Community Shootaround: Pacers Prediction

The Pacers could be one of the more interesting, and unpredictable, teams in the league this upcoming season.

Fresh off signing a rookie scale extension and enjoying an impressive summer with Team USA, Tyrese Haliburton is the undisputed franchise player. Numerous teams are still kicking themselves for letting a potentially longtime All-Star point guard drop to the No. 12 pick of the 2020 draft.

Of course, he was playing in Sacramento until he was dealt to Indiana in a blockbuster 2022 trade. Both sides won, as Domantas Sabonis was just what the Kings needed to end their long playoff drought.

Haliburton’s longtime backcourt partner was seemingly secured in last year’s draft. Bennedict Mathurin, the sixth overall pick in 2022, averaged 16.7 points per game while mainly coming off the bench in his rookie year. Indiana has a solid veteran backup for Haliburton in T.J. McConnell.

Buddy Hield, entering his walk year, remains one of the league’s steadiest 3-point threats. The Pacers made a big splash in free agency by signing Bruce Brown, a key component in Denver’s drive to the championship. A high-level defender with a much improved offensive game, Brown will play major minutes at the wing and perhaps see some action at the point as well.

The Pacers have also got a high-scoring center and premier shot-blocker in Myles Turner. They traded for Obi Toppin, who could blossom after serving as Julius Randle‘s backup in New York. Toppin will battle for minutes at power forward with this year’s lottery selection, Jarace Walker.

There are also a number of young, hungry reserves on the roster, including Andrew Nembhard, Aaron Nesmith, Jalen Smith and Isaiah Jackson.

On paper, they look like a pretty solid group and they have one of the best and most experienced coaches in the league, Rick Carlisle, running the show.

Yet no one is talking about the Pacers as being a legitimate contender. They are mostly considered a middle-of-the-pack club that could challenge for a spot in the play-in tournament.

That brings us to today’s topic: How do you think the Pacers will fare this season? Are they underrated or do you think they’re destined for another trip to the lottery? What do you think their ceiling is, given their current roster?

Please take to the comments section to weigh in on this topic. We look forward to your input.

View Comments (12)