Seriously, is there any lingering doubt that David West is the Indiana Pacers' best player (even when Danny Granger returns)?
All the 32-year-old veteran has been doing this season is carry this struggling team on his back to big wins like he did tonight against the Sacramento Kings, pouring in a season-high 31 points, grabbing 11 boards while shooting 65% from the field. The Pacers won, by the way, 97-92, pulling them to 0.500 (8-8) for the first time in what feels like forever.
The sad part is that West isn't supposed to be the MAN here. Having signed that max contract, Roy Hibbert is/was supposed to fill that role, but so far all he has shown is that he didn't deserve even half of the money he'll be getting. Not to say Roy hasn't tried, because it's clear he's doing the best he can, but I think he and everyone else thought he could just come back and dominate this season without having put in the extra work to develop his game (not just his conditioning). The other guy supposed to have a breakout year, Paul George, had a breakout game with that 37-point, 9-three performance the other night, but he's still too inconsistent. Both "franchise" guys are shooting below 40% from the field.
It's scary to think what the team would be like without George Hill, who has clearly been the Pacers' second best player this season thus far and hit a couple of game winners already. And both of him and West only joined the team last year (and what a great offseason that was).
So for now, it remains up to David West and his team-leading 17.4 points and 8.3 rebounds to continue carrying the team. Up next, the red hot Warriors, who are 9-6 on the season, including 6-2 in their last 8 games.