The Indiana Pacers saw their season come to an end at the hands of LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. It was a crushing loss for the Pacers and the state of Indiana, especially with the team looking like they had an excellent chance to finally shake the curse of James in the playoffs.
Indiana has now been sent out of the playoffs by James the last five times that they have faced him. That is a stat that Pacers’ fans know all too well.
Despite the disappointing loss, the Pacers are heading in the right direction. After Paul George was traded last offseason, no one gave them a chance to make the playoffs, much less take the Cavaliers to a Game 7. Victor Oladipo became an All-Star and the team as a whole came together to have a “magical” season.
Now, general manager Kevin Pritchard and the Pacers’ front office have more work to do. They have an extremely important offseason that will be full of developing players and hopefully bringing in more talent. Indiana is not too far away from being serious contenders in the Eastern Conference and this offseason could see them make the necessary moves to get there.
All of that being said, what five goals must the Pacers focus on heading into the upcoming NBA offseason?
One hell of a run, but it ends in Cleveland. pic.twitter.com/aQPnF3oK6l— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) April 29, 2018
Keep Cory Joseph
Indiana must find a way to keep backup point guard Cory Joseph. While he may not have put up massive numbers, Joseph was the definition of consistency off the bench for the Pacers. Joseph was also one of the best defenders that the Pacers had this season and that aspect of his game cannot be lost.
Myles Turner Must Continue to Develop
During the regular season, it actually looked like Myles Turner regressed in some areas of the game. Turner struggled with injuries this season, which impacted his struggles quite a bit. If the Pacers want to become a serious contender, Turner has to continue developing and improving his game, which is something that The Ringer went into more depth on.
Sign a Key Free Agent
Whether the Pacers pursue a starter like Aaron Gordon or a piece that could come off the bench like Will Barton, they need to bring in a key free agent. Indiana had a solid roster, but they need to get deeper. Bringing in a new piece in free agency would be a big step in that direction.
Bring in More Perimeter Shooting
Bojan Bogdanovic was the Pacers’ best three-point shooter this season. While he is a deadly shooter when he is “on,” there were no other shooters that struck fear in opposing defenses. Pritchard will need to focus on bringing more shooters in to surround Victor Oladipo.
Find a Legitimate No. 1 Bench Scoring Option
Too often this season, the Pacers did not have a legitimate No. 1 scoring option off of the bench. Joseph, Lance Stephenson, and Domantas Sabonis all had their moments, but none of them stepped up as often as the Pacers needed. Indiana is going to be an attractive landing spot for free agents and can bring in bad contracts in trades if needed and they must find a legitimate No. 1 bench scorer.