The Pacers did a lot this offseason to build and add to the existing roster. They brought in key players such as Obi Toppin and Bruce Brown to fill major weaknesses for the team. They drafted a do-it-all power forward in Jarace Walker to add to the power forward depth on the team. And they will be bringing in a franchise superstar coming off an excellent showing with Team USA in the FIBA world cup.
But ESPN believes that all of those additions will essentially add to absolutely nothing in their newest predictions for the eastern conference in the upcoming season. Here is what ESPN believes the east will shake out to by the end of the season:
They have the Pacers at 38-44, which is technically an extremely small improvement. But let’s take a look at the facts.
Last year, the Pacers won 35 games, so ESPN believes that all of the additions will amount to three additional wins across the season. However, there is one key thing that they are likely not taking into account, which is that the Pacers looked to be on a trajectory to win quite a few more games until Haliburton got injured. So the idea that the Pacers will only win three more games when they are walking into the season a very complete and deep team is borderline ludicrous.
Our prediction is that the Pacers are going to be right at or slightly over .500 this season.
This would put them closer to the 6-7 range in the east rather than 9th where ESPN has them currently. Of course, this prediction from us is assuming that the Pacers don’t run into major injuries this season, which is always a potential risk of playing in the modern NBA.
But what we do feel confident in saying is that if the Pacers are healthy, they will most definitely win more than the 38 games that ESPN is predicting just given how good they were last year (a team that was already on pace to win more than 38 games).