Pacers Fans and Paul George: A Win-Win

The Los Angeles Clippers went into Bankers Life Fieldhouse and spanked the Indiana Pacers 110-99 in front of a bunch of fans still bitter over the OG Anthony Davis situation that was the drama involving Paul George forcing his way out of town after the 2017 season. George erupted for 36 points on 10-of-26 shooting after a rough start, hitting 7-of-16 from long range and posting a game-high plus-20 during his 36 minutes on the floor, showing the NBA in the process that the “load management” of Kawhi Leonard doesn’t look like any more of a liability for the 2nd-in-the-West …

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Myles Turner Vs. the Filthy Casuals

One of the problems with social media is it gives an equal forum to experts and idiots, watering down the discussion and often drowning out nuanced discussion with the bleating of Orwellian sheep. And while the first thing one might immediately think of is politics and “the death of democracy” (how’s that for irony when the idea is to give everyone a voice?), sports suffer from it far more insidiously. Take Myles Turner for example. The Indiana Pacers standout is averaging 12.2 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 1.1 assists in 31.1 minutes per game, causing a certain subset of Pacers Twitter …

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Indiana Pacers: By the Numbers Through 16 Games

The Thanksgiving holiday is fast approaching, and before we all head out on congested roads for plywood turkey, salmonella stuffing, that uncle that nobody can stand any of the other 364 days of the year, and riots masquerading as commerce on Black Friday, let us take a moment to examine whether the Indiana Pacers, at 10-6 following a win Monday over the Memphis Grizzlies, are overwhelming, underwhelming, or merely whelming statistically. Pardon my lack of my normal erudition in this space; I work back office for a retailer and it’s been my job to make sure the point of sale …

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How Well Do the Indiana Pacers Force Other Teams Into Bad Shots?

On Sunday in this space, I introduced the D’Antoni Index, a stat that combines three hallmarks of efficient basketball—3-pointers, shots near the rim, and free throws—into one handy stat that can be compared team to team and game to game against either a team itself (do they improve during the season?) or against the league (by using league average as the “index” part of the stat’s name.) The worst team in the league for D’Antoni Index is, to the surprise of absolutely nobody, the Indiana Pacers, one reason the #FireNate chants echo across Twitter every time the Pacers lose a …

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Don’t Let the Indiana Pacers’ 7-4 Start Fool You. They Have Major Issues.

The Indiana Pacers have started this season 7-4 after clobbering the Oklahoma City Thunder 111-85 on Tuesday night. They have won seven of eight after starting the season 0-3, Domantas Sabonis has been in beast mode ever since Myles Turner got hurt, and Malcolm Brogdon has emerged as a genuine All-Star-caliber player now that he’s out of the shadow of Giannis Antetokounmpo in Milwaukee. Everything should be sunshine and lollipops, especially with Victor Oladipo engaging in full court practice with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants squad today, right? Wrong. Because behind that 7-4 facade is an edifice that isn’t on …

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Making Sense of the Indiana Pacers’ 3-Game Renaissance

The Indiana Pacers started the 2019-20 season 0-3 and fans started to wonder if perhaps the team should tank for the first overall draft pick, all while wondering before a single college basketball game that counts has yet been played who’s going to be this year’s Zion Williamson. Then Jeremy Lamb came back, Goga Bitadze learned practically overnight how to basketball, T.J. Leaf had a whole NBA game in which he managed to not suck, Malcolm Brogdon emerged as the MVP, and now the team is 3-3 and “we’re going to win the championship!” The reality is somewhere in the …

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T.J. Warren and the “Loser’s Mentality”

In the earliest days of my writing career, I covered boxing, specifically as a beat writer reporting on ESPN’s old Friday Night Fights series between 2011 and 2013 (and again during the 2015 season.) On that show, which featured up-and-coming fighters getting TV exposure on their way to a title shot, there were plenty of guys who built up gaudy records on the club circuit but could never translate that into success at even the “mid-major” (to put it in college basketball terms) level. Those guys, once they’d lost a few close decisions or been knocked out once or twice, …

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Hey Indiana Pacers! Nate McMillan Needs to be Fired. Now.

It is not normally considered good form to complain about the coach based on one game of an 82-game season. But for the Indiana Pacers, they should’ve fired Nate McMillan…well, they never should’ve hired him in the first place, but if last year wasn’t enough to convince them to take the franchise in a new direction leadership-wise, then what’s it going to take? And I don’t want to hear the argument “but they won 48 games!” Yes they did. Because they have a ton of talent that in the right hands with the right offense could win 60 in any …

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Domantas Sabonis: The Best Contract Extension in the NBA

The Indiana Pacers, after some saber rattling and a slew of trade rumors, signed Domantas Sabonis to a four-year contract extension Monday that, according to various reports, is good for something in the $75-80 million range with incentives. The Indianapolis Star reported $74.9 million, as did Shams Charania, so that’s the figure I’m going to go with for this piece. At that salary, and given Sabonis’ .197 WS/48 last year (the same as Karl-Anthony Towns and Kyrie Irving), that gives him a Wiggins Factor of 203.55, which is spectacular for a guy making star money—anything below 300 is good, 250 …

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Nate McMillan and the Pacers’ Culture of Good Enough

Welcome back to Pacers Tuesday, here for another season on Pace and Space! We begin this season with a reminder that unlike Pacers and Pacers-adjacent media, I am not here for Nate McMillan as the coach. I have written more than once about McMillan’s commitment to Dark Ages basketball, his aversion to the 3-pointer, and his tendency to get outcoached even by objectively lousy coaches like Tyronn Lue in the playoffs. But Pacers media loves the guy. Pacers media has always loved the guys who at best coach the team to a high-40s win total and a first-round playoff exit …

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