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The Pacers will now have to start defending

There is no other way to say it: Pacers have sidelined defense this season. First year of a real new project around Tyrese Haliburtonthe 2022/23 financial year in Indiana was indeed essentially dedicated to the offensive development of the group, like the All-Star season of the leader precisely, but also of the Canadian rookies Bennedict Mathurin And Andrew Nembhardto recite nobody else but them.

So, the observation today is quite clear, almost a month after the end of the club’s season: the Pacers’ attack was as much a strong point as the defense was a weak point.

And the numbers speak for themselves. On the one hand, there is the tenth best offense in the league (116.3 points per game on average), the best efficiency in counterattack (18.1 points per game) and the fifth rate (101.7 possessions per game). But on the other, the penultimate worst defense in the league (119.5 points conceded per game on average), both behind the arc (12.4 award-winning shots conceded/game, 17/30) and in the paint ( 53.7 points conceded, 27/30). And in summary, a fairly largely negative “Net Rating”, at -3.1, which embodies the enormous imbalance in the game of this young team.

The excitement generated by all the positive points of our season should not make us forget all the challenges we have encountered. Namely defending and rebounding» summarized then Rick Carlisle.

Because as the coach points out, the defensive concerns were also observed on the rebound: only 31.4 catches per game (24th), as well as 15.4 points awarded on second chances to their opponents (29th).

We simply have to defend better Added the former Dallas coach. ” And I told everyone, before getting ready for the summer: everyone, individually, will have to raise their level. Be more physical, adopt a more convincing defensive mentality. And that also applies to us, in the staff. This is the only way forward for us in the immediate future, internally but also with the Draft, the ‘free agency’ or transfers. »

Defend better individually, to hold on better collectively

The problem is indeed there for the Pacers: each player has too often been exceeded individually, making it impossible for any collective cohesion.

And one stat sums it all up: despite the league’s second-best blocking average (5.8 blocks per game), driven in particular by Myles Turner and his 2.3 blocks, and the league’s sixth-best defense in the paint, with only 62.4% of their opponents shooting success, the Indianapolis club however allowed the fourth highest total of shots attempted on the key, with 33.4 shots of their opponents on average per game. The reason ? An individual defense of each player far too weak on the periphery, especially the outsiders, who each time left boulevards towards the circle for opposing players, forcing Myles Turner, Jalen Smith or Isaiah Jackson to be doubly vigilant in the second curtain.

You have to be very careful in how you read the stats, and not take it easy and think that because you block a lot of shots, you are a good defensive team. “Noted also quite rightly Kevin Pritchard, the GM of the Pacers. ” Because in our case, the reality is that Myles and Isaiah have a lot of opportunities, because our defense at the ‘point of attack’ [la défense, sans aide, d’un défenseur sur l’attaquant qui initie la possession offensive, ndlr] was not on point. To settle this point, we are studying avenues among the ‘free agents’ this summer. »

Only reliable defensive option of this team by his verticality in front of the circle, partly because of the largesse of his teammates in their half of the field, Myles Turner also goes in this direction.

You can have the most elaborate defensive systems, it’s still a team sport. concludes the pivot. ” If a player misses his duel, then the other four will have to fill in for him. So I think it’s important for us to progress individually, before working collectively. It’s a question of pride, of ego. Many players pride themselves on knowing how to score, but less on knowing how to defend. »

Shots Bounces
Players GM Minimum Shots 3 points LF Off Def Early pd bp Int CT party Points
Tyrese Haliburton 56 33.6 49.0 40.0 87.1 0.6 3.1 3.7 10.4 2.5 1.6 0.4 1.2 20.7
Myles Turner 62 29.4 54.8 37.3 78.3 1.4 6.1 7.5 1.4 1.7 0.6 2.3 3.5 18.0
Buddy Hield 80 31.0 45.8 42.5 82.2 0.8 4.2 5.0 2.8 1.7 1.2 0.3 2.0 16.8
Bennedict Mathurin 78 28.5 43.4 32.3 82.8 1.1 3.0 4.1 1.5 1.9 0.6 0.2 2.1 16.7
Jordan Nwora 24 24.6 47.6 42.2 72.1 0.9 3.8 4.7 2.1 1.3 0.5 0.3 1.7 13.0
Aaron Nesmith 73 24.9 42.7 36.6 83.8 0.8 2.9 3.8 1.3 1.0 0.8 0.5 3.2 10.1
Andrew Nembhard 75 27.6 44.1 35.0 79.0 0.5 2.2 2.7 4.5 1.7 0.9 0.2 2.4 9.5
Jalen Smith 68 18.8 47.6 28.3 75.9 1.9 3.9 5.8 1.0 1.1 0.3 0.9 2.3 9.4
Tj McConnell 75 20.4 54.3 44.1 85.3 0.6 2.5 3.1 5.3 1.9 1.1 0.1 1.4 8.7
Gabe York 3 18.6 38.1 33.3 100.0 0.0 2.0 2.0 1.7 0.0 0.7 0.0 1.7 8.0
Chris Duarte 46 19.5 36.9 31.6 84.7 0.4 2.1 2.5 1.4 0.9 0.5 0.2 1.4 7.9
isaiah jackson 63 16.5 56.3 14.3 65.1 1.8 2.7 4.5 0.8 0.8 0.5 1.5 2.4 7.2
Daniel Theis 7 15.5 47.7 18.2 41.7 1.0 2.1 3.1 1.3 0.4 0.3 0.9 1.0 7.0
Oshae Brissett 65 16.7 38.6 31.0 71.7 1.0 2.4 3.4 0.7 0.5 0.5 0.2 1.2 6.1
george hill 11 15.1 55.9 52.4 88.9 0.2 1.5 1.6 1.9 0.6 0.6 0.3 1.3 5.2
Goga Bitadze 21 9.6 51.9 28.6 45.8 1.2 1.1 2.3 0.9 0.6 0.4 0.5 1.6 3.3
Trevelin Queen 7 10.0 24.1 13.3 100.0 1.1 1.3 2.4 0.9 1.0 0.3 0.7 0.6 3.0
James Johnson 18 9.0 44.9 20.0 50.0 0.2 1.4 1.7 0.8 0.4 0.4 0.3 1.8 2.8
Terry Taylor 26 8.8 46.2 22.2 71.4 0.8 0.7 1.5 0.4 0.3 0.1 0.2 0.9 2.7
Kendall Brown 6 6.7 57.1 0.0 50.0 0.3 0.7 1.0 0.5 0.3 0.7 0.0 1.5 1.5

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