Pacers encourage slumping Oladipo to shoot vs. Hawks
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INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo was nearly the picture of consistency before participating in the NBA All-Star Game.
Entering Friday's contest with visiting Atlanta, Oladipo has been struggling recently. Oladipo, who averages 23.8 points, has scored only 27 points on 11-of-38 shooting in the past two games.
Oladipo is shooting 24.2 percent from 3-point range since the All-Star break. He was hitting 38.1 percent of his 3s before the break.
"I don't think he's fatigued," Pacers coach Nate McMillan said. "He's seeing a lot of pressure. These defenders are being a lot more physical with them. They are making him work to get everything.
"We are not getting anything easy in transition. When we're not getting stops and not getting anything easy in transition, you have to go against set defenses and it's going to be a challenge."
McMillan said Oladipo is seeing some double teams as well.
"When he gets open, he has to take the open shot," McMillan said.
The Pacers (37-28) were 3 of 23 from 3-point range in Wednesday's 104-84 home loss to the Utah Jazz.
"They really stayed home on the 3-point shooters; they don't leave them like most teams," McMillan said of the Jazz defenders.
One of the few bright spots for the Pacers against the Jazz was center Myles Turner making 10 of 14 shots en route to 24 points.
The Hawks (20-45) have lost six of the past eight games, but defeated visiting Indiana 107-102 on Feb. 28.
"It's a game we got to take personally," Turner told Fox Sports Indiana. "We're at home. We just got beat by 20 at our crib, that can't happen. We got to take that frustration into this game."
Pacers forward Trevor Booker made his debut with Indiana on Wednesday night.
"If you look at Atlanta, they are at the bottom, but you have to overlook that because they've been actually playing well lately," Booker told Fox Sports Indiana. "They've been moving the ball well and they beat us last time we played them. So we're going to be coming out and trying to avenge that loss."
The Hawks lost 106-90 at Toronto on Tuesday night.
"For three quarters, it was some of the most competitive, best basketball we played on both ends," said Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer, whose team led 77-76 after three quarters. "We just kind of hit a wall in the fourth."
Guard Dennis Schroder averages a team-high 19.3 points for Atlanta, which is 5-26 on the road.
After missing the last 11 games following minor knee surgery, Pacers starting point guard Darren Collison is listed as questionable for Friday night's game.
"I'm excited just to get back on the court and help my teammates," Collison said. "This is an important stretch for us you want to make sure you're out there on the court. It's been tough sitting."
Collison said hopefully he won't have the pain he experienced before the surgery.
After Friday night's game, the Pacers play three of the next four on the road, starting Sunday at Boston. Atlanta plays host to Chicago on Sunday.
Updated March 8, 2018