Let’s NOT Remember…
January 23rd, 2019 was a day to forget for most Pacer fans. After starting the year 31-15, and a top 3 team in the East, Pacer fans had high expectations for the squad they had going into this late January game. Midway through the 2nd quarter, star guard Victor Oladipo landed awkwardly while tracking back on defense which lead to him rupturing his quad, and inevitably rupturing the Pacers chances for a deep run in the playoffs.
Wednesday is the Day!
Now, 1 year and 6 days later (Yes, Pacer fans have been counting the days), Vic will see his first game action back at Bankers Life. The Pacers take on the Bulls this Wednesday, the 29th at 7 PM. They currently sit at 5th in the Eastern standings with a 30-17 record. Some say this team has done far more than anticipated without Vic, and his return is stirring buzz of the Pacers pushing once again for a top 3 team in the East.
Before his injury, he was leading the Pacers with 18.8PPG while adding 5.6 rebounds, 5.2 assists, and 1.7 steals. Adding him back into this year’s lineup, I believe, will push them into that top 3 conversation without a doubt. He adds that next level offensive firepower that the Pacers lack at times. They have found great scoring pieces with the addition of Brogdon, Lamb, and Warren last offseason.. and it’s been guys like McConnell, the Holiday brothers, and McDermott that glue the squad together.
One of the biggest surprises is the emerging play from Sabonis as he leads this year’s Pacer team with 18.1PPG. I am very excited to see how the pick and roll game will look with Sabonis/Vic while spacing the floor with the shooters the Pacers have. Let’s not forget that Vic was an NBA All-Defensive First Team member at the end of the 2018 season. His presence has been missed not only offensively but defensively. With the other offensive talents the East has to offer, having him back on BOTH sides of the ball is vital for the Pacers as they tackle the last half of the season.
Rest of the Year?
Moving forward, you have to be excited to see what happens with the Pacers and how they utilize the Star in his return. It is expected to see guys like Lamb, the Holiday brothers, and maybe even Warren take a dip in minutes. But with a guy like Vic, you are okay with that. There is still a lot of basketball to be played this year, and Pacer fans haven’t seen the best form of their hometown team yet! Be sure to tune in Wednesday and see how the first game back for Vic unfolds!
Be sure to follow me on Twitter at @FTSSchlatter for updates during the game!