Michael Hickey-USA TODAY Sports
When you look at the best teams in the Eastern Conference, it is easy to find flaws.
The Brooklyn Nets do not have a true backup at the point guard and center position. The New York Knicks rely too heavily on three-point shooting. The Bulls are light one superstar, and the Heat do not have enough size. For the Pacers, their weakness is scoring.
Unlike their fellow contenders, they have discovered a way to mask their flaw by using their superior size advantage to slow down the pace of a game.
There is not a team in the NBA that has a 7'2" All-Star center in Roy Hibbert anchoring its defense, except for the Pacers. Add to the mix David West, a former All-Star power forward that is finally healthy after tearing his Achilles two seasons ago and backup big men in Tyler Hansbrough and Ian Mahinmi.
Each player is physical in the post on both ends of the floor; they give the Pacers an advantage nearly every game. They all bring something different to the table.
Hibbert is the defender, West does the scoring, Hansbrough brings energy and Mahinmi adds athleticism. No other NBA team boasts that kind of versatility in its frontcourt. All they are missing is one more backup at center just in case any of their frontcourt players land in foul trouble.
Without adding another backup at center, the Pacers are still a dangerous team, worthy of the distinction as a title contender. They are one of five teams that currently have a legitimate chance at coming out of the Eastern Conference. Their chances improve with every win.