The evolution of the Indiana Pacers: From no direction to bright future

With the Pacers making the playoffs, now is as good a time as ever to see how they got here.
Sacramento Kings v Indiana Pacers
Sacramento Kings v Indiana Pacers / Dylan Buell/GettyImages
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The Indiana Pacers have done it, they're finally in the playoffs.

As we all know, on Sunday, the Pacers blew out the Atlanta Hawks to secure a playoff spot and will be facing the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round in a potential brewing rivalry. With this recent success, it is easy to forget how fortunate Indiana is to end up in this position and what led them to have one of the brightest young teams in the league with plenty of room to improve. If you rewind only four years, the Pacers were in a completely different position.

Going back to the last five or so years of Pacers history shows a front office that was initially reluctant to change, an outdated coach, and plenty of talented but directionless players. Victor Oladipo's injury woes kickstarted a series of events that led us to where we are right now, in a cycle of hope, letdowns, attempted fixing, and ultimate deconstruction.

In a world of failed rebuild experiments such as the Washington Wizards and Detroit Pistons, the Pacers did in two years what some franchises haven't been able to do in a decade, which is construct a young, winning team with scraps from an old, rotting team.

The 2023-24 Indiana Pacers go way deeper than their current roster seems. If one were to go back three years and look at their roster from 2021, it would seem inconceivable for a team such as the current one to be constructed. What once were the remnants of an era gone too soon, became the foundation of a new era that is far ahead of schedule.