Indiana Pacers: Bold Predictions for Each of Indiana's Big Three in 2011

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Indiana Pacers: Bold Predictions for Each of Indiana's Big Three in 2011
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

It’s looking more and more as though the Indiana Pacers are going to be serious contenders in the Eastern Conference in 2011. 

Last Thursday the Pacers traded the rights to Kawhi Leonard, the team’s first-round pick in the 2011 NBA draft, to the San Antonio Spurs for George Hill. 

It’s obvious that as far as Larry Bird is concerned, the time is now. 

"I think we're back on the right track of getting quality people in here and people who want to win and get better," Bird said during a press conference to introduce new Pacer George Hill. "We said three years ago we'll get as many core players here as we possibly can, guys that want to be here. We'll continue to build this. Once we get some financial relief, we'll have an opportunity to hand pick some players we want to finish it off with." 

With regard to George Hill, Larry Bird said: "He's improved every year. He played with an experienced team with a lot of established players, and now he's on a younger team where we'll get to see him do more with the ball. It will be interesting to see how far he can take us." 

Whether it be via the draft, by trade, or through free agency Larry Bird has taken a strong initiative in building a nucleus of scrappy young ball players.

The Roy Hibbert-Darren Collison-George Hill combination could even rival the Miller-Mullin-Jackson-Davis combination of the mid-late 90s. 

For the first time in years, Indiana looks to have a legitimate "Big Three."

Here is a bold look at what Indiana’s Big Three will do in 2011.

I'm assuming that the team's best player Danny Granger is dealt, and Paul George continues to struggle from the field.

Season permitting, of course.

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