The Indiana Pacers have a duo in Domantas Sabonis and Caris Levert

Indiana Pacers - Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Indiana Pacers - Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /

Saturday night, the Indiana Pacers suffered a tough overtime loss against the Washington Wizards in a game that pushed the Wizards to the 9th in the Eastern Conference and dropped the Pacers to the 10 spot. The Wizards duo of Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook were the story as Beal went for 50 points and Westbrook added a 30-point triple-double along with the game-winning free throws and block on the defensive end.

The Pacers also had their own duo put together a very impressive performance. Domantas Sabonis had 30 points, 13 rebounds, and 13 assists while Caris LeVert added 35 points, 14 rebounds, and eight assists. These two carried the bulk of the load for the Pacers, especially late in the 4th quarter/OT where the offense strictly went through the two of them.

Sabonis and LeVert can carry the Indiana Pacers

The talk of the Indiana Pacers lately has been troublesome, as questions are arising on if whether or not Nate Bjorkgren will keep his job, and how is this team going to look heading into next season. Throughout all the recent drama, one thing has been clear: the Pacers have a legitimate duo in Domantas Sabonis and Caris LeVert.

Since Sabonis came back to the lineup from his back injury on May 1, he is averaging 27 points, 14.4 rebounds, and 10.6 assists per game on 69.6 FG% and 46 3P%. In that same span, LeVert is averaging 27.6 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 6.8 assists per game on 44.1 FG% and 50 3P%.

Furthermore, Sabonis has been a total +26 on the floor while Levert has been a +22 in the five games. Even though the team is 2-3 in that stretch, these two have been able to carry an injury-ridden roster to a couple of nice wins.

LeVert allows Sabonis to be a secondary option again

LeVert’s ability to handle the ball, make plays, and create his own shot allows for Sabonis to once again become the secondary option, which is where he is at his best. Sabonis is at his best when he has other options around him who can create for themselves and be reliable scorers. When the Pacers were a 4 seed last season, Sabonis had guys like Victor Oladipo and T.J. Warren around him who could score for themselves. When the team was rolling earlier this season, he had Oladipo and Brogdon both averaging over 20 points per game.

Having a wing who can score 20+ on a nightly basis is a must in the league today, and the Pacers look like they have found that again in Caris LeVert. LeVert and Sabonis compliment each other so well. Levert is a perimeter player while Sabonis is a post player. Both can ball handle and create for others, but for what Sabonis lacks in creating for himself, Levert excels. Both are capable of giving you 20+ points a night while adding 5+ assists each.

There have been a lot of questions on who the Navy and Gold should keep and who they should deal in the offseason. Sabonis and LeVert are showing right now why they should be the two guys that Indiana absolutely must keep heading into next season. Sabonis is only 25 years old and LeVert is 26, so they are still young enough to build around for the future. If the  Indiana Pacers could surround them with defenders, shooters, and maybe a third to complete a “big three” then they could be back to being competitive in the Eastern Conference.

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