Pacers at a glance

Updated: October 26, 2004, 12:50 PM ET
ESPN The Magazine

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Fantasy tip
Jermaine O'Neal
Warning: Crowded backcourt means less action for Jackson. Reassurance: They have the best O'Neal in Fantasyland.

The league leader in wins (61) last year should be near the top again.

They've got a perennial MVP candidate (Jermaine O'Neal), the reigning Defensive Player of the Year (Ron Artest) and a high-upside replacement for Reggie Miller (Stephen Jackson). More PT for Jonathan Bender boosts their ability to get up and down the court.

If they stay healthy, and if Artest doesn't go bonkers, they'll challenge Detroit.

Roster analysis
The starters: One great player surrounded by a solid supporting cast.
Pos. Player Comment Grade*
PF Jermaine O'Neal Only 20-and-10 man in East was third in MVP voting 10
SF Ron Artest Defensive stud who gives teammates headaches as well 9
C Jeff Foster Looks like a stiff, but 3 offensive rpg say otherwise 7
SG Reggie Miller Most likely the swan song for the sharp-talking sharpshooter 7
PG Jamaal Tinsley Lost job to Kenny Anderson. Got it back. Can he keep it? 6
BENCH Jackson brings shooting and championship experience. Bender generates plenty of O and D. Anthony Johnson and Austin Croshere offer veteran savvy. 9
*-out of 10