After spending media day hearing plenty of positive (even playoff) talk from the Pacers, Marc Stein provided the appropriate dose of reality with his team rankings for ESPN.com. Personally, I think the Pacers will land somewhere inbetween the sunny outlook the Pacers presented and the lost cause 25th place ranking Stein offered up. Here's what the oft-keen NBA observer had to say about the Pacers.
Maybe we should be higher on a team that finished one game shy of the playoffs. Just can't shake the feeling that Indy (a) came up way short on the O'Neal deal and (b) still lacks the right mix to play Obie's way.
I agree with the first statement but take issue with points A and B. Was there a better deal for J.O. sitting out there? The guy did not want to play for the Pacers and crippled the salary cap. Also, they may not have the perfect mix for JOB's style of play but they certainly have more players that fit his style of play this year.
The good news is that Stein had the Pacers ranked 29th at this time last year and they played way above that ranking despite the injuries and transitions season under JOB.