2. Dear Indiana Pacers, stay young!
One of the more interesting storylines for the Pacers this season is the seemingly endless war of attrition between the win-now fans and the win-later diehards. And what better symbolism to reflect just that aside from the obvious dichotomy resting on the team’s divergent timeline?
Part and parcel of the impetus behind the team attempting to trade their veteran commodities before the deadline is the sheer need for clarity on the franchise’s direction, which has been slowly convoluting amid the club’s winning ways earlier. However, the tides have definitely changed, and the window for them to retrace their intended steps is opening once more.
With every loss, the silently growling need for Indiana to re-commit to its youth movement is moving into the loudspeaker to make its presence known. I’d argue that even the most devout fans of the vets will find that doubling down on opportunities for the younger cogs should be the destination of the proverbial retracing.
Give Bennedict Mathurin a longer leash and a more prominent on-ball role. Hand Andrew Nembhard the keys to the second-unit playmaking. Reinstate Jalen Smith in the rotation with the hopes of him regaining his perimeter shot. Get Isaiah Jackson rolling — literally and figuratively. Play Daniel Theis 30 min — just kidding.