Title Threat Pacers Face Challenge in Rockets

With aspirations of coming out of the Eastern Conference and battling for a championship next June, the Indiana Pacers have emerged as a legitimate title threat on the NBA futures. In order to prove that they’ve taken that next step, however, they’ll have to consistently demonstrate an ability to beat the best. This Friday, Paul George and company will play host to Dwight Howard and the Houston Rockets. Not only have the Pacers shown a slight improvement since last season, when they fell in the Eastern Conference Finals, they’ve made a case for themselves as one of the NBA’s best. Period. According to oddsmakers, they have 4/1 odds of winning the NBA championship. Might George’s ascent to superstardom be enough to get this Indy team past contenders like Houston, the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder? George, Roy Hibbert and the rest of the Pacers have embraced the attitude that this is their time to shine. Howard and the Rockets, in contrast, have 16/1 odds on those same NBA futures.