Hey, who’s ready for some STEAMING HOT TAEKS about how the Pacers, 8-4 in their last 12 games, 11 of which were played without Victor Oladipo and the 12th, against the Hawks, featuring Vic leaving the game early in the first quarter, are better off without their star?
That’s right, we’ve got cherry-picked stats, gross miscarriages of context, and shameless fanboying! Get ready, folks!
The Defense Is Amazing!
The Pacers are 3rd in the league in Defensive Rating, and a big part of why is that they’ve allowed under 100 points in six of the 12 games.
In fact, if you don’t adjust for pace, Indiana is best in the entire league for lowest points allowed per game at 101.4.
They’ve allowed 100.5 per game in their last 12. Therefore, they’re better defensively without Vic.
The Offense Ain’t Bad Either!
The team has scored 107.3 points per game in the last dozen. Which gives them a +6.8 point differential.
For the whole season, they’re at just 106.1. And their point differential for the whole year? +4.7. Meaning they’re massively better, like five wins a season better, without Vic.
Get him out of there! Start Tyreke Evans! Trade Boomer!
It’s Myles Turner‘s Team Now!
Turner, with Oladipo in the lineup: 11 PPG, 4.9 REB, 2.5 BLK per game.
Turner, without Oladipo: 13.4 PPG, 9.1 REB, 3.3 BLK per game.
Clearly Oladipo is holding Myles’ development back. Trade Vic so the Pacers can get their $72 million worth out of Turner and build the team around him!
Bojan Bogdanovic is more than capable of handling the scoring load at small forward. He’s averaging 19.6 a game without Oladipo in the lineup! Why would you want to take his shots away and give them to Oladipo? Let the Croatian shoot! He’s good!
Strength of Schedule? What’s That?
The Pacers have played just one indisputably good team (the Lakers) in their current 12-game stretch. They’ve played just three playoff teams (if the season ended today), and two of those were Charlotte and Orlando.
The Magic are 12-15.
The Pacers lost to the Hornets, Spurs, Lakers, and Kings. Those four teams are a combined 57-49.
The teams they beat? Their combined record (counting the Jazz twice for the two wins) is 79-138.
So…losses against teams at .538, wins against teams that are a combined .364.
What This Really Means
No, the Pacers are not better without Victor Oladipo, and if Vic is out for the next game against the Bucks, Milwaukee will win that game by 30 unless Giannis Antetokounmpo and possibly also Eric Bledsoe and Khris Middleton all sit the game out.
But let’s give some serious credit to the other guys on the team, who are holding down the fort, beating the teams they should beat in order for it not to bite them on the rear end come playoff time, and getting critical minutes where they have to step up and get better, valuable experience along the same lines as what the Celtics got last year when their stars were on the shelf.
8-4 is at least as good as could be hoped for without Vic. Indeed, it’s a sign of just how deep this Indiana roster is.