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The Indiana Pacers finished last season with a 32-50 record, putting head coach Jim O’Brien on the hot seat. The Pacers have gone four years without a playoff appearance, which have definitely played a role in the bad attendance over the last few years.
Indiana has one issue that could change the fate of the team's performance next year and that is the PG position. Right now the Pacers have four candidates: Darren Collison, T.J. Ford, Lance Stephenson, and A.J. Price.
Out of those four, only one has more than one year of experience as a pro (T.J. Ford) and one is a rookie (Stephenson).
While T.J. Ford would help bring some experience as the starting PG, Ford stats have been decreasing since ’07, so he might be better coming of the bench.
A.J. Price was a decent back-up but he is not a starter, and after a knee injury this past May his chances don’t look well at all.
Lance Stephenson, nicknamed Born Ready, is a very athletic guy, but he is known more for his shooting abilities than his passing. He could play two-guard, sharing time with Brandon Rush (who was suspended five games by the NBA) as Mike Dunleavy's back-up.
Darren Collison looks like the best bet here. He is a promising young point guard out of UCLA who played as a back-up for Chris Paul and was names All-NBA Rookie First Team in New Orleans before being traded on August 11. Collison has the speed to make fast-breaks happen and being tutored by CP3 will help him with his passing skills, plus he has a very good shooting range.
If Collison comes in as the starter with Ford as his back-up and A.J. Price playing as the third string, the Indiana Pacers could have a very solid back-court.
Fast Break Points:
- The Indiana Pacers main problem might be off the court as Brandon Rush was suspended (five games) by the NBA for violating the league’s drug agreement and Lance Stephenson was arrested in New York with assault, menacing and harassment charges.