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Indiana Pacers preview 2010-11
The 2010-11 NBA season is about to begin. The Indiana Pacers basically only made one move in the off season, but it was a pretty big one. In August the Pacers sent Troy Murphy to New Jersey and picked up Darren Collison and James Posey.
Coach Jim O'Brien has apparently settled on a 9 man rotation, at least for the start of the season. The starting 5 is projected to be Collison, Dunleavy, Granger, Hibbert and McRoberts. The main players off the bench will be Price, George, Hansbrough and Foster.
The Pacers have acquired a good young core group of players. Collison average 19 points and 9 assists per game while filling in for Chris Paul for 37 games last season. I do not expect to see those kind of numbers this year for Collison as he has to get used to a new system and new team mates, however, he should put up some pretty respectable numbers. I also look for Collison to be an all-star in the future. A.J. Price proved last season that he can be a good back-up point guard and he has done nothing to disprove that so far this pre-season. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to see Price logging 5-6 minutes per game at shooting guard.
Indiana Pacers' Roy Hibbert
Mike Dunleavy is healthy for the first time in a couple of seasons. In my opinion, Dunleavy could be a very good back up wing man in the NBA. If rookie Paul George develops quickly, the Pacers could move Georg in as the starting shooting guard and move Dunleavy to back up. In the mean time, Dunleavy is not a terrible option atshooting guard.
Danny Granger made the all-star team in 2008-09 but due to some injury problems, his game suffered some last year. If Granger can improve his defense and along with help form some improved team mates, he could possible make the all-star team again this season.
Roy Hibbert worked a lot in the off season and once again he has improved his game. Coach O'Brien has apparently wised up a little and has changed his offense so Hibbert will get more touches this season. While Hibbert is not quite an all-star, I think he could become an all-star in the future.
The Pacers big question heading into the 2010-11 season has been at power forward. Josh McRoberts has improved greatly and works well with Hibbert. McRoberts is also a very athletic big man that runs the floor well. He should be able to give the Pacers 20-30 minutes a game. Tyler Hansbrough is also healthy this season and has proved that he can be a good back up power forward. With Hansbrough playing 20-25 minutes and McRoberts playing the rest, the Pacers should be okay at power forward.
The bottom line is this season the Pacers should win somewhere between 30-42 games, which will either barely get them in to the playoffs or they will barely miss the playoffs. The keys will be how quickly the new player adapt to each other, how quickly Paul George adapts to the NBA, of course injuries and if Jim O'Brien doesn't make too many stupid coaching moves.