Chris Duarte should start if Caris LeVert has to miss time

Indiana Pacers, Chris Duarte (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)
Indiana Pacers, Chris Duarte (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images) /

It was recently announced that Indiana Pacers guard Caris LeVert has a stress fracture in his back. If LeVert has to miss some games to begin the season, could Chris Duarte be the answer to start?

Chris Duarte should start for the Indiana Pacers during Caris LeVert’s absence

It’s only September and the injury news continues to pile up for the Indiana Pacers. It was announced on the first day of training that Caris LeVert has sustained a stress fracture in his back. The team said they are “very optimistic” that LeVert will be ready by the start of the season (whatever that means).

If Caris LeVert has to miss some games while recovering from this stress fracture the Pacers will have to figure who they are going to insert into the starting lineup. Justin Holiday and Jeremy Lamb may be the first names that come to mind but I believe the Pacers should give Chris Duarte a look at the starting lineup.

There is no question that it will extremely difficult to replace the production of Caris LeVert. Out of the three possible candidates to start for the injured LeVert, Chris Duarte has the best skillset to pair with the rest of the starting five. Duarte’s best skills are his defense and three-point shooting which will slot in very well.

Chris Duarte showcased this skill set in Summer League. Duarte shot the lights out of the gym from three-point range shooting 48 percent on 7.3 attempts per game. The defense that Duarte provided the Pacers in Summer League was just as impressive as he averaged 4.3 STOCKS(Steals + Blocks) per game.

I do realize you can only put so much stock into Summer League performances, but the skillset is obviously there. Adding Duarte to the starting lineup would give that more defensive versatility at the perimeter and 3 points shooting to stretch the floor. The role that Duarte would command would highlight his best attributes tremendously and benefit the other four starters just as much.

The ideal situation for the Pacers would be for LeVert to return before opening night. If LeVert isn’t ready by then I do believe, out of the options we have on our roster, that Chris Duarte would be the best choice to replace LeVert in the starting lineup. The Pacers have stated how Duarte is ready to play now and this would be the ultimate test for those claims.

Next. Grading the Pacers' offseason. dark