Indiana Pacers: Team goals for the 2021-22 NBA season

Indiana Pacers - Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Indiana Pacers - Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Indiana Pacers, Myles Turner
Indiana Pacers – Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /

The defense was a disaster for the Indiana Pacers

However you want to look at the defense from last season, the Pacers simply were not good on that end. Bjorkgren’s system left too many wings in a good position to score at will while Domantas Sabonis was forced to play to his weaknesses as a chaser.

Allowing 115.3 points per game, no matter how you do it, is never a positive sign for a team that used to pride itself on its defensive toughness. The loss of Dan Burke was a huge blow and Nate Bjorkgren clearly did not invest his time into the defense but his offense did provide a spark for Indiana. With Bjorkgren out of the door, the defense could see a rise back into the top of the league with the right hire.

Rebounding, which has been Myles Turner’s biggest concern since entering the league, was poor once again last season for the Pacers. Turner only averaged 6.5 rebounds per game and the Pacers ranked 26th in the league in rebounding percentage. On the defensive end, the Pacers were 21st in rebounds but aside from Sabonis, they lack guys who can clean the boards.

The only real positive for the Pacers on defense last season was their ability to defend the paint sometimes. Myles Turner is one of the best rim protectors in the league and made sure to limit attempts in the paint when he was out there. Goga Bitadze also flashed some moments of good rim protection but his impact was not nearly as noticeable as Turner.

T.J. McConnell and Edmond Sumner brought energy to the defensive end off the bench but their size was never going to shut down opponents. Indiana needed a wing defender that could slide into the frontcourt and help out inside but that help was late to arrive with Oshae Brissett..

The Pacers will have to address their defensive woes prior to next season and one real way to do that is to add experienced defenders on the perimeter however they can.