It’s just TJ Warren’s bubble and we’re all living in it. The Bubble Boy himself made it two games in a row with crazy stats, leading the Indiana Pacers to a convincing win over the Washington Wizards 111-100 on Monday afternoon. This was just a few days removed from dropping 53 points on the Philadelphia 76ers in the seeding round opener. Let’s get into the stat line.
TJ Warren ($7,400) — 34 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 blocks, 3 steals, 69.75 DKFP
Ummmmm, that’s a pretty insane stat line. Are we sure that’s Warren and not Charles Barkley? Oscar Robertson? Former Pacer great Detlef Schrempf? Indy was able to hold off the Wiz, who put up a fight. Washington is arguably the worst defensive team in the bubble. Okay, back to Warren. He’s definitely benefiting from no Domantas Sabonis, Victor Oladipo and a banged-up Malcolm Brogdon. Not to say Warren isn’t a solid player, but these are All-Star numbers.
Warren shot 69% from the field (nice) against the Sixers and followed that up with 54% from the floor against the Wizards. He was off from downtown against Washington, but not to a fault. What really stands out are the defensive stats. Warren now has 6 blocks over two games. Is it too late to get Warren on the MVP ballot? Maybe a Second Team All-Defense? The real question is: How far can Warren take this Pacers team?
At 2-0 in the bubble, Indy is closing in on the Heat for the No. 4 seed in the East, just 1.0 game off Miami. The great part about this wrinkle is these two teams play each other twice in the last three games of the schedule. Those are likely two playoff games that’ll decide the 4-seed. Really it seems like Miami-Indy in the first round is on a collision course.
I’m also interested to see how high Warren’s point total is for the Pacers game against the Magic on Tuesday. Orlando just lost Jonathan Isaac and hasn’t been good on defense in the bubble. Warren looks like Michael Jordan mixed with Tracy McGrady (I’m kidding you guys). You’ve gotta assume his point total will be in the mid-20s, right? Is that worth it? We’ll see what DKSB has for us.