The NBA Trade Deadline and All-Star Weekend have come and gone, so that means we’re in the home stretch of the 2019-20 NBA season. In this serious post-All-Star Break, we’ll go over the outlook for every team in the NBA. Here, we’ll provide a short glimpse at championship odds and playoff chances for each team. Also highlighted are key injuries to note and a fantasy basketball player to watch the rest of the season.
Where do the Indiana Pacers stand at the All-Star Break?
Playoff Chances: 100%
Championship Odds: +6600
Division Odds: +2500
Conference Championship winner: +2500
Most Improved Player Odds: Domantas Sabonis +8000
The Pacers enter the break on a high note coming off a big win over the Bucks without Giannis Antetokounmpo. It meant more for the Pacers mentality for the stretch run. Indiana had lost six in a row, dropping down to the No. 6 seed in the East. Luckily, they aren’t in danger of dropping any further down, with a 6.0 game lead on the Nets, who are in the 7-seed.
The Pacers have a deep team, but haven’t had their full rotation healthy at the same time often. Victor Oladipo is back and working his way to 100%. At full strength, Indiana can run with any team in the East. Will that ever be the case? Perhaps. It’ll also be a tough road through the playoffs. Dipo would need to get back to being his All-Star self in order for the Pacers to make any realistic playoff run.
Prediction: The Pacers push their first-round opponent to seven games, but lose.
Key Injuries for Indiana Pacers
The Pacers held out players prior to the break for rest. Other than that, Indiana is pretty much 100% healthy in its rotation. TJ Warren had been dealing with a concussion. Malcolm Brogdon has missed time due to a concussion as well. Victor Oladipo (torn quad) has been back for eight games now and hasn’t played more than 28 minutes. He also hasn’t scored more than 15 points in a game, so we really haven’t seen Dipo unleashed yet. The two-time All-Star will need to become a go-to scorer again in order for the Pacers to become anything more than a playoff afterthought following the first round.
If there’s been one constant for the Pacers and in the fantasy basketball community this season, it’s Sabonis. He’s been one of the strongest DFS performers on a nightly basis and in season-long. Sabonis is averaging 26.6 fantasy points per game on ESPN this season, good for eighth among centers. He’s posting career highs in points (18.3), rebounds (12.5) and assists (4.8) per game. The Pacers offense at times has needed to run through Sabonis, but now a bit more healthy and with Victor Oladipo in the fold, will Sabonis taper off down the stretch? My thinking is no. He’s too important to their success and I think once Dipo is back to speed, Sabonis will go back to shooting close to 60% from the floor.
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