The Indiana Pacers opened their 2017-18 NBA season with a 140-131 victory over the Brooklyn Nets. As you can see from the final score, it was an entertaining game with neither team playing a whole lot of defense. Nate McMillan and the Pacers have been written off in the Eastern Conference by most of the national media, but this kind of offensive output could open some eyes.
After trading Paul George this past offseason, the Pacers started a new era of basketball. They have brought in a lot of young talent and are led by the dynamic duo of Myles Turner and Victor Oladipo.
Needless to say, starting the season with a win at home was a big deal for the Pacers. Taking care of business against the teams that they are favored is a must if Indiana wants to make a run at the playoffs.
All of that being said, what three takeaways can be seen for the Pacers following their 140-131 win over Brooklyn?
Indiana Needs Their Defense to Improve
First and foremost, the Pacers’ defense is a major issue if they want to be a playoff team. Scoring 140 points is impressive, but giving up 131 isn’t going to cut it. Indiana has the talent and athleticism to improve defensively and will have to show it on the court moving forward.
Victor Oladipo and Myles Turner Are Ready
Secondly, it was obvious that the Pacers’ “big two” of Myles Turner and Victor Oladipo are ready to take the next step in their respective careers. Oladipo struggled with foul trouble, but was able to score 22 points to go along with five rebounds, five assists, and four steals. Turner, on the other hand, scored 21 points while grabbing 15 rebounds and blocking four shots.
Darren Collison Is the Perfect Point Guard for the Pacers
Indiana signed Darren Collison this past season, which was a move that went relatively unheralded. He had an impressive debut in his return to the Pacers, scoring 21 points and racking up 11 assists. Collison looked to be a perfect fit for the Pacers and excelled in McMillan’s pick-and-roll heavy offense.
Expect to see the Pacers continue improving as the season continues forward. They have a lot of talent and there is no question that they have the potential to be a playoff team.
What did you think of the Indiana Pacers’ season opener? What other takeaways would you add to this list? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!