NBA -- New season brings new hope for Pacers
By Jon Moskowich
Mon, 21 Oct 2019
INDIANA -- The Indiana Pacers were well on their way to a solid 2018-19 season, charging in with a 26-13 record before the annual NBA All-Star break when tragedy struck.
On January 23, 2019 while playing against the eventual champions Toronto Raptors, Victor Oladipo, the undisputed leader of the team, ruptured his quad tendon and was lost for the remainder of the season.
At the time of the mishap, Oladipo was averaging 18.5 points, 5.6 rebounds in 5.2 assists in the 36 games in which he had played. It was a devastating loss the Pacers couldn't recover from.
Although the Pacers managed to make to playoffs, finishing fifth in the Eastern Conference with a 48-34 won-lost record, they were bumped off by the Boston Celtics in the opening round.
But as a new season dawns, new hope rises.
And Victor Oladipo will be coming back.
There is to exact timetable when he will will return to the starting lineup, but Oladipo joined the team's 5-on-5 practice a few days ago and the forecast is promising.
."I feel like I've gotten better in a lot of attributes, not only as a man, but in my game as well," Oladipo told the Indianapolis Star after a day of drills at the team's practice facilities in downtown Indianapolis.
Not only is Oladipo determined to return, he is stronger and better than ever.
"I've been working on things you normally don't get to work on, and I'm looking forward to showcasing these things eventually when I get back. But in the meantime, I'm just taking it slow, one day at a time and doing whatever it takes to help this team."
Even with a healthy Oladipo, the Pacers are still likely to be looking up to the Milwaukee Bucks, the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers in the crowded Eastern Conference which has become so wide open since Kawhi Leomard abandoned Toronto for the Los Angeles Clippers.
But Indiana is still much better off with him than without.
Click here to view a list of other articles written by Jon Moskowich.
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