2. Over-reliance on historic offense
This may be a controversial take, but I don't think the Indiana Pacers' historical offensive pace is going to sustain itself throughout the entire season.
While I do think the Pacers could very well finish as a top-five offensive team by season's end, I don't think they will be on top by the end. In fact, they're not even at the top right now, as the loss to Orlando bumped them down to the third-best offensive team in the league.
It goes without saying that the Pacers are a fantastic offensive team. This makes sense when you look at their rotation. Everyone in the rotation can make a three, with the exception of TJ McConnell, and with the exception of McConnell, everyone is a good to great athlete.
This allows for plenty of on and off-ball screens and movement in Indiana's offense, which can lead to beautiful sequences and incredible in-game runs. However, when that offensive well eventually dries out, what is there to save them? The answer is nothing.
As I have stated before, the Pacers are not a good defensive or rebounding team and are currently relying on their offense and the brilliance of Tyrese Haliburton a bit too much.
It is no coincidence that three of their five losses this year have come on nights where Haliburton either played poorly or didn't play at all. While it is perfectly acceptable to play around the engine of your offense, as Haliburton clearly is for the Pacers, it becomes a bit concerning when you are unable to get anything going without him and rely on that player to keep you above water.
While Tyrese Haliburton is a great player who is completely capable of leading an offense, the entire load should not be put on him and the other players should step up.
To his credit, Myles Turner has stepped up and continued his offensive play from last season, averaging close to 18 points per game on almost 50/40/80 shooting splits. No other Pacer has really come out and had a good scoring season.
Bennedict Mathurin notably has regressed quite a bit from his rookie campaign, as his shooting splits have taken a nosedive, and he has been playing with much less confidence as compared to last season, despite being promoted to the starting lineup.
It's not just Mathurin who has failed to meet expectations, as Buddy Hield has fully left his hot start to the season and has been in a slump the past few games as well, giving the Pacers less and less reasons to re-sign him as his contract year moves on.
If the Pacers want to make some noise this year, they are going to have to learn to generate some offense without Tyrese Haliburton carrying them through all the time. In addition to this, their defense must improve before it gets too late.
This may be as easy as telling the players to buck down on that end, or they may have to pick up some guys who can provide immediate help. However, changes are needed, and they are needed sooner rather than later because April will be here sooner than people think.