The Indiana Pacers are on a 5 game winning streak, and are playing arguably as well as anyone in the NBA.
The Indiana Pacers have reached a weaker part of their schedule, but are doing what they’re supposed to do. They’re beating the NBA’s weakest, and doing it with conviction.
Over this latest 5 game stretch, the Pacers have the 2nd best net rating in the NBA, at 12.5. They’ve got the best offensive rating in the entire NBA at 119.6, and a respectable 14th in defensive rating at 107.1.
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Over that time span, the Pacers two most used lineups were fairly predictable. The starters — Jeff Teague, Glenn Robinson III, Paul George, Thad Young, and Myles Turner — have a devastatingly effective net rating of 29.8 over 102 minutes.
This is by far the most played lineup by the Pacers over that stretch, and the catalyst behind their winning streak. The lineup change has, at least for this stretch, been incredible for the team.
The flip side of this equation, of course, is the bench.
The Pacers had hoped they had found some bench help with signings like Al Jefferson and Aaron Brooks. The all-bench lineup — Aaron Brooks, Monta Ellis, C.J. Miles, Kevin Seraphin, and Al Jefferson — has been getting torn to shreds.
Over that same 5 game stretch, that bench unit has a net rating of -13.3, the worst among any Pacers lineup that’s seen 10+ minutes during that stretch. That lineup has played 32 minutes, the 2nd most of any unit, and is the only other group with more than 17 total minutes during the stretch.
Any time you’re looking at a short streak like this, winning or losing, it’s critical to understand that everything comes with a small sample size. In all likelihood, the starting unit with GRIII probably won’t maintain a net rating of almost 30 (it’s at 14.5 on the season).
The current bench unit only has 36 minutes on the season. It may be that bad (time will tell), but it’s missing the Pacers erstwhile 6th man, Rodney Stuckey. That unit probably looks different in a few weeks.
The bottom line — the starting lineup change is working. The 5-man unit the Pacers have been starting has a net rating of almost 30 during the run and over 14 for the season.