Indiana Pacers: Player grades from the loss to the Milwaukee Bucks

Indiana Pacers, Goga Bitadze - Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Indiana Pacers, Goga Bitadze - Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Indiana Pacers, Chris Duarte
Indiana Pacers, Chris Duarte – Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /

Chris Duarte continued to impress for the Indiana Pacers against the defending champions

I’ll be honest here. Chris Duarte gets the nod because the Indiana Pacers’ statistical leaders, despite finishing with their usual great numbers, had glaring holes in their performance against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Brogdon, despite shooting better from the field, committed seven turnovers, one of which came in a crucial stretch in the fourth where the Pacers trimmed the deficit to five. Sabonis was repeatedly late in closing out in the perimeter once more, and even struggled with his timing on double teams. Bitadze impressed in his limited minutes, but he’s better off as an honorable mention here.

While Duarte relatively struggled (by his own standards) by shooting 43.8 percent from the floor, he proved that he can hold his own against the tough Bucks defense despite being hounded all night long by their revolving door of pesky and physical defenders. On one occasion, he even swished a jumper on an isolation against the Greek Freak.

Just to boot, he also played good defense on Middleton multiple times, forcing tough looks, though not necessarily misses.

While Duarte’s string of impressive performances hasn’t yet culminated in a lot of wins, facing tough competition early on will only push him to become better as he continues to acclimate to the NBA.