clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Pacers rotations part 1: This can’t possibly work.

New, comments

Welcome to a breakdown series on rotations the Pacers could use in the 2018-19 season. The series will be ongoing with no apparent ending. Just kidding. I don’t know how many parts it will be in, how many posts it will include or how long it will take, but enjoy this first one.

NBA: Summer League-Atlanta Hawks at Indiana Pacers
Indiana Pacers forward TJ Leaf (22) dribbles against the Atlanta Hawks during the first half at Thomas & Mack Center. Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

PG: Victor Oladipo

SG: Bojan Bogdanovic

SF: Doug McDermott

PF: T.J. Leaf

C: Domantas Sabonis

This is called the “Surround Victor Oladipo with as many white dudes as possible” lineup.

Jokes aside and realistically speaking, this one could work because it surrounds Oladipo with three strong shooters and his perfect pick and roll partner.

Of all the players in this lineup, T.J. Leaf is the only unproven one. Leaf still needs to get stronger and become a better passer before he can even crack the Pacers’ rotation next year.

But if Leaf can put it together there is a reason to believe he’s a strong shooter. If you combine his tiny sample size of one year at UCLA, three games in the G-League and the sporadic minutes in his rookie season, he shot 52 of 113 from three for a whopping 46 percent.

Add that to Bojan Bogdanovic’s 40 percent and Doug McDermott’s 43 percent last season and Indiana should be able to extend the floor to create enough space to allow Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis to run the action at the top of court.

This works because Sabonis is comfortable with the ball in his hands, which is a huge positive for a center. When he gets the ball at the top of the key he understands he has options -- either through a dribble hand-off like the play above or quickly reading the floor when Oladipo gets doubled teamed to either score or pass out to a three-point shooter.

The piece of this lineup is Oladipo’s comfort with the ball in his hands as a point guard. The logical step in Oladipo’s growth is for him to play more minutes as the primary ball handlers.

Last season Oladipo had usage and turnover rates comparable to Steph Curry and Kyrie Irving. He’s ready to play point guard.

We’re not even going to talk about this lineup’s defensive limitations though.