The Indiana Pacers opted to fire former coach Nate Bjorkgren after a tumultuous first-year of being an NBA head coach. Now, they need to find a replacement and will be conducting a full search in order to make the right hire this go around.
According to NBA Analysis Network’s Evan Massey, the Pacers are ‘firmly’ targeting former Portland Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts in their head coaching search.
The Pacers will surely be looking to hire an established head coach as opposed to going with another candidate who would be giving it their first go of it like Nate Bjorkgren was prior to his stop in Indiana. For that reason, Chauncey Billups likely will not rank highly on the list.
Previously, the Pacers did make a run at Mike D’Antoni before he decided to join the Brooklyn Nets’ coaching staff last offseason. It remains to be seen if he’s interested in stepping back into a head coach role, let alone for the Pacers.
Terry Stotts is an option that would give the Pacers stability since they know what to expect, whether for better or for worse. He has compiled a 517-486 record and coached the Trail Blazers during their appearance in the 2019 Western Conference Finals.
One of the concerns that made Nate Bjorkgren untenable to continue as the Pacers had coach was his people skills. There’s a long list of disconnects he had with the team before even getting into X’s and O’s like his bizarre insistance on zone defenses.
A limitation the Trail Blazers experienced in 2020-21 that proved to be too much to overcome was the lack of execution on defense. Without a rim protector an da perimeter full of underwhelming on-ball defenders, poor results should have been expected, but the team still underachieved, regardless.
Needless to say, Terry Stotts would not be a miracle worker for the Pacers, or any NBA team. Indiana needs to be willing to answer the tough questions about its roster this offseason and adjust accordingly.
Check back with Indiana Sports Coverage for updates in regards to the Indiana Pacers and their head coaching search.