Victor Oladipo missed the Pacers’ last matchup–a game against the Utah Jazz on Monday night–but if I were Kemba Walker, I’d hope he plays tonight.
Oladipo’s absence would certainly give the Hornets an advantage tonight. The team is somewhat surprisingly sitting at 7th in the Eastern Conference, just below the struggling Celtics, and a win against the 3rd-ranked Indiana Pacers would be a statement.
But the Hornets themselves don’t have much hope for any kind of playoff run, and whatever success they’re seeing now will probably be short-lived. Kemba Walker, though, is making statements on a nightly basis against the supposed best players in the league.
He dominated against the rising Philadelphia 76ers last week–scoring 60 points against the Eastern Conference powerhouse–then did the same thing in the following game against the Boston Celtics. Walker is now the top scorer in the league with an average of nearly 30 points per game, and he’s proven that the likes of Jimmy Butler, Joel Embiid, and Kyrie Irving are no problem at all.
Tonight, if Oladipo plays, he’ll be able to further drive the point home. The Pacers guard has been a breakout star in the last few seasons since being traded to Indiana for Paul George’s OKC experiment, a slight that seems to have put a fire under him as he became a remarkable player to watch last season.
The two teams face off tonight at 6:00 pm CST in Charlotte.