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I have recently rejoined the CelticsBlog family and I'll be doing their previews for all 30 NBA teams in their annual SBNation team preview project. Each article includes a breakdown of last season, a recap of the team’s summer, a full depth chart, keys to this season and predicted standings.

Next up is your beloved Indiana Pacers. Here's a snippet:

X-FACTOR - Roy Hibbert
Roy Hibbert's catastrophic downfall in the second half of last season is something that everybody wa nts to forget about. It was difficult to watch, especially considering how much of an impact it had on the entire team, but that doesn't mean that he can't bounce back. He's got it in him, we have witnessed it before.

When Hibbert is locked in and on top of his game, he is a game changer and one of the best defensive bigs in the NBA. If the Pacers want to make the playoffs this season and avoid lotto land, Hibbert has to play his best basketball to date. Indiana is counting on the big fella to deliver as much as ever, and this is a giant opportunity for him to restore his reputation. If he comes into this season the way he closed out last year, it's going to be tough for the Pacers to compete at a respectable level.

WHAT TO EXPECT IN 2014-15
You can't lose guys like Paul George Lance Stephenson and expect to play anywhere near the same level. Not only were they Indiana's top two creators with the ball in their hands, they were also two of their better defensive forces. The loss of their two-way impact is going to be very difficult to overcome.

Indiana will have a chance to make the playoffs if everything goes right, but don't be surprised if the Pacers attend their first NBA Draft Lottery since 2010. If the Pacers can't come together to overcome this stage similar to how the Bulls stayed strong through Derrick Rose's injuries, Frank Vogel may be on the hot seat. Plain and simple, this will not be the same team in 2014-15. Hope for the best, Pacers fans, but manage your expectations.

PREDICTED STANDINGS
4th - Central Division
11th - Eastern Conference
FULL ARTICLE --- INDIANA PACERS 2014-15 PREVIEW - CELTICSBLOG.COM

At the top of the article, we've also included a link to Indy Cornrows' 2014-15 Pacers preview, which they also posted this morning.

Playoffs are a possible destination for the Pacers, but it's going to be tough. What do you guys expect from the team this year, Pacers fans?
 

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Jesus Shuttlesworth
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It's tough for a fan base to have a down year like this one will be when you are in the stretch of competing for a ring year-in and year-out. The loss of Stephenson and George are killers. 11th in the East seems pretty accurate - wouldn't surrpise me if they were around 9th competing for that last spot though.

On the bright side, I'll be getting several cheap tickets this year lol
 

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You could summarize the season preview in one sentence: They are going to ****ing suck and it will be a horrible season. The end.
 

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This team makes me depressed. I thought they had a chance at winning the title last season, and now I think they have a chance at winning the lottery if a couple injuries go the wrong way for them. Sad.
 

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Wow. The Pacers contingent is really just taking a year-long reprieve after how this past summer went, huh? Not that I blame them, of course.
 

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Wow. The Pacers contingent is really just taking a year-long reprieve after how this past summer went, huh? Not that I blame them, of course.
yeh, to go from being a legit contender at this time last year to a fringe playoff team at best is pretty rough. throw in the things like all the unending injuries and it's beyond tough to feel excited or optimistic about the current situation.
i have seen it twice now where i really thought the team had a really good shot at a title and things just went down the crapper.
it makes one wonder if the team is just cursed.
 

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Oladipo for the people
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yeh, to go from being a legit contender at this time last year to a fringe playoff team at best is pretty rough. throw in the things like all the unending injuries and it beyond tough to feel excited or optimistic about the current situation.
i have seen it twice now where i really thought the team had a really good shot at a title and things just went down the crapper.
it makes one wonder if the team is just cursed.
With George back next year and hopefully a high draft pick I think we could be in good shape. Who do we go after in the draft is the question.

If you think Stanley Johnson can play the 2 I say draft him. Or perhaps a PG and shift Hill to the 2?

Either that or a high potential PF to replace West in the future.

It sucks to have a wasted year. I just wish we'd lose more games. There's no point fighting for 9th, or even making the playoffs when we don't stand a chance.
 

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i agree about the playoffs. i do not see a point of getting an 8th or even 7th seed (if possible)
i have heard other folks talk about playoff experience etc being very valuable but, i think that is highly overrated.
boston went from not even making the playoffs one year to the title the next.

the team could use some talent infusion from the draft. but who we get is anybody's guess at the moment since the picking spot is so far from being decided at this point that i got no idea what they are considering at this time.
 

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Oladipo for the people
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i agree about the playoffs. i do not see a point of getting an 8th or even 7th seed (if possible)
i have heard other folks talk about playoff experience etc being very valuable but, i think that is highly overrated.
boston went from not even making the playoffs one year to the title the next.

the team could use some talent infusion from the draft. but who we get is anybody's guess at the moment since the picking spot is so far from being decided at this point that i got no idea what they are considering at this time.
True. This season sucks, but at least I can be excited for the draft again.
 
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