Why the Indiana Pacers may not have an All-Star this season

Indiana Pacers, Domantas Sabonis - Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
Indiana Pacers, Domantas Sabonis - Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports /

After yet another defeat on the road, this time at the hands of the Chicago Bulls, the Indiana Pacers continue to slide in the standings, now peddling a 14-20 record that has them in firm possession of the 13th seed in the Eastern Conference.

With each passing loss, the Pacers’ foreseeable future becomes a lot bleaker, especially with the franchise—or really, the ownership— lacking the urgency and the front office grit that usually come with chronic underachievement. Overall, Indiana’s poor play this season could very well percolate to their players accolade-wise.

Voting for the 2022 All-Star Game has already began, but given how things have transpired so far in the Circle City, the Pacers may not have a representative in February’s festivities for the first time in seven years.

The Indiana Pacers may not have a representative in the 2022 All-Star Game

In theory, the Indiana Pacers have a range of players who could viably make the All-Star team. However, the restraints of the outdated 12-man roster limits and the newfound talent depth in the East could instead relegate the Pacers’ best players into mere honorable mentions.

Domantas Sabonis is the obvious choice for the Pacers and has the best shot at nabbing an All-Star berth. Having already repped the Blue and Gold in the two, previous All-Star games, he will definitely be in the running, as his per-game numbers of 18.0 points, 11.7 rebounds, and 4.2 assists are matched only by a select few in the league.

However, Domas was only an injury replacement last season. While COVID protocols could very well give him a bigger chance to bag his third straight selection, he is certainly not a shoo-in, especially when taking into account his on-surface decline from his monstrous statistical season in the previous campaign.

Malcolm Brogdon, whom I deemed as the Pacers’ best candidate for the All-Star Game a while a back, has seen his numbers drop quite significantly in the past few weeks. As he’s currently nursing an injury, he may not have an ample chance to get his stats back to his early season level, the magnitude of which would have catapulted him into consideration.

Indiana’s other key cogs can now be realistically removed from the running. Caris LeVert, who has ramped up his production recently, has too much of a hill to climb following his early season slump to even warrant consideration. Myles Turner, meanwhile, faces the inherent disadvantage of the All-Star Game deviating away from having players with defensive niches.

Ultimately, while I can see the the likes of Sabonis and Brogdon get heavy All-Star consideration, the Indiana Pacers may not have a lock for the All-Star Game. The current circumstances may help their causes, but if the Blue and Gold is eventually not represented in the 2022 iteration, I will not be surprised, especially with how the team has failed to turn heads this season.

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