Indiana Pacers: What Warren’s absence could mean for Victor Oladipo

Indiana Pacers (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Indiana Pacers (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

The Indiana Pacers will be without T.J. Warren due to injury but Victor Oladipo could see an increased role in his absence.

On Saturday, the Indiana Pacers had its the first game of the season with no players on the injury report, a nice change of pace now that Victor Oladipo is back in the rotation.

That would quickly change as T.J. Warren would leave the game with a head injury after taking a tumble under the basket and colliding with a Myles Turners’ leg. Warren would later be diagnosed with a concussion.

That brings the Pacers back to familiar territory, being short-handed.

There is no timetable for Warren’s return, but the small forward will miss Monday’s contest against the Dallas Mavericks. Warren could also miss Wednesday’s game in Toronto if unable to clear concussion protocol.

Luckily, the Pacers have Oladipo back in action.

With the flurry of changes, many can question what will be Oladipo’s role in the absence of Warren.

The Pacers’ coaching staff has some tough decisions to make and will do what’s best for Oladipo’s long-term success.

So far, Oladipo has been playing between 20-25 minutes per game, but that could change with no Warren in the lineup.

The staff has faith in its all-star guard. That could mean Oladipo could get an extended look without Warren’s 18.1 points per game in the mix. If the medical staff gives Nate McMillan the greenlight, Oladipo could see an increase in minutes.

Oladipo may be tasked with more responsibility without Warren. This means instead of being a distributor as he has been the past two games, Oladipo could be looking to score and showcase his overall offensive prowess.

Malcolm Brogdon will continue to be a focal point of the offense, but Oladipo’s increased role could mean Brogdon shifts to more of a shooting guard.

The Pacers’ coaching staff and fans both want the ball in Oladipo’s hands as much as possible and Warren’s absence can provide that opportunity.

Regarding the starting lineup, Oladipo could potentially slide in and give the crew an added layer of leadership that has been lacking throughout the early portion of the second half of the season.

Unfortunately, Warren and Oladipo will be unable to build on their chemistry during this current stretch but adjusting to change is something the Pacers have done well this season.

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Oladipo could shine with Warren out of the lineup and hopefully, once the duo is back in the rotation, things will start to heat up for the Indiana Pacers.