#4 Indiana Pacers
WHY IND #4: Everyone expects the Pacers to be more dominant this year than last, but there are other varying factors. For one, the Bulls and Nets will be significantly improved this season. Second, the departure of Tyler Hansbrough impacts their toughness off the bench. Third, will Paul George and Danny Granger coexist for an entire season? Fourth, was Roy Hibbert’s outstanding playoff performances last season a fluke or a sign of things to come?
WHY DET #5: The Pistons will be the most intimidating team in the league this year. They have a monstrous frontline with Andre Drummond, Greg Monroe and Josh Smith. Their backcourt is formidable too with Brandon Jennings and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Detroit will likely lead the league in rebounding and points in the paint. They are deficient of perimeter shooting, but the Pistons may very well be the league’s best surprise team this year.
SERIES OUTCOME: PACERS in 7
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