With the NBA regular season tipping off in less than 24 hours, and the Indiana Pacers making their debut in just 48 hours, the hype and expectations for teams can't start soon enough. For power rankings around the league, the Indiana Pacers have a common theme: while they're recognized nationally as one of the top ten leagues in the team, many still have uncertainty about the level the blue and gold are capable of reaching.
Of course, with lack of sexy offseason moves to bolster the perception of progress, the Pacers will have to rely on what got them where they are: quality, deep basketball with a helping of good health. But while the concerns of Danny Granger and George Hill seem to be a typical take among where the Pacers are placed and why they aren't considered to be higher, using injuries as a unique handicap for an Indiana team that has proven to be among the healthiest teams in the league the past couple of seasons is an interesting, and popular, angle to take.
NBA Power Rankings: Preseason taught us so much about the Heat, Lakers - SBNation.com
Seth Rosenthal gives the Pacers their highest ranking of 7th, suggesting the potential loss of Granger may not be so crippling with the chances created by Paul George and Gerald Green.
NBA Basketball Power Rankings - ESPN
Marc Stein seems less than impressed with last year's starter heavy Pacers competing at the same level without Granger; ranks them in at #8.
Power Rankings: Harden trade shakes up the top | NBA.com
John Schuhmann notches the Pacers in at No. 9, but echoes common sentiment about the health of Granger and Hill, not buying into the Pacers fluidity without two of their starters.
NBA Power Rankings 2012: Heat lead pack - Yahoo! Sports
At 8th, Marc J. Spears wonders aloud whether the front office changes could spell changes for the Pacers and Granger.
Miami Heat top Los Angeles Lakers in preseason NBA Power Rankings - Matt Dollinger - SI.com
Matt Dollinger places Indiana at 9th, but doesn't feel the moves made in the offseason make them any closer to beating the Miami Heat.
PBT Power Rankings: Heat start season on top, Bobcats in cellar | ProBasketballTalk
The #8 Pacers should hope their good health remains according to Kurt Helin, who shows concerned about how valuable a beat up George Hill can be for a team that believes they can beat Miami.
NBA Power Rankings 2012-13: Thunder ranked No. 1 | Sheridan Sports
Over at Sheridan Sports, Mark Heisler outlines the progress of the Pacers, but believes Danny Granger is on his down slope and no matter the progress, Roy Hibbert is still Roy Hibbert.