From the cornfields in Indiana, the Pacers look to make their mark. They don’t want to be taken lightly when it comes playoff time once again. They have the talent, coaching, and moxie to do so. Whether it be the team, front office, or the fans, they know the best chance to leave their mark and throw the league in shock is this year.
They have put in the work and made smart decisions equivalent to the most impeccable franchises. However, a championship would be a bit of a stretch for this team next season, but not in the coming years. Could more moves next season be in store for them, and will it propel them to leave their mark?
A Look into the Key
Just a couple years ago, Pacer fans thought the team would take a while to get back into the postseason. However, could you blame them? The Pacers traded away the face of their franchise, Paul George, to the Oklahoma City Thunder. The key that was brought on in would soon lead the Pacers back to the playoffs. That key was the young talented All-Star Victor Oladipo.
With his time in Indiana, Oladipo has gotten significantly more mature. For example, Victor was brought into the Pacers roster to score the ball, and he certainly hasn’t disappointed. However, he has embraced his role as a facilitator that can score the ball as well. The youth that is around him always seems to fit in nicely before. Oladipo is expected to come back next year and is ready to get back to his play before injury, in order to leave their mark.
The Quiet Waves
At a glance, this summer for Indiana was overall pretty solid. Starting off with the draft, the Pacers had the 18th overall selection which they used on EuroLeague star, Goga Bitadze. In a viral conference with Goga and the Duke superstar Zion Williamson beside him, the media was swirling. From that moment on, I personally became a huge fan of the Pacer’s first round pick. His head was kept high and he never left his seat. Keep close tabs on this young star as he looks to continue the EuroLeague’s success in the NBA.
After a solid draft, the Pacers looked to keep it rolling with free agency. They were very patient and wanted to recruit players that was motivated and looking to join a great community. They got just that with the signings of Malcolm Brogdon and Jeremy Lamb. Brogon, coming by way of Milwaukee, was a surprise that shocked fans. Brogdon was expected to return to the Bucks, however he will join Oladipo at the opposite guard. Jeremy Lamb from the Hornets, most likely left Charlotte due to the Hornets entering a rebuilding stage. Likewise, his former teammate Kemba Walker is now going into Boston. Not huge moves for the Pacers, but this could definitely prove helpful as the season gets underway.
The Ever Important Depth
The Pacers, for the most part, should feel comfortable starting out the season without their young star Oladipo. In what was a gruesome injury, Oladipo should be given as much time as possible to fully recover. To help fill in with and without Victor, the Pacers added some key acquisitions at the guard spots. Plus, provided they are healthy, some role players are looking to step out with brand new opportunities.
First, there is the reliable big man Domantas Sabonis. Coming into last year, it looked like Sabonis was a solid role player that from some nights could look to contribute. However as the season prolonged, he was looking more and more as the clear starter for this young squad. The stats show that he was just short of averaging a double-double last season. That’s a great improvement that the Pacers needed last season, and it was surprisingly great to fantasy players as well. It should be interesting to see if he can keep up the pace and coexist with Myles Turner to lead Indiana to a deep playoff run.
To quickly sum up the guard options Indiana will have next season: first, with Malcolm Brogdon, a young player with a great head on his shoulders. Considering the talent, Brogdon will most definitely be on the starting roster and can definitely make up for Oladipo’s absence. With a player such as Malcolm, the Pacers have obtained spot up shooting and a great two way wing defender. Jeremy Lamb, another wing option that will be a solid starter and bench role. An athletic SG/SF who can tear it up on defense, Lamb looks like another good option. Another deal that will go unmentioned is the acquisition of T.J McConnell. If nothing else, this signing should produce a solid floor general which would increase the much needed pace in today’s game.
How far can they go?
The Indiana Pacers have some new faces, and along with the rest they all look for the same goal. Big things are happening in Indiana and the world should take notice. The fighting spirit of the Pacers will most definitely be back for another year. How far will this team go? Will it be able to compete with the best in the East, let alone the West? It’s time for the Indiana Pacers to leave their mark.
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