- 03/28/2012, 04:37PM ET
KA1Z3R said 03/28, 04:37 PM
As it stands, the Indiana Pacers will play the Philadelphia 76ers in the East in the opening round, though they could also see any of the Celtics, Hawks, or Knicks. Of course things can change up majorly, but for all intents and purposes we'll say that the Pacers won't play the Magic, Heat, or Bulls, and go under that pretense.
Going off that, I believe the Pacers will win at least their opening round matchup. None of the teams amongst their probable opponents inspire much confidence in any regard.
76ers- After great start, have really cooled off. Lack a solid post presence, rely way too much on jump shooting.
Knicks- Don't know how long Amare will be out, but chances he's 100% aren't looking good, and he's not an inspiring post presence to battle the Pacer bigs. Plus, Carmelo
Celtics- Thin in the frontcourt, though they are the most dangerous
Hawks- Without Horford, they lack a dominant big. Josh Smith is a very up-or-down kind of player as is Joe Johnson. Definition of a Jekyl-Hyde team.
To battle the Pacers, you have to have at least two good bigs and overall good depth and consistency. The low-end of the East sorely lacks these.
DJRoxalot said 03/28, 05:08 PM
The Pacers started a very impressive 16-6 to open the season, but have since gone 13-13. They have cooled off almost as much as the Sixers who have had injuries to deal with. The Pacers have just struggled period.
I think the Pacers might be a year away from advancing past the 1st round.
The Pacers have a relatively easy schedule to close out the regular season, but they remind me a lot of last years Denver Nuggets. Good team with some depth, but no superstar to step up when they need a big performance.
Danny Granger is the closest thing to a superstar they have and he has struggled with his shooting touch this season, 39.9%.
Hibbert is a solid young center who has shown he can play, but he is still very inconsistent. He is averaging just 13ppg.
David West is averaging a career low 11.9ppg and 6.8rpg.
Both teams are deep and that is why I think this would be an excellent series, but I think the Sixers would take advantage of homecourt and win in 6 games.
KA1Z3R said 03/28, 07:07 PM
In the words of Lee Corso, NOT SO FAST!
You just picked the Sixers to beat the Pacers when you yourself stated that the Pacers have "cooled off almost as much as the Sixers". ALMOST. You don't even think they've cooled as much.
Also, you mention a Sixers home court advantage. Gotta stop you right there. The Pacers, as you also mentioned, have an easy schedule to close the year. The Sixers do too, but 9 of 11 are on the road. Currently, the Pacers hold the 4th seed and the Sixers hold 5th. The chances the Pacers hold fourth are more favorable than the Sixers holding 5th, so home court is actually with Indiana.
AND ALSO! Who do the Sixers have to contend with Roy Hibbert, Tyler Hansborough, and David West? Spencer Hawes and Elton Brand? Brand is too small to deal with Hibbert, too unathletic to deal with Hansborough, and too slow to close out on West. Hawes however is a decent big, but he can't hold off the three-headed monster of Indiana's froncourt. Even without Jeff Foster.
For that matter, can either of those two keep up with the point output of the Pacers bigs? Not even close, Brand is more timid than a kitten right now.
Plenty more later.
DJRoxalot said 03/28, 07:50 PM
Both teams aren't guaranteed of facing each other with their schedules yet to be played, young grasshopper. SO AS OF RIGHT NOW? Philly has homecourt.
Phildelphia is the 4th seed right now because they are leading the Atlantic.
Indiana has the better record, but is 2nd place in the Central. They are the 5th seed right now. Philly would have homecourt in the 1st round.
Elton Brand is more timid than a kitten? What? He is playing just 28mpg, but he can still play.
He is averaging 1.6bpg and 1.1 spg. His defense is still very good and he is playing better than David West is. West is still trying to fit in on the Pacers and he is struggling big time. He is shooting just 46.6% on his FG's and his rpg are at a career low.
Hawes is a good defender and Hibbert isn't exactly an All Star. He is averaging 13ppg and making 50% of his FG's. For a player that plays so close to the basket with a limited offensive game, 50% isn't that good.
Iggy is an excellent defender and is more than capable of neutralizing Granger's offense.
KA1Z3R said 03/29, 01:00 PM
NBA.com had Pacers fourth, my bad lol
Brand is too slow and unathletic to defend Hansborough or West, and his timidity and inconsistency on offense are no threat to either.
Hibbert meanwhile is a tough with his 7'2" frame and athleticism. Plus, Hibbert is more of a defensive player, and a very good one at that. To me, neither Sixer big can outscore the Pacer bigs, nor can they really contain them.
My other big issue is how much of a jump shooting team the Sixers are. They have no post presence and no consistent slashers. Rarely do jump shooting teams fare well. All the Pacers have to do is utilize the defense of Paul George and George Hill (top-5 for a PG), and that should be enough to limit the Philly offense (or lack thereof).
The Sixers to me won't be able to keep pace with the Pacer bigs, nor backcourt players like Paul George (40% from 3), Hill (40%), Barbosa (38% since joining Pacers), or Collison (40%).
The Sixers play some great defense (#1 in efficiency), but so too do the Pacers (#9). The Sixers offense is easily limited to me while the Pacers have a balanced, well-rounded attack.
DJRoxalot said 03/29, 02:18 PM
NBA.com had Philly 4th. I checked them as well.
"Brand is too slow and unathletic to defend Hansborough or West"
Brand did a good job defensively against Chris Bosh on March 16th. Bosh was 4 of 12 for 10 points and just 6 rebounds. Brand had 3 blocks and 2 steals.
Bosh is a lot better PF than West is.
Brand isn't the offensive player he once was, but he can still score when needed to. Plus, Philly has a solid 9 man rotation. They have a much better overall team imo.
Lou Williams and Thad Young are 2 excellent players who are having excellent seasons. Williams leads the Sixers in scoring with 15.5ppg and he also averages 3.6apg. He is having a career best season.
Young is averaging 12.8ppg and shooting just under 50% (49.9%).
The Sixers are shooting 44.9% and 37% on 3-pointers while the Pacers are making just 43.6% and also covert 37% on 3's.
Offensively, the teams are about the same, Indy averages 96.2ppg and Philly averages 94ppg. But, on defense it's a different story. The 76ers allow 87.6ppg and the Pacers allow 93.3ppg.
Philly also has a +6.4 point differential while Indy has a slight +2.9 point differential.
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