|2012-13 Team Stats|
|19th Overall||1st Overall|
2012-13 Season Stats
A year ago, re-signing Roy Hibbert was paramount. This time getting David West re-upped as the team's anchor was key. Danny Granger is on the comeback trail.
George Hill doesn't have the personality to own the PG spot, but that's what Indiana needs. If Paul George shifts back to SG, Lance Stephenson's adjustment is vital.
A leap last season from 10th to tops overall, and still the Pacers aren't satisfied; they're talking about adding zone looks. Expect fast learning curve.
The revolving door from last summer continued to spin, with upgrades in Luis Scola and C.J. Watson and the possible addition of Stephenson.
Vogel has total buy-in from the locker room, at least among the core contributors, and now adds Nate McMillan in the Brian Shaw role one chair over. Solid 1-2.
So David's back, Danny's back, Larry's back and Paul George is ready for his close-up. Keeping West and his old-school game/character was a no-brainer. Granger is eager after missing a lot of fun in 2012-13. Bird seems refreshed from his year away and, even from his lofty perch, gives the Pacers an edge. George, meanwhile, is a superstar in flyover country, which will drive the big media markets crazy with lust.
The expectations continue to be dialed up for Indiana, thanks mostly to Indiana meeting past expectations. The Pacers have embraced the old one-step-at-a-time, knock-on-the-door approach to title contending, so unseating the Heat and reaching the Finals is their undeniable target. Scola and Watson turn them into a 48-minute threat.
-- Steve Aschburner
Explanation of Marking System
|Golden State Warriors||B+|
|Los Angeles Clippers||A-|
|Los Angeles Lakers||C|
|New Orleans Pelicans||C-|
|New York Knicks||B|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||B+|
|Portland Trail Blazers||B|
|San Antonio Spurs||A|