The Sports Daily > Pacers Pulse
All 5 Pacers starters rank in top 100 in ESPN Player Rankings 2012

There hasn’t been much going on since the Olympics, except this ESPN Player Rankings thingy that attempts to rank all 500 players in the NBA. It’s taken a while, but finally all Pacers players have appeared. The full rankings list of the Pacers roster can be found here.

All five Pacers starters are in the top 100 (between 87 and 35, to be exact):

  • George Hill (87)
  • Paul George (75)
  • David West (56)
  • Danny Granger (39)
  • Roy Hibbert (35)

I suppose that is a pretty good achievement, depending on how you look at things. On the bright side, it means the Pacers join a small group of teams that have all five starters in the top 100 (the others being the Brooklyn Nets, Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, Memphis Grizzlies — there are a couple of other teams with five or more players in the top 100 but not all are starters, eg. Boston Celtics).

On the other hand, it also means the Pacers don’t have a single player in the top 30 in a league of 30 teams. This puts them in the same category as a dozen other teams, and all of them are likely lottery teams. Here are the top players of those other teams:

  • Charlotte’s Michael Kidd-Gilchrist at 128
  • Detroit’s Greg Monroe at 49
  • Golden State’s Stephon Curry at 40
  • Houston’s Kevin Martin at 76
  • Milwaukee’s Monta Ellis at 46
  • New Orlean’s Eric Gordon at 38
  • Orlando’s Arron Afflalo at 80
  • Phoenix’s Marcin Gortat at 57
  • Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins at 42
  • Toronto’s Kyle Lowry at 51
  • Utah’s Al Jefferson at 44
  • Washington’s Nene at 52

Also surprising to me is that Roy Hibbert was named as the Pacers’ best player for the first time. Hibbert is a rare big man on the rise, that’s for sure, and possibly the team’s most important player. But the best on the team? I’m not so sure. Personally, I’d still put Granger and West ahead of him.

More concerning was the rankings of the Pacers bench, where the highest ranked was DJ Augustin at 147. Tyler Hansbrough is the only other bench player in the top 200 at 174. New additions Gerald Green and Ian Mahinmi are 246 and 251, respectively. Sam Young rounds out the Pacers players in the top 300 at 275, and the rest of the roster are all in the 400-500 range. It might be worth mentioning that Lance Stephenson is ranked 405 and actually fell by 36 spots from the year before.

The team’s highest riser was of course Paul George, who shot up 130 spots to 75. The biggest fall? Of course, Tyler Hansbrough, who dropped 52 spots to 174.

So I guess if you want to sum up this year’s squad based on these rankings you would say the Pacers have a great, even-strengthed starting five but has no superstar and has a horrible bench that has only three reserves (Augustin, Hansbrough and Green) in the top half of the league (Mahinmi falls just out of it at 251).

Not sure what to make of this.