Pacers Rotation Will Be Fluid Into Regular Season

Pacers Rotation Will Be Fluid Into Regular Season

Blog > Kevin's Corner > Pacers Coverage > Pacers Rotation Will Be Fluid Into Regular Season

Pacers Rotation Will Be Fluid Into Regular Season

With the NBA starting the regular season next week, the Indiana Pacers have some decisions to make with their rotation.

Joe Robbins | Getty Images

INDIANAPOLIS – Before Training Camp even started, Nate McMillan knew his opening night starting lineup.

When the Pacers open up the regular season on Wednesday, October 23rd, the starters will be:

PG-Malcolm Brogdon

SG-Jeremy Lamb

SF-T.J. Warren

PF-Domantas Sabonis

C-Myles Turner

With Victor Oladipo’s unknown return date, this is the starting lineup fans should expect for quite some time.

How the bench plays out will be a very fluid situation.

In Tuesday’s preseason finale, Nate McMillan first turned to Aaron Holiday (in place of Brogdon) and T.J. Leaf (in place of Sabonis) off the bench. Edmond Sumner (in place of Lamb) and Doug McDermott followed next (in place of Warren), with Goga Bitadze (in place of Turner) then completing the first 5 off the bench.

Veterans Justin Holiday and T.J. McConnell entered the game as the 11th and 12th men, respectively. Alize Johnson did not play until the third quarter.

“We’ll be looking to develop that bench through the early part of the season,” McMillan said before Tuesday’s preseason finale. “I have an idea of where we want to go and we’ll start out that way, but we’ll see how that goes and see how many players we’ll rotate. We’ll figure that out as the season goes on.”

Missing from that reserve bunch is a proven guard who can dominate the ball and be a catalyst.

From how McMillan used his rotation in the preseason finale, the 2nd unit is a vastly inexperienced group, relying heavily on the unproven backcourt creation of Holiday and Sumner.

McMillan says he wants to play 9-to-10 games, but the 2nd unit will need some bolstering from a starter or two playing with them to avoid scoring droughts.

During the final preseason game, it was McConnell who sparked things in just a handful of late first half minutes. He was 4-of-6 from the field and had 8 assists in 20 minutes of action.

Finding a consistent role for him, while still wanting to give Holiday minutes will be something for McMillan to juggle.

Another piece that McMillan must find a fit for is Bitadze.

Given that the rookie missed all of the summer league, played in just one preseason game and had to sit out valuable Training Camp practices due to an ankle injury, what exactly the 20-year-old rookie can give the Pacers remains to be seen.

And, of course, once the Pacers find some sort of a consistent rotation, things will be jumbled again when Oladipo does return.

Pacers Coverage
The Indiana Pacers (5-4) are above .500 for the first time this season, following a 112-106 victory over the Detroit Pistons (4-6). What happened as the Pacers moved their record to 5-4 on the year?
Pacers Coverage
On Wednesday night, the Indiana Pacers avoided a back-to-back night sweep thanks to some unsung heroes. What was learned from the 121-106 victory over the Washington Wizards (2-5)?
Pacers Coverage
A three-game winning streak for the Pacers (3-4) came to an end on Tuesday night as Indiana lost 122-120 in overtime to the Charlotte Hornets (4-3). What happened in the road loss?
Pacers Coverage
The undermanned Indiana Pacers (2-3) got some revenge on the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night. What happened in the 102-95 home victory?
Pacers Coverage
The Pacers did not get good injury news on Thursday, with Myles Turner (ankle) and Edmond Sumner (hand) expected to miss some game action.