The Indiana Pacers are coming off of an incredibly depressing offseason, and their outlook went from Eastern Conference contenders to potentially missing the playoffs. They lost Lance Stephenson to the Charlotte Hornets in free agency, and then lost Paul George to a broken leg while playing for Team USA. Larry Bird may not be done making moves yet this offseason in attempts to help fill the void that George will leave, but they certainly won’t be able to replace the production that he would have given them.
There simply aren’t enough pieces on the Pacers’ roster for them to compete against teams like the Cleveland Cavaliers and Chicago Bulls, but they still have the potential to make the playoffs. In order for them to make the playoffs, they are going to need Roy Hibbert to play up to his All-Star potential. Last season was a huge disaster for Hibbert, but he has been working out with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar this offseason in hopes of improving his offense and becoming a leader for Indiana this season.
It is likely to be a very difficult season for the Pacers as they look to deal with the loss of their best two players from last season. They have some quality pieces that can keep them in the playoff picture, but they will need to make another move or two in order to be a top-five seed. Indiana fans finally came back and filled Bankers Life Fieldhouse last season, and that is in very much in jeopardy this year with all of the disappointment from the offseason.
What five bold predictions can be made about the 2014-15 Pacers?