Victor Oladipo is still recovering from the knee injury that he suffered last season, but he has confidence in his team at least reaching the postseason.
"Playoffs, for sure. Definitely," Oladipo said Saturday, per J. Michael of the Indianapolis Star.
The Pacers have reached the playoffs the last four years, losing in the first round each season.
Although Oladipo is not guaranteeing a deeper run in 2020, he knows the squad is at least good enough to get one of the top eight seeds in the Eastern Conference.
The East could be weaker than ever this year after Kawhi Leonard left the NBA champion Toronto Raptors for the Los Angeles Clippers in the offseason. The Boston Celtics lost Kyrie Irving and Al Horford, while the Philadelphia 76ers gained Horford but lost Jimmy Butler.
Even the Milwaukee Bucks could struggle to replace Malcolm Brogdon.
Brogdon is now on Indiana, giving the squad a reliable point guard who can help on both ends of the court. Additions Jeremy Lamb and T.J. Warren will also provide some much-needed scoring options from the perimeter.
Considering the Pacers already had third-best defensive efficiency in the NBA last year, per Basketball Reference, this could be a scary team in the upcoming season.
"I feel like we got some great additions. We got a chance to be really special. I feel like the league is wide open," Oladipo said. "I was excited for the opportunity to play with [Brogdon]. I know what type of player he is, the level that he plays on and has been playing on the last couple of years from Milwaukee. To have him as an addition is pretty big for us."
Even if Oladipo remains out for the first few months of the year, there is more than enough talent for Indiana to make the playoffs for the ninth time in 10 years.
The only question is whether the squad can find a way to get out of the first round this time around.