Pacers Notes: Assistants, HC Finalists, Nurse, Bjorkgren

Though newly-hired Pacers head coach Nate Bjorkgren will have the opportunity to fill out his bench with assistants of his selection, the Pacers ownership and front office may provide some input, according to J. Michael of the Indianapolis Star (Twitter link). As Michael points out, Indiana became familiar with many coaches around the NBA during its expansive coaching search, so the team will have plenty of intel about possible candidates to share with Bjorkgren.

There’s more out of Indiana:

  • Sixers assistant Ime Udoka, Pelicans assistant Chris Finch, and Heat assistant Dan Craig were among the other finalists for the Pacers’ head coaching job, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
  • Raptors head coach Nick Nurse was ebullient in his praise for his former assistant coach Bjorkgren, releasing a statement via Toronto’s team Twitter. “Nate and I have known each other for 30 years,” Nurse said. “I’ll miss having him next to me on our bench, and I know the Raptors players and staff will miss working with him every day.”
  • Blake Murphy of The Athletic unpacks the career of Bjorkgren, praising the new Pacers head coach’s apparent flexibility with regard to making offensive and defensive schemes fit his personnel.
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5 thoughts on “Pacers Notes: Assistants, HC Finalists, Nurse, Bjorkgren

    • x%sure

      Looking at Indy’s history, Frank Vogel’s 5.5 year term was the longest since 1980. So race probably won’t matter much!

  1. mike.honcho

    This guy came out of nowhere ……… based on his profile, looks to be a good hire.

    RAPTORS among the most engaged teams on the defensive-end ………. along with the HEAT, CELTICS, etc.

    I’m referring to teams with switch-heavy defenses and employ multiple defensive schemes, any given quarter.

    Hope this guy won’t have the same antics as Nurse ……… Nurse has shown to be great coach, with all of his schemes.

    But he bugs me somehow. He absolutely cries on every call and doesn’t stop moving in the sidelines.

    It’s just his 2nd season and the guy already has his memoir on sale …….seems to be full of himself.

  2. I like the idea of a modern basketball mind working with Sabonis and Turner. McMillan just didn’t know how to use a slick passing big man (Jokic-lite) and a modern stretch-4 on offense.

    I’ll be curious if Bjorkgren retains Dan Burke, who has been the architect of Indy’s defense for the past 15-20 years.

  3. Jason Lancaster

    Great hire. Nurse is a coaching wizard – if even a little bit of his excellence is because of Bjorkgren, it’s a nice addition.

    Of course, it’s a bit concerning that Indiana wants to pick one of his assistants. That makes me think they’re not sold on Bjork…

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