Something Special Going On With Pacers

VIDEO: Paul George leads the Pacers to another big win over the Spurs

SAN ANTONIO — Something is going on here.

The Pacers don’t take the time to stop and admire it. They don’t talk about it and they don’t let it roll around on their tongues like fine wine and savor it. They simply work at becoming more efficient on the offensive end, more suffocating on defense and more prepared for every next step along the road.

That road became a little longer and a little bumpier when their itinerary from Salt Lake City was blown away in the frozen winter storm that iced in their scheduled arrival and forced them to land instead in Houston and form a three busload caravan to reach the next stop in central Texas.

The Pacers barely noticed the hiccup, just as they barely noticed the Spurs racing out to a 13-point lead in the opening minutes of the second quarter on Saturday night.

Something is going on here.

That’s what Paul George said after another one of those splendid efforts that lets him sniff the same rarified MVP candidate air as LeBron James. You can watch him pull up and fire in one more 3-pointer that rifles into the bottom of the next, change direction more times than Shakira’s hips on a drive through the lane for a dunk or pull the defense to him like metal filings to a magnet and then find one of his teammates for an open shot and admire the sight.

Or you can be like George and the Pacers and already have a 111-100 in the rearview mirror and be looking at nothing more than the next step ahead, which just happens to be in Oklahoma City tonight.

So much for the talk of these being Paper Pacers, an 18-2 product of the wretched Eastern Conference. Since leaving home a week ago, Indiana has gone 3-1 through the West, in the process beating the Clippers and now taken a club to the decades-old yardstick of consistency in the Spurs, leading at one point by 26. That was Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili being run ragged out there, not a motley collection of Knicks, Nets and Bucks.

“For anybody to think that we didn’t play anybody, it’s bogus,” George said. “Everybody is professional in this league. Look around the league and teams lost to teams that they shouldn’t have lost to. We just go out and do our business. We handle our job. We were prepared to get a win against on the best teams in this league.”

After letting San Antonio run free and easy through the first quarter, the Pacers applied the defensive squeeze of a python, clogging the paint, contesting shots on the perimeter, putting a hand virtually everyplace the Spurs didn’t want one to be.

Just as impressive was a span from the second to the third quarter when the Indiana offense nearly boiled up right out of the pot. It was a stretch that saw the Pacers score on 17 consecutive possessions, which is sometimes difficult to do even during skeleton drills in practice.

“Our offensive execution,” George said. “That’s one red flag that we’ve have and where we can continue to get better. If we can start executing on the offensive end and not always be relying on our defense to win us games for a full season and the post season.”

He says it all and they do it all matter-of-factly, though quite adroitly with a one through five starting lineup that has no real holes and a bench that is capable if not spectacular. In less than a calendar year the Pacers have gone from a group traveling on a path of discovery to one that’s found an identity, a method and a purpose.

“Last year was a year of a lot of uncertainty, just not being fully together,” George said. “This year we understand what we want to get to and what’s the main goal. That’s winning it all. We won’t go so far as to say it’s a win-or-bust year or anything like that, but we really want to win it all and we’re in a position to do so.

“All last year we felt like we could be one of the elite teams in this league and were going to take the league by storm. But it’s one thing to say it and the next thing is to go out and prove it on the court. I feel like we’ve done that, we’re still doing that and now people have to take us seriously.”

The difference is a year ago they were a group trying to demonstrate to the world and themselves they believed and now they’re simply showing night in an night out they belong. The last time the Pacers had won in San Antonio (2002), the Spurs had hung only one of their four championship banners from the rafters and that was in the Alamodome.

“So yeah, it means a lot,” George said. “Something is going on here.”

44 Comments

  1. sanjay says:

    ha ha, pacers got punked by the OKC! And lebron will punk OKC at 2 am at night! I wont be surprised ,if lebron went just a little way too crazy on pacers( he had enough of ‘PG’ paean already!

  2. kobeballhog says:

    where are all the so called pacers fanboys after they got blown out into outer space by the Real champion contender OKC, blue collar f@ke gold swagger wannabes

  3. KratosRage says:

    Pacers should get rid of DANNY GRANGER. he either should retire or be traded for a decent PF or C to back up WEST and HIBBERT. PAUL GEORGE is now the star of this team and they are doing great basketball. GRANGER can be the second coming of BRANDON ROY, force retirement due to injury

  4. kobeballhog says:

    say whatever you want pacers fanboys, like i said mark my words. i guarantee that every year every season i guaranteed something and it does happen. ladt year lakers were the joke right before the season started. right now these so called pacers winners wannabe are getting blown out by the okc. like i said these are pacers wannabe champions watch how fast this team falls.

