The Indiana Pacers have gotten off to a rough start in their NBA Playoffs matchup against the Miami Heat in the first round. Even though they have competed hard and been in both of the first two games, they are facing a 2-0 series deficit. Victor Oladipo was injured in Game 1, but came back in Game 2 and played a solid all-around game.
While the Pacers are not done yet, they have to come up with a big win in Game 3. Going down 3-0 against the Heat is an almost sure elimination.
In order for the Pacers to come back in Game 3, they will need a big-time performance from their star shooting guard. Oladipo will be the key for the Pacers moving forward.
Oladipo ended up scoring 22 points in the second game of the series against the Heat. He was looking to be aggressive and it worked out to a solid extent. However, he did only shoot 5-for-14 from the floor and 4-for-11 from the three-point line.
Looking ahead to Game 3, what do the Pacers need from Oladipo and why is he the key to coming back in this series?
A simple look at the Pacers and their offensive game plan will explain it. Oladipo is the best option that Indiana has when it comes to penetrating and creating for his teammates.
T.J. Warren was on a tear in the Orlando bubble prior to the playoffs, but he has been very quiet in the first two games of this series. Jimmy Butler has been locking him up defensively. Malcolm Brogdon is a quality player, but he isn’t the best at penetrating and exploiting the defense.
During Game 2, Oladipo attempted time and time again to get into the paint. That ended up leading to six turnovers. Oladipo has to clean that up moving forward while still remaining aggressive moving forward in this series.
His ability to create his own shot has to come into play as well. The Pacers don’t have many players capable of doing that. He will also need to knock down his open spot-up looks.
The Pacers are the kind of team that can grind out a couple of wins to tie the series up. They are not out of the series by any stretch. Miami has looked much better than them through the first two games, but Indiana can turn that around.
All of that being said, the Pacers can’t turn things around unless the face of their franchise steps up. Victor Oladipo is more than capable of doing so even with the adversity he is facing, but it’s now or never for him to do it.