Indiana Pacers: 3 immediate reactions to the Rick Carlisle hire

Rick Carlisle - Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Rick Carlisle - Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports /
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Indiana Pacers, Rick Carlisle
Rick Carlisle – Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

The Indiana Pacers want to win—now

The ever-present argument for the Indiana Pacers to avoid riding on the coattails of what-ifs-driven hope that has powered the franchise in recent years and do a major reset became even stronger this year. After a turbulent season derailed by injuries, coaching malfunctions and un-Indiana-like off-court issues, rebuilding seemed like a very viable route to take.

However, hiring Rick Carlisle effectively extinguishes all talks of a rebuild in the foreseeable future. It’s doubtful that the franchise, notorious among local circles and the NBA intelligentsia for its rather conservative spending mechanics, hands out lucrative money for a coach that is expected to man a rebuild. Carlisle, for all his pedigree, will not come back to Indiana for a rebooting cause.

It remains enigmatic for the team to accurately gauge the potential of its core due to the maelstrom of injuries hampering the franchise on a yearly basis, but at full strength, there’s little reason to believe why the Pacers can’t hang with the best that the league has to offer. As constructed, this is a roster slated to be defined by the sum of its parts, and Rick Carlisle may just be the coach that takes Indiana up a notch—in utmost immediacy.