Who's hitting the trade machine?

Lowe: You were pretty down on Indiana when we talked before the season, even speculating they might be a lottery team if things were to go poorly.

Simmons: Yeah, I mentioned this during our preseason podcast and you nearly went into convulsions.

Lowe: I think I said I'd bet "huge sums of money" on them to make the playoffs, yes. I'd probably edit that down to "small sums of money" given Granger's injury.

Look: Indy had pretty pristine health last season, and basic probability laws said they were due for at least a small turn in luck this season. They've now had a big turn in luck, especially if Granger misses 40-50 games. Their offense has been a disaster through three games; they lead the league in turnover rate, they have almost no pick-and-roll game other than the occasional (and effective) David West slip, Paul George hasn't quite looked up to being a no. 1 guy and the overhauled bench is still a mess.

Simmons: And they don't have Larry Bird's godlike aura hovering around anymore to pick them up spiritually.

Lowe: Meanwhile, the Knicks have looked great. The Nets can score. Philly is a mess, and their best player (Andrew Bynum) is hurt. The Raptors, assuming a quick comeback for Kyle Lowry, are dangerous and fun. The Bucks and Hawks are feisty. The Bulls are still defending like hell. That makes 10 solid Eastern Conference teams.