How easy is it to figure out this story? The greatest shooter of all-time ends up in the front office back in his home state, loses his best player for a year due to a freak injury during Olympic training and then his team fights their way to a deciding playoff/lottery game in the season’s final day.
We all know what Larry Legend did for the Celtics back in the ‘80s, but what he’s got going into next year for the Pacers is a force to be reckoned with. After losing almost a full season to a horrific (at least, on video) injury to his leg, Paul George returns to an Indiana Pacers team that nearly made the Playoffs this year despite numerous setbacks. With key figures like David West, George Hill and the new cast of role players returning as well, Frank Vogel looks to have a roster that can get him back to the Playoffs and quite possibly contend for an Eastern Conference title. A late-lottery pick and an expiring contract could be the bait the Bird needs to capture(trade for) another prized star, possibly Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge. The key will be health, as it has been for years in this league. Another factor may be the possible movement of Roy Hibbert, Luis Scola or one of the many “unknown” guards.
I look for the Pacers to make a staunch comeback in the 2015-16 season and end up in the Top 5 in the East. With a couple moves here and there, the Legend could once again have this team in the NBA Finals.