The Pacers are the NBA’s Most Fragile Team

The Indiana Pacers went from a 57-win team to a 37-win team in as much time as it took Victor Oladipo‘s quadriceps tendon to tell coach Nate McMillan what it thought of the amount of time Oladipo got left in blowouts that should’ve gone to garbage time players long before. The Pacers went 25-11 in games in which Oladipo appeared. They were 23-27 without him, including an awful 6-15 in the last 21 games including the playoff sweep against Boston. In fact, they managed to lose to the Celtics six times in the space of a month. This year, Oladipo …

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Kevin Pritchard is the King of the NBA Offseason

A GM in a big NBA market like Los Angeles or New York is under tremendous pressure to bring home the truly epic prizes, guys like Kawhi Leonard and Kevin Durant, and with all the advantages in the world, any fool can close the deal—the Lakers, after all, got LeBron James for no better reason than because LeBron wanted to be closer to his media empire during the season. A GM in a small NBA market has to operate on the margins, bringing in value talent, drafting well, and winning trades in order to build even a perennial first-round playoff …

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The Pacers’ 2019 Draft Has Something For Every Fan

To say Kevin Pritchard had a whirlwind of activity on draft night Thursday is to say that Dorothy got caught up in a light breeze on a calm Kansas evening. Normally that kind of capacity for understatement is reserved for British political leaders in the midst of a war. No, what Kevin Pritchard did was a full-scale, F5 tornado whirlwind of activity that saw the Pacers acquire a known commodity (T.J. Warren, one of those guys I love to watch play because when his shot starts falling he scores a lot of points in not a lot of time) for …

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The Pacers’ Point Guard Options Are All Terrible

The Indiana Pacers have so many trade and free agency rumors swirling around who is going to start at point guard when the 2019-20 season tips off that you could plug any name from the entire NBA into a Mad Libs and send it off for editing and readers would tweet it far and wide with no regard for its credibility. Part of this is because every offseason for every team at every position of need is like this and part of it is the simple fact that the Pacers, by virtue of Darren Collison being about to turn 32 …

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The Indiana Pacers Should Trade the 18th Pick in 2019

The Indiana Pacers are, as of this writing and pending any Woj bombs or Shams scoops, picking 18th in the 2019 NBA draft. It is the fourth time in a row they’ve picked between 18th and 23rd, that late-first-round ghetto where the best talent is off the board and for every Gary Harris (19th in 2014 to Chicago) or Caris LeVert (20th in 2016 to Brooklyn via Indiana), there are seemingly dozens of guys like Fab Melo (22nd in 2012 to Boston, played six NBA games) or Malachi Richardson (22nd in 2016 to Memphis, posted negative Win Shares in 70 …

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Pacers Predictive Postmortem on the Playoff Precipice

In 2016, the Memphis Grizzlies started the season 39-26 before a combination of injuries to Mike Conley and Marc Gasol led to a downright violent regression to the mean that left them 3-14 in their last 17 regular-season games before meekly bowing out to the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the playoffs via sweep. In 2019, the Indiana Pacers started the season 40-20, even initially staying strong despite an injury to Victor Oladipo in January. But that injury, plus a vicious toughening of the schedule, led to the team finishing 4-9 in their last 13 regular-season games …

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Teammate of the Year? They Should Call it the Thaddeus Young Award

This week’s edition is brought to you in part by Pacers Twitter, who were collectively and understandably getting sick of the doom and gloom inherent in this weekly department ever since the team went 4-10 in March and…ahem, I’m doing it again, aren’t I? So the preview of the Celtics series, a hit piece on Tyreke Evans, a comparison to the 2016 Grizzlies…all of those will have to run some other time. This week, we’re talking about the greatest teammate and glue guy in the NBA if not in all of sports, the one, the only Thaddeus Young. Specifically, Young’s …

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Bojan Bogdanovic Used To Suck. Like, Really Suck.

The fact that Andrew Wiggins sucks isn’t exactly news. It is, however, a fun read. But in the course of doing the research for that Wiggins article, I discovered something that simply has to merit mention in the Pacers-related portion of the programming around here. Specifically, the fact that Bojan Bogdanovic‘s emergence as the leading scorer, defensive glue guy, and all around good egg for the Pacers over the past two seasons has been one of the unlikeliest career turnarounds possibly in the history of the league. Consider Bojan’s 2015-16 season and his Big 5 advanced stats: A 10.7 PER, …

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Chris Denari and Quinn Buckner: The Best Team on League Pass

Most of the time, this weekly department that serves as my outlet for blatant fanboying (or believing the sky is falling, depending on how many rebounds Myles Turner had the previous week) contains a good bit of actual basketball analysis. But get yourself a tall glass of Kinetico water and wash down your meal of smothered chicken, because this week it’s time for nothing but praise for the best local announcing duo in sports, Chris Denari and Quinn Buckner of Fox Sports Indiana, whose dulcet tones and willingness to avoid too-blatant homerism (Tommy Heinsohn in Boston, looking squarely at you) …

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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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