The Indiana Pacers had a bounce back season last year after missing the playoffs when Paul George was out with his leg injury. Heading into the 2016-17 NBA season, the Pacers have made a lot of changes including a new head coach and the addition of several key players that can help make it to the playoffs.
George had an MVP-caliber season but the team was not just good in comparison to other top teams in the Eastern Conference. Here is SportsRageous’ 2016-17 NBA season preview for the Indiana Pacers that include several analysis, outlook and predictions.
Indiana Pacers 2016-17 NBA Season Preview
The Pacers won 45 games last season, good for only seventh in the Eastern Conference. They were paired with the second-seeded Toronto Raptors in the first round wherein they lost in seven games. In the offseason, they fired head coach Frank Vogel and replaced him with Nate McMillan.
Team president Larry Bird grew impatient with Vogel but he made sure McMillan had the right players heading into the season. The Pacers have acquired several talented players via trade and free agency this summer.
Indiana is entering the 2017 NBA season with a lot new faces and a new head coach. They currently have 19 players on their training camp roster with only 15 players making the final cut.
Indiana Pacers 2016-17 Training Camp Roster
PG: Aaron Brooks, Jeff Teague
SG: Monta Ellis, Rodney Stuckey, Joe Young, Nick Zeisloft
SF: Paul George, Glenn Robinson III, C.J. Miles, Alex Poythress, Julyan Stone
PF: Rakeem Christmas, Jeremy Evans, Georges Niang, Thaddeus Young
C: Lavoy Allen, Al Jefferson, Kevin Seraphin, Myles Turner
Key Losses: George Hill (Traded to the Utah Jazz), Jordan Hill (Minnesota Timberwolves), Solomon Hill (New Orleans Pelicans), Ian Mahinmi (Washington Wizards)
The Pacers lost three Hills but they have found better replacements via trade and free agency. Ian Mahinmi’s defensive presence will be missed dearly but Myles Turner is ready to be the team’s anchor while other players are surely going to step up.
Key Additions: Jeff Teague (Acquired from the Atlanta Hawks), Thaddeus Young (Acquired from the Brooklyn Nets), Al Jefferson (Free Agency), Kevin Seraphin (Free Agency)
Indiana replaced George Hill with hometown star Jeff Teague, who was acquired from the Hawks. Teague is a better playmaker and overall player than Hill. He can certainly help the Pacers in their running game.
The Pacers also added Thaddeus Young from the Brooklyn Nets. Young will provide scoring and energy from the power forward position. On the other hand, Al Jefferson and Kevin Seraphin are clear replacements and improvements for Jordan Hill and Ian Mahinmi.
The Indiana Pacers were one of the defensive teams in the NBA under Frank Vogel but expect it to be on par heading into next season. Their offense will surely improve and they are now going to score much easily with Jeff Teague at the point.
Al Jefferson will provide scoring off the bench while Paul George leads the way in almost all categories. Myles Turner is also going to be vital this season after a really impressive rookie season and he has the potential to be an All-Star.
The Pacers have had difficulty scoring the basketball at times last season but it changes this season. Larry Bird wants the team to play fast but he appointed Nate McMillan as head coach. McMillan is not known for a high-octane offense.
Indiana Pacers 2016-17 Predictions
- Projected 15-Man Roster:
- PG: Aaron Brooks, Jeff Teague
- SG: Monta Ellis, Rodney Stuckey, Joe Young
- SF: Paul George, Glenn Robinson III, C.J. Miles
- PF: Rakeem Christmas, Georges Niang, Thaddeus Young
- C: Lavoy Allen, Al Jefferson, Kevin Seraphin, Myles Turner
Projected Starting 5: PG – Teague, SG – Ellis, SF – George, PF – T. Young, C – Turner
Projected NBA Record: 48 Wins, 5th in the Eastern Conference