Indiana Pacers: What should the rotation look like for the rest of the season?

Nate Bjorkgren, Indiana Pacers - Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Nate Bjorkgren, Indiana Pacers - Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /

Assuming the Indiana Pacers stay healthy, which I know is a tall order, how should their rotation look in the final stretch? T.J. Warren will not return but there is hope that the Pacers will have the rest of the roster ready for the final month of the season and the playoffs.

The play-in tournament begins in just over a month with the last of the playoff teams punching their tickets from May 18-21. The Pacers currently sit ninth in the Eastern Conference and are four games up on the Raptors, who sit 11th and out of the play-in qualification.

What should the Indiana Pacers do with the rotation?

When crunch time comes, the Pacers will have to carve up the rotation and get their best guys on the floor as much as possible. Domantas Sabonis and Malcolm Brogdon have played a lot of minutes all season so there is no reason to expect that to change. They will get upwards of 40 minutes in the playoffs if necessary.

The same can be said for Caris LeVert, who was handed 30+ minutes as soon as he was cleared to play. Since joining the Pacers, LeVert has started in every game he has played and is averaging 32.6 minutes per game, a career-high.

Myles Turner is the only starter who has a question mark regarding his minutes but that will change come playoff time. He averages 30 minutes per game but does not get that number consistently for whatever reason. When things are on the line, I imagine he will be on the floor just as much as the other starters.

The real rotational questions come with the second unit. The Pacers have consistently played 10 and 11-man rotations this season which is simply not going to work in the playoffs. Ideally, that will be cut down to just eight or nine guys. Right now, 12 Pacers are averaging over 10 minutes per game.

T.J. McConnell and Doug McDermott are almost locks to be on the floor, though they may take a bit of a cut to their playing time. Edmond Sumner and Aaron Holiday have both picked up their play when given the chance lately but there will not be room for both of them. In fact, Indiana might not play either guy at all.

It makes sense for Goga Bitadze to play but only sparingly when foul trouble arises. Aside from that, I expect the Pacers to give Turner and Sabonis the entire 48 minutes, whether both are on the floor simultaneously or if they split some minutes (likely both).

The starting five will likely be Brogdon, LeVert, Justin Holiday, Sabonis, and Turner. Those five will play the majority of the minutes with Justin Holiday splitting the time with McDermott and potentially Sumner.

The bench, in order to keep the smaller rotation, is likely to be McConnell, Sumner, McDermott, and a sprinkle of Aaron Holiday if necessary. Jeremy Lamb, despite being a veteran presence, has not been consistent enough this season to take minutes from anyone else. A crowded backcourt is also a major obstacle for Lamb.

Next. Which Pacers should return next season?. dark