3 reasons why Pacers lost to Trail Blazers in Pascal Siakam debut

Here are three reasons why the Indiana Pacers couldn't get it done against the Portland Trail Blazers in Pascal Siakam's debut for the team.

Indiana Pacers, Portland Trail Blazers, Jerami Grant
Indiana Pacers, Portland Trail Blazers, Jerami Grant / Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
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3. Lack of interior defense

Where have we heard this before?

Even with the changes. Even with Pascal Siakam coming to Indy, some things unfortunately never change, Indiana's poor interior defense being one of them. To keep things short, Portland obliterated Indiana in the paint, scoring a staggering 66 points in the painted area compared to Indiana's 26, another uncharacteristic stat from one of the best paint-scoring teams in the league.

At the heart of Portland's inside attack was Jerami Grant, who led the way with 37 points on 14/28 shooting and a barrage of crafty inside finishes, including plenty of moves that made Indiana's defense look foolish.

Of course, part of this had to do with the foul spread, as Pascal Siakam, in particular, had to drastically change his defensive strategy in the fourth quarter, playing with five fouls.

Despite this, Portland still should not have gotten this much paint production from players like Grant and Malcolm Brogdon, who scored a season-high 30 points on the night and used his slow, methodical style of offense to get to the rim at will around defenders like Aaron Nesmith, Siakam, and Bennedict Mathurin.

One of the biggest problems Indiana has faced this season pertaining to their defense has been height. Of course, swapping 6'4" Bruce Brown for 6'8" Pascal Siakam should help those issues a bit but they still have a ways to go before they can put those issues behind them.

3 Trade targets for Pacers to form Big 3 with Haliburton, Siakam. 3 Trade targets for Pacers to form Big 3 with Haliburton, Siakam. dark. Next

One thing to hang their hat on, however, is that things can only get better from here. With Siakam officially knowing what it feels like to play in the Indiana Pacers system and rotation players Andrew Nembhard and Isaiah Jackson yet to return from injury, the Indiana Pacers look to build some momentum after a day of rest.

We will see how they fix their issues on Sunday against Phoenix in the last game of this road trip.