The Indiana Pacers have the ability to frustrate us year-after-year but for completely different reasons.
Last season, Nate Bjorkgren’s Pacers had zero life to their game. No pizzazz, boring play, and zero sense of pride. To be fair, after Victor Oladipo was traded and when T.J. Warren went down, it was a massive blow to that team. Unfortunately for them, they never figured it out and that season is a complete wash.
Now onto this year.
One thing stays the same; Nobody can stay healthy.
I feel really bad for Caris LeVert. He just can’t catch a break.
Even more so, when healthy, he’s been fantastic. When Rick Carlisle runs the offense with LeVert having the ball, that is just *chef’s kiss*.
One major piece is missing and it’s becoming clearer and clearer each game. The Pacers need a dude with a dog mentality. Not that LeVert or Malcolm Brogdon don’t have it, it’s just not at the level that a guy like Warren provides.
Domantas Sabonis having the option to run the pick-and-roll with every other player on the court is a game-changer. And that’s especially when the guy he’s working with has some big time athletic ability.
Look, I’m not saying that I expect bubble T.J. Warren to come back and wreak havoc on all that doubted him. Bubble T.J. is as legendary as Hoodie Melo. But what he can do is give you somebody on the floor that will attract defenders off of LeVert.
Plus you get maybe your biggest competitor back. That would allow Chris Duarte to move to more of a sixth man role. Duarte has been great, but I want him flying more under the radar where teams have no choice but to put their third or fourth best defending option on him.
Then things would get really dangerous.
It’s been heartbreaker after heartbreaker to start 2021-22. Please T.J., come back.