The Indiana Pacers' season is over. What now?

Now that Indiana's season is over, it's time to look towards the offseason.
Boston Celtics v Indiana Pacers - Game Four
Boston Celtics v Indiana Pacers - Game Four / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

The Indiana Pacers fought hard, they really did. Unfortunately, it just wasn't enough and now they find themselves on the losing end of a four-game sweep at the hands of the Boston Celtics. Despite giving a valiant effort in Game 4, determined not to lose on their home court, a late-game run by the Celtics secured the 105-102 victory to send them to the NBA Finals for the second time in three years.

Now that Indiana's season is over, the focus shifts to the offseason, which has essentially already started. Indiana had a great season and playoff run, but now is the time to build on that, so here are some things they should shift their focus on going forward.

The first thing is pretty self-explainatory, and that is re-signing Pascal Siakam. Pascal Siakam has turned Indiana's fortunes around from merely a good NBA team to one of the best sleeper teams in the league and was arguably their best player during this entire playoff run.

Additionally, he loves Indiana by all accounts and wants to stay with the Pacers long-term. The earliest date Indiana and Siakam can sit down and discuss an extension will be June 3, the day the NBA Finals start, but the hope is that by then, there will not be much to talk about besides signing the contract and looking forward to the future.

The second thing is gauging Tyrese Haliburton's help and making sure he gets some rest. Haliburton missed the last two games of the Celtics series due to re-injuring his left hamstring in the third quarter of Game 2. If the Pacers won Game 4, there was hope that Haliburton could return in time, with Mike Breen saying he was 'progressing every day' to return on the court, but if his return in February was anything to go by, he would not have been the same player.

Now, Haliburton is in an interesting position. He is a part of Team USA for the 2024 Paris Olympics which run from July 26 to August 11. That leaves him with roughly two months of rest, which goes down to more like a month and a half given training sessions with the Olympic teams and building chemistry with his new teammates.

Hopefully, this time is enough for Haliburton to recover well, and his Team USA run as well as a full training camp with Pascal Siakam can help him return to his pre-injury self in 2025 or maybe even better.

Additionally, the Pacers must address their defense. For the entirety of the regular season and playoffs, Indiana has torn teams apart with their dynamic offense and scoring but lost plenty of games, including this Celtics series on the back of their defense, or lack thereof.

Multiple times in this series, Indiana has let Boston shoot as many open threes as they want by constantly double-teaming after screens and not providing closeout help. Additionally, their interior defense is not that great either, with Myles Turner often lured to the perimeter for help defense which leaves an open Boston player, often right under the rim.

The Pacers did not have an answer for Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown and that was evident for all four of the games. As hard as defenders like Aaron Nesmith and Ben Sheppard tried, they were just not big enough to get the job done.

Because of this, Indiana needs to make a move for a long, defensive wing in the offseason or before next year's deadline. Of course, their dream scenario involves Jarace Walker turning into that defensive wing, but that is a lot to ask out of a 20-year-old playing his first meaningful season next year.

The Pacers will be in a tough situation with their cap room with Tyrese Haliburton's massive $200+ million contract kicking in as well as Pascal Siakam's incoming extension. Because of this, they will either have to swing a trade or be willing to go into the luxury tax, something they have long been opposed to. However, with the makings of a contender being built before our very eyes and one last push needed, it may just be necessary going forward.

Finally, some additions to the coaching staff may be necessary. Rick Carlisle is not going anywhere, nor should he. He helped lead the Pacers to a magical season and two playoff series wins. However, it wouldn't hurt Indiana to look for some good defensive assistants on the market. As mentioned before, Frank Vogel and Dan Burke, both former Pacers staff members, would be a great fit to improve their defense.

These are just some things the Pacers should take a look at in the five months before the start of the 2024-25 NBA season. As for the other issues, like the players failing to execute down the stretch and throwing the games away in the final minutes, that is something that will be fixed with experience.


For the majority of these players, this was their first taste of meaningful playoff basketball, and they did alright for a bunch of newbies. The makings of a contender are clearly present in Indiana. Now it's time to take that final step and it starts in the Summer of 2024.