Anyone who questioned whether the Pacers were serious contenders were silenced last night after Indiana embarrassed the Houston Rockets 114-81.
They were led by Paul George with 24 points and 9 rebounds and Lance Stephenson with a 16-6-6 line.
I was at the game personally and it definitely showed that biased media reporters shouldn't be too soon to crown the Heat Champions of the East.
Indiana also got former All-Star Danny Granger in the lineup for the first time this season after missing all of the 2012-13 season with a knee injury. Granger scored 5 points and added 1 assist and 1 rebound on the night.
The Pacers also held James Harden to just 3 of 14 shooting.
The Pacers have a strong starting five in George Hill, Lance Stephenson, Paul George, David West, and Roy Hibbert. But how is a team that was 32-50 just a few years ago headed for 60 wins?
Is it a strong lineup as stated above?
Yes, but how do you acquire these players?
Is it because Coach Frank Vogel is one of the top coaches in the NBA?
Yes again, however, neither of these are the main factor for the teams turnaround.
And it's more obscure than you might think.
The answer is their mastermind President of Basketball Operations (or General Manager, if you prefer): Larry Bird.
Put simply: Bird knows how to build a team. This Pacers group is built to win.
When Bird took over he made that 32-50 group a Playoff team by signing veteran Forward David West and he also has a great knack of developing players such as now-starter Lance Stephenson, Bird is also developing multiple players now such as reserve Guards Orlando Johnson and Donald Sloan along with Forward Solomon Hill.
He has made this team what it is today and without him they would likely be headed for another 30-35 win season.