Predicting the Indiana Pacers’ record in the month of October

Indiana Pacers, Domantas Sabonis - Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
Indiana Pacers, Domantas Sabonis - Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports /

The Indiana Pacers are set to open up their 2021-22 season against the Charlotte Hornets next week. Charlotte is one of seven matchups the Pacers will have in the month of October as they face a challenging start to the season.

With seven games over the span of 11 days, the Pacers will have a tough time staying fresh while already dealing with plenty of injuries across the roster. As they prepare for their first meaningful action of the season, let’s take a glance at how the month of October should go for the blue and gold.

Predicting the Indiana Pacers’ record in the first month of the season

We currently have no idea if the Pacers will have Justin Holiday, Caris LeVert, or T.J. Warren when they open up the season. Holiday has the best chance of returning before the season as he is dealing with an ankle sprain but LeVert and Warren are dealing with much more serious ailments.

If those three are all absent, it will be a long two weeks for Indiana. Will the Pacers survive against other playoff-hopeful teams or will it be a slow start to their campaign?

Playing the Hornets on the road in their first game is not the worst possible matchup but it will be a tough one for Indiana to overcome. Charlotte is young and trending in the right direction with LaMelo Ball leading the way in his second year. I think the Hornets can and should win this matchup.

Indiana then heads to Washington to meet Aaron Holiday and the Wizards. Washington had a busy offseason but still has Bradley Beal on the perimeter capable of scoring however much he wants. It’ll be another tough matchup for Indiana but I think they can pick up their first win of the season in D.C.

That’s where the good luck runs out. Indiana hits a tough stretch after Washington, though a couple of those contests will be at home in the newly-named Gainbridge Fieldhouse. They host the Miami Heat and Milwaukee Bucks in their first two home games of the 2021-22 season and fall to 1-3.

They then head on the road for two more challenging matchups, one with the Raptors in Toronto and one in Brooklyn against the Nets. Ultimately, the Pacers do not have the perimeter defense to stop either of these teams, especially on the road, and I think they drop both of these as well. Just like that, the Pacers are off to a poor 1-5 start.

In their final matchup of the month, Indiana returns home to host the Raptors as they seek revenge for their earlier loss. Eager to get their first home win of the year, the Pacers handle business and get back on track heading into November.

October was already looking to be a test for the Pacers before they lost several key players. If they are not at full strength when the season begins, the Pacers could fall into a deep hole before they even have a chance to show who they are.

Final record prediction for October: 2-5

This is not great, obviously, but it could be a lot worse given the circumstances. Indiana does not have a favorable start to their schedule but it provides a great chance to make a statement if they grab a couple of road wins.

Not to be a downer – I think this team can still turn things around and make the playoffs – but the Pacers may be disappointing early on. Not much has gone their way in the early portion of the preseason and it doesn’t appear to be getting better as the season looms.

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