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Pacer view (Rasho)
While watching the Indiana Pacers beat the Milwaukee Bucks 107-99 last night, I noticed something. Rasho Nesterovic plays a lot like Rik Smits used to.
Rasho is not a good rebounder but hit is a good shooter from 15-18 feet. He is a decent defender but not great. With Rasho in the middle looking like Smits that means if the Pacers would find replacements for Miller, Jackson, Rose and Dale Davis they could return to their NBA glory years.
So who do the Pacers have to fill in those roles? Danny Granger is nor Reggie Miller, but he is improving each year and may be nearly as good as Reggie soon. I think Mike Dunleavy is nearly as good as Jalen Rose. Now for the tough ones to replace. Jarrett Jack and T. J. Ford are decent but neither one of them are the floor general that Mark Jackson was. Troy Murphy is as good as Dale Davis on the offensive end but he isn't near D.D. defensively.
The lack of a top notch floor general and a defensive presence in the middle is why the Pacers are struggling this season. They are improving and I think they will have a chance to make the playoffs but they still need some work to return to the NBA's elite.
One area that I am excited about is finding a good (shot blocking) defensive center. I think 2-3 years down the road Roy Hibbert will fill that void.
I think Larry Bird is making some good moves and I look for the Pacers in the playoffs, if not this year then next year, and for many years to come.