1. Poor scoring output
This is certainly a first. Unlike many nights, the Pacers did not deliver much on offense on Tuesday, with the main scoring contributions coming from one man, Tyrese Haliburton. Haliburton was fantastic on the night as usual, scoring 33 points on 11/17 shooting and dishing out nine assists to lead the Pacers.
However, he was the only Pacer to score above 11 points, as this game really exposed Indiana's lack of a second star alongside Haliburton. While Myles Turner, Bruce Brown, and Bennedict Mathurin tried to keep the scoring load up, scoring 11 each, it was just not enough, especially when you consider the contributions from Portland's side.
While Indiana is still a young, developing team, it seems clear that they have something in Haliburton and company, but they are just not on the level of the NBA's elite yet.
The Pacers are currently good, but still a ways away from reaching that top team status that they can approach and some fans have suggested to speed up that process via a trade for a star such as Pascal Siakam.
Whether this is necessary or not is anyone's guess. One thing is clear, though: For the Pacers to make some noise in the playoffs, the supporting cast is going to have to step up. Bennedict Mathurin is fantastic, but he is going to have to display more consistency going forward, as his name has already been put in trade talks this season due to inconsistent play and inefficient scoring,
Hopefully, this is just a bump in the road and the young Pacers players step it up in the future. Turner, Mathurin, and Obi Toppin all have shown signs of being great scorers in this league, but it is up to one of them to permanently step up and be that extra help Haliburton needs, especially when April rolls around.