After suffering a gruesome leg injury in the summer of 2014, Paul George returned to the Pacers lineup last season and played at a superstar level, leading the team to the playoffs. Despite losing in the first round, George and the Pacers had an outstanding year.
The offseason was even better for Indiana, who made a handful of underrated moves to revamp the roster. They added some major talent to surround George and are expected to be a top Eastern Conference team.
4. Home Court Advantage in the Playoffs
The Pacers finished seventh last season and lost in the first round in seven games to the Toronto Raptors. Maybe if they had home court advantage, it would have been different, and they could have been the ones to advance to the semifinals. Nonetheless, with the roster boost they had this offseason, the Pacers are in good shape to land home court advantage in the playoffs, which essentially means that they could have a top-four record.
3. Myles Turner Breakthrough Year
In the midst of injuries to their bigs, Myles Turner got the opportunity to earn major minutes and showcased his skills. He then earned a larger role throughout the season and is bound to have an incredible sophomore year. He may be one of few rookies to break through and have a genuinely strong season, becoming a key contributor for Indiana.
2. Paul George Averages 20, 7, & 5
After hitting a bump in the road due to the leg injury, George has bounced back nicely. He played 81 games last season and averaged 23.1 points, seven rebounds, and 4.1 assists. It seems like he is back on track and trending upwards again. With that being that, there is a chance that he averages 20 (points), 7 (rebounds), and 5 (assists) this season. The 26-year-old is extremely talented and only getting better.
1. They (At Least) Make it to the Second Round of the Playoffs
The Pacers have a major chance to advance to the second round of the 2016 playoffs after getting bounced by the Raptors last year. They have a complete starting five and a respectful bench unit. Thaddeus Young and Al Jefferson were fine additions to the team that will help the Pacers push further into the playoffs, and the development of Turner should also contribute to their success.