Originally posted on NBA.com | Hang Time Blog with Sekou Smith:
HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — When coach Frank Vogel was thumping his chest about his Indiana Pacers this time a year ago, swearing to anyone that would listen that they would compete with the best of the best, most of us thought he was getting a little ahead of himself.
Sure, the Pacers were a solid young team, most likely a playoff regular for the foreseeable future. Perhaps they were even a team capable of contending in the Eastern Conference a few years down the line. But an elite outfit?
Not everyone was convinced. And lingering injury issues, namely Danny Granger‘s, kept them off of the 2012-13 preseason short list of championship contenders.
They’re in the middle of that mix heading into this season and eager to prove their elite status coming off of a season that ended in a Game 7 loss to the Miami Heat
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