Indiana Pacers will miss Victor Oladipo, but they won’t miss a beat in Orlando

Indiana Pacers Victor Oladipo (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Indiana Pacers Victor Oladipo (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

Indiana Pacers won’t miss a beat without Victor Oladipo

The Indiana Pacers will be without two-time all-star Victor Oladipo when the NBA season resumes in Orlando on July 30. Oladipo has decided to sit out the restart in favor of continuing his rehab at a more favorable pace.

Oladipo is coming off a ruptured quad tendon injury that deprived him of playing basketball for roughly a calendar year. He finally made his return to the court on January 29 for the Pacers. In the 13 games he played before the NBA’s hiatus, Oladipo averaged 14 points, three rebounds, and three assists on 39 percent shooting from the field in just 26 minutes per game.

Despite the loss of Oladipo, this is not unusual territory for the Pacers. In fact, you could make the argument that it could actually work in favor of the Pacers.

The Indiana Pacers without Oladipo

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While Oladipo is an all-star caliber player when healthy, it was apparent that he was not yet himself on the court. The former Indiana Hoosier was still getting his legs back under him and adjusting his body back to the NBA’s rigorous schedule.

But now you have a player that sat out for a year, was only able to see less than two full months of action before having to put basketball on hold, yet again, for four months. Asking Oladipo to try and get into game shape and be at an all-star level with the circumstances and risks that are present is wishful thinking. Luckily for the Pacers, they are accustomed to playing without Oladipo and work like a well-oiled machine.

Indiana was just 7-6 in the games Oladipo played in this season and 32-20 in the games he did not play. One would suggest Indiana and Oladipo would have to adjust when the leader and best player returns to the lineup after an extended period gone, especially when he had yet to play any minutes with new teammates. TJ Warren, Malcolm Brogdon, and Jeremey Lamb, all newcomers this season, make up three of the top four scorers on the team.

The Pacers are led by first-time all-star Domantas Sabonis. He posted an impressive stat line of 18.5 points, 12.4 rebounds, and five assists per game, one of only 10 players in league history to accumulate those statistics in a season.

The Pacers are much more than just their all-star. They have a collection of talent that isn’t afraid to get their hands dirty and play hard consistently for head coach Nate McMillian. Indiana sends out seven players averaging double-figures in scoring and is one of the best defensive teams that will be in Orlando.

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The current fifth-place team in the Eastern Conference can be dangerous if underestimated. While the addition of Oladipo would have helped the Pacers with the star power needed for the postseason, with Oladipo not being at 100 percent, the Pacers are better off relying on what got them Orlando.