Big O is headed to the big leagues — a shock to no one considering his rookie start in the G League. Oscar Tshiebwe has been called up by the Indiana Pacers after a run of historic performances with the Mad Ants, his NBA debut scheduled for Thursday.
The former Wildcat has averaged 19.7 points, 18.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.0 steals in 29.4 minutes per contest in his first six G League appearances. Now, he’ll be taking on the Miami Heat with the Pacers.
The move comes after Jalen Smith suffered a knee bruise, forcing him to miss some time. Former Wildcat Isaiah Jackson will be the first big off the bench backing up starter Myles Turner, with Tshiebwe the next man up in the rotation.
It’s also a chance for an expanded role for Jackson, who is averaging 5.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in nine games to open the regular season.
“Isaiah’s kept himself ready,” Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said. “He’s contributed significantly in big games. The game at Atlanta, a pretty clear case could be made that he won the game for us with activity — defense, rebounding, shot-blocking. The Detroit game, he and Jalen played together in significant stretches when we needed size and he was terrific in that game. This is the NBA. You’re going to have situations where guys miss some games and the next guy’s gotta be ready. I’m sure he will be.”
Same can be said about Tshiebwe.