The Indiana Pacers enter their 47th season in the NBA as the 2022-2023 season nears. Last season was full of challenges for the Pacers as players faced injuries, which resulted in the team being unable to see its’ full potential. In addition, the blockbuster trade regarding Tyrese Haliburton and Domantas Sabonis revamped the Pacers’ future and impacted the team’s chemistry and style.
The Indiana Pacers have had their challenges in the past, but this offseason gave time for new players to establish team chemistry with their teammates and for players in general to understand their role on the team. This upcoming season is exciting as Pacers fans will finally get a glimpse of what’s to come for this rebuilding stage that Indiana is entering. The expectations might not be high for this young Pacers squad, but they have the potential to make some noise in the Eastern Conference. Here’s what to expect from the Indiana Pacers in the 2022-2023 season.
NBA Draft Additions:
Bennedict Mathurin, a star forward for the Wildcats, hopes to make a swift imprint on the Pacers. Mathurin is 6’6″ and 205 lbs., with a standing reach exceeding 8’8″. At Arizona University, Mathurin had a 14.8 PPG, 5.3 RPG, and 2 APG average. Throughout his time at the institution, Mathurin also achieved great success. A few achievements include winning the Pac-12 Player of the Year and Tournament MVP awards in 2022. Mathurin earned these victories due to his effectiveness as a facilitator and scorer. In addition to these qualities, Mathurin has exceptional athleticism and a solid build, which will adapt to the NBA. It won’t be shocking if Mathurin has a fantastic rookie season for the Pacers.
Andrew Nembhard is a 6’4 guard weighing 190lbs., with a standing reach of 8’3″. Nembhard averaged 10.5 PPG, 5.1 APG, and 1.35 SPG while attending Gonzaga University. Nembhard also led his conference in overall assists with 184 and earned a spot among the top 15 in the country. These accomplishments and statistics highlight Nembhard’s passing skills and defensive prowess. Nembhard will be a fantastic addition to the Pacers bench if his abilities translate to the NBA, serving as the primary ball-handler for the second unit.
Kendall Brown is a 6’7″ forward weighing 205lbs, with a standing reach of 8’3″. Brown wasn’t the star at Baylor University, but he played a pivotal role on the team. Brown had a good rookie campaign at Baylor University, averaging 9.7 points per game while shooting 58% from the floor. These numbers put up by Brown led him to get chosen for the Big-12 all-freshman team due to his outstanding first season.
Alongside his effective offensive skills, Brown’s versatility on defense makes him even more extraordinary. Brown can defend guards and forwards, making him a versatile defender and allowing him to be implemented in a “switch everything” defense. Although it is not anticipated that Brown will have an immediate impact on the Pacers once the new season begins, Indiana selected Brown because of his potential. Overall, seeing how Brown fits within the Indiana Pacers organization this season will be enjoyable.
10/5: Indiana Pacers @ Charlotte Hornets
10/7: Indiana Pacers @ New York Knicks
10/12: New York Knicks @ Indiana Pacers
10/14: Houston Rockets @ Indiana Pacers
Indiana Pacers Departures:
The Indiana Pacers lost key players in free agency and via trades this offseason. The players include T.J. Warren, Malcolm Brogdon, and Duane Washington Jr.
Indiana Pacers Depth Chart:
Point Guards: Tyrese Haliburton, Ricky Rubio, Hugo Besson, T.J. McConnell, Gabe York, Andrew Nembhard
Shooting Guards: Chris Duarte, Buddy Hield, Bennedict Mathurin, Lance Stephenson, Justin Anderson, Nik Stauskas, Nate Hinton
Small Forwards: Oshae Brissett, Kendall Brown, Aaron Nesmith, Terry Taylor
Power Forwards: Isaiah Jackson
Center: Goga Bitadza, Myles Turner, Jalen Smith, Daniel Thesis, Amida Brimah
Head Coach: Rick Carlisle
The Indiana Pacers will look to return to the playoffs during the 2022-2023 season. Previously the Pacers finished towards the bottom of the standings during the previous two seasons, but this season could be different. This goal is achievable considering their new additions in this year’s draft. The roster for the Indiana Pacers is pretty young, with most of the players on the roster being younger than 25.
In the NBA, experience plays a huge role in a team’s success, but there have been some instances where young teams overcome the stereotype of older players needing to be on a winning team. The Indiana Pacers could be that young team that overcomes the stereotype, but they need to stay healthy for that to happen! In addition to staying healthy, a young player outside of Tyrese Haliburton must break out this year and offensively make their mark on the Pacers team. If the Indiana Pacers have a healthy 2022-2023 season and have one of their new additions make an imprint scoring-wise, then they have a good chance of ending the drought of not making the playoffs or maybe making the play-in tournament. This season as a Pacers fan will be very intriguing to see where their ceiling reaches.
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