The State of the Indiana Pacers

Evan Miller

The Indiana Pacers are on their way to their first losing season since 2014-15. Since that season, the Pacers have had three coaches: Frank Vogel, Nate McMillen, and Nate Bjorkgren. Vogel was 250-181 in six seasons as a head coach with the Pacers. McMillen was 183-136 in four seasons as a head coach with Indiana. Bjorkgren, however, is currently 30-35 in his first season with the Indiana club and is at risk of getting fired following his inaugural head coaching season.

A news story from Bleacher Report came out on Thursday, citing inside league sources, contributing “aggressive” and “abrasive” behavior from the Indiana head coach to the resignation of assistant coach Bill Bayno and starting small forward T.J. Warren opting to have season-ending foot surgery.

This situation has not only put Bjorkgren’s job at risk, but it has also put general manager Chad Buchanan and president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard’s jobs at risk. Sources from the Bleacher Report article say that Pritchard did not interview Bjorkgren thoroughly and only talked about his basketball agenda, rather than Bjorkgren as a person. Bjorkgren has, reportedly, screamed at longtime Pacers officials and has become very toxic with the players and staff.

Late in a game on Wednesday, Pacers second year center and first round pick Goga Bitadze and assistant coach David Foster got in a heated argument during a timeout, which led to Bitadze being fined and Foster being suspended one game by the organization. The Pacers would lose that game 104-93 at the hands of the Sacramento Kings, the ninth worst team in the NBA.

Currently, the Indiana Pacers are fighting for their playoff lives, currently sitting in ninth place in the Eastern Conference. They currently own a spot in the first annual NBA play-in tournament, where they would play the 10th place Washington Wizards for a chance at the eighth seed in the NBA Playoffs.