(via WRTV)

It is true that the Pacers should not be underestimated. The past two seasons, they’ve surprised everyone, making runs through the East despite not having a Top 10 player.

But are they really Championship contenders? The East is loaded with Milwaukee, Brooklyn, and Philadelphia all expected to make deep playoff runs this season. Nobody is quite sure where the Pacers fall into that equation.

According to Victor Oladipo himself, his team belongs right there with them.

“I think we’re the best team in the East,” said Oladipo during his media conference, per ESPN.

“I thought that last year. I thought that the year before. I don’t care who added to who. That’s how I feel. Call me crazy, call me crazy. That’s fine. I really don’t care,” concluded the two-time NBA All-Star.

In April, Indy was knocked off in a 4-game sweep against the Celtics, who later went on to lose in the Semis against Milwaukee. It should be noted that the series did not include Victor Oladipo, who was nursing an injury at the time.

With health, the Pacers may challenge more than a few. Even in spite of their losses, they know how to play hard and how to play together. So while they might not be favored to win the East this season, they shouldn’t be counted out.