5 wild lineups we can’t wait to see in the 2023-24 NBA season

Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /

1. Could the Indiana Pacers surprise the entire Eastern Conference next season?

Hypothetical Lineup: Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Hield, Bennedict Mathurin, Bruce Brown, Jarace Walker

The Pacers missed out on the play-in last season, finishing 11th with a record of 35-47. But there was plenty to be excited about.

Most notably, Hailburton and Mathurin looked awesome together. Haliburton averaged 20 and 10 and looks bound for stardom at one level or another and Mathurin averaged nearly 20 points per game as a rookie.

Add in Hield’s relentless and accurate 3-point shooting and you’ve got defenses on the back foot.

Now, add NBA champion Brown who flashed elite off-the-bounce creation and shooting for the Nuggets last season. Before that, he showcased his ability as a versatile screening threat in an undersized big role for the once star-laden Brooklyn Nets.

Also, Brown might not even be necessary for that. Pacers rookie, Walker, was arguably the best short-roll prospect in this year’s draft class. He thrives in the short roll, has great athleticism, and a feel for the game that might actually make Rick Carlisle smile.

On the defensive end, Walker is a modern small-ball five. He’s athletic and has great instincts to allow him to switch onto the perimeter and protect the wing. He’s also sturdy, allowing him to bang down low with opposing centers with ease.

This Pacers lineup is young and loaded with superior basketball intellect, it could be what gets them back into the playoffs and truly put Haliburton on the map as a star.

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