Indiana Pacers: Should the team pursue Steve Clifford?

Steve Clifford - Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Steve Clifford - Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /
4 of 4
Indiana Pacers, Steve Clifford
Steve Clifford – Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports /

Should the Indiana Pacers hire Steve Clifford?

I prefer to sing praises than lash out criticisms when talking about Steve Clifford. He sticks to his principles and implements it to a tee, is keen on developing players and doesn’t wreak havoc or dysfunction in the locker room. He’s one of those coaches whom players enjoy playing for. The Indiana Pacers should want him if those merits are the only criteria.

However, as good of a defensive head coach as he is, his mediocre offenses, which are even more outdated than Nate McMillan’s, slightly outweigh what he brings to the table. And in this league where offense is more heavily favored, being a one-dimensional coach on defense may be less ideal than a one-dimensional coach on offense.

Sure, Indiana will have players that are far better than the ones he’s had in the past, but given the state of the East and the very premise of their noncommittal to Bjorkgren, they seem to be going in the ambitious route with their possible (screw it, it’s likely) coaching hunt, and Clifford is not necessarily the crown jewel in the coaching pool.

Steve Clifford’s coaching resume is relatively good. One can even argue that he’s the reason why many of his teams overachieved. But there are more attractive options to poach. I’m certain that Clifford can find his next home in the league, but if the Indiana Pacers end up with him, it will be the result of striking out on their more lucrative targets.

Ultimately, the Indiana Pacers should gun for a more decorated coach, someone who’s accustomed to winning and possesses a more exhaustive postseason career than Clifford. He can be an excellent defensive coordinator, but he’s too good to simply be an assistant with his reputation. Thus, both parties will be better off seeking for greener pastures.

Next. 2021 NBA Draft Mock 1.0: Pre-lottery predictions for all 30 teams. dark