The Indiana Pacers are tired of losing. After years of being in the middle of the pack and a couple of seasons around the bottom of the East, they are primed to make a leap.
Tyrese Haliburton just made his first All-Star Game and had a solid run in the FIBA World Cup, Myles Turner is fresh off the best year of his career, and Bennedict Mathurin will look to build on an awesome rookie campaign.
With all the talent in the Eastern Conference, it won’t be easy for the Pacers to get into the playoffs, but that’s their goal. Losing isn’t an option for Indiana anymore.
Head coach Rick Carlisle sets ‘hard’ challenge for Indiana Pacers ahead of brutal training camp
Head coach Rick Carlisle made this clear at Pacers Media Day, stating that Indiana’s training camp is going to be grueling but also noting that the team needs to “embrace” the challenge. (H/t Akeem Glaspie of IndyStar)
“We anticipate a highly, highly competitive camp,” Carlisle said. “We’ve spent two solid years in a true development mode. We’re going to keep an eye on development, but we’re looking to take competitive steps. We had a meeting with the guys last night, we told them to expect it to be hard and to embrace it being hard. For us to make strides, we’re going to have to do a lot of the little things. We’re gonna have to do it in the margins, we’re gonna have to be very, very together like we were last year.”
This will be Carlisle’s third season in his second stint with the Pacers, and they failed to record a .500 record in either of them. But with a full training camp and some new pieces in place, that should be their goal.
Indiana added Bruce Brown in free agency, they drafted Jarace Walker, and they made a trade for Obi Toppin. Combine that with Haliburton and the rest of the Pacers’ core, and it could equal the most success the team has seen in years.
Damian Lillard just joined the Milwaukee Bucks. Jrue Holiday just joined the Boston Celtics. So many teams in the East are looking to compete, meaning nothing will be easy for the Pacers.
But they don’t want to lose anymore, and they plan to do everything in their power to avoid it.