This season beginning to feel similar for the Indiana Pacers

Indiana Pacers - Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Indiana Pacers - Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /
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Indiana Pacers
Indiana Pacers – Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports /

Preseason Expectations

Another common denominator between the two disappointing teams is each’s preseason expectations.

While the McMillan hire was uninspiring at the time, Bird had just taken the roster through a massive overhaul and planned on rolling out a rotation that had little resemblance to that of the team before. Jeff Teague, Thaddeus Young, and Al Jefferson were touted as key additions. Monta Ellis was supposedly healthier after dealing with nagging injury issues the season prior. Paul George was continuing to round into form after his catastrophic leg injury in 2014.

Fans and the media alike were excited to see what the Pacers could achieve. Some were even calling them the biggest threat to LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers.

While the media wasn’t quite that high on the Pacers before this season, there was still some hope that they could make a push and contend for an Eastern Conference Finals spot. McMillan, despite regular season successes, had consistently been pushed around in the playoffs and with a healthy roster, there was hope Bjorkgren could get them over the hump.

There was optimism surrounding the health of Oladipo and the relationships that Bjorkgren had built with the players. During training camp and the preseason, stories consistently came out about the positive nature surrounding the team and their practices.