October 26, 2013

#9 - Indiana Pacers

For the Indiana Pacers, it's about time and experience. Their valiant stint against the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals led to a dismal Game 7 of 21 turnovers, losing the rebound battle, and a flustered, fouled out Paul George with a grand total of 7 points. They were expectedly outmatched, but it still adds to their experience. The story most associated with Indiana now is the return of Danny Granger, who is now doubtful for the Pacers' season opener next week. Granger's knee injury kept him out of 75 games and the playoffs last season and reportedly suffered a minor calf injury during the preseason. The Pacers need time for Danny Granger.

Still this list is only about the added pieces, and I wrote that Indiana won in July when they traded for Phoenix Suns forward Luis Scola. The Pacers now have more experience on their bench and even more ruggedness to accompany David West and Roy Hibbert. Scola will bring the same tenacity as a Tyler Hanbrough, who signed with Toronto as an unrestricted free agent, but with much more skill and savvy. You still have Lance Stephenson as a spark plug; you replace D.J. Augustin with a seasoned back-up point guard in C.J. Watson, and add an extra spark plug in former Knick Chris Copeland, and Tom Ziller from SB Nation thinks you might be looking at the best team in the East. With some time and a little more experience, not to mention Paul George's vital emergence as a star and a smooth return for Granger, they're more equipped to make the argument.

- Martin S. @marley_mcfly

+Indiana Pacers

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