Why the Pacers are more than equipped to handle Bennedict Mathurin’s absence

Bennedict Mathurin (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Bennedict Mathurin (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

Thanks to Tyrese Haliburton’s heroics in overtime, the Indiana Pacers managed to overcome a late-game scare from the bottoming Houston Rockets on Thursday night. Still, all the positive takeaways from that game were overshadowed by a scary injury derailing one of the team’s core players.

Rookie Bennedict Mathurin had to get carried off the floor after badly tweaking his ankle and logged just three minutes for the night. A timetable is yet to be released by the team but from the looks of it,  fans may not see him on the hardwood again after quite some time.

However, despite the Pacers missing their leading bench scorer, they are more than capable of handling his absence in the meantime, giving them more than enough juice to keep toe-to-toe with other second units as they try to mount a final hurrah for a postseason spot.

The Indiana Pacers are more than capable of filling Bennedict Mathurin’s void

Fortunately, Indiana’s answer to Mathurin’s injury also lies off the bench. Chris Duarte and Jordan Nwora have been making great strides lately, and both should be able to fill in just fine as the Pacers’ resident gunners on the second unit.

Despite being mired in an almost season-long slump, Duarte has been much steadier in the last few weeks. Since the All-Star break, the sophomore has registered a modest yet efficient 8.6 points per game on 45.1 percent shooting from the floor, including 44 percent on triples.

Meanwhile, Nwora has continued his strong start donning the Blue and Gold. In the same time frame, he has turned in 11.3 points per outing on 52.9 percent shooting overall while canning 38.7 percent of his treys. Against Houston, he finished with 18 markers off the bench despite seeing the court for just a tad more than 23 minutes.

As the Indiana Pacers face the very real possibility of missing Bennedict Mathurin for a substantial number of remaining games, if not all of them outright, Chris Duarte and Jordan Nwora have to sustain their level of production and carry the load for a second unit that has been the team’s bread and butter this season.

dark. Next. Tyrese Haliburton shines in NBA League Pass Player Rankings