In the pre-season I predicted the Pacers would land in the 5th seed in the East. With a great coach like Nate McMillan and a strong all-around team they have been able to surprise a-lot of people. The lay are currently sitting at the 3rd seed (26-13) in the East and may be the 4th best team behind Milwaukee, Toronto and Boston.
Last season the Pacers ended their regular season with a 48-34 record (5th seed) and were eliminated in 7 games By the Cleveland LeBronaliers.
The Pacers play together as one unit and no ego stands in the way. There is no “I need my 15 shots” or “Let me get my touches” it is just beautiful team basketball. Their current core consists of Victor Oladipo, Domantas Sabonis, Bojan Bogdanovic and Myles Turner.
The Indiana Pacer hold the 2nd best defense in the league with a 104 drtg and allow the fewest ppg by their opponents at 101.9. Combine that with a efficient but slow offense (25th in pace) you have a well balanced team that can lock you down and rack up those buckets.
The Pacers are being slept on as they are 13-2 in there last 15 games. Coach McMillan has been able to keep his squad competing in a top heavy Eastern Conference. He has been able to create a hard working culture in Indiana and it is possible they can attract some free agents and add to an already strong team. The franchise seemed to be going into a rebuild direction but they were able to pull some strings and acquire some valuable pieces for the squad (Victor Oladipo, Domantas Sabonis and Tyrele Evans).
Come Playoff time I expect to see them knock out anyone they face in the First-Round. If the second round match up is against Philly I would consider is the best shot the Pacers have at making the ECF. But it is highly unlikely so a second round exit is what I see for this team. As far as adjustments this team could benefit from a streaky off the bench player and another solidified forward. Indy should be prepared to make some offers in the off season as they can still add to this squad and become more lethal.
Some players The Pacers should pursue:
Tobias Harris – Small Forward
Kemba Walker – Point Guard
J.J Reddick – Shooting Guard
Terrence Ross – Small Forward/ Shooting Guard
Rudy Gay – Small Forward
Nikola Mirotic – Power Forward
Jeremy Lamb – Shooting Guard
D’Angelo Russell – Point Guard
This list consist of players I realistically think they could sign and also includes players who would help the Pacers and fit into their current system. No player is the perfect fit but they all have an aspect to their game they can Provide Indiana with in the pursuit of an NBA championship.
How far do you think the Pacers will go in the playoffs? Do you think they can sign any of the players listed above? If so, who do you think is most likely to join Indiana this upcoming offseason?
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