The Indiana Pacers a season not live up their standards in 08'-09 'winning only 36 games. With Reggie Miller gone the state of Indiana looks to Danny Granger to help create a perennial playoff team once again like in the 1990's. Granger's scoring averages has increased every year since he has been in the league since 04 '. 08'-09 'Granger was fifth in scoring at 25.1 points per game – look for another year similar this season as well.
The Pacers have a young team with a good upside. The defense was their death blow last season giving up more points then they could score. More emphasis needs to be put on defense, we know the team can score.
The Central division should be an improvement overall – the Chicago Bulls are potentially a high 40 win team, the Cleveland Cavs acquired Shaquille O'Neal and will be the front runners. The Pacers will have to improve on their 36 win season if they expect to make the playoffs. The Pacers did draft AJ Price and Tyler Hansbrough – what playing time they will see should probably be limited in the beginning of the season but increase as the season moves forward. Unless you are an outstanding rookie, rookies see little action their first season.
The last time the Pacers finished with a record above .500 was in the 04'-05 'season – Pacers fans would hope to avoid another sub .500 season for the fifth straight year. Head Coach Jim O'Brien has a good group of young talent that he would like to mold into a playoff team that can at least compete against the top teams in the East. If O'Brien manages another 36 win season his job could possibly be in danger. The President of Basketball Operations, Larry Bird, is a patient man – but he can not tolerate another losing season.