Pacers Report Cards: Grading every Pacers player through the All-Star break

The Indiana Pacers are back from the All-Star break, but how has everybody been doing this season?

Indiana Pacers, Tyrese Haliburton, NBA Player Grades
Indiana Pacers, Tyrese Haliburton, NBA Player Grades / Justin Casterline/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
11 of 13
Next

Jarace Walker and Ben Sheppard

Walker's stats: 17 Games, 10.2 MPG, 4.4 PPG, 1.7 RPG, 1.2 APG, 0.5 SPG, 0.4 BPG, 0.6 TOV, 1.0 FPG 42.4/37.5/85.7 Splits on 53.6% TS

Sheppard's stats: 34 Games, 10.8 MPG, 3.2 PPG, 1.3 RPG, 0.7 APG, 0.5 SPG, 0.2 TOV, 1.3 FPG 37.4/28.8/82.4 Splits on 50.2% TS

Admittedly, there's not much to work with here. Walker and Sheppard haven't gotten much run in the first half of the season, logging only 530 minutes between them. However, they have both shown some nice flashes in that time.

We'll start with Walker. Perhaps the most frustrating aspect of this season, outside of the defense, has been the management of Walker's minutes and his development. So far, Walker has only really played four or so games where he has received legitimate rotation minutes and not just garbage time minutes.

In those games, he has shown solid potential though, namely his January 18 game against Sacramento where he scored a career-high 15 points and helped lead a short-handed Pacers team to a victory against a healthy Kings team.

One of the highest things on the second half of season wish list of most Pacers fans, myself included, is for Rick Carlisle to give Walker more minutes. After the Pascal Siakam trade left Indiana short of small forwards, Walker has a perfect opportunity to slide in at the 3 to give Indiana valuable minutes lost from trading Bruce Brown away.

As for Sheppard, while he has gotten more chances, his play has been mostly up and down. Of course, as his role is vastly different from Walker's, with it being of a 3&D guy, that makes sense. In the games he has played, Sheppard has shown some nice flashes, including the second Denver game, where his late-game heroics almost led to an upset Indiana win, and the most recent Toronto game, where he logged the third-most minutes of his career, so far, came away with a career-high 10 points and got the game-winning stop on RJ Barrett.

However, as evidenced by his shooting splits, he has also had his fair share of dud performances, including nights where fans were left puzzled why he was out there instead of Walker.

Overall, Sheppard and Walker have done just as well as you can expect first-round picks on playoff teams to do. While it would be nice of Walker to get more minutes, it would be completely understandable if Rick Carlisle used the first half of the season as some sort of gauge to determine if Walker should play the rest of the season.

Now that the 'rest of the season' is here, Carlisle and company will have to make a decision on the talented 20-year-old soon.

Final Grade: C+ (Good flashes from the rookies, still need to see more however)