The Indiana Pacers finished the season 38-44 which left them tied with the Brooklyn Nets for the 8th seed of the NBA Playoffs. The Brooklyn Nets owned the tiebreaker which meant they would get the 8th seed and the Pacers would be watching the playoffs from home.
Towards the end of the season the Indiana Pacers rarely used big man Roy Hibbert as they favored a smaller lineup. They rid themselves of Roy Hibbert and sent him to play for the Lakers. They lost power forwards David West (Spurs) and Luis Scola (Raptors) as well as veteran point guard C.J. Watson (Magic).
It’s not all bad news as they were able to sign center Jordan Hill, draft center Myles Turner, sign guard Monta Ellis, and trade for forward Chase Budinger. A potential starting lineup of George Hill, Monta Ellis, C.J. Miles, Paul George, and Jordan Hill doesn’t sound half bad. Jordan is more mobile than Roy Hibbert making him better suited for the small ball lineup that the Pacers want to play. Although Paul George may not be happy about playing the 4 spot, he is well suited size wise to play the spot and can flourish like stars LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony have when they switched to the 4 spot.
With George Hill and Monta Ellis at guards, they can get out and run and use their quickness to their advantage. Chase Budinger brings 3 point shooting to a team that can use it. Every team can use more three point shooting. Then they have the 6’11” rookie center that they drafted #11th, Myles Turner, who averaged 18.7ppg, 8.0rpg, and 4.3bpg in 3 games at Orlando Summer League (bleacherreport.com).
Losing David West and Luis Scola will hurt but signing Jordan Hill and Monta Ellis this offeason and having Paul George back for a full season of being healthy will help this squad. That’s why I think they will be battling for a playoff spot again this coming season against the Celtics and the Nets. I’ll put them as trending upwards. I have them ranked at #17 coming into this new NBA season.