Indiana Pacers the #1 seed, but are they the favorites?


You might want to root for the Indiana Pacers this season, if only to see some variety from last year. Especially if you’re an “anyone but the Miami Heat” person. Like the story of last fall: Johnny Manziel vs. the NCAA vs. the creepy autograph seekers, there’s no one to root for in a Heat-San Antonio Spurs rematch.

America doesn’t need to see that again. The Indiana Pacers are the biggest roadblock for the The Big Three in the East. Indiana got off to an amazingly hot start out of the gates; it was blistering. They haven’t been the same team since the Evan Turner trade, and declined. Despite the regression, the Indiana Pacers still grabbed the #1 seed in the East.

Indiana Pacers

But that doesn’t mean they’re the favorites in the East. Take a look at the odds on allpro. Currently it shows the Indiana Pacers with 8-1 odds to win it all. The Heat are designated the favorites still. However, in the past two years we’ve seen the Indiana Pacers take the Heat to the brink; with two push it to the limit classic series that gave Miami everything they could handle.

The Pacers are an interesting, plucky bunch. Make sure to keep your Georges straight, as Paul George and George Hill can throw off the neophyte NBA fan. Roy Hibbert is the team’s star; or at least the team’s star personality. He is an engaging personality with great comic timing.

“I think Indiana is very good,” said ESPN Analyst Jeff Van Gundy.

“I think they’re somewhere as a team between their incredible start and their poor finish. I do believe home court will be important, and I think that’s why if you had to favor somebody, I would favor Indiana.
But there’s nothing that concerns me about Miami that is their fault.  I think they have a lot of guys who are not in their prime right now, and the ability to consistently play well individually is just not there. And then you have the health issues that to me if they didn’t have some of those health issues, they’d be a 60-win team.  They would be the favorite,” he said.

Paul M. Banks owns The Sports, an affiliate of Fox Sports. He’s also a frequent guest on national talk radio. Banks is a former contributor to NBC Chicago and the Washington Times, who’s been featured on the History Channel. President Obama follows him on Twitter (@paulmbanks)

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