The Pacers are the first team to be eliminated from the 2019 NBA Playoffs, and coach Nate McMillan is already looking forward.
McMillan said the team could look “different next season” after its 110-106 Game 4 loss to the Celtics on Sunday.
Nate McMillan: “We very well could look different next season:” #Pacers @WISH_TV pic.twitter.com/5bbz8GtYcO
— Charlie Clifford (@cliffWISH8) April 21, 2019
“I’m looking at my team and we have seven, eight free agents on our roster,” McMillan said when asked what he could take away from the sweep. “We very well could look different next season. I just appreciate what our guys did for me and this coaching staff this season and the effort that they gave.”
A few notable Pacers free agents include Bojan Bogdanovic, Darren Collison, Tyreke Evans, Cory Joseph, Wesley Matthews and Thaddeus Young.
“So what can we learn? I first need to figure out what my roster will look like,” McMillan continued.
The Pacers were surprisingly successful in 2018-19. But they were dealt a serious blow when All-Star shooting guard Victor Oladipo went down with a season-ending leg injury 36 games into the season.
Despite the absence of its best player, Indiana finished with a 48-34 record, which was good for fifth in the Eastern Conference standings.
Bogdanovic emerged as the team’s top scorer and averaged a career-high 18 points per game. Meanwhile, Myles Turner became one of the league’s best rim protectors, averaging a league-leading 2.69 blocks per game.
The Pacers’ gritty play just wasn’t enough to overcome the talent of a Celtics team that struggled to build chemistry and find consistency throughout the regular season.