Blogtable: Are the Pacers done?

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes across the globe to weigh in on the most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.


BLOGTABLE: Risk/reward and the USA | Indy’s dilemma | Pick a center


> You’re Larry Bird. Paul George is out. Lance Stephenson is gone. What are your plans for the Pacers? When can you make them a factor again?

The success of the Pacers next season will rest largely on Roy Hibbert's shoulders. (Ron Hoskins/NBAE)

The success of the Pacers next season will rest largely on Roy Hibbert’s shoulders. (Ron Hoskins/NBAE)

Steve Aschburner, NBA.com: The cupboard is too bare, I fear, for the Pacers to be much of a factor this season. The contender that most needed an offensive overhaul has suffered an offensive mugging, losing its starting and shot-creating backcourt. Shawn Marion wouldn’t be any real answer at this stage of his career, C.J. Miles is C.J. Miles, and unless Rodney Stuckey was holding back something brilliant from Pistons fans, he won’t be a savior either. David West is getting long in the tooth and Roy Hibbert remains a 7-foot enigma. On defense and muscle memory, Indiana can grab a lower playoff rung in the East. But that’s about it. Can Reggie Miller suit up again?

Fran Blinebury, NBA.com: You take a page out of an old Western movie and circle the wagons. The Pacers don’t have to look outside their own division to see how the Bulls made no excuses and instead made a commitment to defense and team play the past two season. Hello, Roy Hibbert. It’s your time to step up and shoulder the burden. The challenge is to develop a stronger supporting cast for when George does return in 2015-16 and vaults Indy back into the Eastern Conference contender race.

Jeff Caplan, NBA.com: Unfortunately, I don’t think there’s a lot of choices out there other than going out and playing with the hand they’re dealt. Maybe this can be Indiana’s David Robinson-Tim Duncan moment. Is there a Tim Duncan out there?

Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.com: I’m screwed. There will be the chance to sign someone with the injury exception, but obviously anyone who can make the kind of impact the Pacers need now is gone. And any trade consideration only weakens me at another position (and there is no sense to give up a lot for a small forward if I believe George is back after one season). I can, however, set the tone, along with Frank Vogel, that this changes nothing in the expectation that everyone reports to work every day expecting to win. I’m good at that no-nonsense thing.

Sekou Smith, NBA.com: Tread water. Seriously. Just tread water in the Eastern Conference and do whatever it takes to try to make the playoffs with a roster that has been greatly reduced since last season. Doubt works as a great motivator. And these Pacers will be doubted by many, so they’ll have all the motivation they need. But Paul George could be out for not only the entire 2014-15 season and beyond, which means the Pacers will spend the next two seasons trying to recover from what has turned out to be a catastrophic summer.

John Schuhmann, NBA.com: Obviously, they’re not going to be a “factor” until at least the 2015-16 season. So Bird should listen to offers for his older vets, including David West, who turns 34 this month and could help another team (Phoenix?) more than he could help the Pacers. Indiana was already pretty brutal offensively. It got worse when they lost Lance Stephenson and now we may be looking at the worst offense in the league. Even if they can remain a top-10 defense without their best perimeter defender, the Pacers will be lucky if they hover around .500 this season.

Lang Whitaker, NBA.com’s All Ball blog: You play to your strengths. You’ve still got Roy Hibbert, David West and Luis Scola, so you slow the tempo as much as you can and pound the ball inside, over and over and over. One of Hibbert’s issues last season was gumming up the offense by wanting the ball in the post. Well, now you can have it as much as you want! The Pacers won’t contend in the East this season, but they can still defend the rim, and with more shots to go around, I wouldn’t be surprised if George Hill steps up and posts big numbers as well. So for now, you try and get by until Paul George is back out there.

Rubens Borges, NBA Brasil: The Indiana Pacers are in a pickle. They have already lost Lance Stephenson, one of the only shot creators in the 23rd best offense of the 2013-14 season, to the Charlotte Hornets. With Paul George hurt, Indiana loses the best weapon it had. Not only that, but the Pacers saw one of its best, if not the best, defenders in the team go down. Indiana has two options: pull a 1996-97 San Antonio Spurs and go for a high lottery pick or toil away at the season, hoping a weaker East can salvage 2014-15.  Option A: trade David West or Roy Hibbert for picks, young assets and hope they can land a high pick. Option B: hope that the East, weaker than the West but improved, can provide them with a playoff berth. If I were Larry Bird I would go with option A. Retool a bad offense without losing their defensive anchor, George, and come back stronger in 2015-16.

