3 Indiana Pacers who need to perform better in December

Chris Duarte, Indiana Pacers (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Chris Duarte, Indiana Pacers (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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Flirting with the quarter mark of the 2022-23 NBA season, the Indiana Pacers are boasting a surprising 12-9 record, good for fourth in the Eastern Conference. That win-loss card suggests that the team is getting the best of what it has on deck, especially relative to early season predictions on the squad, but as usual, there will always be room for improvement.

In fact, with the Pacers facing a much more unforgiving schedule this December, improving on every nook and cranny of the game will be imperative if they want to retain their grasp in the playoff picture out East. Thus, to cut to the chase, here are three players who need to perform better this December.

3 Indiana Pacers who need to perform better in December

1. Chris Duarte

Overlooked in the Pacers’ hot run recently is the absence of highly-valued wingman Chris Duarte, who has missed the last 11 games due to an ankle injury. The team should be able to get him back sooner than later, and when he does, the group needs him to get into a groove as quickly as possible.

Duarte’s struggles early in the season have been well-documented, but he’s shown flashes of breaking out of his unusually long slump prior to his injury. His return would be pretty massive for a Pacers team struggling offensively as of late, as his shot-creation and spot-up shooting would give the team another threat with the ball with defenses starting to hog Tyrese Haliburton, Ben Mathurin, and Buddy Hield more intently.

A projected starter, Duarte has too much upside to be held to a low standard. While the coaching staff may want to ease him into the lineup, the sophomore needs to avoid his recurring tentativeness with the rock early in the season and just do what he does best as a reliable release valve on offense.