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 …

Read More

“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, …

Read More

Sizing Up the Indiana Pacers as 2019 Begins

May we all pray to the Basketball Gods that the Indiana Pacers’ December in 2018 doesn’t turn out the way November did in 2015, when the squad went 11-2 in the month of plywood turkey and salmonella stuffing only to go 34-35 over the rest of the season, nearly missing the playoffs. Unlike that 2015-16 squad, which was basically Paul George and the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, this year’s Pacers team features a talent level so stacked from top to bottom that a guy who had a 20.0 PER in 77 games and 1,387 minutes for the Knicks last year …

Read More

Dear Gods, Myles Turner Can Rebound Now

Myles Turner was in real danger of becoming another Roy Hibbert or Rik Smits type of center for the Pacers as he entered the fourth season of his career at the start of the season. Turner’s career-best rebounding percentage came in his rookie year, as he pulled down just 13.3 percent of the available rebounds coming off the boards. Those are small forward numbers. And his continued decline in that stat risked turning him into the worst kind of defensive center, the guy who gambles for the block and if he doesn’t get it, he gets scored on when the …

Read More

The Pacers Are Having One of the Best Defensive Seasons in Team History

The Indiana Pacers are, in terms of counting points, the best defensive team in the NBA this season, allowing just 101.2 points per game (through games of December 17.) When you account for pace (Indiana is the league’s seventh-slowest team), their Defensive Rating of 103.3 is second-best in the league. And if you think that’s impressive, consider the following. League-wide, teams are scoring by far the most points they ever have per 100 possessions, as league-wide Offensive Rating is 109.7. Which also means that Indiana’s rating must be put into perspective. The best Pacers teams in terms of where they …

Read More

Are the Indiana Pacers Better Without Victor Oladipo?

Hey, who’s ready for some STEAMING HOT TAEKS about how the Pacers, 8-4 in their last 12 games, 11 of which were played without Victor Oladipo and the 12th, against the Hawks, featuring Vic leaving the game early in the first quarter, are better off without their star? That’s right, we’ve got cherry-picked stats, gross miscarriages of context, and shameless fanboying! Get ready, folks! The Defense Is Amazing! The Pacers are 3rd in the league in Defensive Rating, and a big part of why is that they’ve allowed under 100 points in six of the 12 games. In fact, if …

Read More

Bojan Bogdanovic’s Minor Miracles

Bojan Bogdanovic gave up the league lead in three-point percentage to Rudy Gay when Bogey went 1-of-4 from three-point range against the Bulls Tuesday, but Bogey still remains a 50.5 percent three-point shooter on the season. More importantly, that consistent outside shooting has powered the Pacers to a 4-4 record without Victor Oladipo, 5-4 if you count the Hawks game where Vic left early in the first quarter. And in those nine games? Bogdanovic has emerged as a genuine high-quality replacement scoring option. Just consider the raw counting stats: 18.8 points per game, including five 20-point or better games and …

Read More

The Value of Victor Oladipo

Victor Oladipo has missed 11 of the 102 games the Indiana Pacers have played since he joined the team in the 2017 offseason, through games of November 26. In those 11 games, the Pacers are 2-0 against the Utah Jazz and 0-9 against everyone else. 2-9 is a 15-67 pace, the same win pace the Knicks managed without Kristaps Porzingis last year and two games worse than the 2018-19 Cleveland Cavaliers, at 4-15 so far this season, project over 82 games (17-65). How wild are those two Jazz wins, both within the past week? They were by a combined score …

Read More

It’s Holiday Season for the Indiana Pacers

Aaron Holiday now has seven games and 52 minutes under his belt with the Indiana Pacers this season, providing a huge boost in wins over Atlanta and Utah as Thanksgiving draws closer. And to say he’s off to an absolutely flying start is an understatement. Sure, it’s 52 minutes (but we’ve never let small sample sizes stop us from gushing before, as this site’s unapologetic love of HERO OF SERBIA Boban Marjanovic has always made clear), but Holiday is shooting 59.1 percent from the field, 50 percent on 12 attempts from three-point land, and…57.1 percent (4-of-7) from the free throw …

Read More

The Star Turn of Domantas Sabonis

The Indiana Pacers are a little too prone to putting their money in the wrong place in trying to find an explanation for their breakout into the NBA’s upper echelon since Paul George left. First it was a four-year extension for Nate McMillan, the second-worst case in the league (behind Tom Thibodeau in Minnesota) of a team that should’ve made a coaching change instead rewarding the guy who took them to the playoffs. Indiana going 48-34 is why they didn’t blow up the sideline and hire Mike Budenholzer (go ahead, imagine a team that’s been as good from beyond the …

Read More