There isn't too much else to type about the Purdue game last night except that it seems that Robbie Hummel is back. It would be great if the Pacers could find a way to pick him up in the upcoming draft. I would think he would probably be available in the later picks because of how his body has betrayed him. I'm not exactly sure how Robbie would fit into the Pacers' mix, but it would just be nice to see him keep playing his pro ball in the state.
As far as his NBA chances, first and foremost, you have to assume he will stay healthy. If that holds true, I could see him being a lot of Paul George, also of the Pacers. Similar builds (tall and long) with similar skills (more like a very tall guard). PG is more explosive than Robbie, I think, but I also think Robbie will be a better shooter. The nice thing is, though, PG can still shoot pretty well, and Robbie has shown he still has some life in those legs the past few games.
Now, as for the meat of this post, the Pacers beat the Bobcats last night to go into the all-star break. The Pacers have played exactly half of their games, and are sitting at a very respectable 21-12. That's good for 5th place in the conference somehow. It seems to be they should be in fourth, because Philadephia (currently listed as 4th) is at 20-14. So, the Pacers have more wins, less losses, better winning percentage, less wins back of the Heat and Bulls (currently tied at the top). The only thing I can see is Philadelphia is leading their division, although that should put them in 3rd, I would think, with Orlando sitting in 4th a half game above the Pacers.
Granted, the difference between all of that at the moment doesn't make all that much difference. There are still 33 games or so to sort all that out, in which time I fully expect the Pacers to probably take 4th place when all is said and done. The one thing I'm not sure of in the NBA is how division championships work. In the NHL, the division champs take the first three seeds regardless of record. That's how, as of today, San Jose would be the third seed in the West, even though they are ten points behind St. Louis, who is sitting in 4th at the moment. But, again, if that were true in the NBA, I would expect Philadelphia to be sitting in third right now, and they aren't, according to the NBA's website.
In any case, I've been very pleased with the Pacers thus far, and I only expect them to get better. About the only move I haven't ended up liking out of the Pacers this year was to replace Stacey Paetz. When your biggest gripe is the new TV girl isn't anywhere as good as the old one, I would say you can feel pretty good about your team. And, as Larry Bird mentioned today, they are still $15 million under the cap, so we could still see some big moves. I don't know who I would really want to part with at the moment, but it's a nice feeling to have for the future.
Looking ahead to the schedule, I like what I'm seeing. There are some tough games left. There's another game with Miami (in South Beach), along with a home-and-home with the Bulls. Outside of that, though, I would fully expect the Pacers to win every other game they're in. Now, I don't think the Pacers are going to go 30-3 in the second half. But I am expecting a lot out of them to finish out the year, especially when they play a ton of division games against Cleveland, Milwaukee, and Detroit in April. If things break right, it wouldn't shock me for them to only lose to Oklahoma City in April. I think everybody would be awfully pleased if they were 14-1 going into the playoffs.
Buckle up, Pacer fans, it loo