By winstonharris on August 20, 2014
The Indiana Pacers were the underdogs of the Eastern Conference, who had been one step away from a NBA Finals appearance for the past two seasons. Unfortunately, this may not be the case at all as they head into another 82-game grind. With the power shifting in the East, the Pacers will be left in the dust. Here are the top five reasons the Pacers will regress in 2014-15.
The Pacers' head coach Frank Vogel has been on the hot seat for sometime now. Many question his ability to lead the Pacers to success and the short coaching life of many NBA coaches today should have him nervous. Vogel is 167-100 in his four years with Indiana, which isn't bad, but anything short of an NBA Finals appearance will be a failure.
The embarrassing mental collapse of Roy Hibbert last season was counter-productive and distracting. He set a record for the most scorless games by an All-Star in a season. Hibbert has gone as far as seeking the help of NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, but this won't be enough. When the pressure is on, Hibbert will fold once again and the Pacers will follow suit.
Besides the entertaining antics of Lance Stephenson, he is actually a great player and the Pacers let him slip away to the Charlotte Hornets. Stephenson's 13.8 points, 4.6 assists, and 7.2 rebounds will be hard to replace, but C.J. Miles will take his best shot at it.
The biggest roadblock in the Pacers way is themselves. Whenever they've seen success in the past, they've collectively been able to tank. Whether it is rumored locker room issues, lack of focus, or poor coaching - the Pacers will find a way to blow it.
There is no doubt that Paul George is the heartbeat of the Pacers and there will be no way to replace him this season. His horrific injury will not only haunt those involved, but every loss this year will be a constant reminder of the impact the George has on a game. The Pacers are sure to regress, losing George's 21.7 points, 3.5 assists, and 6.8 rebounds per game.
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