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Indiana Pacers: Bennedict Mathurin's impressive rookie season continues
Bennedict Mathurin has been electric through his first 11 NBA games. The Indiana Pacers lost to the Denver Nuggets, but victory lies in individual performances.
Bennedict Mathurin has been electric through his first 11 NBA games. The Indiana Pacers lost to the Denver Nuggets, but victory lies in individual performances. Tyrese Haliburton and the Pacers have developed chemistry quickly, and that is reflected in the on-court production thus far.
Indiana lost 122-119 to the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday despite an energetic series of quarters at home.
Young players continue to flash. Are the Indiana Pacers good?
We now have over a 10-game sample size of this fun mix of players. They have the perfect balance of athleticism and playmaking — creating a dynamic offense that Indiana has not seen in years.
Indiana is now 5-6 on the season, but they have won games that many would not have suggested so going into the year. Beating the pelicans at home was impressive, but also the Nets and Heat. Now those teams are shorthanded sure but the way they won was what stands out. They beat the Nets by a margin of more than 10, and then beat Miami by two points by getting a stop defensively on the last play of the game — where Andrew Nembhard led the stop.
Indiana’s ability to stay and climb into games is spearheaded by their backcourt of the future. Mathurin plays like a five-year pro and is fitting into lineups with ease, and Haliburton is masterfully leading the charge on offense averaging 20 points and 10 assists on the year.
Mathurin has now had multiple 30+ point performances, and he is doing so off the bench. Against Denver, he scored 30 points on 10/17 shots made from the field and converted six of his nine three-point attempts. Not to overreact, but he is 100% capable of becoming the face of this franchise and an All-NBA-level talent. It is a long season, but the returns early are promising for him and are a blast for fans to watch.
Haliburton wanted to be a 20 and 10 guy before the season started and it has materialized that way through 11 games. He continues to stay aggressive which has opened up lanes for others. He has the ability to set defenders up and knows where he wants to go with the ball, which has sometimes given him trouble.
Isaiah Jackson was in airplane mode for this game, catching one of the better lobs I’ve seen this season. To think Indiana essentially traded Aaron Holiday for his draft rights looks to be a fantastic decision.
His stat line tonight:
Aaron Nesmith was clearly playing with some rust as he missed all five of his shot attempts. He was still an active defender and did have a steal and a block in this contest. He will be much-needed depth at the wing with Chris Duarte set to miss significant time with an ankle sprain.
In five games for Myles Turner, he is averaging 18.4 points a game and 8 rebounds. He continues to rack up the rebounds as he had 11 against the Nuggets to pair with 14 points. He nearly made the game-tying shot after Haliburton dished it to him in transition — it rimmed out. His presence on the defensive end was felt with his addition of three blocks to the stat sheet.
Indiana is 5-6 and has the 7-5 Raptors coming to town next. They will face off this Saturday as the Pacers could climb back to .500 with a win. This team is not terrible as we thought, sure there will be slumps but they seem to be tier-above teams like the Pistons and Hornets. The season is long and I may sound stupid by next week. Nonetheless, it is a fun time to be an Indiana basketball fan.
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