  5. Willy Spurd says:

    The Pacers were there last year, one help on D with Lebron driving down the lane, or another lucky bounce here or there?? It could have easily been Indiana / Spurs final last year. Larry Bird won’t let egos into that locker room. You can see the confidence between the coach and the players pre game hand shakes, they are rolling, but its a long season. How does Danny Grainger fit back into all of this, or??

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      I think they need Danny Granger. Imagine if he was 100% against the Heat. I think Pacers would’ve beat the Heat … maybe even in 6 games. Granger is an All-Star-caliber of close-to-All-Star-caliber guy.

      Hope he gets healthy soon.

      Also hope Deron Williams gets back soon. Nets are kind of lost without Deron.

  6. egyle says:

    Pacers are special indeed, but I can get Fran thinking about Shakira and her hips out of my head. It’s disturbing, to say the least.

  7. dustydreamnz says:

    A few things., ..
    Has Greg Oden even played?
    OKC don’t need Asik, they have Steven Adams. Can someone tell me why he isn’t getting more minutes?
    Talking MVP this early is crazy, there’s 60 odd games before the playoffs.
    The Spurs are overlooked as much as the Pacers, they’re off to their best start in franchise history and even though they copped a hiding from the Pacers you never ever write them off.
    I don’t think the Pacers are full of it, they seem a grounded bunch of guys.
    I think D Wade looks better than last year too.

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      Well, Adams is a talented C with good hands, but he is a rookie and is still learning quite a lot from guys like Ken Perkins and Nick Collison. Maybe, Adams will take Perkins’ starting spot in the future. Right now, however, that’s not going to happen.

      If you watched that EPIC Thunder/Pacers game, Perkins showed how he is such a good low-post defender by helping slow down Hibbert and David West. Thunder still need him to set the tone at the beginning of each game with defense, defense, defense. With Westbrook back at 100%, it helps Perk even more; he can focus more on defending the paint.

      Adams actually got into foul trouble in that game. As a rookie, the refs are picking on him a little too much with the ticky-tack fouls. Ha.

  8. The Dream says:

    Paul George is balling hard but he won’t be able to score as much being guarded by Lebron. Hibbert was a problem last year, but Miami got Oden this time. The prediction has already been made.
    “Oden dosen’t play all year. It’s ECF game 1. Indiana has lost sleep over how they will defend against a player they have yet to see. Oden is dressed and sitting on the bench with fire in his eyes. Lose game 1 out of fear. Oden dosen’t play a second. Game 2 the anticioation is great. Indiana loses in a heart breaker with Oden yet to play. Game 3 Indiana knows this has to be the game he play. Hibbert refuses to leave the locker room in fear of the monster Miami has yet to release. Game 3 is a blow out win for Miami. Still no Oden. Game 4 Pacers call the bluff and come out strong in the first half. Up by 20 in the start of 3rd Spo gives the signal. Lebron and Wade unlock his cage and Greg Long D1ck Oden lumbers on to the floor. Hibbert runs out of the building screaming to the D league. George soils himself and is issued 2 technicals by Joey. The entire Pacer bench scatters to the four corners of the world. Andrew Luck in the stands crys uncontrollably. Oden goes 2/10 with 1 rebound. Miami still wins by 8 and sweeps the Spurs in the finals.”

  9. MattDavis says:

    They may get to 72 wins…The east is soooo bad they will steamroll most of them. As long as they hang in there against the west, it is possible.

  10. Tyrone says:

    I’m definitely rooting for the Pacers over the Heat…..I’m getting bored of seeing the Heat in the finals.

  11. fin420 says:

    cmon now we are still in early december, they are peaking at the wrong time

    • Jay says:

      Peaking at the wrong time? Quite possibly the dumbest remark I’ve ever heard. By your logic, a team should do just enough to get the 8th seed. Then all of sudden learn how to be dominant in the playoffs in route to the Finals.

  12. Cordney says:

    Follow prettyboyrunner blue collar gold swagger!!

  13. OKC get Omer Asik says:

    I know this is off topic but they are perfect fit.

  14. Roberto says:

    The Pacers are playing incredibly GREAT, by far the best team in the league, and tell ya more…since the 97 BULLS, I haven´t seem anything like it…yersterday losing the spurs at one moment by 11 and then turning it around by 37 POINTS (!!!) to lead by 26 is A M A Z I N G!!! George MUST BE THE MVP, or the NBA is a JOKE!!! And they´re a TEAM, not one or two players, but TEN GREAT ONES!!! Best Defense, Best %, great and improving still attack,….They can defintely came close to the RECORD 72 WINS by the historic BULLS!!!

    • Steven Tilford says:

      I dont think you guys realize this but Pacers are really the only threat to the Heat trying to go for a 3 rd consecutive championship and 4th consecutive final. This Tuesday when the Pacers face the Heat i guarantee you itll end up being a preview of Eastern Conference Final.

