The Pacers Are Coming
*Photo via USA Today
Before the year started, I called very much of all that has happened so far this Pacer season, and what the Pacers needed to do in Paul George’s absence. However injuries have plagued this year’s Pacer team, not just Paul George, key players such as David West, George Hill, and Rodney Stuckey. They have all missed a fair share of games. This team has looked flat and just has not performed at a decent level, until the news broke about Paul George. Who is eyeing a return for March, this helped the team find life again. Just so happens as well the key injuries for the Pacers have subsided and the team is finally all healthy, and finding the chemistry needed for a Paul George return and a heated playoff push.
The Pacers have won 7 out of their last 10, which included a 6-game win streak. On this hot streak they’ve beaten several tough teams, such as the Cavs, Warriors and Pelicans. The defense we so normally associate with the Pacers has been seen as well. They kept the Spurs, Cavs, Warriors and Pelicans all under 100 points scoring, which is hard to do. With the team having a stretch of home games coming up, taking basically all of them will set them up for a dream like return for Paul George to make this playoff run. Keep in mind; the Pacers are merely two games out of the 8th seed and 3 out of the 7th. While playing the Hawks or Raptors in the first round most likely wouldn’t be preferred, but this team will be at full strength again, let’s not forget where they have been the last 3 seasons.
The most important part of completing this playoff push will be whether or not George Hill and Rodney Stuckey stay healthy and perform how they have been. Even though I’m not a George Hill fan, he has been the spark plug to this team. In his 18 games since coming back he’s averaged 13.5 PPG, while averaging 3.9 AST with 3.2 RPG, and has been shooting relatively well all over the field. His play must continue even when Paul George comes back, unlike past seasons he CAN NOT take a backseat in the offense. So Pacer fans stay up, your season is far from over!
-By Kory Waldron