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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The Indiana Pacers Should Trade Victor Oladipo

Victor Oladipo played in 19 games for a total of 528 minutes, ranking him 10th on the Pacers in total minutes played, behind the rotation guys who’d been there all season and ahead of the players who got most of their minutes in garbage time or spent a good chunk of the season in the G-League (the complete list in descending order: Goga Bitadze, JaKarr Sampson, Edmond Sumner, T.J. Leaf, Alize Johnson, Naz Mitrou-Long, and at just 31 minutes, Brian Bowen.) Despite this reduced workload thanks to not appearing in a game until January 29, Oladipo posted the worst VORP …

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3 Great Coaching Candidates for the Indiana Pacers

All season long, as I’ve beaten the “Fire Nate McMillan” drum here and on Twitter for the Indiana Pacers, people have asked me an obvious return question. “OK, so you fire Nate. Who do you replace him with?” And during the regular season, that’s a hard question to answer because every coach I’d pick to coach the Pacers is employed somewhere else making his case for coaching the Pacers but in presumably no danger from his own team. So my stock answer became “Interim Head Coach Dan Burke, then figure out after the season which coach with an actual grasp …

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Tell Your Statistics to Shut Up: The Weird Pacers-Spurs Game

This season, Indiana Pacers coach Nate McMillan and San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich have been, in terms of D’Antoni Index, the most mired-in-the-Dark-Ages, least inclined toward modern NBA offense teams in the entire league, and it hasn’t even been close between them and the rest of the NBA’s coaching fraternity. For those needing a primer, to calculate D’Antoni Index, you sum a team’s 3-point attempt rate (the percentage of its shots that are 3-pointers), its percentage of shots taken within 3 feet of the rim (per Basketball Reference; you can just as easily use NBA.com’s restricted area stats if …

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The Indiana Pacers Have a Kevin Pritchard Problem

Indiana Pacers president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard has a stellar and deserved reputation as a shrewd negotiator, the kind of guy who can take a small market team and load it up with a roster that should and does punch above its weight in the Association. He did it in Portland, pulling together Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Andre Miller, along with a young and rising Nicolas Batum, into a team that looked like it was going to be a perennial Western Conference contender in the late aughts and early 2010s. The squad won 54 games in 2008-09, Pritchard’s …

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#FireNate! Pacers Twitter Vs. Nate McMillan

Following a 2-week delay in which I ended up in Twitter Jail AND had my Internet service go out (and it wasn’t just mine, the whole block I live on lost Comcast service before a tech could get out and fix the wiring outside my building), I’m back, and with the All-Star break on, I figure a lighthearted look at the revolt in Pacers fan circles against everyone’s favorite Dark Ages offense-loving, Scott-Hollins Syndrome-afflicted, fire that guy before Victor Oladipo pulls a Paul George and forces his way out of town, worst-in-the-NBA head coach is in order. That’s right. It’s …

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