Feb 19, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Indiana Pacers forward Paul George (24) shoots over Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love (42) during the third quarter at Target Center. The Timberwolves defeated the Pacers 104-91. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Will the Pacers Make the Playoffs?

In my spare time, I run the NBA blog Both Teams Played Hard. Of late, a chap named Noam Schiller has been contributing some superb posts and his latest is an attempt to make some “crazy” yet very possible predictions about the upcoming season.

And he seems to be one of the few people out there who see happy skies ahead for Indiana, even expecting the team to make the playoffs when the first 82 games are all said and done.

Here is Noam’s case for the Pacers:

The Pacers Will Make the Playoffs

I know. The Pacers? The team that has done nothing but stagnate in the least interesting way possible since 2007? The team who will be starting Josh McRoberts and one of the Brandon Rush/James Posey/Mike Dunleavey trifecta? Seriously, the Pacers?!


The Pacers.

Danny Granger is a beast, and while he isn’t a franchise player by any means, he also isn’t nearly as bad as he was last season. Darren Collison showed while filling in for Chris Paul that he is more than just a per-minute wonder, and he can flourish in Jim O’Brien’s up-tempo system. And Roy Hibbert – oh, Roy Hibbert. Three years in, he should have the stupid high foul thing behind him, leaving only a deft touch and a strong high post game to go with a 7’2” frame. I see a great season from Roy, and he is my preseason pick for Most Improved Player. (Yeah, I know all the red flags – poor rebounder, too slow for the modern Al Horford-esque center, yada yada yada. These are my crazy predictions and you’ll have to tolerate my leaps of faith). And if they can swing a deal for another player who is actually worthy of starting (they have the expiring deals), then why not?

Most of all – the East gets quite murky once you get past the top 6 (Miami, Orlando, Boston, Atlanta, Chicago, Milwaukee). The Knicks are probably the best of the remaining bunch, but they’re far from a lock. Besides that? Anybody but the Raptors could make some noise of varying degree – with noise being a Playoff push of under 40 wins.

Somebody will eventually be the least worst team.

This league has surprise, come out of nowhere, “they didn’t change their roster, why are they so good?” teams every season. I think this year, it’s Indy.

He is correct in that there is usually one “they didn’t change their roster, why are they so good?” teams. The Pacers obviously got Darren Collison but in the grand scheme of FR3E AGEñT $UMM4R BON@NZA TWeNTY 1o, that was barely even a drop in the ocean.

So let’s hope Noam is as wise as his first name suggests he might be.

What say you? Will Indian end its playoff drought this season?


Tags: Darren Collison Noam Schiller

  • http://excitedstate.wordpress.com boombaby

    I’m all in on Darren Collison, and I’m expecting a big trade to help us with a second-half surge to the playoffs.

    Because if the beginning of the season isn’t time for optimism, then when is?

  • Chris D.

    As much as I want to say, “Yes,” I will have to say, “No.” I think they will miss by a few games. First, the team does not have enough depth to handle the loss of a starter to injury, and it seems unlikely they will make it through the season with no major injury. Second, they still show no signs of real defensive intensity, and JOB just does not seem to have enough rapport with the team to get it out of them consistently in the first half. They will end building a ten game deficit by the all-star break that they cannot surmount.

  • Doug

    i hope the pacer’s Lose every game the play just to teach them a lesson they want to keep that dumb sloman jones that aint worth a shit, pluse they want to keep a coach that aint no good eather, i just hope that they fall in the hole real bad,because i won’t go and watch them play,they get rid of a real good play and says jones is better bull shit and the rest of you so called pacers fan if you are smart you won’t go to the games, i would protest, well just like i said i hope they lose every game they play

  • LawyerE

    Okay, the post right above mine is too harsh but I understand where Doug is coming from. I too would rather the Pacers have eaten the money due to Solo-point (or Solo-rebound) (or Solo-skill) (or Solo-nomo) (or Solo-hellno) and kept Magnum Rolle. I was summarily disappointed in the short-sightedness demonstrated by Larry Legend/Jim O’Brien/Morway in cutting Magnum. I realize the cut was made because it was the cheapest way to go and cutting Solo-nolowpost would have thinnned the front court depth.

    Speaking of dismay, I am displeased with Jim O’Brien’s coaching/leadership/decision making. He may be a decent man as a longtime fan of the Pacers (win or lose, brawling or having tea and crumpets), I have to think the team can do better. To that end, I realize summer league is played against inferior talent but McRoberts, Rolle, George and Stephenshoveson had me salivating (in a completely non-sexual, love your team sort of way). Then, training camp and pre-season open and Rolle and Stephenslamson are nothing like they were in summer league. Well, what changed? Arguably, the level of competition changed but the more telling change was who was COACHING.

    I assure you, as a man with a doctoral degree who never on his best day as an athlete could have played in the NBA, Jim O’Brien is a curse, not a cure to this franchise. So long as he coaches my beloved Pacers, they should be renamed the Spacers (because there will be a lot of space between them and the higher playoff seeds in the East).

    Nevertheless, good luck to Magnum Rolle – I hope to see you in a Pacers uniform again. Good luck to my Indiana Pacers, I will cheer my heart out for you and hope against all signs, that your efforts are rewarded with advancement in the playoffs. Stay healthy and GO BLUE and GOLD.