When word came down Saturday that the trade bringing Luis Scola to the Pacers had gone final I tweeted that I really liked the Pacers lineup — they had maybe the best starting five in the NBA last year, they will now add Danny Granger to that and bring Lance Stephenson, C.J. Watson, Scola and Chris Copeland off the bench. I think they are serious title contenders.
A few people shot back that Paul George and Danny Granger haven’t meshed all that well yet and wondered how the return of a guy who was the team’s leading scorer two years ago is really going to work out.
Paul George says just fine, thank you very much. Here is what he told Hoopsworld in a recent interview:
“Even my second year in the league and my rookie year, we were still able to play off one another,” George said. “I didn’t have as big of a role as I do now, but we still did a good job playing off one another….
“We’re positioned really well,” George told HOOPSWORLD. “The only thing we really needed was the experience, and with everyone coming back together again, there’s no doubt in mind that we should win a championship.”
The question is this — can the Pacers include a powerful offensive player who can lift them up from 19th best offense in the NBA (on points per possession) without losing their defense? Have George and Granger matured enough to blend? I think the answer is yes, but we will see next season. The East is going to be difficult at the top this year.