Bet the Indiana Pacers Over 36.5 2011-2012 Season Wins
With a revamped roster and riding a wave of momentum from last year’s strong second half, expectations are high in Indianapolis. A strong late push got the Pacers into the playoffs where they gave the Bulls all they wanted before falling in five games. This year, the Pacers are a whole lot more than the Danny Granger show and could make some noise in the Eastern Conference.
Of course you can’t talk about the Indiana Pacers without starting with Danny Granger, the 6’8″ shooting forward out of New Mexico now in his seventh year. Granger averaged 20.5 ppg and 5.4 rpg, his lowest production since 2007. Team president Larry Bird went as far to question Granger’s commitment which could light a fire under his arse this year. Dahntay Jones will get most of the backup minutes in the three spot.
The Pacers had a lot of of money to spend this year so they went out and got All-Star power forward Davis West from New Orleans. West was a career 16.4/7.3 guy in eight years with the Hornets. He had knee surgery on April 12th so the lockout was actually beneficial to his rehab. West won’t be pressed for big minutes right away as Tyler Hansbrough has emerged as a quality backup. Psycho T averaged 11.0 ppg and 5.2 rpg in 21 minutes per game last year. This could be a breakout year for Hansbrough who was hurt for most of his rookie season. Ex-Phoenix/Golden State Lou Amundson joins Indiana’s stacked front court and is a solid energy guy on defense and on the glass.
Ex-Georgetown Hoya Roy Hibbert rode the pine for his first three years. Now he’s the man on the paint for the Pacers. Hibbert has added 15 pounds of muscle to his already solid 7’2″ frame and he spent the summer with Tim Duncan working on his game. Hibbert’s 12.7/77 numbers should improve with more minutes. He’ll have to avoid fouls to stay on the floor. Old faithful, Jeff Foster, has been brought back in a backup capacity.
Second year man George Paul out or Fresno State gets the nod at shooting guard. At 6’8″, he presents matchup problems for most twos and has a ton of upside. Sniper George Hill has been brought in fom San Antonio as the backup and should see about half the minutes, especially if he gets on one of his shooting runs from the outside. He’s a money player who will be on the floor when the game is on the lane.
Darren Collison will run the show from the point. There was a question whether Collison could win the job this year but he’s evidently turned back the challenge of AJ Price. Collison was a 13.8/5.2 apg guy last year and those numbers should improve with David West as a second legit scorer. Price will play and get his minutes. Georg Hill can move over from the two in a pich if need be.
The Pacers have one of the strongest front courts in the league. They score, rebound, and play defense and are very very deep. Indiana has concerns in the backcourt with youth, inexperience, and new faces that will need to work their way into the system. The Pacers are clearly a second rung playoff team in the East but with solid play and some luck, could make a run at the four hole on the East garnering home court in that all important 4-5 first round. Indiana may not be ready to threaten the Heat, Bulls, or Knicks but they very well moght be the best of the rest. Play Over 36.5 wins.