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The Indiana Pacers

The Indiana Pacers - Looking for Sleepers
August 24, 2009

So who would you guess played the most total minutes for the Pacers last season?  An easy guess of who it was not is Mike Dunleavy as he played only 18 games. It also was not Troy Murphy or Danny Granger, their best fantasy player.  It was Jarret Jack who played an average of 33 minutes in all 82 games.  During the offseason Jack signed as a free agent with the Raptors.

Jack was largely responsible for TJ Ford not being able to play more than 30 minutes as he played at point guard in addition to shooting guard.  In the offseason the Pacers signed Earl Watson as a free agent (one year $3 million).  He is a veteran type of player that you would think would be a reserve playing limited minutes.  If that were the case Ford might have the potential to play around 35 minutes and become an attractive fantasy player for his abilities in the point, assist, and steal categories.  However considering his injury history and the fact he could fall into a time share with Watson makes it wise to not get too excited about Ford.

Marquis Daniels was also lost to free agency during the offseason.  He logged 31.5 minutes last season.  Poised to take over as many of Daniels minutes as he can earn is second year player Brandon Rush.  However a drawback for Rush is that he would need to scrounge for minutes behind Mike Dunleavy and Danny Granger.  Also has not shown he can do much more than hit three pointers. 

Reports are that Mike Dunleavy may be ready for the start of the season and has healed from the injuries that hampered him last season.  If that is the case, he could be a sleeper since his draft day value will be pretty low compared to his potential. 

Last season, coincidentally, Rasho Nesterovic and Roy Hibbert each played 70 games.  Rasho averaged 17 minutes and Hibbert averaged 14 minutes.  In the offseason, the Pacers added Solomon Jones and Josh McRoberts, neither of which, it would seem would give Hibbert too much competition.  How nice would it be for Hibbert if he took all of Nesterovics minutes to average 31 mpg?

Over the last 7 games of last season, Hibbert averaged 11.9 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks in 21 minutes.  Extrapolating that to 30 minutes would give Hibbert an average of 17 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks.  While it would be too optimistic to draft him and expect that kind of output, Hibbert should make a nice late round selection as a young player with potential who can play the center position.


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