Dear Indiana Pacers: You are making a terrible mistake

Rick Carlisle, Indiana Pacers (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Rick Carlisle, Indiana Pacers (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Dear Pacers,

First and foremost let me say that I am with you no matter what. We can be the best team in the league or the worst. I enjoyed the success of the 90’s Indiana Pacers, the bad days after the brawl, the down years with Danny, and the reemergence with Paul George. I was all-in in the Oladipo days and am super excited for the Haliburton future.

But to be honest, I’m thinking that you are making a big mistake in not allowing the franchise to bottom out a bit more. No matter what, I will still root for you day in and day out. And honestly, that might be part of the problem.

Traditionally the teams that have been able to build the most sustainable futures for themselves in small-markets allow for a little more of a bottoming out to obtain more talent onto the roster. OKC is still in the middle of their build as one example. And even though they have had SGA and other talented players, they seem to have been willing to work with the slower build for awhile now.

And I know, I get that we have one of the best backcourts developing in the league. To many the future of the Indiana Pacers looks bright. Tyrese Haliburton looks like an All-NBA level talent, while Mathurin looks to be able to develop into that. Myles is playing at a career level. But my question is, how sustainable is it?

We are incredibly thin in our rotation, meaning, once Tyrese went down we all saw what happened. We don’t have the depth to make repeated deep playoff runs.

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And here is my great fear for the team. My fear is if we play our hand too strong now, we will end up middling out like we seem to usually do. We end up in the 4-8 spot for the playoffs for the next 10 years and never truly do anything with the talent of Tyrese Haliburton.

Now this strategy can work in some instances but you have to luck out. If you always keep yourselves in the mix, even if you aren’t competitive at the top, injuries or major trade opportunities can get you over the top. Just ask the Toronto Raptors. Or the Miami Heat from a few years ago (even though they lost, they had no business being in the Championship game).

My fandom requires that no matter what path you choose, whether to push for the playoffs or continue to rebuild, I will support the team and bleed gold and blue. Someday, I hope that this eternal optimistic hope that many Pacers fans including myself have, will payoff by hoisting the championship trophy.


A concerned Indiana Pacers’ fan.

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