With so much emphasis on the starters and how they play for the Indiana Pacers, I wanted to stop and give some love to the bench. I think as a whole that they are finding their way at times. There have been games when the bench comes in to give some energy and help build the lead or establish a lead. But then other times, the bench has come in and lost that lead or not given what was needed. I don’t know if this year’s bench is that much better or worse than last year’s. In a way, it feel like parts were traded for each other. But guys are learning their roles, and if that gets established, things should mesh.
This is the guy that I think most fans expected more out of, and I am not sure if he’s just not what people expected. He has a higher career shooting percentage than what he is shooting this season. He’s only averaging 3 points a game compared to 10 points for his career. So maybe bringing in Augustin wasn’t the best move. But once, the Pacers lost Darren Collison someone had to be brought in. There were talks that maybe Augustin would do better with the starters, but then George Hill might log more minutes if he ended up playing as point guard with the second unit. I think Augustin needs a bit more playing time to get himself on the same page as where he should be and then this second unit could roll more smoothly.
Gerald Green is almost a get what you get player. You get some athletic plays, but then you get some bad plays that hurt the team. He doesn’t seem to have that basketball sense other than making a move to the basket. I think he’s come around a bit since starting out, but there’s still something that needs to happen with his game overall. Who knows if he’ll ever get that “basketball sense?” He might be better suited to come in for some minutes while Paul George or Lance Stephenson need a breather. He might be able to bring some energy with an athletic play or two. But I don’t think we’ll get much more out of him at this point.
For me, Sam Young has been a pleasant surprise. He comes in and holds his own for some minutes. He feels like a good defender, gets a rebound or two, and might score some points. He’s not flashy or anything showy, but that blue collar type of player that this Pacers team loves to have around, even going back to the days of Dale and Antonio Davis. Probably further back then that, but that’s what I think of when I think the hard workers of the Pacers.
You want some intensity, energy, and physical play off the bench, then Tyler Hanbrough is your man. Another of those blue collar type players that we love to see come out and play. You know that he’ll bring his best. He plays his best against the Charlotte Bobcats, so the Pacers need to play that team every game. But if not, you know he’ll still bring his A game. Last night, he really was active and got 10 points in the process. Rebounding and hustling to the ball are the two things that Tyler Hansbrough can do. He does have a good touch for shooting from sweet spots. If the time comes when Hansbrough’s contract is up, the Pacers need to do what they can to keep him a Pacer player.
Up and down at times, but seems to be settling into the back up center position as he’s got more playing time. Last night, he looked very active and scored 12 points, his season high. He had a couple of shots from around the free throw line, to which I didn’t know that was within his range. But he’s coming around, and if he can give Hibbert a rest with his play, even better.