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Indiana Pacers GM discusses head coach Rick Carlisle

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Pacers just completed their third season since hiring Rick Carlisle as the franchise’s head coach in 2021. They reached the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time in a decade after finishing the regular season 47-35.

Carlisle, who was originally brought in to lead the former era of Pacers players to success, has overseen a rebuild and been a key part of the franchise’s turnaround over the past 27 months. The Pacers won 25 games in Carlisle’s first season with the organization, then 35 in year two before hitting 47 games this season.

Indiana is now 107-139 since bringing in the veteran head coach three years ago, and they are 2-1 in postseason series. Pacers general manager Chad Buchanan discussed Carlisle and the work he has done with the franchise thus far during his season-ending press conference on Tuesday.

“I think he’s been phenomenal. He’s essentially accepted a team that’s rebuilding on a different path. He’s a Hall Of Fame coach, he’s won a championship. He could have easily said, ‘I don’t coach a team that’s going to conquer the future’ To his credit, he has embraced it and loves it, Buchanan said of Carlisle replacing Nate Bjorkgren after the Pacers won 34-38 in 2020-21.

Buchanan added more about his head coach. β€œHe loves teaching young players who are receptive to coaching. He loves being around a team with great leadership. He has a great staff supporting him. He has built one of the best offenses this season this league in a long, long time,” said the GM. “It’s a pleasure to be around him, the players respect him very much. He’s just a smart, brilliant basketball mind and he’s done a phenomenal job for us.”

As Buchanan alluded to, the Pacers finished the season second in offensive rating with 120.5 points per 100 possessions. That number was maintained in the play-offs. Indiana scored 120 points per 100 possessions on its biggest stages, and that number currently leads all postseason teams.

Next year will be Carlisle’s fourth during this stint with Indiana. He previously served as the team’s head coach from 2003 to 2007.