Indiana Pacers: Takeaways from game one of the 2022-23 season
Well, that was quite the season opener for your Indiana Pacers. A poor defensive first quarter crippled their chance to overcome the Wizard’s everlasting lead.
Well, that was quite the season opener for your Indiana Pacers. A poor defensive first quarter crippled their chances to overcome the Wizard’s everlasting lead. They fell just short of victory after a fourth-quarter comeback.
This team is bound to struggle defensively, and it does not help when Myles Turner is not on the floor. Turner was set to play before an unfortunate injury in pre-game warm-ups led to his absence. He has a sprained ankle and will miss some time, but it is not considered severe.
There are a few takeaways from the season opener in Gainbridge Fieldhouse. The young guards played well, Rick Carlisle went deep into the rotation, and the Pacers nearly won.
The final score was: 114-107, Washington.
Bennedict Mathurin and Tyrese Haliburton
Tyrese Haliburton was an aggressor in the team’s season opener. He led the team in scoring and still managed seven assists throughout the game. Carlisle noted in his post-game media session that Haliburton will play to what the game gives him but he is a pass-first point guard through and through.
It is also worth noting that Tyrese thinks of this game not as a one-off, regarding his aggressive approach. He says this is the product of his training this summer — to be the leader of the Pacers.
He finished the game with 26 points, seven assists, and four rebounds while making 10 of his 18 shot attempts. He was the best player on the floor and nearly helped the Pacers tie the game, but his three-point shot was no good. This game was a great learning metric and will be an important film study for the young players who were involved in the rotation.
Speaking of young players in the rotation — Bennedict Mathurin’s streak of impressive play continued in his rookie debut. His confidence in decision-making is nothing like what I am used to seeing in a rookie. Getting to the rim with relative ease and finishing tough shots, then if fouled, converting free throws at the stripe. He was better at this in the preseason but went 2/5 last night.
The Pacers keep adding pieces to their young core that adds a new dimension to their offense. Last season they brought in Isaiah Jackson and Haliburton — Jackson adding a vertical aspect and Haliburton adding distribution unlike Indiana has seen in years. Now you phase in Mathurin who adds a downhill attack which is huge for an offense, making defenses double and close which can lead to tough shot-making or open shots for others.
Potential is there in Indiana at the moment and you can see the pieces forming. The exciting part of the 2022-23 season will be the development of players individually and how they can gel their skill sets to form the next great Pacers team.
Chris Duarte did not see many shot opportunities in this contest and finished with five points on three attempts. He exited the game early after being hit in the face. Will be interested to see what the next few games look like from him in terms of production and finding a role in the offense as the season gets underway.
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