Pacers Roster “Up in the Air” Ahead of Restart
The Indiana Pacers could be playing without their two best players when they restart the season in a few days.
Victor Oladipo was always going to be a big question mark heading into the restart, but now the team could also be without All-Star Domantas Sabonis.
Last week, Sabonis left the NBA bubble in Orlando to receive some treatment on a foot injury that he has been trying to play through. Sabonis has been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis in his left foot, and his condition has worsened since beginning training camp.
According to sources, Sabonis is hoping to rejoin the team quickly, but the team is worried that he could miss the remainder of the season. The loss of Sabonis would be a massive blow to the Pacers playoff chances, even if they were slim, to begin with.
Sabonis was having the best year of his young NBA career, and the Pacers rewarded him with a four-year contract extension that will begin next season. The 24-year-old was selected to the All-Star Game this season and was averaging 18.5 points and 12.4 rebounds per game.
Oladipo Scrimmaging With Team
The Indiana Pacers are still waiting on Victor Oladipo to decide on his return to the team, but the former All-Star has played in the scrimmages with the team. Oladipo was in the starting lineup for the scrimmage last Thursday and played 19 minutes in the game against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Oladipo will be given a chance to make his own decision about his future, and the Pacers have made it clear that they will support him. Oladipo is reassessing his health every single day, and the Pacers are waiting for the final decision.
The Pacers began the season without Oladipo after he suffered a devastating knee injury a season ago. Oladipo returned to the lineup in January but struggled to find his rhythm.
Oladipo announced earlier this month that he would not be playing with the team during the restart, but he has changed that stance a bit of late. Things appear to be trending in the right direction for Oladipo and the Pacers, but there is still plenty of uncertainty heading into the regular season.
Pacers In Crowded Eastern Conference
The Milwaukee Bucks are the clear favorites to win the Eastern Conference, but then there are many teams all jumbled up for the next spot. The Pacers are a part of this group, but playing without these two players will hurt their chances.
Indiana heads into the restart with a record of 39-26, which puts them in fifth place in the East. The Pacers trail the Miami Heat by just two games for the fourth spot, and they will have eight games to try and make up that ground.
The Pacers will begin their final eight games by taking on the Philadelphia 76ers on August 1. Indiana will take on the Miami Heat twice over the next eight games, giving them a chance to control their destiny.
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