Another Family Reunion At The Peake
By Randy Renner, Senior Writer
First it was Carmelo Anthony and his old teammates with the New York Knicks and Enes Kanter with his old teammates on the Thunder.
Now, a week later comes Victor Oladipo and Domas Sabonis to say hi to their old Thunder teammates and Paul George will share a few handshakes with the Indiana Pacers.
Family reunion time again at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
“It'll be emotional from the standpoint of It's the organization I started with and had a wonderful journey with, had seven unbelievable years with,” George said after Tuesday's practice. “So you know it'll be emotional from that standpoint.”
But, just like with the Thunder, the Pacers have made a lot of changes over the last few months. Only a third of the Indiana roster that included George remains on the roster and with Nike's taking over the uniform contracts even the Pacers "look" will be different.
Still it will be a big deal the the Thunder's new small forward.
"I'll be laser focused and really up for the task, up to get this win,” George said. “I'm excited for this challenge, excited for this matchup.”
Anthony told reporters he likes being able to get these sorts of reunions out of the way early and he also appreciates having them on his new team's floor first rather than his old team's.
"I think it's a little bit easier when you get a chance to play on your court first, trying to get that out of the way rather then opening up on the road there whether it's New York or Indiana so the emotions are a little bit different."
Those different emotions are what what Kanter, Oladipo and Sabonis will have to go through, seeing familiar places and friendly faces all around.
But that doesn't mean there's not a desire to beat your old buddies like a drum come tipoff time.
“I think the mindset that he has is trying to get a win, especially after dropping two in a row, and try to get back on the right track,” said Anthony. “If I sit here and say he's not excited about that game I'd be lying to y'all.”
And as much talk as there's been of the Thunder's potential for a high flying offense, the Pacers seem to have one right now.
Indy whomped the Minnesota Timberwolves last night in Minneapolis 130-107 and Oladipo and Sabonis were big reasons why.
Oladipo finished with 28 points on 11-for-16 shooting, three rebounds and three assists and Sabonis, starting in place of Miles Turner (who is out with a concussion) scored 15 points on 7-for-7 shooting and led the Pacers with 11 rebounds while also handing out five assists.
The Pacers are averaging just under 119 points per game and last night shot an eye-popping, franchise record 66.7 percent from the field.
After their first four games of the season Oladipo is leading the Pacers (2-2) in scoring at 23.8 points per game (George is averaging 21.3 for OKC in three games). Sabonis is scoring 13 points per game off the bench (except for last night's start) and he's led the Pacers in rebounds in three of the first four games.
Tipoff is set for 7:10 and you can see the game on Fox Sports Oklahoma.