Community Shootaround: Pacers’ Playoff Chances

The Pacers are entering year one without Paul George, but that doesn’t mean the team will slide out of the top eight in the Eastern Conference, according to the franchise’s longest tenured player.

“I feel like we’re definitely going to be overlooked this year,” Myles Turner said (via Matthew VanTyron of the Indianapolis Star). “A lot of people look at us as young team that’s going to rebuild, but we’re a young team that’s trying to compete. We’ve got a lot of guys who can come in and make an impact right away. I expect to make the playoffs this year.”

Kevin Pelton of ESPN.com projects Indiana to finish 11th in the conference and earn a lottery appearance, something that’s only happened once since the team drafted George back in 2010.

Pelton foresees the team struggling on offense and it’s easy to see why. Scour the roster for a No. 1 scorer. Will Victor Oladipo expand his game? How about Darren Collison? Should either Lance Stephenson or Bojan Bogdanovic lead a team in shots?

The questions on offense will likely persist all season, though that alone doesn’t mean a playoff birth is inconceivable. The Eastern Conference appears weaker than it has in several years and somewhere between 35 and 40 games could be enough to lock in a lower seed. Pelton projects the team to get 32 wins this season, a total that’s slightly behind his projections for the Magic, Sixers, and Pistons—the team that the statistician has in the conference’s eighth seed with just 35.1 wins in his simulations.

If the Pacers see just a few players outperform their expected output this season, the team could end up playing games that matter in April.

That leads us to tonight’s topic: Will the Pacers make the playoffs this season? If not, what moves can they make before the trade deadline to improve their chances? Please take to the comment section below to share your thoughts and opinions. We look forward to what you have to say!

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13 thoughts on “Community Shootaround: Pacers’ Playoff Chances

  1. showty

    as a Pacer fan… hec yea they’ll make it… especially considering how was the Eastern conference is this year… definitely yes!!!

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    • I agree. You lose George but I like sabonis and Oladipo’s game.

      I think the Pacers will be pretty good.

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  2. Chris

    The Pacers have no business in the playoffs but geography may decide they get an opportunity. I expect improvement from Charlotte and Milwaukee this season, but regression from Atlanta and Chicago will give teams like the Pacers, Pistons and 76ers a chance of making the playoffs with a terrible record

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  3. acarneglia

    Indy has plenty of talent they just don’t have a bonafide star. The starting lineup that I think they’ll put out there will be Collison-Stephenson-Oladipo-Young-Turner. The bench won’t be terrible of Bogdanovic, Jefferson, Leaf, Sabonis, etc. because they can give them solid scoring. I think they could be a 7-8 seed with the top 6 being made up of the Cavs, Celtics, Raptors, Wizards, Bucks, and Hornets. Indy along with Detroit, Philly and Miami will fight it out for seeds 7-8.

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    • xabial

      He will have every opportunity to succeed as the main centerpiece of the much criticised Paul George trade.

      And I hope he does!

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  4. chucky25

    I can see them making the playoffs,and maybe put a scare into whoever they play,but not win the series

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  5. x%sure

    ‘Big 6’ in the East… 2 spots left. Turner is a rising force and the team should get along better and be happier to be there. The message from mgmt in the George trade was NOT to tank but a reload. Good depth. They (including fans) WANT in the playoffs as any kind of seed– as opposed to wanting to lose to draft high, harboring fantasies about a big 4 that could beat GSW. They should get in.

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  6. Connorsoxfan

    I’d liken this team to that year Boston made the playoffs and got swept in the first round by Cleveland. Except no Brooklyn picks to look forward to. Some interesting talent, future flexibility, and a bunch of good role players. They just have to find their Isiah and keep building.

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  7. SD Speak For Myself

    They might be too good for this life long Pacers fan….get in lottery and get another stud. Oladipo will score…Leaf will show that he can score. Coach is a block head when it comes to rookies! We won’t miss PG gagging on game changing shots….and throwing his teammates under the bus! Over paid and over rated.

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