The Indiana Pacers Are Underwhelming

With a record of 8-9, the Indiana Pacers have not lived up to expectations so far this season. Instead, they have underwhelmed.

During the offseason, the Indiana Pacers (along with the Utah Jazz) looked like the obvious winners of the free agency. The Pacers looked to hit the reset button this season with a new coach, new players (including Jeff Teague and Thaddeus Young), and new management.

The Pacers were even predicted as the best team in the East to be a challenge for LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. But how did a team so destined for success become one of the most underwhelming teams in the NBA this season?

Defense is the word that comes to mind, and the team’s size deficiency has created this defensive problem. The addition of new players made the team’s roster smaller. No player on the team reaches seven feet and the team is the third shortest in the league, according to FiveThirtyEight.com.

They have been outrebounded and outplayed in the pain throughout the season. In a 96-85 loss against the Atlanta Hawks, the Pacers were unable to stop Dwight Howard, who had 23 points and 20 rebounds.

“Sometimes we get out of the structure of our defense,” Thaddeus Young told Indystar.com after the game

The Pacers are currently ranked BLANK 26th in rebounding in the league. In a 120-83 defeat by the Golden State Warriors, the Pacers were outrebounded again. It was the worst home defeat for the Pacers franchise.

Injuries have also played a factor in the team’s demise this season. Paul George, the team’s star player, is expected to miss the next three games due to an ankle injury. Kevin Seraphin is also expected to miss three more games due to a knee injury. C.J. Miles has also missed games because of a sore knee.

Friday night’s 118-97 win against the Nets was good news for the Pacers. Glenn Robinson III led the way with 20 points and six rebounds. This win is just what the Pacers needed after losing back-to-back games and barely winning against the Thunder in overtime.

Friday night’s game proved that the Pacers have what it takes to bounce back amid the injuries. But how long will this last? The Pacers are still underachieving. Hardly anyone during the offseason thought that the team would be in this position at this point in the season.

The Pacers, a team that once made it to the 2014 Eastern Conference Finals in 2014, is now ranked (BLANK) ninth in the East. With new pieces, it is safe to say that the Pacers have not figured everything out yet. But having played 17 games into the season, this is a position that Indiana should not be in.

The Pacers have more than enough talent on their roster for them to make it work this season. Their success lies in their effort to win, their ability to play well together, and their health. The Pacers will be able to climb to the top of the Eastern Conference if they can learn to improve on their weaknesses and focus on their strengths.

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