From the moment the Pacers' schedule was released in August, all eyes seemed fixed on Wednesday's meeting with the Oklahoma City Thunder at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
During an eventful offseason, the biggest news for the Pacers was the blockbuster trade that sent Paul George to the Thunder in exchange for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis.
At the time, many critics panned the deal as one-sided, arguing that the Pacers (16-11) had given George away for cents on the dollar.
But in the 27 regular seasons games played since the transaction, a very different narrative has emerged.
While George is having a strong season for the Thunder (12-14), averaging 20.7 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 3.3 assists per game, Oladipo's play has been on a level not seen at any point during the IU-product's previous four NBA seasons.
In the four games to start Indiana's six-game homestand, Oladipo has set the world on fire, averaging 30.8 points, seven rebounds, and 4.3 assists, all while shooting 47.5 perecent on his 3-point attempts. During the four-game stretch, Indiana has gone a perfect 4-0, surging up the Eastern Conference standings in the process.
Oladipo hasn't been alone in his emergence as a key piece for Indiana, with Sabonis looking like a new player in his second NBA season, averaging 12.1 points and 8.5 rebounds.
The pair of fresh faces to Indiana has helped lift the Pacers five games above .500, a mark that last season's team didn't reach until February 3rd when they beat Brooklyn to get to 27-22.
Pacers: PG - Cory Joseph, SG - Victor Oladipo, SF - Bojan Bogdanovic, PF - Thaddeus Young, C - Myles Turner
Thunder: PG - Russell Westbrook, SG - Andre Roberson, SF - Paul George, PF - Carmelo Anthony, C - Steven Adams
Pacers: Darren Collison - questionable (sore left knee), Cory Joseph - questionable (sore left shoulder), Glenn Robinson III - out (left ankle surgery rehabilitation), Edmond Sumner - out (left knee surgery rehabilitation)
Nuggets: Andre Roberson - questionable (left ankle sprain)
October 25, 2017: In their first meeting against Paul George in an opposing uniform, the Pacers fell 114-96 in Oklahoma City.
All-Stars Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony made their mark on the evening, racking up a combined 56 points on the night as the Pacers' offense hit a skid, making just 33.7 percent of its shots on the heels of setting a franchise record for field goal percentage the night before.
Victor Oladipo led the Pacers in scoring, racking up 35 points on the night. For the Thunder, George struggled, fouling out after just 19 minutes on the floor while scoring 10 points.
- The all-time series is tied 9-9 during the Oklahoma City era.
- Thunder forward Paul George was drafted by the Pacers in 2010. George made four All-Star Games as a member of the Pacers and helped lead Indiana to two Eastern Conference Finals appearances (2013, 2014).
- Pacers players Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis were both on the Thunder last season.
- Thunder guard Russell Westbrook was teammates with Pacers guard Darren Collison at UCLA.
The Pacers continue their six-game homestand with a matchup against Paul George and the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday, Dec. 13 at 7:00 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Find Tickets »
Broadcast Information TV & Radio Listings »
TV: FOX Sports Indiana - Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Jeremiah Johnson (sideline reporter/host)
ESPN: Dave Pasch (play-by-play), Doris Burke (analyst), Cassidy Hubbarth (sideline reporter)
Radio: 107.5 FM/AM 1070 The Fan - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Slick Leonard (analyst), Pat Boylan (sideline reporter/host)
Please Note: Inside Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Pacers radio broadcasts can be heard on 1080 AM instead of 1070.
Pacers Team Store Game Night Special
Pacers Team Sweater Long Sleeve T-Shirt - $16. The Game Night Special can be purchased at the Pacers Team Store on game day as well as online from 10:00 AM-Midnight. Order Online »