Playoff Postmortem: Indiana Pacers

image by Chris Creamer of

These Pacers can tangle with the best
(image by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
The Indiana Pacers were good for a few scares, but did anybody seriously think they could beat the Chicago Bulls and MVP-to-be Derrick Rose?


Indiana coach Frank Vogel did. Seriously. No, SERIOUSLY.

"We feel like if we win tonight, we'll win this series," Vogel told reporters hours before Game 5. Now that’s confidence.

Darren Collison runs the show
(image by Ron Hoskins/Getty Images)
Too bad they lost.

But should we take pity on this Indiana team? Hell no. Not after going through a mid-season coaching change. Not after almost getting OJ Mayo, who, by the way, is wreaking havoc against the Spurs. Not after having to scramble to make the playoffs. Not after giving the Bulls all they could handle in what many expected to be a pedestrian first round match-up.

More smiles could lie ahead
(image by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Four five games these Pacers reminded us that taking any team for granted in the NBA is a big mistake. Good thing the Bulls had D-Rose and Luol Deng, else they would’ve paid dearly.

Don’t cry a river for the Hoosier state because though they don’t have any combo that could resemble the All-Star connections present in Miami, Boston or New York, they have a youthful unit that has more than enough spunk and swagger to bob and weave with any of the other 29 teams. They reached the playoffs for the first time since 2006, which can only help them get better.

Indiana will go as far as Granger will take them
(image by Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images)
There is no doubt that Danny Granger is this team’s leader, but we’ve seen many times these past months how other Pacers can wear that mantle when needed. Roy Hibbert continues to improve (upped his points, rebounds and blocks per game). Darren Collison proved to be a good replacement for the oft-injured TJ Ford. Mike Dunleavy is still a matchup nightmare, and, of course, Tyler Hansbrough has become a revelation post-Jim O’Brien. The Pacers finished the season 13th in points per game, 6th in blocks, and 5th in rebounds per game, which are all promising.

If Frank Vogel continues to instill confidence in this team, and if someone rises to be a heavy scorer to complement Granger (Hansbrough it’s your time!), then they could make a significant push next season.

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