Indiana Pacers: The good, bad and ugly from the 2021 NBA Preseason

Indiana Pacers, Domantas Sabonis - Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
Indiana Pacers, Domantas Sabonis - Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports /
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Indiana Pacers, Oshae Brissett
Oshae Brissett – Credit: Carmen Mandato/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports /

The Indiana Pacers had some puzzling plots in the preseason

The Bad No. 1: Pacers, but without the Pace

Perhaps the most boisterous change from last season’s design to the preseason is the change in pace. After running the fourth-fastest offense in the league, the Indiana Pacers ranked 25th in the same department in the preseason.

Coach Rick Carlisle has always favored motion-based, yet deliberate half-court offense, but the difference is still drastic. This could ultimately yield to better results than last year, but at this juncture, the change in pace hasn’t necessarily translated into better team defense (more on that later) and an efficient scoring attack. Perhaps a more incremental shift from last campaign’s pace could result into a more seamless adjustment.

The Bad No. 2: What’s with Oshae?

Many among Pacers circles expected Oshae Brissett to assume a more prominent mantle in the upcoming season after his mini-breakout in the latter portions of the 2020-21 campaign. However, that may not be the case by all indications in the preseason.

Not only has coach Carlisle opted for more veteran players more, but even when given playing time, though sporadic, the combo forward failed to gain much traction on the court, struggling with his shot while looking less fluid on defense. With many of the team’s core players shelved with injuries, we can only hope that Brissett gets out of his slump to not get left behind in the rotation.