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NBA Playoffs: Indiana needs to adjust their rotation

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Coach Nate McMillan was hired because team President Larry Bird believed it was time for a new voice in the locker room. In order for the Pacer’s to get back into series McMillan will have to make adjustments that could challenge some of Indiana’s best players.

NBA: Playoffs-Indiana Pacers at Cleveland Cavaliers
Nate McMillan screams at the officials during Game two on the Pacers first round series against the Cavalier’s. Indiana is down 0-2 but head back to Indianapolis for Game three and four
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

It’s time for a lineup change in Indiana. Cleveland spreads the floor with great three point shooters and yet the Pacer’s continue to play Kevin Seraphin and Lavoy Allen for 21 MINUTES!!

Forget about Game 2. The Pacer’s now head home, and if things go right three of the next four games will be played in Indianapolis. Indiana was great at home this season going 29-12, outscoring opponents by over five points per game, and holding opponents close to 40 percent shooting.

Monta Ellis is an average offensive player and a below average defender. The Pacer’s use Ellis as a spot up shooter in the corner, like they used George Hill last year, but Ellis is not a good three-point shooter. Ellis shot 32 percent from three this year, which is the same as his career average. By comparison Hill shot 41 percent from three last year.

Ellis should backup Jeff Teague. Teague and Ellis should never be on the floor together. The Cavaliers are the best team at exploiting the weakest or smallest defenders on a team.

But, who should replace Ellis?

The obvious move would be to start Glenn Robinson. Robinson replaced Ellis in the starting lineup during the regular season, but I don’t think he’s 100 percent healthy.

It’s time to start Lance Stephenson.

NBA: Playoffs-Indiana Pacers at Cleveland Cavaliers
Lance Stephenson (right) drives past Kyrie Irving (left). Stephenson had 13 points in Indiana game two loss to Cleveland.
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Stephenson got beat in game two by Kevin Love consistently. He should not have been put in a position to guard Love. Stephenson is the best combination of Robinson and Ellis. He can drive to the rim the same way Ellis can and has the size to guard, or at least put up a fight against Irving or LeBron.

Then there’s the cluster at the forward-center positions. Besides Myles Turner the Pacer’s don’t need to play a real center in this series, because the Cavalier’s does not. Seraphin and Allen should not touch the floor in this series.

Thaddeus Young could easily play center when Turner is out. Young has the rebounding skill to go toe to toe with Tristan Thompson or Love. Young is a great down low scorer who can exploit Love on the offensive end.

The idea is to create a rotation where three of George, Turner, Young, or Miles are always on the floor. Robinson could even spell George or Miles at times with Stephenson on the floor. Those four are the Pacer’s best offensive players and allows Indiana to always have two scoring options on the floor.

To accomplish this Nate McMillan would have to think of a creative way to stagger the players minutes. The lineup switch would show Nate McMillan willingness to be innovative in a series where the Pacers are outmatched in talent.