Chris Duarte set to return from injury against Knicks
Chris Duarte will play his first game in almost two months, after missing time with an ankle sprain.
Chris Duarte last played basketball for the Indiana Pacers on Nov. 4th, 2022. He sprained his ankle against the Miami Heat after stepping on Kyle Lowry’s foot. Since then the Pacers have been up and down — currently sitting at 8th in the Eastern Conference.
Duarte was assigned to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants and played two games for them against the Wisconsin Herd. Duarte averaged 17.5 points per game in those two he played with the Mad Ants.
“He’ll be active tonight and I do expect him to play”, Rick Carlisle said before the game.
Indiana has missed the depth that Duarte provides and it will be interesting to see in what lineup Carlisle uses him more. I think Andrew Nembhard will still start, but Duarte off the bench does excite me when thinking of him seeing miutes with Mathurin. Coming off the bench makes sense with his injury, and he was not starting when he went down many weeks ago.
This will take the pressure off of him and hopefully allow for an easier transition into the Indian Pacers rotation. Duarte struggled to start this season and has yet to find a clear role, but he is one of the top players on this Indiana roster with great upside.
His return is great news and can hopefully provide an offensive spark to the second unit. He is averaging 8.9 points per game with the Pacers this season. You can catch the Pacers play the Knicks at 5:00PM EST.
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