4. Confusing rotational decisions
Here’s a bright idea: If your team is struggling to take care of the ball, why not bring in one of the most reliable bench ball handlers in the league to take some of that load off your point guards who are struggling with turnovers?
In a confusing turn of events, TJ McConnell did not log a single minute against the Chicago Bulls and spent the whole game on the bench, along with six other Indiana Pacers. In fact, Indiana only played nine players on the night, as McConnell, Isaiah Jackson, Jordan Nwora, Daniel Theis, Ben Sheppard, and Jarce Walker all logged DNPs.
This comes as a huge surprise, as one of Indiana’s best qualities is depth, and fans have praised the team’s ability to go 12 deep if needed. With that being said, Rick Carlisle’s decision to play only nine players comes off as very surprising, especially when they could have used the inside scoring of Isaiah Jackson or the playmaking and energy of TJ McConnell.
In addition to these players not logging minutes, this marks the second game where rookies Jarace Walker and Ben Sheppard logged DNPs. Now, while I did say not to worry about this at first, as Carlisle is still tweaking the rotation to what he wants for the season, that does not mean that I am okay with it.
Sheppard and Walker are fantastic players who could slide into any team’s rotation right now, and it is a shame seeing them log DNPs, especially on such a youth-forward team like the Pacers.
Hopefully, this will change soon, as one of the main reasons for tonight’s loss may have also been due to player fatigue, as talented options were resting on the bench for no reason when they could have been out there contributing to a potential win.
Who knows if these issues will be fixed come Wednesday and a matchup against the contending Boston Celtics? We will have to see where Rick Carlisle and the Indiana Pacers go from here.