Rick Carlisle gives possible preview of Pacers playoff rotation in win over Lakers

In a game that felt like a playoff game at times, the Pacers stuck to a very particular rotation. this could be a preview of what we see in the playoffs.

Mar 29, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton (0) reacts to a
Mar 29, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton (0) reacts to a / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Indiana Pacers came into Friday night determined to not let the Lakers sweep them. They lost to them in the In-Season Tournament Finals and again last Sunday. They wanted to make sure that they got at least one win against a team that is still fighting to avoid the play-in game.

That's exactly what they did. The Pacers were able to get the win by a score of 109-90. It was a really nice bounce-back win after that abysmal performance against the Bulls on Wednesday. Not only was it a good win that showed the Pacers can indeed play against a zone, but it gave us an idea about possible playoff rotations.

There were always a few guys who have been candidates to get axed from the rotation. Obviously, everyone in the starting lineup is going to keep their normal minutes. T.J. McConnell is still going to be the guy that gets the most minutes off the bench most nights. After that, we learned some things.

Jarace Walker and Doug McDermott might not be in the playoff rotation for the Pacers

Doug McDermott played just one minute in this game and it came in the first half. His playing time was slashed big-time from their matchup with the Lakers last time. Part of that was due to Aaron Nesmith playing whenever LeBron was out on the floor, but that wasn't all of it.

It's clear that McDermott hasn't been hitting enough shots to warrant putting him out there when things truly matter. He still has a few games to change that before the playoffs start, but he might be sitting on the bench once the rotation starts to shrink.

Jarace Walker is another player who might be out of the rotation. He only played in garbage time on Friday night despite having played well on the road trip. It might be too late for him to get Carlisle's trust when things get more pressure-packed.

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Walker will have fewer opportunities to earn playing time than McDermott will so he will have to make the most out of the ones he does get. There are only seven games left to get a spot in the rotation, so both players will need to work hard if they want to see action.