5 things that went wrong for the Indiana Pacers in the 2020-21 NBA season
The Indiana Pacers have had a disappointing 2020-21 NBA season. They have failed to live up to the standards they have held to for the past decade.
Missing the 2021 NBA playoffs was the most heartbreaking end to what was an already poor season. The Pacers missed the playoffs for the first time in six years and had the second-worst winning percentage in the past decade.
The team finished ninth in the Eastern Conference standings, but had the opportunity to advance to the playoffs in the first play-in tournament. However, they flatly lost to the Washington Wizards and saw their qualifying chances begging.
The Pacers have a long offseason trying to put things back in order. However, there is no solution for the future if the mistakes of the past are not corrected.
On that note, let’s take a look at five things that went wrong for the Indiana Pacers in the 2020-21 NBA season.
# 1 Defense
The Indiana Pacers have fielded one of the best defensive units in recent years. But they failed to replicate their remarkable defensive performances of the past in the 2020-21 NBA season. They finished the season 13th in defense, which was accentuated by a 142-115 loss to the Wizards.
The Pacers’ two previous seasons were in stark contrast to their recently ended season when it comes to defense. The obvious reason for this change was the introduction of a new defensive system designed by former coach Nate Bjorkgren.
While their improved offense made up for an overall poor defense this season, the Pacers ultimately struggled to keep teams from scoring, costing them several games.
# 2 the Indiana Pacers struggled to stay healthy
Staying healthy was a major challenge for the Pacers as they lost several of their key players to injury during the season. Two notable injuries that impacted the Pacers’ run in the 2020-21 season were TJ Warren and Myles Turner.
Warren only appeared in four games before suffering what turned out to be a late-season injury. The Indiana Pacers have won three of the four games he’s been in, the forward averaging 15.5 points per game. While the Pacers missed his contributions on offense, he was also an important defensive part of their defense.
Myles Turner was exceptional in protecting the Pacers’ paint. Sadly, he missed 22 of the team’s last 23 games. Added to his injuries are those suffered by Domantas Sabonis and Malcolm Brogdon, both of whom missed a significant number of games for the Indiana Pacers in the 2020-21 NBA season.