Indiana Pacers: Bjorkgren Faces Coaching Conundrum

Nate Bjorkgren, Indiana Pacers - Credit: David Dermer-USA TODAY Sports
Nate Bjorkgren, Indiana Pacers - Credit: David Dermer-USA TODAY Sports /

How will the Indiana Pacers handle their first back-to-back?

After a solid season-opening win, Coach Nate Bjorkgren is about to face his first real test of the season, a back-to-back pair of games against the Chicago Bulls and Boston Celtics. Fans will potentially learn a lot about Bjorkgren’s coaching philosophy as the rookie head coach balances load management with trying to win games.

Bjorkgren could have a tough decision to make, should he utilize his starting line up to their fullest potential, or will he restrict their minutes to keep them prepared for an important game against the Celtics the following night? Will Bjorkgren potentially sacrifice a win against the Bulls to better prepare the Pacers against a potential playoff opponent?

In order to answer this question, fans should keep an eye on Brogdon and Sabonis‘ minutes in the game against the Bulls. The duo played the bulk of Wednesday night’s season opener, and they could potentially play a smaller role against the Bulls.

Another question involves Victor Oladipo having not played in back-to-back games since his injury. Tonight’s contest could be a litmus test for his confidence on the court, and we’ll see whether he plays tonight, tomorrow, or both games. Alternatively, this could be an opportunity for the growth and development of bench players.

How Nate Bjorkgren approaches these two games will tell a lot about how he and the team approach this season. It is very much up to the Pacers if they start the season 3-0, 2-1, or 1-2. The Pacers may focus on the bigger picture and attempt to secure as many wins and devote their efforts towards beating the Bulls. Alternatively, Bjorkgren may focus on the health and wellbeing of the team instead. Avoiding injuries will always be a priority for this Pacers team.

Keep in mind that the Pacers will host the Celtics a second time on Tuesday. Perhaps the Pacers will keep a few tricks up their sleeve for a game with potentially important tiebreaking implications. For the Pacers, this first back-to-back of the season will be a question of whether the ends justify the means.

Next. Where do the Indiana Pacers stand in the Eastern Conference?. dark