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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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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