Pacers Coverage

Blog > Kevin's Corner > Pacers Coverage > Pacers Reeling With Victor Oladipo Still Sidelined

Pacers Reeling With Victor Oladipo Still Sidelined

Losers of four straight games, the Indiana Pacers (19-18) enter the new year desperately looking for others to step up with Victor Oladipo missing time.

Michael Reaves | Getty Images

INDIANAPOLIS – Coal was in the stockings of the Indiana Pacers, and it’s still in there with the calendar changing to 2018.

After exceeding expectations and positioning themselves as the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference through the first 33 games of the season, adversity has hit the Pacers. 

They’ve lost 4 in a row.

Their star has missed 3 straight games with a sore right knee.

In a jumbled Eastern Conference, the Pacers (19-18) have quickly dropped to the 8th seed, with any sort of losing streak significantly impacting the standings.

They’ve scored 83, 94 and 90 points in 3 of their last 4 games---their 3 lowest scoring totals of the season.

Slow starts have plagued the Pacers since Christmas.

“We certainly look like we’ve lost a little confidence,” Nate McMillan said after the Pacers were shellacked by the Timberwolves at home on Sunday night.

McMillan had the Pacers take Monday off to try and rest mentally and physically, and they will play just 2 games this week (@Milwaukee on Wednesday and vs. Chicago on Saturday).

“We know we’re better than what we’ve played and what we’ve shown,” McMillan says. “Really in the last week or so we’ve been getting off to slow starts, even with Victor in the lineup and we have to continue to work to try to get stronger, mentally and physically, to play in these games. Teams are just coming out right and just dominating us.”

Oladipo’s absence has certainly impacted the Pacers’ offensive woes.

This is a team void of players with vast experience in successfully being the top scoring options, so without Oladipo the team has struggled to find guys ready for more offensive burden.

As long as Oladipo’s injury doesn’t linger long into January, the Pacers should be able to return to their surprising early-season form.

But the East is too competitive this year to afford this slide to carry on much longer.

“It’s easier said than done,” point guard Darren Collison says of the recent struggles. “Everyone can say it, but it’s all about actions now, being about it, going out and doing it.

“We’re a group that knows what we’re supposed to do, but we’re not going out there and doing it. It’s a very long season. Teams go through stretches like this. For a team to be together for the first time, this is something we have to get through.”

The Pacers (24-22) are now 2-2 on their west coast swing after scoring just 86 points in two straight losses to the Trailblazers and Lakers.
From a purely entertainment standpoint, it’s hard to find a more volatile player in the NBA than Lance Stephenson. How do the Pacers describe their energetic 6th man?
The Pacers (24-20) have begun their longest western road trip of the season with two convincing victories over the Suns and Jazz.
The Pacers are going to be without Myles Turner for the rest of their western road trip, meaning the big man will have missed 14 games this season when Indiana returns home next week.
Down 22 points early on Friday night, the Pacers did not quit in dialing up a comeback victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.