It hasn’t been the Pacers’ year this season. The Pacers are currently sitting at 20-43, are miles away from playoff contention, and the only team doing worse than the Pacers in the Eastern Conference is the Nets. In fact, some people think this year’s Pacers squad may be the worst Pacer team ever.
When a team plays like the Pacers have this season, no coach is going to be free from scrutiny. Today, Bob Kravitz
of the Indy Star is on-record with his adamant belief that the Pacers need a coaching change, and soon. Kravitz makes a pretty convincing case for why O’Brien needs to go. He cites the Pacers’ low energy level, O’Brien’s quote that the problem with the offense was that he didn’t have Jeff Foster to distribute the ball from the high post, and this incident involving Josh McRoberts:
“For me, and for the fans who still pay attention to the Pacers, the tipping point came earlier this week after Josh McRoberts’ inspired performance against the Los Angeles Lakers. O’Brien was lobbed a softball question about McRoberts, given a chance to laud a guy who rarely gets off the bench, and he slammed him by saying his performance was “irrelevant.” He then said he wanted to see McRoberts do that in a winning effort, except McRoberts never gets to play when the game is on the line. For his good work against L.A., McRoberts was rewarded with five minutes of garbage time in Portland.”
The way I see it, the Pacers have serious problems on just about every level. They’re a poorly constructed team, they don’t have enough talent, and they’ve only become more and more irrelevant with each move they’ve made since the Palace Brawl. A new coach would be the easiest major change the Pacers could make. However, it’s far from the only change that needs to be made if the Pacers want to get back to winning.
Khris Middleton has more expectations and more pressure on him after a breakout season in Milwaukee, followed by him getting him PAID this summer.
Well, he looked pretty good on this play against the Bulls, making the steal then throwing down despite Jimmy Butler‘s efforts to stop him.
Middleton finished with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting for the Bucks. However, Butler had the last laugh as he went off for 23 points on 12 shots and led the Bulls to the (meaningless) preseason win.
Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.
His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.
George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).
As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.