The Star Turn of Domantas Sabonis

The Indiana Pacers are a little too prone to putting their money in the wrong place in trying to find an explanation for their breakout into the NBA’s upper echelon since Paul George left. First it was a four-year extension for Nate McMillan, the second-worst case in the league (behind Tom Thibodeau in Minnesota) of a team that should’ve made a coaching change instead rewarding the guy who took them to the playoffs. Indiana going 48-34 is why they didn’t blow up the sideline and hire Mike Budenholzer (go ahead, imagine a team that’s been as good from beyond the …

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The People Vs. Myles Turner

Myles Turner got a 4-year, $72 million contract extension from the Indiana Pacers ahead of this season, with incentives that could push him up to $80 million over the four years if he hits them. All that for a center who can’t rebound, takes too many midrange jump shots, and has never posted a positive offensive Box Plus-Minus in his career. At this point, you may be sensibly asking yourself why the Pacers just paid $18 million a year for Roy Hibbert when they could’ve traded Turner for assets and rolled with Domantas Sabonis as the starter and Kyle O’Quinn …

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Scott-Hollins Syndrome or: How To Tell If Your Coach Needs to be Fired

Scott-Hollins Syndrome is a sickness that afflicts certain NBA coaches, players, and broadcasters. Named for Byron Scott and Lionel Hollins, two coaches who were the ultimate examples of it, symptoms include eschewing the three-point shot in favor of the midrange jumper, settling for floaters rather than attacking the lane, and perilously low FT/FGA ratios on two-point shooting and nearly nonexistent opportunities for and-ones. It has been a byword for inefficient basketball here on Pace and Space and on my Twitter (@RealFoxD) since we launched, but until now I’ve never actually bothered to define it. And it’s been on my mind …

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A Wacky Series Goes Back to Cleveland

The Indiana Pacers and Cleveland Cavaliers have split their first-round playoff series over four games, each team winning one on the other team’s floor in addition to their own. What’s more, three of the four games have been nail-biters; the only game decided by more than four points was that 98-80 Indiana win in Game 1. Pacers fans are hoping for that Pacers-in-six narrative to hold up, but if that was going to be the case, it was probably going to be a case of Indiana opening up a 3-1 lead, losing in Cleveland, then closing it out at home. …

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The Cleveland Cavaliers Panic At Being Deader Than Disco

The Pacers and Cavaliers tip off Game 2 in Cleveland tonight, and after Indiana went into the land of the burning river and smoked the Cavs 98-80 in Game 1, there are a lot of reasons for the Cavs to be in full-on pants-soiling terror mode. O how do I love thee, Indiana, let me count the ways… Problem 1: It Wasn’t LeBron James Who Had the Bad Game LeBron wasn’t exactly a superhero in Game 1. He was 7-of-17. But he had a triple-double (24 points, 10 rebounds, 12 assists), playing 44 minutes with a respectable if not great …

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The Indiana Pacers have a depth problem

Ever since Glenn Robinson III returned from injury after the All-Star Game, he’s been used sparingly by coach Nate McMillan. He played just two minutes against the Clippers, and his minutes have been steadily declining as McMillan has shortened the bench down the stretch. Robinson hasn’t exactly justified the minutes he has played on the floor. His paltry 9.2 PER and horrifying 37.9/26.3 FG/3PT shooting splits have effectively negated him as a factor in Indiana’s bench offense. Indiana only goes about eight or nine deep (depending on which version of Lance Stephenson shows up that night). Cory Joseph, Trevor Booker, …

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The 2018 Pacers: Pure Guts, Pure Soul, Pure Fun

It’s a Wednesday edition of Pacers Tuesday, because I wanted to see what happened with the return of Domantas Sabonis and the game at the Santa Cruz Warriors before deciding on an angle this week. And then Domas shot 3-of-3 from the field, scored seven points, grabbed six rebounds, and dished three assists in a 92-81 win. But that’s not what jumped out at me. What jumped out at me was the Pacers’ 92-81 win after trailing by 15 points in the second quarter. It’s the seventh time this season Indiana’s been down 15 or more in a game and …

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Indiana Pacers Injury Power Rankings

The Indiana Pacers are 41-30, fourth in the Eastern Conference, a magic number of three away from clinching a playoff spot, and just five wins (with 11 games left) away from posting the team’s best record since 2013-14, the last time they made the Eastern Conference Finals. Indeed, if the team stays healthy, it’s not out of the question that the team could once again make the ECF; Cleveland is vulnerable with nothing in the way of depth or chemistry behind LeBron James, and Boston’s ongoing problems with Kyrie Irving and Al Horford battling nagging injuries and Gordon Hayward lost …

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The Pacers’ Tough Schedule Is Their Best Hope

Tuesday night, the Indiana Pacers beat the Philadelphia 76ers on the road 101-98, doing this despite the referee crew being composed of Rocky Balboa, Benjamin Franklin, and the Phillie Phanatic. This follows a win Sunday night in Boston that brings the Pacers’ record against current would-be Eastern Conference playoff teams to 13-9. They are 17-7 against non-playoff teams in the East; those splits in the West are 2-9 for playoff teams and 8-3 for non-playoff teams. The Pacers also have a brutal schedule remaining; they play nine of their remaining 14 games against current playoff teams, including two against the …

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Indiana Pacers By the Numbers

The Indiana Pacers are 37-27, seeded fourth in the Eastern Conference, just half a game behind a Cleveland Cavaliers team over which they hold the tiebreaker should the teams finish with identical records. For a team that projected for 30 wins, it’s a revelation. And there are some fun numbers out there worth highlighting, so just for fun this week, we’ll pull a few fun facts about your on-pace-for-47-win Pacers: Victor Oladipo Vs. Paul George Oladipo, counting stats, 2018: 24.0 points, 5.4 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 2.2 steals (leads the league), 47.7 FG%, 37.1 3PT%. George, counting stats, 2017: 23.7 points, …

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