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Going in a new direction, a string of victories for the Pacers

The Pacers may finally be far enough removed from the off court issues and poor performance on the court that has caused the erosion in attendance numbers over the last few years. The most controversial stars the Pacers employed in the recent past, such as Ron Artest and Stephen Jackson, are gone. Fresh faces from the past two off seasons are getting on the court and have contributed admirably in the beginning of this tough 2009-2010 campaign. In addition, the Pacers injured reserve is no longer filled with high draft picks and huge contracts, with Jonathan Bender gone and Austin Croshere’s contract finally played out. Those factors and the continuing rise of young superstar Danny Granger may be the biggest keys in trying to get more local fans to visit Conseco on a regular basis.

For most local Pacers fans, the brawl at the Palace at Auburn Hills signaled the beginning of the end for the talented but troubled triumvirate of Ron Artest, Jermaine O’Neal, and Stephen Jackson. Jamaal Tinsley could never overcome injuries long enough to be a consistent number one point guard, so he was replaced with a group of fast, young floor generals that includes T.J. Ford. Jim O’Brien came in with the intention of running a good fast break, shooting the three point shot, and getting Danny Granger plenty of looks. Some of the new guys that returning fans may not recognize include A.J. Price at guard, Dahntay Jones at guard, and Brandon Rush at guard/forward. Many people may be surprised to see the impressive lineup of recent college superstars the Pacers will use this year. Tyler Hansbrough and Josh McRoberts were dominating players and rivals at UNC and Duke, respectively. Roy Hibbert returns for his sophomore season with the Pacers, and college fans will remember his run to the final four with Georgetown just a few years ago.

Danny Granger continues to be exciting. He may be the main reason many fans may be flocking to home games soon. Despite an 0 and 3 start for the now Central Division contending Pacers, a string of victories including tonights win against the downtrodden Nets has captivated the most faithful of Pacers fans. No doubt, if the winning continues, the Pacers may emerge from the rebuilding status they were forced to go to much quicker than expected. Tyler Hansbrough has been in double figures off the bench, and Dahntay Jones has proven himself effective handling the ball and scoring. Roy Hibbert completes the trifecta of a surprising young trio of talent, here to help Granger and the Pacers become a legitimate threat in the Central.

by Tim Cannon

5 comments:

Evan said...

awesome article, well put on the downfall of the Pacers in recent years and why things are starting to jive this season

Carli said...

love this article!!

Joey said...

That was a pretty good article, I thought you did a great job of articulating the struggles of the Pacers over the last couple of years, while shedding light on some hope for the future. Good work.

jordan said...

great article! it shall be interesting to see whether the bulls or pacers will win the central division...

Tracie said...

Great article, I'm looking forward to seeing what the Pacers can make of the season and as you highlighted, some of our younger players are exciting.