News broke Wednesday morning that the Indiana Pacers fired head coach Nate Bjorkgren. Although the 2020-21 season was Bjorkgren’s first and only year with the Pacers, he had previous success as an assistant coach in earlier seasons. Bjorkgren has six years of coaching experience, five of them being assistant, (2015-18 with the Phoenix Suns and 2019-20 with the Toronto Raptors). With a total of 34 wins and 38 losses this year, and a .472 win percentage, Bjorkgren helped the Pacers make the NBA play-in tournament.
The Indiana Pacers’ Future
No one can predict the future, but an experienced coach may be the way to go for the Pacers. The Pacers currently have a defensive beast in Myles Turner, two reliable guards in Malcom Brogdon and Caris Levert, and Domantas Sabonis who can do just about anything for the team. It goes without saying that adding some complementary pieces to the bench to help out T.J. Warren, Justin Holiday, and other role players would go a long way. An established coach could potentially influence the team to become a contender in the Eastern Conference.
Now with Bjorkgren being fired, this opens up four possibilities for teams. The four teams in the hunt for a new head coach are the Indiana Pacers, Orlando Magic, Boston Celtics, and Portland Trailblazers. It is possible that Bjorkgren will find a new home in Orlando or Boston after they parted ways with their head coaches, but only time will tell. Bjorkgren’s success as an assistant coach could encourage other teams to give him another chance.
As far as the Pacers’ current coaching situation, former Portland Trailblazers coach, Terry Stotts, has been linked with their head coach opening. This hiring could turn the tides for the Pacers and aid them to a winning season next year.