So the Indiana Pacers get swept by the Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs and
Nate McMillan despite being awarded a contract extension by the Indiana Pacers. I’ll never forget how good of a coach Nate McMillan was for the Seattle Supersonics when he coached Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis in the mid 2000’s, I felt he did a phenomenal job with the hand he was dealt in Indiana, his most notable time with the Indiana Pacers was the season in which Victor Oladipo averaged a career high 23 points per game and had everyone believing he was ready to finally breakout into a perennial all-star unfortunately the Indiana Pacers were eliminated in a 7-game series by LeBron James’s Cleveland Cavaliers in which LeBron James showed the NBA world why he is at the very least a top 5 player all-time. Ever since that season it’s been injuries for Victor Oladipo and he will be a free-agent next summer so the Indiana Pacers will have some decisions to make over the next few months with Victor’s future in Indiana.
If you ask me I would not trade Victor Oladipo, I scoped around the NBA but I couldn’t find a trade that made sense to me being that Victor Oladipo’s value is sort of unknown at the moment. He’s 28 years old and has never been known to be a supreme athlete who can jump out of the gym, neither is he known to be a marksmen but the one positive is he can do a bit of everything. His defense won’t get any better than it already is but he’s a combo guard who can facilitate and score at the same time and he can create his own shot. I would offer him a 3-year deal somewhere in the neighborhood of $90-100 million if I was the Pacers and see where a healthy Victor Oladipo takes me with Malcolm Brogdon,TJ Warren,Domantas Sabonis,and Myles Turner next season. Brogdon,Sabonis,and Turner are all locked in for the next 3 years and with Warren breaking out for the Pacers in those 8 games prior to the playoffs I’d like to see what a combo of Victor Oladipo and TJ Warren could do next season. Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis compliment each other since Turner is more of a shot-blocker and does not demand touches down low in the paint like Sabonis so their is not a log-jam down low with those two. Victor Oladipo is more of a slasher while Warren is more of a shooter and Malcolm Brogdon is a pure point-guard who won’t take away touches from Victor Oladipo and TJ Warren.
The Indiana Pacers’s starting 5 of Brogdon-Oladipo-Warren-Sabonis-Turner could make a deep run in the playoffs next season but once again Victor Oladipo must get healthy and it wouldn’t hurt if he worked on becoming a knock-down shooter from the perimeter because let’s face it he’s not overpowering anyone with his 6’5 frame and the better a shooter he becomes the less strain on his body as he won’t have to expend energy driving to the rim as much or risk an injury jumping into multiple defenders constantly in the paint. I think if Victor Oladipo takes it upon himself to become the best shooter possible the Indiana Pacers could make some noise next season which brings me to who should be the next head coach. If Mike D’Antoni wants to coach next season I would give him a shot, I will not judge him for his failure to win a championship in Phoenix,his tenure in New York, or his current tenure in Houston. Most forget Mike was the only coach to push the Durant-Curry Golden State Warriors to the brink of elimination and although some say even if Chris Paul was available Game 6 and Game 7 that the Warriors would’ve managed to the last 2 games if I had a gun to my head with Chris Paul out there Game 6 and Game 7 I think the Rockets would’ve eliminated the Warriors but let’s move on to how Mike D’Antoni would impact the Indiana Pacers.
We saw Mike D’Antoni maximize Jeremy Lin in New York, we saw him maximize Steve Nash into a 2-time MVP, and are seeing how otherworldly James Harden has looked over the past 2-3 years with Mike at the helm so why can’t we see Mike D’Antoni do the same with this Indiana Pacers’s roster. I still believe in Myles Turner’s potential, I think Mike D’Antoni could establish a connection reminiscent to Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire between Malcolm Brogdon and Myles Turner as Malcolm has a Nash like pass first game and Turner possesses the athleticism of a Stoudemire and he’s been shooting well over 30 percent from 3 point range over the past 3 years. Mike D’Antoni is a offensive mastermind, if you give him players who can play defense I think he is capable of coaching a team to a championship so long he has the right personnel. Chris Paul,Clint Capela,Trevor Ariza,Eric Gordon,and Gerald Green all played phenomenal defense against the Warriors in the 2018 Conference Finals, I did not mention James Harden since he has never been known for his defense but even he was putting in the effort in that series the Rockets just couldn’t shoot a rock in a ocean those last 2 games.
I’ve always liked Domantas Sabonis’s game and feel him and Myles Turner could become a dominant front-court but was Nate McMillan the right coach for this team? This season they carried the reputation of a team that could possibly reach the second round, I personally thought they had the potential to reach the Conference Finals but Domantas Sabonis was out with injury and if you’ve been watching Domantas Sabonis so far in the NBA he would’ve been the at the very least the second option on this Pacers’s team in the playoffs. Going back to Mike D’Antoni I think he would implement an up-tempo style offense which would allow for Brogdon and Oladipo to run the Pacers’s offense a lot like Paul and Harden did in Houston as they took turns attacking opposing defenses and the Pacers would have a third ball handler in Warren who could get his own shot a lot like Gordon in Houston. The Indiana Pacers boast Domantas Sabonis and Myler Turner at the 4 and 5 which is superior to what Mike D’Antoni had in Houston with PJ Tucker and Clint Capela at the 5, sorry for the comparisons just think Mike D’Antoni could coach the Indiana Pacers a lot like he did that 2018 Houston Rockets team which he almost carried to a NBA Title in the Western Conference.
To conclude I think the Indiana Pacers should do all they can to bring back Victor Oladipo at least for one more season and then decide if they want to go into rebuild next summer if the team does not get passed the first round. Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving will be back next season so the East will become even stronger but if your core pieces are locked in for the next few seasons and are still young why break it up so fast? Before deciding to bring back Victor Oladipo sit him down in the office and let him know you want him to get healthy because the team will go as far as he is healthy. I believe Myles Turner is on verge of a breakout next season and no one could convince me the Milwaukee Bucks are a better team without Malcolm Brogdon despite their historical season on both ends of the floor, if you ask me he was the second best player behind Giannis Antetokoumpo last season and the Indiana Pacers have him running the show so why not get the ultimate point-guard coach in Mike D’Antoni to help the Indiana Pacers become a top seed in the East next season? Maybe the Indiana Pacers moved on from Nate McMillan because they felt a new coach with a different approach is what they were going to need to become a legitimate contender. Give me your thoughts on the Indiana Pacers future, till next time.