Dispatches From An 11-Game Pacers Losing Streak

As I sit here writing this, the Indiana Pacers are preparing to play against the New York Knicks at home, the only game in an 11-game stretch in which Indiana is the unquestioned favorite. Which has, every other time I’ve been watching this team in the four seasons I’ve been a basketball writer, augured a horrendous performance and a brutal, disappointing, “how did you lose to THAT tanking Dumpster fire at home?” game. Tyreke Evans is missing the game for “personal reasons”, which is a nice little euphemism for his contracting a case of Butler’s Disease. Domantas Sabonis looks like …

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The Indiana Pacers Are Starting a Small-Market Movement

The conventional wisdom in the NBA in 2019 is that you need to assemble a Big Three of superstars who then tear up the rest of the league and through top-heavy domination plow through the playoffs and win the title. The modern version of this started in Boston in 2008, traced a path through LeBron James and the Miami Heat between 2010 and 2014, and reached an apex with the Golden State Warriors, who have become such a destination for stars that they go six deep with talent that is now or at one point has been All-Star caliber. Their …

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Looking Ahead to the Playoffs for the Indiana Pacers

The Indiana Pacers are 18-10 in the absence of Victor Oladipo, including wins over Atlanta and Toronto in which Oladipo left the game with an injury. They are 22-11 without him, which would seem to suggest that, if not “just as good in his absence”, at the very least the Pacers are deep enough to have earned the fifth-best record in the NBA that they presently hold. The emergence of Myles Turner as a Defensive Player of the Year candidate and Domantas Sabonis as an honest-to-gods Sixth Man of the Year choice certainly help, as has the addition of rent-a-guard …

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My Favorite Indiana Pacers, Ranked 1-16

It is not exactly a well-kept secret around here that I am a Pacers fan first and foremost, and even though Pace and Space is proudly a national-media sort of publication (as the Breakfast Special and most of the features pretty soundly prove), I devote a weekly “Tuesday” (or Wednesday, I know, shut up) column to my favorite team and can be found on Pacers Twitter during games. Chris Denari and Quinn Buckner are my homeboys, the folks at 8 Points 9 Seconds and Indy Cornrows my Internet friends, and I’m even Twitter pals with folks around the Indianapolis metropolitan …

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Wesley Matthews is the New Lance Stephenson

What if I told you the Indiana Pacers have an unreliable shooter who will shoot you out of a game for three quarters, catch fire in the fourth, hit a dagger three right in the enemy’s face of a game that’s become closer than it needed to be, energize the crowd, and get everyone on Twitter to love him? “But Fox,” you might be saying, “Lance Stephenson is on the Lakers now.” Well, get ready for a Scooby-Doo ending of a reveal, because Wesley Matthews made his Pacers debut Monday, missed his first six shots, hit just 2-of-10 overall, but …

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The Pacers Are Learning What They Have Without Victor Oladipo

When Victor Oladipo went down for 12 games earlier in the season (yes, technically it was 11, but there was just about the entirety of the game against the Hawks), the Indiana Pacers largely weathered the injury by way of inserting Tyreke Evans into Oladipo’s spot, playing the same way they more or less had all season, and letting the results stand or fall until such time as Oladipo returned. They went 8-4 that way, as Evans, who started all the games in which Oladipo was out, made a passable (“good” is a gross overstatement, but competent) account of himself, …

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Free Agents, Lowered Expectations, and the Indiana Pacers

“The Indiana Pacers never sign big-time free agents.” Or so every fan has told me since I traded boxing gloves for basketballs as the medium by which my sportswriting reaches a computer or mobile device in the hands of you, the willing reader, back in 2015. It started back in dinosaur times when I playfully suggested Kevin Durant take his talents to Indiana alongside Paul George, pointing out that for Durant, if he were truly done with Russell Westbrook and Oklahoma City, it’d be a prime chance to create a legacy that was truly his own in a market where …

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Should the Indiana Pacers Trade for Mike Conley?

The Memphis Grizzlies have finally figured out that they’re not very good, and not just when guys like Mike Conley and Marc Gasol are hurt but also when they’re healthy. After starting 12-5, the Grizz have gone into a tailspin, posting a pathetic 7-23 record since Thanksgiving. And they’re finally sellers on the trade market as the Feb. 7 trade deadline approaches. And one of the most attractive landing spots for Conley is his hometown of Indianapolis, where a local-boy-makes-good story potentially awaits for the weak-at-point-guard Pacers. Conley’s a bona fide star, one of those guys who’s never made an …

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Bojan Bogdanovic Is Better Than J.J. Redick

The national NBA media (Zach Lowe at ESPN, looking at you) loves to make the case that the Philadelphia 76ers are better than they in fact are, and on some level, it’s hard to blame them. There are only so many hours in a day, and while League Pass opens up the full slate of NBA games every night, the teams that get national attention on ESPN and TNT are the teams that national writers tend to notice the most. Regular readers of this publication notice this trend at breakfast; if Twitter’s talking about it, any writer who has even …

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“The Pacers Haven’t Beaten Anyone,” They Say

The Indiana Pacers, coming into Tuesday’s matchup (which as this goes to press Indiana leads 63-43 at the half in Cleveland), are riding a 13-3 record in their last 16 games, a two-game losing streak in mid-December and a loss to Toronto punctuating a 7-game and 6-game winning streak for the 13 victories. Standing at 26-13, the Pacers own the third-best record in the East and the fourth-best (Denver is third overall) in the entire league, trailing Toronto and Milwaukee. Halfway through the season, they’re on pace (if the Cleveland score holds) for 55 wins. As if that weren’t enough, …

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