Upcoming decisions for the Pacers impacts the Wizards

Upcoming decisions for the Pacers impacts the Wizards
May 31, 2014, 11:30 am
Share This Post
(USA Today Sports)

As we witnessed during the second round of the Eastern Conference, the Wizards could hang with the currently constructed Pacers. As for how John Wall and company might matchup against Indiana next season, who knows.

That non-answer isn't so much about Washington's future, though there are some big free agent scenarios (Marcin Gortat, Trevor Ariza) to deal with. No its far more about the Pacers and whether management wants to blow the whole thing up.

Look at Indiana's season from 30,000 feet and the thought of breaking up this group makes no logical sense. The Pacers finished with the East's best record during the regular season and reached the conference finals for a second straight season. Sure they lost in that round once again, but there is no shame in falling to a championship-winning Miami Heat squad aiming for a three-peat.

For those on the ground who watched Indiana's stumbles and bumbles over the second half of the regular season and during every playoff round, the thought of shaking up the team equals pure logic.

Indiana started the season 33-7, but closed out the campaign 9-14.

The Pacers trailed the eighth-seeded Atlanta Hawks, a team that seemed destined for the lottery just days prior, 3-2 in their first round series. Two of those three losses were by 10 or more points.

Eventually Indiana rallied back against Atlanta and then finished off the Wizards 4-2, yet still lost by 23 points in a possible closeout game at home.

Additional bizarre scenarios unfolded in the ECF versus Miami. Getting dominated in Game 6 with their season at stake is just one example.

Here's a look at some of their upcoming questions (Also look at ProBasketballTalk's Kurt Helin for a deeper dive):

  • Though head coach Frank Vogel's record is all kinds of attractive after consecutive trips to the conference finals, he obviously couldn't consistently get his squad mentally prepped. Not sure if the likes of Phil Jackson or Tony Robbins could have worked magic with this mentally fragile crew, but that might not matter to decision-maker Larry Bird.
  • Lance Stephenson played at an All-Star level during the first half of the season, but his antics down the stretch proved distracting. Can a team lacking playmakers let the upcoming free agent walk or do they have no choice but to say adios for the sake of sanity.
  • One reason the Wizards might have given the Heat a tougher time is their edge at point guard. Not just because Wall is one of the game's best, but because Indiana's George Hill isn't a true point guard. Without a viable distributor, the Pacers' offense disappeared when one-on-one threats Stephenson and Paul George couldn't create opportunities. According to HoopsHype.com, Hill will make $24 million over the next three seasons.
  • Indiana hoped the additions of Luis Scola and C.J Watson would boost its bench production. Nope, not really, not in the playoffs anyway.

 Should Indiana break up the band, the door opens for other teams looking to reach the conference finals and beyond. None of this might factor into whatever the Wizards choose to do this offseason. Then again, it might.