Indiana Pacers: Should the team pursue Steve Clifford?

Steve Clifford - Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Steve Clifford - Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /
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Indiana Pacers, Steve Clifford
Steve Clifford – Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

What are Steve Clifford’s weak points that can affect the Indiana Pacers?

It’s almost like a dogma, a way of life for defensive-minded coaches to be willing to boast below-average offenses as long as their squads remain a hard-nosed defensive unit. The Indiana Pacers are not foreign to this analogy, being manned by Nate McMillan for four seasons. This mix of offensive mediocrity with defensive brilliance continues with Steve Clifford.

In the past three seasons with Orlando, Steve Clifford’s offense peaked at 22nd in offensive rating while only one of his five Charlotte squads finished in the top 10. Of course, part of this was the dearth of reliable scorers in his teams aside from the likes of Kemba Walker and Nikola Vucevic, but even those two aren’t necessarily kings of efficiency.

Interestingly, five of his eight teams finished top 10 in assists percentage, but this is largely the result of his penchant for milking the clock. His offenses have always demonstrated a plodding, outdated style that relies on post actions to open up the perimeter, and not vice-versa, which is how today’s game is being played. His best ranking in pace? 10th. It’s almost iconoclastic to the Indiana Pacers’ newfound 4th-ranked pace.

Alas, if the team wants a coach to unlock the offense of Myles Turner and maximize their four high-scoring stalwarts in the starting lineup, then Clifford’s offensive system will be lacking. The bulk of the team’s scoring attack will then fall under the dutiful eyes of an offensive-minded assistant coach which, at this juncture, is inexistent in the team’s coaching staff.