Indiana Pacers: 3 coaching candidates to replace Nate Bjorkgren if he is fired

Nate Bjorkgren, Indiana Pacers - Credit: David Dermer-USA TODAY Sports
Nate Bjorkgren, Indiana Pacers - Credit: David Dermer-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mark Jackson, Indiana Pacers
Mark Jackson, Indiana Pacers (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images) /

Indiana Pacers possible replacement if Nate Bjorkgren is fired: Mark Jackson

Indiana Pacers fans are already acquainted with former prized point guard Mark Jackson, who donned the Navy and Gold in two stints from 1994-1996, and from 1996-2000, the latter of which culminated in the franchise’s lone NBA Finals appearance in 2000.

Since then, the player-turned-coach pivoted to working as an analyst for ABC before being hired by the pre-dynasty Golden State Warriors, who were still finding their identity and footing as a young team. At the helm from 2011-2014, Jackson led the Dubs to a cumulative 121-109 record, producing two playoffs appearances in the process.

While his Warriors stint was cut short with the arrival of Steve Kerr, Jackson is credited for developing the likes of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green and architecting the framework of Golden State’s herald defense. After a measly 26th defensive rating in 2011-12, he led the Dubs’ meteoric rise on defense, improving to 12th in 2012-13, and then to an excellent 3rd ranking in 2013-14.

With the Pacers’ unprecedented decline on defense this season, Mark Jackson may be the answer to hoist the team back to form as an effective defensive unit, which they have already achieved in the two seasons preceding this campaign. With a roster that has the potential to deadly on both ends of the floor, hiring him will not only be a welcome idea, but also a logical choice.

It must be noted though that he has his own limitations, especially on offense. The prime reason for his Warriors exit was his overdependence on isolation scoring, failing to maximize the scoring ability of a Golden State team that was bannered by the Splash Brothers and All-Star David Lee. However, as an active analyst on ESPN, the prospect of improvement on that area cannot be undermined.