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How come Indy gets no love as a Dark Horse?

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Post#1 How come Indy gets no love as a Dark Horse?
Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:35 am by daschysta

In the last 31 games Indy has gone 22-9, and over the last 20 games 15-5,which is tied with OKC, SAS and LAC for the best record in the NBA over that period, which is essentially half of the season thus far, with victories over Miami, New York, Memphis twice, the Jazz, Bucks, Rockets, Blazers and Chicago.

They are among the elite in the NBA at home, with a 16-3 record, including 11 straight, and their February schedule is all home games except for two. They lead the NBA in FG%, Defensive Rating, Rebounding and are top 5 in 3 point defense and top 3 in blocked shots. Their FG% defense and Defensive Rating each Rank in the top 5 out of all seasons in the NBA since 2005.


Also, for guys that like to go on and on about how the East is weak, Indiana is 12-6 vs. the Western Conference including wins over Memphis twice, the Jazz, Rockets and Trailblazers. This follows a 15-6 record last season over the West. Indiana for some reason happens to match up against Western Conference teams very well, and would do well if they were in that conference instead of the East.

Scoring is their problem, but Danny Granger's return suggests the possibility of a turn around on that end. Indiana was a top 10 offensive team last season with almost exactly the same team sans Granger was healthy and David West and Paul George weren't nearly what they've been so far this season. On/Off stats for Granger tell the story. Last season with Danny Granger on the floor Indiana was 8.1 points per 100 possessions better offensively and 3.6 points better defensively compared to when he was out. He's incredibly impactful, being the Pacers most dynamic scorer he opens up the offense for everyone else on the team. His offensive impact was big even compared to some elite scorers, James's team was +12.1 better with him on the floor, Anthony's was +2.1 better, Durant's was +3.3, Pierce was +7.8. I'm not saying Granger is as good as any of those guys, but for this particular team, which lacks a volume scorer without him on the floor, he is one of the most important players in the NBA. If Granger can lift that offense to even below average to pair with their elite defense and rebounding Indy should be in the conversation among teams with an outside shot at coming out of their conference and competing for a title, especially if people are talking about teams like Memphis or New York and the ilk that way. How many other teams with a record nearly as good as 26-16 sans Chicago can say they will be adding a 19-20 ppg to their already very good squad?
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Post#2 Re: How come Indy gets no love as a Dark Hors
Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:36 am by TwentyOne920

Their SRS hasn't been as great as the top 3 teams and they have a very easy schedule.

That said, I actually want them to make a deep playoff run a la Detroit.
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Post#3 Re: How come Indy gets no love as a Dark Hors
Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:59 am by sprint2thecup

by definition, dark horses shouldn't get that much love. i can't speak for others, but after their series with miami last playoff season i've always considered indiana an outside contender. they probably don't have what it takes to win the conference though.

the pacers are real good, but i think memphis is more likely to engineer a deep playoff run.
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Post#4 Re: How come Indy gets no love as a Dark Hors
Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:12 am by GrantHill

They simple don't have enough fire power on offense. They need Granger at his best if they want to make a run, now chance they will beat New York or Miami, you can't stop those offenses for 7 games.
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Post#5 Re: How come Indy gets no love as a Dark Hors
Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:28 am by branny

TwentyOne920 wrote:Their SRS hasn't been as great as the top 3 teams and they have a very easy schedule.

That said, I actually want them to make a deep playoff run a la Detroit.


Yep as 21 basically said, their SOS has been ranked last in the league..
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Post#6 Re: How come Indy gets no love as a Dark Hors
Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:29 am by Nuntius

TwentyOne920 wrote:Their SRS hasn't been as great as the top 3 teams and they have a very easy schedule.


They have had a road heavy schedule so far and thus their schedule is only going to be easier :wink:
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Post#7 Re: How come Indy gets no love as a Dark Hors
Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:30 am by branny

Before anyone says, I also realise that Granger has been out for the season. I think they are capable of making a deep run this season..
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Post#8 Re: How come Indy gets no love as a Dark Hors
Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:45 am by GrandTheftRondo

Because their offense is atrocious.
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Post#9 Re: How come Indy gets no love as a Dark Hors
Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:50 am by panthermark

Because while on his way, Paul George isn't quite "there" yet. Once he becomes that legit "go to" scorer....they will get plenty of love.
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Post#10 Re: How come Indy gets no love as a Dark Hors
Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:24 am by molepharmer

sprint2thecup wrote:by definition, dark horses shouldn't get that much love. ..
This.

