My thoughts on the Pacers' first week
Slow starts, troubling defense and more players than playing time. The Pacers are 1-4 after Week 1.
One win and four losses after the first week of games for the Indiana Pacers. They started with a three-game homestand and are now on a five-game road trip.
We’ve seen a lot in just eight days.
Like Myles Turner being sidelined during warmups of the first game after an unlikely ankle sprain, and Tyrese Haliburton and Bennedict Mathurin each scoring 20-plus points in the first few games. We’ve also seen coach Rick Carlisle go deep on his bench, playing 11 and 12 players in each game just like he promised. They’re only allowed to have 13 on the active roster.
It’s been a mixed bag so far, but that’s what you should have expected.
There’s growing pains on this rebuild pathway as guys experience new roles and learn to play with new additions. For instance, Turner hadn’t played in a regular-season game with Haliburton, Hield or Mathurin until he did Wednesday in a loss at Chicago.
According to NBA.com, the Pacers have played 73 different five-man combinations. And the group used most often — Haliburton, Hield, Nesmith, Smith and Jackson — has spent just 20 minutes together on the court. That’s it.
Stats of Note
They’re giving up 122 points per game, the third highest behind only the Warriors and Grizzlies. Defense and slow starts have been the story.
They’re 30th in the first quarter in points allowed: 35.6. Outscored by an averaged of 10.4 points per game in the first period. So they’re falling behind quickly and having to work the rest of the game to overcome that. Which isn’t easy.
Even more telling, they’re yielding 138 points per 100 possessions in the first quarter. Two-thirds of teams are keeping opponents below 110.
Bombs away: In a stark contrast to what we’re used to watching, the Pacers are hoisting the third most 3s per game (40.6). About 42% of their shots are from behind the arc.