How likely are the Indiana Pacer’s championship hopes to occur?

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Answered by: Sean, An Expert in the NBA Basketball Category
This year the Indiana Pacer’s championship hopes are certainly not considered out of the picture. They have forced us to consider them upon the elite teams in the NBA with a record of 50 wins and 17 losses, good enough for first in the East and second overall. Their success can largely be contributed to three main factors. It comes down to Paul George’s unprecedented play, the Pacers tenacious defense, and their ability to dominate the glass.

Paul George was not content with last year’s loss in the playoffs and has improved his game significantly. This year he has marked career highs in his scoring, shooting percentage, and free throw shooting. With is performance this year, he is a MVP candidate and has deservingly heard late game MVP chants from the crowd. However, his offence was not the only thing he improved on. He has also significantly increased his defensive ability and has showcased it guarding some of the league’s best scorers including LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Carmelo Anthony. Paul George has shown that he is the complete package by guarding point guards through centers. This defensive effort has also rubbed off on his team.

The Indiana Pacer’s know that to win a championship they must play outstanding defense. While many NBA teams fall into the trap of focusing solely on offense, the Pacer’s strong emphasis on the defensive end has paid dividends for them. Throughout the 2014 NBA season, they have only allowed an average of 92 points per game and a 41.6 opponent shooting percentage from the field. While players such as Paul George excel in perimeter defense, much of Indiana’s defensive success should be credited to their front court.

In the event an opposing player manages to break through the Pacer’s perimeter defense, seven foot center Roy Hibbert is at the rim. This Year, Hibbert is third place in blocks at 2.42 per game. And while not every shot is blocked by the talented center, almost all shots are affected. Also added to the dominate Pacer front court is newly acquired center, Andrew Bynum. At seven foot two, Andrew Bynum is considered one of the premiere centers in the league when he is healthy and will only help the Indiana Pacer’s championship hopes come true.

The final, yet most important factor for the Indiana Pacers to win a championship is their rebounding. This will be particularly important if they see the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference finals. Miami is a talented team, but very small. It was proven by the Dallas Mavericks in 2011, that if a team can dominate Miami on the boards, Miami will lose. This match up favors the Pacers because they are big and good at rebounding. In fact, the Pacers are second best in the league only to Portland in rebounding.

However, the question remains. Are the pacers good enough to beat LeBron James and the Miami Heat? I believe that the Pacers have what it takes to beat the Heat. It will come down to Paul Georges play, their defense, and their rebounding. If they do these three things no team is better fit to win a NBA championship, but as of right now, all we can do is wait and see who will take home the trophy.

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