The Indiana Pacers are good. No, in fact they are exceptional. Really, they are one of the top 3 teams in the league currently. Of course, every NBA fan expected them to be dominant this season. However, they have exceeded expectations.

Riding an MVP-caliber performance from Paul George, the Pacers have started 27-6 this season, which places them atop of the league (tied with the Oklahoma City Thunder). The Pacers have a very well balanced team. They have enough star power, young talent, size and bulk inside, along with veteran presences to be considered as one of the top threats to the 2-time reigning champions Miami Heat. The moves the Pacers made this summer really put them in the best position they have been in years.

Paul George is approaching the level of LeBron James and Kevin Durant. Of course, he will need to prove he can retain this level of play and deliver with consistency. However, there is no indication he will do otherwise. The 23-year old forward is averaging 23.2 points, 6.1 rebounds, 3.6 assists and nearly 2.0 steals this season, while shooting 46.1 percent from the field. George has been a major factor in Indiana’s emergence this season.

Although Indiana ranks 20th in the league in scoring, their defense ranks No. 1 overall. The Pacers have allowed just 89 points per game thus far, and that’s what has allowed them to be really dominant. Roy Hibbert and David West barricade the paint, forcing their opponents to take mid-range or contested shots. Even the secondary unit in the frontcourt looks impressive for Indiana. Ian Mahinmi and Luis Scola are proving to be very reliable options on both ends of the court.

Lance Stephenson is gradually emerging as a star, on a team that has a bunch of players that could be named stars. George, Hibbert, West, Stephenson and even Danny Granger, who recently returned from an injury that kept him out most of last season, all have star quality. The most optimistic fact for the fans of the Pacers is that the core of the team is young, so Indiana can really expect even greater things to come.

The Pacers are strong in every position, really strong. It seems like head coach Frank Vogel has the pieces to form a lineup that can’t be topped no matter what their opponents try. The advantage of having a bunch of players who can contribute instead of just two or three superstars is when one player has an off-night or goes down with an injury, the team can still retain playing at a very high level. That’s exactly what happened when Danny Granger was out during the start of the season. Vogel threw Stephenson at the starting lineup and the Pacers were even more competitive than before.

The Indiana Pacers have put their name deeply in the championship talks. They are one of the strongest favorites to win it all this season and of course, together with the Miami Heat, they are projected to fight for the Eastern Conference title. It will be very interesting to see if Indiana will finally be able to dethrone the King and his company this season. No matter the result, this team is proving to be really dominant this season.

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