Welcome to the Indiana Pacers Collapse

On January 27, the Indiana Pacers beat the Charlotte Hornets 116-106, ran their record to 11-7, and looked like they might even make a surge and ride it all the way to a top-3 seed in the Eastern Conference, which is as bad as any NBA conference has been below its top teams in 40 years. As this article goes to press, the Pacers are 15-18, losing four straight and five of their last six. They are 4-11 since that win in late January. The natural question is “what happened?” Well, you know how the cracks were showing as early …

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There Are No New Indiana Pacers Stories

Everything that can be said about the 2021 Indiana Pacers has already been said, and we’re just two months into the regular season. Domantas Sabonis and Malcolm Brogdon are the stars, and this team is a G-League team without both of them healthy. Myles Turner is what he is at this point; an elite shotblocker who can’t rebound and is such a liability on offense that no amount of involving him as a stretch 5 is going to change the fact that he’s just not a scorer. The sole upside of this is that his four-year, $72 million contract is …

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The Indiana Pacers Can’t Beat Good Teams

You know that sinking feeling you get as a sports fan when you watch your team face an opponent in a “second-round playoff preview” in the middle of the regular season and, as the game goes on and the other team handily disposes of your beloved squad, that sinking feeling forms in your soul that “oh gods, we aren’t very good, are we?” Yeah, that’s how I felt about the Indiana Pacers’ losses to the Milwaukee Bucks (130-110) and Utah Jazz (103-95) over the past week, with the gut-punch 114-113 loss to a New Orleans Pelicans team that is not …

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Is Nate Bjorkgren Overusing the Pacers’ Stars?

The Indiana Pacers are a top-heavy talent team, with Malcolm Brogdon (36.9 minutes per game) and Domantas Sabonis (36.8) shouldering a huge minutes load between the two of them. Indeed, in the Pacers’ 119-110 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers Sunday night, coach Nate Bjorkgren went with what was basically an eight-deep rotation; Goga Bitadze played just shy of six minutes and Edmond Sumner just six seconds in the loss, while Brogdon, Sabonis, and Justin Holiday all played over three-quarters of the game. What’s more, with Victor Oladipo gone and Caris LeVert out indefinitely, the Pacers have a severe guard depth …

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Domantas Sabonis: Killer at the Rim

The Indiana Pacers continue to chug along in the NBA’s weird COVID-ridden 2020-21 campaign, standing 10-7 after a Monday night win against the Toronto Raptors put them just a game and a half back of the first-place Philadelphia 76ers and half a game behind the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks for second in the Eastern Conference. Oddly, the more things change in the NBA, the more they stay the same; Atlanta, at 8-8, is the only Southeast Division team within sniffing range of a winning record. But that’s a story for another day (specifically Thursday); stay tuned. With Victor Oladipo …

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Victor Oladipo: Pacers Postmortem

After coming back from a ruptured quadriceps tendon, the injury that ended Charles Barkley‘s career, Victor Oladipo was, measured by VORP, the worst player on the entire Indiana Pacers team in 2020. His minus-0.2 VORP in 552 minutes combined with a pathetic .002 WS/48, lower than anyone on the team who played more than 50 minutes all season. And while the counting stats people could point at Vic’s 20 points per game in his first nine games with the Pacers before being, in the grand scheme of things, traded for Caris LeVert as a side effect of the James Harden …

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What Is Going On with the Indiana Pacers’ Defense?

The Indiana Pacers lost twice in the past week, first a 125-117 loss to the Suns on Saturday and then a 127-122 loss at Sacramento Monday night. That’s 252 points in two games, dropping Indiana’s overall Defensive Rating down to 16th in the league after a great start to the season (one that was on display in a 114-107 win over Houston Wednesday, the third game since the last time this site talked about Indiana basketball last Tuesday) and worse, squandering a couple of solid offensive performances that generated 239 points in 96 minutes of play. The Suns got their …

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Nate Bjorkgren Beat the Pelicans. Nate McMillan Would’ve Lost.

When the Indiana Pacers lost to the New York Knicks on January 2, they did so in a way that ticked all the boxes for how good teams lose games, and as such presented little cause for alarm. After all, Indiana took 50 of their 84 field goal attempts from long range, connected on 38 percent of them for a .570 eFG% from that distance, and took good care of the ball, turning the ball over just eight times. Unfortunately, it simply wasn’t enough to stop a Knicks squad that was able to attack the basket, hit 53.6 percent of …

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The Indiana Pacers’ Amazing 2-Point Efficiency

The Indiana Pacers finally fell out of the ranks of the NBA’s unbeatens Tuesday night when the Boston Celtics avenged a last-second loss in Beantown by mounting an impressive 33-17 fourth quarter to sneak a 116-111 win out of Bankers Life Fieldhouse. And while the Pacers have struggled to find the touch from beyond the arc (their 30.3 percent shooting from long range is third-worst in the league and has led to a gun-shy .331 3PAR that is less about offensive design and more about a lack of confidence in their shot), they have picked up three wins thanks mainly …

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The Indiana Pacers Hired Nate Bjorkgren. Wait, Who?!

It is no secret that this site’s official editorial position in regards to the Indiana Pacers’ coaching search was, in Dire Straits intonation, “I want my MDA.” Considering this site practically worships at the altar of 3-pointers, layups, and free throws, it makes sense; one of my coinages here is “D’Antoni Index”, a catch-all stat that combines 3PAR, FTR, and percentage of shots taken within three feet of the basket (a proxy for layups and dunks) to determine a team’s (or a coach’s) propensity for designing a system with an optimal potential average outcome per shot attempt. D’Antoni is the …

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