By CHRIS GOFF
ISL Assistant Editor
INDIANAPOLIS – The usually shy Lance Stephenson stepped up and perfectly encapsulated the unbridled optimism surrounding the Pacers as they prepare to start the 2013-14 season.
“We can be great,” Stephenson said. “We’ve got five good players. We’ve got a bench. We’ve got everything that we need. I think this team is a team that can win the championship. We’ve got better players. We’ve got a lot of players coming back. Our team is great. We’ve got a lot of players here that can help us win the championship.”
Coach Frank Vogel, however, declined to ascribe to a “title or bust” outlook.
“Two years ago, last year, every year we’re in position where we feel we have a great chance to win a championship,” Vogel said. “This year, we’re going after it. Next year, we’re going after it the same way. The year after that, we’re going after it. We have a chance to battle the Miami Heat, the current champs. That’s an impressive pool of talent that (president of basketball operations) Larry (Bird) has been able to put together. All five guys on the court are scorers. You have five weapons out there that can score. I’m very eager to get started coaching it.”