Indiana Pacers: 3 reasons Nate Bjorkgren should be fired

Nate Bjorkgren, Indiana Pacers - Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Nate Bjorkgren, Indiana Pacers - Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports /
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Indiana Pacers
Indiana Pacers – Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /

The Indiana Pacers fell off defensively

One thing that was always true under Nate McMillan was that the Pacers were tough on the defensive end. In 2019-20, Indiana was third in the NBA in points allowed per game at just 107.5. That was nearly two points less than what Indiana was scoring, having posted 109.4 points per game of their own on the season.

This season, Indiana’s offense spiked to 115.0 points per game, good for eighth in the NBA. Unfortunately, the defense also saw a massive leap in points allowed per game, up to 115.1 points. With Myles Turner dealing with injuries as the team’s only reliable defender, this season has been a disaster on the defensive end.

Now, there are a number of factors playing into this decline but the head coach may not be the main factor. The loss of Dan Burke, one of Indiana’s top assistants, dealt a massive blow to this roster as he took an assistant role with the 76ers. Still, Bjorkgren’s lack of defensive identity and success has been a crusher for Indiana this season.

The 115.1 points per game allowed in 2020-21 ranks 25th in the league which is just a wild change from recent years. The offense has some playmakers but not the superstars that are required to make up for giving up that many points on a nightly basis.

Indiana went from a bad offense with a good defense to a high-paced offense with arguably no defense to be found. Defense reigns supreme in the NBA and the teams currently below Indiana in points allowed should worry fans. Only the Kings, Wizards, Timberwolves, Rockets, and Thunder allow more points than the Pacers.

The Pacers defense is allowing a tank-level amount of points but the front office is not ready to fully commit to the tank.