Indiana Pacers: The ripple effect of Domantas Sabonis leaving Orlando

The Indiana Pacers will miss Domantas Sabonis

Bad news for Indiana Pacers fans. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski’s first tweet back from suspension was stating that Domantas Sabonis had left the bubble in Orlando to have a specialist look at a significant left foot issue.

The Pacers a few days before this had said Sabonis was dealing with some plantar fasciitis and had stopped practicing and didn’t play in Thursday’s scrimmage against the Portland Trail Blazers. With Sabonis gone, this will have a ripple effect for the Indiana Pacers.

The impact of the loss for the Indiana Pacers

The first ripple is the obvious one which is losing Sabonis. It doesn’t matter how good of a team you’re losing an all-star level player hurts. Sabonis was having the best year of his career averaging 18.5 points, 12.4 rebounds, and five assists a game with an effective field goal percentage of 55 percent.

Sabonis is a massive part of the Pacers like to do on offense. He is a force down low, one of the best roll men in the NBA, and creates opportunities for his teammates from the post. Sabonis’ offensive production is going to be almost impossible to replace.

The second ripple is with Sabonis being out how this will affect Victor Oladipo’s decision to play. Oladipo already seems like he is on the fence with deciding to play in Orlando and this could be the type of event that sways him in the direction of sitting out. Sabonis being out really lowers the Pacers’ ceiling of what they will be able to do in the playoffs. With that being said and Oladipo’s high risk of re-injury, my guess is the guard will decide to sit out. If both Pacers sit out this will devastate Indiana’s hopes of winning a first-round matchup, something they haven’t done since 2014.

The third ripple effect is this gives Myles Turner a golden opportunity to show what he is capable of. Turner is now the go-to big with Sabonis being absent allowing him the opportunity to see more touches. Turner has to make the most of this opportunity as the Pacers are going to have to make some tough decisions in the future with personnel. Turner’s skill set already makes him an essential piece to the Pacers roster. Turner is an elite rim protector who possesses range on the offensive end. This is Turner’s opportunity to show the Pacers’ brass and fans just how good and important he is to this team.

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The Pacers can’t catch a break with injuries. The Pacers’ three best players have been dealing with injuries this season. Sometimes that’s just how the ball bounces. It will be interesting to see how the Pacers move forward from here as they gear up for a playoff run.

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