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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Indiana Pacers
Andrew Nembhard, Trae Young – Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /

The Atlanta Hawks are big flunkers whereas the Indiana Pacers are fast risers

The Atlanta Hawks inching to an NBA Finals berth in 2021 suddenly seems like a memoir from a previous decade. With how the mediocre they have been in the last two years, fans might as well consider that 2021 run as a complete outlier.

Despite adding All-Star guard Dejounte Murray to the team, Trae Young and co. have yet to firmly establish themselves in the East as even tough outs in the first-round. Right now, they are sitting at eighth place, barely scraping by to remain the playoff hunt.

With Atlanta having mortgaged their immediate future to San Antonio in the Murray trade, being rumored to consider trading Young in the offseason, and still housing John Collins on the roster, the Hawks have no easy fix awaiting them even if they flip the switch. They have not proven that they are more than just a paper tiger. Eventually, the Indiana Pacers should be able to usurp them next season as they get wiser with a steadier captain stirring the wheel in Tyrese Haliburton.

Next. This trade proves that the Pacers are an elite trading team. dark