he/she is going to get some nasty emails. We're apparently the 8th seed. Or something, this is a weird preview.


Conventional wisdom After locking up the key players from last season's spunky run, the Pacers are poised to fill the gap at the top of the Eastern Conference caused by Derrick Rose's injury.

Actual wisdom Last season's starting five was dominant. Know what else it was? Improbably healthy. Paul George, David West, Granger, Darren Collison and Roy Hibbert played 1,000 minutes together -- or 253 more than any other five NBA teammates spent as a unit. Hope they all took it easy this summer. Indiana did little to overhaul its weak bench, so the starters will have to work overtime again. Counting on a repeat of a statistical anomaly is no way to game-plan. -- Beckley Mason

Basketball Prospectus predictions

Projected record: 44.4-37.6
If Granger scores 25.8 ppg: 51-31 (2-seed)
If Granger scores 18.7 ppg: 46-36 (7-seed)