The Pacers looked poised for a fourth quarter fade against the Spurs as the visitor’s defense, especially shutting down transition opportunities, appeared to frustrate the good guys on their home floor.
But as we are quickly learning, fading away is not how this version of the Indiana Pacers rolls. Instead, new faces helping to provide a new identity to this team turned things around.
Victor Oladipo and Domas Sabonis scored 22 of their combined 45 points in the final 9:51 of the game after they entered the fourth quarter facing a five-point deficit.
Oladipo had the final say, hitting what would be the game winning three ball with ten seconds left. Vic didn’t shy away from the big moment even when force to fully extend his release over the looonnng contest by LaMarcus Aldridge.
That extra effort to extend forced Oladipo’s legs to spread, as Gaston Blanco mentioned, evoking visual memories of Reggie Miller releasing big shots at MSA and BLF. When the ball went through the hoop the resemblance was even more remarkable.
After the Pacers closed out the W, the bright spotlight was shining on Oldadipo, offering him a chance to absorb all the glory after delivering the dub and declaring Indy his city. But Vic didn’t have a look-at-me first instinct after the game, instead he shared the moment with injured teammate, Glenn Robinson III, giving his soon-to-be running mate the game ball to offer added encouragement to get healthy and back on the court.
“Glenn deserves it,” Oladipo said during his post-game interview with FOX Sports Indiana. “Glenn has been fighting through adversity, he’s been working really hard. When he got hurt, I told him, ‘A setback is set for a major comeback. And anything is possible.’ I’m living proof of it, and so is he. He deserves it more than anybody.”
So while it appeared Oladipo’s ‘this is my city’ declaration on the court was all about him owning the town, we soon learned it was more about belonging in this city and wanting to share the good times with teammates, coaches and fans.
Nice work, Vic.