Missing the 2021 NBA playoffs was the most heart-wrenching end to what was an already mediocre season. The Pacers missed the playoffs for the first time in six years and had the second-worst winning percentage in the last decade.
The side finished in ninth place in the Eastern Conference standings but had an opportunity to qualify for the playoffs through the inaugural play-in tournament. However, they lost emphatically to the Washington Wizards and saw their chances of qualification go begging.
The Pacers have a long offseason to try and put things back in order. However, there is no fixing the future if the mistakes of the past are not corrected.
On that note, let’s look at five things that went wrong for the Indiana Pacers in the 2020-21 NBA season.
The Indiana Pacers have fielded one of the best defensive units in recent years. But they failed to replicate their noteworthy defensive performances from the past in the 2020-21 NBA season. They finished the season ranked 13th in defensive rating, which was accentuated by a season-ending 142-115 loss to the Wizards.
Indiana Pacers interior defense:— AKRiley🇦🇺 (@AKRileyy5) January 21, 2021
With Myles Turner – 3rd in NBA
Without Myles – 27th in NBA
“Not a DPOY Candidate”
The Pacers’ previous two seasons were in massive contrast to their recently concluded season with respect to defense. The obvious reason for this change was the introduction of a new defensive scheme masterminded by now ex-coach, Nate Bjorkgren.
Although their improved offense made up for an overall poor defense this season, the Pacers ultimately struggled to stop teams from scoring and this cost them several games.
#2 The Indiana Pacers struggled to stay healthy
Staying healthy was a major challenge for the Pacers as they lost several of their key players to injury during the season. Two notable injuries that impacted the Pacers’ run in the 2020-21 season were T.J. Warren and Myles Turner.
Warren featured in only four games before sustaining what turned out to be a season-ending injury. The Indiana Pacers won three of the four matches he featured in, with the forward averaging 15.5 points per game. While the Pacers missed his contributions on offense, he was also a significant defensive part of their
Myles Turner was exceptional in protecting the paint for the Pacers. Sadly, he missed 22 of the team’s 23 final games. Coupled with his injuries are those experienced by Domantas Sabonis and Malcolm Brogdon, both of whom missed a significant number of games for the Indiana Pacers in the 2020-21 NBA Season.1 / 2NEXTEdited by Anantaajith Ra