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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#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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The Indiana Pacers Without Malcolm Brogdon Are a Mess

The Indiana Pacers are losers of five of their last eight games, including a couple of awful losses to the 8-29 Hawks and (in a blowout) the 12-25 Pelicans. Not coincidentally, Malcolm Brogdon has missed six of the last seven games, and the seventh was a decisive 18-point victory over Philadelphia in which Brogdon was ineffective (five missed shots and two assists in eight minutes before leaving with an aggravation of his injury.) Without Brogdon this season (10 of the team’s 37 games), the Pacers are just 5-5, and that once again includes getting destroyed by an awful Pelicans team. …

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Where Are the 2015-16 Indiana Pacers in 2020?

As the 2010s draw to a close, it is perhaps instructive to think about just how much can change in four short years, as in the four years since Pace and Space first launched on our old webhost (which sadly lost the Year 1 archive in a server wipe, one reason this has been on the current WordPress server since 2017), my favorite team has gone through so much roster upheaval that only one player from that debut season’s team—Myles Turner, who was a rookie—is still in the blue and gold. Some Pacers left under poor circumstances, and by “some …

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Are the Indiana Pacers Really “Without Their Best Player”?

As the NBA tips off its Christmas Day games Wednesday, the Indiana Pacers are 21-10, sixth in the Eastern Conference, just one game behind second-place Boston in the standings, all “without their best player having played one second,” as just about all of Pacers Twitter has said in some form or fashion. Indiana owns wins over the Celtics, Lakers, and Raptors in just the last two weeks alone. Sure, they’ve been thumped by double digits by the Bucks (twice) and Clippers, but c’mon, that just means they lost to the favorites to make up the 2020 NBA Finals. Of course …

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