Larry Bird believes the Pacers are title contenders

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Unlike another All-Time great (Michale Jordan), Larry Bird is actually pretty good at his job. Bird wasn't a bad coach either when he ran the sidelines from 1998-2000 with the Pacers. It's never easy cheering for another team. But if you have to, why not a team ran by former Celtics great Larry Bird? It doesn't hurt either that the Pacers could be one of the only teams in the league that can possibly dethrone the Heat.

“Larry Bird doesn’t play around. He doesn’t soften expectations, doesn’t keep goals artificially low so he can say at season’s end, ‘See, we overachieved.’ So the question was asked of the Indiana Pacers president just a few days before the start of training camp Saturday. ‘Does this team have the potential to win a world championship?’ He never blinked. ‘Yes,’ he said. ‘We’re all in.’ Why wouldn’t he feel that way? Why wouldn’t there be title aspirations for a team that took the Miami Heat to a seventh game of the Eastern Conference finals? Why wouldn’t he be bullish on a team that accomplished all of that without Danny Granger or a decent bench? ‘Anything less than (a Finals appearance or a conference finals appearance) would be a disappointment,’ he said. ‘I think anything over 50 wins is a good season, but I believe we’re built more for the playoffs than we are for the regular season. Because we’re deep and we’ll have time to prepare. It’s hard to beat 10 or 11 guys.’”

The Pacers have a legit chance, they were one win away from the NBA Finals, and with the Pacers adding the likes of Luis Scola, and C.J Watson to the mix. The Pacers seem to be deeper on paper this year compared to last years team.Plus the addition of Danny Granger could provide additional scoring that wasn't there for the Pacers. It's not certain that Granger will adapt to his new role as second or third option with the emergence of Paul George.But it's an option that only helps the Pacers cause.

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