NBA season preview: Indiana Pacers


STAYING: Lavoy Allen, Rakeem Christmas, Monta Ellis, Paul George, CJ Miles, Glenn Robinson III, Rodney Stuckey, Myles Turner and Joseph Young.

ADDED: Aaron Brooks (Chicago), Jeremy Evans (Dallas), Al Jefferson (Charlotte), Georges Niang (Iowa State), Alex Poythress (Kentucky), Kevin Seraphin (New York), Julyan Stone (Gaziantep), Jeff Teague (Atlanta), Thaddeus Young (Brooklyn) and Nick Zeisloft (Indiana University).

GONE: George Hill (Utah), Jordan Hill (Minnesota), Solomon Hill (New Orleans), Ty Lawson (Sacramento), Ian Mahinmi (Washington) and Shayne Whittington (Obradoiro).

STRENGTHS: Paul George at full force … He came from an horrific injury and had perhaps the best season of his young NBA career in 2015-16 … He’s a two-way player like few others in the league … Improved offense (on paper) … Pacers management has surrounded George with quality players at all positions … Jeff Teague was an All-Star only one and a half years ago … If healthy, he’s an upgrade over George Hill … Al Jefferson gives the Pacers an additional low-post threat … Thaddeus Young is a great role player who can score, rebound and play solid D … The frontcourt is super interesting with George, Young, Jefferson and the emergence of Myles Turner, who turned heads in his rookie season and should come back a better player this year … Above-average team in terms of athleticism.

WEAKNESSES: It takes a second star to contend for the whole thing … Although they possess no shortage of talent, the Pacers don’t have that yet … They could use a few more shooters … Post defense probably takes a hit with Ian Mahinmi and Jordan Hill leaving … Perhaps Turner on an expanded role can help there, though … The Pacers are trying to move to a more up-tempo approach … Is Nate McMillan the right choice at coach to accomplish that? … That type of basketball is not what he was known for in Seattle and Portland.

PREDICTION: 3rd in the Central Division, 6th in the Eastern Conference



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