|2010-11 Team Rating|
|27th Overall||9th Overall|
Stats through Jan. 15
Roy Hibbert hitched up expectations over the summer, but any thought of Most Improved or All-Star status has fizzled over the past six weeks. Danny Granger has his dial cranked to 11 when it comes to volume shooting.
Darren Collison, in his natural state, is at odds with how Jim O'Brien wants the Pacers to play, but they wanted him, they got him and they have to thrive with him.
The Pacers' tendency to play hard shows up most at the defensive end (who wouldn't play hard with boss Larry Bird watching?). After a rocky start Indiana has held foes to 43.2 percent shooting in its past 36 games.
A changing crew, given O'Brien's 10 different starting lineup. The Pacers' bench is both old and young. Rarely outplays opposing reserves.
O'Brien isn't a touchy-feely, modern kind of head coach. He doesn't hide his displeasure well and he expects players to conform. All admirable traits ... that require more success than we've seen here in four seasons.
When this season began, most people looked at the Pacers' roster and figured they were set at three positions: Center (Hibbert), small forward (Granger) and point guard (Collison). But at various points each has stalled, regressed or been held back, reminders that Indiana is not yet ready.
Grasping and executing O'Brien's preferred offense of ball movement with cutters has been frustrating for this crew. When that stuff doesn't come instinctively, the Indiana attack bogs down and can be hard to watch. The Pacers have avoided long losing streaks -- long winning streaks as well -- and seem on track only to muddle into some East-enabled first-round pain.
-- Steve Aschburner
Explanation of Marking System