The Indiana Pacers have not yet blown anyone out of the water record-wise with a win-loss card of 4-5 at the moment in the early going of the current campaign, but the play of star rookie Bennedict Mathurin has been more than enough to garner some noise for the franchise aside from the proverbial trade rumors.
As a matter of fact, despite playing all games off the bench in just 28.1 minutes per outing, the sixth overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft has been posting mind-boggling averages of 20.7 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per contest. His scoring output has been quite the pleasant surprise, and if this keeps up, he is bound to have his name etched in the history books.
Indiana Pacers rookie Bennedict Mathurin is well on pace to set an unparalleled NBA record
Rookies averaging more than 20 points per game have been pretty rare, but to do the same off the bench is unheard of, at least not yet. Mathurin, who remains tethered to his sixth man role, could easily surpass that.
In fact, the most points per game logged by a rookie off the bench for an entire season was only 15.3, a record set by Ben Gordon which also netted him the Sixth Man of the Year award back in 2005.
In all honesty, the possibility of Mathurin turning in anything less than that at the end of the season is lower than him staying put at where he is. After all, despite coming off the bench, his minutes and usage should continue to climb as the campaign comes along.
The biggest hurdle for him to set an unparalleled NBA record is, in fact, qualifying as a bench player. If he becomes due for a promotion sooner than later, which is completely reasonable to think of in light of expected personnel changes, Mathurin’s bench play would be seen as utter minority. In fact, the Sixth Man plum requires that a anyone play in more games off the bench than as a starter.
Records are meant to be broken, but if Mathurin pulls this off the way he is on pace to do so, expect this one to be pretty untouchable for quite a while.
Nevertheless, records and whatnot, the Indiana Pacers have clearly struck gold with the Bennedict Mathurin selection, giving them someone who can potentially win a lot of trophies along the way as the franchise slowly pivots to being a competitive club once again.