Expectations soar as Pacers embark on new season

Published: .
Updated: .

After years of turmoil and disappointment, the Indiana Pacers have turned things around.

Fans expect them to contend for an NBA title, and so do the players.

When new general manager Kevin Pritchard decided to re-sign All-Star center Roy Hibbert and point guard George Hill to big contracts this offseason, it assured the Pacers of having the same starting five that led them to their first playoff series win in seven years.

Then they added depth and scoring punch to the bench, a move they could help them go deeper into the playoffs.

The Pacers open the season on Oct. 31 at Toronto.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)