Which Indiana Pacers are set up for success with the arrival of Nate Bjorkgren?
The Indiana Pacers have announced Nate Bjorkgren as the next head coach, signaling a shift in the scheme on both ends of the floor. From what we have seen in his time as an NBA assistant, it is safe to infer a handful of Pacers will be on the brink of a breakout year.
Bjorkgren, who helped the Toronto Raptors win the 2019 NBA Finals, is considered to be a clone of Nick Nurse. With that being said, which current Pacers should thrive in his system next season? Here are a few guys who can take the next step.
Aaron Holiday is quietly on the verge of being a starting-caliber guard but is stuck behind a backcourt duo of Malcolm Brogdon and Victor Oladipo. However, Holiday took a giant leap last offseason and was a valuable contributor for Indiana last season.
In extended minutes, Holiday has shown flashes of being a savvy combo guard who can create his own shots while also creating for his teammates. I would even argue he is the best shot-creator on the roster because of his arsenal of attacks. With Bjorkgren, I expect Holiday to shoulder even more of the offensive load.
Fred VanVleet is the perfect comparison in Bjorkgren’s offense, in my opinion. VanVleet, who was an important rotational piece for the championship team in 2019, became one of the offensive focal points for Toronto. The Raptors shot the three-point shot with abundance, and VanVleet benefitted greatly.
If Bjorkgren can turn Holiday into his next VanVleet, even if only a little bit, he will be in for a huge year.