Ex-NBA All-Star: Pacers can beat Knicks, Miami to win title

wilkins-podcast-radioHawks’ vice president of basketball operations, former NBA star, legendary Dominique Wilkis recently spoke on Episode 116 of the Hang Time Podcast to talk about various topics, including the 2013 NBA Playoffs.

In particular speaking of the Pacers-Knicks series, Wilkins said that Indiana can beat New York, if they change their style of play.

“I definitely think Pacers can beat the Knicks. I think the problem with the Pacers, right now, even in the games that they’ve won, is that they try to ball too much. If they can protect the basketball…they’re big and physical team, I think they can beat New York,” he said.

Speaking of the Okhaloma Thunder, Wilkins noted that the team is in a really difficult situation right now, as they’ve put themselves under pressure.

“Since (Russell) Westbrook is out, other guys have to step up now. Derek Fisher did, and others need to, guys like Ibaka, Perkins, Martin. Westbrook is not there, and Durant is being asked to do a lot of work out there. Oklahoma is going to have a tough time in the West,” Wilkins noted.

Wilkins admitted that personally he likes Memphis Grizzlies, that, according to him, is a “work-horse type team” that doesn’t give up.

“I like Memphis. If I was to pick one team, I’d pick Memphis,” he said. “And you can’t pass on San Antonio, which is the most fundamentally sound team in the West, so you can’t look by them.”

However, answering the question on who would eventually win the NBA title, Wilkins said that while anybody can get knocked  off the playoffs this year, he believes it would be Miami Heat who would eventually win the title.

“Miami is very tough. They’re the champions, and they’re right there until someone beats them. If we look at the things they have done – they added three solid players to that team, and other players are just pieces. At least you’ve got to have 2 players to build a championship team in this league,” he explained.

Wilkins also said that it is important to have players on your team, who are willing to play supporting roles. That includes Miami as well.

“Everybody have to know their place, their role on the team, it has to be defined. That’s why Miami was so good last year – everybody knew who the big three were, and everyone else played their roles,” he said.

Dominique Wilkins played 15 years in the NBA, earned his spot on the All-Star team 9 times. He holds career averages of 24.8 ppg, 6.7 rpg and 35.5 mpg in 1074 (started 995) NBA games.

He scored 26,668 points in his career, playing for Atlanta Hawks, Los Angeles Clippers, Boston Celtics, San Antonio Spurs and Orlando Magic.

Currenty, Wilkins is the vice president of basketball operations with the Atlanta Hawks and is a member of the NBA Hall of Fame.



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