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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Shooters Shoot: The Re-Integration of Victor Oladipo

The Indiana Pacers, after winning in spectacular fashion in Victor Oladipo‘s first game back with the team, have lost three in a row, including a listless disaster of a game against the Knicks, a garbage loss to a Mavs team that didn’t have Luka Doncic, and a FIRE NATE NOW DEAR GODS HOW DO YOU BLOW AN 8 POINT LEAD IN 83 SECONDS 119-118 disaster movie against the Toronto Raptors. Through all of this, and including Oladipo’s 2-of-8 performance against Chicago that was redeemed in the final seconds of regulation, the Pacers’ two-time All-Star is just 13-of-53 (24.5 percent) from …

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WELCOME BACK VICTOR OLADIPO!

If I told you that a player came off the bench, played 21 minutes, went 2-of-8 from the field and 1-of-7 from three, scored just nine points, and added two rebounds and four assists, what would you say? Something along the lines of “that’s not a very good stat line, that’s the kind of thing that costs teams games,” I’d guess. Well, in the words of Charlie Brown, tell your statistics to shut up, because that player is Victor Oladipo, that one three-point make was a monster of a clutch shot that sent the game to an overtime the Pacers …

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Learning How to Win: The Renaissance of T.J. Warren

Back toward the beginning of the season, I applied some history from my days as a boxing writer to surmise that there are some NBA players who, by virtue of playing on Dumpster fire teams for their early careers, learn how to lose and as such become liabilities when the game is on the line. One of my examples, Kemba Walker, was one of the worst clutch players in the league when he was in Charlotte, shooting atrocious percentages in the last five minutes of the fourth quarter and overtime when shooting to tie or take the lead. And for …

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See, I Told You So About Malcolm Brogdon and the Pacers

Last week, in this weekly Indiana basketball portion of your Pace and Space program, I spoke at some length about the importance of Malcolm Brogdon to the well-being of the Indiana Pacers. And it just so happens that I tend to decide on an angle for this column around the time the Pacers play a game on a Sunday or Monday night before this feature runs. And this Monday, against the Joel Embiid-less Philadelphia 76ers, your President and mine showed out to the tune of 21 points (despite 5-of-15 shooting, thanks to an 8-of-9 night at the line and 3-of-6 …

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