Pacers Losing Streak Continues In Milwaukee
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INDIANAPOLIS – Based off how the Pacers have played since Christmas, one could make a case for Victor Oladipo deserving of some MVP votes.
Oladipo missed a 4th straight game on Wednesday night and the Pacers once again looked lost without their star.
Milwaukee dominated Indiana from the outset, comfortably beating the Pacers, 122-101.
Since Christmas, the Pacers have now lost 5 consecutive games (4 of those without Oladipo) and the 4th quarters have not been very competitive.
In a crowded Eastern Conference, the Pacers have all of a sudden dropped to the 8th seed and greatly diminished their margin for error once Oladipo does return.
Before Wednesday’s first game of the season with the Bucks (20-16), Nate McMillan mentioned that Oladipo (sore right knee) did some shooting on Wednesday. If Oladipo progresses into team practice later this week, he could return to action on Saturday night versus the Bulls.
But the Pacers’ warts without Oladipo were again on display Wednesday.
Myles Turner continues to be a non-factor with Oladipo sidelined.
Turner had 9 points on 3-of-8 shooting against the Bucks. In this 4-game run without Oladipo, Turner has averaged 9.8 points on 37.1 percent shooting, while grabbing just 4.3 rebounds per game.
On Wednesday, the Pacers were just 3-of-15 from three-point range.
Oladipo obviously gives the Pacers necessary scoring punch, but his individual creativity also opens up the floor for open shots.
That has been missing for the past week.
“We can’t really worry about that,” McMillan says of Oladipo’s absence. “Injuries are a part of it, and we definitely miss players when they are out. But, we are capable of getting it done. We have to believe in ourselves and go out and do the things we need to do to give ourselves a chance to win.”
Indiana will return home on Saturday for a four-game homestand, before heading out west for a handful of games.
Even when Oladipo played earlier in December, the Pacers were showing signs of a team taking a step or two back.
Since Paul George’s return to Indiana on Dec. 13, the Pacers are just 3-8, with those 3 wins coming against the Hawks and Nets (twice).
Oladipo needs to get healthy quick, or else it will be an Indiana team having to climb back into the playoff picture during the second half of the season.
What’s Next: The Pacers will now embark on a 4-game homestand: Chicago (Saturday), Milwaukee (Monday), Miami (Wednesday) and Cleveland (Friday).