Indiana Pacers faces an extremely important challenge towards the 2021-2022: that of not only recovering his place among the teams of Playoffs, but to approach a chance to break the crystal cealing that dragged the equipment. Before 2020-2021, they were five straight plays to the postseason, the last four with Nate McMillan on the bench, and five eliminations in the First Round. It was thought of Nate bjorkgren as the driver to take a jump, but the experiment failed in a single year, with chemistry problems with the campus plus the unquestionable factor of the injuries impacting fully on team performance, which finished in 9th place in the East and fell in the Play-in.
The main movement of the summer came to the side of the field and was weighty: Rick Carlisle arrived for a new cycle in the franchise after his long stint at the Dallas Mavericks. The bet is clear: a coach with experience and hierarchy to empower a squad with resources to spare to, at a minimum, aspire to return to the Playoffs. Even despite losing two valuable pieces of the rotation as Aaron Holiday (transferred to Washington) and, above all, Doug mcdermott, who completed his best campaign in 2020-2021, standing out as a shooter from the bench (13.6 points in 24.5 minutes).
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The TJ McConnell renewal, key as leader of the bank, was the best and most important news of the organization in the Free Agency (agreement for 4 years and 33.6 million), since he secured one of the best substitute bases in the league. There was hardly another addition, that of Torrey Craig (2 years and 10 million), plus two pieces from the Draft: the intern Isaiah Jackson (# 22) and, mainly, the Dominican Chris Duarte (# 13).
|Malcolm Brogdon||TJ Warren||Domantas Sabonis|
|Caris LeVert||Justin holiday||Myles turner|
|TJ McConnell||Torrey craig||Goga Bitadze|
|Jeremy lamb||Kelan martin||Oshae brissett|
|Chris Duarte||Isaiah Jackson|
|Duane Washington Jr. (TW)|
|Coach: Rick Carlisle|
Of the 15 guaranteed contracts that the Pacers have, 12 correspond to players who remain on the roster, an example of the continuity that the organization has in this regard and, in turn, of the challenge that Carlisle has ahead of him, since the leap must come with development and internal improvement rather than with the new pieces that arrive.
Anyway, you can see the situation of Warren as a reinforcement, since he barely played 4 games in 2020-2021 due to physical problems. The Pacers, without a doubt, would have a higher ceiling if the forward recovers his extraordinary version of the Disney bubble, when he averaged 31.0 points and 6.3 rebounds in the seeding games (6 games). Under normal conditions, it should be the holder together with Brogdon, LeVert, Sabonis and Turner. Interesting to see how Carlisle exploits the star potential in LeVert and how do you use the duo Sabonis-Turner, which has had some lace problems in the past. But on paper he is a powerful five, with a proven star, a potential star, a super consistent point guard on both sides of the field, a performing scoring forward and an absolute elite rim protector.
More | Chris Duarte, his potential role in the Indiana Pacers, and the chance to be of value to Rick Carlisle’s rotation
Rotation offers guarantees outdoors. McConnell is the leader of the group, Holiday he is a dangerous shooter, Craig works like 3 & D and Lamb as a shooter and secondary creator. Although its expiring condition and age perhaps put it sooner rather than later on the market, which enhances Duarte’s chances. The Dominican shone in the Summer League and made it clear that he is ready from day one to add minutes. And the interiors? Among Bitadze, Brissett and Jackson it should be enough for the rest minutes left by Sabonis and Turner, always thinking that you can go for low options with only one of the two together with four exteriors.
The bottom line is that after an abnormal year in terms of injuries, Indiana should regain its competitive team card in the East. Undoubtedly you have to write down Carlisle’s in the fight for playoff spots.
The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of the NBA or its organizations.