Full Speed Ahead: The Pacers’ Accelerated Start on the Court and in the Standings

Indiana set a frantic pace early, leading to high-scoring games for the Pacers and their opponents.

Under Coach Rick Carlisle, the team averages 126 points per game, the most in the NBA, while allowing 123.1. The Pacers are tied for third in the Eastern Conference with a 6-4 record, making their fast-paced style successful so far.

“We have to do it as a complete team,” Carlisle said. “Ty is our All-Star, he’s our leader, but we are a group that heavily relies on one another.”

Indiana missed the playoffs in the last three seasons but improved with a 35-47 record in 2021-22. However, this season’s 6-4 record doesn’t stand out as much as the way they’ve achieved it.

The Pacers have made the headlines by allowing a 50-point scorer in back-to-back games, joining a select few teams in the past 60 years to do so. Along with their fast-paced style, they rank second in field-goal percentage and 3-point percentage.

Indiana’s signing of Haliburton to a max deal is showing returns, with the 23-year-old leading the league in assists at 12.2 per game. Additionally, players like Bruce Brown, Myles Turner, and Buddy Hield are contributing to the team’s success.

“I thought the first half we were playing a little slow and let them control the pace of the game,” he said. “Going into the second half, we really dominated the pace and made them play up and down, which they don’t want to do as much as we do.”

It remains to be seen if the Pacers can stay anywhere close to the top of the conference, but if their first 10 games are any indication, it will be exciting to watch them try.

In the Western Conference, Houston has had a surprisingly strong start at 6-3, playing at a slow pace and allowing just 105.8 points per game, a significant improvement from the previous season.

The Rockets have won six in a row and are showcasing a different style of play compared to Indiana.

“It gives us another, I guess, feather in our cap,” coach Ime Udoka said after the win over Denver.


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