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Pacers Returning to Form Despite Numerous Injuries

Last season the Indiana Pacers spent most of the regular season atop the Eastern Conference. However, late in the season they started to fall apart and lost in the postseason to end a disappointing backstretch for the club.

Before the 2014-15 season had even began, the Pacers had their backs against the wall, as All-Star shooting forward Paul George suffered a gruesome injury to his leg that will keep him sidelined for what feel will be the entire season.

Most NBA observers underestimated and overlooked the Pacers to start the season, but the Pacers are quickly putting the doubts to an end.

The Pacers traveled to Miami and pulled out a tough 81-75 win with dominance on the boards, great execution late in the game and a tough defense that yielded only 49 points over the last three quarters.

A few days later, the Pacers when to the Windy City and defeated the Chicago Bulls after taking leads as high as 17 points.

Indiana is just 4-7 on the season, but the team is adjusting to life without the injured George. The Pacers are winners of 3 of their past 4, after starting the season 1-6.

It is not surprising that most NBA observers overlooked the Pacers. George suffered a double fracture in his leg in a scrimmage with Team USA, Lance Stephenson, who has developed into a star on both ends of the court, signed a free agent deal with Charlotte.

Add to that injuries to David West, George Hill, Rodney Stuckey, C.J. Watson and C.J. Mills and it is not strange to see Indiana three games under .500.

The team has started to become a unit, paid attention to details, the small but important things and understand the season is not lost in the first 11 games.

At this time, the only healthy starter from the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference of last year is 7-foot-2 Roy Hibbert.

He has restored his confidence after going through a difficult patch during the postseason last spring.

He is a force defensively in the paint, as is Ian Mahinmi his backup.

Last season, the Pacers led the league with a 99.3 defensive rating and are sitting eighth currently at 102.7 even with the injuries and new players.

Offensively, the Pacers are No. 27, but last season with all the aforementioned players playing, the Pacers were just No. 23.

Luis Scola has stepped up his game filling in very well and giving the Pacers an offensive punch when needed.

With Scola, Hibbert and Chris Copeland playing well down low, the Pacers seem to be turning the corner.

With 71 of their 82 regular season games still to be played, Indiana has time for their early season injuries to heal so the team can return to being one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference.


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