2016-2017 NBA Previews – Pacers Odds
Looking for 2016 Indiana Pacers Predictions? The Pacers are not a great team, probably not even a contender. Last year they gave the Raptors all they could handle in the first round but with the loss came changes, including a new coach. There is probably enough to return to the playoffs in the East but the outlook is pretty much the same to me. Paul George might be LeBron lite but he has yet to really elevate the team.
Indiana Pacers Season Preview
Head Coach: Nate McMillan
2014 Record: 45-37
Warriors Odds to NBA Title: 100/1
Warriors Odds to Win Conference: 35/1
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Indiana Pacers Strengths:
The acquisition of Jeff Teague gives the Pacers one of the better backcourts in the East this season.
Pairing him with Monta Ellis gives them a couple of good complimentary scoring options for George and gives them a true NBA calibre PG instead of a matchy matchy solution.
Rodney Stuckey is also a nice option as a backup to both. They might have been average in this area and now they are above that.
Indiana had somewhat of a bruising front line last year but this year they will have more skill up front.
Some of that will come through new acquisition Al Jefferson, who is still a very competent scorer and rebounder, especially in a secondary role and the rest will come through more time for Myles Turner.
Last year he showed a lot, especially in the playoffs and he could be one of the league’s next great big men with his diverse skills.
Can a single player be a strength, I think it can when that player is among the top five in the game. Paul George is more than just the Pacers top scorer.
He is their best defensive player and probably their best distributor. He has shown that he can be a difference maker late in games and the only thing and he is tough, coming back from a gruesome injury.
The only thing he is really missing is a high level of playoff success.
Indiana Pacers Weaknesses:
With every move they have made, from the coach on down, they have de-emphasized defense.
There is nothing wrong with that in principle but the success of the old regime was built upon it and transitions like that are not always the smoothest.
Coach MacMillan has had success in the past but never taken a team all the way. Everyone wants to play like Golden State but you also have to maximize the personnel you have.
The final big acquisition of the offseason was Thaddeus Young.
Young has put up some good numbers over the course of his career but he has always been on bad to terrible teams. When you watch him I am not sure he would do well on a team that is expected to give max effort all the time.
He definitely would not have fit with the old regime and more importantly I am not sure he is a winning piece as opposed to a stats guy.
McMillan was an assistant the last few seasons with Indiana so he knows the personnel pretty well but there is a lot of new faces to integrate and they all want the ball…a lot.
Teague is good at moving the ball but Jefferson and Young are ball stoppers and integrating then in a way that elevates the team quickly is going to be a challenge.
It might be hard to truly evaluate Indiana until after the All-Star break and there could be some headaches.
Indiana Pacers Betting Prediction: 45-37
Per the last paragraph I am expecting some growing pains with this group and thus I do not expect them to improve on their record much from last year, when they finished in a crazy tie in the Eastern Conference.
There might be some great opportunities to fade this group early in the season as the pieces get accustomed to playing with one another. Paul George may find it challenging in the early going with so many new mouths to feed.
Indiana has a reputation about being a defense first team and their O/U stats from last year bear that out – they were 38-50.
The oddsmakers are not dumb but that reputation can often overly influence the numbers and I think that can certainly be the case here so the smart thing might be to play some overs early before the adjustment.
The defense is likely to be not as sharp and the offense more potent. You want to lead the curve here.
2016 NBA Gambling
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