A Wacky Series Goes Back to Cleveland

The Indiana Pacers and Cleveland Cavaliers have split their first-round playoff series over four games, each team winning one on the other team’s floor in addition to their own. What’s more, three of the four games have been nail-biters; the only game decided by more than four points was that 98-80 Indiana win in Game 1. Pacers fans are hoping for that Pacers-in-six narrative to hold up, but if that was going to be the case, it was probably going to be a case of Indiana opening up a 3-1 lead, losing in Cleveland, then closing it out at home. …

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The Cleveland Cavaliers Panic At Being Deader Than Disco

The Pacers and Cavaliers tip off Game 2 in Cleveland tonight, and after Indiana went into the land of the burning river and smoked the Cavs 98-80 in Game 1, there are a lot of reasons for the Cavs to be in full-on pants-soiling terror mode. O how do I love thee, Indiana, let me count the ways… Problem 1: It Wasn’t LeBron James Who Had the Bad Game LeBron wasn’t exactly a superhero in Game 1. He was 7-of-17. But he had a triple-double (24 points, 10 rebounds, 12 assists), playing 44 minutes with a respectable if not great …

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The Indiana Pacers have a depth problem

Ever since Glenn Robinson III returned from injury after the All-Star Game, he’s been used sparingly by coach Nate McMillan. He played just two minutes against the Clippers, and his minutes have been steadily declining as McMillan has shortened the bench down the stretch. Robinson hasn’t exactly justified the minutes he has played on the floor. His paltry 9.2 PER and horrifying 37.9/26.3 FG/3PT shooting splits have effectively negated him as a factor in Indiana’s bench offense. Indiana only goes about eight or nine deep (depending on which version of Lance Stephenson shows up that night). Cory Joseph, Trevor Booker, …

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The 2018 Pacers: Pure Guts, Pure Soul, Pure Fun

It’s a Wednesday edition of Pacers Tuesday, because I wanted to see what happened with the return of Domantas Sabonis and the game at the Santa Cruz Warriors before deciding on an angle this week. And then Domas shot 3-of-3 from the field, scored seven points, grabbed six rebounds, and dished three assists in a 92-81 win. But that’s not what jumped out at me. What jumped out at me was the Pacers’ 92-81 win after trailing by 15 points in the second quarter. It’s the seventh time this season Indiana’s been down 15 or more in a game and …

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Indiana Pacers Injury Power Rankings

The Indiana Pacers are 41-30, fourth in the Eastern Conference, a magic number of three away from clinching a playoff spot, and just five wins (with 11 games left) away from posting the team’s best record since 2013-14, the last time they made the Eastern Conference Finals. Indeed, if the team stays healthy, it’s not out of the question that the team could once again make the ECF; Cleveland is vulnerable with nothing in the way of depth or chemistry behind LeBron James, and Boston’s ongoing problems with Kyrie Irving and Al Horford battling nagging injuries and Gordon Hayward lost …

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The Pacers’ Tough Schedule Is Their Best Hope

Tuesday night, the Indiana Pacers beat the Philadelphia 76ers on the road 101-98, doing this despite the referee crew being composed of Rocky Balboa, Benjamin Franklin, and the Phillie Phanatic. This follows a win Sunday night in Boston that brings the Pacers’ record against current would-be Eastern Conference playoff teams to 13-9. They are 17-7 against non-playoff teams in the East; those splits in the West are 2-9 for playoff teams and 8-3 for non-playoff teams. The Pacers also have a brutal schedule remaining; they play nine of their remaining 14 games against current playoff teams, including two against the …

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Indiana Pacers By the Numbers

The Indiana Pacers are 37-27, seeded fourth in the Eastern Conference, just half a game behind a Cleveland Cavaliers team over which they hold the tiebreaker should the teams finish with identical records. For a team that projected for 30 wins, it’s a revelation. And there are some fun numbers out there worth highlighting, so just for fun this week, we’ll pull a few fun facts about your on-pace-for-47-win Pacers: Victor Oladipo Vs. Paul George Oladipo, counting stats, 2018: 24.0 points, 5.4 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 2.2 steals (leads the league), 47.7 FG%, 37.1 3PT%. George, counting stats, 2017: 23.7 points, …

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What Glenn Robinson III’s Return Means for the Pacers

Glenn Robinson III is back in Indiana, with two games under his belt since returning from injury. He has posted a workmanlike 6-of-12 shooting, scoring 14 points, grabbing three rebounds, dishing four assists, grabbing a steal, and committing a turnover in 40 minutes. He hasn’t made a three-pointer yet, but he’s a career 37 percent shooter from out there, 38.2 if you discount his rookie year and focus only on his two-plus years with the Pacers. He also plays the same position as Bojan Bogdanovic, and that means that controversy is imminent as coach Nate McMillan decides who’s going to …

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Domantas Sabonis is a true Rising Star

In this space, I have often gone after Myles Turner, suggesting that his ceiling is a lot lower than Pacers fans hoped it would be when Turner came into the league and effectively became a poor man’s Hassan Whiteside with his shotblocking. Well, move over, Myles, because Domantas Sabonis is about to take your spot, and the Pacers are better off for it. Consider this fun fact courtesy of Fanrag’s Andy Bailey… In the 910 minutes Victor Oladipo & Myles Turner have shared the floor, Indiana's outscoring opponents by 5.5 PTS per 100 poss. In the 812 minutes Oladipo & …

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Nate McMillan is still a snail and that’s a problem

When you have a young, athletic team with lots of horses who can cause a turnover, run a fast break, finish strong, and get back on defense, it behooves you to play an up-tempo style to take maximum advantage of those strengths. Indeed, Golden State’s been among the fastest teams in the league during their four-year run of three Finals, two titles, and a likely fourth straight Finals appearance this year under coach Steve Kerr; since 2014-15, the Warriors have been 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 2nd in the league in pace. Likewise, now that they have Chris Paul and James …

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