2010 Indiana Pacers Preview
The Indiana Pacers have high hopes for a quality basketball team every year, but it did not take long last year to figure out they were going to be bad. Just 34 games into the season the Pacers had notched just ten victories. It would take a miracle for them to make the playoffs and it never happened.
When you have a poor season like the Indiana Pacers had the coach is one of the targets. The Pacers have head coach Jim O’Brien at the helm but he is well liked by management and it is now known that they plan on keeping him around. He likes fundamentals and defensive basketball and in a flashy league that is not always welcomed.
In the draft the Pacers were in a decent position and they drafted college superstar Tyler Hansbrough in the first round. Next they drafted A.J. Price in the second round but let’s face it the attention will be on Hansbrough. He is still beaten and bruised from his ACC playing days but when healthy the Pacers will expect him to contribute right away.
The losses in the offseason include Jarrett Jack and Rasho Nesterovic. Those players are not the worst losses for a team the problem is the best off-season pick up may have been guard Earl Watson. Watson can play guard and he is a fun player to watch but don’t look for him to be a difference in a small market club trying to make the playoffs.
The lone bright spot for this club is Danny Granger who emerged as the main scoring threat and all-star for the Pacers. He has already proclaimed the Pacers worthy of a top playoff spot but they need a lot to happen for them to even crack the top eight. They need a healthy Hansbrough, Roy Hibbert and Brandon Rush to emerge, and the team to start playing defense. This team is well coached and now that he has the young talent around him I expect the Pacers to surprise a few teams. This won’t equate to a championship any time soon but the Pacers should be in the running for an eighth seed if they buy into the coaching philosophy of O’Brien. Look for a quick start by this team and then only time will tell how they do down the stretch.