3 Takeaways from Indiana Pacers preseason win vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

Indiana Pacers, Cleveland Cavaliers, Pacers preseason
Indiana Pacers, Cleveland Cavaliers, Pacers preseason /
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Indiana Pacers, Cleveland Cavaliers, Pacers preseason, Obi Toppin
Indiana Pacers, Cleveland Cavaliers, Pacers preseason, Obi Toppin /

1. Obi Toppin has arrived

Ladies and gentlemen, Obi Toppin has officially arrived.

Following three impressive but limited performances in the preseason, Toppin was given more or less free reign to showcase his skills against Cleveland.

And showcase those skills he did. Toppin displayed exactly what made him such a hot trade target for Indiana. While he threw down some dunks in previous preseason games, including a nice tip-in slam against Houston, Obi Toppin really let the legs loose against Cleveland, as a good chunk of his 17 points came off thunderous dunks ready for the highlight reel.

For one, Toppin showed why a duo of himself and Tyrese Haliburton is making Pacers fans salivate with this two-handed reverse baseline dunk off a nice feed from Haliburton himself.

Of course, this wouldn’t be an Obi Toppin dunk session without an alley-oop, as he delivered an impressive two-handed jam off a Bruce Brown lob.

Pacers fans wanted more Haliburton to Toppin connection, and they certainly got what they asked for with this outlet pass for a one-handed tomahawk finish on the fast break.

However, Toppin’s magnum opus on the night was a beautiful between-the-legs Eastbay dunk on the fast break following a beautiful bounce pass from Bennedict Mathurin.

This particular play had Pacers fans out of their seats, showering Toppin with praise and declaring Indiana as the most fun team to watch in the NBA.

It was for good reason, too, as this was perhaps the most spectacular Pacers dunk since Paul George’s breakaway 360 windmill against the Clippers in 2014, bringing back fond memories of the last time the Pacers were serious contenders.

Overall, Obi Toppin had a very productive night, putting up 17 points (6/9 FG, 1/3 3PT, 4/4 FT), nine rebounds, and one assist in 26 minutes of action, ending up second on the team in points.

Toppin commented on his huge dunk after the game, stating that he had to get one in a Pacers uniform, as he had already finished off a crazy dunk against the Pacers in 2022.

All in all, Obi Toppin has had a very good preseason and has shown why Rick Carlisle trusts him with the starting power forward role right out of the gate. Need I remind you that all it took to get him was two second-round picks?