The NBA is coming back July 30 and not a moment too soon for basketball fans who have been deprived a proper conclusion to the 2019-20 season since Rudy Gobert’s positive coronavirus test March 11 that set off the worldwide cascade of sports league cancellations. Now, the NBA will look to finish what it started with a 22-team “bubble” at the Disney Resorts in Orlando, an eight-game finish to the regular season and four best-of-7 playoff rounds to determine a champion. We take a look at each of the teams involved as we move closer to the official return and today we’ll look at the Indiana Pacers team in our Sports Intel preview:
Indiana Pacers Team Preview 2019-2020 Re-Boot
(39-26, 5th in East, 4.5 games behind No. 3)
Where we left off: The season was going well for the Pacers, but a number of injuries in the NBA began to take their toll. Malcolm Brogdon and Doug McDermott were out, and JaKarr Sampson was forced to ride the bench for a while, as well. After T.J. Warren became sick, it was apparent that some help was needed. That help came with the suspension of the season, which has allowed the Pacers to return to almost 100%. The fact that the injuries and absences allowed Indiana to rotate its players more in March means that the Pacers will have a little more strength to start the NBA reboot.
Remaining schedule: Aug. 1, Philadelphia 76ers; Aug. 3, Washington Wizards; Aug. 4, Orlando Magic; Aug. 6, Phoenix Suns; Aug. 8, LA Lakers; Aug. 10, Miami Heat; Aug. 12, Houston Rockets; Aug. 14, Heat.
Projected starting lineup: PG: Malcolm Brogdon, SG: Aaron Holiday, SF: T.J. Warren, PF: Domantas Sabonis, C: Myles Turner
Key injuries, absentees: G Victor Oladipo (opt out), SG Jeremy Lamb (knee)
Odds to Win Title: 100-1
Can they win it all? The Pacers have had a really good season and have serious talent that could take them all the way. Especially with Victor Oladipo on its side, the team has an offensive and defensive player capable of dominating the court. Unfortunately, the Pacers won’t be able to count on Oladipo in Orlando; however, there is still enough depth on the squad to make a run on the championship. With Oladipo, the season would have been all but locked up; without him, the Pacers will struggle a little, but can still make it all the way.
That wraps up out Indiana Pacers team preview ahead of the restart of the NBA regular season. Come back tomorrow as we look another of the teams involved in Orlando.