2 Duds, 1 stud from Indiana Pacers ugly loss to Portland Trail Blazers

The Indiana Pacers fell to the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night, so here are two duds and one stud from the game.

Indiana Pacers, Portland Trail Blazers, Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Hield, Obi Toppin
Indiana Pacers, Portland Trail Blazers, Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Hield, Obi Toppin / Dylan Buell/GettyImages
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Dud - Obi Toppin

When the Indiana Pacers traded for Obi Toppin in a deal with the New York Knicks over the summer, they were hoping to shore up the massive hole they had at the starting power forward position.

And while he’s shown some flashes of potential, Toppin hasn’t necessarily lived up to the expectations that a lot of fans placed on his shoulders heading into the season.

Against the Portland Trail Blazers, Toppin once again got the start, but he failed to put in an effective shift, as he only ended up playing 19:05 in the game.

Toppin ended the night against Portland with nine points, four rebounds, two assists, and one block while shooting just 3-of-9 from the floor and 1-of-4 from beyond the three-point arc.

As Pacers fans were quick to point out on Twitter, Toppin hasn’t played well in a couple of key categories this season: Defense and rebounding. And for a  power forward, those are two very important categories.

The criticism thrown Toppin’s way has only been made worse by the fact that rookie Jarace Walker, who the Pacers selected with the eighth pick in the 2023 NBA Drat, hasn’t earned much playing time this year.

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If Toppin continues to struggle as much as he has at times throughout the season, then there’s no reason the Pacers shouldn’t turn to Walker a little bit more.