Brooklyn Nets: Way-too-early Eastern Conference standings predictions

Spencer Dinwiddie Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Spencer Dinwiddie Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Brooklyn Nets
Victor Oladipo Indiana Pacers (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

#6) Indiana Pacers

Quick disclaimer: Had it not been for the news of Oladipo’s injury prolonging into a significant chunk of the 2019/20 season, I would’ve had the Pacers higher—this is a team I like.

According to Matthew VanTryon of the Indianapolis Star, it’s likely that Oladipo misses time up to December, or even January. Which means, the Pacers could be without their star guard for up to 40 games next season.

In the 46 games he missed last season the Pacers went 23-23, and a huge part to them staying afloat was the emergence of Bojan Bogdanovic, who will be in a Jazz uniform next season.

They have some nice frontcourt pieces in players like Domantas Sabonis, TJ Warren (played 99 percent of his minutes at the 4 last year), and Myles Turner—but it’s an awful lot to ask of the newcomers in the backcourt to fill the void of Oladipo’s absence.

Malcolm Brogdon had a great year as a Buck last year, finishing the 18/19 season with a reverred 50/40/90 season, but he’s been no stranger to missed time. Aaron Holiday, TJ McConnell, and Jeremy Lamb are all going to have to step up to keep the Pacers afloat until Oladipo returns.

Nate McMillan emphasis on the defensive end, and the Pacers style of play centered around selfless attitudes and team unity kept them competitive last year even without their star, they may very well have to call on that again in the first half of next season.

2019/20 Season record: 45-37