Pacers Can Contend Without Trade
Ask anybody in the Indiana Pacers’ locker room whether or not they think a trade is needed to solidify home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs, and they’ll all tell you the same thing – it wouldn’t hurt, but we don’t need it.
“I’m sure some guys can help us,” Pacers’ captain Danny Granger told HOOPSWORLD. “We played well thus far with the team we have. I think a trade, adding someone else could definitely help us, but I don’t think we necessarily have to.”
That’s because the Pacers have been so good this year. A season ago, the press would be pining for the team to make a move, but now there is this general belief that Indy is just a young group in need of more time to grow together.
Meanwhile, that youth has caused some problems for the Pacers of late, particularly on the road.
“We would like to be more resilient, especially more than we’ve been in the past,” Granger admitted. “We’re playing good teams at their buildings back-to-back nights so it’s a tough animal to deal with and we have to show more resilience in those types of situations.”
Ironically enough, Granger believes it’s the veterans on the team that can help staunch the bleeding.
“I think that’s where the older guys on the team come in,” he said. “The coaching staff comes in and tries to tell everyone that we’re having a bad stretch, there is some light at the end of the tunnel, we still have a good record, we’re contending for the top seed in the East and that’s the light really, that we’re always right there and I think that will keep us going.”
Indiana is currently only a half game out of a top four seeds in the East, which means their goal isn’t unrealistic. In fact, take away the recent four-game losing streak, and the Pacers have proven themselves among the best teams in the league this season.
“That’s what we’re playing for now. We want the playoff positioning so that fact that we have home court that first series and that’s huge. Home court advantage is a big deal and that’s what we’re fighting for.”
Despite the overall success, however, these guys are still very much under the radar.
“We don’t get a lot of recognition,” Granger added. “Number one, we play in Indiana so we’re not a big media market. Some teams really don’t take us seriously yet, but win a couple playoff series and that changes.”
This might be the year they finally get back to doing that, as it’s been a long time since Indiana was a real threat in their conference. They gave the top-seeded Chicago Bulls a real run for their money in the 2011 postseason, so there’s a chance they could win a series this postseason.
Would a trade help? Perhaps, but there’s also plenty of talent on this roster to get it done without a major shake-up. No one on this team would argue with reinforcements, but neither thinks they particularly need them either. It’s a good place to be for Indiana, and it’s probably only going to get better.