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Expectations high for Indiana Pacers ahead of season opener

Expectations high for new Indiana Pacers season

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indiana Pacers tip off a new season on Wednesday night against the Washington Wizards in Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

There are a lot of high expectations and hopes for this year’s squad.

“I’m tired of the preseason. I’m so tired of it,” point guard Tyrese Haliburton laughed Tuesday. “I’m just so excited to play a real game.”

With a grueling training camp in the past, all eyes are on the future as the Pacers begin their new season. The vibes… let’s just say they’re a lot different than this time last year.

“There’s a feeling of excitement,” head coach Rick Carlisle said. “It’s a promising young roster that has grown some and we’re looking to continue to grow.”

“I’m excited about having some expectations,” Haliburton said. “I’ve never been on a team before that’s had real expectations. Although I don’t know what they are from people, I do know that some people believe that we have a chance to be a playoff team where last year that would have never been a conversation.”

“A lot of excitement around this city for what’s to come,” center Myles Turner said. “Got some new good additions. Had a great training camp. I think our chemistry’s grown. Even in the last three weeks, it’s grown immensely so excited for the opportunity.”

One of the causes for excitement are the veteran playmakers the Pacers brought in this offseason like Obi Toppin and Bruce Brown.

Brown has really bolstered the defense, bringing a championship mentality after winning it all with the Nuggets last year. Brown says he’s ready to suit up with his new team.

“Preseason’s been long. Training camp’s been long. Rick’s been trying to kill us,” Brown laughed. “So I’m ready to go.”

“(Toppin and Brown) make us more dynamic defensively, and offensively, it just adds more and more weapons,” Turner said. “Obi has a lot in his package, and Bruce has been around for quite a bit so it brings a lot of knowledge and wisdom to what we got going on right now.”

“Obviously, Bruce won a championship last year. Obi’s played playoff basketball the past couple years. Just more guys who have won before,” Haliburton said. “I think them coming along, they want to make the playoffs as much as everybody else.”

The road to the playoffs starts now.