3 reasons the Indiana Pacers will return to the playoffs

Indiana Pacers, TJ Warren - Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Indiana Pacers, TJ Warren - Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Indiana Pacers
Indiana Pacers – Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /

The Indiana Pacers should return to the playoffs this season.

Earlier this week, we dove into a few reasons why the Indiana Pacers could continue to struggle next season after missing the playoffs in 2020-21. With the new season on the horizon, optimism is back in the air for the Pacers with Rick Carlisle taking over as head coach.

There is still plenty of talent on the roster despite the loss of Doug McDermott in free agency. T.J. Warren will hopefully return to the lineup after playing in just four games last season, adding a scoring boost to the starting five.

Chris Duarte, the team’s first selection in the 2021 NBA Draft, is ready to be a contributor right away, something that we don’t see often from Pacers rookies. His arrival to the bench will help alleviate some of the scoring that was lost when McDermott left for San Antonio.

Aaron Holiday was also traded on draft night for a draft pick which wound up being Kentucky big man Isaiah Jackson. Jackson, who may get some run as the backup four, probably will not see a ton of time in his rookie season unless the Pacers move one of the other centers.

With a few changes on the way but a lot of returning faces, will the Indiana Pacers get back into playoff contention next season?