Akshay Manwani, NBA India: I think Larry Bird needs to challenge Roy Hibbert. The Indiana big man stumbled dramatically in the 2014 post-season, and with George injured, Hibbert has the opportunity to redeem himself. If Bird can get him to play big for Indiana now, it is a win-win for both. At the same time, Bird has to bring in some manpower and getting Shawn Marion, a proven, versatile forward, with tons of experience, would be a good place to start. As for making them a legitimate factor, Paul George has to return at the earliest.

31 Comments

  1. Arky says:

    Without Stephenson, and with West aging, they weren’t a contender anyway but would have been a playoff team. Without PG too this is a lost season- they may as well consider trading away West, Hill and maybe even Hibbert so they can rebuild around PG when he returns.

  2. harriethehawk says:

    Hey Larry Bird, why don’t you try for Marshon Brooks before he goes to China? Or go for the gusto and sign beloved Ron Artest or Lamar Odom. They need homes and you need bodies. LOL

  3. David Greer says:

    They should trade away either David West or Roy Hibbert and get Jahlil Okafor in the upcoming draft(if he enters it).

  4. Sam says:

    With the pacers falling apart I don’t see Paul George staying for too long once he gets back. He has said in the past he likes LA

  5. NBAIQ says:

    I think the Pacers should do away with Roy Hibbert and think rebuild. With Paul George not coming back till perhaps the latter part of season after next why hold on to some of these high paid players.

  6. If I were the Pacers, I would look at trying to trade David West and Rodney Stuckey or CJ Miles for Eric Bledsoe and Emeka Okafor. This would give you inside scoring and ball handling. I actually think it would help both teams. Phoenix needs Wests inside scoring and Indiana needs Bledsoe on the wing or point. Its a win win for both teams. Bledsoe wants out anyway,

  7. Bones says:

    Trade for Jeremy Lamb!!!! That will put the Pacers in title contention when George return next year. Get well soon PG!

  8. the pacewrs are down in the dumps but this is the trade they should do: Larry Bird if your reading this than let me just say:go for a trade to the heat: trade roy hibbert to get heats loul deng and myabe get toney douglas to be a backup for hill this could help both teams
    PG: george hill toney d
    SG: stuckey copeland
    SF: deng {WHO WILL HAVE A BREAKOUT YEAR AND GO BACK TO HIS OLD SELF}
    PF: luis scola
    C: david west
    Heat
    PG: shabazz mario cole
    SG: wade and allen {if he stays}
    SF: still got granger after loul loss and beasley maybe even mcroberts
    PF: Bosh the place where bosh will have the best year of his carrer {accels better in PF}
    C: roy hibbert the monster in the [paint that could help them got the the ecf
    How could this not be a good trade? tell me your feedbacks

  9. Parad0x says:

    Sign Beasley for 2 years.

  10. they’re done…bulls will go to nba finals

  11. thespectator says:

    pacers are done…on to the more bigger and important story…, cavs vs bulls for the ECF

  12. vencedor says:

    The PACERS will be just fine. When Danny G went down, they discovered the gem in PG. They have plenty of gem to be discovered. FV will know what to do.

  13. Eddie says:

    Trade for JR Smith and Iman Shumpert from Knicks. JR will be a good temporary offensive weapon. Not sure what they can offer the Knicks in return.

  14. Gillsy says:

    These were not some good moves by Bird. Yea no one saw George getting injured but he let Danny go for nothing, cause they let Turner go for nothing. Then Stephenson went for nothing to a team where he got practically the same money. That seamed funny to me, most players don’t leave a decent team for one a few runs below for a similar wage unless something was going on in Indy. They need to hope those moves Hibbert was working on over the offseason will pay off come next season. I agree West is good but long in the tooth. Maybe they could swing a deal with Phoenix since Bledsoe’s contract talk is going no where.

  15. the cuban -miamian connection says:

    Pacers ,once again will be KICKED Out by the King James!

