Indiana Pacers: Oshae Brissett must strike the hot iron in the preseason

Oshae Brissett - Credit: Carmen Mandato/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports
Oshae Brissett - Credit: Carmen Mandato/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports /

Despite remaining to be without the services of injured forward TJ Warren to begin the campaign for the Indiana Pacers, the team is far from a lost cause at this juncture. Unlike last season, the Blue and Gold is now better equipped to compensate for his absence with their offseason additions and key holdovers.

One of the Pacers’ obvious options to fill the void left by Warren is Oshae Brissett. The 6’7 tweener, who enjoyed a mini-breakout last season for Indiana under then-coach Nate Bjorkgren, is projected to be a key component in Rick Carlisle’s rotation, with or without Warren.

In the absence of the team’s starting small forward, however, Brissett should strike the iron while still hot, especially in the preseason, which could very well cement the coaching staff’s rotation, at least to kick off the 2021-22 campaign. With Indiana’s abundance of skilled wings, the third-year player must assert himself to ensure that he becomes a staple for the team throughout the season.

Oshae Brissett should make the most out of the preseason opportunity for the Indiana Pacers

While it’s easy to point out that Oshae Brissett should remain a heavy contributor next season after his resurgence, a coaching change may not necessarily be in support of that fact. Not only that, but new faces like Chris Duarte, the Indiana Pacers’ lottery selection whose NBA-ready skills are inarguable, and free agent addition Torrey Craig, whom coach Carlisle expressly mentioned as the team’s security blanket for TJ Warren with his defense, make Brissett’s status on the team a tad hazier than before.

Oh, and we cannot forget about holdover Justin Holiday, the Blue and Gold’s resident 3-and-D cog who has been among the league’s iron men and most consistent role players. Even without Warren in the fold, Brissett has a lot of competition jockeying for minutes at the forward positions.

If Oshae gets the starting nod, buy on him being an ideal fit next to the starters. His solid defense, both on one-on-one and help situations, low-usage scoring, and reliable three-point shooting, which he displayed with a 42.3 percent mark last season, profiles as a great complement to the team’s collection of scorers. His rebounding from his position also works well for his bid, especially with Carlisle favoring forwards with such skillset, as he did with Dorian Finney-Smith in Dallas.

In lieu of Warren, coach Carlisle will have a bunch of options at his disposal, especially as he tinkers with lineups in the preseason. Brissett should comfortably be a solid choice to patch up Warren’s starting spot, though that is not a certainty. Nevertheless, he should make the most of this opportunity as doing so could be the fine line between being a meaningful contributor next season or just another depth piece to solidify the bench for the Indiana Pacers.

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