While it ended there, it was a huge step for this young team that has just gotten better this offseason. With that being said, let’s take a look at what the NBA odds have to say about the Pacers this season. Should we consider them for our NBA picks? Signs point to yes.
The Pacers were one win shy of a 50-win season, and they were also one win shy of making it all the way to the NBA Finals, something the Pacers have not done since the 1999-2000 season. However, it was their best year since 2003-2004, where they also lost in the conference finals. The Pacers of last season were tough, rugged and led by a super-star in the making in Paul George.
While last season’s loss to the Heat probably stung, looking back on it, there is nothing the Pacers need to be upset about. They played the Heat as tough as the Spurs did in the Finals, and since they are such a young team, this unit has a lot to be excited about. They have even more room for optimism, because they did all of that without the help of Danny Granger, who is either going to come back and really help this team, or get traded for some nice assets this season, as his contract is in its’ final year. Either way, the Pacers might get to that 50-win mark this season; however the Central Division and the East has gotten a lot better this offseason.
Obviously Granger coming back is the biggest addition this team has made this offseason, but he has been there already. The biggest addition this team made was actually retention, as they brought back David West after another stellar season in Indy. West was crucial as a 2nd/3rd scoring option not only in the regular season, but the postseason as well. He will be back in Indiana for another three seasons now, and with him leading this group of young guys, Indy looks very dangerous with Granger coming back.
On top of those two guys, the Pacers also signed Chris Copeland from the Knicks and CJ Watson away from the Nets. Copeland is going to give them defense and rebounding as a hybrid three/four forward, while Watson gives them some insurance at point guard. All of these moves the Pacers have made are brilliant, and they still are under the luxury tax line this season.
The only other move I could see them making this offseason is locking up George long term. He can sign an extension this summer, and he will demand nothing less than a mini-max deal. George is obviously the future of the Pacers, and you can bet that he will be looking to sign a five-year extension when he can if he wants to stay in Indiana. Pacers fans would be wise to watch this situation, as it will give a good indicator on if he wants to stay, or test free agency. George would demand a lot of money on the open market, and the Pacers would be wise to give him his close to $100 million before some other team does. However, even if he doesn’t sign this summer and becomes a restricted free agent, I would be VERY surprised if the Pacers didn’t match any offer he got.
The 2013-14 NBA season is just a few short months away. Join the discussion now!
The Pacers come into this season as +1200 favorites to win the NBA Title next season, which is only behind the Heat, Bulls and Nets in the East, and the Rockets and Thunder out west. I see the Pacers as solidly priced sports picks here. They will be even better than a season ago with Granger and the other small additions they have made, and while the East has gotten a lot better, they can beat almost anyone in the East in the playoffs.
While I still have my doubts as to if they could beat Miami, they got pretty damn close last season without Granger, so simple logic would say they do. However, their division is the toughest in the NBA, and their conference has taken another step up this season. It is going to be tougher to return to the conference finals with Derrick Rose back for the Bulls and Greg Oden in place in Miami. I have my concerns, but the Pacers are going to threaten 50 wins yet again this season.
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