The Indiana Pacers picked up their sixth straight win with a solid victory over the Charlotte Hornets.
If the Victor Oladipo-less Indiana Pacers were their own team, they’d be third in the Central Division now after picking up a win over the Charlotte Hornets.
The addition of Wesley Matthews didn’t upset anything for the Pacers and if anything, helped them avoid their usual weirdness against the Hornets. His defense held things down until his shot caught up with him in Indiana. More on that in a bit.
Much like their first stint without Oladipo, the schedule has been favorable over the past six games, but extending the win streak to seven is a much tougher task against the Milwaukee Bucks.
However, it’s clear after their recent four-game skid and now six-game win streak, they’ve figured out how to win without their franchise player.
Slow start for the Indiana Pacers, but doesn’t last long
Charlotte started off with a 7-2 run that felt like too many of these Pacers-Hornets matchups. But a 30-12 run by the Pacers to end the quarter shifted things back to the way God intended them. No insult to the Hornets, but they are a weirdly .500 team, and the Pacers are not.
It wasn’t so much one player that led the charge as Indiana ended the first half up 16. Only Tyreke Evans was in double-digits at the end of the first half with 12, while seven Pacers had 4 points or more.
The Hornets closed the gap in the second half, but the Pacers made them chase for the majority of the game thanks to their first-half run.
Myles Turner’s quiet and consistent improvement
More shots haven’t hurt Myles Turner’s field goal percentages and he is rewarding the Pacers by cashing it those extra opportunities. Turner averages 16.1 points per game in the post-Oladipo era while shooting 53.8 percent from the floor.
His 18 points on 6 of 10 shooting (and 4 of 4 from the stripe) fall in line with the improved and more confident version of Turner. The Pacers could stand to give him more opportunities but more importantly, Myles is making the ones he gets.
His defense remains his biggest asset, but he no longer is a minor negative on offense. For as bad as his season started, he all but wiped it away with the way he played since Oladipo went down the first time.
Welcome to the team, Wesley Matthews.
Defense travels so Wesley Matthews looked comfortable from the get-go on that end of the floor but it took time for his shot to fall. Matthews started by missing his first six shots, but he buried two needed 3-pointers in the fourth quarter.
Who knows if Matthews is anything more than a rental for the Pacers, but with the way he played (despite the early shooting woes) it’s hard not to like the idea of him sticking around. It’s only one game, but he is very likable so far.
DARREN COLLISONPG, Indiana Pacers
WESLEY MATTHEWSSG, Indiana Pacers
BOJAN BOGDANOVICSF, Indiana Pacers
THADDEUS YOUNGPF, Indiana Pacers
MYLES TURNERC, Indiana Pacers
DOMANTAS SABONISC, Indiana Pacers
TYREKE EVANSSG, Indiana Pacers
CORY JOSEPHPG, Indiana Pacers
TJ LEAFPF, Indiana Pacers
NATE MCMILLANHead Coach, Indiana Pacers
The Indiana Pacers go for their seventh straight win when they face the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday at 7 p.m.