3 Indiana Pacers Most Responsible for the Team's Offensive Struggles
The Indiana Pacers started off the season with a 3-6 record, not even close to the top four Eastern Conference seed that many expected of them. While they have straightened the ship and moved to a 10-9 record, problems have continued to linger on the offensive end.
Somehow, the Pacers have managed to field the best defensive team in the NBA, holding opponents to 91.1 points per game on 40.6 percent shooting from the field. Meanwhile, Indiana has also scored the fewest points per game, 90.3, leading to their poor start.
This poor offense can partly be contributed to the loss of Danny Granger, but this team still has too much talent to be struggling so much.
The blame for this poor start can be spread among the whole team, except for David West, but who are the most to blame for the offensive woes?
Keep reading to find out.
All statistics are up to date as of 12/4/12
3. Gerald Green
Harry How/Getty Images
Coming into the season, Gerald Green was looked at as a passable sixth man who could come into the game and keep the Pacers offense running.
Unfortunately, Green has struggled to find his shot or make much of an impact on the offensive end. So far this season, he is averaging 7.4 points on 37.7 percent shooting, including 35.8 percent from beyond the arc.
These numbers are serviceable as a backup, but are a serious dropoff from last season when he averaged 12.9 points while shooting 48.1 percent and 39.1 percent from three-point range.
Gerald Green isn't the type of player that the offense should have to rely on, nor has he been that for Indiana. Still, the hope was that he could come in and score some points to keep the offense on a roll. Now, with the absence of Danny Granger, the Pacers need this more than ever and Green simply has not been able to come through for them.
While Green is not the most important piece of the Pacers roster, a better offensive performance this season could do wonders for Indiana.
2. Roy Hibbert
Roy Hibbert now afraid of the ball
Harry How/Getty Images
Like Gerald Green, Roy Hibbert has struggled immensely on the offensive end this season. Unlike Green, however, Hibbert is one of the most important pieces of the Pacers roster.
So far, the 7'2" big man is averaging a mere 9.7 points on 39.4 percent shooting. That is down from 12.7 points on 49.7 percent shooting last season. To add to that, Hibbert has seen his free-throw shots go down from 3.7 per game last season to 2.2 this season, while also watching his free-throw shooting percentage drop from 71.1 percent to 57.5 percent.
Last season, Hibbert was not relied on to score too many points for the Pacers, and his average of 12.7 points per game wasn't very high.
Still, it was hard not to notice the development in the Pacers big man's post game, which would have given Indiana a huge advantage over many of the teams in the league who employ small-ball lineups.
The struggles of Roy Hibbert on the offensive end have made things exceedingly difficult for Indiana with the absence of Danny Granger. If he played even as efficiently as last season, who knows how much better this team may be.
1. Paul George
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
The decision as to whether Paul George or Roy Hibbert have ruined this offense more was difficult, but the award has to go to the the 6'8" swingman simply due to how inconsistent he has been.
George has put up a few great games this season, like his 37-point game against New Orleans in which he shot 61.9 percent from the field and 69.2 percent from beyond the arc.
For every game like that, however, there have been several stinkers. Just three games ago, Paul went 0-of-7 from the field and shot no free throws, giving him a big fat zero in the points column.
In fact, in Pacers wins, George has played pretty well. He has scored 17.1 points per game while shooting 46.9 percent from the field and 39.1 percent from beyond the arc. In losses, those numbers drop to 12.1 points at 32.8 percent from the floor.
If that doesn't indicate the huge impact that Paul George has on the offense, and the team as a whole, I'm not sure what does.
Most of all, Paul George should be held responsible because he had the highest expectations coming into the season. When Danny Granger went out, every fan held a little bit of hope and excitement because it meant seeing exactly what George had to offer.
So far, the spotlight has not been great to Paul George. Hopefully he will be able to turn it around soon for the Indiana Pacers.