The Pacers will experiment with Domantas Sabonis at center

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK- FEBRUARY 24: Domantas Sabonis
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK- FEBRUARY 24: Domantas Sabonis /

With Kevin Seraphin and Lavoy Allen playing elsewhere this season, the Pacers will reportedly experiment with playing newcomer Domantas Sabonis at center.

The first practice of the NBA season is in the books, and it looks like Domantas Sabonis might get those backup center minutes after all.

Many Pacers fans had been lobbying for the Lithuanian big man to play ahead of Al Jefferson since he arrived in the Paul George trade. I made my skepticism known last week based heavily on Nate McMillan’s love for having at least one and oftentimes two traditional bigs on the court.

It looks like I was wrong, however, seeing as Sabonis scrimmaged as the backup center in the inaugural practice session of the season, per Scott Agness of Vigilant Sports.

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Sabonis has the goods to play center about as well as power forwards. He’s certainly not going to blow anyone away as a rim protector, but he’s got a versatile (albeit underdeveloped) bag of tricks on offense, and it’s not like he’s going to be some world beater defending fours instead of fives.

It would behoove the Pacers to continue this experiment if it means more minutes for the 21-year-old.

It’s entirely possible, however, that Sabonis is unplayable at center and he should never step on the court unless it’s as a power fauxward (shouts to Tom Lewis). Even if that is the case, McMillan and his staff aren’t going to know until they try.

This practice is an encouraging sign, and hopefully more like it follow before the regular season tips off on Oct. 17. Sabonis could be an enormous X-factor for whether this Pacers team is relevant in 2019 or in the same rut they’re in now. He should be given every opportunity to find success, and so far, that seems to be happening.

Next: 6 overly confident predictions for this season

Good for you, Pacers.