3 Indiana Pacers players who could be poised for a breakout season

Indiana Pacers, Andrew Nembhard
Indiana Pacers, Andrew Nembhard /
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Indiana Pacers, Obi Toppin
Indiana Pacers, Obi Toppin /

3. Obi Toppin

Of all the players Indiana Pacers fans should be excited about heading into the season, Obi Toppin may top the list, and he wasn’t even on the team last year.

Toppin joined the Pacers by way of a trade with the New York Knicks over the summer after he spent the first few years of his career struggling to earn regular playing time under head coach Tom Thibodeau.

Now, he’s slated to play a major role in Indiana, and he’s even expected to be a part of the starting lineup for the Pacers first preseason game – a sign that a team believes in him.

While Toppin only played 15.7 minutes per game for the Knicks last year, he improved his three-point shot, shooting a career-high 34.4% from beyond the arc. That’s a great sign, and if he wants to keep his minutes up, he’ll have to continue to improve in that are.

But perhaps the most intriguing part of Toppin’s game is his athleticism and how it will bode next to Tyrese Haliburton. He might be the best lob threat Haliburton has ever played with.

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If he can form a great bond with Haliburton on the court and continue to shoot the ball well, there’s no reason Toppin can’t play a major role for the Pacers this year and show significant signs of improvement in the process. It’s all about opportunity in the NBA, and Toppin will have more of that than ever before.