Why this Pacers lineup could fix their biggest problem this season

The Indiana Pacers have been brutal on defense this year, but this five-man lineup could help them fix this.
Indiana Pacers, Pacers defense, Myles Turner
Indiana Pacers, Pacers defense, Myles Turner / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

The Indiana Pacers have jumped out to a hot start this season. They are currently 7-4 on the season, which places them fourth in the Eastern Conference.

Leading the way for the Pacers this year has been a high-powered, dominant offense led by Tyrese Haliburton. An offense that currently ranks first in the NBA with an offensive rating of 122.0.

Unfortunately, for as good as the Pacers are on the offensive end, they are equally as bad on defense, as they rank 27th in defensive rating with a 118.5.

That said, the Pacers have enough quality defenders to improve on that side of the ball. They made some solid additions this summer, and combined with the players they had last year, there’s a specific lineup that could be key in turning their defense around.

The lineup in question has only played nine minutes together this season, but in those nine minutes, this five-man group has been absolutely dominant on offense, and more importantly, they’ve clamped up on defense.

Here is the group that could fix the Pacers’ biggest problem:

Tyrese Haliburton, Andrew Nembhard, Aaron Nesmith, Bruce Brown, Myles Turner

Is is a small lineup? Absolutely. But it consists of some of the best defenders on the Pacers, and that’s what matters most in this scenario.

In their nine minutes (which is admittedly a tiny sample size to be discussing), this five-man lineup has accrued a 136.8 offensive rating and a 95.2 defensive rating.

Any “best” lineup the Pacers roll out has to include Haliburton, but the guys they place around him are what matters most, and these four players are some of the best defensive guys on the squad.

Nembhard is small, but he’s a very smart player, which helps on defense. Nesmith has quickly become one of the best hustle defenders in the league and often takes on the challenge of guarding opposing teams’ best player.

Brown has been one of the most versatile defenders in the league for the past few years. Turner is one of the best shot-blockers in the NBA.

The Pacers may never be a great defensive team. In fact, they almost certainly will never be that. However, with this lineup, they can lock in when they need to, and Rick Carlisle should consider going to it more.