The Indiana Pacers are the best team in the National Basketball Association’s Eastern Conference.
Yeah, I said it.
The Pacers beat the Raptors 91-84 on Friday, and remained unbeaten. They are still the only team without a loss in the NBA. They have beaten some bad teams, but they have also beaten some good teams. They have had blowout wins, and they have had grinders. This team is playing on a level that could carry them to a championship. They have the best defense in the league, and their offense is starting to come along. Paul George may be taking the lead in the MVP race, and it seems as if their bench has improved mightily.
The Pacers haven’t been a dominant regular season team the past few years. They started slow last season when Roy Hibbert was injured, and frankly, Hibbert hasn’t been great during his career during the regular season. He has had issues carrying a strong playoff run into the regular season, but after having another good night, and adding 20 points, he seems to have changed that. Great teams separate themselves from good teams when they find a way to win games that they shouldn’t win. They battle injuries, lethargic attitudes, and cold shooting nights to win games that they may not take as seriously as their opponent does.
Paul George had 23 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists, and they held the Raptors under 85 points. I’m sure they won’t go 82-0, but the Pacers don’t have a glaring weakness. The real test comes in December, when they face off against the Heat.