New bench may be Pacers' piece to title puzzle

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Larry Bird watched the Pacers from a fan's perspective last season.

He liked the starting lineup, he grimaced over the turnovers and he knew that if the Pacers were going to contend for a title this season, they had to improve the bench.

When Bird returned as the team's president of basketball operations in June, he went right to work - re-signing David West, bringing in three free agents to provide more scoring punch and making a trade for Luis Scola. Bird, coach Frank Vogel and Pacers players all believe they now have the final piece to this championship puzzle.

With all five starters back, plus a potentially healthy Danny Granger, the revamped bench could be the key to dethroning Miami.

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