Around this time of the season, we start to solidify teams and can judge if they are succeeding or failing. Looking at the current NBA standings, you can easily pick which teams are winners or losers. But what about in the middle?
That’s why I wanted to spotlight the Indiana Pacers. A team that never gets much media attention, but the development is a slow burner and one that could heat up at the end of the road. Sitting 6th in the East with an 18-9 win-loss standing, its safe to say Indiana is a perfect example of the middle ground team we are looking for.
In the beginning, there were question marks about how this team would operate. Victor Oladipo, their franchise superstar, would be out for a good chunk of the season and have no set date to return. How would their newly acquired point guard Malcolm Brogdon perform with being tagged as their lead man while Victor would be out? And could the big men duo of Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner co-exist? All these questions are now answered, and the result is better than expected.
Brogdon has transformed himself into the engine and been performing way above expectations. The big men ‘can’ co-exist with Turner’s primary focus on protecting the rim, while Sabonis being more agile in cutting off moving players and knocking down the occasional mid-range shot. And their bench has stepped up, like Jeremy Lamb, who has finished in scoring double figures in all but one game this season. If the team continues operating the way they are, and Oladipo returns healthy to add that extra spark they are lacking, the Pacers can be up there with the winners.
Catch you Thursday.