The Indiana Pacers are legit contenders and if you don’t believe so, you may want to glance over their roster once or twice just to make sure I’m telling you the truth.
While darn near all the good teams were busy forming super-teams, the Pacers quietly went under the radar with a few moves that will surely turn heads this season. They managed to keep their core intact with Paul George, Monta Ellis and Myles Turner but it’s what they added they will make teams cringe.
The Pacers did lose Center Ian Mahinmi but in his place will be Al Jefferson. George Hill was not the PG for them so instead they replaced him with former All-Star PG Jeff Teague. How can a team that features a starting 5 with this type of firepower and leadership go unnoticed this offseason?[embedit snippet=”2″]
Cleveland won their first ring, the Bulls picked up Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade, the Knicks traded for Derrick Rose and a few other teams also improved. So, this puts the Pacers right where they need to be. Right in the thick of the Eastern Conference race for top seed.
But the Cavs are still the same. Yes they are but besides them what team has this type of veteran presence? Many will look at the move and wonder if Jefferson has anything left in the tank. Let me tell you that he does. His last two seasons with the Hornets were a bit misleading due to injuries but even with a minutes restriction he still produced at a high rate when on the floor.
George alone is still good for 15 wins but the addition of Teague brings a different element on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. Hill was more a bench player that was forced to play starter minutes. Teague has led a 60 win team in the past and will fit right in. The Pacers will no longer be forced to stand by and take Kodak pictures while George plays the iso game.