After a lightning-fast start out of the gate, the Indiana Pacers have cooled off considerably. Indiana is currently suffering through a four-game losing streak, the roughest stretch the franchise has had to endure in quite some time. The team’s offense has been inconsistent for the most part this year, but they have been able to absolve most of those sins by playing exceptional defense. Right now, neither offense nor defense can be found.
When examining the Pacers’ downfalls over the past week, one thing is apparent: they turn the ball over way too much. On the season, Indiana is 21st in the NBA in turnovers, averaging 15.3 per game. Over the past four games, however, that number has ballooned to almost 20. The Pacers’ turnover percentage is 14.2 percent, which means they turn the ball over about once every seven possessions.
Their assist/turnover ratio currently sits at a mediocre 1.327, which not only highlights the team’s sloppy play, but also their reluctance to move the ball around.
In addition to their offensive failures, Indiana’s rock solid defense has shown some cracks in its foundation over the past week as well. The Pacers have given up an average of only 92.2 points per game over the course of the season, but in the past few games, they have surrendered a horrendous 108.7 points per game. When coupled with an underperforming offense, that is a clear recipe for disaster.
However, many of Indiana’s defensive woes can be explained by an offense that can’t take care of the ball and allows too many points off turnovers.
The good news for Indiana is that they still have some time to turn it around. Evan Turner, who was acquired at the trade deadline, has been fine in the sixth man role and is a clear upgrade over Danny Granger. Going forward, Paul George needs to forget about his rough game against the Charlotte Bobcats and continue to play at an All-Star level on both ends of the floor.
Roy Hibbert, despite his excellence on defense, needs to find some consistency on offense so that he and David West can continue to be a difficult matchup down in the paint. Lance Stephenson needs balance; he needs to make better decisions with the basketball, but he also needs to keep bringing his incredible energy level to the court with him every night.
Fortunately for the Pacers, their main rival, the Miami Heat, have been fluttering as well over the past week, losing three straight with similar offensive incompetence. Their lead on the top spot in the Eastern Conference is dwindling, but Indiana still maintains a 1.5 advantage over the Heat. Frank Vogel‘s squad has a lot of work to do, however, to ensure that they are peaking and heading in the right direction as the playoffs draw near.