3 Eastern Conference teams the Indiana Pacers can leapfrog next season

Tyrese Haliburton, Jimmy Butler - Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
Tyrese Haliburton, Jimmy Butler - Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports /
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No one is reckoning the Indiana Pacers as a legitimate threat for the title this season. In fact, the team may not even get into the nadir of the race as they are currently stuck at 12th place in the Eastern Conference and are more likely to land in the upper shelf of the lottery as things currently stand.

Fortunately, the only way for this Pacers team is up. With the franchise having one of the clearer and brighter futures in the East, it will come to no one’s surprise if they eventually unseat some of the teams currently ahead of them in the standings. In fact, they are definitely capable of leapfrogging these three teams next season.

The Indiana Pacers can surpass these Eastern Conference teams next season

1. Miami Heat

Every year, the Miami Heat are like Pandora’s box — you never know what you’ll get until they just kick the tires. However, despite making the Conference Finals in two of the last three seasons, it feels like their championship window is starting to abbreviate with them projected to have a rather middling finish this season by their standards.

Miami was the last team Indiana faced in the playoffs. While the Heat swept them back then, the Pacers should have a lot of chances to avenge their longtime dolor against the former.

The Pacers are arguably set up much better for the future as currently constructed. Miami will always be the more attractive market, but Indiana has ample draft capital, substantial cap space, and top-to-bottom potential that cannot be matched by the Heat, especially as they nurse a bevy of overpaid players on their roster.