The Indiana Pacers’ offense needs a new identity under Nate Bjorkgren

Indiana Pacers, Doug McDermott - Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
Indiana Pacers, Doug McDermott - Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports /

The Indiana Pacers must change their offense under Nate Bjorkgren.

It is no secret that the Indiana Pacers were tough to watch on the offensive end of the floor last season. Nate McMillan hardly utilized the three-point shot during his tenure with the Pacers, which is quite the opposite of the trends of the NBA.

Playing with a two-big starting lineup definitely limited Indiana’s three-point shooting but Myles Turner is a capable shooter from deep. He connected on 34.4 percent of his three-point attempts last season, better than Malcolm Brogdon, Jeremy Lamb, and Victor Oladipo. The issue with Turner seemed to be his freedom to take shots from the perimeter on a consistent basis.

The Pacers were dead last in the NBA last season with just 28.0 three-point attempts per game and were one of only three teams to take less than 30 per game. When they did shoot, Indiana was a respectable team from deep. As a team, Indiana shot 36.3 percent from beyond the arc, good for 14th in the league. The only team to hit fewer threes per game in 2019-20 was the New York Knicks.

Not only did Indiana avoid the three-point line, but they also failed to attack the rim consistently. They were last in the league with just 19.1 free throw attempts per game despite posting good percentages from the charity stripe. Indiana was 12th in the NBA with a team mark of 78.7 percent at the line.

Settling for mid-range and long two-point shots limited the Indiana offense, leaving them near the bottom of the league. They finished the year with just 109.4 points per game, good for 23rd in the NBA.

Nate Bjorkgren can hopefully turn things around for the Pacers on the offensive end. Toronto, where Bjorkgren served as an assistant for the past two years, was much more aggressive on that front. They attempted 23.2 free throws per game (17th in the NBA) and 37.0 three-point shots (6th in the NBA).

The Raptors were 13th in the league last season with 112.8 points per game thanks to a higher volume of shots. Can the Pacers replicate that success next season?

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