What the Indiana Pacers should expect from Bennedict Mathurin

Bennedict Mathurin - Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Bennedict Mathurin - Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /

The Indiana Pacers start a new era of basketball tonight. It’s an era that won’t be marked with a lot of wins for the first time really since the late 80s. They won’t be fighting for a playoff spot. Instead, they’ll be developing young guys and entering the Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes.

One of those young guys they are looking to develop is Bennedict Mathurin. Mathurin was the sixth overall pick in this past draft out of Arizona. He is the Pacers’ highest draft pick since Rik Smits was drafted second overall all the way back in 1988.

While the Pacers may have gotten bad lottery luck by actually moving down to the sixth spot despite having the fifth-worst record in the league, Mathurin is a worthy guy to take based on his college stats. He’s a guy that can score and that can shoot from anywhere.

What should the Indiana Pacers expect from Bennedict Mathurin? Offense, and lots of it.

Mathurin is someone who is going to get you a bucket if you need it. Last year at Arizona, he averaged 17.7 points on 45% shooting from the field and 37% from three. Mathurin isn’t afraid to hoist it from deep either as he averaged over six attempts a game from three.

What’s impressed me so far in the preseason is his ability to get to the rim and generate contact. He is not only a great finisher but is able to generate a ton of free throws. In the last two preseason games against the Rockets and Knicks, he generated 18 free throw attempts.

Getting to the line is a great way to get points for a team that doesn’t have a lot of shot-creators. Tyrese Haliburton and Chris Duarte are the only other two guys on this team who can create their own shots off the dribble. Everyone else needs set up in some way.

I think Mathurin is going to have a really solid rookie year. I could see him averaging 17-20 points per game this year. I could also see him getting into the starting lineup at some point, regardless if Buddy Hield gets moved. The Pacers need to develop the young guys as soon as possible, so why not start him?

Next. Three things Indiana Pacers fans want to see in season-opener. dark

Tonight will be the first regular-season game of his career. Indiana Pacer fans will get to see a glimpse of his potential against real competition for the first time and I’m anxious to see how he handles it.