Pacers’ changes bring new era

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The Indiana Pacers are coming off of an average season. They had lots of injuries, and never reached their full potential. This year things will change. The Pacers dropped some players to clear up their roster and added players that will contribute to the team’s play. With all the new improvements, I believe the Pacers are on their way to the team’s first NBA Championship.

Pacers used their first draft pick on Myles Turner, a young power forward/center. Turner is only 19 years old, but he still has a solid game. Some say that his age and lack of experience will hurt him in the big league, but his stats prove he is worthy.

Turner, who played his freshman year at Texas University, averaged a very impressive 10.1 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. He also averaged 2.6 blocks and was one of the best rim protectors in college basketball.

Turner played for the Pacers in the 2015 Summer League in Orlando and opened many people’s eyes. Turner showed post play, midrange ability, and an impressive outside shooting ability. He averaged 18.7 points, eight rebounds and 4.3 blocks per game.

The Pacers also picked Joe Young and I believe he was the biggest steal in the draft.  He started his college career as a point guard at the University of Houston and then transferred to the University of Oregon. Young also averaged 19.8 points a game in his senior year at Oregon.

Like Turner, Young impressed many in the Summer League. He averaged 22.5 points, and 3.3 assists a game.

Other off-season pickups included Monta Ellis, Jordan Hill, Chase Budinger, Rakeem Christmas and Glenn Robinson III. Ellis provides versatility and outside shooting. Hill is a big man who’s play is very physical. Budinger will never be afraid to put up a good dunk. Christmas will provide some post work and Robinson will provide gritty play.

Coming back from an injury can be hard for a player, but Paul George will be ready to start the new season strong. When George played the last six games of the 2014-2015 season, he had lost some speed, but he was still pretty impressive. He came back after almost a year of being off the court and had 13 points in his first game. To me, this shows the injury will not derail his play during this season. In fact, I feel he will come out determined and better than ever.

Another aspect that will help the Pacers is the decision to have faster play. Getting rid of Roy Hibbert and David West will only help get the team’s offense running quicker. Many times in the previous seasons, the Pacers had scored or lost the ball before Hibbert or West had even gotten down the floor. By having this smaller play, the team can wear out the opponent. The only downfall is they will have to play George at the power forward. Yes, he would have a speed advantage, but on defense, the physical play of some power forwards may be too much for George.

When Oct. 28 comes, the Pacers will be ready to prove that they will go down as NBA Champions. With George’s health and leadership back, we will see a whole different basketball team. I really think that the Pacers’ new pickups over the offseason will help boost the overall performance of the team. The new rookies will be ready to show that they are ready to play and impress in the big league. The world will see why this is the team to watch out for.