Indiana Pacers Could Reach the Eastern Conference Finals in 2019-2020

When the Indiana Pacers traded away Paul George to the Oklahoma City Thunder a couple of years ago in the offseason, it looked as if Indiana was going to be heading for a rebuild and be one of the worst teams in the NBA. Instead, the Pacers have made it to the playoffs the last two seasons.

Indiana was the number five seed in the east last season with a 48-34 record. They got swept in the first round of the playoffs against the Boston Celtics but even despite that, the Indiana Pacers feel like they have a bright future ahead of them.

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Boston took a major step backward by losing Al Horford, Kyrie Irving, and Aron Baynes. The Toronto Raptors lost Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green in free agency.

The Brooklyn Nets did sign Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, but Durant will be out for the entire 2019-2020 due to a torn Achilles injury.

If I had to chose which eight teams would make the playoffs in the east for the 2019-2020 season, the one seed would be the Philadelphia 76ers, the two seed would be the Milwaukee Bucks, the three seed would be the Indiana Pacers, the four seed would be the Brooklyn Nets, the five seed would be the Toronto Raptors, the six seed would be the Boston Celtics, the seven seed would be the Miami Meat, and the eight seed would be the Atlanta Hawks.

Could next year be the year that the Indiana Pacers reach the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 2013 next season?

I like there chances a lot to get there because of how the landscape is now in the east. Indiana is a hard-working team under Head Coach Nate McMillan.

They acquired players like T.J. Warren from the Phoenix Suns and Malcolm Brogdon from the Milwaukee Bucks. Brogdon and Victor Oladipo have the potential to be a very nice backcourt.

They also drafted center Goga Bitadze from the country Georgia in the first round of the NBA Draft and he has the potential to make an immediate impact.

Myles Turner is one of the most underrated centers in the NBA.

With Darren Collison retiring from the NBA at just 31 years old, 23-year-old point guard Edmond Sumner has the potential to pop next season and become a solid basketball player for Indiana.

He played in just 23 games and Sumner averaged 2.9 PPG, 1 RPG, 0.4 APG, 0.2 BPG, and 0.5 SPG last season.

Domantas Sabonis will continue to be a pivotal player on this basketball team. He averaged 14.1 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 2.9 APG, 0.4 BPG, and 0.6 SPG, in 74 games last season.

Aaron Holiday and T.J. Leaf might also have extended roles next season: The potential starting lineup for them next could be : (C) Myles Turner, (PF) Domantas Sabonis, (SF) T.J. Warren, (SG) Victor Oladipo (PG) Malcolm Brogdon.

The key players off the bench will be (PG) Aaron Holiday, (PG) Edmund Sumner, (PF) T.J. Leaf, (C) Goga Bitadze, and (SF) Doug McDermott.

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This roster is definitely good enough to get at least to the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The problem is they are going to have to beat either the Milwaukee Bucks or the Philadelphia 76ers. I think Indiana has a much better chance of beating Milwaukee than Philadelphia because the Pacers and the Bucks play in the same division and I also think that Milwaukee took a little step backward.

As of right now, the 76ers will be the favorites to win the east next season even though the Milwaukee Bucks finished with the best record in the east last season at 60-22. If one of those two teams don’t reach the conference finals next season, I believe the Indiana Pacers will be there.

Where do you feel the Indiana Pacers will finish next year? Leave a comment below.

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Follow Glenn on Twitter @glennkaplan13.

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