Indiana Pacers: Oshae Brissett, missed chances, and lostness in transit

Indiana Pacers, Oshae Brissett - Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Indiana Pacers, Oshae Brissett - Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /

Last season’s Indiana Pacers squad was far from inspiring, as the team will eventually come down as memorable, but largely for the wrong reasons. One bright spot in the previous campaign, however, was the emergence of Oshae Brissett, who seemingly came out of nowhere and gave the team another piece for the future with his galvanizing play on both ends of the court late in the season.

Brissett’s rise was the primary reason why many tabbed him as a significant player for the Pacers this season despite a coaching change. That, however, has been far from reality, with the versatile tweener firmly out of Rick Carlisle‘s rotation at the season’s quarter point, striking a question on what could be his role on the team moving forward.

Oshae Brissett has been the odd man out this season for the Indiana Pacers

The outright exclusion of Oshae Brissett from the Indiana Pacers rotation, given the team’s middling record so far, has been questionable. After all, the third-year player boasts not only the sheer talent needed to contribute on the nightly, but also a perfect fit with coach Carlisle’s offensive system predicated on perimeter shooting.

Instead, the coaching staff has barely looked at Brissett when examining their options, even if the team remains hindered by injuries to a degree. Sans TJ Warren, new addition Torrey Craig, rotation staple Justin Holiday, and rookie Chris Duarte have soaked up most of the available minutes on the wings, leaving essentially nothing for Oshae.

Simply pushing those guys down the drain won’t be tenable either. Craig’s minutes have been very productive, and his defensive boost is perhaps only second to Myles Turner on the team. Holiday is the Pacers’ lone movement shooter. Duarte’s scoring affinity is simply too valuable to keep tethered on the bench for long.

Really, Brissett’s last valuable minutes came in late October. Overall, he’s averaging just 11.5 minutes per game this season, with the bulk of it coming in garbage time, and has been a DNP-coach’s decision for eight total games. To cut to the chase, do the Indiana Pacers still view him as an important piece?

Did Oshae Brissett get lost in transit as the Pacers made a coaching change?

Ultimately, I’d say that the main reason behind Brissett currently falling out of favor in the rotation is coach Carlisle’s well-documented penchant for playing veterans more. Unless the injury bug strikes Torrey Craig, who has a similar skillset and the forward’s direct competition for minutes, he may not see the floor much this season, save for some emergency minutes to avert foul troubles or in blowouts.

Still, I believe that Oshae Brissett is just as good, if not better, than advertised. He may not be in line for ampler opportunities in the foreseeable future, but having him as an option, notwithstanding the degree, is a luxury to have for the Indiana Pacers.

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