May 26, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert (55) prior to a game against the Miami Heat in game four of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Indiana Pacers: To Tank Or Not To Tank?

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May 30, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert (55) reacts from the bench during the second half in game six of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2014 NBA Playoffs against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

That is the question. What do the Indiana Pacers do with this upcoming season? Go out and compete or throw it away and work for the season after next? If past seasons are any indications, this team will go out and compete. I don’t see Larry Bird blowing this team up yet as they will have another year with their core group of Roy Hibbert, David West, Paul George, and George Hill for the 2015-16 season.

I also feel like tanking isn’t a good way to go out either. I’ve never thought that a team should throw away a season in hopes of grabbing some top draft pick because you never know how those draft picks will do. You never know where you might end up in the draft lottery as well.

I understand that this season will probably be a throw away, but they should still want to go out and compete every night.

I think this year’s team has something to prove in the sense that they’ve lost Lance Stephenson and now they’ve lost their star player, Paul George. Why wouldn’t they want to go out and show the NBA they’re a collective group of players that can still make some noise this season?

The expectations of course will be lowered. A low playoff spot is probably the highest expectation this season should contain. Looking over the Central Division, and seeing Lebron James back is going to make life tough. Seeing Derrick Rose back with the Chicago Bulls should make them a better team. Just look what they did last season without him.

Add in some new faces around the Pacers, and you know the coming season would be an interesting one. Then all because of one freak incident, the upcoming season gets even more interesting.

No one player will fill Paul George’s void. I think you have to ask more of guys like Roy Hibbert and George Hill though.

Indiana’s offense might actually run through Hibbert more often this season because I’m not sure where else you’ll get the scoring punch from. David West is going to have to put this team on his back as well, but he’s going to need help, and now’s the time for Hibbert to finally put together a season that’s consistent.

He’s already received help from Kareem Abdul Jabbar this offseason, but the biggest help Hibbert can do is get out of his own head. Maybe that will never happen as he’s just a guy that is wired with that lack of confidence at times. But if he can get going early this season, that could carry through and make him a better leader for this team.

George Hill needs to be more aggressive this season as well because of the scoring ability that he possesses. Now is the time for him to step into that role, and really drive this team. He’s another voice that I think needs to be more vocal on the court and in the locker room. He has got that leadership quality and this is the perfect time to showcase.

To tank or not to tank? That will be the question heading into the 2014-2015 season for the Indiana Pacers. I know my answer for this question, do you know yours?

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Tags: George Hill Indiana Pacers Paul George Roy Hibbert

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