Indiana Pacers: 3 most dramatic changes from last season

Indiana Pacers, Domantas Sabonis - Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Indiana Pacers, Domantas Sabonis - Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Indiana Pacers barely made some changes to their roster. While that has not panned out well for the team in the near-quarter potion of the season, only boasting a 7-11 record 18 games in, there has been some notable changes to the team’s profile in this campaign from the previous one.

With new head coach Rick Carlisle making a bevy of on-court tweaks to strike a better two-way balance than last season’s heavily skewed design, the Pacers are clearly still in the phase of adjusting.

Patience is still pretty much a viable reason to justify Indiana’s slow start, but the team can’t reasonably expect to make noise in the Eastern Conference if they’re still grasping the know-hows of the coaching staff’s clipboard as the season flirts with its midpoint. The Pacers have to speed things up to even have a chance in a much-improved pool of competitors.

Here are three stats that reflect the most dramatic changes for the Indiana Pacers compared to last season.

Indiana Pacers, Domantas Sabonis
Indiana Pacers, Domantas Sabonis – Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /

1. The Indiana Pacers’ pace has been heaven and earth compared to last season

2020-21: 102.05 (4th)

2021-22: 98.33 (19th)

The most observable change for the Pacers this season has been on the pace department. From their gargantuan jump in pace last season, Indiana is now among the most plodding squads offensively, thematic to Rick Carlisle’s preferred style of a deliberate scoring attack.

While the team is not as glacial as it was when Nate McMillan was at the helm, the Pacers are tactically playing slow to make use of their nightly size advantage and varied scoring profile. The team has been far from great on those areas, but their penchant for half court sets has given them a steadier ground to plant themselves better on defense.

Still, from the eye test, the Pacers could benefit from speeding things up on the court, primarily when they only have one big man on the floor. Indiana has been especially snail-like after garnering defensive boards, which has impacted their offensive output so far.