless they really proof their defense and half court offense, without being so reliant on the 3 pointer then they can make a run but i dont think they are winning it.

  33. okc2014 says:

    I hope the Pacers can keep up this pace. It would be refreshing to watch them beat the Heat in the Eastern Conference finals. But I will have to see this to believe it. Go Pacers.

  34. Romeo Aguirre says:

    2014 champs!!!

  35. Derek says:

    Great article. But until NBA websites stop headlining with “balanced efforts give Thunder win over Mavs” the journalistic mainstay of the league continues to over look the Pacers. None but the die-hard cared last year, but now its time to get real first, NBA writers, ESPN, et al… Don’t wait until a Miami game seven to recognize the Pacers. And the entire NBA media is soon to be exposed, especially as long as Indiana is undefeated, holding opponents to a league-low, and Paul George is UNquietly becoming an MVP candidate. The team and organization is run the right way, hopefully NBA coverage takes notice.

  36. I’m not a Pacer fan, but the way players like Paul, Lance and Roy grew in the last 2-3 years is amazing.

    Derrick Rose is a great player, but the Bulls are not a solid machine as the Pacers.

  37. aron says:

    Definitely, the Pacers are elite! Last season where they had a crummy bench and no Granger, they almost upended the eventual Champs in a grueling 7 game series. They’ve upgraded their bench this season with the addition of Scola and Watson replacing two mediocre bench players. Maybe with a healthy Granger, they are most certainly deadlier than last season.

    Whoever thought and still argue that the Pacers aren’t elite are just fooling themselves. I hate bandwagon fans who delude themselves into thinking that the Heat become champions every other season. It just makes me root more for underdog teams. I’m a Heat fan and i do acknowledge that the Pacers are on equal terms against the Heat, Warriors, Thunder and slightly above every playoff contender teams.

    They are just that tough.

    • Witness says:

      Your not a Heat fan or you wouldnt say you’re rooting for all of the underdog teams LOL please. gtf outa here. They didnt almost upend them the Heat outplayed them is why the won, with a barely 75% Wade and no center LOL. Well the Heat bench got better also. Heat wins were by 1, 18,11, 23. Pacers wins were by 4, 7 and 11. That shows that the Heat were the better team. The Pacers were barely eeking out their wins against em while all but 1 game the Heat won by double digits LOL Thats why its funny when people say o just 1 more good game by the Pacers. Well lets see what about 1 more good game by the Heat when they lost by 4 or 7? It goes the same way. Sorry. Heat won becasue they were the better team

      • Loki says:

        They still got pushed to 7games against a team with no bench. Course they were the better team, Indiana had no bench which meant if the starters had an off night they were screwed. Spare me the 70% Wade and no center talk.. Pacers didn’t have their top scorer at all. And no center? Did you not watch Bosh come up big in the finals? Who’s rebound got Ray allen that three? Who blocked Danny Green’s three point game tying attempt?

      • Witness says:

        The team had a bench sorry just because this one might be better doesnt mean the one they had was bad. By the Eastern Conference Finals the bench rotation is typically limited to 1 to 3 players being used. A 7 or 8 man rotation is all they tighten it to obviously play their best players when needed the most. So having 12 man deep is only good for depth throughout the reg season not for a 7 game series as much. Their top scorer? Who? A hobbled Granger? I watched Bosh of course I did. Bosh isnt a “center” though as you say. Sorry. He does play the 5 plenty but hes not a “center” that can physically match Hibbert is what I meant. Just cause you throw someone in the 5 spot doesnt mean hes a center. Hell they throw 6 8 240 pound Haslem at a 7 2 275 pound center. Yea ok. So yea, Miami didnt have a center to combat him. For some reason you think I was downplaying Bosh and thats not the case at all I have been all about him hes just as important as Wade is the whole reason for the Big 3.

  38. Uncle Drew says:

    If Paul George continues to play like he has been in these first five games, and the Pacers end up No.1 seed in the East, or possinly even No.1 seed overall, then PG is definitely in the MVP discussion. If he can lift the Pacers into the most dominant team in the regular season in the East then we could have a Derrick Rose 2011 MVP situation again, where the MVP is awarded for great team success over individual numbers. No doubt Lebron will be better than Paul George this season, but the award could easily be given for the Pacers dominance in the East.

  39. Zak says:

    The only team I think has a real shot of taking a game seven away from Miami in Miami, a few other teams in the East could do it, but only the Pacers could knock them off I think. Too big and too stingy on defense (83 per 100) !!

    Pacers and Miami – Eastern Conference Finals. Could go either way.

    And no, I haven’t forgotten the Bulls.

    • Zak says:

      Away from Miami is Indiana*

    • LBJKIN6JAMES says:

      RELAX … its the first 5 games of the season …. Didn’t the Knicks start off 19 – 3 (or something like that) last season and look how they ended up. Lets have this discussion after Christmas or after all star break. But I do agree that the Pacers are the only legitimate threat to the Heat, Brooklyn or Chicago CANNOT beat the Heat in a 7 game series. Indiana is the only team that can matchup with the heat defensively and Indian’s greatest strength in rebounding is Miami’s greatest weakness, it their Achilles heal.

      • kek says:

        Look how they ended up? almost winning 60 games and nr 2 seed in the east?

      • LakersWillWin says:

        The Knicks were also a lot older of a team. This Pacers squad is young and full of energy to take on the challenges ot this grueling season. Someone look a little scared in the East