Rumor: Malcolm Brogdon didn’t like how Pacers played under Nate McMillan
The Pacers fired McMillan after getting swept by the Miami Heat in the first round of the 2020 playoffs.
McMillan recently talked to Bob Kravitz of The Athletic about his playing style with the Pacers.
It was reported in The Indianapolis Star that some players – Brogdon’s name was mentioned – chafed under McMillan’s playing style. But here’s the question: How are you supposed to play small ball, something the Pacers have been trying to do since Vogel was removed, with two big men (Sabonis and Turner) in the starting lineup and 7-foot center Goga Bitadze as the most recent first-round draft choice?
“There are styles sometimes that organizations want to play, but I always felt your personnel will dictate your style of play,” McMillan said. “A lot of people over the years have tried to become the Spurs or Warriors, and Coach Pop (Gregg Popovich) started the thing with spread shooters, shooting a lot of threes, especially from the corner. People were talking about that style of play and then all of a sudden Pop got two bigs, LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol, and now he’s playing big ball and people are saying, ‘He always coaches his team with the personnel he has.’ … I looked at my personnel and tried to put my players in the best position to win.
“I would love to run. When I was a player, that’s the way I played. But personnel dictates your style of play.”
The Pacers went 183-136 in the regular season under Nate McMillan. However, they only won three games in the playoffs and got swept in 2019 and 2020.
Malcolm Brogdon finished his first season with the Pacers averaging 16.5 points, 4.9 rebounds and 7.1 assists. The former Rookie of the Year shot 43.8 percent from the field, 32.6 percent from beyond the arc and 89.2 percent from the free-throw line.
Moving forward, it will be interesting to see if the Pacers hire a head coach who plays at a faster pace.