The Pacers need to use this lineup combination more often

In a win over the Magic, the Pacers found a lineup combination that they need to start using more because it was highly effective.

Mar 10, 2024; Orlando, Florida, USA; Indiana Pacers forward Pascal Siakam (43) forward Aaron Nesmith
Mar 10, 2024; Orlando, Florida, USA; Indiana Pacers forward Pascal Siakam (43) forward Aaron Nesmith / Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

The Indiana Pacers got a much-needed victory in Orlando on Sunday night, taking down the Magic 111-97. It was a game that showcased their defense more than their offense, a change from how most of their games have gone this season. A large reason for that was the play of the bench.

Opi Toppin was one of the players who played extremely well off the bench. He had 17 points on 7-9 shooting and also grabbed 8 rebounds. His versatility on defense is actually what helped the Pacers get back in this game though with him as the four and Pascal Siakam as the five.

Before the Pacers acquired Siakam from Toronto, he played a decent amount at the five. He hasn't done that a lot yet in Indiana, mainly because the Pacers have three solid options at center. Rick Carlisle stumbled upon a lineup that should be used more often though.

The Pacers need to use the 4-5 combination of Toppin and Siakam more often

Early in the game, the Pacers were getting killed on the pick-and-roll with Turner in drop coverage. It allowed Paolo Banchero or Wendell Carter Jr. to get deep in the lane and get some easy buckets. Carlisle made a switch to the lineup that made things much better defensively in the third quarter, which is when Indiana went on its run.

Having Toppin as the four and Siakam at the five allowed them to switch the Banchero/Carter and the Banchero/Issac pick-and-roll combination. Both have the size to bother Banchero on drives, so he was settling for threes. He hit just 1-8 from deep, a massive win for Indiana.

These are the types of scheming matchups that Carlisle is going to have to win to help his team. The Pacers still aren't firing on all cylinders offensively, although Aaron Nesmith seems to be out of his funk. If Rick can find something to help his team defend better, he needs to do it.

Next. Next story. Rick Carlisle responds to Buddy Hield's comments about the Pacers. dark

A win on the road against a team higher than them in the standings was massive. Now the Pacers have to keep that momentum going.