The Indiana Pacers went into overtime with the Detroit Pistons on Saturday night. The Pacers ultimately escaped with a 112-104 victory, but it was hardly an impressive showing from a team that has looked like the best of the NBA for much of the season. In fact, the Pacers have been looking out-of-sync for quite a while now.
One of the most notable issues that the Pacers had on Saturday night was the fact that Evan Turner and Andrew Bynum, both coming off of the bench, dominated the ball a great deal when they were on the floor. The duo combined for 33 shots on the night, which resulted in just 35 points on the evening over the course of a combined 50 minutes.
Since Turner arrived in Indiana thanks to a Trade Deadline move, the Pacers have had a real issue with their flow. When Turner’s on the floor, their offense seems interrupted to some degree and many of the improvements they’ve made this season have seemingly disappeared. One glaring aspect is how it has affected Lance Stephenson.
Stephenson has looked like a shell of himself since the arrival of Turner. One of Stephenson’s greatest gifts in terms of basketball is his ability to create with the ball in his hands. However, when he’s on the floor with Turner, Stephenson isn’t able to cook and create in the same manner that he was before the new addition. It’s stifled his abilities and, subsequently, the Pacers’ offense to a degree.
While the problems have been developing with Turner and a solution needs to be reached in that regard, there’s cause for concern with a game like Saturday’s that Bynum could have the same type of negative effect on the offense.
As far as solutions go, the Pacers have to let Stephenson dominate the ball more when he’s on the floor and make Turner play off of the ball more often. Moreover, they need to let offense for Bynum come more organically as opposed to him demanding the ball and constantly feeding him.
Both Turner and Bynum can be valuable weapons for this Pacers team. However, when they’re consuming as much of the offense as they did on Saturday night, it’s at a detriment to their Pacers and their hopes as contenders. Ultimately, Indiana is going to have find a solution soon before their ship derails into a bad place that they could have a hard time salvaging the wreckage from.