The Indiana Pacers are one of the harder NBA teams to figure this year. Indiana got off to a hot start thanks to the elevated play of summer acquisition Victor Oladipo who currently paces the field for Most Improved Player.
Recently though, the Pacers seem to be in a bit of a rut as they’ve dropped 4 straight contests with Oladipo missing the last 3 due to a sore right knee. When reserve center Al Jefferson was asked about their recent skid, the veteran gave a brutally honest answer, calling out the team’s effort. Following from Scott Agness:
Al Jefferson: "We got to figure it out, man. We can’t blame the coaches, we can't blame the GM, we can’t blame the fans, we can’t blame nobody. We the ones out there.
“There’s just no effort at all. And that’s something you got to have."
— Scott Agness (@ScottAgness) January 1, 2018
On a young Pacers team, Al Jefferson provides a much needed veteran presence and his leadership presence is crucial during times like these. Though Jefferson doesn’t get much playing time in what is now his 14th season, he still plays a key role in the development of this team, especially towards the younger big men such as Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis.
Though this recent stretch is troublesome, it could also be an indicator of how much Oladipo means to this team. The 5th-year guard has exploded onto the scene with the Pacers this season and remains day-to-day for the time being.
Despite Al Jefferson’s frustration, this team should be able to find it’s stride upon his return as they continue their season-long battle for a playoff spot in the improved Eastern Conference.
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