Indiana Pacers: Way-too-early predictions for Rick Carlisle next season

Indiana Pacers, Rick Carlisle - Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Indiana Pacers, Rick Carlisle - Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Indiana Pacers commenced their eventual offseason on a pleasantly surprising note, coming to terms with veteran coach Rick Carlisle to man the sidelines for the Blue and Gold in his second stint with the franchise to the tune of a lucrative four-year, 29 million deal.

News of the hiring made headlines across the league, especially since the move was unprecedented despite Carlisle’s storied history with the franchise. Pundits and fans of bigger markets raised their eyebrows, questioning the championship-winning tactician’s motive for heading to a relatively less flashy destination and a team which just missed the postseason.

The Indiana Pacers are due for greater heights with Rick Carlisle

The court of public opinion is accordingly skewed to favor the narrative which spawns bolder storylines. Indiana isn’t necessarily a supplier of national fanfare and smokes, but forecasting that Rick Carlisle made the wrong choice to lead the Pacers is ignorant and only rests on the laurels (and bitterness) of the veteran coach moving to the Circle City instead of more glamorous markets.

Alas, if all things reside back on normalcy and the teams receives a bigger token of health next season, the Indiana Pacers should be safely tabbed as a playoff team. With Rick Carlisle and his title-winning pedigree, he may even help catapult the Blue and Gold past the proverbial first-round hump and make serious strides as a dangerous team in the East.

Thus, in the spirit of forecasts, here are three way-too-early predictions for how Rick Carlisle’s first season in his second stint with the Pacers could pan out.