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Pacers Countdown: Chemistry Must Change from Last Season

One of the clear changes that has to take place for the Pacers in 2017-18 comes from last year's team chemistry.

Patrick Smith | Getty Images

INDIANAPOLIS – Myles Turner paints a picture that makes some sense of why the Pacers did not reach the aspirations many had pegged for them last season.

“It was just so odd,” Turner says of the 2016-17 Pacers, “we were so cool off the floor and the second we get on the floor no one would say a word to each other. I don’t know where that stemmed from.”

The lack of chemistry was widely discussed as a dysfunctional element last year.

Instead of the Pacers challenging for a home playoff series or two, Nate McMillan’s team was left scrambling for a playoff spot late in the year.

With the Pacers underachieving last year, changes were likely in the offseason.

Of course, the biggest of all those moves came when Paul George was traded in late June.

How different do the Pacers now look in 2017-18?

In looking at the current first and second teams of the Pacers, just 2 of the team’s top 10 players remain from the start of last year (Thaddeus Young and Myles Turner).

“This year just a matter of the chemistry and establishing that as early as possible (is huge),” Turner says, “just so we can know what the tendencies are, what we like to do. Off the floor is going to come with time, but on the floor is what is most important (and) I think we had those priorities mixed up last year.”

If those are again ‘mixed up’ in ’17-18, the Pacers will be drafting in the lottery next summer.

Trying to predict chemistry and overall continuity is borderline impossible.

Until things get real in the coming weeks and the inevitable adversity hits during a season, it’s all conjecture on how the Pacers will mesh together, and how quickly that will take place.

Even the head coach has the same question.

“Every year is going to be a challenge for you,” McMillan says. “With us, it’s a lot of unknown with the number of new faces that we have on the roster.

“Building chemistry, how long will that take?”

That’s a major question for these new-look Pacers.


Training Camp Update:

The Pacers are in their second week of Training Camp.

After winning their preseason opener on Wednesday night against Bucks, the Pacers will get back on the floor this Friday against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

It’s a shortened camp and preseason for the entire NBA this season.

With the NBA wanting to spread out the 82-game regular season slate of games, thus eliminating more back-to-backs, that means just a four-game preseason schedule.


2017 Pacers Preseason Schedule

Wednesday, Oct. 4: Pacers 104, Bucks 86 (Myles Turner: 17 points, 10 rebounds; Victor Oladipo: 15 points; Lance Stephenson: 17 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists)

Friday, Oct. 6: at Cleveland, 7:30 p.m.

Monday, Oct. 9: at Detroit, 7:00 p.m.

Tuesday, Oct. 10: vs. Maccabi Haifa (2016-17 Israeli Super League runner-up), 7:00 p.m.

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