  15. Carlos says:

    Pacers were more complete team than the heat. Heat has holes, notably in the middle . Pacers were younger and taking shots more efficiently . And their defense improved a lot. So I take the pacers against maybe OKC in the finals.

  16. asdfghjkl says:

    But of course the Commissioner won’t allow a Blazers-Pacer Finals. nobody would watch that but a Thunder-Heat might be record breaking.

  17. kobeballhog says:

    pacers are a joke, mark my words i guarantee they wont even finish the season on top, egos getting bigger, they havent accomplished anything yet, try to win the chmpionship first before you brag, moreso the eastern conference, teams will be after these so called winners wannabe

    • KB says:

      Egos? What team are you watching?? Because these guys have no egos! Yes, they want to prove they are a real threat to any team, but no one individual player thinks they are better than another. They work together in everything they do! Did you see the Sports Center interview? They just wanted Paul George, and PG told them he’d only do it with all the starters and Coach Vogel. Tell me again how the Pacers all have egos…

    • 31for3 says:

      A joke? Your whole post is a joke. “they haven’t accomplished anything yet.” The idea that winning a championship in this league is the only telling accomplishment and reason to feel encouraged is laughable. How bout this, they set new franchise records in starts to a season and winning streaks, they’ve sustained their no 1 defensive ranking, and they’ve established a franchise star. So yep, haven’t accomplished anything; write em off. Did you even read the article? How can you accuse them of bragging or egotism. Saying “something’s going on here” from a small market team that goes largely unnoticed has got to be the most subtle egotism I’ve ever heard. Maybe you would have preferred them to put on a big show in the pre-season with pyrotechnics where they boast of winning “not 6, not 7…”

      Pacers take the East, and you can start accepting now that your precious Heat don’t.

    • Pacers fan says:

      You aren’t right about anything except that Kobes a ballhog. This pacers core roster has never had a big ego and its not getting bigger. The pacers are the most overlooked team in the nba, even with an 18-2 record.

  18. asd says:

    If Paul George doesn’t win the MVP this year( given the Pacers have the best record in the NBA ), than the league will be a joke…

  19. okc2014 says:

    Pacers are scary!!!!!! Okay OKC, pull out and use all of your ammunition tonight! Keep Perkins on the bench, play Steve Adams. Nobody can work w/ Hibbert!! Don’t distracted Kevin and Russell, you can do it! Ibaba,, Jackson, and Lamb, do your thing! GO OKC!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. Michael Peloton says:

    The Pacers are on a very hot streak. Hope they can’t beat the bulls record of 72 wins. The record of the pacers speaks volume considering that as of the moment, no substantial number of nba teams are considered as quality teams capable of matching the offensive and defensive fire power of the pacers. I just wish the pacers don’t peak early. There are still too many number of games to be played. Although I am not a pacers fan but you can’t help but be amazed of the team’s current feat.

  21. OKC Fan says:

    I have to say (rather begrudgingly) as an OKC fan that these Pacers are starting to look worryingly good. I did think at the start of the season they might contest the eastern conference and take it away from the heat, but always though the western conference was too strong and too many teams for them to topple…I may be wrong.

    Every aspect of the pacers game seems to be near perfect, defence, offense, in transition, perimeter shooting, in the paint, fast break, its unnatural. 17-2 is nothing to be overlooked, and with them coming to OKC tonight where OKC havent lost, i think will be their biggest test yet. KD is not shooting as well but he is shooting more and still droping 28+ nearly every game. Westbrook seems to be riding a wave at the moment and for once it seems OKC has some solid reserve shooters in jackson and lamb, not to mention how well the rookie stephen adams is playing.

    All of that is well and good but The Thunder need to be getting the stops, shooting 50% and scoring 25+ a quarter to beat these pacers. Its a very real and very potential NBA final…two young teams going toe to toe, Durant v George, Westbrook v Hill, Ibaka v West, Perkins/Adams v Hibbert…bring it on. Will be a great game for basketball.

    • Pacers fan says:

      pacers are 18-2 after this game just so you know, plus I always knew paul george was gonna be a super-star right after his second season(the year before he was an all-star) and I knew the pacers were gonna win a championship soon. This year is the year of the pacers.

      • Joshua Greenfarb says:

        After watching the Thunder dominate the Pacers and giving Pacers their 3rd loss of the season, no one is going to stop the Thunder.

  22. Joshua Greenfarb says:

    Thunder and Blazers in the WCF.

    Both teams look 100% healthy. They are the 2 best teams in the West.

    • laker says:

      dude its early…mark my words spurs will b there….blazers will come back to earth and OKC WILL B OUT IN 2ND ROUND

      • Joshua Greenfarb says:

        Okay, will this comment get posted?

        Saying “it’s early” is a joke. We are already 1/4 into the season. Before you know it, we will be at the 40-game-played mark.

        Saying “it’s still early” is an excuse and a cop-out.

