Bubble Preview: Indiana Pacers

Record: 39-26

Championship Odds: +20000

Key Players

Damontas Sabonis: 18.5 PPG, 12.4 RPG, 5.0 APG

TJ Warren: 18.7 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 1.4 APG

Malcolm Brogdon: 16.3 PPG, 7.1 APG, 4.7 RPG

Myles Turner: 11.8 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 2.2 BPG

Doug McDermott: 10.4 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 1.1 APG

Players Sitting Out

Jeremy Lamb (Torn ACL): 12.5 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 2.1 APG

Victor Oladipo: 13.8 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 3.0 APG

Oladipo only played in 13 games after returning from a torn quad, and struggled. He has opted out of playing in the restart, but over time put more thought into the decision and now he has not yet officially decided whether he will play or not. If Oladipo does suit up in Orlando, it will be great help to the Pacers depth, however it may not be the best career move for Oladipo, as the injury is still very apparent, and reports of a fractured relationship between he and the franchise have begun circulating.

8/1Philadelphia 76ers7:00 pmFS Indiana
8/3Washington Wizards4:00 pmFS Indiana
8/4Orlando Magic6:00 pmFS Indiana
8/6Phoenix Suns4:00 pmFS Indiana
8/8LA Lakers6:00 pmTNT
8/10Miami Heat8:00 pmFS Indiana
8/12Houston Rockets4:00 pmNBA TV
8/14Miami HeatTBDTBD
Bubble Preview

Whether or not Victor Oladipo returns and plays in the restart is the biggest story leading up to the start of the games for the Pacers. If he does play it’ll be a massive boost to both the starters and the bench, as the Pacers will already be thin at shooting guard without Jeremy Lamb. If Oladipo doesn’t play it will be Malcolm Brogdon, who missed the last few games of the regular season due to injury, stepping up to control the offense. In this scenario, the Pacers will Pick and Roll teams to death with Brogdon and Domantas Sabonis. The only problem with this strategy is it will likely lead to a problem the Pacers faced all year, a large percentage of their shots being 2’s. Prior to the shutdown, Indiana was second in the league in FG%, but only 22nd in points per game. Without Oladipo to space out the floor, the Pacers will once again take lots of shots inside the 3 point line, and pay for it.

The Pacers played much better this year when Oladipo was off the court, however when the stakes are at this level you want your best players in, and Oladipo is one of them. If he decides to remain sitting out, Nate McMillan will likely have to turn to Aaron Holiday to start, which will destroy any depth they have on the bench. If Oladipo plays, and plays up to his potential, these Pacers can make a nice little run in the playoffs. But if Oladipo sits out and this team has to play games on a day to day basis with very little depth for a month, things can get ugly here.

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