Not having enough offense has also prevented the Pacers from getting to the NBA Finals. The 2013 Eastern Conference Finals saw the Pacers and Heat tied at 2-2, and Indiana lost two of the next three by scoring just 76 and 79 points in those defeats.
This year, with the return of Danny Granger and Paul George entering his fourth season in the league, the offense was expected to make a bigger jump.
But after finishing 23rd in the NBA with 94.7 points per game last year, the Pacers have only managed to improve to 97 points, which is 20th in the league.
Much of that has to do with the shooting slump they're in to start the new year, according to Candace Buckner of The Indianapolis Star:
Over the last six games, the Pacers have shot 42.3 percent, a dip from 46.0 in the first 29 games. Furthermore, within a smaller sample size of the past three games against Cleveland (Jan. 5), Toronto (Jan. 7) and Atlanta (Jan. 8), Indiana has the third-lowest shooting percentage in the league at .397 — topping sub-.500 teams Orlando and Detroit.
The biggest contributor to the shooting woes has been George. After averaging 23.5 points per game over the first 30 games, he's averaging a mere 18.2 points over the last five.
There is a concern that the team is relying on his offense too much. When he has an off night, the likelihood of a loss jumps significantly.
That's not the case with teams like the Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder, who have multiple scoring options, which allow their best players to have off nights and still win big games.
The Pacers are doing a lot of good things right now, but if they can't improve their scoring from players other than George, it's hard to see them finally breaking through to the NBA Finals.