The NBA season is right around the corner. Its approach is now tangible. I’m excited. I’m giddy. I’ve enjoyed each of the past few seasons more than the last, and the upcoming 2009-10 season will answer so many unknowns that I can’t wait for them to throw the ball up.
Will KG’s knee hold up? How will Shaq fit in with LeBron and company? Was letting Ariza/his temperamental agent walk and signing Artest a good move? How will Vince and a more conventional lineup affect Orlando? Will RJ help the Timmy/Manu/Tony triumvirate win their first even-year Larry O’Brien trophy?
Unsurprisingly, everyone has opinions on all of these thoughts. And even less surprisingly, they are very willing to tell you about those thoughts. Indeed, we have now officially entered the unmistakable eye of the storm that is season preview season — that wonderful time of the year that you will get to hear all about later in the year from those whose outlooks proved correct. Oddly enough, however, those whose proclamations prove incorrect will conveniently forget that this time ever existed. Ah, the wonders of punditry.
In the case of a middling franchise like the Pacers that no longer compels hoops nation, only a handful of analysts have really put a lot of in-depth thought into how the basketball gods will bless or smite Indiana this season. Yours truly will have some more insights to offer over the next week, both in the form of a TrueHoop Network preview and an even longer write-up here. But have no fear Pacer faithful; you can wet your beaks on some appetizer analysis in the meantime from me, Sean Stevenson of Indy Cornrows and Sebastian Pruiti of Nets Are Scorching in Sebastian’s Nets/Pacers match-up preview.
Troy Murphy of last year is what all of us Nets fans are hoping Yi can turn into. A guy who can hit from the outside and can rebound from the defensive end. Murphy might not duplicate his career year, but he will put up better numbers than Yi.
Ball Don’t Lie was talking Indy the other day as well, and although I’m still a little upset with Kelly Dwyer for overlooking the timeout Larry Brown called to let Conseco honor Reggie for his Top 10 Feel-Good Moments of the Decade, there are few people on this planet who watch more NBA ball than Dwyer, so his opinion is always something to take seriously.
Says the man with the Twitter handle @KDonHoops:
And when you replace the combined 5627 above-average minutes that [Jack, Marquis and Rasho] played last year with … minutes from far, far below-average players in the two Jones’ and Watson this season? You’re going to have a fall-off.
In this case, the fall-off won’t push the Pacers’ win total into the 20s. But it will stop them from making that next step.
He has Indiana pencilled in for a 33-49 record.
Other previews of interest include:
- Indy Cornrows drops some knowledge
- A video breakdown from Tim Legler and Mike Yam,
- Much more from ESPN.com
- Marty Burns of SI’s take
- Joey Whelen of Slam’s Last Emp/comic book-inspired thoughts
- The predicitions of the collective FanHouse braintrust
- Wasteland expectations from BallerBlogger
- Good stuff from The Baseline
- …and a modicum of insight from FoxSports
- UPDATE: Paints in the Point drops some knowledge
Hopefully, all that will tide you over until we drop our official thoughts.