Benefits of the NBA India Games for the Indiana Pacers

Indiana Pacers (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
Indiana Pacers (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Earlier this month, the Indiana Pacers traveled to India to play against the Sacramento Kings in the first-ever NBA game in the country. Here are some things we learned from the trip.

Who is the Scorer Until Oladipo’s Return?

The trip to India was a success for the Indiana Pacers. In the process, fans learned who the shooter will be until Victor Oladipo returns from injury. That shooter is T.J. Warren.

Warren, scoring 30 points in the first game displays potential for the upcoming season. Warren made 11 of 18 shots (61%), while also shooting 5 for 6 from behind the arc (83%). He also had five rebounds and a steal.

The second game for Warren wasn’t as productive, but he did not play the same number of minutes. However, Warren still ended the game with six points, two rebounds, and three assists.

Figuring out who the scorer of the team will be in Oladipo’s absence was the biggest question when preparing for the upcoming season. After the team’s showing in both games in India, Warren is the better shooter, but do not forget about some of his other teammates.

The team is organized by a group of well-trained players that can all shoot the ball well and can play off of one another. In the second game, the starters got more rest and showed who on the bench can score and play well with one another.

Out of the 11 players that played off the bench, five of them scored in double-digits, with Alize Johnson leading the bench and team with 17 points in that contest.

How well did Sabonis and Turner Play Together?

Another question that everyone was trying to answer was whether Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner would be able to play together in the starting lineup. The trip to India helped show that it will indeed work.

There was a play that Sabonis ran a pick-and-roll and it was able to give Turner an open three-pointer in the corner. This is what Pacers fans were hoping for when thinking about the upcoming season.

The offense can get more open shots with Sabonis and Turner knowing how to play with one another. By doing so, this gives them both great opportunities to touch and shoot the ball during a game.

In the first game against the Kings, Sabonis and Turner combined for 32 points, 25 rebounds, five steals, and three blocks. Then by adding Warren’s statistics in that contest, the trio combined for 62 points, 30 rebounds, and 6 steals.

Those are types of numbers that you do not see very often in the NBA from a front-court line-up. Those numbers solidify that the Pacers should have one of the best front-court line-ups in the league this season.

Who is the Best Player On the Bench?

As of October 13th, the Pacers picked up the team options for T.J. Leaf and Aaron Holiday. These moves show that the Pacers front office is confident in both of these players for this year and the next.

However, are either of them the best bench player the Pacers have this season?

If someone wanted to compare the statistics from the India trip, the best shooter is Johnson (just from the games in India). In the two games, he went 7 for 12 shooting (58.3%) and had nine rebounds.

This is surprising, especially for a guy that is going into his 2nd season in the league. However, the players I am looking forward to seeing this season are the Holiday brothers. A relationship with being brothers helps bring more chemistry to the team as a whole.


After all of the games, the Pacers have played, including Friday nights win against the Chicago Bulls, the Pacers look like a team that is as well-rounded as they were last year, or even better.

The growth of the Sabonis and Turner duo is what will be looked at the most this upcoming season. Also, by stealing Warren and a draft selection out of Phoenix, that was one of their best acquisitions in the offseason throughout the NBA.

The other great move the Pacers made was doing a sign-and-trade with the Milwaukee Bucks for Malcolm Brogdon. He has already shown that he will be the floor general.

Finally, the Pacers will grow as a team with Oladipo being out for the beginning of the season.

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This upcoming season should be one that Pacers fans will not forget. They have the firepower and size that can do some damage to opposing teams.