Indiana Pacers season review: Caris LeVert’s debut season

Indiana Pacers, Caris LeVert - Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Indiana Pacers, Caris LeVert - Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Indiana PacersCaris LeVert, Indiana Pacers
Caris LeVert, Indiana Pacers – Credit: Russell Isabella-USA TODAY Sports /

Caris LeVert was a fun addition to the Indiana Pacers last season.

When the Indiana Pacers made the switch from Victor Oladipo to Caris LeVert last season, there was a nice blend of optimism and confusion. On one hand, the Pacers were getting a fresh start in the backcourt as Oladipo appeared set on not returning after the season. But Caris LeVert was slated to miss some time and the Pacers traded Oladipo after a hot start to the season.

Indiana started the season with an 8-4 record including wins over the Knicks, Celtics, and Warriors. Victor Oladipo was then abruptly traded to the Rockets following the deal that sent James Harden to the Nets for a package that included Caris LeVert. The Pacers flipped Oladipo for LeVert and some draft picks with the knowledge that Caris may not even suit up for them in 2021.

LeVert played in 12 games for the Nets, including four starts, and averaged 18.5 points per game prior to the trade. Just three games before he was dealt, LeVert dropped 43 points and shot 7-of-9 from beyond the arc. The Pacers were getting a scorer.

The unfortunate medical showed Caris had a mass and would require surgery, which inevitably kept him out of hoops for two months. He finally debuted for the Pacers on March 13 against the Suns and the Pacers had some success with Caris.

His first season with the Pacers was filled with ups and downs but Caris LeVert provided a spark for a team that needs it moving forward. How would his first season look on a report card?