Indiana Pacers: Examining a win-win trade scenario to bring Kemba Walker to Indy
On point with their up-and-down season so far, the Indiana Pacers continue to struggle gaining momentum in the standings. After losing to the Milwaukee Bucks and the Minnesota Timberwolves in back-to-back games, they now tout a 9-14 win-loss card, firmly cementing themselves to 13th in the jampacked Eastern Conference.
With a tough schedule still awaiting them before a more modest deck later in the campaign, the Pacers’ character and viability to compete in the league with their roster will be tested hard. However, their middling start is far from encouraging. Despite silver linings, Indiana simply doesn’t have enough punch to overcome their lack of top-tier talent. Some changes will have to be made.
The Indiana Pacers could make an actual run for a former All-Star PG
The market is rather stale for significant need movers at this point. However, the Indiana Pacers can make a play for a former All-Star who can fill in some of their needs.
Kemba Walker, who signed with the New York Knicks this season, has been a glaringly negative on-court presence for them this season. Now, the seasoned point guard has recently been axed from Tom Thibodeau’s rotation, casting a huge cloud on his future in the Big Apple after a hyped entrance in free agency.
The four-time All-Star is far from his Charlotte days, but he still logged more than 20 points per game in the last couple of seasons repping the Boston Celtics. With the right role, even in a more diminished one, he could still be a key contributor. With the Pacers clearly intent on holding on to their uncertain competitive window, doubling down on win-now pieces is the apt direction to take, despite the towering need for a reboot.
Here is one win-win trade scenario for the Indiana Pacers to acquire the disgruntled former All-Star for the New York Knicks.
Pacers Game Tonight: Pacers vs Bucks Odds, Injury Report, and Predictions for Nov. 28
Indiana Pacers: One stat reflects ideal way to win more games this season by Nicolas Kyle Pring
The Indiana Pacers managed to break their cold spell against the Toronto Raptors last Friday night, claiming decisive 114-97 victory at home to improve to 9-12 on the season after a disappointing loss to the Lakers. Their tough early schedule, however, continues, as a back-to-back looms with the defending champions on deck for the first leg.
After a 6-8 start, the Milwaukee Bucks have won six straight contests and appear to be rounding back into form with a healthier squad. Now flirting with the Chicago Bulls for the Central Division lead, the Pacers could be in for their toughest challenge yet.
On the season, the Pacers are 6-3 at the Gainbridge Fieldhouse and 5-9 against the East while the Bucks are 6-4 on the road and 8-5 against conference foes. Indiana ranks 15th in offensive rating and 13th in defensive rating while Milwaukee sits at 14th and 11th, respectively, on the same departments.
Matchup Milwaukee Bucks 12-8 Indiana Pacers 9-12 5 PM ET Bally Sports Indiana Bucks -2.0
Pacers vs Bucks Odds, Spread, Over/Under & Betting Pick
The latest odds from WynnBET (sign up with this link) have the Bucks as -2.0 favorites on the road against the hosts Pacers. Meanwhile, Milwaukee is a -140 moneyline favorite while Indiana is currently a +120 moneyline underdog.
The over/under for this contest has been set at 217.5. The oddsmakers are anticipating a high-scoring affair between both teams.
Projected Pacers Starting Lineup Tonight
SF: Justin Holiday
PF: Domantas Sabonis
C: Myles Turner
SG: Caris LeVert
PG: Malcolm Brogdon
Pacers Injury Report
Only TJ Warren (left foot) remains out for this game. No other injuries have been reported at this point.
Indiana Pacers vs Milwaukee Bucks Prediction
Milwaukee has had Indiana’s number in the past three seasons, winning five straight and nine of last 11 meetings. Having already beaten the Blue and Gold on the road last month, the defending champions will understandably enter this contest as undisputable favorites, despite the relatively modest foresight from the oddsmakers.
The Pacers should be revved up to see how their improve play measures up against a title contender, but the Bucks’ personnel and offense simply makes them a matchup nightmare for the team. Indy should be expected to wage a much better fight than in previous meetings, but Milwaukee’s roster, and of course, Giannis Antetokounmpo, are simply not ideal opponents for the Blue and Gold. I’d love to be wrong, though.
