Areas Of Strength
The Indiana Pacers improved by six games last season in spite of so-called experts anticipating a backslide from them of six or more victories. That was how little they thought of the Pacers’ side of the Paul George deal. But Victor Oladipo worked his way to a breakthrough season and likely Kia Most Improved Player status, giving the Pacers their All-Star leader. Meanwhile, Domantas Sabonis is a skilled factor in the frontcourt and Thaddeus Young is a rock at both ends (assuming he opts to stay). The Pacers’ locker room atmosphere is huge, too, with strong chemistry/camaraderie and a group that seems to enjoy each other.
Outside of Oladipo, the roster is pretty bare of players who can create their own shots. Oh, Lance Stephenson can do that, but you have to put up with all his recklessness and antics, which are best endured in small doses. Myles Turner still is young but needs to put some giddy-up in his git-along, as far as developing as an offensive option. He or someone else needs to provide more rebounding, too.
Two Stats That Matter
13.7 -- The Pacers were 13.7 points per 100 possessions better with Victor Oladipo on the floor (plus-6.4) than they were with him off the floor (minus-7.3). That was the second biggest on-off NetRtg differential among 266 players who played at least 1,000 minutes for a single team.
26 percent -- The Pacers took 26 percent of their shots from mid-range (between the paint and the 3-point line). That was the second highest rate in the league (lower than only that of the New York Knicks).
-- John Schuhmann
The Way To Go
Aaron Holiday of UCLA surely has the bloodlines, as brother to NBAers Jrue and Justin. He could apprentice at both backcourt spots for now with an eye on eventually playing alongside Oladipo. Another player who gets mentioned at No. 23: Wichita State’s Landry Shamet, who also could fall into the second round.
2017-18 Team Stats (points per 100 possessions, with NBA rank)
Offensive: 107.2 (12th)
Defensive: 105.6 (14th)
G: Darren Collison
G: Victor Oladipo
G: Edmond Sumner
F: Bojan Bogdanovic
F: T.J. Leaf
F: Alex Poythress
C/F: Domantas Sabonis
C: Ike Anigbogu
C: Al Jefferson
C: Myles Turner
G: Cory Joseph (player option)
G: Lance Stephenson (team option)
G: Joe Young (team option)
G/F: Glenn Robinson III (unrestricted)
F: Trevor Booker (unrestricted)
F: Ben Moore (restricted)
F: Thaddeus Young (player option)
Recent Draft History
2017: T.J. Leaf (18); Ike Anigbogu (47)
2016: Caris LeVert (20), traded to Brooklyn; Georges Niang (50)
2015: Myles Turner (11); Joe Young (43)
2014: Louis Labeyrie (57)
2013: Solomon Hill (23); Colton Iverson (53)
-- Steve Aschburner