Pacers, Sonics on different paths for next season

The Pacers and Sonics were both eliminated last night after shocking most of the NBA world this season – the Pacers for what happened on Nov. 19, 2004, and what they didn't accomplish (because of suspensions and injuries), and the Sonics for what they did (Insider and other experts picked them to finish last in the West).

Next season should be completely different for both teams.

Pacers fans, whether you were disappointed or inspired by your team's roller coaster season, take heart. Next season Indiana should be the team to beat in the NBA – even if Reggie Miller sticks to his retirement plans.

Barring another season of suspensions and injuries, the Pacers should have all the requisite ingredients for a championship run coming into next season: