The Indiana Pacers have been sticking right with the Washington Wizards this season. They currently trail the Wizards by one game, and have a record of 25-22, putting them in sixth place in the Eastern Conference. One of the reasons why the Pacers are not ranked in the top three teams is because they have struggled on the road this season so far. Their record in other arenas is currently 11-12, whereas their record at home is 14-10. In order for them to make a serious playoff run and have a more successful second half of the season, they have to improve their performance when they travel.
One key player that has contributed to Indiana’s success offensively is Victor Oladipo. He leads the team in both points and steals based on the first half of the season. Oladipo averages 24.2 points per game, and 1.9 steals. His speed and awareness on the court have helped the Pacers to compete against tough teams like the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Detroit Pistons. However, they have lost a fair amount of games against competitive teams, as well. Defensively, they have Myles Turner who has positively contributed by averaging 2.2 blocks per game, and Domantas Sabonis who averages 8.4 rebounds per game.
In their most recent game, the Pacers defeated the San Antonio Spurs by a score of 94-86. It was a close game in the first half, but in the second half, the Pacers were able to pull away and dominate for the rest of the game. The team we saw play on Sunday is the team we need to see for the rest of the season if these guys want a chance at a playoff opportunity. Everyone seemed to be in sync with each other, and shots just kept going in. If I could identify one thing that is holding Indiana back from being one of the best teams in the league is their defensive skills. Their offense is average compared to other squads, but other teams can easily get by them. Nate McMillan better come up with another defensive strategy before it gets to be too late in the season!
The Pacers are scheduled to face the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday, January 24th. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:00 pm Eastern Time.