Paul George has moved along and the 2017-2018 Pacers are assembled of guys who want to be here in Indianapolis, and it shows! This Pacer team was gifted to us, by the rest of the NBA, and tonight they have a chance to stop the Cleveland Cavaliers winning streak which currently sits at 13. Here's how this group of "rejects", if you will, wound up in Indianapolis.
Lance Stephenson was a part of the original Indiana Fashion 5, bounced around the NBA for a little while, and then made his return to Indianapolis last season. Lance is actually only good on the Pacers. I love it, it's like Indy is the only place where he's just allowed to be himself, and it's so fun to watch. I had actually given up watching the Pacers for Lent in 2017, but then, towards the end of the 40 days, Lance came back...
Oladipo (who has been traded twice) and Sabonis came over in the PG trade, it's beginning to look like the Thunder got the shorter end of the stick! Oladipo, aka Ola3po, is on his way to making his first All-Star appearance, averaging a career-high of 23 points per game. Sabonis, who is only 21, leads the Pacers in rebounding this season.
Oladipo also sings! His song with 2 Chainz is probably my favorite, the lyrics resonate with me, especially the part where he talks about setting goals and working to make them happen.
Bojan Bogdanovic was a 2nd round draft pick out of Croatia. He signed with Indiana over the summer and is currently shooting a career high 45% from 3, and is averaging a career high 15.1 points per game.
Myles Turner, the starting center for the Pacers, was drafted 11th overall in 2015 by Indiana, and he just turned 21 in March. He leads the Pacers in blocks this season.
Darren Collison has returned for a second stint with the Pacers. He has said he was hurt when Indiana traded him in 2012 for Ian Mahimi. DC has returned to Indiana as the starting point guard, and this time he's determined to stay awhile.
Thaddeus Young, the Pacer's starting power forward, is playing on his 4th NBA team. The Pacers traded for him on draft night 2016. Young has now been traded 3 times in his NBA career, and lucky for Indiana, he now plays for us.
Cory Joseph came this summer as well, the Pacers are his 3rd NBA team after stops in San Antonio and Toronto. Joseph was born and raised in Toronto (why he wears number 6). His name was mentioned in Drake's song Charged Up, the first in a series of diss tracks aimed at Meek Mill. Joseph is also shooting a career-high 45% from deep.
Drake - "I get a ring and I bring it home like I'm Cory Joe"
The remaining Pacers such as Joe Young, TJ Leaf, Al Jefferson, Glenn Robinson III (recovering from injury), and Damien Wilkins all have unique stories about how they ended up in Indy as well. Joe Young wants fans to love the Pacers as much he does, and he says he's willing to do whatever it takes!
This Pacers team represents us all. Wherever you live, make it your home! Show those around you that you want to be there and that you’re excited about belonging to something greater than yourself.
If the playoffs started today, this group of "rejects" would be the #7 seed, and would face the #2 seed, Cleveland, in the first round. Lebron James and the Cavs bring their 13 game winning streak to Indianapolis this evening...it ends tonight!