Pacers 105, Bucks 109
Make your pick now on WynnBET.
What channel is the Indiana Pacers game on?
Saturday’s game will air on Bally Sports Indiana (Indianapolis) and Bally Sports Wisconsin (Milwaukee) and will tip off at 5 pm ET.
Indiana Pacers vs Milwaukee Bucks Live Stream
If you need a live stream, check out FuboTV for a free trial!
Pacers Next Game and Schedule
The Pacers head to Minnesota on the second night of a back-to-back before heading back to the Gainbridge Fieldhouse for a lengthy six-game homestand.
Nov. 29 @ Minnesota
Dec. 01 vs Atlanta
Dec. 03 vs Miami
Dec. 06 vs Washington
Indiana Pacers: One stat reflects ideal way to win more games this season
The Indiana Pacers have arguably turned in the most rollercoaster campaign so far, juggling between wins and losses 21 games into the season to the tune of a middling 9-12 record, 13th in the Eastern Conference.
While the Pacers are playing a lot better than they did to begin the season, they certainly have much loftier goals than simply being in the play-in tournament discussion, and even that is far from a certainty, with the East’s renewed talent pool pushing the Blue and Gold to the third-worst mark in the conference.
Indiana doesn’t have the household name who can singlehandedly win them games with sheer talent alone, but they have a collection of fringe All-Star level players who can net them victories as a collective. That however, has not materialized yet for the Pacers. However, one stat reflects an ideal way for the team to improve their standing in pursuit of better payoff positioning.
The Indiana Pacers should look into trotting out a more unpredictable attack
Malcolm Brogdon‘s All-Star play this season has not gone unnoticed, being the Indiana Pacers’ alpha so far in the 2021-22 campaign. A deep dive into the stats fortify this, with the floor general leading the team in field goal attempts per game (16.2), and ranking second in usage rate (25.6) behind backcourt partner Caris LeVert.
However, as some Pacers fans have already noticed by now, Indiana has a better record when Brogdon falls short of his FGA average. Look at the team’s record splits in the 16 games that he has played in this season.
16.2 field goal attempts: 2-7
<16.2 field goal attempts: 5-2
Do these jarring splits mean that Malcolm Brogdon should hoist less shots moving forward? Yes. And no.
On the surface, the Indiana Pacers are bluntly better off with a more egalitarian approach offensively, compensating for their lack of an upper-echelon scorer with a vaster array of capable scorers who can put up points on the board in various ways. This season, however, the Blue and Gold has been primarily steered by Brogdon in the half court, rarely deferring to other players to commence the team’s sets and turn up the machine.
Feeding Domantas Sabonis in the post has been more secondary than ever before, with the Pacers opting to let the two-time All-Star begin the point of attack on the high post. Indiana ranks third in the league in frequency of handoffs this season.
However, with Brogdon soaking up the bulk of possessions, ranking eighth among all players in touches per game, the Pacers have preferred having Sabonis space the floor for him, with the big man now slipping into the perimeter from the high post instead of doubling down on the block. Defenses have been hacking the post against Domas more often this season, but Indiana has also shied away from feeding him inside, even on mismatches.
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Another reason why Brogdon’s shot attempts are high this season is that the Pacers have been more than willing to have him create for himself in bailout opportunities and late clock situations. Malcolm has been particularly great at this in crunch time, but the presence of Sabonis, LeVert (when healthy), and to a degree, Chris Duarte, should prompt Indy to look into a less predictable gauntlet to carry them in empty possessions.
Still, defenses have yet to double down on Brogdon this season on a consistent basis, justifying his shot attempts a bit. If this continues, I’d be the first to advocate for him to take those shots, but by default, I would like to see the Pacers share the goods a lot more this season, an area where the team has dropped from last season where they ranked second in assists per game.
Malcolm Brogdon’s electric play this season has been one of the main reasons why the Indiana Pacers were able to brave through a horrible start, but to gain more traction in the East, the team needs a bit more balance offensively. Doing so will not only help them win more games, as the numbers attest to, but will also help them ease the load for their oft-injured point guard and prepare them for the return of one of their best scorers.