I'm cautiously optimistic about the Pacers. They were a few games from home court in the first round last year and Tyreke Evans is the perfect compliment to Oladipo (on offense at least). I'm hopeful Myles Turner has a mini leap in him and am also high on Sabonis. I'm excited at some of the lineup options with Oladipo at the 1.
Oladipo has to prove last year wasn't a fluke, but his attitude and dedication to hard work make me feel good about that. They also won't be able to sneak up on teams this year and have to have a better plan when teams throw hard doubles at Oladipo but they traded Lance Stephenson and an often injured Glenn Robinson for Evans and McDermott which are upgrades on both guys.
I'm not as high on Utah as a lot of people are. I've seen some prejections peg them as the 3 seed in the west and around 55 wins and that just seems to high. I don't have faith that Rubio will maintain his career year as a shooter and I still don't think they have enough help around Mitchell on offense. Defense will be fierce but the Rockets almost made Gobert unplayable in last seasons playoffs. I still have the Thunder ahead of them and could even see a healthy Pelicans team snag a top four seed as well.
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