The Indiana Pacers have always been a team that has been a piece away from doing something great in the playoffs. They also have been going through a Cavs team that arguably had the best player in the world on their team, LeBron James. But with him gone this past year, they had a really good chance of actually making some noise and going deep into the playoffs, but injuries prevailed and took their hope away for another season. With LeBron gone, their big obstacle now is going through Milwaukee with Giannis, the Celtics, and 76ers with a refurbished roster.

With the Pacers bringing in a new player in Malcolm Brogdon and losing a key role player in Bojan Bogdanovič, it seemed like they just swapped players. Yes, they did lose a little bit of size in Bogdanovič but bringing in Brogdon you’re adding another perimeter player and another player who can help lead a comeback when the team is down late in the game. He is a quiet player to have on your team and a great complementary guard for Victor Oladipo, I believe we will see him starting as the shooting guard for this team.

Point Guards

Credit: Darron Cummings/Associated Press
  • Aaron Holiday
  • Walt Lemon Jr.
  • T. J. McConnell
  • Victor Oladipo
  • Edmond Sumner

We will see the majority of the season with Victor being the front runner of the starting point guard for the Pacers, but due to injury we probably won’t see him the start of the season. So, I believe Holiday will be the starting point guard for the team. He is coming off a solid rookie year as the backup for Victor and with him knowing how to control a team while Oladipo was gone last year, he is your best bet. I wouldn’t be shocked if we see McConnell becoming a starter every now and then. He is coming off a solid year as well with the Philadelphia 76ers as a backup to Ben Simmons.

Shooting Guards

Credit: John Bazemore/Associated Press
  • Malcolm Brogdon
  • Justin Holiday
  • Naz Mitrou-Long *Two-Way
  • C.J. Wilcox

Brogdon was a good pick up from the Milwaukee Bucks. They picked up a player who is quietly a good two-way guard and is part of the 50-40-90 club. I believe the Bucks made a big mistake by getting rid of one of their top defenders and previous Rookie of the Year winner. I expect Brogdon to make a big impact from the jump with his new team. Wilcox and Mitrou-Long are both still young in the league and still trying to find their way. Long will be spending the majority of his time in the G-League and being called upon the occasion when they need an extra person on the bench. Justin Holiday will be teaming up with his younger brother this season after previously being with the Memphis Grizzlies. This is a player that hasn’t really found a home when it comes to staying on one team for a long period of time. Even though that is the case, that doesn’t mean he still won’t give it his all for the team he plays for. He makes a good back up for both shooting and point guard.

Small Forwards

Credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images
  • Brian Bowen *Two-Way
  • Jeremy Lamb
  • Doug McDermott
  • T.J. Warren

McDermott is someone who has the potential of really making an impact in this league. In college, he was a dominant three-point shooter and ended up breaking the all-time three-point record. Lamb is also another player who has been bounced around from team to team, but that still doesn’t prevent him from shining on his team. He is a good perimeter shooter and is a solid defender. Warren was a solid player for the Phoenix Suns who made progress every year since coming into the league. I expect him to pick up right where he left off with his new team and being impactful off the bench. Bowen is a Rookie who played with the Sydney Kings last season. He will be spending most of his time in the G-League with Long, but expect him to make a few appearances in the NBA throughout the season.

Power Forwards

Credit: Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images
  • Alize Johnson
  • T.J. Leaf
  • Domantas Sabonis
  • JaKarr Sampson

Leaf is coming back for his second season. In college, he was known to spread the floor with his size and could be a good rebounder when paired up with Myles Turner or Sabonis on both ends of the floor. Sabonis has been improving each season and is starting to get more and better into his Hall of Fame father with the Trailblazers. He has to turn into a player that could play both the Power Forward position and the Center position if the team decides to play small and spread the floor against teams that like to run and gun. Johnson and JaKarr are still trying to make a name for themselves. JaKarr has been bouncing around from team to team trying to find a home for more than one season. Johnson is a player that is coming back for his second season and is looking to show improvement from his rookie season in the league.

Centers

Credit: Justin Casterline/Getty Images
  • Goga Bitadze
  • Amida Brimah
  • Myles Turner

Turner is turning into a dominant big man in the league. He has an inside game, outside game, and can play defense and be a rim protector. He’s looking for revenge this year and is hoping that his team can help him out a little bit more especially when his All-Star teammate Oladipo comes back healthier and stronger than last year. Amida and Goga are Rookies going into this year and is looking to be the next big man off the bench.

Coach

Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski/USA Today Sports

Nate McMillan is coming back for his fourth season and has been doing very well as a head coach. He and his team haven’t made a lot of progress in the Eastern Conference, but this year will be different with all his returning pieces coming back healthy and ready to play.

Projected Lineup/Roster Cuts

  • PG: Victor Oladipo
  • SG: Malcolm Brogdon
  • SF: Doug McDermott
  • PF: Domantas Sabonis
  • C: Myles Turner
  • Sixth Man: T.J. McConnell
  • Rest of the Bench: T.J. Warren, Jeremy Lamb, Justin Holiday, Aaron Holiday, T.J. Leaf, Edmond Sumner, JaKarr Sampson, Goga Bitadze, Alize Johnson.
  • Two-way Players: Naz Mitrou-Long, Brian Bowen
  • Roster Cuts: Amida Brimah, C.J. Wilcox

An overall solid lineup with this team. Look for them to have a bounce-back year this upcoming season and to be a top-five team in the Eastern Conference when it comes to Playoff seeding. Expect Victor Oladipo to not start at the beginning of the season for he is still recovering from that gruesome knee injury last season. This doesn’t mean that the team will start off slow, but it does mean that they will start off better with Oladipo than without him.

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