Indiana Pacers: The best team that no one seems to care about

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 23: Victor Oladipo /

The Indiana Pacers, who are currently third seed in the East, seem to be the best team in the NBA that no one cares about

June 30th, 2017.

This was the heralded date of the Paul George trade to Oklahoma City. There seemed to be a unanimous decision between media and fans that the Indiana Pacers were robbed of an All-Star talent.

Victor Oladipo and Domantis Sabonis thought otherwise.

The trade was straight up: Victor Oladipo and Domantis Sabonis for Paul George. Who wouldn’t have done that in the summer of 2017? Only the president of basketball operations for the Indiana Pacers, Kevin Pritchard.

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Pritchard saw talent where no one else thought to look, in two guys that were sought by almost nobody once Russell Westbrook was done with them. Westbrook seemed to have zero help during his MVP season, it was almost like he was playing with G-League affiliates.

Not sure if the success of Oladipo and Sabonis shows more about them or less about Russell Westbrook. Time will tell.

Nevertheless, the Pacers fall anywhere but short compared to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Their records are close to identical, both a win and loss off from each other, and their traded counterparts are putting up eerily similar numbers. Albeit, the Pacers are ranked higher in the East than the Thunder are in the West. In fact, Oladipo and Sabonis have proven thus far they are better-suited acquisitions than George for the Pacers.

So, who is getting the credit for Indiana’s success?

The awesome part of the Pacers is that there isn’t one guy you can point to that explains their surprising accomplishments. Being on par to finish third in the Eastern Conference – even if no one else seems to be talking about them –  mainly due to team basketball. This can be attributed to how dynamic their players are; famously known for their efficiency and hard-nosed defense.

This Pacers team is on top of the East in several statistical categories: 1st in steals, 2nd in field goal percentage, 2nd in three-point percentage, 1st in fast break points, 1st in deflections, 1st in plus minus, and lead the entire NBA in percentage of points in the mid-range.

Versatility is probably the most important attribute to today’s NBA, the Indiana Pacers are the textbook definition of versatile. Not a lot of credit goes to Nate McMillan, the Head Coach of the Pacers.

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McMillan has been with the team for almost two years now, and he may have helped this organization create a new brand of Indiana basketball. Moreover, McMillan has created a team of unselfish underdogs who are just as fired up as their fans in Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Expect a fierce push from the Pacers come playoff time. Can we see Lance Stephenson blow in LeBron’s ear once this playoffs? Please?