Will Oladipo’s return spark a playoff surge from Pacers?
The Indiana Pacers have battled on without the presence of All-Star Victor Oladipo in the 2019/20 NBA season, keeping pace with the leaders in the Eastern Conference. Oladipo suffered a devastating quadriceps injury during the last campaign, missing the post-season, which resulted in an early exit for the Pacers in the first round against the Boston Celtics.
Without Oladipo, few fans expected the Pacers to challenge at the top of the Eastern Conference. However, the franchise have been competitive, and at the least are on pace to finish in the playoffs, potentially earning the sixth seed. There is hope that Oladipo could return from his injury by the end of January as noted in a report by https://www.bleacherreport.com/articles which would allow him time to build up minutes on the court for a playoff run.
It might tempt fans in Indiana to back The Pacers to reach the NBA Finals given that sports betting is now legal in the state and https://www.wsn.com/sports-betting-usa/indiana/ provides the best sportsbooks to get optimum value on the Pacers for a deep run in the post-season. Oladipo has the ability to make a decisive impact, although the performances of his teammates should not be discounted in the current campaign as well as the coaching ability of Nate McMillan.
The Pacers made a good move in the off-season to sign Malcolm Brogdon in a trade deal. Brogdon was an impressive player for the Milwaukee Bucks for three seasons and was sought by several teams. The 27-year-old has hit the ground running in Indiana, maintaining the high level of his play and he has become the focal point of the team in the absence of Oladipo. Brogdon could be the player set to benefit most with the return of the All-Star as the strain is beginning to take a toll on him with injuries picked up in December. Having both Brogdon and Oladipo healthy would hand McMillan a powerful one-two punch at the point guard position for the rest of the campaign.
Myles Turner is building a reputation as one of the best centers in the NBA. He has been up and down over the course of the campaign, especially in the final third of the court. However, the room for improvement from one of their best players will give the Pacers hope that they can peak at the right time in the post-season. Domantas Sabonis has outplayed his team-mate in the defensive third of the court, becoming a force around the net as noted by the https://www.Indystar.com/story/sports/. Only four players in the NBA have averaged more defensive rebounds per game than the forward this term, while Sabonis has also been a threat at the other end, averaging 17.3 points per game. Both Turner and Sabonis are only 23, highlighting the potential for growth on the roster – there just needs to be a spark.
T.J Warren and Jeremy Lamb have been consistent players in their first year with the team. Warren has led the Pacers in points per game, stepping up when Indiana have needed him most. They’re a solid unit but will need their star man to return to turn them into a Championship-caliber team. Oladipo holds the key and it will be fascinating to watch whether he will be able to make a decisive impact on his comeback from a bad injury.