But if you rephrase and ask why they don't much luv as a contender, several reasons possible. They're not in the basketball mecca, don't have an ESPN highlight scorer and as others have pointed out, their SOS. 'Course none of those reasons really have anything to do with their play on the court, which is very, very good right now.
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Post#11 Re: How come Indy gets no love as a Dark Hors
Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:36 am by Money23

they need an upgrade at the PG position for them to be truly be great
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Post#12 Re: How come Indy gets no love as a Dark Hors
Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:36 am by MVP Rose

IMO, there's a better chance that they lose the division than win it. With Rose's impending return, I don't see Chicago losing the central. And I also don't see many teams slated to lose their division getting much hype. If Indy had a commanding lead, like 4-5 games, over other teams in their division I could see them getting more "dark horse" recognition

I posted this a couple days ago but I also think when Granger comes back, Indy will take major steps backward defensively. Will his offense be enough to offset that and make them a better team overall? It probably will, but we'll just have to see
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Post#13 Re: How come Indy gets no love as a Dark Hors
Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:41 am by Kobe Bean

They'd probably be contenders if Granger was fully healthy and Hibbert had taken steps forward as opposed to forgetting what to do with a basketball in his hands

As of now, I don't see them getting past healthy Bulls or the playoff version of Miami.
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Post#14 Re: How come Indy gets no love as a Dark Hors
Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:43 am by Village Idiot

With Granger and Rose healthy the Pacers are in the second tier of the east along with the Bulls but well above the Knicks will wilt in a playoff series.

Hibbert is the most underrated player in the league. There is little question though that they're good enough to challenge Miami in a fairly officiated series. So in summary they have zero chance of getting past Miami
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Post#15 Re: How come Indy gets no love as a Dark Hors
Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:59 am by GoNYK1288

They were expected to be a top 4 team in the East at the beginning of the season.
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Post#16 Re: How come Indy gets no love as a Dark Hors
Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:10 am by Debaser

Their FG% defense and Defensive Rating each Rank in the top 5 out of all seasons in the NBA since 2005.


^That is why I think they have a solid chance of giving Miami all they can handle. Their defense is elite and that is still what championship teams needs (sorry Lakers). Stephenson has been good but if Granger can come back healthy, that's a huge upgrade. If they can get Granger back playing at 100% and Hibbert can start making shots (he's starting to this month) than I will not be shocked if they come out of the East.
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Post#17 Re: How come Indy gets no love as a Dark Hors
Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:11 am by Froob

GrantHill wrote:They simple don't have enough fire power on offense. They need Granger at his best if they want to make a run, now chance they will beat New York or Miami, you can't stop those offenses for 7 games.

lol nice sig. Well done.
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Post#18 Re: How come Indy gets no love as a Dark Hors
Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:12 am by Nuntius

GoNYK1288 wrote:They were expected to be a top 4 team in the East at the beginning of the season.


But Granger was not expected to be out :wink:
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Post#19 Re: How come Indy gets no love as a Dark Hors
Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:17 am by Nuntius

Money23 wrote:they need an upgrade at the PG position for them to be truly be great


Indiana needs a PG that can run the PnP, not turn the ball over, defend and score. And that's what they have in George Hill. Any PG that comes in Indy is not going to average a high number of assists because the team runs most of its offense through the post.
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Post#20 Re: How come Indy gets no love as a Dark Hors
Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:19 am by pacers33granger

MVP Rose wrote:IMO, there's a better chance that they lose the division than win it. With Rose's impending return, I don't see Chicago losing the central. And I also don't see many teams slated to lose their division getting much hype. If Indy had a commanding lead, like 4-5 games, over other teams in their division I could see them getting more "dark horse" recognition

I posted this a couple days ago but I also think when Granger comes back, Indy will take major steps backward defensively. Will his offense be enough to offset that and make them a better team overall? It probably will, but we'll just have to see


Not that I totally disagree with you on this because you have some valid points, but Granger has been historically at worst an average defender and usually a plus defender. Will he still when he comes back? No one knows. However, as well as he has played this year, Lance Stephenson and Gerald Green have taken most of Granger's minutes so far. 2 players who are known for offense (mostly being inconsistent with it) and historically have been atrocious on D.

Chicago has some of the same issues with Rose coming back though and all signs point to Granger coming back early (and likely stronger due to the nature of the injury). I'd never count Rose out, but I think it will take him some time to get re-acclimated.
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