B/R ranks the Indiana Pacers starting lineup as 23rd-best in the league

Tyrese Haliburton - Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Tyrese Haliburton - Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /

The Indiana Pacers certainly won’t be in the running for the best record in the league next season. As said multiple times before, on the first year of a full-on rebuild, the upcoming campaign will be devoted fully on development for the young group.

However, even with some outlets projecting the Pacers to finish with one of, if not the worst record in the league, the team definitely is not a pushover. In fact, their starting unit may prove to be better than anticipated.

Bleacher Reports ranks the Indiana Pacers opening group as the 23rd-best in the league

In their customary power rankings of the starting lineups in the league, Bleacher Report had the Indiana Pacers’ projected starting lineup of Tyrese Haliburton, Chris Duarte, Buddy Hield, Jalen Smith, and Myles Turner as the 23rd-best among all teams, a relatively surprising finish for a team believed to be a cellar dweller next season.

The Pacers ranked higher than most teams pegged to be in the lottery, and even some clubs poised to compete for a playoff spot in 2022-23 like the Utah Jazz (if Donovan Mitchell is not traded) and ironically, the Sacramento Kings.

If anything though, this reflects how lethal the Pacers can be, at least on paper. Despite not being in the condition to viably chase a playoff spot, Indiana has the tendency to compete with any team on a nightly basis, though their lack of acuity in the clutch has repeatedly doomed them in the end, just like last season, when those were aplenty.

Looking at it more specifically, the team’s projected starters may actually grade out as one of the better point-producing units next season. Led by Haliburton at the point and with Duarte and Hield supercharging the scoring from the perimeter, don’t be surprised if the Pacers ends up finding themselves in multiple high-scoring affairs, even if their defense ensures that they give up just as much, if not more.

Ultimately, the Indiana Pacers should still be a galvanizing bunch next season, even if the wins department don’t reflect the same. And if they somehow win more than they should, you could blame their starting unit for being better than most of their lottery peers.

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