Rhythm: 98.4 (19) OffRtg: 111.7 (18) DefRtg: 115.0 (28) NetRtg: -3.3 (24)
Halfway through the season, the Pacers were 15-26, having been outscored by exactly one point in those 41 games. At that time, they were 4-19 in games within five points in the final five minutes and 11-7 otherwise, with six double-digit wins over teams that are currently in the top six. of either conference. The Pacers have been much less competitive since then, but they’re still 25-54, with a team’s point differential that’s 30-49.
The bottom line is that the Pacers should finish with their worst record in at least 36 years. This will be the third consecutive season in which they have seen a drop in points differential per 100 possessions, and only four teams – the Blazers, Clippers, Lakers and Nets – have seen a bigger drop from the last season (they all had more to drop).
The Pacers have been shaking up their core, and Tyrese Haliburton has put up some strong numbers — 17.3 points, 9.8 assists, 58.2% effective field goal percentage — since joining. But the Pacers were outscored by a brutal 16.3 points per 100 possessions (allowing 124.4 per 100) in 201 minutes with Haliburton on the floor alongside Malcolm Brogdon. Of course, the Pacers’ new guard couldn’t share the floor with Myles Turner, who hasn’t played since Jan. 14.
Speaking of guys who haven’t played in a long time, TJ Warren is now a free agent, having missed (mostly) the past two seasons. The Pacers (who need forwards whether Warren returns or not) will have about $25 million in cap space, and if the Cavs make the playoffs, they’ll add Cleveland’s pick (likely the 17e) to theirs.
Week 25: vs. PHI, @PHI, @BKN