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:
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, 6.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.6 steals, 46.1 FG%, 39.1 3PT%.
Oladipo, advanced stats, 2018: 23.3 PER, .156 WS/48, 4.3 BPM, 3.2 VORP.
George, advanced stats, 2017: 20.2 PER, .126 WS/48, 2.8 BPM, 3.2 VORP.
Oh, and VORP is a cumulative stat; George’s 3.2 came in 75 games, not 58.
I’d say that trade worked out pretty well, yes?
Pacers, Defensive Rating, 2018: 108.3 (14th)
Pacers, Defensive Rating, 2017: 108.8 (16th)
The league’s offensive rating is down from 108.8 to 108.6 this year, for what that’s worth. It’s not the heady days of the Frank Vogel years, but then again Vogel didn’t post 109.9 offensive ratings during his tenure, good for top ten in the league.
And Yet Nobody Shows Up
Pacers attendance, 2018, projected for 41 home games: 643,747 (27th)
Pacers attendance, 2017: 684,578 (22nd)
Move the team to Seattle. I’ll buy tickets.
The team is 13-5 in the last 18 games. The team’s expected record, 35-29, is good for 11th in the league. Someone’s got to show up.
For the Love of Home Court
When the playoffs arrive, the Pacers have the tiebreaker over Cleveland. They have the tiebreaker over Milwaukee. They’ll have it over Washington if they win on St. Patrick’s Day. They’ll have it over Philadelphia with a win on March 13.
The playoffs are going to be fun this year. After two soulless years of meekly bowing out in the first round, that’s one heck of an improvement.
If Kevin Pritchard doesn’t win Executive of the Year for this, the award is meaningless.