        Blazers will continue to be 2nd best in the West.

        They are young, and they are finally 100% healthy, overall.

      • Joshua Greenfarb says:

        The only reason Thunder lost in 2nd round last season? Westbrook got hurt.

        With Westbrook playing at an MVP-level, no one will stop them.

        People like to nit-pick that they don’t post-up enough.

        That is a joke. We have a different NBA. We don’t have elite low-post scorers anymore. The top NBA scorers require speed/athleticism — the ability to score anywhere on the court. Thus, the top ten scorers, for instance, are probably all wings or guards or wing-hybrids (like Lebron).

        The exception may be Kevin Love, but he scores a lot from 3-point land. He can score anywhere on the court.

        Plus, people overlook the FACT that KD and Russ can post-up many smaller or shorter defenders.

        OKC can post-up very well, but it’s not necessary on every possession. You need to be able to score with versatility. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are excellent examples of this.

  23. Joshua Greenfarb says:

    Thunder are about to play the Pacers. This is a 2014 NBA Finals preview, IMHO.

    2014 Finals: OKC Thunder vs. Indiana Pacers

    2014 NBA World Champion: OKC Thunder

  24. M says:

    What an annoying voice that guy has!

    • dq says:

      IKR!!!!! HIS COMMENTARY IS KINDA PAINFUL. When I watch his recaps I actually mute the videos because he’s like, “Oh my goodness!” every time someone makes a shot. A since it’s a highlight video, there’s a lot of made shots = a lot of “Oh my goodnesses!”

  25. I agree that most fans of the heat are only fans of the Heat because of Lebron. There are some out there that were simply fans before he got there but for the most part all people do talk about is Lebron and how Wade’s career is over. I think Wade is off to a better start than last year and will only become more of an impact as time goes on. He was simply playing injured last year and still provided big support in the key games last year in the post season. Yes Lebron is great but he needs to have Wade playing at his best to even have a chance to win another title. This is not to throw Bosh to the back burner. Bosh may not play and have explosive games as he did in Toronto but he plays within the role they organization needs him to. When he was in Toronto he had to carry the team on his back and so he had to be the main scoring option. If anyone says that these two guys are not helping Lebron, they simply do not watch basketball because without these two the heat would not have won back to back titles.

    I feel like the pacers and especially Paul George are playing with a chip on their shoulder because two years in a row they had the heat on the ropes and were in position to knock them off to be competing for a championship. Paul George received the most improved player award last year and has simply elevated his game even higher this year. He keeps playing like this, then he most certainly can lead the players to a finals trip along with obtaining a regular season MVP. Everyone talks about Lebron and Durant but you can’t deny what this guy is doing.

  26. dustydreamnz says:

    Yep, it’s a 2 horse race alright. Probably 6-8 teams could win the West. Dallas are the latest to make a charge.
    With Indiana their whole starting 5 plus Scola are consistent. Still no Granger.

  27. aron says:

    The Pacers are Real! They are taking almost every team by storm and tearing up the competition.

    I’ve always been a heat fan since Wade joined the team. But i do recognize a strong contender like the Pacers. Not like some Heat fans who i dub as “Lebron” fans who are irritating at most because of their self-professed love only for the “King”, always making remarks like “Wade should retire and trade Bosh” quips.

    Heat and Pacers in the ECF.

    • I agree that most fans of the heat are only fans of the Heat because of Lebron. There are some out there that were simply fans before he got there but for the most part all people do talk about is Lebron and how Wade’s career is over. I think Wade is off to a better start than last year and will only become more of an impact as time goes on. He was simply playing injured last year and still provided big support in the key games last year in the post season. Yes Lebron is great but he needs to have Wade playing at his best to even have a chance to win another title. This is not to throw Bosh to the back burner. Bosh may not play and have explosive games as he did in Toronto but he plays within the role they organization needs him to. When he was in Toronto he had to carry the team on his back and so he had to be the main scoring option. If anyone says that these two guys are not helping Lebron, they simply do not watch basketball because without these two the heat would not have won back to back titles.

      I feel like the pacers and especially Paul George are playing with a chip on their shoulder because two years in a row they had the heat on the ropes and were in position to knock them off to be competing for a championship. Paul George received the most improved player award last year and has simply elevated his game even higher this year. He keeps playing like this, then he most certainly can lead the players to a finals trip along with obtaining a regular season MVP. Everyone talks about Lebron and Durant but you can’t deny what this guy is doing.

    • Joe says:

      “Wade should retire and trade Bosh” quips.

      Are you serious ? You shouldn’t even reply to those idiots. Either they are trolls or kids. Don’t even bother bro.
      I agree though that Pacers and Heat will be in the ECF. I hope it’s Miami in 7. I’m speaking with from heart not with my mind, because I see how much better the Pacers actually are.