Indiana Pacers head coach Nate McMillan might just be on the hot seat despite a commendable effort to keep his squad afloat this season. The coach, who is in his fourth year with the team, has apparently been long rumored to be in hot waters.
ESPN color commentator Jeff Van Gundy brought McMillan’s name up during a recent episode of The Lowe Post, and both personalities concurred there’s definitely fire coming from that season-long smoke:
“It’s been the hottest rumor all season,” said Lowe, agreeing with Van Gundy. “It’s been a rumor all season long.”
McMillan hasn’t had it easy, tasked with the rebuilding of the franchise after Paul George’s unexpected departure. It has been much tougher in the past year, as the 56-year-old has had to do it mostly without Victor Oladipo, who hurt his knee last year.
Oladipo is back playing but only a shell of himself thus far. He has yet to score more than 16 points during the restart, and he recently trotted a whopping minus-24 against the Phoenix Suns in the battle of the undefeated.
Couple that with the absence of Domantas Sabonis, and the Pacers are having to resort to some T.J. Warren magic and a few other prayers to keep their playoff position.
The Pacers are a surefire bet to make the playoffs in the East almost every season, but they’re usually known for being that quick first-round out. Van Gundy indicated Indiana could do better under a different coach, but that definitely is only a matter of perception.
If the Pacers fall short in the first round once again, president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard might just have to make a change and ax McMillan, despite some good work at keeping the team afloat.
McMillan has a 180-135 record in the regular season with Indiana, but his playoff record is just 3-12.