The Indiana Pacers are no longer the juggernaut of the Eastern Conference.
A year removed from championship inspirations, the Pacers simply are searching for an identity after the departure of Lance Stephenson and the unfortunate injury to Paul George.
The San Antonio Spurs put on a basketball clinic during their dismantling of the Miami Heat during the NBA Finals. The Pacers would like to emulate such togetherness and offensive efficiency.
Pacers center Roy Hibbert admitted to the Indy Star that he reached out to the great Tim Duncan several times during the summer to get advice on how the Spurs go about their business offensively.
“You just watch how they play and I watched them close,” Hibbert said. “I’m close to Tim (Duncan). We were texting a couple days ago. I’m asking him for advice, just the way they go about their business but yeah, I watched them closely.”
I asked Hibbert if he specifically watched the Spurs in the Finals, and he replied: “I watched all their games.”
Can the Pacers become the Spurs of the East? Never.
But without George to share the offensive explosion, they can learn to pass the ball, find the open guy and become more efficient as a group.