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, Caris LeVert
Indiana Pacers, Caris LeVert – (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The Indiana Pacers have to improve on these areas in the regular season

The Ugly No. 1: The “I” in Indiana stands for Injury

Are we even surprised?

Not even a swish into the regular season, the Indiana Pacers are already hobbled with injuries left and right. From the indefinite absences of Caris LeVert and TJ Warren, and the cameo injuries to Holiday and Malcolm Brogdon, it looks like the Blue and Gold’s hopes of a fully healthy club remain a farfetched possibility.

With the Blue and Gold on deck for a not-so-easy starting schedule to the regular season, missing key components will only aggravate their already-marginal chances at a sterling record to kick things off. Bummer.

The Ugly No. 2: Defense, still MIA?

Seems like the coaching staff’s spread-eagled emphasis on defense in the preseason hasn’t yet manifested on the court. Across four preseason games, Indiana mustered a 109.4 defensive rating, goof for 25th in the league, a far worse placing than last season, where they ranked 14th.

However, with the coaching staff reverting to a simpler defensive schemes, the window to improve as a team on defense should be stouter. An ounce of roster stability on the premise of better health should give them enough traction to be better on that aspect.

The Ugly No. 3: Still Iffy on Treys

True to his words, coach Rick Carlisle has injected a lot more three-point shooting on the offense. In fact, the Pacers attempted 38 three-point shots per contest in the preseason, which was 11th-most among all thirty teams.

Problem is, the team only converted 11.5 of their tries from downtown per game, tied for 23rd in the association. Even worse, their 30.3 percent shooting from three-point land ranked a measly 26th. With the team already having one of the slowest scoring attacks in the league, remaining iffy on triples is far from ideal and a recipe for disaster.

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