Pacers front court takes center stage in opener

David WestBasketballDetroit PistonsIndiana PacersFrank VogelTyler HansbroughRoy Hibbert

His eyes gazed towards the score sheet nearly the second he hit his chair.

Grabbing it as he took a seat in front of the gathered media in the Collins-Fusion Media Room inside Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Frank Vogel gazed at the report card of his team's first contest the 2010-2011 season.

There were stats on there he didn't like: The 36 percent shooting from the floor, the 21-15 margin which his team was outscored in the final quarter by the Pistons.

But there were three lines that immediately brightened up Vogel's perspective on what was a dominating 91-79 victory over Detroit that was never in doubt in the second half. It involved the statistics next to the numbers "21", "50" and "55".

Double digits in points for each. Double digits in rebounds. Call it the triple double-double.

"First impression is we've got a really good front court," said Vogel of his first game watching Tyler Hansbrough, Roy Hibbert and David West play on the Pacers' underneath. "We solid at every position."

West helps to make that more so with this pedigree as a scorer and physical presence inside which was seen in the Pacers uniform for the first time by a sold out-Pro-Pacers crowd on Monday night. West scored the opening points of the game on a drive inside that contributed to his 11 point, 12 rebound effort.

"Guys are doing a good job of coaching me through certain things," said West, who has only had a week of practice and one preseason game to get acclimated to his new team. "Defensively we just have to continue playing together, enjoy helping one another."

Hanbrough and Hibbert couldn't certainly second that with their own efforts on Tuesday. Coming off the bench with West now in town, Hansbrough looked sharp in scoring 15 points and grabbing 13 rebounds in 31 minutes of playing time.

Hibbert did him one better in each area, delivering a 16 point-14 rebound game against the Pistons, establishing himself early nine first half points and eight boards.

"When we're smart making good reads, everybody's gonna have fun, everybody gets rebounds, everybody scores," said Hibbert of the triple double-doubles. "I don't think that's what we were doing in the preseason and it kinda taught us a little bit and we we're having people getting frustrated.

"I think we figured that out and we're growing as a team."

That quick spurt help to make the Pacers lives easier in their first game, never once giving up the lead to the Pistons in 48 minutes. In the second half the margin never went under double digits and blew up to 24 before a late Detroit run made the game more respectable.

During the final 24 minutes, all three of the forwards reached the double-double mark, which left an impression on the trio's teammates.

"It shows we have the ability to crash the boards," said forward Danny Granger, whose team outrebounded the Pistons 53-40. "I think our big guys did an excellent job of dominating the glass."

According to West-should all transpire right over the next few months-it won't be the last time that happens.

"If we stay together defensively, enjoy playing defense together than we could be special," said West-and give their head coach a reason to stare at the stat sheets for news conferences to come.

 

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