CenterCourt: The Pacers Are a Consistent Headache
Consistency, it’s an essential component for success in the NBA. The Pacers have been the furthest thing from it. Currently, the Pacers sit sixth in the Eastern Conference at 29-25.
The Pacers are in the take two steps forward, take one step back mantra. Prime example, the winning and losing streaks the Pacers have gone through this year. Losing four in a row, to win five in a row. The most recent stretch, losing three in a row, to winning seven straight to now losing their last three.
The cause for this? Holes on the roster that need addressing.
Yes, Paul George has been just as inconsistent as the Pacers. After having his best month of the season in January averaging 24.5 on 47 percent shooting. George is now having his worst month, averaging 20.0 points on 43.1 percent shooting. The big time stars around the league aren’t shy when it comes to asking or in some cases demanding help.
Paul George and the Pacers are in need of more help. With just 28 games left in the season, 19 are against teams over .500 and battling for a playoff spot. This is arguably the toughest schedule of any NBA team to end the year.
Jeff Teague and Myles Turner have been bright spots. Teague is averaging 15 points along with 8 assists. While Turner is averaging 15 points, 7 rebounds and 2 blocks. These three together are a nice start, but it’s not enough.
The Pacers have a hole at the shooting guard position. They’ve had decent stretches by moving Glenn Robinson and then CJ Miles into the starting rotation. However, neither are long term solutions and it’s clear Monta Ellis is no longer a fit in Indy.
With All-Star weekend and break a few days away, the trade deadline is on the horizon.
The Pacers need to make a move, a superstar isn’t necessary or possible in fairness. However, a “3 & D” two guard could be exactly the solution needed. The Pacers are in the bottom five for 3PM & 3PA. In the new NBA, consistent success comes from the three point line. Outside of Paul George and CJ Miles, there isn’t much.
Top 3 players on the Pacers wish list
1. Wilson Chandler 15.9 points 2.1 assists 6.7 rebounds 33.8 3P%
The Denver Nuggets traded away Jusuf Nurkic and a 2017 first-round pick yesterday. And this appears to be just the first move of many to come for Denver. The Nuggets hold the eighth seed currently and seem bent on keeping themselves in the playoff picture. The Pacers have all their first-round picks for the next eight years and a few expiring contracts.
IND: Wilson Chandler
DEN: Rodney Stuckey, Glenn Robinson ||| and 2018 first round draft pick
Nuggets receive a draft pick, Stuckey’s expiring contract(PO) and the young GR|||. Pacers get a proven two-way wing.
2. Sean Kilpatrick 13.5 points 2.3 assists 4.1 rebounds 35.5 3P%
The Nets and Pacers made a deal several months back around Thaddeus Young. Why not make this a yearly thing? The Nets are gearing up for the future and the Pacers have draft picks. Kilpatrick has proven he can compete at this level and could be a huge contributor to the Pacers.
IND: Sean Kilpatrick
BKN: Rodney Stuckey, 2017 first-round draft pick
Nets get an expiring contract and with this years draft being stocked with prospects, they get in on the action. Pacers get the guy who can give them constant production starting or off the bench, depending on where they want Miles.
3. Robert Covington 11.5 points 1.6 assists 6.1 rebounds 32 3P%
Ben Simmons is likely to return sooner rather than later. Covington has been up and down and isn’t necessarily a huge piece for the future. This would be the Pacers cheapest option in terms of money. Covington gives the Pacers another three point shooter and an above average defender.
IND: Robert Covington
PHI: Rodney Stuckey or Monta Ellis, along with a 2nd round draft pick
Pacers get their guy, Sixers get help at the guard position and another draft pick for the future.
The Pacers face the Spurs, Cavaliers and Wizards this week before all-star break. This stretch could very well push Larry Bird and company to make a move.
Until then keep the Advil close.