Indiana Pacers: 3 takeaways from season opener against Charlotte

Indiana Pacers, Charlotte Hornets - Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Indiana Pacers, Charlotte Hornets - Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Indiana Pacers, Rick Carlisle
Indiana Pacers, Rick Carlisle – Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports /

Coach Rick Carlisle’s rotation to begin the season for the Indiana Pacers is quite daring and questionable

Despite the Indiana Pacers missing two starters, head coach Rick Carlisle opted to keep his rotation firm and short, playing only eight players in the entire game. Aside from the usual starters, with Duarte and Justin Holiday as fill-ins for LeVert and TJ Warren, only TJ McConnell, Jeremy Lamb and Torrey Craig got second unit duty against the Hornets.

Unfortunately, the coaching staff’s short rotation did not pay off. McConnell and Craig both registered negative +/- while Lamb, despite ending in the positive point differential, had a poor shooting night and similarly failed to contain his man on defense.

Given the Pacers’ abundance of options, coach Rick’s rotation to begin the year is questionable. Oshae Brissett, pegged by most to assume a substantial mantle this season, was a DNP. Ditto for Goga Bitadze and Isaiah Jackson, as Sabonis and Myles Turner sapped all of big man minutes. Moving forward, the coaching staff may need to be more open to playing multiple bodies, especially with an injury-prone roster.