Report: Pacers Were Frustrated Nate McMillan Didn't Scheme a Modern Offense

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 26, 2020

Indiana Pacers head coach Nate McMillan watches the first half of Game 3 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Miami Heat, Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kim Klement/Pool Photo via AP)
Kim Klement/Associated Press

The Indiana Pacers fired Nate McMillan on Wednesday after they were swept out of the first round of the playoffs, but it was the coach's approach to the offense that caused the team to move in another direction.

According to Sam Amick of The Athletic, McMillan was "known to be resistant to some of the offensive philosophies that have become a major part of today's game," reportedly creating "frustration" within the front office.

A reliance on mid-range jumpers made the coach an "inopportune fit" offensively for Indiana.

The Pacers finished last in the NBA in three-point attempts per game while ranking third in attempts per game from 15-19 feet and fourth in shots per game from 10-14 feet, per NBA.com.

It led to an offense that ranked just 19th in the league in efficiency.

Losing All-Star Domantas Sabonis for the playoffs certainly hurt Indiana, but it struggled throughout the four-game series against the Miami Heat, scoring just 87 points in the final game Monday.

It was the fifth straight first-round exit for the Pacers, including the fourth under McMillan. Three of his four teams were swept in Round 1.

Amick relayed that ESPN reported Indiana will look to land Houston Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni, who has nearly an opposite offensive style to McMillan's with a spread approach. The Rockets led the NBA this season in both three pointers attempted and made per game, something they have done in each of the last four seasons.

Such a hire would lead to a much different looking Pacers attack in 2020-21.