Pacers offseason notes: Players and staff members take time away, have to watch playoffs rather than be participants
Several players hang out in The Bahamas, two coaches learn from other programs, Turner swings through Indy and Haliburton invests in wellness company.
The Pacers are now in offseason mode. It began about 10 days ago after the completion of cleaning out lockers, exit interviews, outgoing testing and more.
Last year around this time, staff members were instructed to get out. To go away, think about anything but basketball for a week or two. They had just completed a pandemic-impacted season that started earlier than expected and almost felt like a continuation of the season they had just finished in Orlando.
Just because they were in this position last season, however, doesn’t mean it’s familiar territory. This franchise had reached the postseason in 25 of 31 years. Now they’re one of the 14 teams on the outside of the playoffs for the second consecutive season.
That’s the ultimate motivation.
The playoffs are what it’s all about. The playoffs are where players can make a name for themselves and the team, like the young Timberwolves (or even Pelicans) are doing right now. Millions more watch the playoffs, which air almost entirely on national TV.
One thing I liked after the season ended was the accountability from the players, especially the handful of guys who are expected to be on the roster next season.
They expressed their desire for a team identity, for the defense to improve and to have sustained success. All are obvious, but not always expressed publicly. Leadership is also needed.
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