The Indiana Pacers haven’t started the season as they expected, and All-Star Paul George ripped into his team after a loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Monday.
Indiana had one of the more productive offseasons, and, on paper, they looked like they could contend for a top seed in the East. The season is still young, so that ship hasn’t sailed, but the Pacers have looked discombobulated to start the season. And Paul George opened up about it.
“We’re just not tied together,” said George to Nate Taylor of the Indy Star after a 122-100 pounding by the Hornets on Monday night. “We’re all out of whack. There’s no trust, there’s no chemistry, there’s no belief. We’re kind of just lifeless right now.”
The Pacers are 3-4 on the year with all four of their losses coming on the road and all three of their wins coming at home. Of those losses, three have come by more than 17 points.
Indy’s defense is the main problem. Even George, who’s one of the best wing defenders in the league, is having issues. Opponents are making nearly 48 percent of all their shots (worst in the NBA) and pouring in 113 points on average; their three-point defense isn’t as bad, but still the eighth-worst in percentage (35.3).
Even though it looks bleak, seven games is an incredibly small sample size–if their struggles continue beyond Christmas, however, there might be a reason to worry.
George is still having a solid start to the season with 20.4 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 1.9 steals, and Myles Turner is another bright spot. The second-year center is averaging 16.4 points and 6.9 rebounds while shooting 55.7 percent from the field; he’s also swatting 2.6 shots per contest.
Some of the issues to can traced back to the additions of Jeff Teague and Thaddeus Young. Both guys are in their first season with the Pacers after coming over from the Atlanta Hawks and Brooklyn Nets, and it takes some time to build chemistry.
Young is playing fine offensively but defense is his problem–the same is with Teague, except he’s way worse on offense.
The former Hawk is shooting just 32.5 percent from the field and has attempted the second-most shots on the roster (83).
There’s a great chance for the franchise to get back on track over their next stretch of games. Indiana has a home-and-home against the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday and Friday, and then kick off a four-game homestand on Saturday.
Start a conversation with me on Twitter