Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 4/11/12

With superstars and “super-teams” now taking over the NBA, the Pacers current third-place position in the Eastern Conference is starting to make people think if a team with only one all-star, and not one nationally known as a superstar, can make a deep run in the NBA Playoffs.

Guest post from Collin O’Connor

The Pacers do, perhaps, carry the deepest roster in the league as they have 13 players who currently average over 10 minutes per game and six players averaging double-doubles.

The acquisitions of David West in the off-season and Leandro Barbosa right before the trade deadline also should play a role in keep this offense a balanced attack. Putting those two alongside Roy Hibbert and Danny Granger and this is a team who will give defenses fits with their balanced attack.

This core group of players have also come together to put forth an effort on the defensive end. With Roy Hibbert’s length as a last line of defense and Paul George’s length and athleticism on the ball, this team has become statistically the seventh best defensive team in the NBA.

And, as the playoffs begin, that defense will be key in allowing them to stay in games despite their inexperience.

The fact that these players have never really endured a long playoff run is definitely the most glaring weakness for this team to go past the first round or two. If the season were to end with the standings as they are today, they would be matched-up against a Miami Heat team they have yet to defeat this season.

However, they do match-up pretty well with the Heat, and that should allow them to compete in the playoffs. Especially after last year’s tough series with the Bulls in the first round, as an eight seed, this Pacers team is poised to give any opposition a competitive series.

There is something to say about the way these Pacers play: a gritty, defensive, unselfish ball club with a chip on their shoulder. Again, like most of the teams in the top of the NBA, there is no clear-cut superstar to carry the team through a scoring drought.

The playoff success of this team will rely heavily on different players coming up with huge games on a night-in, night-out basis. Some days it will be Granger and some days it will be Hibbert, but the constant balance and question from where it will come from will make it harder to prepare to play against them.

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