Are Pacers better than Heat?

Bold words emanating from Indiana, but are they right? Maybe.

Updated: November 8, 2013, 2:22 PM ET
By Tom Haberstroh | ESPN Insider

Roy HibbertIssac Baldizon/NBAE/Getty ImagesSo far, Roy Hibbert looks like he could win NBA Defensive Player of the Year.

Consider your message received, Roy Hibbert.

On Wednesday night, the Indiana center took to Twitter and declared that he's made it his goal to win NBA Defensive Player of the Year this season. He also called his shot that Paul George will win MVP this season. But Hibbert probably didn't need to embark on a campaign trail to get our attention. Truth is, his Pacers are playing loud enough to let their game speak for itself.

It's impossible to ignore that the Indiana Pacers sit atop the NBA standings with a big, fat 5-0 record, the only team that's still undefeated this season. They've trounced their opponents by 11.0 points per game on average, which actually understates how dominant they've been this season since they play at a snail's pace. And to drive home the point, they just put a beatdown on the Chicago Bulls on national television.

We see you, Indiana. After pushing the Miami Heat to the brink of elimination last postseason, the Pacers haven't just picked up where they've left off. By all indications, they've gotten better. Which brings us to this question: Are they better than Miami -- like, right now?

It's a fair proposition given their astounding growth in the early going and Miami's ho-hum efforts so far. Should Miami be concerned? Here are three reasons the answer is yes.


To read more of Tom Haberstroh's piece on whether the Indiana Pacers are better than the Miami Heat, become an Insider today.