Pacers are NBA's unluckiest team so far this season. These numbers explain why.
The Pacers have had a decidedly subpar start to their season. But not all records are created equally. Their 9-15 start has proven especially painful. Here are 10 numbers to know.
The Pacers' "expected" record is through its first 24 games isn't stellar, but it's four wins more than they currently have. The Pacers are the only team in the league with a losing record and an expected winning record. The expected winning record correlates its points scored and points allowed to its win-loss record.
The Pacers have played the most games in the league decided by three or fewer points — eight — and have won just one of them (94-91 over the Kings).
The Pacers have outscored their opponents by 25 points through the first 24 games. They are the only team in the league with a positive point differential (+1.0) and a losing record.
Here are the overall winning percentages of the teams with the best record in games decided by 10 points or more: .857, .667, .636, .857, .375, .636.
That's five of the seven best teams in the NBA (Golden State, Utah, Chicago, Phoenix, Milwaukee) ... and the Pacers. Blowout wins are usually a strong indicator of the best teams in the league but Indiana's 7-3 record hasn't carried over.
The Pacers beat the Pelicans by 17, the Bulls by 32 and the Raptors by 17 during a four-game stretch (the other game was an overtime loss to the Lakers).
To this point, the Pacers haven't faced overwhelmingly tough competition. Their strength of schedule (combined winning percentage of opponents) is .492 — 19th in the NBA. They are 5-11 against teams with winning records and 4-4 against teams with losing records.
According to the most simplistic numbers — points scored and points allowed — the Pacers are the definition of average. They score 107.4 points per game, good for 15th out of 30 teams. They allow 106.4, also good for 15th.
FiveThirtyEight projects the Pacers to finish...wait for it...41-41.
For what it's worth, Indiana is the only team currently with a losing record that FiveThirtyEight predicts to finish .500 or better. The site also gives the Pacers the highest odds of making the playoffs (44%) of any sub-.500 team.
The Pacers had just one game scheduled to be on national TV coming into the season. On Wednesday, they had that taken away, too. The Pacers just can't have nice things.