All of that is to say that I've watched the Pacers, I've seen the team. From its 2-1 series lead on Miami in 2012 until now, I have said they are one of my favorite teams. I have been harping for 3 years that the Pistons should get Paul George. He's big, can get a step on you, can shoot over a defense, and plays the other side of the court. He shredded the Pistons in a game in 2012 (27 points, 10 rebounds) and it was the way he did it. Ben Gordon and Rodney Stuckey couldn't stay in front of him or get their own shot. He reminded me of a combination of Rip Hamilton's size, and Joe Dumars' game.
I knew last year's Conference Finals were going to be tough because the Pacers are strong where Miami is weak. It's a bad matchup from Miami's perspective. They are built to beat the Heat. I thought Danny Granger would be doing a lot more, but I underestimated Paul, even as I coveted him.
Good for the Pacers, off to a 7-0 start. I cannot wait to see them in prime time again. It warms my heart to see them win.
The Lakers reportedly (and unofficially) had expressed a keen interest in George if he became a free agent. Many Lakers' fans have coveted the guy for a while now and that was before he let it be known that Kobe was one of his basketball role models. All for naught though when he signed that extension with the Pacers.
Pacers, if they keep going well, are going to face what many NBA teams face when trying to move up to that next level. That one veteran team that always seems to be in the way. They are likely going to have to deal with the (now) playoff hardened Heat. I do think the Heat are vulnerable this season, making it to the Finals 4 straight times is a daunting task, but are the Pacers the team who can knock them off? We'll see. (And also keep in mind, it's VERY early.)