Indiana Pacers: 3 players who should step up after Chris Duarte injury

Aaron Nesmith - Credit: Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports
Aaron Nesmith - Credit: Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports /
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After bannering a healthy roster for the first time in eons, the Indiana Pacers were once again afflicted by the injury bug, this time losing starting wing Chris Duarte to an ankle injury that could sideline him for four to six weeks.

Of course, starting shooting guard Buddy Hield and the upstart Bennedict Mathurin could ease the pain of losing Duarte for quite a while, but the sophomore’s absence leaves a pretty considerable hole in the rotation. Thus, in light of his injury, here are three Pacers who should step up and rise to the occasion.

Indiana Pacers: 3 players who should step up following Chris Duarte’s injury

1. Aaron Nesmith

New Pacer Aaron Nesmith has been in and out of the lineup due to injury, but when he has been available, he has managed to stay in the rotation. Ic fact, he’s been in the starting unit for four games already, and that could increase with Duarte nursing a sprained ankle.

With more minutes on deck, Nesmith has to prove that he can be an effective floor spacer for Indiana. So far, he’s been below league average, canning just 31.8 percent of his triples. His shot attempts have also been relatively sparse, meaning that aggressiveness should be a point of emphasis, especially with the team now lacking one of its shot creators.

In addition, Nesmith will be relied on even more on defense. He’s shown some impressive knack at blocking shots so far, and while his recurring injury could make consistency a trek, the coaching staff will surely bank on him to log more minutes, and hopefully, he could deliver.