The beginning of a season in any sport is always a time for optimism. Every team has a clean slate and 0-0 record, and a fan is naturally going to come in with high hopes. This is the beauty of following sports. Every year is a fresh start.
With that in mind, this season for the Pacers comes with a fresh optimism and hope. Things have changed a bit, and fans have a reason to believe that better days are ahead.
So as we head into training camp and a new season, I'm going to give some specifics on what fans have to look forward to in the 2010-11 season.
I'll start with the big fella: Roy Hibbert.
If you're like me, you spend a lot of time in the NBA offseason looking for something new or something noteworthy to think about. Kudos to the guys at www.pacersdigest.com for keeping fresh content coming throughout the offseason. If you're a Pacers fan you need to check out that site.
For the most part, though nothing happens. You have to stretch to find anything important. One thing, though that kept popping up as you read about the Pacers this offseason was the hard work of Roy Hibbert.
We had reports of him working out with NBA legend Bill Walton, which came with glaring reviews by Walton of Hibbert's work ethic and development. We also heard about Roy working out MMA style to develop his balance and explosiveness.
From all accounts, he spent nearly the entire offseason working out and working on his game. His conditioning and his strength will be huge factors for the Pacers this year, who are pretty thin on the front line.
This is Roy's third NBA season, and he may be the biggest factor in how good the Pacers can be. If he makes a leap, and becomes a force in the paint on a nightly basis, that changes the entire dynamic of this team.
When you have a guy that commands a double team, who is also a very skilled passer, and who can control the rim defensively, you can win a lot of games.
Roy improved drastically from year 1 to year 2. His weaknesses are his lateral quickness which make him foul prone and his rebounding. With his hard work, Pacer fans can dream of a quicker stronger Roy Hibbert with better footwork.
I'm expecting great things, because Roy has shown from college to his young NBA career that he works so hard and finds a way to get better. I genuinely expect a huge year from Roy, which would be massive for the Pacers.