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Bulls’ Jim Boylen praises ‘remarkable’ Pacers for overcoming Victor Oladipo loss, injuries

Jim Boylen, Victor Oladipo

The outlook for the rest of the season wasn’t great for the Indiana Pacers after they lost Victor Oladipo to a devastating injury in a late January game against the Toronto Raptors.

Somehow, though, this team has kept things afloat and remained at the top of the Eastern Conference standings while playing some great basketball.

Others around the league are noticing, too. Head coach of the Chicago Bulls Jim Boylen had nothing but praise for the Pacers and their determination following the loss of Oladipo.

It took Indiana a while to recover from Oladipo’s absence. After their game against Toronto, the Pacers went on a four-game losing streak that saw them being downed by teams like the Memphis Grizzlies and Orlando Magic. They quickly turned it around though, rattling off a six-game win streak and have gone 8-8 in the 16 games they have played without their star player.

Through the month of February, the Pacers showed they were able to get it done with or without Victor Oladipo. They went 9-3 and had the second-best defensive rating in the league, only allowing 104.4 points per 100 possessions. Their offensive rating was 10th best in the league, scoring 113.6 points per 100 possessions.

Bringing in Wesley Matthews has been a big help for this team, as he is averaging 14.0 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game and has been able to soak up 32.3 minutes of action per night for the Pacers.

Big play from Myles Turner, who is leading the league in blocks per game, has been the backbone of their defensive efforts.

With the way they have been playing lately, coach Nate McMillan definitely will receive heavy Coach of the Year consideration.