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Former Blazers Finding Success in Indiana

Kerry Eggers of the Portland Tribune looks at how Nate McMillan and Wesley Matthews have kept the Pacers rolling after Victor Oladipo’s injury.

NBA: Indiana Pacers at Dallas Mavericks Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Trail Blazers will be without guard CJ McCollum until at least the end of the month, but as the Portland Tribune’s Kerry Eggers wrote on Monday, the Indiana Pacers are showing that injuries don’t have to ruin the season.

Eggers wrote about how despite the quad tear which ended former All-Star Victor Oladipo’s season, the Pacers have managed to stay in the playoff race, sticking around at fourth place in the Eastern Conference at 44-26, 12-11 since Oladipo’s injury.

Eggers wrote about how former Blazer coach Nate McMillan has adjusted to the injury, with former Blazers and current Pacers general manager Kevin Pritchard offering high praise for McMillan:

“Nate has been tremendous with this team,” says Indiana general manager Kevin Pritchard, who held the same position with the Blazers from 2007-10. “It’s been a team that’s been very resilient. Nate has kept the guys together, playing hard and playing smart. It’s given them a chance to win on any given night. I couldn’t be more proud of the job he has done.”

He also focused on a few key points, including the emergence of Bojan Bogdanovic as a number one option and Domantis Sabonis vying for potential sixth man of the year honors. The article also mentioned Indiana’s recent addition of former Blazer Wesley Matthews has contributed to Indiana, averaging 12.8 points on 40/39/89 shooting splits in 13 games.

“We were big fans of Wesley back when I was in Portland, and tried to sign him (with the Pacers),” Pritchard says. “Nate had a relationship with him. We needed a veteran 2 guard. It became a recruiting process. We told him what his role would be. He liked that we were still staying competitive even after Victor’s injury. He’s been really good for us.”

The Pacers are proof that McCollum’s injury does not necessarily mean the end for the Blazers. The teams will face off this Monday at 7:30 p.m. at the Moda Center.