Pacers coach Nate McMillan praises Thaddeus Young for stepping up after Victor Oladipo injury
The Indiana Pacers suffered a huge loss with the injury of Victor Oladipo but managed to pull out a bar-measuring 110-106 win over the Toronto Raptors, despite losing him early in the game. Oladipo exited at the 4:05 mark of the second quarter, but team captain Thaddeus Young saw the extent of his injury after he was stretchered off the arena, and rallied his teammates, giving head coach Nate McMillan much to be proud about.
“Victor is down,” Young told his teammates, according to Jim Ayello of The Indianapolis Star. “Obviously he’s not coming back to this game. So now we have to take care of business. We’re up right now, so let’s continue to execute and continue to do what we need to do, impose our will on the game, and be there for one another. That’s the biggest thing. As long as we are there for one another, it’s hard to beat us with Victor or not.”
McMillan was proud of Thaddeus Young, who scored a team-high 23 points and pulled down 15 rebounds, sprinkling three assists, two steals, and two blocks in what was perhaps his best all-around game of the season.
“That’s a captain,” McMillan said of Young’s performance. “That’s our captain. He’s been doing this like that all season long, and tonight he knew we needed a lift from someone. And he just took over. He was defending. He was rebounding. He was knocking down shots, communicating with the guys in the huddle.
“He willed us to this win. He pretty much did everything tonight.”
The Pacers will have a tough time surviving without Oladipo on the court, but they will still have the leadership of Young present as long as he’s in the roster.