The Pacers might be the most unpredictable team in the playoffs right now. As of right now, we don’t know if Victor Oladipo is coming back. He previously said he wasn’t, but he’s been practicing as if he’s going to play. Malcolm Brogdon hasn’t confirmed coming back either. Domantas Sabonis has been ruled out with Plantar Fascitis for the time being. The only thing we know for sure is that Jeremy Lamb isn’t coming back. With him out, and a possible absence from Victor Oladipo or Malcolm Brogdon, there’s one player that needs to step up, TJ McConnell. If the Pacers are going to have any success in the playoffs, then someone has to step up in the absence of their best players. Even if they BOTH play, TJ McConnell is still the Pacers X-Factor.
TJ McConnell Stats
TJ McConnell only averages 6.5 PPG on an efficient 51.7% shooting, 5 APG, and 2.6 RPG in 18 minutes. Although his stats aren’t the best, it also doesn’t tell the full story. TJ McConnell is a vital part of this team and is the heart of the second squad for the Pacers. Although he struggled with the Pacers at the beginning of the season, he has only improved with time. Now, he’s a proven floor general for the second squad. That can be noted by the 5 APG he averages. That shows he’s more of a distributor than he is a scorer. With the amount of weapons the Pacers have, his role is important.
TJ McConnell doesn’t have to score for the Pacers to be helpful. There’s plenty of scoring talent on the team to make up for that. However, with his high Basketball-IQ, he facilitates the ball to his teammates and is the floor general for the second squad. But, if Dipo or Brogdon don’t play, someone will need to fill that role. With Domantas Sabonis maybe not playing, TJ Warren, the team’s leading scorer, and Myles Turner are capable of scoring, all TJ has to do is get the ball to them. There’s a lot of uncertainty with the Pacers at the moment. What they can be certain of is that TJ McConnell should be ready to rise to the challenge and help the Pacers in the playoffs.