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5 Realistic Expectations for the 2023-2024 Indiana Pacers

Oct 20, 2023; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton (0) dribbles the ball in the first quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA season is finally underway, and fans know to expect the unexpected. Anything can happen at any time in the NBA, whether it’s a trade, a season-ending injury, or an eighth seed beating a first seed in the playoffs. With the Indiana Pacers, it is no different. There are plenty of new things with the squad for this year, and fans have every reason to set lofty goals and expectations for this deep and talented roster. That being said, too high of expectations can lead to disappointment. And while former two-time MVP winner Giannis Antetokounmpo told the media that failure is not a thing in sports, here are five realistic expectations and predictions for the Pacers this season to help prove that. 

5 Realistic Expectations for the 2023-2024 Indiana Pacers

1. Expect Tyrese Haliburton to Repeat as an All-Star

As long as Tyrese Haliburton stays healthy, this expectation should be accomplished. Haliburton is clearly the leader and best player on this team; there is no doubt about that. What he brings to the table every game benefits all his teammates on the court. He elevates the play of those around him and has no problem stuffing the stat sheet himself. Expect Haliburton to represent the Pacers at the NBA All-Star weekend again. 

2. Expect Multiple Starting Lineups

Presumably, this is an expectation many fans have with their respective teams, but the Pacers this year are in a category of their own. For starters, this team has so much depth. On any given night, depending on the matchup, a new player could be slotted into the starting lineup. The only guaranteed starters right now are Haliburton and Myles Turner, which is not a bad thing. In fact, this gives credit to just how versatile Indiana can be this year. Secondly, the inevitable injury bug is going to hit the team. It happens every single year. Thankfully, with the team’s depth, guys like Aaron Nesmith, who just got a new extension, and Buddy Hield can slide right into the starting lineup without much concern. Head coach Rick Carlisle will have his hands full every night deciding what lineup approaches are best for the team. 

3. Expect Inconsistency

This is a very young team with a limited amount of experience together. There will be mistakes that lose games or chemistry breakdowns that can lead to losing streaks. On the plus side, this team is full of energy and can just outrun their opponents. The pure talent and the willingness to win will eventually lead to stretches where the Pacers look like one of the best teams in basketball. They are led by a championship-winning coach and an elite talent in Haliburton. These pieces will be excellent, but that doesn’t mean the path to success won’t come with some swerves. 

4. Expect a Trade or Two 

Simply put, there are too many mouths to feed on this roster. Someone(s) will be the odd man out of the rotation. We’ve already heard rumors about Hield since he is in the last year of his contract, and we’ve seen the Pacers offer Jordan Nwora too. Plus, the organization isn’t scared to make a move, as evidenced by the last couple of seasons. Expectations are that Indiana won’t just stand pat anymore. Plus, making a move for a future pick never hurt anybody. 

5. Pacers Biggest Expectation: A Playoff Berth

Pacers fans hope to fill the Gainbridge Fieldhouse in the playoffs for the first time in a few years. Most of the team’s expectations ride on making a playoff berth a possibility, but this team is ready to take the next step and gather some postseason experience. While the East is filled with talented teams, Indiana can put up a fight in any series if fully healthy. It isn’t realistic to say the team is a title contender, but anything can happen in today’s NBA. Don’t let anyone tell you something is a guarantee in the NBA… that is, unless it’s predicting Haliburton will record an assist.


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