Dimers’ comprehensive preview of the 2020/21 NBA season continues with a look at the Indiana Pacers
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INDIANA PACERS 2020/21 PREVIEW
Last season: 45-28 (5th in East)
2020/21 Win total line: 39.5 wins
Coach: Nate Bjorkgren
Odds to make the playoffs: -170
Odds to win Central Division: +1100
Odds to win the Championship: +10000
Odds courtesy of William Hill
⭐ Star Player: Victor Oladipo
On the comeback trail from a devastating ruptured quad injury in January 2019, Oladipo spent most of last season trying to find his touch after his breakout year in 2017/18. The former number 2 overall pick has undoubted class when healthy, but are we going to see the best of Vic this year?
🧨 X-Factor: TJ Warren
TJ Warren was sneaky good last season. The small forward from NC State became the talk of the Orlando bubble upon the NBA restart, scoring a career-high 53 points against the Philadelphia 76ers on August 1. With injuries to star players throughout the year, Warren stepped up when almost everyone wrote off Indiana's chances, being a vital piece as the Pacers secured the number 4 seed. With a fit and healthy team around him, he could explode.
🚀 Why they can make playoffs:
A solid team in a shallow East
All the Pacers need to do to ensure a spot in the postseason is to essentially stay the same. That task appears easy with a solid starting five as well as some depth coming off the bench. Indiana is almost certainly assured playoff action this year.
🙅♂️ Why they can’t make playoffs:
The team fought exceptionally well in the face of adversity last season, but could they deal with another horror run with injuries this year? Hopefully for Pacers fans that hypothetical will never come to fruition.
🔮 Dimers’ season predictions:
37-35 (7th in East)
Our predictive analysis thinks the Pacers may have a harder time this season, but with a predicted win total of 2 games above .500, it is still enough to put Indiana comfortably in the hunt to build upon the strong foundations set last year.