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IC Cold Links: Indiana Pacers Need A Strong Leader Now And In The Future

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The MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference included plenty of interesting basketball talk centered around gaining an edge, keeping an edge and what to look for in the future with regard to applying data analysis to continue gaining that edge.

True Hoop has a nice recap of the hoops releated panel discussions. I spent some time listening to a few of the panels on Friday including a panel with Kevin Pritchard, the former Portland Trail Blazers GM who has spent time hanging around the Pacers this year. He discussed the mediocrity treadmill that middling teams can get stuck on. No doubt he feels Larry Bird is currently jogging on such a treadmill.

Pritchard also mentioned teams have one ultimate goal and that is to win a championship. To paraphrase what he said, the further away from a championship a team is the greater risk a front office is willing to take to make a run at the championship. If that risk doesn't work out and the team bottoms out, then they are better off building back up instead of playing it safe and staying in the middle.

Listening to Pritchard, I couldn't help but think of him leading the front office for the Pacers. I continue to feel that Larry Bird will happily step away at the end of the season having left the infrastructure of the team's roster and salary cap in good shape for a someone else to build upon. Having an aggressive voice like Pritchard utilize those assets may be risky but would also be exciting as the Pacers move forward. The team certainly need some bold leadership to push them out of the middle of the league.

But that is simply a day dream about the future. Back in reality, the current Pacers really need to rise up and beat Philadelphia tomorrow.

After the jump, a few links of interest including the Pacers needing some leadership on the bench or in uniform to turn things around.