NBA Indiana Pacers

5 Reasons Indiana Pacers Are Poised for Eastern Conference Title

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5 Reasons Indiana Pacers Will Win the East

pacers
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

It's been a while since the Indiana Pacers were relevant in the Eastern Conference. Back in the days when Ron Artest, Jermaine O'Neal and Steven Jackson took the court, the Pacers were one of the East's best teams.

The Pacers have won three

ABA

titles, but have never won an NBA title since joining the league in 1976. With only one conference title in franchise history, it seems as if they are due for something in the near future.

In fact, they won their first division title since 2004 this season and boast one of the most exciting teams in the league. They have their own version of the 'big three' that could be even more dominant in years to come. Roy Hibbert, Paul George and Danny Granger -- who is injured -- are all young stars in the league that could lead this team to an NBA title sooner than later.

Indiana is currently tied 2-2 in their first-round matchup with the six-seeded Atlanta Hawks, but are expected to take care of business and advance to round two to take on the New York Knicks -- assuming they beat the Boston Celtics.

Head coach Frank Vogel will look to lead this team into success for the first time in years, maybe even turning the franchise into consistent contenders like they once were.

Could this be the year the Pacers win their first ever NBA title? Maybe, maybe not. However, they will contend for the Eastern Conference title, and here are five reasons why.

Connor Muldowney is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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Solid Defense

defense
Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Any team with a good defense has a better chance at winning a title. The Pacers allow just 90 points per game -- good for the second-best mark in the league. If they continue to shut teams down, they will have no problem frustrating teams all the way to the Finals.

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Gerald Green is X-Factor off Bench

green
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Not many people give Gerald Green any credit for his contribution off the bench. He is utilizing his minutes better than most, playing just 17 minutes per game and averaging 10 points. If he stays as hot as he is off the bench, the Pacers will be one happy, and successful, team.

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Excellent Rebounders

rebound
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

For the No. 1 rebounding team in the NBA, this will not be a problem at all. However, it will help them make a deep run as more rebounds mean more chances and more points.

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Balanced Scoring Attack

scoring
Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

They have balanced scoring from top to bottom. From Paul George to Ian Mahimi, this team has contributors all around. That's a problem any coach would love to have.

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One of League's Best Young Teams

talented
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

They have their own version of the 'big three' and they can get even better. They are young, talented and fun to watch. If this isn't their year to win the East, then next year should very well be.