    I am not sorry for you ,Haters

    Miami HEAT – Cleveland for life Fan!

  16. Bartholomew says:

    They’ll definitely make the playoffs, in my opinion, but I doubt they’ll go any farther than the second round.

  17. JulianoAdante says:

    The Indiana Pacers need to sign Eric Bledsoe! QUICKLY #ASAP retool some figures to adjust cap space, let go of a guard or too or three….Copeland,Turner, & Stuckey could be useful in a sign and trade for Bledsoe! he is the best guard left in free agency & he will excel at everything the Pacer loss when Lance Stephenson moved to Charlotte. He seems (to me) more consistent then Stephenson.

    • Jeff says:

      This has potential for Indiana. If they get an injury exception I would go for Bledisoe. What is there to lose? He is a top ten guard and you can move stuckey to sg if need be.

  18. sports fan says:

    I like Lang Whitaker’s response the most. Play to their strengths and constantly pound the ball inside. Keep the core team intact and it will only make this stronger when Paul George gets back. This team will come together & weather the storm.

  19. @baller22 says:

    Just sign Shawn Marion and go for Ray Allen. Then trade David West and Luis Scola to Sacramento for D Willams and then sign Elton Brand.

  20. Davante says:

    I Honestly Think The Pacers Can Still Do OK.Hibbert and west can play good.Copeland seems like he’ll go on a rampage this season and Cj miles on the pacers seems great.

  21. Rodney Jefferies says:

    Well, the best option would be to trade David West and or Hibbert. But to who Minnesota and slow down the momentum of Cleveland. The Pacars will either pick up Love or Love will decide to extend hisccontract and remain in Minnesota. The Pacers pickup draft picks and get young ready for a sustainable future.

  22. Another Heat Fan says:

    that picture of hibbert is ridiculous

  23. Pacersdynasty says:

    PacersDynasty is crying right now :(

  24. taekayo says:

    Indiana has gone through worse after “the brawl” in Detroit.

    But now, the big difference is that they can keep their team intact and wait for PG, then they’d do better next year. When the lone offensive weapon (Granger) was out, PG and Lance emerged. Honestly, Indiana’s offense could be very predictable this year — give the ball to PG and wait. It may be a blessing in disguise, but losing PG and Lance could actually make an offensive unit out of the remaining players. Dump Hibbert the ball inside, let West operate, give Hill the go signal to shoot, and involve everyone into offense. Its the East, and they might be able to at least be in the playoffs. And if the team evolves to be better offensively and defensively w/o PG, then he’d be a great acquisition the next year (given he remains to be as explosive as he was).

  25. TheKush says:

    Sometimes you take what you consider to be calculated risks and you get burned. The Pacers management last season took a risk with trading Granger and now they got burned. Turner for Granger never made any sense to me and now Lance is gone. They could have thrown in Granger this season for George and at least guaranteed themselves a playoff spot. Now depending on how long it takes George to recover they might have to start thinking about rebuilding.

    Because David West isn’t getting any younger and I’m sure if the Pacers keep losing he’s going to want out! Hibbert??? Hmmm I don’t know what to make of that guy he reminds me a little bit of Rik smits but… You knew what to expect from Rik smits every night and confidence was never an issue with him. I don’t know about Hibbert the only time he looked good was against a SMALL Miami frontcourt and I’m not talking about last season.

    It might be time to start rebuilding in Indiana!!!

    • Anthony says:

      Rik Smits was every bit as infuriating as Hibbert was at this stage in his career. Smits came on stronger as he got older, but he used to make fans frustrated too. Roy will be fine. I think this will be a big moment for him going forward and the Pacers will benefit from it.

  26. Dany says:

    I still feel that Granger should not have been traded last season. If Indiana had kept him, they might have performed better in playoffs last season and they need not be this worried this much this season. He played for Indiana for years when they were doing badly and he deserved a better treatment. Well… sometimes Man proposes, God disposes.
    PS: I feel bad for Paul George. Wish he comes back better and stronger.

  27. spguide says:

    They won’t go far for sure, if they reach the playoffs. If i’m Bird i would trade Hibbert and maybe also David West, and get the more picks as possible for 2015 when Paul George comes back.