Without Myles Turner the Indiana Pacers (8-6) have been destroyed in the post. Malcolm Brogdon and Doug McDermott have had some stellar games, not to mention Damantas Sabonis has added to his insane double-double count this season, 14 out 14 games.
After quality victories at the Golden State Warriors and Portland Trailblazers, the Pacers dropped a couple games to the LA Clippers and Dallas Mavericks by fairly sizable margins. These two contenders in the Western Conference gave the Pacers a sign that they need their big-man Turner down the stretch. A good test for the Pacers would have been a rising Phoenix Suns team, but the game was postponed for Covid related reasons.
Instead tonight, January 22nd, 2021 at 7:00 EST the Pacers play the Orlando Magic (7-8) who are 2nd in their division and coming off two straight seasons in the playoffs after a 6 year gap. Without Turner, the big matchup will inevitably be between Sabonis and Magic Center Nikola Vucevic. But the Magic have some other talented players including all-time Slam Dunk contest runner-up Aaron Gordon & electric scorers in Evan Fournier and Terrence Ross. Watch out for rookie Cole Anthony out of North Carolina, average roughly 10 pts a game this year.
The Pacers will likely need another double-double from Domas and some contribution from Brogdan and McDermott to secure a victory in a league where Collin Sexton can show up the three-headed dog of Brooklyn any given night. I would like to see more consistent play from Justin Holiday and hopefully the re-introduction of Jeremy Lamb into the lineup lights a fire under these guys.
Needless to say the Cers could use a victory with a back-to-back against Toronto coming up on Sunday and Monday.