Few teams had as wild a 2019 as Pacers Gaming. Coming off a 5-9 record in Season 1, they made a huge trade for Ramo and ended up making the playoffs as a 6th seed and making it all the way to the Finals of THE TICKET. While they didn’t see too much playoff success, many expected Pacers Gaming to be a Ramo-led force for seasons to come. That was until the big man requested a trade and found himself back in his Season 1 home in Detroit with Pacers Gaming left with a couple of draft picks for their star. Luckily for Indiana, they have one of the smartest dudes in all of esports at the helm in Cody Parrent. He didn’t panic and ended up coming away with an interesting draft class, including the potential franchise point guard that has eluded them for 2 seasons. Will BOHIO be enough to get Pacers Gaming back to the playoffs or will they have to go back to the drawing board for a 3rd straight year?
Coach: Cody Parrent
The thinking man’s NBA 2K League coach, Cody does things in his own unique way. The system he has created in Indiana has been proven over two seasons as a very effective defensive concept, however, its offensive capabilities have left a little to be desired. He’s had to reshape the roster every offseason so far. Last season it got them to the playoffs. This time around it landed them the #4 overall pick. Cody has proven that he can scheme and gameplan with the best of them, but he’s faced with his biggest challenge yet: Filling the shoes of a lost Ramo. If anyone has the brains for it, it’s Cody.
Season 2 Team MVP: Swizurk
At this point, it’s becoming difficult to find arguments AGAINST calling Swizurk the best shooter in the league. Among Sharpshooters last year, he was #1 in FG%, EFG%, TS% and was 2nd in 3P%. We did learn last season that he’s not a Point Guard, but his performances at sharp were legendary. A clear Tier 1 sharpshooter, expect another great season now that he has a great PG prospect in BOHIO playing next to him.
Best Stat From Season 2: 129 total turnovers
We mentioned in the Nets preview how they came in 2nd in total turnovers. Well, here is your SZN 2 winner! 129 total turnovers over the course of a 16 game season (carry the 1…add the 2…) comes out to only 8 turnovers per game, a laugh-out-loud good number. This is what happens when you play within a system and try to stay relatively conservative on offense, something that Pacers Gaming mastered last season.
- Acquired: NateKahl
- Traded Away: 2020 1st Round pick
- Pistons GT
- Acquired: 2020 1st & 2nd Round picks
- Traded Away: Ramo + 2020 2nd Round pick
61. Bobby Buckets
Talk about an active offseason. 2 trades, 3 draft picks and 4 new players! The Pacers got about as good of a Ramo trade as you’d be able to get. 2 draft picks, both high in their respective rounds, gave them the ability to take their original 1st round pick and trade it to Brooklyn for Season 1 Finals MVP NateKahl, a player that Cody Parrent had his eye on since Season 1. With the Ramo pick from Pistons GT, they were able to draft BOHIO at #4 overall and then Jomar in the 2nd round. Picking up Bobby Buckets in the 4th round was a great pick as well, his rise up draft boards due to his combine performance and fantastic interviews make him a great fit in Indiana. In terms of roster management, it’s hard to flip a roster better than what Cody Parrent did, especially when you lose a player like Ramo.
6th Man: BobbyxBuckets
No matter how you slice it, this is a fascinating roster. All signs point to WoLF taking over the center position for the first time in his NBA 2K League career. A risky move, however it could be a season-altering one. His defensive IQ is high and with the meta definitely leaning towards paint defense, it could be huge. We’ll get to the backcourt in a second, but we need to discuss this frontcourt and the defensive potential it brings. NateKahl, Jomar, and WoLF at the 3-4-5 could be the best defensive trio in the league. They all communicate well, understand how to play multiple positions, are defensive-minded players anyway, and putting them together could get seriously unfair late in games. Offensively, we’ll see how it goes. This meta stands to be extremely guard-heavy, but if Nate and Jomar can hit their shots out of the corner, they’ll be just fine. The entire team, however, will revolve around the offensive output of rookie BOHIO and Swizurk. If those two can score consistently, Pacers Gaming will be a tough team to beat. BOHIO showed through pre-draft that he’s an extremely talented player, but has a tendency to turn the ball over. A full season with Cody should help curb those issues, but in the short term, it could be an issue. This team’s issues will be offensive ones, especially if the league build leans away from Swizurk’s other-worldly perimeter shooting abilities. This team has a lot of potential on both ends of the floor though, and we’ll see how long it takes them to hit it.
Season 3 Breakout Candidate: BOHIO
Probably as big of a breakout candidate as you’ll find in the league. BOHIO has the potential to be a premier point guard in this league and him learning under the tutelage of a Cody Parrent could make him incredibly lethal. Pay attention to his assist:turnover ratio this year as the season progresses.
Season Outlook: They Finally Have A Point Guard!
Yay! Pacers Gaming got a Point Guard! It’s worth celebrating after the past 2 seasons, regardless of how this season goes. Watching BOHIO develop will be key to this Pacers Gaming season. He’ll be the main factor to any playoff hopes they may have. Outside of that, this team’s ceiling is hard to decipher. There aren’t many defense-first teams in the league this season. Could this team ride their defensive frontcourt to a title? It’s possible. Is it possible that this team just doesn’t have enough scoring over the course of a 16 game season? Also very possible. They have a very smart roster though full of good guys who have something to prove this season. It should be interesting to watch their Season 3 unfold.