Are the Indiana Pacers Better off Without a Star Player?
Most people say you need two or three star players to win a Championship in the NBA today. While I can't disagree with that, I do question if the Indiana Pacers might be a better team without a superstar.
It's highly unlikely that an elite player would ever consider signing with the Pacers, and they know that.
What they have done with this team, though, is made it to where they might not need one to have success. Do the Pacers even have one player that stands out as the best on the team? In my opinion, no. Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily.
Consider this: When LeBron James was in Cleveland, who was going to have the ball in crunch time? When Kobe was alone in Los Angeles, who was taking the final shot? Same for Carmelo in his days in Denver.
Now look at Indiana's situation from an opposing team's perspective.
Indiana has the ball in a tie game with 10 seconds left. What are you telling your team during the timeout? Who is going to make the play for Indiana, and more importantly, how are you going to plan to stop them?
Could it be George Hill, Paul George, Danny Granger, David West or Roy Hibbert? The answer, is yes.
You have to game-plan for each of these guys. Don't believe that? Last year, each one of these guys made a potential game-winning shot in a game with less than 60 seconds remaining. When you look at it from a defensive standpoint as the other team, it's scary.
At least when a team has one star player, you know where the ball is going and how to prepare for it. It's easy to avoid being hit by a dodge ball when you know who is throwing it. When you don't know where it's coming from, it will be much harder to stop.
The chemistry this team already has is something special. If it wasn't obvious by its play on the court together last season, the organization proved it this summer when it sent basically all of its money to retain two key players.
Bringing in a star player could possibly make the Pacers a better team, or it could mess up the chemistry altogether. The simple truth is we know LeBron, Chris Paul or Dwight Howard will never wear an Indiana jersey.
If we can continue building on last year's success, hopefully it will be that much sweeter if we can win without them.
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